Wikipedia talk:Notability (organizations and companies)

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"Local" versus "regional"[edit]

Discussion on #Audience section that resulted in no consensus
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I think that we need to offer editors some tools to differentiate between between local and regional sources. The current wikilink fails on that score. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:36, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

I would pin it on circulation size, rather than geographic considerations. Let’s say we have two news outlets covering the same geographic area... one with a circulation of 1 million readers, the other with a circulation of only 1 thousand. The first confers much greater notability than the second... simply because more people read it and will note what it says. Blueboar (talk) 15:01, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Cullen328: like what? feel free to draft something. Renata (talk) 21:26, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Proposed wording: "A regional newspaper is published in a major metropolitan area and is circulated far beyond a single city. It usually has a circulation above 100,000, publishes its own reporting on national and international issues, and often operates news bureaus in other cities, such as the nation's capital. Its original reporting is often cited by other publications." Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:50, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Pinging Blueboar and Renata3. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:51, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
I find this problematic. Circulation for a general purpose daily newspaper is likely to be very different than circulation for a periodical directed to a specific industry, even if the latter is unquestionably independent and reliable in its sourcing. Also, what is wrong with local notability, so long as it is notability? bd2412 T 23:52, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
BD2412, this guideline has had the following language for many years: "The source's audience must also be considered. Evidence of significant coverage by international or national, or at least regional, media is a strong indication of notability. On the other hand, attention solely from local media, or media of limited interest and circulation, is not an indication of notability; at least one regional, statewide, provincial, national, or international source is necessary." That is the consensus. The issue that we are discussing now is how to differentiate between a "local" source and a "regional" source. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:03, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I find circulation to be a poor barometer for making such a distinction, since it will not take into account the difference between a "local" supermarket weekly and a "regional" industry magazine. The local periodical may get much higher circulation in that scenario, even if the industry magazine is a much better indicator of notability. bd2412 T 00:10, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
The proposed wording applies specifically to newspapers, BD2412 and does not describe trade magazines. I should have said "daily newspaper" to be more precise. I think that few editors would accept coverage only in "regional industry magazines" as sufficient to establish notability for an article about a business. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:25, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
In any case, it's nearly impossible to gauge true circulation for media sources with mixed print and online distribution. bd2412 T 00:53, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm... when comparing circulation we do need to compare apples with other apples, and not with bananas. I agree that coverage in newspapers is not the same as coverage in industry magazines, and nether is comparable to on line reasources. Each is a different type of source and thus confers a different type of notability. However, within each type, circulation is a better indicator of notability than geographic reach. For example, compare the following: 1) a wigit industry magazine with a circulation of a million readers (but all concentrated in southern England) and 2) a wigit industry magazine with a circulation of only 100 (but spread across three continents). I still think the first should count more towards notability than the second... as it has a much larger readership. Blueboar (talk) 02:02, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
This might have worked in the golden age of journalism, but now that print media is rapidly shrinking due to the digital age, this reads very obsolete. Also, strongly oppose putting in any arbitrary circulation numbers. 100k might be realistic in US (really don't know circulation numbers in US, so can't say), but say the largest newspaper circulation in Lithuania for 2011 was 59k. I am sure situation has not improved since. You have to remember, there is the whole world outside of the US of A. Renata (talk) 00:27, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Including a circulation number is problematic, as it excludes clearly regional newspapers in smaller markets. In Australia for instance, Victoria's second most popular paper, The Age, has a circulation below 100k, and New South Wales' second most popular paper, The Sydney Morning Herald, also falls below 100k. Australa's two most popular national newspapers also have circulations below 100k. Maybe a circulation figure might've worked 15 years ago, but with many people having already switched to online news, it's meaningless. (talk) 00:28, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Renata3, the Lithuanian newspaper would obviously qualify as a "national" source., perhaps instead of a specific circulation number, we could say "with circulation far above average for its country"? I have actually cited The Age on several occasions, and agree that it qualifies as a regional newspaper. I am open to alternative wording. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:55, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Revised proposed wording: ""A regional daily newspaper is published in a major metropolitan area and is circulated well beyond a single city. It usually has a circulation far above average for its country, publishes its own reporting on national and international issues, and often operates news bureaus in other cities, such as the nation's capital. Its original reporting is often cited by other publications." Cullen328 Let's discuss it 00:58, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

I like it. (talk) 01:02, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I think this is a bit of a mess: by this definition the New York Times is a "regional newspaper". The main difference between a "regional newspaper" and a "national newspaper" on that metric would be the size of the country, which is absurd. It also makes USA Today as being a more authoritative source for notability than the New York Times and The Australian a more authoritative source than the Sydney Morning Herald by virtue of their distribution, which is also absurd. The Drover's Wife (talk) 01:11, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I disagree regarding the New York Times, The Drover's Wife. It is clearly a national newspaper since it has regional printing presses around the country and is sold in bookstores, newsstands and airports in all 50 states. See List of national newspapers. Very small countries have one or a few national newspapers. Larger countries also have a variety of regional newspapers. The purpose of this proposed language is to give editors a tool for deciding whether a given newspaper is regional or local, since the guideline gives much greater weight to regional sources as compared to local sources. Feel free to suggest alternate wording. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:26, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Also, there is nothing in the wording that says or implies that a larger circulation makes a newspaper more reliable than one with half that circulation. This specific wording is not about the reliability of a newspaper but rather whether it is "local" or "regional". The National Enquirer has a very large circulation but is by no means a reliable source, as all experienced editors know. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:32, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Still, how significant is coverage in a national paper in Liechtenstein? Isn't that less significant than that of a mid-sized city? Or are all mid-size and larger cities' newspapers "regional" since they at least cover the metropolitan (and wider) area? What is a major business to Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, etc. is not necessarily a notable business. —DIYeditor (talk) 01:43, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Ok, how about trying to define "local" instead of figuring out what's regional vs. national. Defining "bad" newspaper might be easier than defining the "good" newspaper. Renata (talk) 01:53, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

I think this would make more sense. Say something along the lines of "A local newspaper is one in which its circulation is confined to an area with a small population relative to the rest of the country. It generally only reports on matters of local significance, and avoids reporting on broader national and international issues." (talk) 02:02, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
How narrow are we getting here, though? I don't think anyone would disagree that the Leader Community Newspapers were local, but if we start getting to what I would define as regional papers like The Newcastle Herald I'd strongly protest them being classified as local. The Drover's Wife (talk) 02:22, 28 January 2018 (UTC) "relative to the rest of the country": I'm not sure that a tiny nation is more notable than a larger community elsewhere. There is something slightly more notable about it I guess, but I am uncomfortable saying a newspaper with a circulation of 10,000 is more notable than one of 50,000 just because the former happens to be in a tiny state. Are small businesses in Andorra, Liechtenstein or Monaco more notable than larger businesses elsewhere? —DIYeditor (talk) 02:28, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
—DIYeditor, as others have said, circulation-size isn't really an indicator of notability. However, I think that the geographical confines of a newspaper's circulation relative to other papers in the market can be used as a fairly good indicator of whether the paper is a local newspaper or not. The issue with local newspapers is that they tend to report on things that wouldn't ordinarily be notable. (talk) 02:44, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I meant if the only difference is being in a smaller country (or state of the US). Type of paper, style of content, topics covered, etc. being the same. —DIYeditor (talk) 02:51, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Again, this discussion is (or ought to be) about the distinction between "local" and "regional" newspapers. It is not about whether a newspaper is notable or reliable, although those are important considerations. We use completely different methods to evaluate such things. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:57, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I think I am addressing this - why is a region of Liechtenstein more notable than a small city with a higher population elsewhere? Doesn't this undermine the premise of local vs. regional itself and show the difficulty in defining the distinction in a meaningful and universally applicable manner. (revised) —DIYeditor (talk) 04:12, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
How can a 62 square mile country with 37,000 residents even have regions, DIYeditor? Do we have a problem with people referencing low quality newspapers from Liechtenstein? If not, why discuss it? "More notable" is a distinction without meaning and not relevant to this discussion. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:07, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
@Cullen328: Exactly, the country doesn't even have anything we could call regions or compare to regions of a US state, but a source, correct me if I'm wrong, that is of "national" audience in Liechtenstein is considered to contribute to notability, whereas a newspaper serving a larger (in area and population) US county might be found to be "local" and not to contribute to notability? It is an extreme example but I am trying to illustrate that "local", "regional" and "national" are highly relative terms and not good standards to be using. Defining them objectively while including all desirable sources and excluding all undesirable sources is not easy. I don't think I'm hijacking the thread to bring up that I see a fundamental problem here. I think I am directly addressing issues with AUD. Sorry if I'm missing something but I don't see how AUD can be fixed without first establishing what the problems are. I don't think this can be analyzed only in a US context. —DIYeditor (talk) 00:15, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Local vs regional/etc. comes up a lot, and I think its a bit naive the way it is being presented here. I think we need to focus on who is the target audience? A local paper -- or a local story in a regional paper - is going to cover a local topic of interest to those in that locality, like the results of a school board meeting. It doesn't make it an unreliable source, but it is not sufficient for notability. When we go to something like a small country's paper -written primarily for residents of that country - compared to, say, the NY Times, where the latter includes local coverage but the non-local is written for an international audience, I'd argue that the former is "local" though that's not a black and white answer, since it all depends on context. It's going to be difficult to make a bright line decision here. --Masem (t) 04:25, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the target audience of any given article is more determinative of whether the news is local or not than the geographical circulation of the paper. However, I think an improved non-prescriptive guideline on what is a local newspaper/publication is important as it will discourage the use of clearly local news in establishing notability. To improve on my previous suggested wording:
Local media is that which generally only reports on matters of local significance. It covers matters typically of little interest to anyone outside the geographical target audience of the publication, and avoids reporting on broader national and international issues. The audience of local media is largely confined to an area with a small population relative to the rest of the country.
This definition is format independent, avoiding issues relating to circulation vs online readership, and focuses on the audience aspect as Masem suggested. (talk) 14:36, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I think another factor is whether the paper has won significant journalism awards like Pulitzer Prizes, etc. It's hard to distinguish between local and regional now that most media is digital.Seraphim System (talk) 06:59, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • You have forgotten at least the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the American Canyon Eagle, the St. Helena Star, and The Weekly Calistogan, and that's not even counting the tourist publications, most of which probably aren't newspapers. (Also: I hope you and yours survived last year's fires all right.)
    I think that is on the right track overall: a local paper publishes articles about things that matter to only locals. These stories are sometimes as trivial as a change in the hours at WhatamIdoing's Gas Station, or the fact that Mrs Smith's grandchildren are visiting again, but even when they talk about serious matters of taxation and governments, it's all about the local area. They tend not to do actual reporting (read: not opinion pieces) on national and international matters. There may be the occasional exception – I know of one small-town newspaper publisher who covered his favorite major-league baseball team, once a year for decades – but the overall trend should be fairly obvious if you look at what's in the rest of the paper. IMO the rest is less important. You might be able to evaluate quite a lot of newspapers using a rule of thumb that says a daily broadsheet with paid subscribers is probably a better indication of attention from "the world at large" than a weekly free tabloid that's mailed to all homes within a certain geographic area, but it's the contents that matter. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:17, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • WhatamIdoing, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is published in nearly 50 miles from where I live, and both Oakland and San Francisco are closer. So, it is not local to me. The American Canyon Eagle, the St. Helena Star and the Weekly Calistogan are weekly local branch operations of the daily Napa Valley Register, and really cannot be considered as independent newspapers. Yes, the fires never came closer than five miles to our house, but many of our friends and associates lost their homes or businesses. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 08:48, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I think the question is if the story is regional vs. a local audience. A story that is published in the statewide or regionwide section of a regional paper should count towards notability, the stories in the local sections? Probably not. I'm not sure the best way to phrase this to take into account papers like WaPo and NYT where the local sections are a mixed bag. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:19, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose circulation being used as a test as it is too problematic for example favouring low quality sources over high quality sources. Overall I think the original wording should remain as there is no consensus for the change. Atlantic306 (talk) 12:45, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
    I would think that a high quality source would have a correspondingly high circulation (one way to know that a source has a good reputation in the relevant field is that lots of people subscribe to it). Blueboar (talk) 16:13, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
    It's a nice theory, but it's not true in practice. The family-run Storm Lake Times just won a Pulitzer Prize. Its circulation is 1/70th the size of New York Post. The Post is not 70 times more reputable, or necessarily even an equally reputable newspaper these days. High circulation can mean high entertainment value rather than good journalism. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:16, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I think the current draft Audience section should stay substantially as-is. It's enough for this page to say that "local media, or media of limited interest and circulation, is not an indication of notability". That's what's relevant to this guideline. This page should not wander off-topic trying to issue deep advice on analyzing RS. Alsee (talk) 22:01, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Bold re-write of sourcing requirements[edit]

Primary criteria[edit]

A company, corporation, organization, group, product, or service is notable if it has been the subject of significant coverage in multiple reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject.

This criteria, generally, follows the general notability guideline with a stronger emphasis on quality of the sources to prevent gaming of the rules by marketing and public relations professionals. The guideline, among other things, is meant to address some of the common issues with abusing Wikipedia for advertising and promotion. As such, the guideline establishes generally higher requirements for sources that are used to establish notability than for sources that are allowed as acceptable references within an article.

How to apply the criteria[edit]

The primary criteria has five components that must be evaluated separately and independently to determine if it is met:

  1. significant coverage in
  2. independent,
  3. multiple,
  4. reliable,
  5. secondary sources.

Note that an individual source must meet all four criteria to be counted towards notability. I.e. each source needs to be significant, independent, reliable, and secondary. Then, there must be a multiple of such qualifying sources. If the suitability of a source is in doubt, it is better to exercise caution and to exclude the source for the purposes of establishing notability.

For example, a draft article on Acme Inc. cites four sources: a single-sentence mention in an article by The New York Times when pointing out a missing feature in a rival's product when compared to the product by Acme, an extensive company profile in Forbes blog by a non-staff contributor, a blog post from a tech enthusiast who has provided a review of the product, and a court filing by a competitor alleging patent infringement. Analysis:

  • The New York Times is reliable, independent, and secondary – but not significant (a single-sentence mention in an article about another company).
  • The profile in Forbes blog is significant and secondary – but not independent or reliable (most of such posts are company-sponsored or based on company's marketing materials).
  • The blog post is significant and secondary – but not independent (blog posts are often sponsored; thus without evidence otherwise, editors should exercise caution and exclude the source) and not reliable (self-published sources are generally not reliable).
  • The court filing is significant, independent, and reliable – but not secondary (court filings are primary sources).

Therefore, the article does not have a single source that could be used to establish the notability of the company, let alone multiple sources. The analysis can be summarized in the following table:

Source Significant? Independent? Reliable? Secondary? Pass/Fail Notes
New York Times Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 0 A single-sentence mention in an article about another company
Profile in Forbes Green tickY Red XN Red XN Green tickY 0 Most of such posts are company-sponsored or based on company's marketing materials
Tech blog post Green tickY Red XN Red XN Green tickY 0 Blog posts are often sponsored and self-published sources are generally not reliable
Court filing Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN 0 Court filings are primary sources
Total qualifying sources 0 There must be multiple qualifying sources to meet the notability requirements

Significant coverage[edit]

The depth of coverage of the subject by the source must be considered. Trivial or incidental coverage of a subject is not sufficient to establish notability. Deep or significant coverage provides an overview, description, commentary, survey, study, discussion, analysis, or evaluation of the product, company, or organization. Such coverage provides an organization with a level of attention that extends well beyond brief mentions and routine announcements, and makes it possible to write more than a very brief, incomplete stub about the organization.

Quantity does not determine significance. It is the quality of the content that governs. A collection of multiple trivial sources do not become significant. Views, hits, likes, shares, etc. have no bearing on establishing whether the coverage is significant. Similarly, arbitrary statistics and numbers (such as number of employees, amount of revenue or raised capital, age of the company, etc.) do not make the coverage significant. For the coverage to be significant, the sources must describe and discuss in some depth the treatment of the employees or major changes in leadership instead of just listing the fact that the corporation employs 500 people or mentioning that John Smith was appointed as the new CEO. Further, the significance is not determined by the reputation of the source. For example, a 400-word article in The Village Voice is a lot more significant than a single-sentence mention in The New York Times. However, the reputation of the source does help to determine whether the source is reliable and independent.

