Wikipedia talk:Notability (academic journals)/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Discussion during initial formulation of proposed guideline

  • Personally, I feel these are way too stringent and set standards which are incredibly hard to demonstrate because of lack of resources. Probably more than half our articles would be deleted under these standards. I would move for simpler, less verbose, and wider standards such as:
  • Any journal which can conceivably be used to reference an article on Wikipedia
  • All journals indexed in journal databases or covered by things such as the Journal Citation Reports, ISI Web of Knowledge, Science Citation Index, ...
  • Regularly published pseudoscience/fringe journals which are considered "key publications" by a notable pseudoscientific/fringe movement. For example if there was a "Journal of Cold Fusion", that would be included, but something like "Polish Quarterly Journal of Ghost & Spirits" would be excluded.

Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 14:10, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I tried to be as inclusive as possible, but I fear that if we adopt a criterion like the first one you list, we may have trouble convincing the rest of the WP community to adopt our guideline.
Concerning your second criterion, that is basically the same as what I propose (anything in WoS or SCI will be in JCR), only I explain that in footnote 2 (in the style copied from WP:PROF). Footnote 1 actually goes much further, allowing a journal to qualify even if it is not in WoS, SCI, or JCR, it just requires that it is included in the "major indexing services in its field". Footnote 3 goes even further than that, it would basically be enough to show that there are a few reasonably-well cited articles to make a journal satisfy this criterion.
As for the fringe journals, I am not sure they should be part of the WP academic journals project, so I excluded them and referred to WP:FRINGE. However, if consensus here is that such journals are part of the subject matter of this project, then we should include something about them. Again, however, we may have problems convincing the rest of the WP community to adopt a rule stating "journals which are considered "key publications" by a notable pseudoscientific/fringe movement", because that sounds rather vague.
Does this sound convincing? --Crusio (talk) 14:58, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes I noticed you modeled it after the Media notability, and I find that guideline to be overly specific and WP:CREEP/WP:BUREAU-smelling. These are academic journals, no need to write a thesis-like guideline, let's keep it simple and focus on keeping the good stuff in rather than the bad stuff out. There's already plenty of policies which can be invoked to keep the crap out (including the media guideline you based yourself on), I don't think there's a need to duplicate them.
1) WoS/Sci/JCR = Major indexing services (I used examples instead of finding what the general term was)
2) The fringe criteria could use some work I agree.
3) I think the Journals project could be enlarged to cover anything that pretends to be a WP:RS on something which could be an academic subject. It's not like there will be a WikiProject Fringe Journal created for them.
Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 17:39, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Why isn't WP:N enough? “If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article.” That sounds to me like a very reasonable criterion for determining whether an academic journal is worth a Wikipedia article or not. Do you have some concrete examples where following WP:N leads to serious problems? — Miym (talk) 22:02, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples. It is, in fact, pretty rare to find an article discussing a journal, >95% or academic journals will never be covered that way. So going with WP:N would mean that we would have to delete almost all articles on the very journals that we normally regard as reliable sources for other articles, which is not really very logical. IMHO, most academic journals are not controversial, so I don't see much problems with using primary sources for our articles on them (much like primary sources can be used to source uncontroversial things -like birth dates- in biographies of living persons). If we would go exclusively with WP:N, we would end up having only articles on journals which had created some controversy, because that would have led to "significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject". Hope this makes sense. --Crusio (talk) 22:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
    • Well, using common sense, those "reliable secondary sources" could be, e.g., journal rankings, major indexing services, journals mentioned in textbooks and surveys, etc. Can you give concrete examples of Wikipedia articles on notable journals that were deleted because people interpreted WP:N too strictly? Or some other examples of confused discussions where this guideline would help? (Please don't get me wrong, the guideline as such makes a lot of sense. I just don't want to see too many notability guidelines in cases where WP:N (+ WP:UCS) is enough in practice. Detailed guidelines for very narrow topics such as pornographic actors or academic journals is a bit too much WP:CREEP to me. And as you said, most academic journals are not controversial – so where is the need for this guideline?) — Miym (talk) 15:58, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, for instance this article was transformed into a redirect despite excellent library holdings. BMJ, one of the most reputed medical journals, was tagged as needing reliable third-party sources. Molecular Medicine, a journal with an impact factor of 2.1 (actually, that was an old one, it is now 3.4) got tagged for notability. And have a look at Modern Theology (journal), its edit history, and its talk page. Many other journals (I can find examples if you like) get needlessly tagged with notability tags in this way. If we had a clear guideline for journals, these things would be less controversial. I agree with your point about WP:CREEP and agree that it applies to pornographic actors (and as far as I am concerned, to sports figures, too). But we are talking here about academic journals, which invariably are considered WP:RS when we are creating content here. It's too weird that articles on these very sources then get tagged for notability, simply because there are no (or hardly any) third-party sources. It's an unfortunate fact of life that obscure sporters and porn actors get more third party coverage than academic journals. This is also why I disagree with Headbomb about including fringe science journals and whatever. Let those be covered by WP:FRINGE. I bet that DGG could provide even more examples of reputable journals that were/are under attack for not complying with WP:N.
  • A good job and a necessary one. Thanks for getting the ball rolling.John Z (talk) 13:18, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
    • Yes, a very good job. Some comments:
  1. The indexing services listed are of different exclusiveness. SCI and SSCI, (both just a little less selective than before), very similar now to the coverage of Scopus-(which should be added to the list) are much more selective than PubMed and MathSciNet (and Chemical Abstracts and Biological Abstracts and Inspec and PsychInfo). I agree with Crusio that I would not necessarily regard being only in this later group as proof of notability, since they cover all journals in the field, at least in English, with any actual research articles. This is going to be a critical point on occasion, and I have not been altogether consistent. It amounts to a full order of magnitude difference. This will particularly affect local journals. Point 5 says this for Pub Med--checking coverage, it should say it for MathScinNet also. Point one should list only SCI, SSCI and Scopus.
  2. I guess we do need to say it also meets V, to anticipate objections, but I can not easily imagine a journal that we might conceivably want to include for which we could not find basic V.
  3. Criterion 7 should refer to specifically to size, and in both directions. Large ≠ notable, and small ≠ non-notable. (especially in the humanities).
  4. For non US journals, there are now better resources than worldcat which lists relative few libraries outside the US and Canada and Australia. -- see the page Book sources, which lists other regional and national catalog. There is a wonder multi-catalog gateway at Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog KVK. [1], which is what I would now probably use for anything difficult. And I would now as a matter of course search any non-US humanities periodical in Zitschriftendatenbank (ZDB) [2]--tho it only gives German libraries, they tend to be excellent for such titles.(hint: select the search under "Titelanfang"--first words of title. ) I think this has to go in the "Library Holdings " section
  5. The library holdings section needs to say that it has to be judged a/c what is expected for the subject.
  6. I do not agree with point 9. If they are in the major indexing tools they should be included--after all, not that many of them are & only the ones that pretend to some scientific style. For the ones that don't, the relevant rules are those for periodicals in general.
  7. What about popular journals--same thing--if they are in the major indexing tools, they count. Otherwise they still might, but using the rules for periodicals in general.
  8. Caveat 3 is a duplication
  9. We need an explicit statement that for journals that are composite sections without distinctive titles, we will almost make a combination article even if they are individually notable. For journals that have semi-distinctive titles, it would depend on the importance. For example, most of the sections of Physical Review do not have distinctive titles. Although the most important group of physics journal in the world, it is still covered in one article only. On the other hand, Journal of Physics B is actually Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics and therefore has a semi-distinctive title. As it is quite important, it would get a separate article. (Though I would move it to t he full title to clarify this).
  10. Older titles are a major problem. They would normally each of them be separately notable. Libraries have had 3 way of handling them, all with strong advantages and disadvantages
    1. List all of them under the original title (a common older rule in Europe)
    2. List all of them under the newest title (the US rule till the 1960's)
    3. List them in each part under its successive title. (the almost universal modern rule)
Normally, we have been combining them all under the latest or best known title in order to bring the information together. I think there should probably be exceptions to that for some cases, In analogous situations, for cities we use the current title, e.g.Gdansk is used for the entire history of the city, but for successive governments, we usually use separate articles, and thus there is also an article for Free City of Danzig. But there are separate articles for Constantinople and Istanbul. So I think this justifies our rule to combine, but with exceptions.

DGG ( talk ) 23:20, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I think we're ready to go live. DGG ( talk ) 04:11, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • What's the best way to do that? Do I simply move this into project space or is there a special procedure I should follow? --Crusio (talk) 11:53, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I have moved the proposal and it is now "life". --Crusio (talk) 15:37, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Opinion about the actual proposal

I think this works. It matches what we usually do. DGG ( talk ) 21:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Really? Any academic journal older than 3 years meets these Notability requirements. The proposal suffers from inadequate Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences engagement. Fifelfoo (talk) 07:00, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with DGG that it works: we have used it in AFD to keep a journal and to delete others and almost all agreed with the outcomes. As a biologist, it certainly is possible that I neglected some Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences aspects. I would be delighted if you could give us some suggestions how to improve that. --Crusio (talk) 08:44, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Discussion after going "live"

  • I would remove three sentences from the criteria: The journal has produced award winning work because award is unclear (e g is it any grant?) and the the link to jounalism awards seems irrelevant for academic works, plus I can't see when the other criteria wouldn't suffice; Publications that primarily carry advertising and only have trivial content may have relevant details merged to an article on their publisher (if notable) because I think merging like this makes navigating harder, and the text about the journal will be just as problematic in the publisher's page as in its own page, and what does advertising have to do with anything? according to some weird US law, all journals with publication fees only consist of ads; For journals which have made substantial impact outside academia, but in their academic capacity, the appropriate criteria for that sort of notability apply as an alternative. If notable only in another capacity entirely, use the general criteria for that field. because this idea is repeated four times in the guideline. I think the notes and examples section captures deletion discussions well, so the less text in other sections that take focus away from it the better in my opinion. Narayanese (talk) 07:53, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I think these are good suggestions. If nobody disagrees, I'll implement them. --Crusio (talk) 10:44, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Done. --Crusio (talk) 11:34, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Capitals in title

Why "Wikipedia:Notability (Academic Journals)" instead of "Wikipedia:Notability (academic journals)" like all other notability guidelines? See Category:Wikipedia notability guidelines, Category:Wikipedia proposals. — Miym (talk) 11:45, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

  • You're absolutely right. I have moved the page. --Crusio (talk) 11:54, 3 October 2009 (UTC)


It may be a bad idea to warn that some of the publications in MEDLINE/PubMed aren't peer reviewed when such records comprise, if I remember correctly, less than 0.1% of the records in their databases. (talk) 22:04, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Do you have a source for that? Do you know how we can find out which ones are peer reviewed and which ones are not? Thanks. --Crusio (talk) 08:47, 13 October 2009 (UTC) has some information, but not the statistic. It's somewhere around there. (talk) 19:02, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Ulrich's. Fifelfoo (talk) 12:49, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Criteria 3

Could examples for Criteria 3 be provided (meaning added to the list on the main page)? After [this discussion, I can agree to disagree, but I think part of the problem is that Criteria 3 doesn't have much in the way of examples. --Firefly322 (talk) 12:45, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

  • That criterium indeed looks like the weakest one and could perhaps be phrased a bit better, too ("some sort"...). I'm at a meeting in the US, so I have currently no time for this myself. Suggestions are welcome! --Crusio (talk) 13:09, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
    • I should probably try and give a suggestion, but I wouldn't want to upset our detente. :-) --Firefly322 (talk) 13:54, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Don't worry about that, it wouldn't :-) Might be good to get another opinion on that one anyway. --Crusio (talk) 17:20, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Alright I wrote it on the main page. Feel free to check and correct it. --Firefly322 (talk) 17:43, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
      • I can't come up with an example that would qualify by #3 but is otherwise non-notable ((MHO) but how about... that Social Text would qualify by #3 alone for the historical role it played in the Sokal affair, or that Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society would qualify for being the venue for Newton or Darwin's papers? Pete.Hurd (talk) 15:38, 19 October 2009 (UTC) (who is not in Chicago talking Science and drinking beer, but wishes he was...)
        • Pete has made an excellent start. Awesome. --Firefly322 (talk) 16:03, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Excellent suggestions indeed! --Crusio (talk) 17:18, 19 October 2009 (UTC) (who is in Chicago talking science, killing his back, and having a Coke - too early for beer :-)

Notes and Examples #10

Criterion 3 may be satisfied for defunct as well as extant journals. Journals that have major contributions from historically notable scholars or journals that have been the focus of historical analysis can be covered under this criterion.

