Wikipedia talk:External links/Perennial websites

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Findagrave tweak to text[edit]

I would like to make the following two changes in wording: --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:55, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Change 1[edit]

  • "As a reliable source: Almost never. It should never be cited if it is a circular reference to Wikipedia (WP:FORK and WP:CIRCULAR)." modified to Nota bene* "As a reliable source: Rarely With caution. It should never be cited for biographical information. It may be cited for the location of a burial, or and information contained on the tombstone." --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
  • I support the proposed change. – S. Rich (talk) 16:03, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Why? Is there some recent or current discussion? --Ronz (talk) 16:04, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No - that's often still user-submitted information. If I say that this is the tombstone of John Smith the author buried in London, there's no way to know it isn't the tombstone of John Smith the painter buried in New York City. The provision regarding circular referencing should also be retained. I agree though that "should never be cited for biographical information" is a useful addition. Nikkimaria (talk) 16:27, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
The New York Times is wrong on a daily basis, yet we use it as a reliable source. The print version has dozens of corrections each day from the previous day's version. The article I am reading now online has four error corrections appended to it. What is relevant is: Do they have editorial control where they fix errors. Findagrave has a mechanism where you submit a correction, it is reviewed and either accepted or rejected. The New York Times and Wikipedia have both published images of the wrong person, or misidentified people in group photos. Peek at the bottom of this article: Walter Cronkite, 92, Dies; Trusted Voice of TV News --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:41, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, Find a Grave has only reactive, post-publication correction, whereas NYT and similar also have proactive pre-publication correction. That is why, although NYT may also have post-publication corrections, it is considered more reliable. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:31, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Then we should never, ever use the New York Times because their pre-publication quality control is inadequate. I pointed out some egregious errors in the New York Times, can you show me some egregious errors still in Findagrave? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:06, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Feel free to take that argument to WP:RSN and ask for NYT to be considered unreliable. Examples of Findagrave errors, but that's really beside the point - a source can have an error and still be considered reliable, or can have no errors but still be considered unreliable. If I write a blog post, it may have no errors, but that doesn't make it an RS. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:16, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
That is a discussion from 2012 similar to what we are having here. People are arguing over whether someone should be name "Carl" or "Karl" and other trivial issues. A blog is an online chronological format that is independent of reliability. When Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes in his blog it is a reliable source. If you were notable enough to have a Wikipedia article, your blog would be a reliable source about you. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:21, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
There are more significant errors mentioned. We have special rules to determine the reliability of blogs and other user-generated sources. Per those rules, Paul Krugman's blog is a reliable source for an economics article, but Joe Schmo's blog (or forum post, or wiki article, or Find-a-Grave entry) is not a reliable source for any article, unless for example he is a recognized expert on the topic already. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:37, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No. Judging by the responses, I assume there is no current or recent discussion that demonstrates we should be changing this. In general, we should encourage better sources, not worse. The general consensus is that findagrave is very poor source. --Ronz (talk) 17:39, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I do not think that four people responding determines consensus, two of them positively and two negatively. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:08, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
You are aware that there's general consensus outside these discussions, right? That's why I asked if any new discussions may have happened. This is not the venue to attempt to change the wide consensus on this issue, nor on the quality of sources in general. --Ronz (talk) 18:20, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
It is the exact venue to change wording in this essay. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 05:55, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose, it is a wiki, and hence not a reliable source. No need to make this statement weaker. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:39, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
It is actually strengthening the restriction. The only current restriction is not using it as a source when it uses Wikipedia text. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 05:53, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
The current restriction is "as a reliable source: almost never", as it is not a reliable source. It should not be used with care, it should not be used rarely, it is really 'almost never' as it is not a reliable source. And for most, if not all, of the information, there are better references (it is only a nuisance that they are maybe not very often available online: the actual records of the graveyards in question). The other sentence is there as a second warning, that one should not use the source at all, even if that particular case is demonstrably reliable, if that particular document is a copyvio (and it being a copyvio makes the chance of it being reliable even bigger). But basically, it is a wiki, it is not a reliable source by definition. Do not use this as a source barring some exceptions, hence, almost never. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:03, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • When did "almost never" become equal to "never"? Mathematically and logically they are not the same. It is like saying that "almost zero" is "equal to zero", when there is an infinite number of fractional numbers as you approach zero as my friend Zeno explains. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 06:22, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
    • Who said never? I did not say never, I said, throughout, 'almost never', as has been codified for a long time in this essay, and as based on WP:RS, WP:NOT, WP:V, etc. etc. (By the way, talking about 'almost never' being equal to 'never', and in relation to Zeno, you might find 0.999... an interesting read, they are mathematically and logically the same). --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:41, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is still user-generated content. While it may "obvious" that the headstone refers to the individual alleged, the source remains user-generated and thus not based on a reliable source. There is still no evidence that Find-A-Grave has stated or determined that the burial location refers to the person in the article, biographical information or not. Further, I'd argue citing the headstone itself in an article is using a WP:PRIMARY source and without a secondary source, there's no evidence about the proper weight that should be given to the headstone meaning it is a possible WP:UNDUE impact issue. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 21:46, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose, and "almost never" should be replaced with "never". It is not a RS and pretty much the only purpose the links have ever served is for free promotion of find a grave. Bluntly, I've long felt the site should be blacklisted. Resolute 00:20, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose Likewise with Resolute. Any information available on FAG will either be available elsewhere in an RS, or if it isnt available elsewhere, either cannot be used in the article and shouldnt be linked to because FAG is not an RS. The only real use for FAG is 'where is this grave and what does it look like?'. Since we cannot actually treat that information as reliable, we shouldnt be putting an EL in to FAG to say 'See this site for more information'. Personally I think another blacklist discussion is warranted given the amount of eyes this issue has had this month. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:42, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Findagrave is not a reliable source per Wikipedia's rules, period. Which is what matters here, if you want to change those rules it has to be done somewhere else on en-WP, not here. Thomas.W talk 13:10, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Change 2[edit]