Further, sources are not transferable or attributable between related parties. Therefore, for example, an article on a product recall or a biography of a CEO is a significant coverage for the Wikipedia article on the product or the CEO, but not a significant coverage on the company (unless the article or biography devotes significant attention to the company itself).

Examples of trivial coverage[edit]

Examples of trivial coverage that do not count toward meeting the significant coverage requirement:

  • simple listings or compilations, such as:
    • of telephone numbers, addresses, directions, event times, shopping hours,
    • of office locations, branches, franchises, or subsidiaries,
    • of employees, officers, directors, owners, or shareholders (see above for #No inherited notability),
    • of product or service offerings,
    • of product instruction manuals, specifications, or certifications,
    • of patents, copyrights, clinical trials, or lawsuits,
    • of event schedules or results (such as theater performance schedule, score table of a sporting event, listing of award recipients),
    • of statistical data,
  • standard notices, brief announcements, and routine coverage, such as:
    • of changes in share or bond prices,
    • of quarterly or annual financial results and earning forecasts,
    • of the opening or closing of local branches, franchises, or shops,
    • of a product or a product line launch, sale, change, or discontinuance,
    • of the participation in industry events, such as trade fairs or panel discussions,
    • of the shareholders' meetings or other corporate events,
    • of the hiring, promotion, or departure of personnel,
    • of the expansions, acquisitions, mergers, sale, or closure of the business,
    • of a capital transaction, such as raised capital,
  • brief or passing mentions, such as:
    • of non-notable awards received by the organization, its people, or products,
    • of sponsorship of events, non-profit organizations, or volunteer work,
    • in quotations from an organization's personnel as story sources,
    • as an example of a type of company or product being discussed (e.g. "In response to the protests, various companies, such as Acme Inc, have pledged to address working conditions in their factories")
  • inclusion in lists of similar organizations, particularly in "best of", "top 100", "fastest growing" or similar lists,[1]
  • inclusion in collections that have indiscriminate inclusion criteria (i.e. attempt to include every existing item instead of selecting the best, most notable examples), such as databases, archives, directories, dictionaries, bibliographies, certain almanacs,
  • coverage of purely local events, incidents, controversies (see also #Audience below),
  • presentations, speeches, lectures, etc. given by organization's personnel,
  • other listings and mentions not accompanied by commentary, survey, study, discussion, analysis, or evaluation of the product, company, or organization.

The examples above are not meant to be exhaustive.

See #Product reviews for a full discussion on what reviews of restaurants, events, and products qualify as significant coverage.

Examples of substantial coverage[edit]

Examples of substantial coverage that would generally be sufficient to meet the requirement:

  • A news article discussing a prolonged controversy regarding a corporate merger,
  • A scholarly article, a book passage, or ongoing media coverage focusing on a product or organization,
  • A documentary film exploring environmental impact of the corporation's facilities or products,
  • An encyclopedia entry giving an overview of the history of an organization,
  • A report by a consumer watchdog organizations on the safety of a specific product,
  • An extensive how-to guide written by people wholly independent of the company or product (e.g. For Dummies).

The source's audience must also be considered. Evidence of significant coverage by international or national, or at least regional, media is a strong indication of notability. On the other hand, attention solely from local media, or media of limited interest and circulation, is not an indication of notability; at least one regional, statewide, provincial, national, or international source is necessary.

Illegal conduct[edit]

It is possible that an organization that is not itself generally notable will have a number of significant sources discussing its (alleged) illegal conduct. Sources which primarily discuss purely such conduct shall not be used to establish an organization's notability per this guideline. However, the organization may still be notable, in whole or in part due to such sources, under different guidelines, e.g., WP:CRIME.

Independent sources[edit]

A primary test of notability is whether unrelated people with no vested interest in the subject have actually considered the company, corporation, product or service notable enough that they have written and published non-trivial, non-routine works that focus upon it. Self-promotion and product placement are not routes to qualifying for an encyclopedia article. There are two types of independence to consider when evaluating sources:

  • Independence of the author (or functional independence): the author must be unrelated to the company, organization, or product. Related persons include organization's personnel, owners, investors, (sub)contractors, vendors, distributors, suppliers, other business partners and associates, customers, competitors, sponsors and sponsorees (including astroturfing), and other parties that have something, financially or otherwise, to gain or lose.
  • Independence of the content (or intellectual independence): the content must not be produced by interested parties. Too often a related party produces a narrative that is then copied, regurgitated, and published in whole or in part by independent parties (as exemplified by churnalism). Independent content, in order to count towards establishing notability, must include original and independent opinion, analysis, investigation, and fact checking that are clearly attributable to a source unaffiliated to the subject.

Trade publications must be used with great care. While feature stories[2] from leading trade magazines may be used where independence is clear, there is a presumption against the use of coverage in trade magazines to establish notability as businesses frequently make use of these publications to increase their visibility.[3]

If source's independence is of any doubt, it is better to exercise caution and exclude it from determining quality sources for the purposes of establishing notability. If contested, consensus on the use of sources can be sought at the Reliable sources/Noticeboard.

Once notability is established, primary sources and self-published sources may be used with appropriate care to verify some of the article's content. See Wikipedia:Autobiography for the verifiability and neutrality problems that affect material where the subject of the article itself is the source of the material.

Examples of dependent coverage[edit]

Examples of dependent coverage that is not sufficient to establish notability:

  • press releases, press kits, or similar public relations materials
  • any material which is substantially based on such press releases even if published by independent sources (churnalism),
  • advertising and marketing materials by, about, or on behalf of the organization,
    • including pieces like "case studies" or "success stories" by Chambers of Commerce, business incubators, consulting firms, etc.
  • any paid or sponsored articles, posts, and other publications,
  • self-published materials, including vanity press,
  • patents, whether pending or granted,[4]
  • any material written or published, including websites, by the organization, its members, or sources closely associated with it, directly or indirectly,
  • other works in which the company, corporation, organization, or group talks about itself—whether published by itself, or re-printed by other people (for example, self-submitted biographies to Who's Who).

Multiple sources[edit]

A single significant independent source is almost never sufficient for demonstrating the notability of an organization.

"Source" on Wikipedia can refer to the work itself, the author of the work, and/or the publisher of the work. For notability purposes, sources must be unrelated to each other to be "multiple". A story from a single news organization (such as AP) reprinted in multiple newspapers (say, in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Orlando Sentinel) is still one source (one newspaper article). If multiple journalists at multiple newspapers separately and independently write about the same subject, then each of these unrelated articles should be considered separate sources, even if they are writing about the same event or "story". A series of articles by the same journalist is still treated as one source (one person). The appearance of different articles in the same newspaper is still one source (one publisher). Similarly, a series of books by the same author is one source.

The existence of multiple significant independent sources needs to be demonstrated. Hypothetical sources (e.g. "the company is big/old/important so there must be more sources, I just don't have/can't find them") do not count towards the notability requirement.

The word "multiple" is not a set number and depends on the type of organization or product. Editors should recognize certain biases, such as recentism (greater availability of recent sources) when assessing historical companies or systemic bias (greater availability of English and Western sources) when discussing organizations in the developing world. Therefore, for example, a Bangladeshi women's rights organization from the 1960s might establish notability with just one or two quality sources, while the same is not true for a tech start-up in a major U.S. metropolitan area.

Reliable sources[edit]

Reliable sources, generally, are third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. The best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. The greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. Questionable sources are those that have a poor reputation for checking the facts, lack meaningful editorial oversight, or have an apparent conflict of interest. Self-published sources are generally not accepted as reliable sources. For a full discussion on what is and what is not a reliable source, see Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources.

Secondary sources[edit]

A secondary source provides an author's own thinking based on primary sources, generally at least one step removed from an event. It contains an author's analysis, evaluation, interpretation, or synthesis of the facts, evidence, concepts, and ideas taken from primary sources. Secondary sources are not necessarily significant, reliable or independent sources.

A primary source is an original material that is close to an event, and is often an account written by people who are directly involved. Primary sources cannot be used to establish notability. In business setting, frequent primary sources include:

  • corporate annual or financial reports, proxy statements,
  • memoirs or interviews by executives,
  • public announcements of corporate actions (press releases),
  • court filings, patent applications,
  • government audit or inspection reports,
  • customer testimonials or complaints,
  • product instruction manuals or specifications.

Product reviews[edit]

Product, event, and restaurant reviews (i.e. where author describes personal opinions and experiences) must be handled with great care and diligence. Some types of reviews have a longer history and established traditions (e.g. restaurants, wine, books, movies), while other (e.g. new tech gadgets, travel blogs) are newer and more prone to manipulation by marketing and public relations personnel. Like any other source, reviews must meet the primary criteria to be counted towards the notability requirement:

  1. Be significant: brief and routine reviews (including Zagat) do not qualify. Significant reviews are where the author has personally experienced or tested the product and describes their experiences in some depth, provides broader context, and draws comparisons with other products. Reviews that narrowly focus on a particular product or function without broader context (e.g. review of a particular meal without description of the restaurant as a whole) do not count as significant sources. Reviews that are too generic or vague to make the determination whether the author had personal experience with the reviewed product are not to be counted as significant sources. Further, the reviews must be published outside of purely local or narrow (highly specialized) interest publications (see also #Audience). For example, a review of a local harvest festival in a local newspaper or a book review in a newsletter by a city's library would not qualify as significant coverage.
  2. Be independent: many reviews are not independent and are, in fact, a type of advertisement and product placement. Sponsored reviews include reviews where the reviewed product is provided free of charge to the author. Often, sponsored nature of a review is not disclosed and not immediately apparent. In particular, a strong indication of a sponsored or other relationship is a review that is excessively positive or negative. Therefore, editors should use reviews only from sources with well established reputation for independence and objectivity. Further, reviews that simply regurgitate someone else's opinion are also not independent sources unless enough original work was put in to produce a meta review (e.g. review aggregators). If the suitability of a source is in doubt, it is better to exercise caution and to exclude the source for the purposes of establishing notability. Once notability is established, not independent reviews may be used to verify some non-controversial facts in the article (e.g. number of employees, number of tables in a restaurant, product models).
  3. Be reliable: the reviews must be published in reliable sources that provide editorial oversight and strive to maintain objectivity. Self-published reviews (e.g. most blogs) do not qualify.


  1. ^ If the list itself is notable, such as the Fortune 500 and the Michelin Guide, the inclusion counts like any other reliable source, but it does not exempt the article from the normal value of providing evidence that independent sources discuss the subject.
  2. ^ A feature story is usually a longer article where the writer has researched and interviewed to tell a factual story about a person, place, event, idea, or issue. Features are not opinion-driven are more in-depth than traditional news stories.
  3. ^ "Trade magazines: Still a marketer's best friend?". Inprela Communications. 30 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Patents are written and published solely at the direction of the inventor or organization that the inventor assigned the patent to. Their contents are not verified to be accurate by the patent offices or any other independent agency. See Wikipedia:Reliable source examples#Are patents reliable sources?.

Discussion of new proposal[edit]

So I WP:BOLDly re-wrote the guideline. It has 3 parts directly from the general notability (significant, reliable, independent) and 2 other parts (multiple and secondary) with specific examples on how they apply in corporate setting. Tried to be as thorough as possible in listing bad examples in "significant" section. I listed some "good examples" as well because I think the proposal by User:Jytdog was way too vague on those. Feel free to tear it apart ;) Due to real-life I will not be able to spend much time on this going forward :( Renata (talk) 04:04, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

That is really impressive! Thanks for taking the time. I like it very much - clear and crisp. The only thing missing from my perspective is the "placed pieces" that appear in publications like Forbes, HuffPo, Entrepreneur, etc by "contribitors". Otherwise this is dead on. Thanks for taking the time and the initiative (i was starting to feel like nag)Jytdog (talk) 04:29, 26 January 2018 (UTC) (strike, it was there. Jytdog (talk) 13:08, 26 January 2018 (UTC))
I think much of this is a big improvement - you've done really well. I particularly like the new introduction to "significant coverage", which I think really draws out some of the issues we've been struggling to grapple with in a helpful way. What I do have a problem with, though, is the examples of what would consist of significant coverage - requiring a scholarly article, book chapter, documentary film or encyclopedia article is an astronomically high bar for notability without remotely-close precedent anywhere on the project, and is unsupportable. I think there might be an easy fix to this though: the introduction gets at the meaning of "significant coverage" so well (in getting away from types of coverage and clearly focusing on actual depth) that I'm not sure it's needed and could perhaps simply be removed. The Drover's Wife (talk) 05:06, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
I would suggest moving the passage about "contributors" from "independence" to "reliability":
"Pieces by non-staff "contributors" in publications like Forbes, Huffington Post,,, TechCrunch, Medium, and other venues allowing a wide range of contributors to publish without significant editorial control are not considered reliable unless the author has an independent reputation for fact-checking and accuracy and is recognized as an authority on the subject. "
Rentier (talk) 06:18, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
A much improved proposal which aligns with the GNG rather than trying to abrogate it. As The Drover's Wife points out though, the scholarly or book chapter example of significant coverage detailing artistic, cultural, economic, political, scientific, or technical impact may be of concern as these impacts could be shown without such. I know it's just an example, but some people take guidelines too literally. I'd suggest including something along the lines of "A scholarly article, a book chapter, or multiple instances of ongoing mainstream media coverage detailing the artistic, cultural, economic, political, scientific, or technical impact of a product or organization" instead. (talk) 06:28, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Whew, thanks for nice words. Was afraid to be torn to shreds :) Made some changes this morning:

  • Jytdog: HuffPo, etc is there in "independence" section. Made it a list item rather than a separate paragraph.
  • The Drover's Wife: the examples are meant to be "illustrative" not "prescriptive". Would it help adding that? I do think we need some good examples as a new user reading thru the "bad" example list will eventually ask "so what does qualify?" Also, re-worded to relax the example a bit.
  • Rentier: I oppose that, the issue with HuffPo etc. are that more likely than not those are paid-for articles which makes them dependent. Also, oppose to giving any wiggle room to argue that such pieces are ok. Some might be, but those are far in between heaps of spam and can be dealt with on case-by-case basis via consensus.
  • Ok, changed just a bit more lax (also per Dover's Wife above).
  • Piotrus: I know you were interested in cleaning up corp spam. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Renata (talk) 13:25, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

I might suggest that with these (which are all good for the most part), to identify at the top before them that while this follows the GNG, NCORPS has a stronger emphasis on the sourcing element due to the ease and potential of COI/promotion inclusion within WP. Explain that we've had problems with companies trying to boost their SEO by making sure they have an article on WP that appear to pass the GNG but are really aren't good sources due to their dependence, lack of depth, and the like. Make it clear that the point here is to prevent WP's notability from being gamed for promotion. --Masem (t) 17:12, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Masem: added a brief explanation without going into details. Renata (talk) 01:51, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

I think the addition helps. But I'm concerned about the "impact" requirements potentially decimating our coverage of companies on the big national stock market indexes. These are companies that get significant mainstream media coverage, and developments are reported on in newspaper business sections literally all the time. They're a subject of obvious interest - but many of them could not necessarily have been said to have had a "significant impact" beyond making lots of money for shareholders. The specific case I've been thinking about is one very big company in my country that would pass these requirements now (because it's been involved in a massive scandal that was multiple days of front-page news) - but still should have been considered notable before (after all, that significance was why it was in a position that wrongdoing there was a national scandal in the first place). There's a gap here that I can't really think of the language to close. The Drover's Wife (talk) 22:07, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

The Drover's Wife, out of curiosity, which company is that? (talk) 00:02, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
I just realised this actually got addressed in the last round of changes, which I hadn't closely enough read, so it's a moot point. Fail. The Drover's Wife (talk) 01:29, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Excellent point - I think that means one tiny more section - routine coverage, the type of reports that occur with some pre-set frequency, should avoided. Daily stock market reports that are otherwise not tied to any key events, SEC filings, standard shareholder reports; etc, would all be routine. This doesn't mean that a company that is known for its stock performance can't be covered, but that should come from non-routine coverage discussing the broader trend of the company's stock in a secondary manner, rather than WP editors' synthesis of daily stock reports. --Masem (t) 01:16, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
This is already in the current version and has not been changed here. The Drover's Wife (talk) 01:29, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Oops, yes, this is there. --Masem (t) 01:41, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