This seems to suggest that notability can be inherited. If a journal pushed hard for the acceptance of a new field of research or theory (e.g., plate tectonics or fractals), then I would say that it has "has served some sort of historic purpose or has a significant history." Major contributions from notable scholars, but in such a way as to satisfy criterion 3 rather than criteria 1 or 2, however, is mere notability by association. RJC TalkContribs 18:53, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Do journals actually ever "push" anything? Outside of article selection and peer-review, aren't they supposed to remain and expected to be neutral? (Normally allowing those who publish in their pages to interact, disagree, and correct one another?) Perhaps like wikipedia they are merely a means of publishing that attempt to be objective and have no inherent point of view. --Firefly322 (talk) 21:10, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't object to the idea that notability isn't temporary. Rather, it is the second statement that seems wrong: journal X is notable because the über-notable Y published there a lot, whether the journal is defunct or active, seems a stretch. As to the complete neutrality of the peer-review process, I don't know that bears on this question. In any case, whom the editor sends a manuscript to can have a large impact on the reviews generated; peer-review makes journal articles better than blog posts, but it isn't quite neutral or pure. RJC TalkContribs 22:29, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

    • "Do journals actually ever "push" anything?" well, you can see in the history of psychology how different schools of thought had to establish their own journals before they could get going. If the behaviorists hold a virtual monopoly over the major journals, stifling alternative views, then cognitive psychology journals could be viewed as pushing an anti-behaviorist viewpoint once they get established. I would suggest that new journals have generally been founded by societies that study a particular subject that is not adequately represented in existing journals, those societies will have paradigms, those paradigms will be pushed by the society's journal in the way Firefly suggests, but rarely will it be overtly obvious to the outsider why that society is distinct from previous ones in the discipline. My 2c on that. I'm happy with condition #3 reading something like "for example, journal X is notable because the über-notable Y published there a lot" and leaving out the extant/extinct bit. I really have no strong views on whether condition 3 ought to be part of the guideline, and probably won't have an opinion until I see that condition used on test cases. Pete.Hurd (talk) 22:48, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Alright, Pete, and others, what if the example read as follows:

Feel free to check and correct it. --Firefly322 (talk) 01:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

These examples are still too weak to establish notability of an entire journal. Verbal chat 04:48, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

My preferred version would restore the bit about defunct journals and remove the bare presence of notable contributors as conferring notability:

RJC TalkContribs 23:31, 21 October 2009 (UTC)


Hi, can I remind editors to WP:AGF and not make unfounded accusations, especially in edit summaries. I have been watching this page and following its development since Crusio first tolf me about it, while it was still in his own user space. Verbal chat 04:47, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

What now?

  • The proposed guidelines have now been used in several AfDs (with both "keep" and "delete" outcomes) and the current text seems to have stabilized to a version that most (all?) of us can agree upon. Does anybody know what the procedure is to get this from "proposed guideline" to "guideline"? --Crusio (talk) 16:48, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Open an RfC, and add it to Template:Cent. Fences&Windows 00:13, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • To address some of the concerns voiced in the RfC below, the current guidelines are not unabashedly inclusionist. A rapid look at the history of Wikipedia:WikiProject Academic Journals/Article alerts will show that a fair number of journal articles have been deleted since this guideline was proposed (many after having been prodded of taken to AfD by myself). --Crusio (talk) 16:25, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Promotion to guideline status

Discussion has been stalled for a month. While there is support for the general principle of this proposal, there is not a clear enough consensus for promotion to a guideline. Many people have indicated they would like to see the wording improved, and as there is a general feeling that this proposal is helpful, it would be inappropriate to mark this as a failed proposal, so I have marked it as a notability essay. SilkTork *YES! 00:04, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Not enough consensus at this time to promote to guideline
  • Is the proposed guideline ready to be promoted to the status of a guideline? RJC TalkContribs 01:03, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • No, see above regarding Humanities and Social Sciences journals, and any journal older then 3 years old being notable according to this guideline. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:12, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Please explain how Humanities and Social Sciences journals don't get treated correctly under this guideline so that we can improve it if necessary. And I fail to see how journals older than 3 years would automatically qualify. --Crusio (talk) 01:46, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
I fail to see where this idea of 3-year-old journals being notable comes from and why humanities journals are disadvantaged. Fences&Windows 01:57, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
HASS involves dense literary work. Any journal in HASS older than 3 years will necessarily meet criteria 1 and 2, as 3 years is enough time for those to cycle into the citation of literature. If all journals are notable, then this isn't a notability criteria. Note 6 is, in particular, less than useful. Ulrichs, the key journal (as opposed to article) indexation is mentioned nowhere. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:10, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
It is certainly not the case that any HASS journal established more than 3 years will necessarily meet 1 and 2. There are tens of thousands of journals that are almost never cited, and that no scholar would take for authority. To see this, consider the very large number of journals held by almost no library. It's my estimate that under the proposed criteria, most of the journals published in the world would definitely not qualify. DGG ( talk ) 02:09, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Criteria 1 and 2 don't say something like "occasionally cited", but "frequently cited". There's a difference here. What, exactly, is wrong with note 6? And according to our own WP article on Ulrich's: "Ulrich's Periodicals Directory is the standard library directory and database providing information about popular and academic magazines, scientific journals, newspapers and other serial publications." That hardly seems to be a source to derive notability from, as it includes many non-academic publications, too. --Crusio (talk) 02:17, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
And back into the HASS problem. Show me the citation indices or impact factors? Additionally, as all referee'd journals are RS, this is beginning to sound incestuous for HASS notability. Ulrich's is an authority for three key data fields: Referee'd status, intended audience (academic / non-academic), and circulation figures. Being indexed by Ulrich's isn't useful data, but Ulrich's description of a text is useful. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to appear dense, but I still don't understand your reasons to oppose. Nobody has said that Ulrich's is not a useful resource, but being listed in lrich's is not necessarily a sign of notability as an academic journal, so I see no reason to include this in this proposed notability guideline. We could link to it on the Wikiproject Academic Journals page, though. As impact factors are rare in "HASS", they cannot be used there, which is why we have other criteria that can lead to notability. I'd appreciate if you could indicate how we can improve the guideline to address your concerns. --Crusio (talk) 11:40, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • There's no issue with density, its a genuine HASS problem given the turn to research "metrics". The DUCK test works well in American fields, but peters out elsewhere. A much higher bar is required than 1 or 2 because RS cite works in journals all the time. Any other tests are going to be some kind of old boys (and girls these days) test. We all know Past & Present is notable, due to EP Thompson. We all known New Left Review is notable for its cultural impact. A journal which contains a paper establishing a sub-discipline ("social history"), or publishing a paper which starts a long running controversy ("structuralism" in history), or a journal which is the publication medium for a national disciplinary practice. Would Labour History be notable, should it be? What about Labour / Le Travail? If these are "notable" why not start articles on the edited collections in the humanities? Fifelfoo (talk) 11:53, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
the journals you are mentioning as criteria are more than notable, they are famous. Yes, journals like Labour History would be notable. As for edited collections, these are much less often notable, being one-time publications and not likely to have the long-term significance of journals. Some of them however are indeed notable. DGG ( talk ) 02:09, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. The criteria are simple and should be effective. Fences&Windows 01:57, 2 November 2009 (UTC) The use of this guideline at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal leads me to Oppose it. It is indiscriminate. Fences&Windows 19:47, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose: is too permissive and fails to adequately address the nutshell point of being "notably influential in the world of ideas". It is unclear how much the first (as modified by the notes) & second criteria rise above merely being a reliable source. These criteria would appear to be fairly easily met by worthy, if unexceptional (i.e. not "notably influential"), journals. The third criteria requires no RS to back up claims of a "historic purpose" or "a significant history". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:48, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I would think it self-evident that RS are needed to back up any argument relating to the third criterion, but that can easily be rectified. As for your other argument: "merely RS" leads to the situation where readers can find information in WP backed up by some RS, but then are unable to find even the slightest indication what that RS is. This guideline would lead to coverage of at least the most notable among them (many peer-reviewed journals would qualify as RS but not under this guideline, for instance a journal in medicine that is not covered by the SCI or PubMed). --Crusio (talk) 11:51, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Crusio, a journal in medicine published in the english language not in Index Medicus would have great trouble being accepted here as a RS for mainstream medicine. We've routinely used non-coverage there as a criterion for which ones are fringe. DGG ( talk ) 02:09, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Absurdly permissive. Really, every journal in the Science Citation Index is notable? That's barely a minimum requirement for a journal not to be laughed out of the room. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:03, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes indeed, so they are notable. You';re thinking at famous, not notable. Most journals are not in SCI. The journals that would be laughed out of the room are the ones that are not notable (in the fields SCI covers adequately). That's exactly the intention. Now tell me why this is wrong. DGG ( talk ) 02:09, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not every indexed journal is notable. Some are very obscure. However, I can't think of a constructive alternative that doesn't break WP:OR. So I'm unfortunately unconstructively opposing :(. Awickert (talk) 09:34, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
the standard is in being in major indexes covering the field--we are not proposing that every indexed journal is notable. DGG ( talk ) 17:15, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • There are tens of thousands of academic journals in the world (I think current estimates are way over 50,000). The SCI index only lists 6 or 7 thousand, the Social Sciences and the Arts and Humanities indexes cover an additional 2500-3000, which makes for a total of less than 10,000 (not counting any overlap, some journals are listed in more than one of these three indexes). That seems pretty selective too me. --Crusio (talk) 11:51, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, per the arguments presented in my essay at WP:SJ.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 17:02, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support First, about selectivity--In the pure sciences, WoS is probably overselective with respect to some subjects, and with regard to non English language publications in all subjects, and accepting it as one proof of notability is in my opinion a partial measure only--it's like saying that members of the National Academy of Sciences are surely notable--and a great many other scientists are also. The selectivity varies: there are a great many descriptive biology journals--even in English--that are notable and not included, but I would be hard-pressed to name an English language journal in chemistry or mathematics not on the list that is securely notable. 'The basic criterion they use is pretty much like the one we use elsewhere about academics and other things--that the journal is significantly cited. Second Ulrich's is just a minimum criterion--nobody is claiming that Ulrich's is proof of notability. the absence of a Western-language journal from there, except in unusual circumstances, would be proof of insignificance--It's just a preliminary screen, like having an ISSN is for recent titles. I do consider it reliable for more than existence, publisher information, and circulation--it also serves as a good source for the indexing services that cover a journal, and a preliminary though not fully detailed source for earlier title history. Third this proposal is a compromise--there are some people who would consider all peer-reviewed journals as notable for Wikipedia purposes, and all journals that have been cited in Wikipedia articles. I consider both views excessive, akin to considering all published books from academic publishers to be notable. fourth it is very much a shortcut to say that all peer-reviewed journals are RSs--they are of various degrees of reliability, depending on their reputation for quality of the peer review. They are all worth considering for reliability, but when we evaluate a scientist for notability, we here--just like the more respectable part of the academic world--consider what journals they have published in. A university department accepting just any peer-reviewed journal for tenure purposes proves itself to be second-rate. fifth all professions, including the academic, are intrinsically circular, as are: a lawyer is certified to be a lawyer by other lawyers; an editor or reviewer for a journal on the basis of what they have published in similar journals. finally, this criteria are not invented by Crusio (and me) --they represent the experience of what has and has not been considered notable at Wikipedia in the last two years. they;'re abstracting a prescriptive rule from descriptive information. DGG ( talk ) 17:15, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
example of a non-notable journal: Diabetic Hypoglycemia (journal) -- prod'd by Crusio. Not in Ulrich's though its been published 2 vols. already. Has ISSN, but anyone can get then for anything they even hope to publish, Publisher is extremely marginal. And most convincing: not in Medline, not cataloged by the NLM. May become notable, since notable ed. in chief. DGG ( talk ) 18:16, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support per all of my above comments. --Crusio (talk) 19:16, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Too permissive, per Short Brigade Harvester Boris and Awickert. I'm not sure why we can't stick with the GNG here, journals which receive significant coverage in reliable, third-party sources are notable and those that don't are not. It's that simple. I don't really see this as a compromise because the situation that DGG is presenting, that some consider all journals to be notable, rides completely against the idea that notability is not inherited, which is shared by a large majority of Wikipedians. This guideline should move closer to the standards of the GNG, if it needs to be separate from it at all ThemFromSpace 22:09, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
  • A large part of the problem is: people write articles to be published in these journals, but hardly anybody writes articles about these journals. Take the two most reputable journals around, Science and Nature, and have a look at their WP articles. Look at the references. Is there any article/book written about these journals?? No, there is not. When other sources refer to these journals, they don't talk about these particular journals either. They talk about particular articles published by these journals. Does that then mean that Science and Nature are not notable in the Wikipedia sense? Should we AfD and delete these articles? I think not. If we stick with the GNG here, we can count the number of articles on journals that we can keep on the fingers of our two hands, I fear. The question here is not that notability should be inherited. The question is whether we are going to decide that a journal can be used as a reliable source but apart from that is, in fact, not notable. --Crusio (talk) 22:49, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
almost the only time someone writes a substantial article about a journal is when there is some major scandal or controversy. I'm afraid that's more than 10, but it would very much overemphasise the less important journals--many of which would not be notable for any other reason. It rarely happens to the good ones. By the way, the same problem occurs with other media, including newspapers, unless they run into legal or financial difficulties. DGG ( talk ) 03:44, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support A reasonable description of how we decide notability for journals. Using the GNG naively leads to peculiar results. Better coverage of journals will be a real improvement to Wikipedia for both users and editors.John Z (talk) 00:58, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
    whazzat "GNG"? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:47, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
    WP:GNG Pete.Hurd (talk) 04:39, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • support per Crusio (especially rebuttal of Short Brigade Harvester Boris's point in Crusio's response to Awickert) and DGG + John Z (in response to ThemFromSpace's point). Pete.Hurd (talk) 04:45, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, nothing above convinces me that anything beyond the GNG is needed. I support the notion that journals of above-average scientific significance are presumed to be notable. But the only way to reliably measure this is the GNG. Otherwise we need to do original research about the scientific merits of a journal, and I would prefer that we do not do that. The proposed guideline is also badly worded. How can an journal be authoritative? I understand authority to be a characteristic of a particular scholar or book, not of a journal that features writing from a wide range of contributors. And what does "has served some sort of historic purpose" mean? That's vague to the point of meaninglessness. I might support an approach based only on objective standards, such as the inclusion in some widely-accepted and selective list, but that would need to be discussed field by field.  Sandstein  09:41, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
But, the vast majority of "journals of above-average scientific significance" will fail the GNG. Either we try to craft a guideline like this to put some vague definition on "above-average scientific significance", or we use the GNG and abandon the idea that "journals of above-average scientific significance are presumed to be notable". Pete.Hurd (talk) 03:29, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support: Having edited several articles on journals, this, combined with WP:COMMONSENSE, is a sound guideline and a much needed improvement over WP:GNG which simply isn't adapted to academic journals. Tweaks are probably possible, but nothing that warrants withholding support.
  1. The journal is considered by reliable sources to be authoritative in its subject area.
  2. The journal is frequently cited by other reliable sources.
  3. The journal has served some sort of historic purpose or has a significant history.