  • "Some pages contain copyright violations (WP:ELNEVER and WP:COPYLINK). Find a Grave requests that copyright violations be reported to with a link to the relevant page or image. Never link to copyright violations on Wikipedia." with this added: "However, Please note that Findagrave's standard of fair use for images and text is less restrictive than the one in place at Wikipedia, and that the terms of service for the source of the obituary or biographical text determines whether that text can be reposted to Findagrave."
Could be added as an aside: "Find a Grave requests that copyright violations be reported to with a link to the relevant page or image; however, note that Find a Grave's standard of fair use is less restrictive than Wikipedia's". Nikkimaria (talk) 16:27, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Why? We're here to write this encyclopedia, not to help write Findagrave. --Ronz (talk) 18:22, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Because we already have guidance about reporting things to Find A Grave, and this addition clarifies it. I would agree with removing the existing guidance about reporting, as an alternative. Nikkimaria (talk) 19:10, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I see no need, we are indeed not here to help write Findagrave. If people want an explanation they can ask on this talk. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:40, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
People are asking and that is why we are here. We have no control over Findagrave, just our interaction with it here. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 06:24, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose The implication is that Findagrave's fair use interpretation is in fact correct. If a Findagrave page contains a direct copyright violation, there can be a discussion here about it, a discussion to remove the page linking and if someone chooses to report it to Findagrave and Findagrave removes the issue, it can be reinstated. If Findagrave does not consider it a violation, but people here do, then it will remain removed. It's just a matter of two different sites with differing views on copyrighted content. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 21:52, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ricky81682. Thomas.W talk 13:11, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose WPs fair use is restrictive for a reason, Findagraves is less restrictive for its own reasons. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:16, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Change 3[edit]