Ok, I have done more re-writing. Revamped the presentation of "bad" examples in "significant" section and simplified "good" examples. Let me know if you think that's better or worse. Also, added an example on how to evaluate sources (to make it extra clear that every source must be a quality source to count towards notability) - should that have its own section with a shortcut? Renata (talk) 01:51, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

This is terrific. The Drover's Wife (talk) 03:03, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
It's very good, and the simplification of it is only a good thing. I think the wording of the paragraph about trade magazines could be improved. I'd suggest:

Trade magazines must be used with great care. There is a presumption against the use of coverage in trade magazines to establish notability as businesses frequently make use of these publications to increase their visibility.[1] Feature stories from leading trade magazines may be used to establish notability, however, consensus on the use of such a source should be sought at the Reliable sources/Noticeboard if its independence is of any doubt. (talk) 13:48, 27 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Trade magazines: Still a marketer's best friend?". Inprela Communications. 30 May 2017. thanks, added. Renata (talk) 02:23, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
@Renata3: - would you object to changing "trade magazine" to "trade publications" here? Trade magazine leaves a lot more wiggle room for crappy online publications. The Drover's Wife (talk) 06:27, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
@The Drover's Wife:: I am not sure how "publication" (which is a much vaguer/broader term) is any better/different from "magazine"? At least in my mind, the word "magazine" conjures an image of good old-fashioned dead-tree magazine. Plus our own article is at "trade magazine" and "trade publication" is a redirect. (also, sorry for late reply, real life has been tough this week). Renata (talk) 18:04, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
@Renata3: - That's exactly why I suggested changing it - because many of the offending publications are questionable websites which people mightn't think of if we say "magazine". The Drover's Wife (talk) 18:10, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
@The Drover's Wife: Ah, now I gotcha. Changed. Renata (talk) 18:34, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not satisfied with calling out Trade publications as an unusable source. It's an incredibly diverse field, and the best are excellent sources for notability (and the worst aren't independent, so they're never evidence of notability anyway). I disagree with the idea that there should be a presumption against using them. I would like to scrap that entirely, or perhaps re-purpose it as an example of some difficulties that editors may encounter when trying to evaluate sources.
At a minimum, if we're going to say that trade rags are bad and set up a whole bureaucratic procedure that all editors need to follow before they can cite anything except the main story in Adweek as evidence that a particular advertising campaign got some attention from the world at large, or Variety for information about entertainment companies, could we please have a citation to a source that's actually reliable for this implied claim that the trade rags are somehow more susceptible to promotional pitches from companies than all the other forms of media? The website for a public relations company, on a page whose apparent purpose is to explain why you need to hire them, is really not reliable for anything except the fact that the PR firm wants your money – and it doesn't actually say that trade rags behave any differently than any other media. WhatamIdoing (talk) 09:01, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing:: there was plenty of discussion above where people generally agreed that trade publications, as a category, is a problematic source, but there must be exceptions made for good trade magazines. So if you wanted to change that, you would have to restart discussions to get to a new consensus. As far as sources go, I don't even think we need sources here. But would this be better? "There is no better place to go for publicity than the trade media". Renata (talk) 18:04, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Are you talking about the discussion on 22 January 2018 under #Improvements?? I see people opposing things like "millions of crappy trade and industry journals/websites/magazines" (me, too – doesn't everyone?), but I don't see anybody saying that you can't use any trade publications at all unless you make a formal trip to RSN first, or that only feature articles should ever be "used". I seriously doubt that the community at large is going to approve a WP:NOTBURO violation in this "if you want to cite a highly reputable trade publication, then you have to get written permission in advance by going to RSN and creating a bunch of pointless extra work for those already busy volunteers" thing.
I think it'd be useful to spend a while thinking about why trade rags are a pain point. Is it really any source that might have started with a press release? (In that case, you will have to reject most business-related articles in regular newspapers, too.) Do you worry about biased articles? (In that case, you need to check on the independence of those sources.) Do you worry about having uninformative permastubs? (If so, you need to emphasize significant coverage.) Do you worry about articles filled with unencyclopedic garbage about how the company will drill down on corporate social responsibility by synergizing disruptive performance as a thought leader? Then let's talk about encyclopedic tone. You don't actually need to ban whole classes of sources or implement a bureaucratic procedure to get to a reasonable result. We don't ban all newspapers just because some of them are lousy, and we shouldn't ban all industry-specific publications just because some of them are lousy.
The rule as written proposed that several thousand citations to "the venerable trade publication" AdWeek, plus thousands more to Computerworld, PC Magazine, MacWorld, and other reputable "trade publications" need to be taken to RSN to ask for permission to "use" their feature stories, and that nothing else in them is usable at all. This is not a good rule. It does not reflect the views of the community, which has cited these sources many thousands of times. We should not have a rule that contradicts the current practice of established, experienced editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:01, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing: you are completely missing the latter part of the sentence that RSN comes into play only "if its independence is of any doubt". If no one is doubting AdWeek, there is no need to do anything. Also, this is purely for what sources count for establishing notability. Once we get through the first hurdle of "should Wikipedia have an article on this?", then other guidelines take over to determine what sources can or cannot be cited in articles. (Also PC Magazine etc are not trade publications; these are examples of magazines that are oriented towards general public interested in computers; a trade magazine in IT would be CIO magazine - i.e. oriented towards people specifically working in the specific business area). Renata (talk) 18:10, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
That's one of the problems: The editors of MacWorld and PC World think that they are publishing trade magazines, and that their key audience is budget holders within larger businesses rather than the general public. This source names both PC World and Popular Mechanics as trade magazines. This source lists Architectural Record, PC World, Restaurant Business, American Libraries, Psychology Today, and School Band and Orchestra as trade publications. The New York Times identified PC World as a trade magazine. So does this scholarly source. I understand that you don't perceive that source as being what you mean by a "trade magazine", but it actually is one, and the gap between what you mean to cover and what is actually going to be affected is a problem.
I also know that you don't mean to create a big bureaucratic process, with wikilawyers demanding that you go to RSN every time that you cite a trade publication that you personally believe to be independent, but which they don't want to have cited (for any reason, explicitly including malice, COI, POV pushing, trolling, and mindless rule-following), but it will happen. That's why it's not functional to have a rule like this. It's fine advice to the good-faith solo editor, but it's not good to have a rule that says it needs to be done.
Similarly, if you mean to say "non-independent sources don't count for notability" (because they don't!), you should say that, and not say "you can't use those". Editors quote phrases from guidelines out of context, especially if they think that leaving out parts of a paragraph will give them the upper hand during a content dispute. You have to write this guideline to defend the guideline against that kind of abuse. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:07, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
The guideline has already said, for a long time, that non-independent sources are not OK and this gets regularly blown past in AfD discussions. The goal is to clarify this guideline and strengthen it. If you want to help clarify this and raise standards, then great. Trade rags are a major source of fake-independent ref cruft that we deal with at AfD. Jytdog (talk) 01:16, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I only included the reference to seeking consensus at RSN in the wording of the trade magazine clause because the previous proposed draft included it as a rule. I changed it to be less prescriptive, however I wouldn't be opposed to excluding reference to it completely. For instance, like this:

Trade magazines must be used with great care. While feature stories from leading trade magazines may be used where independence is clear, there is a presumption against the use of coverage in trade magazines to establish notability as businesses frequently make use of these publications to increase their visibility.[1] (talk) 01:36, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I made the change to adopt your wording. WhatamIdoing: RSN is removed as specific to trade magazines. Renata (talk) 20:43, 15 February 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Trade magazines: Still a marketer's best friend?". Inprela Communications. 30 May 2017. 

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Why shouldn't non-feature stories be used?

Actually, let's start somewhere else: What exactly do you think a "feature story" is? Have a look at Feature story. I don't think that's what you meant.

Did you mean a "cover story"? I think AdWeek usually runs to about 100 pages per week in their print edition. I'd guess that the cover story represents maybe three percent of that magazine. Why should so little of a reputable magazine count as evidence of notability?

Consider this story about an ad campaign by music licensing business. Editors will be easily able to determine that it was written by a senior editor at a reputable magazine, and that it contains about 800 words (=longer than most articles in your local newspaper). Editors will also be able to determine that it is independent and a secondary source that reports not only what the company said, but also both praise, criticism, and analysis from multiple unrelated sources. But is it "a feature story"? Is it the kind of story that you'd want to use, to indicate that someone outside the company was interested in that company (in this case, specifically interested in the company's unusual marketing strategy) enough to give it some attention? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:02, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing: Neither. These stories are long reads, generally 1-2 spreads. The writer has researched and interviewed to tell a factual story about a person, place, event, idea, or issue. The example you gave is a feature story. Renata (talk) 23:09, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Renata, you've quoted a page given for a classroom assignment, for a student magazine at a Texas high school. At best, I think that description is incomplete. A school teacher may have to work with whatever she can get in terms of style, but professional editors expect a certain writing style for what they call a feature story, and a different style for investigative journalism, and another for straight reporting. The subject matter also differ (although they can overlap): feature stories are the home of the human interest story; news stories involve who said what in the legislature this morning.
Here's what a handful of sources have to say about what a feature story is:
A feature story is soft news. It is expected to provide entertainment as well as (usually) facts. I don't think that's what Wikipedia editors want as the basis for proving that a subject deserves an article here.
I think that a feature-length hard news story is a great indicator of notability, and I believe that all experienced Wikipedia editors – including you – agree with me. However, the current proposal, as written, says that hard news in a reputable trade publication doesn't count towards notability.
In terms of finding a path forward, can you tell me what you're trying to exclude? Go look at AdWeek and see what they've published recently. Find an article that is provides significant coverage of (some aspect of) a company, product, or organization, but which you think shouldn't count at all towards notability – something that, despite appearing in a reputable magazine with a huge circulation, should not be considered evidence of "attention from the world at large". Maybe if you can find an example of what you don't want from a reputable trade publication, then we can find a way to define what you do want from them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:36, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Intellectual Independence[edit]

I believe we need to explicitly clarify the difference between sources that may be cited to support elements/facts/descriptions/etc within an article and the higher standard required of sources that may be used to establish notability. A common scenario that occurs in just about every AfD is an editor referencing an article that easily meets the criteria as a reliable source, etc, but fails as an "independent" source. There is no mention of "independence of the content" or "intellectually independent" under current guidelines or essays. Under the heading of "Independent sources" proposed above, it says the content must not be produced by interested parties, but I anticipate the argument will be that the content is in fact produced by a reliable newpaper. As an example (and this isn't intended to push others towards the AfD in question but it is a great example) in a current/recent AfD, the following is a source provided to support notability from the English Telegraph newspaper. In my opinion, the newspaper articles is clearly not intellectually independent and starts many sentences with phrases such as "The White Company said", "the company said", "In a further change set to be announced today", "The group said", etc. This is exactly the sort of article that should not be used to establish notability. The argument currently put forward though is a source is considered "independent" if it has no vested interest in a given Wikipedia topic and therefore is commonly expected to cover the topic from a disinterested perspective. Independent sources have editorial independence (advertisers do not dictate content) and no conflicts of interest (there is no potential for personal, financial, or political gain to be made from the existence of the publication). Accordingly, we have one essay that uses a wider definition of an Independent Source and does not distinguish between a source that may be used to establish notability and a source that may be used to support elements within an article. This is a problem. The current draft proposed above does not clearly exclude this type of sourcing for the purposes of establishing notability and in my opinion, it should. One possible way to clearly exclude these types of sources is to clarify that for a source to be considered "Independent of the content" or "intellectually independent" is *must* contain opinions/analysis that is/are clearly independent from the company and clearly attributable to a source unaffiliated to the company. HighKing++ 17:21, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

HighKing: I have made wording changes to the independence section. The particular source you are pointing out in ET IMHO fails to be "significant" as it is routine coverage of periodic financial results and independence as it does read like a press release. But it is a fine line. I think the particular company would have at least one quality sources per the re-written guideline (the NYT article), but that is essentially an interview with an executive. The difference between ET and NYT is that ET copy-pasted some paragraphs from a press release while NYT actually talked with the person and produced original content. When covering a company, very often there are no other sources than the company itself. Renata (talk) 20:47, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Renata3, thank you, the amendments address the point very well. I agree it is a fine line. You have also raised another point. Although the NYT article talked with the person and produced original content, it does not contain "original" or intellectually independent opinon or analysis. Do you think that "original content" as per the NYT article should could towards notability? HighKing++ 13:21, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
HighKing: Yes, I think "original content" is the bar. Truly independent content simply does not exist in most cases. In the past year or so, I have written articles on historical companies and organizations based on the wiki "golden standard" of reliable sources (i.e. academic peer-reviewed journal articles). But once I dug deeper, I realized that all of these articles were actually based on archives of those organizations and on memoirs of its participants. In one instance, I found something to this effect: "The archives of the organization were lost, so very little info is available. Here is bare-bone info that is known." Renata (talk) 17:20, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Wellyou touched on one of the giant holes in what constitutes a wiki-"reliable" source; there is no consideration for the objectivity of the source (with respect to the content). It's a shame to have to deal with that piecemeal in a SNG) but maybe it's a start. But "objective" may be better than "independent". North8000 (talk) 13:41, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes. From my experience, every AfD usually involves debates over whether a source counts towards notability (or not). It doesn't help that the standard required for establishing notability is not understood by most editors as being a higher standard that those that apply to sources to be used as citations for supporting facts within an article. So, we get debates in relation to "reliable sources" and "independent sources" as opposed to whether the content is independent (intellectually independent) for the purposes of establishing notability. I don't fully understand what you mean by "objective" though and I don't understand how that might be a better definition. HighKing++ 17:55, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
On "objectivity": Some editors dislike sources that express an opinion. If we required "objectivity", then we'd have a hard time building articles about any kind of art, as well as many kinds of food and experiential subjects. "The average price of a meal at this restaurant is $38" is an objective fact. "The arrangement of the food on the plate is pleasing to the eye" isn't.
The standard for notability isn't higher; it's just different. You can have weak sources that count towards notability and highly reliable sources that don't. This is because you have to evaluate a source out of context for notability, but you have to evaluate it in the context of a specific sentence for reliability. The most reliable and authoritative source for the contents of a tweet is a link to the Twitter page that shows the contents, even though that source is self-published, non-independent, and primary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:12, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing:I think that I'd get out of scope if I took this any further in this venue, but I didn't mean the content being objective. I meant that a measure of the strength of sourcing is objectivity (and expertise) with respect to the items which cited it. North8000 (talk) 13:48, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Journalistic objectivity is only applicable to journalism sources (e.g., not academic ones, and probably impossible to measure for books), and Objectivity (philosophy) is probably beyond the scope of this guideline.  ;-)
Editors regularly consider this, both as a signal of independence and in the mistaken belief that reliable sources are required to comply with NPOV, but I'm not sure that it's actually a separate factor. WP:NOTGOODSOURCE (a summary of the sourcing policies) does not mention it, and the content policies do not encourage it as a measure of reliability. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:21, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry to have to say this, because I know that you're trying to do the right thing, but the recent changes here are very bad. HighKing, consider that example of a company's sales. Exactly how are you going to get sales numbers that are (a) accurate and also (b) "clearly attributable to a source unaffiliated to the subject"? What exactly is "a source unaffiliated to the subject" that will have accurate information on some company's recent sales? If we disregard illegal actions, such as hacker group cracking into their financial system and reporting their sales numbers, don't you think that every single source is going to get those numbers from the company?
The point behind notability is to say whether the subject got "attention from the world at large". The mere fact that a large, general-interest newspaper chose to dedicate a couple of square inches to talking about sales numbers for a company actually is evidence of "attention from the world at large".
What we're trying to avoid when we talk about intellectual independence is the journalistic equivalent of Telephone game. We want to see three journalists from three different media outlets each get those sales numbers directly from the company. That's three sources. We do not want to see one journalist get those numbers directly from the company, and two others copy the first journalist the next day. That's one source, in the way that we count it.
The question of analysis is the question of primary vs secondary. Wikipedia:Secondary does not mean independent. To use this example, "Big Company reported $10 billion in sales", when published in a daily newspaper or magazine, is an independent primary source. (See Wikipedia:LINKSINACHAIN for why it's primary.) "Big Company reported $10 billion in sales, which makes them the most <something> company in Widgetville", when published in the same type of source, is an independent secondary source.
For the AFD in question, if your goal is to delete it, then you might spend a while considering whether there are any true secondary sources for the company (including sources not currently cited in the article). That is normally a much more productive line of attack than questioning whether one of the most highly regarded British daily newspapers, with half a million subscribers, is actually independent. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:17, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
I certainly don't agree that the recent changes are very bad. The point you make about getting "attention from the world at large" is a good point but I completely disagree that a couple of square inches of regurgitated sales numbers constitutes the kind of attention that helps to establish notability. That is simply run-of-the-mill business-as-usual activities and a newspaper is simply doing a cut-and-paste on the facts without providing any insight into the numbers or opinion or analysis. We have a guideline that already states that analyst reports and coverage count towards notability and this highlights the difference which is necessary. An analyst report might reprint numbers but then they provide insight and intelligence into those numbers and that is a key difference. Most importantly, I believe the description of "intellectually independent" is accurate as well as the requirement to provide original analysis and opinion. Your example "Big Company reported $10 billion in sales, which makes them the most <something> company in Widgetville" is also important and goes to the heart of this matter, but the problem here is, the sentence structure does not make it clear that the second part of the sentence might be "intellectually independent", especially if the rest of the article is similarly full of phrasing such as "According to the CEO", "The company reported", "it was announced", etc.
For the AfD in question, let me be very clear lest some editors are left wondering if my "goal" is to delete the article. It isn't. But the AfD in question highlights a recurring argument that I have encountered over the past 12 months at company AfD discussions and I have to admit that the policies and guidelines are no help, at all, in definitely providing editors with assistance. The relevant policies and guidelines are fractured with slightly different interpretations popping up. Nowhere does it explicitly state that the criteria for establishing notability is different that using a source to support a fact within an article. Maybe they should be different. So to use your example, citing a a newspaper containing sales figures which were essentially a cut-and-paste job from a company announcement is acceptable to support those figures within an article. What most editors don't properly grasp is why this same source is not acceptable for the purposes of establishing notability. The policies and guidelines should be clear on this point and it would reduce the amount of time spent at AfDs. HighKing++ 17:55, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
User:HighKing: added a sentence in the intro to explicitly say that source-for-notability has higher quality standard than source-for-reference. Renata (talk) 23:02, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
I think that anyone who understands WP:MEDRS will disagree with that. A handful of newspaper articles is good enough to show notability for a medical device or a pharmaceutical company, but they are not high enough quality to be used for the "source-for-reference" role in describing the efficacy of a medical product or drug. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:41, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
HighKing, if the source compares the sales data to another company's sales data, then it's not "regurgitated sales numbers". What you're describing here isn't intellectual independence. It's the difference between primary and secondary sources. I think you might want to read WP:USEPRIMARY and Wikipedia:Secondary does not mean independent. Actually, I like one of the earlier versions of WP:USEPRIMARY better in this context, because it addresses this problem a little more bluntly. The problem for most non-notable orgs isn't the intellectual independence of the sources we have; it's that the sources aren't true secondary sources (e.g., providing comparisons or analysis). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:51, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