is really all you need to go by. The first one ensure that we can have articles on the journal cited by wikipedia, these are our WP:RS. If we can't write an article on them, it's probably that we shouldn't use them as sources in the first place. The second one is the obvious "duh". If you are cited, you're obviously worthy of inclusion. And the third one covers journals with historic impact on their respective fields. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 14:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support idea, unsure about wording - IMO, the GNG are a very poor indication of notability for source materials. It is quite rare for one reliable source to write about another. That doesn't mean they aren't notable though. In all reality, source materials are considerably more notable than their level of coverage indicates.

    Now, I am unsure about the wording. Of course any wording for a guideline like this (see WP:PROF which is perhaps our best specific notability guideline) is going to be subjective. The "notes" go a long way towards explaining what is really meant here, but I still am a big iffy on the wording. In particular, I am bother by criteria one: "considered by reliable sources to be authoritative." To me, authoritative means "the final word" or close to it. I doubt more than a handful, if any, journals meet that definition. I would prefer something like "held in high regard by its peers.") Scientists know what journals in their field are truly important and which ones are just for stuff that can't be published elsewhere, but of course WP:IKNOWIT is a pretty weak argument. So, in short I don't have any answer, but I think there is probably one out there. :) --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

  • I see your point. Would "influential" do the job? --Crusio (talk) 01:47, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, I think "influential" would be preferable. --ThaddeusB (talk) 21:19, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Qualified support: criteria 1 and 2 are quite good, but how are we to support 3? With reliable sources, we can show that a journal passes 3, but wouldn't a journal that passes 3 already pass the GNG? I don't have an objection to the idea of 3 per se, but by including it here, we would perhaps lay the way clear to its being interpreted as "I think it has a significant history, so it should be kept". If we would add a statement of "note that journals that pass 3 will generally pass the GNG", I would support it as well. Nyttend (talk) 01:37, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Done. --Crusio (talk) 01:47, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose the discussion at the AfD of Christians in Science Science and Christian Belief shows (at least to me) that this guideline aligns poorly with what editors actually think about the notability of journals. I have seen in the past small groups of editors work on a guidleine and then try to enforce it on the community. I do not at all wish to denigrate the hard work that has gone into it, but we must allow these things time to simmer and try them out IRL with lots of editors before we rush to promote them. Give it 6 months as a prototype and see how helpful it is. We also have far too many guidelines and policies at present, with no sensible way of pruning old ones.NBeale (talk) 19:43, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't see any AfD for that article, I see it was once prodded, but I can't find an AfD discussion. puzzled... Pete.Hurd (talk) 20:54, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes sorry - I have used a strikeout to correct. (BTW FWIW I created that article when it was a stub, but it seems pretty clear that there is a strong keep consensus and was well before I joined that AFD debate) NBeale (talk) 22:44, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Before you joined that debate, as I count it, there were was nom+3 for delete, 3 for delete, and 1 weak keep. I wouldn't call that a "strong keep consensus". Pete.Hurd (talk) 04:04, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Must be, I see NBeale is the creator of that article, and seems to be arguing that this proposed guideline is too strict, because it excludes his article. I get the sense that most of the reservations held by opposers here are in the opposite direction, that it is too lax... Pete.Hurd (talk) 22:43, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think the desire to have a guideline specifically for journals has a good motive; many journals that academics know in their hearts are notable fail to have any mention in the usual secondary sources found in Google News and Books searches, and searching in Google Scholar is worthless, since it finds too much. But I question the need to have articles on journals at all. What do these articles say? Such-and-so is a journal founded in {year} and published by Springer/Wiley/whoever, and it publishes articles on the following topics.... This sort of article is too directory-like and unhelpful. Who needs to know this information? Grad students? They can ask their advisors/librarians. So I am arguing that creating a guideline based on sound library science principles will have the outcome of turning Wikipedia's coverage of journals into something resembling a library catalog, but it can never be as good as the real databases that this guideline is drawing from. Put another way, the reason we have a General Notability Guideline is because Wikipedia is supposed to be useful and interesting to a general audience. If there are no sources for the journal that can get it past the GNG, that means it is not interesting to the people who create such sources, and therefore is not appropriate for a popular encyclopedia like Wikipedia. I suggest that Lists are a better home for directory-like information, since the GNG is relaxed for Lists. Abductive (reasoning) 20:20, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I think that it is genuinely useful to have Wikipedia articles for well-known academic journals that are used as sources in Wikipedia, even if we can't say that much about the journal (the same holds for, e.g., academic conferences in those fields in which conference proceedings are commonly used as sources). The general public can't read fluently lists of references that we have in Wikipedia articles; they don't immediately recognise which sources are books, which are newspaper articles, which are articles in academic journals, etc. However, if we can have a link from the title of the journal to a Wikipedia article about the journal, this helps a lot. Even if the article just states that "X is an academic journal" (with the link!), this already provides useful information to an average reader (who might have never heard of academic journals before). Other technical solutions might exist, but simply creating stubs for academic journals sounds most convenient to me; and in those rare cases where something non-trivial can be said about a journal, those stubs are easy to expand. Therefore I support the general idea of this guideline, which I might phrase as follows: To create a Wikipedia article about a journal, we do need reliable sources that are independent of the subject; however, it's ok to base an article on "trivial" mentions (e.g., the journal being listed in journal rankings). I think this is the only real difference between this proposed guideline and WP:GNG: dropping the requirement of "significant coverage". — Miym (talk) 21:18, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Journal rankings are secondary sources. If the third paragraph of the article on University of California, Berkeley can talk about its rankings from the various services that rank colleges, then articles on journals can mention if they are ranked by impact factor or some other metric. It is the journals that aren't ranked and/or don't have other secondary sources that this proposed guideline is addressing. Abductive (reasoning) 01:55, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • But they constitute a directory. There is a reason we want more information than is available in a directory before we write an article. Without that, we are left with only the existence of the subject (from the directory) and information from the subject in crafting the article itself. Protonk (talk) 21:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree in part. Just having a journal ranking does not give us much to write about. But I don't think this is a simple directory: because it is a ranking it contains more information than the bare fact that a journal exists. Which is why I think we can use it as evidence of notability. Of course, more reliable sources are needed to write anything beyond that. --Crusio (talk) 23:02, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • That's why I think lists are better. For example, List of pharmaceutical sciences journals could be made into a table with information like founding date, impact factor, library circulation and anything else one can find out about them. The non-notable titles can be redirected there. Abductive (reasoning) 01:35, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I can't help but feel that this "oppose because most journal articles are stubs at the moment". Wikipedia is a work in progress. Right now the journal project is focused on creating missing stubs. Then I suspect we'll expand the most cited ones (history, editors, etc...) There's no problem with this guideline as of now, and if we discover one in the future, then we can change the guideline accordingly. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 17:16, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now, at least. I agree with NBeale that we should let the guideline work its way into discussions for a bit longer and see how it is used, its strengths and weaknesses in practice, etc. This went "live" only a little more than a month ago. The fact that it has been cited in AfDs that resulted in both keep and delete doesn't seem like enough of a test drive. RJC TalkContribs 20:44, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. Conditions 1 and 3 are reasonable markers of when a journal would have coverage in reliable sources, not at all criterion 2. I'm floored that a group of wikipedians even vaguely familiar with the process of citation would conclude that criterion 2 was a good idea. Further, the first "note" eviscerates criterion 1 by conflating indexing with authority. I see indexing as a necessary condition to consider a journal like that reliable, not authoritative. Protonk (talk) 21:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Being indexed by selective indexes is a sign of authority. WoS does not index junk, and neither does Scopus. Journals try very bery hard to get into these indexes. Indexes such as Index Medicus will sometimes index very minor journals, and need to be used in connection with other criteria. DGG ( talk ) 01:55, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Not being junk is a much lower standard than "authoritative in the field". Please tell me I don't have to go find easy examples of indexed journals which are far from authoritative in their respective fields (much less in broader categories). Protonk (talk) 02:20, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Crusio. This guideline is either wrong or superfluous.