  • Findagrave is a reliable source for what it is intended to be: Locations of cemeteries and photos of tombstones. It is not necessarily reliable for other text information. It should only be used as an external link, not as an in-line source. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:38, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
    No, for reasons discussed. --Ronz (talk) 18:40, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
    No, we are modify the existing text. Where would this text go? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 19:00, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
    Where is the existing text? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:22, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No, we are not writing a linkfarm, there is hardly ever any need for that information to be 'sourced' from Findagrave. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:42, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's user-generated and we are thus presuming that the users are in fact correct about the location of the cemetery, their photos provided and that the person listed is the exact same as the person in the article. If a reliable source states that the person is buried in location X, then Findagrave is an acceptable external link about the location details and headstone. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 21:54, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
You guys do realize that some cemeteries bulk add entries from their own records to Find-a-Grave, right? Find-a-Grave is pretty analogous to IMDb – some of their entries are user-added junk, but some of their entries actually come directly from the source and thus are 100% accurate. Wholesale disallowing of use of Find-a-Grave as an 'External link' is a terrible idea... --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:03, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't think anyone here has said it should be disallowed wholesale from the External links section? [edit: except now perhaps Resolute]. What I and others have said is that it's not an RS. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:25, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
@IJBall: You do realize that the original records are the reliable sources, and that those then should be used on Wikipedia. There is a difference between being correct and being reliable. Findagrave may very well be the first, but not the second. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:13, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand your point – the original cemetery records are not public records (or, generally, are not available publicly). In many cases, Find-a-grave is the only game in town for tracking down the location of a grave. --IJBall (contribstalk) 03:16, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Well, then I don't understand - what you are basically saying is that 'because we have no access to reliable sources, we use an unreliable source to source our unreliable information' ... ?? If you can not reliably source the information, it has no place on Wikipedia. That's exactly why Wikipedia in itself is an unreliable source and will remain so. And if you have a reliable source, then information from find-a-grave is superfluous per WP:ELNO #1, it does not provide any extra information than what is already in Wikipedia, or could be incorporated in Wikipedia. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:56, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
No, what I said was F-A-G is a lot like IMDb – some of the information there is reliable because it comes directly from the records of cemetery houses. And the photos further help to verify. Pretending that F-A-G is completely useless and unreliable is a joke – it has a use on Wikipedia as an External link. --IJBall (contribstalk) 06:33, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
The reliable information is only reliable by virtue of the reliable sources. That makes it hence not suitable as a reference. As an external link the story is different (reliability is less of an issue there), however, reliability is not the only issue why we discourage external links, there are other reasons in our pillars to exclude them and I have just given you one. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:07, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
And do note, this section does discuss it's use as a reliable source, not it's use as an external link. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:09, 13 January 2016 (UTC) removed, I should have reread the whole sentence. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:10, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

ANI discussions[edit]

Looks like this entire discussion is an attempt to remove the documented consensus that's part of an open ANI discussion: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Thomas.W_removing_Findagrave_links_and_the_place_of_burial_from_articles. Given that I specifically asked about ongoing discussions multiple times, why wasn't this brought up? --Ronz (talk) 18:50, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