RFC: Feedback on the re-write of the NCORP guideline[edit]

This RfC is to solicit feedback on the proposed re-write (above) of the notability guideline for corporations, organizations, products, etc. This is not a !voting for support/oppose. We are not there yet. Instead, want to hear thoughts on things to add, delete, modify, etc. before it goes to the !voting stage. Renata (talk) 02:07, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I think we're there already, personally. You really have done a great job on this. The Drover's Wife (talk) 02:24, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I like this a lot, but I would like to see the heightened sourcing requirements limited to currently operational commercial organizations and products. I am concerned it will impact historical articles, and also make coverage of FOSS software virtually impossible. There are important pieces of software we already can't establish notability for, and I think it would not be beneficial to tighten this up further. Since the purpose of the heightened requirements is to fight spam, I don't see any reason to apply heightened scrutiny to non-commercial articles about historical companies and free and open source software. (This would exclude software that was monetized by ads or data collection/selling, etc.)Seraphim System (talk) 06:49, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
What would you propose as a standard for sourcing of articles on historical companies, since this a more piecemeal approach than the previous one? What sourcing would be acceptable that wouldn't be under this? I see your point - I just don't know quite how it would work/be phrased. The Drover's Wife (talk) 07:59, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I think WP:GNG - schools, churches and non-profits currently are kept if they meet either WP:GNG or WP:NORG. I agree with comments that this policy is likely going to be stricter than WP:GNG in the sense that it addresses in more detail how to separate independent sources from churnalism, but this problem doesn't really effect non-commercial organizations or products. Basically I think the alternate criteria should be kept for non-commercial organizations, and they can be expanded on if needed - I can't really think of specifics in the abstract, but it can be discussed as issues arise in the future. The distinction, however, I think should be maintained. Seraphim System (talk) 08:57, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Non-profits and FOSS can and are spammed in many of the same ways as companies. There may be no money changing hands (enthusiastic volunteers, developers or users instead of the PR department), but the result is the same. MER-C 18:02, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Thought about it a lot, and I agree with MER-C. I have seen plenty of spam from NGOs and non-profits so I don't support relaxing requirements for them. But then there are coverage differences in historical companies and new start-ups. So I added a paragraph on biases in #Multiple sources. Renata (talk) 20:11, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I come across plenty of promotional editing on behalf of nonprofits; it sometimes gets even more ugly b/c editors representing nonprofits can become self-righteous with their nonprofit mission whatever it is. No less promotional tho. Jytdog (talk) 20:48, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I think this guideline is a great improvement on clarity, amazing work! — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 18:54, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm currently pretty busy offline, but on the independence factor, I would highly suggest it be made clear that the requirement is intellectual independence, not simply corporate independence. That is the current standard we apply in practice at AfD, and any rewrite should use that phrasing. I'll provide more feedback later as well (also, I would note that most tech blogs are not actually independent sources per this concern. They are most often placed by the marketing department of a startup, and are not intellectually independent.) TonyBallioni (talk) 20:47, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
    • I agree. I wonder if the wording around trade magazines could be expanded a little bit to cover these types of sources too: I was certainly thinking of tech blogs when I raised the issue that led to the inclusion of that (after all, it's probably the biggest case of spammy industry publications we have), but the final version has wound up more restrictive. The Drover's Wife (talk) 23:49, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
    • Good point re tech blogs - reworded the example. Can you give me a definition/example of intellectual independence? I think I know what you mean, but I am drawing a blank when trying to put it in words. Renata (talk) 04:32, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
      • TonyBallioni: I think I got it. Benefits of not being able to fall asleep... see revisions to #Independent sources. Does that work? Renata (talk) 12:06, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
      • TonyBallioni: can you let me know if it is what you had in mind? Renata (talk) 18:07, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
        • Renata3, sorry. Yes. This change looks good. I'll try to review this RfC and your broader update later. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:04, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • What exactly does "brief" mean in terms of routine reviews for products? I'd set over 2 paragraphs or so as the bar. I think we do need to set a standard for this, because people might think that, say, a relatively short but in-depth review is brief. So, any thoughts on that? RileyBugz会話投稿記録 00:23, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
    • I am opposed to putting any arbitrary numbers on anything because there are so many different situations out there. And a paragraph might be 50 words, and it might be 500 words. But the reviews are a point I am struggling with. I do think it could be made clearer, just not sure how. Renata (talk) 04:32, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
      • Maybe we could 1. change "brief" to not in-depth and 2. define in-depth. I propose that we define in-depth as "having more than basic knowledge such as, for a restaurant, ownership, location, etc." Then we could distinguish between simple lists of facts in article form and actual reviews where the person has gone to the place, done the thing, etc. Do you think that may be acceptable? RileyBugz私に叫ぼう私の編集 23:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
        • Hmmmm. Here is an idea: exclude all reviews where the reviewer has not personally tested the product (or if the review is so generic and vague that it is difficult to say if the product was tested). This would apply not only to restaurants but also to books, movies, plays, events, tech gadgets and other stuff. And then direct to #Audience to exclude purely local reviews. Renata (talk) 04:42, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
          • I'd say that is good, although maybe we could add something for having a source discuss the impact of a book/restaurant/whatever count towards notability. We definitely need at least one source actually testing the thing. RileyBugz私に叫ぼう私の編集 16:52, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
            • I'm not sure what it would even mean to "test" a product such as Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. I also hope that organizations such as hospitals, schools, and homeless shelters could be reviewed without personally experiencing them (e.g., by comparing activities and results produced by similar institutions).
              Defining "local reviews" will require some work. I don't think that the plan to require in-person testing, and then to exclude anyone who lives close enough to the place/restaurant/activity to do that testing conveniently, would be a sound approach. If you live next door to The French Laundry, and Wine Spectator wants to pay you for a review, then your review shouldn't be excluded on grounds of you being a "local" resident (and someone will try to do that, if you don't carefully define what you mean by "local"). I'm a little dubious about this approach to handling reviews, but I'm not sure what a better approach might be. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:43, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I think that this is an excellent draft and I am supportive of the effort. However, it does not address how to distinguish between a local source and a regional source. I initiated a discussion about this matter below which does not seem to be headed toward any consensus. I see this issue as a weakness of this guideline, and hope that some text could be drafted that explains the difference. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:02, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
    • I think the reality that there is no consensus about that means that it's probably best left as is and kept as a separate issue that can be amended if and when such a consensus emerges. The Drover's Wife (talk) 05:31, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • The draft looks excellent. Good job. I just want to alert you that the text is open to an awkward misreading. On my first readthrough I had a company-article in mind, then I ran into to parts which explicitly define the kinds of product-coverage that count as acceptable sources. I'm guilty of reading-while-tired, but I got the faulty impression it was saying companies could fully inherit sources and notability from their products. You might want to see if you can find a minor text-tweak to exclude/discourage that kind of interpretation. If a tired long-term editor can read it that way, I can easily see newer contributors reading it that way... especially when someone is "motivated" to find acceptable sourcing for their favorite company. Alsee (talk) 22:38, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Alsee: can you let me know where you misread that? Specifically? Renata (talk) 18:07, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Renata, consider a typical article on a company of dubious notability. All of the company info is primary-sourced to the company website itself (zero weight for Notability), plus the typical spammy product-catalog type section. Five of the entries at Examples_of_substantial_coverage describe valid product-refs. Ok, let's say there are several good quality refs on the products. The product(s) might even Notable enough to already have article(s). The error would be to accept each product ref as directly counting for Notability of the company. That's what I meant. An experienced editor should implicitly understand the distinction between product-Notability and company-Notability, but it would be good if we found a language tweak to makes it more explicit. Alsee (talk) 21:41, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • At this time, I unfortunately feel obliged to oppose this change. Those who've been around for a while know that I strongly support the goal of raising notability standards for organizations and products, but this is going to create some big problems while possibly solving smaller, easier ones. There are thousands of links to AdWeek – which is pretty good evidence that the community at large accepts this as a good source – but this proposal treats that highly reputable source as being, by default, no better than an unethical spam-filled website. There seems to be more than the usual level of Wikipedia:Instruction creep and editors' personal opinions in the proposal. There are some problems with clarifying the scope of a notability guideline vs reliable sources and verifiability.
    I would really like to raise the criteria, and to make them more objective (ideally, so that even the most determined spammer can figure out that an article about his client isn't going to be accepted). I really appreciate the efforts so far, and I think that we can improve on what we've got. But this isn't ready yet. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:20, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
    If you look above, the original proposal was focused on criteria for the subjects themselves which I think is what you were leaning toward. There was resistance about the specific criteria that had been proposed, as well as the idea of criteria at all. A notion started emerging to focus on the kinds of sources that "count" toward notability of a subject, which is different from "is this source reliable for a given statement" (which is what RS is about). Are you getting all that development, and what this is about? (namely, what kinds of sources are useful to show notability -- this is always the focus of AfD discussions. It was somewhat counter-intuitive to me at first, but I am digging the direction as it goes directly to improving AfD discussions....) Jytdog (talk) 23:14, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
    I agree that should be what's done; however, the current wording unfortunately doesn't achieve that goal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:48, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
    that is great that you agree. whatever help you can bring to clarifying and strengthening the requirements for sources used to "count" toward N would be helpful, keeping in mind the context, which is discussion of sources at AfD and people considering whether to create an article about something at all. It is a hard problem. Jytdog (talk) 18:32, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
    Do you think that we could pull together a compare-and-contrast list of reputable vs disreputable non-academic sources? (Not to put in the guideline, but to have an essay that we could link to, to explains the difference between the best sources for products and businesses and some that should generally be ignored.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:21, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't know, you are bullshitting way too much here. There are "thousands of links to Adweek"? No there are around 500. I do not have time for bullshit. Jytdog (talk) 01:29, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
In that case, may I recommend that you use a tool that works? There are 4,475 across all namespaces. If you subtract out the 277 links on talk pages (including article talk, user talk, project talk, etc.), 328 in userspace, 319 in projectspace, that still leaves you "thousands" of links in the mainspace. (You'd have to search https:// separately, but there are only seven of those, representing five links across three articles and two talk pages.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:37, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your gracious correction. I have struck, and apologize. I will think a bit and come back later. Again, my apologies and thanks.Jytdog (talk) 18:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
It would be highly appreciated if you actually reported the bug instead of whinging about it here. I imposed the 500 link limit for performance reasons, something that is now made clear. MER-C 17:03, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So WAID, about your proposal. That is a big honking challenge - a compare-and-contrast list of reputable vs disreputable non-academic sources. I could do that for biotech for sure and will start to work on that, cribbing liberally from stuff you have written like INDY. With regard to unreliable, are you aware of WP:PUS? (one of my favorite acronyms for an essay here) Jytdog (talk) 04:37, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

Oooh, that's lovely.  :-) Shall we make a subpage of that?
I'm more interested in explaining "why" than in making an unfinishable list, but I do think that a sizable list of examples would help out good-faith editors. (Biotech is a fine place to start.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:27, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

Restaurant reviews[edit]

The current wording under "Depth of coverage" mentions "routine restaurant reviews" as unacceptable coverage. I consider this wording so vague as to be useless, and added the words "in local publications". The guideline already differentiates between local, regional, national and international publications. I do not consider a review of a newly opened pizza parlor written by a freelancer in a small town newspaper to be equivalent to a review of a London fine dining restaurant written by a professional restaurant reviewer and published in the New York Times. My addition was modified and then reverted, so I am bringing it here for discussion. I consider a blanket ban on restaurant reviews to be highly unwise. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:29, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I agreed with your original change, but thought the amendment was going down a bit of a rabbit hole and so the whole thing needed to be discussed. The Drover's Wife (talk) 04:36, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
Papers like the NYT have national (and even international) circulation. This means that a positive review of a “local” restaurant appearing in such papers will have a significant impact on the notability of the restaurant — beyond the local area. Readers from regions outside of the “local area” (ie NYC) will read the review and thus know about the restaurant ... they will go to it when visiting NYC. Even though they appear in the “metro” section, I don’t think we can dismiss these reviews as purely “local coverage”. Blueboar (talk) 14:22, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

I have modified that example in the re-write. Better? Renata (talk) 01:50, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I agree with the original change but perhaps the clause should just be removed from WP:CORPDEPTH as it seems too specific and prescriptive making it incongruous with the other clauses. Restaurant reviews are already covered by the clause regarding national/regional sources being needed rather than local sources in order to prove notability. Atlantic306 (talk) 12:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Ok, so let's try this. How do you feel about this wording (with its own separate section) to replace the two examples in #Significant coverage:

Product, event, and restaurant reviews (i.e. where author describes personal opinions and experiences) must be handled with great care and diligence. Some types of reviews have a longer history and established traditions (e.g. restaurants, wine, books, movies), while other (e.g. new tech gadgets, travel blogs) are newer and more prone to manipulation by marketing and public relations personnel. Like any other source, reviews must meet the primary criteria to be counted towards the notability requirement:
  1. Be significant: brief and routine reviews (including Zagat) do not qualify. Significant reviews are where the author has personally experienced or tested the product and describes their experiences in some depth, provides broader context, and draws comparisons with other products. Reviews that narrowly focus on a particular product or function without broader context (e.g. review of a particular meal without description of the restaurant as a whole) do not count as significant sources. Reviews that are too generic or vague to make the determination whether the author had personal experience with the reviewed product are not to be counted as significant sources. Further, the reviews must be published outside of purely local or narrow (highly specialized) interest publications (see also #Audience). For example, a review of a local harvest festival in a local newspaper or a book review in a newsletter by a city's library would not qualify as significant coverage.
  2. Be independent: many reviews are not independent and are, in fact, a type of advertisement and product placement. Sponsored reviews include reviews where the reviewed product is provided free of charge to the author. Often, sponsored nature of a review is not disclosed and not immediately apparent. In particular, a strong indication of a sponsored or other relationship is a review that is excessively positive or negative. Therefore, editors should use reviews only from sources with well established reputation for independence and objectivity. Further, reviews that simply regurgitate someone else's opinion are also not independent sources unless enough original work was put in to produce a meta review (e.g. review aggregators). If the suitability of a source is in doubt, it is better to exercise caution and to exclude the source for the purposes of establishing notability. Once notability is established, not independent reviews may be used to verify some non-controversial facts in the article (e.g. number of employees, number of tables in a restaurant, product models).
  3. Be reliable: the reviews must be published in reliable sources that provide editorial oversight and strive to maintain objectivity. Self-published reviews (e.g. most blogs) do not qualify.