    On Wikipedia, "notable" generally equates with "warrants an article." But see Crusio's comment to DGG here, where he suggests the journal passes this guideline and yet still doesn't warrant an article because "there is hardly anything that can be said about" it. In other words, according to Crusio, the journal (1) fails the GNG, (2) passes this guideline, and (3) is not notable. So the sum of Crusio's statements entails support for the GNG and opposition to this guideline. This guideline is, then, wrong.

    Now suppose on the other hand that Crusio idiosyncratically considers notability to mean not "warrants an article" but instead only "worthy of mention somewhere on Wikipedia, possibly in a merger target." Indeed, merging is precisely what Crusio suggested in the same comment. Then this proposed guideline would seem to add nothing to wp:n, which already advises merging articles that fail the GNG. This guideline is, then, superfluous. (talk) 04:05, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

  • There's nothing contradictory in my position at that particular AfD. WP:ACADEMICS, for example, states; "It is possible for an academic to be notable according to this standard, and yet not be an appropriate topic for an article in Wikipedia because of a lack of reliable, independent sources on the subject. Every topic on Wikipedia must be one for which sources exist; see Wikipedia:Verifiability." Do you know want to do away with that (accepted) guideline, too? --Crusio (talk) 04:29, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The fact that another flawed guideline exists is a poor reason to adopt a similarly flawed guideline. (talk) 18:50, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

  • Comment: "significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject" is the General Notability Guideline for good reason -- it is the level of coverage required for an adequate article (and particularly one that does not fall afoul of WP:NOT). For Wikipedia to forego this requirement, I would suggest that it requires an exceptional justification. WP:ACADEMIC supports this view, as it requires a standard considerably above mere tenure (which could be considered as being 'worthy' rather than 'exceptional' -- though I'm sure we could all find a few examples of tenured professors we personally consider 'unworthy'). To me at least, simply being indexed represents the same level of worthiness as tenure -- enough merit to avoid being dismissed out-of-hand, but not sufficient to warrant an exception to WP:GNG. If somebody can articulate a credible and not-too-wildly-subjective standard of exceptionality for journals, I'd certainly be interested in hearing it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree completely with what you say about [WP:ACADEMIC]]. Living in the academic world myself I do indeed know of some tenured professors and certainly several that are unremarkable. However, I suggest that for a journal to be indexed by ISI is akin to getting a named chair for an academic. ISI is highly selective in selecting journals to include in its database. Scopus is already a bit less selective (as it tries to be more inclusive), PubMed less than that, and so on. I think that in the Sciences, there is nothing wrong with using inclusion ISI as a standard for notability. The problem is more in HASS, where ISI has a much lower level of coverage (although that implies that what I said for science journals goes doubly for those HASS journals that are included). I could live with a modification of this guideline to limit "indexing" to ISI, if that would get more people on board that currently are opposed. --Crusio (talk) 09:11, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't know that I'd go so far as demand locking it down to only ISI -- but I'd certainly be far happier with some sort of restriction to indexes that aim to be discriminating rather than comprehensive, rather than "major indexing services" as a whole. Also, I get the impression that at least some indexes pick on the basis of individual articles, rather than the journal-as-a-whole. Is this a wide practice? If so, it might let generally-lacklustre journals in, on the basis of one or two good articles that got picked. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:49, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • It's still a directory service. ISI's job is to index journals for researchers and students (or pump more money to Thompson). I'm not comfortable with building notability criteria based on a directory service. Protonk (talk) 18:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I disagree, it's much more than a simple directory. Ulrich's is a directory, it lists journals and some relevant information about the journal, much like Peterson's Guide lists faculty at US institutions. ISI does much more than that, they actually analyze data (namely, citation patterns), resulting in quantitative rankings of journals. So whatever one may think of the impact factor, I don't think one can say that ISI's databases are simple directories. --Crusio (talk) 18:55, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Its a directory with a ranking system. the word directory wasn't invoked to imply that we are dealing with a mere phone book of academic journals, but to contrast it with a source which might offer criticism and analysis. Third party coverage is nearly mandatory for balanced coverage. Without it we can report the existence of the journal (and its impact factor, if you will) and whatever the journal says about itself. That is insufficient for NPOV. In general a notability guideline should present a decent sketch of when sourcing is likely to exist. So our guideline on professional sports players offers a pretty good threshold above which some coverage will exist, even if we can't find it immediately. Ditto the guidance on academics. What I don't see in this proposed guideline is any good assertion or evidence that journals which meet the criteria are likely to have third party coverage and journals which do not meet the criteria are not likely to have the same. Protonk (talk) 19:04, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
(Outdent) For the sake of argument, lets take an example. The JCR shows 209 economics journals in their index (I'm just including the ones in the social science database under "Economics", nothing in finance, management, operations research, etc.). You are telling me that all 209 are "considered by reliable sources to be influential in its subject area" (Criterion 1, note 1). I think that's baloney. Just walking down the list (by impact factor), I would say that the first 60 could arguably be considered pretty influential (especially within their respective sub-fields and with some exceptions which probably have to do w/ impact factor calculations). 60-80 (page 4) is getting a little more scattered. 80-100 has about 5 that I would consider very influential, the rest are just run of the mill publications. Same is true from 100-120, though for different reasons (some of them are salient for belonging to specific sub-fields, others because they were previously much stronger journals then now). 120-140 is getting into the reeds. Likewise every one after that. More to the point, among the ~4-5 dozen journals I suggested were influential or salient, I'm not sure that substantive commentary exists on all of them. Protonk (talk) 19:19, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Getting into the reeds. I like that. What people should consider is the information conveyed by the lack of an article; it means the topic is not important. Abductive (reasoning) 21:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I feel I should preface my oppose by stating that if under discussion I would also be opposed to - the somewhat related guideline - Wikipedia:Notability (academics), which has obviously been accepted as a guideline by the consensus of the community. Hence my opinions on this subject matter might be on the fringe. I would also note that many of my concerns about this proposal are duplicated in the current - and again presumably community accepted - guideline at Wikipedia:Notability (books)#Academic books. Fundamentally I do not believe that topics in academia should be treated differently from any others. I think coverage by independent sources that deal directly with the topic itself is fundamental to the core policy of neutral point of view. I do not think citation counting or impact should be used to confer notability as they can be misleading and are open to abuse - in my opinion criteria 1 and 2 as they are written are effectively an endorsement of walled gardens. Generally I think the focus of academic coverage on Wikipedia should be the same as the focus of academic coverage outside of Wikipedia - ideas, not people or publications. Guest9999 (talk) 01:03, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
a walled garden is where articles are written to support each other, such that they appear substantial, but have no outside referent for the entire structure, usually written by proponents of a particular school of though. This is different because the articles on journals are all independent. They rely on a common external criterion: the extent to which they are used by their intended users. Measuring journals by how they cite one another does not support all of them, the way a walled garden-s cross references do--it rather displays an hierarchy, where the top 20% or so of journals contain 80% of the information -- see Pareto principle-- one of the basic findings of information science (in some fields like physics, it's more like the top 10% contain 90%). This gives a hierarchy, and we include that 20%--in some fields a little more, in some, fewer.
the world is not uniform. information about different things comes in different ways. Some areas, such as media celebrities, are covered to exhaustion by easily findable sources--some of the more esoteric things, quite the opposite. some popular but specific things, like much computer information are covered very well, but not by what we normally regard as conventional sources. We have two choices: we can devise a naive rule, and deal in a Procrustean manner with what it fits and does not fit, regardless of what it does to the balance & function of the encyclopedia, or we can examine each subject, decide how we want to cover it subject, and see what are its standards. (as we use the criterion of charting for popular music). I regard the first choice as game-playing with rules, the second as making an adult-level encyclopedia. DGG ( talk ) 04:39, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the standard for every topic area should be identical but that they should all follow the same underlying principles. As it stands we can have articles on academics which are essentially their CVs taken from their personal or professional websites. I think this guideline would result in an analogous situation with information in articles based entirely on primary sources and directory entries - I do not think such articles meet Wikipedia's core content policies. Using these criteria a journal could effectively establish its own notability by publishing articles which cite previous articles in the journal, a group of obscure journals establish each others notability by regularly publishing papers citing each other. Should a blog be deemed notable if linked from a lot of other blogs? Or a youtube video if it's on a lot of people's favourite lists? What about local organisations which often cooperate and promote each other? If notability were to be established by this guideline and not the general guideline or the specific guideline for books it effectively means that no other encyclopaedia or other reliable secondary or tertiary source has ever written anything substantial about the journal. Is every other encyclopaedic publication available so unbalanced because of this? Take an example of a reliable secondary source - the BBC website, they have sections on Technology, Science and the Environment and Health. All these sections are dominated by coverage of academic work and many articles are good sources which could be used to verify information and establish the notability of topics. Very few of them could be used to establish the notability of journals (or indeed academics) - in my opinion a balanced coverage of the topic area follows the pattern laid out by this and the other reliable sources. Guest9999 (talk) 14:31, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Simple and reasonable criteria. Well thought out. Nfitz (talk) 07:24, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (I expressed opposition above and add this comment.) (At least) one of Crusio's premises for this guideline is flawed. He suggests above that some obviously prominent journals, such as Science and Nature, which we all think should be considered notable, nonetheless fail the GNG. But it is, of course, false that independent coverage of such journals cannot be found. Only a few minutes of searching turns up some useful independent coverage of Science, for example. See, for example,
    • ISBN 041-5-96-950-6 p. 470.
    • "Why reading Science has been second Nature for over a hundred years." Tony Stankus. Technicalities. Kansas City: May 1999. Vol. 19, Iss. 5; p. 4.
    • "A Cloning Scandal Rocks a Pillar of Science Publishing." Gina Kolata. New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Dec 18, 2005. p. 1.28.
Journals that "everybody knows" are notable will turn out, in fact, to pass the GNG. This guideline is a poor idea because (among other reasons) declaring these journal articles to be "notable per WP:ALPHABETSOUP" is not the same as actually improving them by adding independent sources in accordance with Wikipedia's more fundamental content policies. (talk) 18:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • But as you say they would meet GNG. The concern is that something that really shouldn't be here would meet the criteria; can you give an example of that? That might a better case of why the guideline doesn't work. Nfitz (talk) 04:52, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Close enough. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 04:21, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, looks like a very sensible and well thought-out proposal. I don't find the protestations about this proposal being overly permissive to be convincing. Being indexed in the WebOfScience is in practice reasonably selective. I looked at the list of math and computer science journals arranged by the impact factor and even among those at the bottom of the list most journals are quite decent and respectable. The reality is that applying a traditional WP:N standard would be unrealistic and counterproductive here. Traditional type of newscoverage of academic journals (even of the very best ones) basically does not exist. There are no industry publications about academic journals, no industry awards or prizes for academic journals, and there are virtually no books or scholarly articles about academic journals as such. So one has to look for a different, and preferably objective, test for inclusion of WP articles about academic journals. Moreover, articles about academic journals play a rather unique role and are of particular importance for Wikipedia as a project and I think that role should be taken into account when deciding on inclusion criteria. WP:V and WP:RS list academic journals as the golden standard of reliable sources and most Wikipedia articles cite articles in academic journals as sources. From this prospective it is particularly useful for WP users to be able to see brief information about these journals (publisher, scope, impact factor, editors, etc); having such information is also very useful in talk page discussions where relative weight of various sources cited are discussed. Therefore, where articles about academic journals are concerned, any guideline needs to be tailored to allow inclusion of articles about reputable journals. This proposal does a good job here and it relies on objective criteria while doing that. Seems to me the proposal does exactly what is needed. Kinoq (talk) 00:32, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
    • "Traditional type of newscoverage of academic journals (even of the very best ones) basically does not exist....there are virtually no books or scholarly articles about academic journals as such." False. See above. (talk) 15:34, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
      • Err, above where exactly? This is a rather long page. Kinoq (talk) 15:38, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
        • Ah, I see that you probably refer to the discussion regarding Science and Nature. I don't find these examples convincing. First, even for such obviously prominent journals as Science and Nature the kind of specific and detailed coverage that GNG usually requires is fairly rare and limited. Moreover, both of these journals are, to a significant degree, popular journals and not just technical journals. If you take any more technical field, such as, for example, mathematics, the situation is quickly seen to be different. As a practicing research mathematician (with academic tenure -:), I know that the most prestigious mathematical journals are Annals of Mathematics, Inventiones Mathematicae, Acta Mathematica and Journal of the American Mathematical Society. Most mathematicians would probably be willing to give up half a year salary to have an article published in one of these journals. Yet it is extremely difficult (and I did try) to find any specific and significant coverage of these journals as such. Unlike pop culture or current events topics, ordinary journalists simply do not write articles (with rare, once in a blue moon) exceptions about academic journals. The same is true about academics: they write articles to be published in academic journals, not about academic journals. There are no industry awards or honors for academic journals. If we were to apply the strict GNG standard here, almost all articles about academic journals would have to be deleted. Yet, IMO, that would be clearly counterproductive for the project. I think that a non-ideological ("GNG is sacred") but common sense IAR approach needs to be applied here. Kinoq (talk) 15:58, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
          • I found a source for the Annals of Mathematics in seconds; just plug it into Google News and you get a NYT obit for Solomon Lefschetz. "For 25 years, Dr. Lefschetz edited The Annals of Mathematics, a publication he developed into one of the world's foremost mathematical journals...". There is an unsourced line in the Wikipedia article that says this exact thing; the article should be edited to reflect this source. Abductive (reasoning) 16:24, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
          • By searching Google Books for prestigious "Inventiones Mathematicae" I found "... academic year (1987-1988) while he was preparing it for publication in the very prestigious mathematics research journal, Inventiones Mathematicae, ..." snipped from The Fermat Diary‎ by Charles J. Mozzochi. Abductive (reasoning) 16:24, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
          • Acta Mathematica has a source in the first page of Google News results, in an 1927 obituary for Gösta Mittag-Leffler "He found and edited The Acta Mathematica, a periodical of international reputation. His library is said to contain one of the most valuable and complete ..." Abductive (reasoning) 16:24, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
          • Journal of the American Mathematical Society garners a 2005 source; Mathematical Publishing: a Guidebook by Steven George Krantz that mentions the exact four journals you claim are unsourceable, and says "The papers in The Annals of Mathematics and Acta Mathematica and Inventiones Mathematicae and the Journal of the American Mathematical Society have a certain gravitas to them. You can tell instinctively that these are important papers that matter." He then goes on to mention the second tier. This is a very good source. Abductive (reasoning) 16:24, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
            • These examples are mostly not the kind of specific and detailed coverage that GNG has in mind. They are passing mentions where something else is being discussed. Did you find any examples of coverage where a journal itself was the subject of the coverage? Kinoq (talk) 16:32, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
              • The last source is clearly such. Only the most hardline AfD warrior would contest it based on the papers vs journals distinction. If you read the surrounding text in that book, he is clearly talking about journals. Abductive (reasoning) 16:53, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
                • Even Krantz does not give the kind of substantial coverage to any of these journals that would give a clear pass of the GNG, naively applied, for a generic topic in an AfD discussion. And this is a rare exception where journals are the actual topic. So I think Kinoq still has a point.John Z (talk) 23:08, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
                • Exactly. I looked at the Krantz text and in my opinion even for Annals and Inventiones it does not provide specific and detailed coverage of the type GNG requires. A specific and detailed coverage would be something that includes history of the journal, analysis of its impact, composition of the editorial board and some kind of an extended explanation as to how and why the journal came to be prominent in a particular area. Krantz does not do that. In fact, I think that this example rather underscores my point which has to do not just with existence of specific and detailed coverage but also with how widespread (or, this case, how rare) such coverage is. If we take a typical subject, such as, say, movie actors, there is a ton of specific and detailed coverage in regular newsmedia of both the most famous actors as well as less famous and even beginner actors. There are also numerous awards (Oscars, etc), and reviews of films that often contain pretty detailed information about actors. By contrast, if we look at academic journals, say, in mathematics, the situation with available coverage. Even for the most prestigious math journal, Annals of Mathematics, we are not seeing a few dozen (or even 1-2) books and articles written specifically about this journal. The best one can find is a few passing mentions here and there of the type that Abductive found. If even the no. 1 math journal gets such scarce coverage, what can we hope to find for no. 10 and no. 20? Most likely nothing. Like I said, regular journalists do not write, as a matter of course, articles and books specifically about academic journals, since the subject is too technical for general public. Scholars themselves publish in such journals but do not write about them, since they do no see a need to do so (the informal reputation of various journals is usually well-known and spreads by word of mouth). There are no industry awards, prizes and honors for academic journals (unlike, say, movie actors or even academics themselves). Thus the way academic journals are covered differs rather radically from the way pop-culture topics (like movie actors) or even academic topics (such as scientific concepts and discoveries) are covered. One can, of course, take the view that this simply makes essentially all academic journals not notable and we should just not have Wikipedia articles about them. I do not believe that such an approach would be beneficial for the project; in fact I think it will be rather counter-productive. Like I said, academic journals are presumed to be the golden standard of a reliable source by WP:V and WP:RS. It is very useful, both for the general reader, and for the Wikipedia users involved in editing Wikipedia and participating in discussions about Wikipedia articles, to have wikilinks to WP articles about journals that are being cited as sources, with some basic info about such journals. That's why, IMO, a different inclusion standard for articles about academic journals is needed. I believe that the current proposal does quite a good job of this. Kinoq (talk) 17:22, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
                  • It may be a good idea to create a separate namespace where readers can find out about the credentials and reliability of the references they see at the bottom of articles. But this notability proposal aims to include encyclopedia articles, in the main namespace, about those references. If you take the "golden standard" that you refer to seriously, wouldn't you insist that encyclopedia articles about journals should, themselves, meet a comparable sourcing standard? (talk) 02:24, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - looks good to me. I added a sentence that clarifies that this guideline does not replace WP:RS for these journals.[3]--Blargh29 (talk) 16:05, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support; this provides a better foundation from which to assess the notability of journals. Improvements will come over time. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:13, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support in principle per John Vandenberg. –Juliancolton | Talk 13:39, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - Application of GNG would mean "almost every academic journal does not deserve an article", as someone here says. This fact is not intrinsically wrong, and surely does not justify stretching logic reasoning to the point of implying "everything indexed by Institute for Scientific Information" from "The journal is considered by reliable sources to be influential in its subject area". I really cannot approve delegating to an external organization articles' worthiness of inclusion.--M4gnum0n (talk) 10:57, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