I can't see a problem with using Find A Grave as a reference for certain details. I think the biographical text, which doesn't contain references, is probably not useful for citations. On the other hand, gravestone photos and others illustrations -- copies of birth and death certificates which some Find A Grave contributors add, for instance -- seem to me like they'd be helpful.
It's true that gravestone inscriptions are sometimes wrong -- as an example, the gravestone in the photo on the find A Grave page for Senator Obadiah German of New York indicates that he died in September 1841. However, newspaper accounts and the probate court records relating to the disposition of his estate make it clear that he died in September 1842. That said, written references are also sometimes wrong, and individuals intending to cite them on Wikipedia or elsewhere often have to attempt separating the accurate from the inaccurate in deciding which references to cite. All in all, I think using Find A Grave for information from things like gravestone photos is reasonable Billmckern (talk) 12:29, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • That just shows that some documents are inconsistent, but the date of final probate can be years afterward, my dad died in 2011 and his estate is still in probate now in 2016 for only having a single witness for his will, instead of the two required in New Jersey. The date that his will, will be proved will be in 2016. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 20:47, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): -- We agree. Your father's will might be going through probate in 2016, but if you read the associated documents, I'm sure they indicate that he died in 2011. Since probate courts deal with administering estates after people die, you can assume that the probate court is probably right.
I guess I should have been more precise. What I means was that if the gravestone has an 1841 death date on it, and the probate court has a record after 1841 which says in essence "we're here to administer the will of Obadiah German, who died on September 24, 1842", then you can be pretty sure that the probate court record is right and the gravestone is wrong. The same is usually true for a newspaper death notices, to -- in the case of Obadiah German, who I used as an example, there were newspaper death notices published in September, October and November of 1842 -- if the gravestone's death date was right, you'd expect to see newspaper articles from 1841.
Billmckern (talk) 21:12, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Billmckern: You are right that written references are sometimes wrong, however, they do have fact checking, and they do file errata to their data. The same happens with governmental data (somewhere in the grey history of my family tree there is a record where a girl is changed to a boy, and the boy gets married shortly after).
Wikis, however, generally do not have such mechanisms, Wikipedia does not have that to any significant extend, Findagrave does not have it either. The lack of that fact-checking mechanism is the main problem with this not being a suitable reliable source - the reliability is not based on whether or not they publish mistakes, the reliability is based on first checking what gets published (and hence most of what comes out is correct), and properly repair the few (serious) errors that slipped through. By the way, the probate court records and the newspaper accounts are the reliable sources, which would make the use of findagrave or even the picture of the tombstone superfluous (unless the mistake is noteworthy). It shows how limited the use of Findagrave is and hence if better, reliable sources are available (newspaper items, court records; which are almost always available) they should be used and findagrave can summarily be ignored (even if it is correct in comparison with the reliable sources). --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:46, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Findagrave is not a wiki, it makes no use of the wiki software made available by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is a database run on MySQL. In a wiki, anyone can edit. At Findagrave, anyone can create an entry and if you find an error you can suggest a correction, and that correction is accepted or rejected. Unreliable sources have no editorial control, and errors are not corrected. That is what makes the New York Times reliable despite printing a paragraph of corrections each day in the print version, correcting the previous days writing. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 19:48, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Beetstra: -- "...the probate court records and the newspaper accounts are the reliable sources..." -- Yeah, that's what I said. I think a gravestone is usually a good reference, but not always. As with any reference, it needs to be compared to other available sources to test it for accuracy. But if there's no reason to think a gravestone contains inaccurate data, there's no reason it can't be used as a reference.
Billmckern (talk) 13:00, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Billmckern: There is also no reason to think that a random Wikipedia page contains any inaccurate data, still Wikipedia is not a reliable source and should not be used as a reference (barring some rare exceptions). The same is true for Findagrave, there is no reason to think that it contains inaccurate data, still it is not a reliable source and hence should not be used as a reference (barring some rare exceptions). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:08, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
WP:USERG (part of WP:RS defines it as

For that reason self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable. This includes any website whose content is largely user-generated, including the Internet Movie Database (IMDB),, content farms, collaboratively created websites such as wikis, and so forth, with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users.

Findagrave fits that description, even if it is largely correct. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:17, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
According to WP:Linkspam "Citation spamming is the illegitimate or improper use of citations, footnotes or references. Citation spamming is a form of search engine optimization or promotion that typically involves the repeated insertion of a particular citation or reference in multiple articles by a single contributor. Often these are added not to verify article content but rather to populate numerous articles with a particular citation. Variations of citation spamming include the removal of multiple valid sources and statements in an article in favor of a single, typically questionable or low-value, web source. Citation spamming is a subtle form of spam and should not be confused with legitimate good-faith additions intended to verify article content and help build the encyclopedia."
I think anyone who doesn't want to use Find A Grave has to explain how Find A Grave links to pages with details such as gravestone photos are not "good-faith additions intended to verify article content."
Billmckern (talk) 18:03, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
If you want to change consensus, you'll have to convince others rather than trying to get them to change your mind. --Ronz (talk) 18:53, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
"I think anyone who doesn't want to use Find A Grave has to explain how Find A Grave links to pages with details such as gravestone photos are not "good-faith additions intended to verify article content."" - no, they wouldn't. They would if they wanted to argue that the person adding them was spamming, but what we're discussing here is rather whether it is reliable or not - a site can be added in good faith and still be unreliable. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:09, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Nikkimaria: -- The guys removing Find A Grave links -- Ronz and Thomas.W have explicitly stated that they regard Find A Grave as spamming. Billmckern (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Even if so, they aren't everyone "who doesn't want to use Find A Grave". We can argue that it isn't reliable without arguing that it isn't being added/advocated in good faith. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:23, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Side comment: I have no experience with Findagrave, but "user-generated" is a remarkably vague term in the policy here. There are major differences in reliability between sites depending on 1) if anonymous editing is possible, 2) if user registration is available for anyone, and if there is any approval process for members, 3) if users are able to introduce arbitrary edits or if they will have to go through moderator/editor oversight. Heck, I'm sure that e.g. most editors of Encyclopedia Britannica also use the work itself extensively, and would therefore technically qualify as "users". --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 17:29, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I suggest you all read the discussion on Talk:Lloyd D. Brown, where there's a detailed description of what the linkspam thing is about, reflinks deliberately written in such a way that they add an extra external link to the Findagrave main page under "References" at the bottom of the page, in addition to the link to the article subject's page there. Which is pure linkspam, done only to get as many links to the Findagrave website as possible on Wikipedia, and increase their rankings in Google searches. Thomas.W talk 21:29, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
    Granted, the original addition of the link may have been in good faith. As for the rest, I'm not going to make guesses as to the intent of the editors, but the links shouldn't have been restored once, let alone repeatedly, especially in multiple articles. --Ronz (talk) 23:16, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