Ping: User:Cullen328, User:Blueboar, User:Atlantic306, User:RileyBugz, User:WhatamIdoing.

Renata (talk) 20:00, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Agree, except for the last sentence as some reviews are bound to be very positive or very negative.The problem is with publications where the reviews are always very positive which then hints at non-independence so suggest the last line be changed to " Therefore, a publication that always gives positive reviews is probably not reliable." thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 20:11, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Not so sure about that... suppose there is a respected national scope weekly news magazine that has an annual "Best new restaurants in the USA" article (but otherwise does not include restaurant reviews). I would think inclusion in such a "best of" article would indicate notability (at least if the coverage is in reasonable depth). Yet that sort of thing would only include positive reviews. Blueboar (talk) 20:44, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
The keyword there is excessively. I was really aiming at reviews that read far more like marketing brochure ("best quality ingredients and time-tested traditions provide unique experience for every food lover") than actual reviews (which is really a sign that the review is not independent). There are plenty of reputable positive and negative reviews, but they are still manage to balance and not to go over-the-top. Renata (talk) 21:29, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
As a practical matter, that nuance isn't going to make any difference, because people will use it as a lever for POV pushing. Someone's going to say, "Hey, they gave that restaurant their highest rating! Nothing's perfect. That's "excessively positive", so they're obviously not reliable."
The POV of a source is actually a very poor indicator of its reliability. This sentence is almost a direct contradiction of the WP:BIASED section of WP:RS. We should leave that out. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:56, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
When writing articles about restaurant, I hardly use reviews due to the high risk of advertising. When I use them, it is for secondary info (address, number of tables, names of non-cooking staff etc.). But I only write about Michelin starred restaurant, that makes a bit of a difference for notability. I support the proposed change. The Banner talk 21:27, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Hmm... we may be addressing different issues. The sort of sources one uses to establish notability are not necessarily the sort of sources one uses to support other types of information in an article. Blueboar (talk) 22:07, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
It sounds great to me. It only includes reviews (so that an article addressing the historical significance of something can be included for notability), and does a great job of describing what an acceptable review is. RileyBugz私に叫ぼう私の編集 22:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Restaurant reviews demonstrate notability, but reviews of the individual meals do not. If the review devotes all of its coverage to meals and service, no broad coverage of the restaurant, it’s history and comparisons to other restaurants, it is not demonstrating notability of the restaurant. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:56, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

I have made some changes incorporating thoughts and suggestions by Atlantic306, The Banner, SmokeyJoe. Thoughts? Renata (talk) 15:55, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

  • Looks good to me, I support the revised text Atlantic306 (talk) 16:45, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm looking at the current/highlighted wording, and I think that it's a good example of the fact that Wikipedia:Policy writing is hard. Here's a few (NB: incomplete) list of problems that I'm seeing in it:

  • I disagree that "newer" categories of reviews are more prone to manipulation by companies; it is not a factual statement. Deceptive product endorsements are so old that they were made illegal in the US before most Wikipedians were born. Publishers have tried to influence book reviews for more than a century, and when they aren't effective at it, the authors complain that they're "privishing" the book instead of "publishing" it.
  • I don't understand why we keep harping on the author's "personal experience" of a product. It is actually possible to write a good review of a product, event, or service by interviewing people, or by watching other people experience it. But if you are going to define a review as exclusively encompassing reports of personal opinions and experiences (in the very first sentence), then it's redundant to say that "significant reviews" require that personal experience.
  • "Significant coverage" does not require either broader context or comparisons. (Those are qualities that one finds in a secondary source.) We should use these words only in ways that line up with the main WP:Notability guideline.
  • The #Audience stuff is irrelevant to significant coverage and therefore should not be in the same bullet point. I think there may be some confusion about SIGCOV in general. SIGCOV has a single, pretty simple meaning: How much did this source write about your subject? It's not exactly a "word count" (because sources vary in their talents for concision), but it's pretty close to a "fact count". If you read the source and find 10 or 20 usable, encyclopedic-style facts in it, then that's "significant coverage". If you read it, and the only useable facts are "WhatamIdoing's Gas Station is located in Smallville", then that's not SIGCOV.
  • We should not tell editors what source to "use". This is important, because what source to "use" is the province of WP:RS. WP:N has a whole section disclaiming this idea that notability tells you what sources you can use, or what you can put in the article.
  • The POV of the source does not really help you determine whether it is independent. It might be fashionable to say that puffery (or otherwise holding a strong opinion, especially if it disagrees with the personal opinion of any given editor) is a sign of non-independence, but it's not nearly as reliable as the actual, more objective criteria (which you can find summarized at WP:NOTGOODSOURCE).
  • In the kinds of reliable sources that we normally accept as reliable (e.g., not including reviews posted to Amazon), I am dubious that the sponsored nature is often not disclosed. Do you have, for example, any evidence of undisclosed sponsorship happening in typical printed-on-paper, subscription-based periodicals (e.g., newspapers, magazines, academic journals)?
  • First, it says that the review is supposed to give the author's personal opinion, based upon personal experience. Then it says that the source is supposed to be objective. These are contradictory. Also, I think this produces another inconsistency with the WP:BIASED guideline.

As I said, this is an incomplete list of problems, but let me add this: I wonder whether this level of detail should go in the guideline at all. It feels rather WP:CREEPy to me. If it were me, I'd start by cleaning this up and turning it into an essay, rather than trying to add it to this guideline. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:28, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Ready for !voting?[edit]

Do people feel this is ready for a !vote? I am inclined to leave this open for another week and then set up an RfC next weekend. Thoughts? Renata (talk) 18:18, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

No, I think we could make a better proposal than this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:39, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Due to real-life schedule, I am going to set up a !vote tomorrow. Renata (talk) 23:25, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Adoption of the re-written NCORP guideline[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
  • Summary—There is a very strong consensus to YesY accept the proposed rewording(s) of the guideline, subject to some important caveats.
  • Caveats
    • The likes of schools, teams, religions etc.?? are explicitly excluded from the purview of this guideline.
      • It may be though noted that this statement does not supercede or dwell upon or interfere with this 2017 RFC in any form or manner.
    • Editors are cautioned to be careful about using this guideline, when any potential topic has been already covered by another subject-specific-guideline.
  • Details-
    • The proposal is supported by a majority of heads, esp. when the execution of a more nuanced version of the change (See 1st caveat) is taken into account.
    • Some of the quasi-philosophical opposes about SNG vs GNG, minor-chinks in the framing of the guideline, the need of lengthy discussions to develop guidelines et al has been weighed little, esp. in favor of a quote -Let the perfect not be the enemy of the good--that has been quite rightfully invoked in the discussion.
      • Notwithstanding the above, there have been been glimpses of partial un-satisfaction as to some of the finer points of the write, from different editors and even about some parts that have been not touched by this re-write.It is expected that normal-talk-page-discourse(s) will lead to solutions, fine enough:)
  • Signed by Winged BladesGodric at 05:17, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Should the re-written notability guideline for corporations (under #Bold re-write of sourcing requirements) be adopted and implemented? Renata (talk) 16:01, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Since this is a full re-write, there is no side-by-side comparison with the current version. But you can see this diff how the re-written guideline is different. Renata (talk) 18:28, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

RfC !votes[edit]

  • Support I would prefer a more objective criteria, and think that in the long term, we will have to move in that direction. The community is not ready for that, though, and the proposed additions basically take what has become the default understanding in AfDs and writes into the guideline. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:27, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
    • While I share @DGG and Kudpung:’s thoughts in regards to schools and religions, I still support this now with the understanding that an eventual closer will look at the arguments and see where there is support to limit this before adaptation. I’d ask them to consider supporting this only for businesses and non-profit corporations, and to specifically exclude educational institutions and religions. They and I share a general philosophy on these sorts of things (both on the inclusion end and the deletion end), and while I get there position here, I also don’t want to see a rejection of this proposal be used as a rejection of stricter standards in areas where I think they also agree we need stricter standards. I’d wonder if they would consider a partial support understanding that the closer would take into consideration opposition re: schools, churches, etc. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:16, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Just conforming my support for the revised criteria as a step forward. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:19, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Lot clearer on independence and points out various ways in which coverage is really not independent. Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:34, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Tony B. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:40, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
    • I'm fine with the change in the proposal by Renata to "A company, corporation, organization, school, team, religion, group, product, or service." Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:31, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Probably the first step, but an important one. Thanks to those who did the hard slogging on writing this up. Risker (talk) 17:57, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Confirming support with the revised criteria proposed by Renata. I too feel very strongly that non-profit organizations should be included in this grouping; however, DGG is correct that existing guidelines for other groups such as schools (regardless of my personal opinion on those guidelines) supersede this guideline. Risker (talk) 03:24, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support will help a lot with sorting new articles. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 18:00, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Much more meatier guideline than before. The example-based approach of explaining the required standards is a significant improvement, and is a definite selling point here. !dave 18:44, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support The points are now more clearer and resolve some earlier ambiguous wordings in the current version. Though still there's long way to go regarding corporate spam, this is a big step towards moving forward. –Ammarpad (talk) 19:31, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support An improvement over the status quo, though like TonyBallioni, I would prefer an objective standard. I look forward to a similar change for BLPs. Rentier (talk) 20:14, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support The methodical approach to assessing press coverage will be very helpful. I think it's time to adopt this revised guideline and make any remaining tweaks after the event: Noyster (talk), 20:55, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support -- a balanced, well-thought-out proposal. --K.e.coffman (talk) 20:59, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I am happy to support this proposal which I believe writes current interpretation into the guidelines in a way that makes it far easier to interpret. HighKing++ 21:51, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Well done! Now if we could only tighten down the notability criteria in the other areas. Jbh Talk 01:47, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Cavaet support to be for only for proposal with modified scope - "A company, corporation, organization, school, team, religion, group, product, or service." - as noted above. Also, agree this should apply to non-profits, however I did not see any reason it did not already so I am not sure why it is being brought up. Jbh Talk 04:40, 19 February 2018 (UTC)I obviously did not read this well enough. Striking until I spend more time on it when more awake. Last edited: 05:07, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Unstriking. On balance I think this change is needed - I do not think it is optimal nor do I think it is likely to be worse than what we have. There will likely be a year or more where the interpretation of these guidelines is worked out through AfD. I particularly like how it addresses independence. I would like to see that carried over to all topics.

A note on the striking of school: I would like to see some distinction, somewhere, that defines for profit schools as 'companies' rather than 'schools'. There are (or, rather, were last I checked) many of these schools, particularly from the sub-continent, that are using Wikipedia for advertising and promotion that get away with 'presumed notability' under WP:SCHOOLS. Jbh Talk 01:13, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