How to improve the proposal

Above it is becoming clear that this proposal enjoys considerable support, but also that a significant number of editors is opposed to it as it stands. Some of these opposing statements are rather general, making it difficult to improve the proposal to address these concerns. I would greatly appreciate if some of you could either propose some improvements in the current wording or give me some examples of notable journals that would not satisfy these criteria or non-notable ones that would pass these criteria. (Obviously I am not addressing those editors who are of the opinion that thsi whole proposed guideline is superfluous... :-). --Crusio (talk) 17:26, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

  • The sole reason for my oppose was that I think we need more than a month to kick the tires on the thing before saying that it reflects community consensus. In the course of this discussion, though, I saw some suggestions that this guideline was necessary because some notable journals were failing the GNG. I think some sort of guideline for academic journals would be useful, but if I recall correctly from the general discussion of the relation of SNGs to the GNG some months ago, proposals to permit an SNG to override the GNG universally failed. This page might provide some guidance as to whether a journal passes the GNG, but everything it suggests passes should actually be notable. With this in mind, I am a bit concerned that meeting any one of the criteria is taken as sufficient for notability: a journal that isn't frequently cited (failing #2) but for which some reliable source can be found attesting to its influence (passing #1)? Perhaps a vaguer wording would be appropriate, something acknowledging that these are factors that contribute to evidence of notability, allowing the precise requirement in each case to be determined by consensus on the case in question. If this turns out in practice to be contestable, with some editors insisting that one is enough and others demanding more, then I'd say that there isn't consensus on what makes an academic journal notable and so we can't have a more specific guideline. RJC TalkContribs 18:42, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Thanks! I have tweaked "note 1" so that people will not take the in passing mention of a journal as satisfying this criterion. Does this address your concern? --Crusio (talk) 19:20, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Mainly, aside from the timing issue. RJC TalkContribs 22:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Do you (or someone else) have a link to the SNG vs. GNG discussion? — Miym (talk) 18:53, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The real problem is using SNGs to delete. In practice, SNGs are used to include. If something passes under any SNG or the GNG it is almost always kept. Deletion because of failing an SNG, while passing the GNG is rare. Whether or not people can agree or not on how to formally say this in the form of a rule, it is what happens. Your idea of making it more vague, saying these are elements rather than criteria of notability may help garner more consensus.John Z (talk) 19:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I think I'm mainly opposing because this guideline falls in the "arbitrary" portion of the SNG continuum. Some SNGs (for example Wikipedia:Notability (films)) are largely restatements of the GNG with some added caveats explaining where films may be notable even though immediate searches for sourcing turn up nothing. Some SNGs (like this one or PORNBIO or Wikipedia:Notability (academics)) tend to simply assert that characteristics of the subject make it "worthy of note", which is the connotation of "notable" but not our specific usage of it (which closely resembles a "term of art"). Those sorts of guidelines are where we tend to fall down. We include articles whose primary sources are linked inextricably to the subjects themselves and we appear to set an arbitrary benchmark for inclusion. Those two elements combined make for bad policy and worse publicity. I will support a guideline that can offer a rough proxy for "likely to be covered in significant detail by independent sources" because I feel that is the role of SNGs. SNGs which are developed in spite of the GNG are not likely to attract support from me because I fail to see the utility we gain from having an article on a subject which has no external commentary (especially when the guideline implicitly asserts that inclusion is a measure of significance or authority). A good example of the problematic reasoning behind such an adversarial stance is evidences immediately above this section. One editor asserts that the SNG is valuable because obviously important and authoritative journals in a major field (he picked mathematics) aren't likely to have coverage in reliable sources--almost immediately another editor found such coverage. In general I think writing guidelines to correct sourcing imbalances is foolish. It assumes that sourcing doesn't exist for a class of subjects (where it obviously does) and thus generates a false equivalence among the class members. any journal on WoS becomes just as important since we all have articles for them but we can't (or aren't motivated to) find sourcing discussing their relative importance. In making this statement I understand completely that crafting a guideline as a rough proxy for available sourcing is difficult (and may be impossible in many cases). In some sense that is a strong argument for the GNG. It remains the simplest neutral measure for inclusion that we have. Protonk (talk) 21:59, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