A good faith wrong addition is still a wrong addition. We do revert edits or remove data that is simply unencyclopedic or not following our policies/guidelines. For external links and references, those can be removed if they do not follow our inclusion standards, and it will then be on the person who wants to (re-)add the links to first give a good rationale why the link is needed. Most of these findagrave links are inappropriate/unneeded etc., the links should first be removed, and re-addition should be not blanket and/or without proper rationale. Such behaviour does amount to spamming (under wikipedia's definition - unreasoned and unjustified mass addition of links) and hence it could start to form a reason to actually blacklist to stop that abuse of the links and enforce rationalised discussion via the whitelisting requests. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:27, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

If all people want to do is keep the link to the Find A Grave bio page for a particular subject while removing the link to the Find A Grave home page in the same reference, I can't see a problem with that -- that would mean Lloyd D. Brown at Find A Grave is OK, but Lloyd D. Brown at Find A Grave is not. But that's not what was going on for all of yesterday -- at one point, some contributors were removing the entire reference. I DO have a problem with that.
If we're going to argue about whether a particular Find A Grave page is a reliable reference, I have a problem with that, too. If a page includes something like a gravestone photo, that's about as reliable a reference as you can get. I belong to several legacy societies -- Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the American Revolution, etc. All of them use gravestones as reliable sources when constructing a genealogy to prove descent.
Billmckern (talk) 12:29, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, but unreliable sources get removed.
Also, you were accusing editors yesterday of removing sources when they were not, and you were edit-warring over the matter. Best not bring this back up as puts your comments here in a very bad light.
As you are aware from the now two ANI discussions, the recommendation was to discuss how the sources might be used at WP:RSN. --Ronz (talk) 16:01, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • A second ANI discussion was started and quickly ended here about RAR's concerns that these unreliable sources were being tagged as being unreliable sources. --Ronz (talk) 16:01, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
@Ronz: -- My irritation level has peaked. You want to talk about a "bad light"? YOU accuse everyone else of bad faith. YOU decided that the criteria for "spamming" is "I personally don't like Find A Grave, so everyone else has to conform to my point of view."
How about this? Deal me out. You're clearly unreasonable on this topic in addition to being unpleasant to interact with. Do whatever you want, and the rest of us will fall in line. You'll get your way just by being so persistently obnoxious that everyone else decides it's not worth arguing over. Congratulations.
Billmckern (talk) 16:15, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry you're upset. I've not accused anyone of bad faith. I try to be aware of and follow general consensus, which I believe I have done in this situation. I'm sure I could have dealt with the situation better, and am open to recommendations. --Ronz (talk) 16:24, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Cool down, everyone. This time of year is one big Christmas hangover, making everyone grumpy. I'm a bit grumpy today too, but I try not to take it out on others here... Thomas.W talk 16:32, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Notice of discussion regarding the {{tl:Goodreads}} template[edit]

A discussion regarding the {{Goodreads}} template (which links to Goodreads) is being held at WP:External_links/Noticeboard#Is_Goodreads_an_appropriate_EL.3F. – S. Rich (talk) 12:39, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Wikidata property[edit]

user:Pigsonthewing just added a series of WikiData properties for the links mentioned in this essay. I have reverted that, as I don't believe that that is info that should be here. Giving the property to me seems to suggest that we endorse them, even when the text says we discourage them. Posting here for discussion. --Dirk Beetstra T C 22:08, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