  • very strong oppose, because the coverage is too wide: A company, corporation, organization, school, team, religion, group, product, or service" At least initially, it should NOT apply to: schools, for we already have a standard practice  ; or teams, where we also have a standard practice; or religions, which are a much more diffuse type of subject, much more akin to a political movement than to an organization; and probably not to products or services, for which we need different rules that will take into account the question of when we need a separate article from the one on the producing organization. I also do not think it should apply to non-commercial organizations at all, for which there may be somewhat different factors, because they get a different sort of coverage with the main problem distinguishing the coverage from advocacy.
I do support it as a temporary stop gap measure for companies and businesses, and nothing else.It would be enormously better to have actual quantifiable criteria that did not depend so heavily on referencing. It has the same key defect as the present criteria: the actual applicability depends on the actual significance of the key words about sourcing to an individual case. It would remain possible to take almost all organizations within its scope, and argue either way at an AfD. The actual merit of the proposal is that it does make plain that the criteria need to be interpreted relatively strictly, and for commercial organizations that would be a good thing.
If this is to apply to schools or religions or sports, it will require a much broader consensus than this specialized page. It will have the effect of a/greatly reducing our coverage of schools, b/considerably increasing our coverage of high school or community teams, c/considerably reduce our coverage of relatively minor religions--and this is the most important change of all, for we have in the past been very inclusive here d/somewhat increase our coverage of local charitable organizations. e/greatly increase our coverage of products and to services. All these changes need to be separately considered. If this RfC should, against my advice, be adopted, I shall bring separate RfCs for each of these topics. We would do better limiting it in the first place. (I would even consider bringing a general RfC to overturn whatever happens here as exceeding the scope of prior discussion.) DGG ( talk ) 02:45, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Ah, dear DGG, where were you when the proposal was discussed? It should really be "A company, corporation, organization, school, team, religion, group, product, or service." I copied the wording from the existing guideline and it got into my "blind spot". I am going to delete those three words and ping the people who have already commented above. But, I am strongly opposed to separating out non-profit and for-profit criteria. I have seen plenty of spam from non-profits and NGOs. Interesting idea on products and services, but I think the current guideline is very much applicable to them as well and the issue of when to separate out the product from the company could be handled with an additional section within the guideline.
Pings: TonyBallioni, Galobtter, Smallbones, Risker, Insertcleverphrasehere, My name is not dave, Ammarpad, Rentier, Noyster, K.e.coffman, Jbhunley, HighKing, Kudpung กุดผึ้ง
Renata (talk) 03:16, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
I appreciate the adjustment above. I wish I had time to follow all relevant discussions, but my work has been oriented to dealing with individual articles and Drafts. Products and services are omitted from the A7 criterion at speedy, and that has been confirmed by many discussions over many year--this difference is the basis of my comment. Essentially, the reason there and I suggest here is that there are far too many factors to judge, especially in areas where each individual variation on a product line gets an individual review from a responsible publication. As for non-profits, I agree 100% that they represent a major problem, but I think they'll need special rules--in addition to the use of these articles for advocacy of a cause, there are recurrent problems with local branches and similar associated organizations. We of course could deal with both using the WP:N provision that meeting notability does not necessarily mean there should be a separate article if the matter is best handled by a combined article. I'd still like a discussion on these elements, but even if not changed in these respects, I might still vote for adoption. I need to consider other opinions here about them, for I can see arguments either way. DGG ( talk ) 03:36, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Again, good points, DGG. Some of them are addressed in the existing guideline (under Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies)#Alternate criteria for specific types of organizations) which is not changing under this proposal. The idea is to figure out the "primary" criteria (and used it in practice for a month or two) and then to figure out and synchronize the rest of it. Rome was not built in a day. Renata (talk) 04:35, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • oppose for now. DGG makes some extremely poignant and highly relevant observations that the supporters (with respect to those among them with whom I enjoy very good collaboration) may not have taken into consideration. Whilst I am a firm proponent in significantly sharpening the notability criteria for any topics that attract deliberate spam, e.g. what is becoming the majority of company, product, and political articles, we should give special due consideration to those non-toxic areas that have traditionally enjoyed relaxation and which have been proven to be accepted by well established precedent. Hence, the RfC as proposed is far to broad in its concept. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:00, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose because of several outstanding problems. For example, the proposal says that when you're looking at a reputable trade publication (examples across multiple fields: AdWeek, PC World, Aviation Week & Space Technology), this proposal says you're only allowed to use feature stories – actual straight reporting, aka hard news, is banned from such publications. This discussion was hidden a mere ten minutes before this RFC was started, and I cannot believe that editors who normally favor higher standards for sourcing – I could name TonyBallioni, Risker, Insertcleverphrasehere, My name is not dave and several other initial supporters in that category – would actually agree to this if they'd seen the multiple sources I linked to that define feature stories as a type of soft news. My best guess is that editors don't actually mean to say that only soft news indicates notability, but we need to figure out what they actually mean, and then say it. We should not adopt a change that we know is broken.
    Note that this is not the only problem. This guideline should apply to schools (Why not?! There is more to the category of "schools" than just K–12 education. Is anyone here seriously trying to have a guideline that addresses all kinds of for-profit businesses except dance schools, trade schools, driving schools, and fly-by-night diploma mills?) and to religious organizations (but not religions). It needs to cover sports teams, because WP:NSPORTS#Teams explicitly says that WP:ORG covers notability for sports teams: "This guideline does not cover sports teams. For guidance, please see Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies)." (User:DGG, I agree that we have a workable standard; the only difference is that workable standard is supposed to be on this page.)
    In short, this proposal is headed in the right direciton, but it is a complete mess, and we should not adopt it until the many little problems are resolved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:53, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
    • I consider this a step forward from the current existence of the guideline. As Risker said, this is a first step, and in my view, the best chance we have of achieving a meaningful reform of this guideline anytime soon. It is far from perfect (I prefer objective standards for all areas on Wikipedia, and in particular for this guideline, but the community rejected the most recent attempt at that). My guiding principle both in real life and on Wikipedia is that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. I think this is an overall good proposal compared to the current state of the guideline, and it was trying to take on board feedback from a lot of parties who had differing views here. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:00, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
      • TonyBallioni, in what sense could banning hard news possibly be considered "a step forward"? Wouldn't it be better to actually get it right, especially since it should be fairly easy to say, "Actually, an in-depth hard news piece is a good indicator of notability"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:10, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
        • I don't actually see the text of the proposed changes prohibiting if you look at it and not the discussion (feature story is something we could tweak once it was adapted to something like lengthier coverage involving independent journalistic analysis or something of the sort.) It looks to be an less than artful term for saying what I just described. I think codifying intellectual independence in explicit terms is perhaps the most important thing we can do at this point, and I also think examples of depth of coverage here are very good.
          There are still things that do need to be ironed out, but on the whole, I think this is a net positive. I don't think we will ever get a proposal through that is perfect, and I'd rather get this through, and then work to fix the rough edges than have to wait another 6 months to do a new RfC to have someone object to the fix we worked out for the objections to this proposal. TonyBallioni (talk) 05:20, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
          • If that's what's meant, then it could be described as "significant coverage in an independent secondary source", and we could leave out all of this fol-de-rol about wanting to have only a feature story, and nothing else, count. Of course, if we did that, then we'd reduce the paragraph even further, to a single, largely redundant sentence: "Don't count sources of dubious independence." But I don't think that would actually meet the goals of the people who proposed it.
            On your second point, the muddle at Wikipedia talk:Notability (organizations and companies)#Intellectual Independence makes me doubt that any two editors on this page would give the same definition of intellectual independence. The definition given in other notability guidelines hasn't been discussed explicitly, but it is obvious from the above discussions that some editors would reject it. The other guidelines say, ""Intellectual independence" requires not only that the content of sources be non-identical, but also that the entirety of content in a published work not be derived from (or based in) another work (partial derivations are acceptable)." Some editors here want to ban even partial derivations (e.g., copying a boilerplate description of a company out of their press release, even if it's at the end of a lengthy analytical source). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:06, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support in general, with the understanding these are meant to help distinguish promotional material, self-serving coverage, and basically making WP be an advertisement for companies and products. It is aligned with the GNG and all existing guidelines on notability, only making it very clear that when it comes to sourcing for such fields, specific types of coverage are required and/or the sourcing aspects will be more scrutinized compared to other fields where the chance for articles serving as a promotional tool are unlikely. I don't see the fears about this applying to schools/sports teams/etc. coming to light, or least would drive proper discuss to resolve the issues with them (eg the only reason we still keep schools is from OUTCOMES, which is not a notability guideline). This rewrite appears mostly to help guide proper discussion at talk pages and AFD, and not as an absolute. --Masem (t) 06:46, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I would have no problem with a simply written guideline prohibiting the use of corporate spam or PR material from being used toward establishing notability, but this proposed rewrite is overly complex and overwrought. The rewrite should be scrapped. The section on WP:AUD is also vague -- what is a regional source? Do major metropolitan newspapers qualify? If not, why not? Cbl62 (talk) 07:47, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Cbl62: there are zero changes to WP:AUD. It is exactly the same as it is now. Discussion about changing it in #"Local" versus "regional" resulted in no consensus. Renata (talk) 12:56, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I disagree with the primary criteria's premise that WP:CORP will now have "stronger emphasis on quality of the sources to prevent gaming of the rules by marketing and public relations professionals." The concepts are consistent with GNG. A stronger emphasis is not being applied in the guideline; however, it may be true that to date this domain has not properly interpreted concepts like "independent" or "significant" coverage. For that matter, I think some of the proposal here for explaining general significant coverage concepts should be sent upstream to apply to GNG and all domains. It doesn't need to be bogged down in SNGs. The Audience portion brings up more questions that answers. Again, it seems like a general concept that can also be fleshed out at GNG, not here. Finally, there's some talk in !votes that this not applying to sports. However, Wikipedia:Notability_(sports)#Teams clearly says: "This guideline does not cover sports teams. For guidance, please see Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies)."—Bagumba (talk) 10:37, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Bagumba: I don't understand your first point. How is stronger emphasis not applied here? Are we talking semantics here? Before we even try poking at GNG, we need to start somewhere smaller. If this does not pass here, what are the chances at GNG? There are zero changes to WP:AUD. It is exactly the same as it is now. Discussion about changing it in #"Local" versus "regional" resulted in no consensus. Yes, sports teams do need a separate discussion. Renata (talk) 13:10, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
      • @Renata3: I think it's incorrect to say that "stronger emphasis" is provided here. I think it's the same spirit as already in GNG. My guess is that GNG concepts weren't applied correctly by the CORP domain before, so this is an attempt to bring it in line with GNG, highlighting past pitfalls. It's not that CORP is any stronger than GNG.—Bagumba (talk) 09:25, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
      • "Before we even try poking at GNG, we need to start somewhere smaller": I'd be less concerned if this was at the WikiProject level. However, this is a guideline which should be in harmony with GNG, so I'd argue we should strive for a wider consensus and not a "local" consensus that could inadvertently circumvent GNG.—Bagumba (talk) 09:25, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Striking my above comment about Audience. Sorry, but it wasn't readily apparent what was new, changed, removed, or status quo text.—Bagumba (talk) 09:25, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
      • I'm not sure why sports organizations are any different than a generic organization. That has also been the ongoing assumption at NSPORTS, which explicitly defers to CORP.—Bagumba (talk) 09:25, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Pending this passing or not, there's actually a lot of good ideas that should be moved to the GNG page. The core concepts are universal for notability of any topic area. --Masem (t) 15:31, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Agreed.—Bagumba (talk) 09:25, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per "let the perfect not be the enemy of the good". Despite the well-reasoned comments by very, very respected voices like DGG and Kudpung, I must weigh the harm of implementation against harm of postponed or non-implementation and decide implementation is better. We have a huge and growing problem with WP:Identifying PR and WP:BOGO issues that this could help with. The scorecard construct is an especially useful way to visualize the potential of sources. I'll comment further in the discussion below. ☆ Bri (talk) 15:29, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
    • let the perfect not be the enemy of the good -- hear hear. !dave 17:49, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose unless the clause on intellectual independence is made less restrictive so that it permits articles that are a combination of significant independent analysis with an interview. For example the NYT might run an article that is a very negative analysis of a company and then include the CEO's response as balance and under these proposals that source would be excluded whereas it should be included as obviously intellectually independent where it contains significant independent analysis apart from the interview and it should count towards notability in my view. Atlantic306 (talk) 15:40, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Atlantic306: your example would be allowed under the guideline as written. "Independent content, in order to count towards establishing notability, must include original and independent opinion, analysis...". Include independent analysis does not mean "exclude any dependent content". And the way its written, the weight is actually on the opposite end. You could have an article that's 80% copy-past press release and then 20% independent analysis of it, and it would qualify as it does include independent content. Renata (talk) 16:54, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Thanks for clarifying that, have struck my oppose vote and will consider supporting when I've read further comments, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 17:56, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Renata, your claim that 80% press release is okay is contradicted by editors in the discussions above. At minimum, this proposal does not make it clear that an article that is 80% copied and pasted from a press release is okay, which means that at best we would be trading one kind of dispute for another. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:27, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
        • Actually, Renata, my memory was faulty. Your assertion contradicts what not what some other editors said above, but what you said above, when you were disparaging an article about a notable business from one of Britain's leading newspapers: "The particular source you are pointing out in ET IMHO fails to be "significant" as it is routine coverage of periodic financial results and independence as it does read like a press release.... The difference between ET and NYT is that ET copy-pasted some paragraphs from a press release". How do you square your earlier decision that this source doesn't demonstrated notability because it copied [or seemed to?] a couple of paragraphs from a press release with your assertion now that it's perfectly fine for 80% of an article to be copied straight from a press release?
          A judge of my acquaintance spent a lot of his retirement years saying that what really mattered wasn't what was written down; what mattered was that people had a good shared understanding of their agreement. I think that the words being written down here actually do matter, as they'll be re-interpreted by wikilawyers, advocates, and paid editors, so there is a particular need to write guidelines to defend themselves against that. But I think that it's also important to find that meeting of the minds, and I'm really not seeing that happening here. Everyone's in favor of Making It Tougher For the Corporate Spammers (Note: entertainment-related and BLP spam has been a bigger problem for a long time), but few people seem to have thought through any of the details, and the devil's in the details. WP:Policy writing is hard, and we're not doing a good job of it in this proposal right now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:05, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
          • WhatamIdoing: In that particular case, ET had zero original analysis or opinion. It was 100% copy-paste from corporate materials. Renata (talk) 20:29, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
            • When I look at sentences such as "[Business], which did not break out like-for-like sales for its 36 stores, added nine shops over the year" and ""In contrast to many high street peers, [Business] said its trading since March remained 'solid'", I don't think that's true. Corporate materials don't usually say things like "We're not breaking out like-for-like sales for you". That sounds like the kind of thing that gets written by an experienced business reporter, who is analyzing both the presence and absence of the available information, and engaging in that classic "original analysis" activity of comparing and contrasting it with other information (e.g., the weak performance of those "high street peers"). This original analysis did not appear in other stories, from less reputable publications, about the CEO's departure, which is another indication that the analysis didn't come from the company. Those two sentences constitute something other than "100% copy-paste from corporate materials". WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:20, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I'm in full agreement with the table compiled by Renata. In the comparatively short amount of time I've been an editor on Wikipedia, I have in my mind too often seen company and organization articles sourced with trivial mentions in sources that I would otherwise hold in high regard. For example, I do not hold the view an article written by a reliable publisher that gives a short blurb about "Company X", then gives a broad overview of the field or industry "Company X" is a part of should be considered an in-depth source. Now, if multiple reliable sources cover "Company X" without too much overlap in the information they provide, then that is a different story. I know this may be treading too near to the slippery slope fallacy, but I believe from the comments above that the COI/PR/Promotional situation is not going to get better, a sentiment I hold. Wikipedia is growing more and more influential given Wikipedia articles being given a certain degree of priority by google search, and I have no doubt that many off wiki organizations and companies will seek to further their own ends as this fact becomes more widely known. Action should be taken to strengthen our standards, and if we push to far in one direction, so be it, we can always lower these barriers later. SamHolt6 (talk) 17:41, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
If there is any doubt as to WP's influence and attractiveness to publicity seekers, especially of the low-budget sort, but also e.g. well known Washington DC lobbying firms and at least one €9.6 billion turnover PR company, see WP:PAIDLISTBri (talk) 18:06, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Encodes generally-accepted current practice, which is what guidelines are supposed to do. It is impossible to eliminate interpretations many points but this at least eliminates egregiously bad arguments for or against notability that are common in AfD discussions. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 21:07, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Attempting to delegitimize local sources by making mandatory demonstration of regional coverage is a major break from past practice, which requires simply that multiple published sources be independent, coverage be substantial, and that information presumed reliable. In practice this is a recipe for big city bias over smaller cities and rural communities. Which might be just fine with some people from big cities but which does not cut muster with me. Carrite (talk) 03:10, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Carrite: are you referring to #Audience? In that case, it is exactly the same as current WP:AUD. There are no changes to it. Renata (talk) 03:29, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
    • @Carrite: There might be some chance that small town newspapers will be excluded as sources of notability here, but there is more than a chance that they should be scrutinized closely in any case. The Podunk Weekly Bugle, serving a town of 857 with 3 businesses really can't be an independent source regarding one of the 3 businesses. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:02, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