I seem to have missed most of what looks to have been a very interesting discussion. Just wanted to add here a bit about finding sources for articles on journals. One of the main sources I have found on the history of long-established journals (I tend to contribute edits about the history of journals established in the 19th century or earlier) is anniversary/history articles published in the journals themselves, or sister publications produced by the organisation that publishes the journal (e.g. an article in the news bulletin of the academic society that produces the journal). I guess that is not the independent third-party sources people normally look for, but it is something I have observed as to where history of a journal or magazine gets published. One of the points raised above was that one of the criteria involves historical impact. As far as I can recall, this is obliquely referring to how old the journal is, especially in cases of journals that were published for tens or hundreds of years, but are no longer published. Of course, finding sources for the very old journals is trivially easy, but I think that is what the "significant history" bit means. I also think examples help when discussing notability. Three examples of articles I created or significantly expanded: Annales de chimie et de physique, Astronomische Nachrichten, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (hey, that's three countries and three sciences I've covered now). I also filled in the history of the editors for Astronomical Journal and Journal of Biological Chemistry. The latter is a classic example of where I found a history of the journal's first 75 years written by a former editor of the journal. Astronomical Journal also has similar history articles in its own pages. The Astronomische Nachrichten article was largely written from a journal article about the early history of the science. The AMNH Bulletin is an example of an article where the sources are currently only the museum itself (the publishing body), but I have little doubt that more sources can be found. The Annales de chimie et de physique article is a good example where there is a specific source discussing the journal itself in the wider context of the history of science (In the Shadow of Lavoisier: The 'Annales de Chimie' and the Establishment of a New Science. Maurice Crosland. 1994). Finally, Journal of the Chemical Society is an article where I can see potential for expansion from suitable sources that relate the history there, but I have less hope for an article such as Health Economics (which I created to help disambiguate links to health economics) - that one may well remain nothing more than a directory entry-type article. Carcharoth (talk) 03:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

there is of course a wide scope for just such historical articles. There are some journals famous enough over time, or for some unusual reason controversial enough at the present, that there actually is such material. Obviously, as time goes by there will be more of them. They're not the subject here--they meet the GNG and have never had any opposition. I'd love to have time to do some more of this. Among the good sources for this are biographies of editors of famous journals: I have for some time been intending to go through the dictionary of Scientific Biography & its supplement looking for just such references. There tends to be a gap of about 50 years here: the literature on the history of my subject, molecular biology, is enormously greater now than it was 20 years ago. It's just like for scientists, except for the very most famous, where there are not that many secondary sources of the conventional type until they die, or at least retire. Our two most reliable sources for them, the bios of the members of the Royal Society and the NAS, have just that limitation: they have to die first. This shouldn't inhibit us from covering the notable. The criterion is , after all, notable, not famous. Wikipedia is not a directory, if one interprets directory as including everything of a class--there was earlier suggestions to accept all peer-reviewed journals, or any journal referred to in Wikipedia, and I disagree with them. But when directory means a directory of the important representatives of a class, that's encyclopedic. The closest analogy is Olympic athletes for the earlier years--where include them all, under the guise of just assuming there will be material. A;ll objections based on the GNG are irrelevant. We made the GNG, we can decide when it applies and how to interpret it. We made it a guideline, we therefore accepted there will be exceptions to it. The approval of a special guideline is essential the approval of using it--and whether it is in addition to the GNG, requiring both, or in place of it, or as an alternative requiring only either one, is for us to decide. The proposal here is as an alternative, for it is possible that some journals not the least notable in scientific terms may for some reason attract substantial secondary attention. For example, a totally worthless journal may attract attention because of its especially outrageous price, and articles may be written about it. DGG ( talk ) 01:34, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - while not perfect, I would like to have as many "bright line" standards as possible for notability. Bearian (talk) 19:41, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
    • According to the article you linked, a bright-line rule "leaves little or no room for varying interpretation." Please explain why you think that a guideline based on vague standards such as "influential," "frequently," and "historic," is amenable to objective interpretation. (talk) 04:08, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Editorial Boards

I've been thinking about the question of whether the composition of an Editorial Board is relevant to the Notability of an academic journal. It seems to me on reflection that it clearly is. Being on an E.B. involves a bit of work (and reputational risk) for AFAIK no pay. Less established academics might do it for the prestige, but by the time you reach the top you have far too many calls on your time and the only reason you serve on an E.B. is because you think that the journal is doing important work to which you can somewhat contribute. Therefore having top-flight people on a journal's E.B. says that they think it is important and is therefore certainly relevant to notability. What do people think? NBeale (talk) 14:02, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

So long as its' phrased as being indicative of notability, rather than an independent proof in itself, I'd go along. Some established people might serve on an editorial board just to promote one of their student's pet projects. There is a tendency to permit inherited notability which I think we should guard against. RJC TalkContribs 14:28, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • As an editor myself, I can tell you that NBeale is not completely realistic about editorial boards. When I started Genes, Brain and Behavior in 2001, I approached a number of people to constitute an editorial board. As far as I recall, 1 person refused (well, he just got the Nobel Prize the day before, so I guess he was swamped with requests), all others accepted. This was for a journal that did not even exist yet... Most of these people never had heard of me, so it wasn't my stellar reputation as an editor or scientist either... :-) Being on an editorial board carries very little "reputational risk" and always adds to one's prestige. In addition, usually there is hardly any (or none at all) work required. At most, boards are requested from time to time to provide advice on editorial policy and most scientists are always happy to do this even if they were not on the board. In short, it only would be remarkable if a journal had only mediocre scientists on its board. Now that would really be exceptional! :-)
In conclusion I have to say that I am strongly opposed to adding Editorial Board members to a journal's article and even more to adding anything about the prestige of the board to the current proposed guidelines. As far as I am concerned, if a journal must derive its notability from the people on its board, that would constitute prime evidence that the journal has no notabity at all and is far removed from ever attaining it. --Crusio (talk) 14:53, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Strongly agree with Crusio. If I saw an article about a journal that pointed out how distinguished its editorial board was, I would immediately jump to the conclusion that the journal had no intrinsic notability in its own right (like an article about a book that felt the need to list the people invited to its launch), and that the writer of the article was attempting to make the journal seem more important than it really is by means of an appeal to authority. All journals that are worth their salt have some distinguished people on their editorial boards. So what? SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 15:35, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
"All journals that are worth their salt have X" is not remotely an argument that "X should not be mentioned in an article about the journal". All journals that are worth their salt publish interesting and important articles. This is not an argument against referring to any especially interesting and important articles in a Wikipedia article about them. (and BTW the question is not "who was invited to a launch" - anyone can invite anybody - but if someone vv distinguished agrees to chair a launch discussion it is certainly interesting and suggests that the book is well out of the ordinary.For the bemused: Snalwimba & I are old sparring partners, & I am co-author of said book NBeale (talk) 18:21, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • My previous point was not that I "invited" all those people, my point was that almost all of them accepted the invitation, showing that such is nothing out of the ordinary. As far as I can see, the same goes for chairing a launch discussion, although I understand that this deals with book launches (and apparently one book launch in particular). However, the current proposal is concerned with academic journals, so please let's stay on topic. --Crusio (talk) 20:17, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The editorial board of some journals are selective. this is not always the case--especially with lower quality journals. That inverse correlation with quality is part of the motivation for eliminating them from articles. Routine practice with a weak journal is to invite as many people to the board as possible, typically with the offer that a/they will get a subscription, and b/that articles the submit or sponsor will get favorable consideration--the unspoken implication is that these would be the articles from the less successful of their students, articles that would have difficulty getting published elsewhere. (I don;t like this game, and have turned down a few such invitations) There are, much less viciously, many older European national journals that have the practice of inviting every professor of the subject in their country to join as a matter of course. These people will likely be notable, but that they are on the board doenst say much about the journal. Crusio, I think that there would indeed be some journals where we would make an exception--but it would need to be justified rather strictly. This is exactly the quagmire that we've stayed out of in other fields also--we list the president of the company, and the CEO, and maybe the chairman of the board--but not the rest of the board, except possibly for the most famous companies. We always list the mayor of a town, but only for the largest cities would we list the city council. This is just the extension of a general practice--one that has proven necessary to reduce spam. We arenot the company's web site, nor the journal's.
In particular, there is one special case: where a journal dealing with a borderline subject tries to get mainstream scientists on the board to lend it respectability. The question always arises whether the people who sign up actually know what they are joining. The principle is, as those great cynics G & S have it in The Gondoliers:
DUKE. I sit, by selection, /Upon the direction/ of several Companies bubble--
As soon as they're floated / I'm freely bank-noted /I'm pretty well paid for my trouble--

DGG ( talk ) 02:32, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi DGG: Anyone who can quote The Duke of Plaza Toro has to be a great guy, but the noble and valliant Duke was, as you say, pretty well paid for his trouble. I agree that it is possible that some leading scientists or philosophers could be bamboozled onto a board, and fail to resign, but it is not sensible to assume that several would. These would be highly exceptional circumstances: the normal point stands, that other things being equal having loads of first-rate academics on your editorial board is (a) interesting and (b) and indication - not conclusive proof - of notability, unless there is some strong reason to doubt it. NBeale (talk) 21:21, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I can only re-iterate what I said previously: A relative nobody like me starts a new journal and at a point where there has not yet been a single page printed I got a Nobel Prize winner and multiple national academy members on my board. And several of the others have been elected to a national academy since then, so they were pretty prestigious, too. If I could do that for a journal that didn't even exist yet, then having notable people on the board does not amount to much if anything and did not guarantee at all that the journal was/would become notable. This works only one way, the reverse is not true: if I would not have been able to get anybody notable on the board, the journal would certainly have tanked, so not having any notable people on the board would be a sure sign for lack of notability. But not the other way around.
I agree with DGG, of course, that there are exceptions. There always are and the current argument is for the general case. --Crusio (talk) 22:55, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Hence, having notable people on the Editorial board is, broadly speaking, a necessary, but certainly not a sufficient, condition for notability. NBeale (talk) 07:48, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, and one therefore could cite the absence of anybody notable as evidence of missing notability, whereas citing the fact that notable persons are on the board does not establish anything whatsoever. --Crusio (talk) 23:57, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
  • On the subject of editorial board composition, I find this article rather enlightening. Protonk (talk) 23:19, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Very interesting. Shows that Editorial Boards can indeed be important. BTW it occurs to me that one interesting test would be to look at the last n journals that got deleted in AfD debates and the last n that survived, and see if there is any significant difference in the number of Academicians on their Editorial Boards. NBeale (talk) 13:47, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the linked article would support that conclusion. The bulk of the article was devoted to explaining how the author witnessed board and editor selection processes which had little to do with the merit of the selectee and more to do with mollifying political interests within the academe and the publisher. Protonk (talk) 22:03, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I did not conclude that "E.B.s reflect the merit of the selectee" but that "E.B.s can be important". The fact that there was so much political fighting about the composition of the E.B. clearly shows that some members of the E.B. cared deeply about who was on it. NBeale (talk) 06:58, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
That may support an section about the EB conflict for that particular journal,but I cannot see that it does it general. If anything, the article presents it as an exceptional case, involving the start-up of a journal where the problem was one defining the scope, a conflict between various theoretical orientations of economists. As the author said, he did not expect the problem and had no reason to, based on a very wide professional experience. And he says "and in fact I am about to add seven new associate editors to the journal’s editorial board to handle the growth in submissions" asa purely routine matter. 95%of the time, the journal continues along a very non-exceptional pattern; sometimes, indeed, there is what amounts to a palace revolution or a conflict within the profession that is reflected. At some point, I intend adding systematically to journal articles every ssuch conflict for which I have sources--at this point they are present erratically. DGG ( talk ) 16:19, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

New perspective?