I agree. It's very confusing to be reading about how to handle various links and see the WikiData information. It would be useful to keep track of these somewhere though, as there are problems with templates that draw from WikiData. I've not paid too much attention to the discussions. Seems like a topic for WT:EL. --Ronz (talk) 19:29, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Your comment about supposed "problems with templates that draw from WikiData [sic]" is utterly irrelevant. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:34, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Given there are real EL problems caused by templates drawing from WikiData of this type, it's relevant, but as I indicated, it's not an issue to address here, so in that respect it is irrelevant. Please drop it. --Ronz (talk) 15:57, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Again: My edits to the page had nothing to do with drawing data from Wikdata, so your comment is irrelevant. Please drop it. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:06, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Your revert used the bogus claim that "That is of no value in this essay." There is, of course, much value in using {{Wikidata property}} to provide details of the relevant properties on Wikidata, where people can - and are welcome to - add the identifiers which this page says are only occasionally wanted on this Wikipedia. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:34, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
There is much value in drawing data from wikidata - but this essay is not the place for it. It is contradicting the text of the essay, confusing, and how to incorporate official links by pulling wikidata is not the subject of this essay. --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:49, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
It seems from your latest comment that your revert was based on a lack of understanding. My additions had nothing to do with "drawing data from wikidata", and were - I repeat - to provide details of the relevant properties on Wikidata, where people can - and are welcome to - add the identifiers (emphasis added). There was no contradiction of the text of the page, whatsoever. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:15, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
So, that is how clear your addition was .. Do you really expect me, or others, to understand that in the context of discouraging additions on en.wikipedia, that the box on the right then means that Wikidata does welcome them? Or do they understand that while we should not be using it here, they can us the wikidata link .. this essay is about which ELs are suitable on en.wikipedia, it is not the place to draw attention to how to pull the data from WikiData, nor is it a place to advertise that this data is welcome on WikiData. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:45, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I have no insight into your thought processes, but it should be patently obvious to an average observer that a box saying "Wikidata has a property for X" means that "Wikidata welcomes values for the property for X". Once again, my additions had nothing to do with "how to pull the data from WikiData [sic]". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:17, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
You don't appear to be addressing the concerns: Giving the property to me seems to suggest that we endorse them, even when the text says we discourage them. and It's very confusing to be reading about how to handle various links and see the WikiData information and It is contradicting the text of the essay, confusing. Simply, we don't want content that is contradictory to our purpose here, listing frequently added external links and how they should be addressed in the context of EL. --Ronz (talk) 15:53, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
The former is an opinion utterly without merit. The second is an opinion utterly without evidence. The latter I did address. Contrary to your deleted comment and extant edit summary, I understand fully why this page exists and what it is used for. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:06, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
In a way, my biggest concern is that this essay is about what en.wikipedia has adopted in its policies and guidelines. What other wikis decided, with the addition specifically singling out WikiData, is besides the point of this essay. It could be part of a short section at the very bottom of WP:EL and/or WP:NOT. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:13, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
"Specifically singling out WikiData [sic]", where such data is welcome (not to mention made available to each and every sister project, including all the Wikipedias), especially when it is not wanted here, is particularly pertinent here. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:06, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Given that no one agrees with you, I don't see the need to continue here. If you want to consider others' viewpoints as possibly being relevant and important, then perhaps we should continue. --Ronz (talk) 16:24, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Despite the above discussion where there was no support for the addition of this information, Pigsonthewing found it necessary to re-add the properties (now with a disclaimer). Even with the disclaimer, I do not agree that it should by in this essay, as I have indicated before. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:53, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. Johnuniq (talk) 00:34, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Encyclopædia Britannica[edit]

A suggested addition:

Encyclopædia Britannica[edit]

  • As an external link: YesY Generally yes. The Encyclopædia Britannica can be a valuable source for general information about topics.
  • As a reliable source: Nota bene* Sometimes. The Britannica can be a valuable source for general non-controversial information.
  • Common issues: Articles in the Encyclopædia Britannica are written by experts and can provide good summary-level information. However, some of its articles have not been thoroughly reviewed for neutral point of view, selective omissions, emphasis bias, and accuracy of all details. The Encyclopedia also does not cite its sources, so it is generally not possible to determine the basis for the information it provides. Some editions of the encyclopedia can also be out of date, especially for topics on which scientific and technological developments have occurred or new discoveries have been made. In particular, the eleventh edition (published in 1911) was a major scholarly achievement of its time and is now in the public domain (and tens of thousands of its articles were copied directly into Wikipedia, where they still can be found), but the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic.