In practice, we're not talking about the Podunk Weekly Bugle, since there are no newspapers in towns of 857 people these days. We're talking about, for example, the biases of people from New York City against the local publications of small town America skewing the content of the encyclopedia. I hear ya about the garbage articles about small businesses, law firms, PR hacks, and so forth that have no business being in WP — but the problem isn't the circulation of the publication providing the independent and presumably reliable sourcing, it's the nature of the firm being written about. Carrite (talk) 22:12, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
I believe that The Mulberry Advance is still in business, and the last census gave the population for Mulberry, Kansas as 520. The problem with small town newspapers isn't their journalistic independence; it's their indiscriminateness. They may be perfectly capable of providing excellent information about those three businesses in a way that would meet every standard of journalism. A small-town Iowa newspaper won a Pulitzer a while ago for complaining about the biggest industry in the region. They can, and generally do, take their independence seriously. The problem with small-town papers is that almost everything about those three businesses will be (realistically) "news" in a town of that size. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:13, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, per TonyBallioni, with the updated wording from Renata that excludes schools etc. In my opinion, we won't ever hammer out a perfectly objective NCORP guideline that tidily covers all cases, but that shouldn't stop us from trying to improve what we do have. ♠PMC(talk) 14:41, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
    • PMC, how do you think schools should be treated? There's a small, for-profit school in my area for training paramedics. If they decided to use Wikipedia to promote their business, which notability guideline do you think should cover that school, if not this one? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:27, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
      • For-profit schools should be treated as businesses, IMO, and I have consistently voted along those lines at AfD. I was talking about the traditional exclusion of secondary schools & colleges from these kind of notability guidelines. ♠PMC(talk) 00:12, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
        • So you actually do want "schools" to be covered, but not bona fide universities, most colleges, and typical government-run high schools and non-government run high schools that are similar to those (because we do "traditionally" exclude tiny private high schools, small alternative high schools, and high schools that seem strange to Western people, like the "high schools" that really amount to a couple of rural kids studying with the only educated person in town). Unfortunately, the sweeping change proposed here will exempt for-profit businesses that operate any kind of school from this guideline. This is IMO an entirely preventable problem, but only if we clean up these little discrepancies before we adopt it. (Or: There's a reason why, when the OP asked last week whether this was ready to vote on, I said "no" and nobody said yes.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:49, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
  • support I just read this with as-fresh-eyes-as-I-could-muster and this is big strides in the right direction. Of course it will need some tweaking. And yes we need to deal with N issues for other topics, but that is not what we are focusing on here. This is about organizations. Jytdog (talk) 04:26, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, and cross out "schools" if it's necessary in order to secure consensus, because we don't need to fight the school wars again. Overall, absolutely bang on. GNG plus protection against churnalism. Long overdue. Guy (Help!) 16:24, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with TB on Wikipedia needs to move to a more accepting guidelin, and need some time to double check the propsoed guideline. I do however strongly agree with the points of DGG and Carrite. L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 21:51, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Chris Troutman (talk) 02:14, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. There's always room for improving guidelines, but this will go a long way to helping reduce the number of articles on companies of limited notability and ensuring that Wikipedia remains an encylopedia, not a directory. I agree with other editors' comments that many of these distilled concepts could/should later be incorporated up to GNG. (talk) 07:33, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I've been watching the progress and voting for sometime. Let not the quest for prefection be the enemy of progress indeed. For profit schools and event promotion businesses should definately fall under this, but saying "schools" is too generic. Legacypac (talk) 11:28, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I like how this is a more objective, "checklist" criteria that new users can follow a bit more easily. I especially like the change about needing to sources that fulfill all of the criteria for a reliable source. RileyBugz私に叫ぼう私の編集 12:27, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as not perfect but a certain improvement on the original. ~ Rob13Talk 18:50, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This proposal inappropriately allows dismissal of significant coverage in reliable and independent sources as lacking independence. I have participated in several AFDs where someone seeking to delete an article about a company claims that some respected news source with editorial supervision and a reputation for fact-checking. just reprints press releases from the subject company, even when the article in question is signed by a staff reporter. Here I am talking about respected mainstream publications. "Most of such posts are company-sponsored or based on company's marketing materials" Bullshit. This is just a huge spike-studded club to be wielded by deletionists to remove articles about subjects which easily satisfy WP:N. Certainly many legitimate stories about companies start with a press release saying that they are buying another company, opening or closing a factory, or launching a new or improved product. Stories have to start somewhere, and few newspapers or magazines routinely grab employees leaving the factory to interrogate them, or dig through the dumpster for discarded memos, or climb in windows to look through filing cabinets. Some stories start with legal filings. Others start with some release from the subject organization or company. The editor hands some press release to a reporter, or a reporter attends a press conference, then follows up to investigate, confirm or disprove and to elaborate on what is going on. In some cases, a reliable source will judge that there is nothing newsworthy in a press release or press conference. Maybe they will just accurately report that "Company A in a press conference Tuesday announced blah" which I would not use as evidence of notability. A reliable source does not just take a stack of press releases and feed them into the printing press as news. Edison (talk) 04:55, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Most newspapers have eliminated the "editor hands some press release to a reporter" step. They publish e-mail addresses for their staff to save the (many fewer now) editors the time needed to glance at them all. The rule at most newspapers seems to be "anything in my inbox counts as a press release". (I guess that means that if you want to leak confidential information, then you should start with a telephone call. Face-wink.svg) WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:41, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, ideally with private schools, too — I get what DGG is saying when it comes to most public schools, for example, but let's be honest: private, for-profit schools and charter schools should be assumed to be (and frequently are) just as nasty as the worst of businesses unless proven otherwise, and I strongly believe the same sort of carte blanche we give to public schools shouldn't be given to them by-default. That said, they'll likely end up with an article anyway if they're evil enough, while legit private schools that actually operate sanely will inevitably also end up being recognized for the diamonds-in-the-rough they are. I just say they should be lumped in with all the other businesses. --slakrtalk / 07:07, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose A good effort with many good things in there but as worded I think it would do more harm than good. One particularly troublesome aspect is that it has wording that will inevitably be interpreted as overriding wp:notability with respect to exclusion/deletion. North8000 (talk) 13:08, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Yes, that is the whole point. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:27, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
      • Well, if so, that is in direct conflict with the core statement at wp:notability on the relationship between it and the sng's.North8000 (talk) 13:46, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
        • No, it isn't, and this guideline already supersedes the language of the very murky language of the GNG when it comes to evaluating the sourcing required to meet notability: the notability guideline is a guideline that creates a rebuttable presumption, not a guarantee. The easiest way to rebut that presumption is through supplementary guidelines that explain what we are looking for in sourcing for specific subject matters in a more in-depth way.
          We also have plenty of guidelines that in practice we treat as being exclusionary even if the GNG is met: NFOOTY and NPROF are probably the best examples of this as they are currently applied at AfD. The only time we keep articles that fail them is when someone unfamiliar with the subject area or who has a COI WikiLawyers an AfD to death, and then we end up with no consensus.
          Additionally, we are free to make our own rules, and the GNG is not some super-guideline handed down from heaven. Each subject specific guideline sets it's own relationship with the core notability guideline, and sometimes they can be in tension. All this does it make it clear what a guideline that already must be met in addition to the GNG means. TonyBallioni (talk) 23:42, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
          • That's a fight for another day, Tony. The official stance at WP:N, AIUI, is that editors at AFD are free to use whichever standard they think is more appropriate to the guideline (e.g., GNG or CORP), but that GNG can't be used as an end-run around a strict SNG, and that a weak SNG can't be used to circumvent the GNG. In other words, the standard at AFD is "which one is more relevant" instead of "which one gets me the desired outcome", and the standard in the SNGs is that they shouldn't stray too far from the GNG. One can easily criticize a NPROF for claiming that the existence of any independent sources at all for, say, a journal chief, is purely an optional nicety when you're writing the biography of a living person, but that doesn't make it true that it's okay to write an article that ignores everything that WP:V, NPOV, NOT, and BLP have to say about the need to use independent sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:35, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
            • Without getting into the PROF discussion (I'm aware of the criticisms re: other policies, I was just using it as an example of a guideline where we almost always delete a GNG pass that fails the SNG), I typically agree with what you just said. The issue is that too often with the current guideline, the GNG is being used as an end-run around an already stricter SNG, because the wording in both is so murky. This update fixes that for NCORP, which I think is good, and a step in the right direction (again, stating my preference to move away from pure sourcing based notability in the long run towards objective standards documented in in reliable, independent, secondary sourcing, but that's even more a fight for another day). TonyBallioni (talk) 03:44, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
            • The difference is that each SNG is created by a much smaller group than WP:GNG, and the same goes for any consensus or decisoin reached in either.North8000 (talk) 11:32, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose extension to products paired with media of limited interest and circulation. This rules out writing on any marketable technology, invention or idea (product) that is below the New York Times radar. This rules out writing based primarily on academic and professional journals (of limited interest and circulation) which are otherwise considered the preferred source (WP:RS). Slippery slope scare, perhaps, but it's what I see. Retired electrician (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. A clear improvement which is necessary but not sufficient for keeping out spam. I would like to see the changes propagated to at least websites and living people. Likewise, I agree that this guideline should apply all for-profit organizations, including schools -- List of international schools in Singapore and linked articles is a pathological example. MER-C 19:38, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose The coverage is too broad. "Groups" are included without any qualification but the existing WP:NORG says "This guideline does not cover small groups of closely related people such as families, entertainment groups, co-authors, and co-inventors covered by WP:Notability (people)." NORG also excludes anything embraced by WP:NMUSIC (given as an example). The overreach needs to be corrected. This guideline is (rightly in my view) claiming to supersede GNG but it should not be (by inadvertence?) be overriding other subject-specific guidelines. Thincat (talk) 09:49, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Thincat, I think the text of WP:N re other SNGs would make that reading unlikely. Passage of one SNG is enough for the presumption of inclusion. I think there is a general consensus here that things that we don't consider covered by this already shouldn't be, would it be better perhaps to conditionally support on the understanding that the closer will take all opinions into consideration, and it is very possible that we could just include a line such as this guideline does not apply to subjects which have an existing subject notability guideline. That seems a much better approach than throwing out what on the whole is a very good reform. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:37, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
      • A small change might well have solved my problem. Are you suggesting that the closer of this RFC might legitimately make such a change in wording? I don't want to have people scanning for "intitle:group", finding Bloomsbury Group, applying this irrelevant guideline in an AFD nomination, saying that GNG is not applicable, and the closer declaring that anything to the contrary is "not policy-based". Why was the scope widened beyond topics liable to spam anyway? Many people (including me) sought to keep things focused but these suggestions were not written in. The existing guideline is limited in its scope and there was no need or benefit in extending it. Thincat (talk) 17:39, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
        • Wikipedia discussions are not votes. Closers take into consideration all comments. If there is a general consensus for the wording here, but a sense that it should be limited to the scope it is currently at (which is what some of the opposes are getting at), I think that would be within the closers discretion, especially as many of the supports are basically "this is a step forward, let's not oppose it because of some issues." TonyBallioni (talk) 18:00, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Grumpy abstain - There is a reason why we don't hold RfCs on sweeping rewrites of entire policies. You do not meet the "neutral and brief" requirement of an RfC if you're neutral and brief statement is "please evaluate several pages of changes and discussion". I've spent the last 15 minutes looking at this page and I still couldn't tell you in detail what in particular we're changing. I'm inclined to think whoever closes this should probably clarify how many of each support can do so themselves before considering their opinion. GMGtalk 18:25, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Sorry, GreenMeansGo. Since this is a full re-write, there is no side-by-side comparison with the current version. But you can see this diff how the re-written guideline is different. Renata (talk) 18:28, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
      • Nothing personal Renata. But I do think you would achieve more with more permanence if you proposed these changes one at a time, so that each can individually be scrutinized and agreed upon. It looks a lot here like you're getting opposes for very different reasons which may likely sink a wholesale proposal, but may not sink a series of individual proposals that have the same effect in the end. GMGtalk 18:31, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
    • I mostly agree with the comments by GMG about the inherently chaotic nature of an RfC for major re-writes of texts. I do not have a solution to this general conundrum, but for policies (as opposed to articles) we should perhaps be following the slow, very very slow process of itemized approvals. Let one hundred RfCs bloom!.. :-) Take care. The Gnome (talk) 14:59, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: it's not perfect, but it's is an improvement in comparison to what we currently have. Organizations, especially companies, are a problem area because they attract COI and the quality of sources out there is variable. The proposed guideline does exactly what an SNG should: it elaborates on how GNG can be applied with regards to typical sourcing in this specialized field. Although this will significantly lengthen the guideline, it's people who have the time to read instructions that we want creating articles like this in the first place.
There is still room for improvement though. Sports teams should be included, as others have pointed out above. I fail to understand the relevance of the restriction set in #Illegal conduct entirely and would like it to be explained to me. I also think that the bit on systemic bias under #Multiple sources is flawed. It says (between the lines) that, because there are no English-language Western sources online for Bangladeshi women's rights organizations from the 1960s, the standard for multiple sources is waived. No, that's not how it should work. Because Wikipedia is nothing more than a compendium of previously published information, it replicates systemic bias when it comes to the totality of sources out there. The proper thing to do here is to look for sources about those organizations that are not in English, not Western, and not online (sources don't need to be any of those things to be verifiable or to confer notability). – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 15:08, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Finnusertop: just wanted to point out that #Illegal conduct is copied directly from existing guideline and not a word has been changed. Renata (talk) 16:42, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Imperfect? Probably. But a definite improvement over the existing guideline. It's a step, a big one actually, in the right direction. -Ad Orientem (talk) 15:23, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Neutral (edited comment) In all conscience I can't fully support this because it applies to legally defined governmental organizations. I am sorry but I just cannot support this enhanced "anti-spam" criteria being applied to public bodies. However, if this goes through, I think this can be resolved in a future RFC. To which I have started an essay. Prince of Thieves (talk) 16:55, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support It's better reflecting of current consensus against spammy topics of limited interest and their replication, and can be tempered in the application, and improved -- specifically, it seems certain in the future we will organize separately these things and not try to put a blatantly indiscriminate group of things under the title "organizations". I suggest the next RfC be to specifically exempt eg. religion and schools - directing people to other essays or if there comes into being, a fit guideline for those - we can get by for a time without a specific SNG for those. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:29, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support major step in right direction against prspam, give it a try. Further disagreements of separate points can be discussed one by one later. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:53, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – It is clear, nicely laid out, obeys majority consensus, and unambiguous. That is all policies here need to be. Ad Orientem says it all: Imperfect? Probably. But a definite improvement over the existing guideline. It's a step, a big one actually, in the right direction and he isn't one known for being inclusionist. I fully respect the opinions of DGG, Kudpung, et al but this will just lead to needless, countless discussion if we nitpick. This is one big bold step towards what we want. But yes, please cut down on the schools. That has no place to be sorted out here. J947(c), at 04:47, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support wholeheartedly. Some commenters have noted that the proposed change isn't perfect, but that's not what Wikipedia is about – if only perfect work was published, or adopted as policy, we would have no articles and no policies. This proposed rewrite is miles ahead of the current guideline, and I highly applaud Renata for their work here. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 00:22, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support This is a significant improvement that codifies current practices and existing consensus. Mduvekot (talk) 17:30, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. Notability is just a guideline and guidelines are, by definition, flexible, loose and subject to exceptions. The WP:GNG is already plenty of guidance and so it is not appropriate to have some huge list of narrow, fussy rules which will mainly result in more wiki-lawyering rather than anything productive. Andrew D. (talk) 14:47, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Improvement in this controversial area is always going to be an on-going process. Despite the omissions and missteps perceived by some in this discussion, the proposal is nonetheless a good step forward. We can, and will, refine this as time goes by. For now, I offer my thanks to the people who worked to get the proposal to this stage. NewYorkActuary (talk) 01:01, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Notability is a guideline, not a policy. Notability is, even though not clearly specified, just a guideline to determine whether there is enough reliable source material to write an article about; it's nothing that requires extensive debate or long pages of guidance. WP:GNG should always come first, and while pages like this can give guidance on what satisfies GNG with respect to organizations, it should never specify hard, concrete rules or limit discretion on applying the GNG. Esquivalience (talk) 04:16, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Grumpy abstain as per GreenMeansGo. Just too much to thumbs up or thumbs down all at once. That it has so much support, however, is at very least an indication that changes need to be made to the current text. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:58, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Support - There are just too many improvements. For the record, however, I Oppose implementing with concessions to those opposing for this or that reason. We either shoot this down and find consensus for each part, or enact the whole thing and find consensus to remove each part. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 05:12, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
Lol, Rhododendrites, you just made my day - There are just too many improvements :) Renata (talk) 19:31, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - like others above, I view this as a codification of generally accepted practices rather than a redefinition of this guideline. I am optimistic that we will be able to point to specific sections of this guideline to increase the rate of creation of high-quality articles while also gatekeeping out spam masquerading as articles. shoy (reactions) 14:12, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