At this point it seems that fairly many people oppose this proposal. Moreover, the old discussion at Wikipedia:Notability/RFC:compromise is a serious concern: many people seem to oppose the idea that a subject-specific notability guideline could be more permissive than WP:GNG. On the other hand, there is a lot of useful information in this proposal and in these discussions. Hence I started to wonder how to make the most of it even if this is never promoted to guideline status.

What if we changed the perspective, and made this text descriptive instead of prescriptive? Instead of stating rules like "a journal is notable if this-and-that", we could give information like "ISI is highly selective and Scopus is slightly less selective" (+ references and more details). Ideally, this would be a well-organised survey of various sources that one could use in articles about academic journals (and also when considering whether it makes sense to create an article at all). Call it a "writer's guide" or "essay" (or whatever) instead of a "notability guideline" if it helps.

The section "Notes and examples" could be a reasonable starting point. From these discussions we could add many pieces of information. As we wouldn't need to write them as rules, it'll be much easier to describe finer details like "this-and-that index has poor coverage in this-and-that field".

Even if this guide was written from such a perspective, we could still use this guide in AfD discussions. Instead of saying "included in X, hence notable per guideline Y section Z", one could write "included in X, which is a highly selective indexing service in this field (see essay Y section Z for more information and references)".

Any thoughts? — Miym (talk) 21:18, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

US Centered

Many of the bibliographic references indicated for criteria 1-3, and 5 are based in the US and tend to emphasize American journals. In reaction to this, the European Science Foundation is developing a set of "league tables" for academic journals, with a focus on European publications. Included in this program is a European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), which has earned negative reactions from editors of journals in the history of science, technology, and medicine.

Despite the problem with that particular project, greater consideration of non-American perspectives seems appropriate. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:14, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

agreed. Will work on it. Personally, I've never seen a valid table of anything quality-related, except for those based on citation data. They at least measure what they claim to, which is frequency of citations within the set of journals they cover. DGG ( talk ) 06:22, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Excellence in Research for Australia's rank tables A* A B C. Fifelfoo (talk) 06:48, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
yes, I know of it. The humanities section is based upon a reputation survey, and has no valid basis. The science section has not yet been published, and will take into account reputation as well as objective criteria. I've done reputation surveys among faculty: people list the journals they used back in graduate school plus the ones they are trying to promote. Valid means it measures what it says it measures. A survey of journal reputation measures reputation , not importance or quality, so it is never even pretends to be valid as a measure of quality--- and even as a measure of reputation, there has never been evidence that getting the reputation of a few senior faculty measures the current reputation in more general sense. That;s what I mean by lack of validity. DGG ( talk ) 01:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

ERA Australia journal lists. Fgnievinski (talk) 02:08, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

The European Reference Index for the Humanities has a page, too. Fgnievinski (talk) 17:54, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

  • ERIH only contains bibliographic info on humanities journals. As far as I can tell, they strive for completion. In the past they ranked journals (on unclear criteria, done by some committee), but that system was abandoned (similar for the ERA Australia journal lists). Inclusion in ERIH means that a journal is legitimate and peer-reviewed, much as DOAJ tries to include all legitimate OA journals. Inclusion in ERIH or DOAJ (or the ERA Australia journal lists) therefore does not have any impact on notability, I fear. --Randykitty (talk) 18:02, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

a bit misguided?


I haven't read all of the previous discussion about this proposal, but it seems a bit misguided in general. For one thing, an index is not a "source", per se; while inclusion in any given index may show that the journal has some impact in a field, not being included in any given index doesn't show that the journal is not notable. There are hundreds of databases in the world; I'd strike the part about Web of Science and Scopus being the main ones, since it's simply not true [they are generalist, English-centric science databases that cover a fraction of the journals in the world]. It is correct that most journals -- the majority, in fact -- will not have anything written about them; journals are actually a somewhat odd category, where the "not a directory" rules should probably be bent. If a journal exists, and it has published legitimate research, it would be nice to have an article about what it is. Of course I would start with the big ones, the ones indexed by ISI; but we've got a long way to go before that list is filled out.

I think a better question might be to step back and wonder what is being excluded here. What's the problem? Are people adding articles about their own newsletters? About vanity-published journals? Is this really a huge problem? If so, I might simplify the criteria quite a bit:

  • does the journal have an editorial board?
  • can documentation of its mission, subject criteria, and publication and peer review practice be found?
  • is it indexed anywhere?
  • and (though this shouldn't be dealbreaker) is it written about by anyone else? Is it included in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory ?

I think that's good enough to weed out any truly vanity-press or fringe publications, and leave in the rest. -- phoebe / (talk to me) 19:45, 29 November 2009 (UTC) (academic librarian by trade)

  • Phoebe, if you take a moment to read the discussion above, you will see that the problem is actual the opposite. Many people feel that we should only have articles on journals for which we have independent third party sources. That would exclude almost all academic journals. The proposal as currently phrased has been mainly criticised for being too inclusive, not for leaving stuff out. So this proposal is actually meant to give support to inclusion of articles on journals, even though it is also used to weed out articles on really marginal ones. --Crusio (talk) 20:37, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
right -- that's not the opposite problem, it's just a more extreme version. In contrast, I don't think the proposed policy is inclusionist enough! regards, -- phoebe / (talk to me) 04:32, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Objection to use

This proposal is being referred to in deletion debates as though it was an agreed guideline. It is not. Perhaps it should be marked as failed to make this clear? Fences&Windows 00:17, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

It's still shown as an "active proposal' in the {{Notabilityguide}} template. Does that need to be changed? As far as I'm concerned, editors should feel free to point to whatever reasoning they see fit in an Afd. If they or their reasoning deviates from the consensus view, then it deviates from the consensus view. Location (talk) 00:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • This proposed should not be adopted in my view, because its criteria almost strictly adhere to SCI journals which are included in SCI/ISI/Reuter database. Many controversies are raised on the ones not included. Of course, it may come from the potential inclusion of those non-SCI journals. The reviewer/referee qualification is another concern of adopting the rule(or a guidline used as a rule), when controvery arises. In an area of few experts available, especially in WP community, it is unfair to judge a journal just by non-specialists, which however does not exclude the right of expressing their thoughts. For example, Arch Path Lab Med has broad readership and good reputation among pathologists, but very low impact factor (about 1 or 2) compared with biomedical journals. Not to mention even more specialized field like pancreatology. How do you like Pancreas (journal)? Jon Zhang (talk) Jon Zhang (talk) 15:23, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what your point is exactly. Also the proposal is IF ANY of
  1. The journal is considered by reliable sources to be influential in its subject area.
  2. The journal is frequently cited by other reliable sources.
  3. The journal has a historic purpose or has a significant history.
is met, then the journal should be included. Arch Path Lab Med thus meets criteria 1 and 2. Pancreas would also meet criteria 1 and 2.
Everything following these criteria is simply possible ways to show that at least one of these criteria are met. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 15:41, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I guess you missed my point. I need to clarify my thoughts further. The example is not for those journals' inclusion into the list, rather the right reviewers or referees. How confident should a physicist(Am I mistaken? Correct me if I'm wrong) be in judging a medical journal in high specialized field, pathology and pancreatology. Like discussed above, you or most of others may judge its notability by using impact factor or its inclusion in SCI database. It is probably more appropriate to stop here, and say: Hey, I do not know much about it, and I will refer it to a pathologist or pancreatologist. No offense here. My biased opinion is this notability guideline is somewhat misleading and might be misused, as shown in this long discussion. However, I agree a guideline should exist. Thanks! -- Jon Zhang (talk) 15:56, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think that we should go so far as to only allow pathologists to give their opinion on a pathology journal (disregarding for the moment the fact that this goes against Wikipedia's core policy that everybody can edit the encyclopedia). The proposed guideline was (as it has not been adopted, I use the past tense) an attempt to establish minimum requirements for journals to be included in WP and it was designed to be rather inclusionist. Some objective criteria can be established, not all of them dependent on ISI. For example, I don't know of any medical journal that is included in ISI, but not in PubMed (so inclusion in PubMed is less "exclusive" than inclusion in ISI). I also know that hardly any medical researcher will consider publishing in a journal that is not listed in PubMed, because her/his article would hardly be visible to colleagues. Taking these two things together, it seems rather logical to conclude that a medical journal that is not even included in PubMed, probably is not notable at all. This seems for the moment to be the case of, for example, your own NAJMS. However, also note that the intention of this proposal was not to help people showing that a journal is not notable, but rather to help them to show that a journal is notable. Similar, in an AfD debate, the onus is on the people that created the article to show that the subject of the article meets the notability criteria. If even this guideline cannot help you to do this, then I suggest you have a hopeless task before you. --Crusio (talk) 16:06, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is made by those who edit it. It's better to have a physicist look at a medical journal and try to gauge its notability than to have no one. It would be great if we had the luxury of having 100 pathologists reviewing the European Journal of Pharmacology, but we don't. What we have (in most discussion) one or two people from the physical sciences, one or two people from biological and medical fields, and one or two people from mathematical sciences. So while we may not have a panel of specialists relevant to the field, you still have a varied bunch of scientific-minded people assessing the journal, and in my experience, that's really all you need. For example, no one here believes that the Journal of Anti-Aging is a reliable source, even though most of us are not in medical fields. Why? Because it has all the classic marks of fringe journals (publishes non-conventional views, editor does science by press conference, most citations are self-citations, etc...). But to be even more to the point, there's not much difference in the way you assess if a journal is notable or not regardless of the field. If it's indexed by the relevant databases, edited by someone who's not considered a crank, meet WP:RS, is a couple of years old, and is published by a well-known house, or on behalf of some notable organization, the journal is most likely notable. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 16:11, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Next step??

  • It seems clear that the current proposal is not getting the consensus that it needs to get accepted as a guideline by the community. Unfortunately, however, I am not sure at all what possible changes could lead to consensus. The reason is that a fair number of editors find that the current proposal is too inclusive and should be more discriminating, whereas several other editors argue that the guideline should be more inclusive. These objections are contradictory and I see no ready way to reconcile the two.

Nevertheless I would like to argue that we have a clear need for accepted guidelines. At this moment, AfDs are going in all kind of directions and results are very dependent on who happens to participate, given the lack of clear guidance. Let me give some examples.

  1. In Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Adamantius (journal), one participating editor indicated that this journal (subsequently deleted following the current proposal's guidelines) would be notable if only it could be shown that it would be peer reviewed. This seems to be a far too inclusionist standpoint that few here would adapt, I think.
  2. In Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/ACS Chemical Neuroscience, the result was keep despite the journal not fulfilling the criteria of the current proposal.
  3. The failure to obtain consensus here has led one editor to prod several journals. After I deprodded those, one has been brought to AFD: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. The nom argues that inclusion in PubMed is not sufficient to establish notability.