For background, please see User talk:Doug Weller#Britannica isn't a reliable source?

BarrelProof (talk) 21:13, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Interesting. Thanks!
I assume there are multiple RSN discussions about it. Seems like it would be in a new category, but I'm not sure what that might be. The rather unique problem with this and similar sources is that while it's highly regarded as a source, the information on specific topics from it may be presented from a narrow viewpoint. --Ronz (talk) 21:58, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, now that you mention it, in fact I do see quite a few discussions of its reliability in the RSN archives. In my view, the fact that a lot of people would expect it to be unquestioned as reliable is why we should provide some guidance about citing it. I have bumped into two discussions of its reliability in the last few days, in which the consensus seems to lean toward not accepting it as sufficient in either case. —BarrelProof (talk) 22:18, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I think it would help to link some RSN discussions, though I have to say that the discussion you already identify is the clearest I recall seeing.
As far as a category goes, we currently have "Social networking websites", "User-submitted contents", and "Objectionable contents". Britannica is none of those, and the recent proposal to have a "PoV content" section didn't get agreement. It is a POV issue though. --Ronz (talk) 22:37, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it needs a new category. That could simply be something like "Tertiary works" (or "Other Encyclopedias" or "Unsourced tertiary works"). As for finding old RSN discussions, I'm running low on time, but you can just type "Britannica" in the archive search box at WP:RSN. A lot of discussions pop up. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:17, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Seems like a valid summary, and it would be good to have this listed here. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:56, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Daily Mail RFC[edit]

There was a Daily Mail RFC that concluded that "Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist. That might be worth adding to this page. —BarrelProof (talk) 05:22, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Another list or an expansion of this one? (Amazon, iTunes, etc)[edit]

Can we nudge this list to be broader, or start a new list? Amazon as a link is currently under discussion (, and there are other sales websites that are similarly (mis)used in Wikipedia (iTunes immediately comes to mind). I don't know how much Amazon has been discussed as a link elsewhere, but having it on a list like this for reference would be of tremendous help. --Ronz (talk) 16:58, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Support - Time to nip this one, has already come up enough at WP:RSN.[1] - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:14, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't see any reason to start another list. Please add more sites to this page, which is not a policy or guideline and consequently should be relatively easy to change. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 17:32, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I was leaning towards this as well, this list isn't that long. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:34, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
As an external link, hardly ever, as a reference, only if this is REALLYthe only place where binliographic data is available, ote, should be replaced on sight where possible. Fits perfectly in this list. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:05, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with this, I want to add that sometimes a book publisher will cut a deal with Amazon rather than going through a third party such as Penguin Random House. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:12, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree with adding these kinds of commercial links to the list.- MrX 18:15, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Without looking through the discussions, I'm guessing Amazon and iTunes will have similar descriptions: sometimes useful as primary sources for certain details, rarely used as external links. eBay has been brought up. I assume eBay would need to be treated more like a self-published source. What others are worth including? --Ronz (talk) 15:13, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

For ebay I would link to search results rather than a particular seller. For example, I used ebay in reference to 1 rin coin but worded it broadly. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:26, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure what consensus there is for using search results like that. I know I outright remove such search results with little thought. Seems like a primary source supporting content that probably violates OR. --Ronz (talk) 17:05, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Well for ebay linking to a specific entry would be giving advertising to one person or company. Amazon is nice as the ISBN & release info is on one page while a list of sellers is on another. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:27, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure when I'll have time to review all the past discussions in order to find what consensus there is. Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/ has some summarizing and mentions, which we should consider including. --Ronz (talk) 15:54, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

We totally should expand this. Few years ago I tried to add a discussion of wikia links here. We need to have an easy-to-find page on more websites than just the few linked here. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:57, 18 June 2017 (UTC)