There are probably more examples, but I guess that the above gives a rather good idea of the mess we are in. Given the disagreements about how inclusive the current proposal should be, I would like to call on all participants in this discussion to review the arguments presented by proponents and opponents of this proposal and then possibly to reconsider their viewpoint towards a more compromising stand. Given that the current proposal gets flak from both the inclusionist and deletionist sides, it might actually be a viable alternative. I invite those editors who felt that the current wording is too vague to propose some improvements. Any suggestions from other participating editors are welcome, too, of course. Thanks. --Crusio (talk) 11:44, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

If I might offer my 2 cents here, having skimmed the discussion on the rest of the page: would it be useful to back up to discussing fundamentals?
In my view, as the authority of Wikipedia articles derives from references, we have a vested interest in keeping articles in high-quality reference sources around. In my ideal world, every journal used in an FA would be blue-linked, no matter how obscure the topic. I would no more delete an article on an obscure academic journal than I would an article on a small village where nothing had ever happened. Those sort of basic location articles, for which the notability requirement is basically "it exists", form the framework for describing events, people, etc, while academic journals form the framework of our high-quality references.
On the other side of the argument, I think some editors see this class of articles exactly like other types of articles and don't have the slightest idea why we can't have as stringent a criteria as that used for other media, e.g. music albums or poems.
Asking people explicitly to agree with one, and only one, of the following statements will probably clarify people's thinking on the matter: "Articles on academic journals form a framework for high-quality article references and are thus fundamentally different from other classes of articles for which there are notability requirements" OR "Articles on academic journals are fundamentally the same as other classes of articles and should have notability requirements similar to those articles."
I'm not sure it would move the discussion forward, as we may just find that the camps are irrevocably conflicted, but at least it would make the lines of the argument clearer - BanyanTree 05:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I think an affirmative case needs to be made supporting "Articles on academic journals form a framework for high-quality article references and are thus fundamentally different from other classes of articles for which there are notability requirements". I'm certainly not convinced. Protonk (talk) 05:08, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
What I would like to support is a system of lists of journals. I proposed this above; if a journal isn't a complete joke, but there isn't very much in the way of sources or encyclopedic content, why can't it be a redirect to a list? The list can then show useful, standardized information such as the date of founding, number of issues per year, editor, contact info and so forth. Abductive (reasoning) 05:11, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I am in principle not against Abductive's proposal for creating lists for journals for which we don't have enough info to write a full-blown article. However, I don't think it is practical. Have a look at our journals infobox. To get all that information covered in a table including multiple journals seems impossible to me. --Crusio (talk) 12:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, principally there are four problems:
  1. We aren't a directory of academic journals. There are free (and non-free) services that offer this and have the necessary expertise and resources to do it better than us.
  2. We would generate a false equivalence between Journal of Almost Sketchy Science and Journal of Totally Awesome Science. Right now the status quo ought to be "if a journal is covered in reliable sources, we have an article". What is the reasoning behind changing it to "if it is a journal, we have an article". See my comment way, way above about listed journals and notability for an empirical look.
  3. NPOV, NOR, SPAM, etc. all still apply to academic journals. We go all soft on university subjects for a variety of reasons, but those content policies and guidelines have to guide our inclusion guidelines. I can't support a guideline that would abrogate those.
  4. A list actually doesn't provide the organizational role we want. The bluelink would just be to "list of journals" Protonk (talk) 05:40, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I very strongly agree with your point number 1. There is no way, even with several librarians like DGG working on this problem, that Wikipedia can hope to compete with Thomson Reuters or even the government workers. I also agree with point 3. But a list could be a table with impact factors or other metrics to help the user understand what is a prominent journal. I offer this list idea as a compromise; I will not agree to a guideline that exempts articles on journals from having secondary sources. In a way, Wikipedia could be better than PubMed or Scopus, it could be a resource of articles on scholarly journals that have crossed over into the lay world. Abductive (reasoning) 05:54, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • some responses. Ad 1. I absolutely hate arguments in the style of WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS, but I do want to note that if a place exists, that mere fact is enough to establish notability and justify a stub saying "The nowhere village has 2" inhabitants and is located at such and such coordinates". Any obscure high school is considered notable automatically. Any sports figure that has been on the field for a split second is considered notable. Some people involved with sports even want to include those who never made it farther than the bench. Their justification is that "people may want to know about these guys", even though all information given is that So and so sat of the bench of this team in the 2003 season. These things are stubs and will forever remain so. Let's face it, WP is already a directory in many respects.
But let's put all that aside. I really think it is strange if I would read an article in WP, which cites some scientific findings in some journal, that it would then be impossible to find even the briefest info on that particular journal. I would also like to argue that the way most journal stubs are now written, they provide more information than a simple directory. Most of our stubs provide significantly more information than the brief records one can find in PubMed, JCR, or any other database (perhaps excepted Ulrich's, to which I have no access, so I don't know). Most of our stubs even give important info on journals (ISSN, impact factor, editor, fields covered) together that require quite a number of mouse clicks when going to the journal homepage. I sincerely believe that WP provides better information here than any other database, government or otherwise.
Ad 2. I see your point, but I don't think this is very serious. If a journal publishes Totally Awesome science, we'll often have more sources and then the article will (or at least can) reflect this.
Ad 3. Of course all those policies would (and should) still apply. It is standard procedure to remove any unsourced, promotional claims such as "the most important journal in this field". Also, I maintain that most journal stubs can be written without resorting to OR. All information is sourced, even though we don't routinely include references for, for example, impact factors.
Ad 4. I agree, see my above response to Abductive. --Crusio (talk) 12:38, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
As regards the first point, we should absolutely not ignore the fact that high schools, places, and sports figures (to name a few) are considered notable almost automatically. Rather, instead of attempting to legislate parity for academic journals, we should try and stick to consistent and simple guidelines. If I had the power to dictate policy I would change exiting notability guidelines which result in including subjects whose articles will never meet our core content policies. but I don't. For my second point, I'm curious as to why you wouldn't think it is serious. in fact, your response is a little strange. Under your proposal the amount of sources that cover journals is immaterial. If they are indexed by WoS that is sufficient! I pointed out here the wide dispersion between the first page of indexed economic journals and the last page. Also note that by my off the cuff extimation, a little less than half of the indexed journals would meet planks one or three of your proposal (I find plank 2 so indiscriminate as to not warrant discussion), even with very narrow definitions of "fields" and very loose notions of "influential". My problem is that the guideline as written allows us to write articles for journals where there is no reasonable expectations of sourcing. Hence there would be only two avenues for content: material from the subject itself (or from some directory ranking) and material from editor interpretation. The rest of the problems (2 & 3) flow from that almost directly. Protonk (talk) 22:27, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
To Crusio:
  1. "Inclusionist" and "deletionist sides" do not exist. People have different views on the appropriate inclusion standards, but nobody is an advocate for keeping borderline articles, or for deleting them. Proliferation of notability guidelines that stray from Wikipedia's basic content policies is harmful in part because people focus on the wrong question of "does this guideline permit too much, too little, or just the right amount?" The right question is much more simple: "what topics can we write articles about that pass wp:npov?"
  2. You seem to think applying this guideline will be good in part because afd outcomes won't depend on who happens to participate. Please explain how this guideline will result in consistent afd results, when its application will necessarily involve subjective standards such as "frequently," "historic," and "influential."
  3. You have argued elsewhere, in favor of WP:PROF and in favor of this guideline, that WP:N is absurdly "inclusive" as applied to journals and professors. The reason you give is that, as long as a journal or professor is cited somewhere (or in at least two places), they will pass WP:N because a citation is a "source" for the purposes of WP:N. This is a basic misreading of WP:N. WP:N requires significant coverage. Citations don't count. (talk) 09:03, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Ad 1. As far as I know, the terms "inclusionist" or "deletionist" are commonly used on WP, but who cares about that terminology as long as we know what we are talking about? I agree that articles should be neutral and NPOV. As I argued above, I maintain that we can do that for any journal without exception. The only question to decide is indeed where to put the bar.
Ad 2. Point taken. However, it is very difficult to phrase the main criteria more stringent. Even GNG is phrased in such a way ("If a topic has received significant coverage"). That is why there are notes that are an integral part of the proposed guideline and that explain what is meant with words like "significant" and such.
Ad 3. I actually agree with you that such citations would not fulfil GNG. However, that comment of mine (which I don't really remember where I posted it) you are referring to was in reaction to comments that were being used in AfD discussions. There were articles on academics that I proposed for deletion that were subsequently kept, because "more than 10 reliable sources cite this person's work! That's what I call notability!". Yes, they are a misreading of GNG. But fleshing things out a bit more in specialist guidelines has the advantage that GNG itself doesn't become too bloated and that such misreadings become impossible.
General remark: In recent days a flurry of journal articles have been proposed for deletion. In a fair number of these AfDs (or PRODs) I have voted "delete" (or added a prod2). In all cases, I could in good faith cite "does not meet WP:Notability (academic journals)". The current proposal is not a blank check to write a stub on just any journal. On the other hand, this proposal is not a blank check to delete each and any journal stub around. I maintain that (with perhaps a few tweaks), it could be a good compromise. If the anonymous IP above does not think that the text is clear enough, I look forward to its suggestions to remedy this. --Crusio (talk) 12:54, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I have been combing through the articles on journals, and have found a strong congruence between an article meeting the GNG and meeting the defeated proposal. People should trust in the existing process. Abductive (reasoning) 13:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
This was kept under this proposal: Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal. Doesn't meet the WP:GNG, not in PubMed, not in WoS, only in Scopus, hardly any citations to it. Fences&Windows 00:18, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure Juliancolton used this failed guideline. We'll just have to wait until people realize that new journals are forced to spam every way they can. I get a few emails every week from newly launched journals, asking me to contribute articles. Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal will be renominated and deleted someday, becuase fundamentally it is non-notable. Abductive (reasoning) 02:23, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
It is not unusual that we have effective uniform consensus at AfD on the practical notability of a topic even when we have been unable to enact a formal guideline: I will mention for example shopping centers ,elementary schools, & high schools, and where we have rather exclusionist practical consistent results on the first two and inclusionist on the 3rd. (FWIW, I not only support but have actively worked for all three of those common outcomes, the deletionist as well as the inclusioinist, --and it took a good deal of persuasion for me to convince me to inclusionist on high schools). I think the result of BMIJ does represent the practical consensus, that a major disciplinary index + Scopus is sufficient. I fully expect future AfDs will be judged on that basis.
There is however a basic problem, which the guideline does not really take account of: it is very easy to start a great number of online only open access journals using off-the-shelf software. A number of people have done exactly this, and some of them have been systematically trying to add all of their titles individually to Wikipedia. I think very few people would support this, and I have been supporting Crusio's deletion nominations, and have also gotten in touch off wiki with some of the publishers involved, to explain the advantages in waiting until a journal is properly established--by which I mean has a representation in appropriate indexes and a significant body of publication. Even the longest established of such publishers, BMC, still has most of its journals unrepresented in WoS or Scopus, and these are still considered not notable here. The requirement for a significant body of publication in fact goes hand in hand with the requirement for indexes, as journals inherently rarely get citations the first year or two of publication. As an analogy, both commercial and non-commercial publishers have told me that they typically expect a journal not to break even financially until after the third year at the earliest. The idea that all peer reviewed publications are notable is one that I would strongly resist--quite apart from the matter of judging the actual strength of the peer-review, which i=n some cases can be rather nominal--as I have first hand knowledge). DGG ( talk ) 05:00, 19 December 2009 (UTC)