RfC discussion[edit]

Housekeeping notes: Since this is a full re-write, there is no side-by-side comparison with the current version. But you can see this diff how the re-written guideline is different. Discussion that led to the proposal has been archived in Archives 17 and 18 of this talk page. Discussions specifically about this proposal have been placed under a {{hat}} to avoid confusion. Renata (talk) 16:01, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

  • I fully understand the motion as proposed, but especially those areas that have enjoyed relaxation (because they are not toxic) should be left as they stand. My concern is that like the last totally ambivalent RfC for schools, for example, some people will start all out campaigns to send masses of older articles to AfD, which at least one user is now already doing. Spam, especially paid editing, is our top priority - including vanity bios and electoral candidates of course, but we should not make churches, places of worship, listed buildings, settlements, and schools, etc., become victims of this. The whole principle of sharpening the notability guidelines is to help combat spam (in which incidentally, ACTRIAL has successfully made great inroads), not make it easier for the deletionists to simply trawl the encyclopedia's corpus for articles to delete. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:25, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
    • Yes, it's my bad - a big oops. I deleted the three words (school, team, religion) as it was never about them. Please consider it a technical correction. Renata (talk) 03:37, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Smiley saying oops.png
  • I've reverted the hatting, because editors need to be able to see the multiple unresolved objections above, and because hatting makes searching needlessly difficult. Except when the goal is actually to hide previous discussions (e.g., in formal mediation or to cover up bad behavior), discussions should always be left visible, but can be boxed when the discussion is resolved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:06, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • [Summoned by bot, though this has been on my watchlist for some time]. For those of us who haven't diligently followed all of this discussion, it would be really useful to have a couple people provide brief summaries explaining what they view this proposed change accomplishing (salient ways it would affect practice, for example). A lazy question, I know, but it seems like it might help attract a bit more participation than it would otherwise (and/or fewer people basing their !votes just on previous !votes). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 07:18, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • It is hoped that the striking of "religions" blunts much of the negative impact that was feared by the oppose !voters. I would have strong concerns about this as well, as one of my areas of interest is religious minorities including new religious movements, Native American religious groups like the Indian Shaker Church, groups using entheogens, and the tension between U.S. First Amendment rights and other law-and-order imperatives. If there were any proposal that I thought would substantially weaken anyone's ability to contribute in this area, it would be of extreme concern. But I just don't see that happening here. The ability to write about movements, systems of thought, or social phenomena don't seem to be affected by the proposal at all, only organizations that represent them, and this is of much less concern to me. Plus the notability of these groups will be well established in independent sources even by the strict criteria originally laid out by Tony. This RfC, I hope, represents the beginning of an incremental consensus-building that can carry us past analysis paralysis in this area. To DGG in particular, I think if this had existed when the pathological Circle AfD had been taken up, it could have had the opposite outcome. Ironically you supported deletion but the refutation using sources that IMO did not meet these criteria carried the day. This isn't an invitation to re-litigate Circle, but again I do think the mental checklist framework provided by Tony Renata? is extremely valuable and would result in better content.
On a less crucial note I hope that we can correct the plurality of "criteria" once the RfC is done. ☆ Bri (talk) 15:42, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
thinking of previous afds, it might well have changed outcomes in both directions .Some of the changes in areas I don't think it should apply to would have been in accord with what I would like to see, some otherwise.; ditto for the areas it will continue to apply to. That's not my standard for judging. No proposal, even if I write it myself, will do exactly what I think should be done. And I do like the overall framework, though I think there will be some necessary readjustment of the details. DGG ( talk ) 16:55, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
Of course I wasn't suggesting that the Circle AfD is a litmus test for any changes in policy/guideline. However, it was an outstanding example of how promotional articles get included and there were explicit comments at the AfD that if we didn't like it, we should reform the notability criteria. So – I didn't like it and here I am. Plus, I think there are some editors who think that deluging AfD with random mentions of a topic will help "win" on the side of inclusion by sheer mass; it's important to have a guideline that helps the discussion and the closer to critically examine the provided sources. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:16, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • In the Source table, I would prefer the use of a "?" rather than an "X" in the Independent? column for the Profile in Forbes and Tech blog post rows. Putting an X there is rather presumptuous, especially with regard to the blog post. They'd fail anyway under Reliable. Also, the statement that companies don't inherit notability from products is in conflict with the later example of a Consumer Reports analysis of a product demonstrating notability. Realistically, that probably needs a more case-by-case approach than a hard rule on when discussion of products renders a company notable. Dbrote (talk) 16:38, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I would like to know how this applies to governmental organisations. Currently this would appear to apply to any group, and I sincerely doubt that even the national ministries of numerous countries would pass these guidelines. I don't doubt that this works well for companies and non-profit organisations, but I have concerns about it being applied to groups that are legally part of a government, and feel these should be exempted. Prince of Thieves (talk) 14:57, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
    • Prince of Thieves, I took it to mean that every municipal volunteer commission isn't notable. Nor is every department of a larger national agency. Anything that you noted would pretty clearly pass these guidelines, even on a local level, IMO. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:44, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • TonyBallioni I am not so sure, the vast majority of information about legally recognised government organisations is primary, often written by some other part of the government. Other sources rarely go in depth, and would be discounted as not substantial, or discounted as based on press releases. Given the nature of these organisations I would personally prefer it if these bodies only had to pass WP:GNG. Most truly irrelevant local municipal organisations won't pass WP:GNG even on current guidelines, but I am not convinced we need to make it harder. For example an article I created, Landsréttur, is a new (national level) governmental organisation, it opened last month. I have included sources which are perfectly acceptable for passing WP:GNG. But I don't think it would pass these new guidelines. Prince of Thieves (talk) 15:58, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
    • Prince of Thieves, under the old rules, any Icelandic government agency that got a couple of sentences in both Fréttablaðið and Morgunblaðið, and a long-ish article in just one of the two, would have been considered notable. I don't know whether that's still true (I'd have to re-read the changes – WP:Policy writing is hard, and the devil's in the details), but I think it's safe to say that the proposers intend for that to still be true, no matter what they may or may not have actually written at this stage. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:20, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
    • I think the priority is to be concerned with private profit-making companies, and then non-profits. Government organizations are a distant third. In particular, they're not as susceptibleto freelance paid editing rings. DGG ( talk ) 01:58, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


So the comments have died down. I would think that indicates it's time to close the RFC? Can someone handle? Due to my real-life schedule, I can only spend a few hours on wiki on weekends. As such, I won't be able to initiate any follow-up RFCs (unless you guys wait a month when my schedule becomes normal again). Renata (talk) 21:10, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

I count 33 supports to 11 opposes (75% supports) so on the face of it, it looks like it would be easy to close. There are also a couple of points that almost everybody agrees on 1) this was a huge undertaking, so thanks to Renata for doing it; 2) it's not perfect, but better than the old version. In other words, this is a starting place for further discussions. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:05, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, I think something should be done but the close may not be straightforward. Some "supports" were conditional and some "opposes" were on the basis of specified individual objections. TonyBallioni said "I still support this now with the understanding that an eventual closer will look at the arguments and see where there is support to limit this before adaptation." Thincat (talk) 09:27, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
In general though, most supports seem to be of the mind that we should adopt this, and work out minor changes later (i.e. it is better than what we have currently). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 11:39, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Wait the full 30 days. You can go ahead and request a close at WP:ANRFC though as the template will let people know how long this has been open. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:01, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Comments: As a rewrite, I suppose I am alright with what is presented. Anything that will hamper the wholesale creation of company-sponsored or COI corporate articles is a plus. What I have seen in AFD's is that those "!voting" will sometimes just look at the number of sources and not that many are primary are too closely related. My main concerns are:

  • 1)- Was this advertised to get a broad community consensus such as at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). I might have missed it but sweeping changes need more than "local" consensus.
  • 2}- Longevity = stability which is where accepted community consensus enters. This all changes with a "rewrite" so it should be listed everywhere the policy "might" be of concern. This will give an "enforceable meat" to the "new policy". I rely on "community consensus" when I weigh in concerning policy and think it would, at the very least, hamper edit warring over policy. Otr500 (talk) 10:22, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Note: I see it was listed at Wikipedia:policies and guidelines and Wikipedia: proposals but did not see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) so should it be listed there? Otr500 (talk) 10:29, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
This discussion is on T:CENT, and I don't think you can really get more advertising than that, barring a sitenotice to all logged-in users. And yes, it is transcluded at the top of VPP. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 19:34, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Comment: The glaring flaw in the proposal is that first sentence says multiple reliable secondary sources instead of a defined metric. There is precedence for stating a defined number -- one reference is required in WP:NACADEMIC. Further, stating a metric will help define which references go toward WP:N and which references are merely support for non-exceptional claims where WP:NEWSBLOG and WP:SELFPUB are generally accepted in most other projects. I.e., not all references are provided to support notability.
If you state the actual number of WP:IRS required to establish notability (make it a dozen if you want), far fewer organizations will waste their effort on a Wikipedia article and/or be misled by paid PR entities. Changing the abstract term from "multiple" to an integer (any integer) will save a ton of time in AfC, AfD and COIN. ESparky (talk) 19:36, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
ESparky: it would be nice if we could agree on a number. Maybe you could run a discussion on that point and see where it takes you? Renata (talk) 22:25, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Renata It appears that in AfC and AfD multiple IRS means twelve in NCORP rather than the real world vernacular of three as Insertcleverphrasehere states below. The result is a lot of pissed off newbies who will never volunteer and an open market for paid editing. If the employee can tell the CEO we need six rock-solid IRS, the article never gets written/submitted -- AfC and AfD have a metric -- everybody wins. (A see also to WP:NNC might be informative for AfC and AfD editors.) ESparky (talk) 03:43, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
Note that I meant 2 as the magic number, at least with regards to very high quality sources (I used the greater than or equal to sign). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 04:21, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
I generally go with the dictionary definition (multiple means ≥2). Two bombproof sources are good enough for me, and for somewhat more borderline sourcing, a few more would be my recommendation. However, we will never get everyone to agree on an exact number, and this wording is taken right out of the general notability guideline. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 23:06, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Speaking from the GNG, we are never going to hard-code a number into the GNG as it will be immediately gamed and/or immediately complained about. The key is that we are looking for the number of sources that go indepth about the topic, not just any source. A restaurant that has a detailed review (1 indepth) and a bunch of name drops does not meet the GNG. That's in part why I think the approach here for NORG to define sources that organizations are expected to show towards the uncoded number in the GNG is the best way. There's still going to be COI, but it should be easier to point out problems in sourcing rather than GNG metrics. --Masem (t) 23:57, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Masem I partially agree, we are looking for a specific number of rock solid IRS, but some references are for supporting other claims (WP:NNC). A lot of AfC and AfD participants will see several references that are not relevant to WP:N, but judge the article on those weaker references. If we have a metric for the number of WP:N references, the article goes unmolested in AfC and AfD and community-editing works its magic.
I consider the term "multiple" in this context a weasel word and a statement like "the corporation has won multiple awards" would be pruned from any article. Since this is a subject-specific guideline and not the GNG, isn't this the appropriate place to narrow criterion and define metrics?
If the employee assigned to the Wikipedia task can tell the CEO, we don't have the six required references stated in the guideline, the article never gets written, no paid editor is hired, everybody wins. ESparky (talk) 03:43, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
Lol no. They'll just try their luck with sources that look ok but actually are not (press releases, etc). Your hypothetical employee will also have no idea what WP:42 means anyway. Nothing is really going to stop the submission of promotional articles, all we can do is get better at recognising and removing them. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 18:36, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Implementing above RfC[edit]

I'd love to see this material put into the project page asap, but the long discussion makes it seem complicated. I'll probably do the following in a couple of hours if nobody beats me to it or has better ideas.

  1. Revert to Renata's version at [1]
  2. Remove the words"school, team, religion"
  3. minor add under churches "Religious organizations, congregations and churches must meet WP:ORG or WP:GNG or both. The fact that a church building is listed on a major historic register such as the National Heritage List for England or the National Register of Historic Places does not necessarily mean that the religious organization that owns or meets in the building is notable. It is quite possible for a building to be notable independently from the institution." per this diff added after Renata's version.
  4. There must be something else with all that discussion - would folks please add to this list? Or just put in the new text themselves?

@DGG, Renata, TonyBallioni, and Slim Virgin: or anybody else. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:04, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I am on WP for five minutes at a time, so I really can't do much... thank you for taking the lead. P.S. I did not get the ping. Renata (talk) 17:12, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Although I supported the re-write, I still find it troubling that this debate on a controversial topic was closed by a non-admin with only about 18 months of substantive editing experience. This closing might well find itself undergoing a review. Renata, you might do better in the long run by reverting the closure and requesting that it be closed by an uninvolved administrator. NewYorkActuary (talk) 17:39, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
    • The close was fine. It is now the guideline. Godric has experience closing RfCs and generally does a good job. I support Smallbones’ suggestion. I’m busy now but will review later to see if there are other minor tweaks to make. We have the general consensus via the RfC, we don’t need a new RfC for every minor modification that comes out of it. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:51, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for the prompt response. As I noted at the start of my post here, I do support the re-write and I find myself in the unusual situation of questioning the closing. But I do foresee problems with (what I view as) Godric's out-of-scope declaration that the re-write shall not apply to various types of organisations. Consider, for example, sports teams, which were unaddressed in Renata's re-write. Although some participants did address the topic, those side discussions didn't result in anything approaching a "strong consensus" to remove that topic from the scope of the re-write. And yet, apparently on the basis of Godric's out-of-scope declaration, we see SmallBones prepared to remove that list of organisations from the entire SNG (i.e., not just the portion of the SNG that was the subject of this RfC). I think this is going to create a lot of unnecessary debate. NewYorkActuary (talk) 18:17, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, but did you fail to read the !votes that specifically supported the exemptions?! And, some who were willing to have this compromise to enact the broader aspects of the change.And, surely you can try your luck at AN.Best,~ Winged BladesGodric 06:08, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Renata3: - now I know how to ping you. @TonyBallioni: went ahead and implemented per the above. I took out another set of "school, team, religion" and added the post-start-of-the-RfC edit by Blueboar. I think that we're in the position now that we can start the usual "policy tweaking" that goes on in these places. I know this isn't a policy, but that only underlines that we can make a few tweaks here without full-blown RfCs. In fact, right now I'd say - just post here what you think is wrong with the implementation of the RfC, wait an hour or so, then boldly make a change. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:35, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Per the above question on changing the scope: I think we would have tweaked it anyway even if Godric did not include it in the close. Like Smallbones mentioned, "policy tweaking" after major RfCs is pretty normal, and based on the above discussion/what are normal practice is anyway for these type of organizations, I think the removals were fine. The principle is that there is consensus to adapt the new guideline as proposed, with minor tweaks to scope, etc. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:44, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

It is unclear to me how for-profit schools/universities are to be handled. Many of the comments which mentioned pulling schools out of this guideline excepted for-profit schools. Will the final guideline reflect this? Jbh Talk 18:57, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

I'd put them under "companies". TonyBallioni (talk) 19:26, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree with that. Would it be possible to work in wording to that effect in this 'policy tweaking phase'. I am concerned that if it is not made explicit it will be lost and we will have issues down the road. Jbh Talk 20:04, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
[2] should cover it. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:13, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
That wording is not clear enough and implys all schools Atlantic306 (talk) 20:40, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. I swapped the words around a bit for, I hope, more clarity. Jbh Talk 21:23, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that was a typo. Thanks for fixing. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:24, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
  • The closure was made subject to the caveat that sports teams are explicitly excluded from the purview of this guideline. Per the closing notice, that caveat needs to be included in the revised language. Cbl62 (talk) 22:22, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
    • We removed them from the list of examples. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:34, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
    • "Teams" doesn't appear at all now. "Sports" only occurs in a link-in-a-box to Wikipedia:Notability (sports) and that says that teams are not covered there, they are covered here. Around and round it goes. I'll suggest off the top of my head that we do cover the off-field aspects (finances, franchise sales, etc) of the team, and, as long as the on-field aspects (games won and lost, etc.) are notable then the organization also be notable. That might need some work though. Most team articles are really about on-field stuff. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:44, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Given the explicit assurances during the RfD, and the explicit caveat in the closing statement, we need something similarly explicit in the guideline noting that teams are not governed by the new guideline. Cbl62 (talk) 02:08, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Should we also modify the wording in the WP:NCORP#Schools section that says All universities, colleges and schools ... must satisfy either this guideline (WP:ORG) or the general notability guideline, or both.? Mz7 (talk) 01:15, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
    I forgot to note here on talk — per the above discussion about for-profit schools I made this edit to bring the section into line with the lead which had been modified earlier. Jbh Talk 01:29, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Per comments above, I have more clearly clarified the scope here. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:22, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  • As was mentioned earlier, there is considerable doubt about whether school should be included in this guideline at all, especially since the last RfC said there was no consensus to change the current practice that we keep all verifiable secondary schools. Of course, it will still be possible to argue00as has been successfully argued in thousands of afds--that the guideline for notability is irrelevant, because we treat them as if they were notable. DGG ( talk ) 03:16, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
    • DGG, I have made it clear in the scope that non-profit educational institutions are excluded. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:50, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
TonyBallioni we just need to be careful mthat a clear distinction is made between private schools that are companies and are creating articles for spam, and private schools, such as Eton, etc, which are highly notable. Most genuine UK private schools, for example, are registered charities under UK non-profit law. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:58, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
Kudpung, yes. I think this is an English variations issue. Eton would not be considered for profit, even if private, in North American English, which is what I’m assuming Jbhunley and myself both speak. In the States, for-profit school has a very strong negative connotation. I’m not sure if there is a more neutral way to say it between English variants. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:09, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
I think 'for proit' is seen just as negartively in the UK. One school that comes to mind in the Abbey College, Malvern in my home town. The article also has a troubled editing history. Most bona fida private schools, which this is although for profit, in the UK are nevertheless subject to the government OFSTED. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:20, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Correct. I had thought of setting off for-profit as 'for-profit' to distinguish but did not. Maybe that would help?? As I understand the term, and as I believe is typical in the US, a for-profit school is one where profit it the primary reason for its existence — schools such as Trump University, Univ of Phoenix etc. These, in the US, were set up to capture monies via various Federal student loan/student aid programs and provided sub-par, at best, education. I would also consider many of the 'colleges' we see from India and environs (the type of institutions which the Wifi-one matter, if I remember correctly, centered around) These schools tend to be businesses first and educational institutions second. I am not sure how these could be distinguished using an internationalized term. Jbh Talk 04:25, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  • That particular RfC should be made null and void. It was contentious and amibiguous, and like all the disscussions about notability for schools, it did nothing to change the current practice. All it did was produce some babble about OUTCOMES which merely documents the accepted practices for several kinds of articles. Note also WP:ATD-R. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:47, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
Tony, but the "Schools " section remains. Im not going to get too concerned over the for-profit ones, because most of them do get enough press to show notability in the usual way. DGG ( talk ) 03:58, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
I’m pretty sure this was in the last guideline, David. You and I have the same view on this. I agree with Kudpung above re: the last RfC on schools. The outcome was no consensus. Everything else was commentary. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:09, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
Overall, I think it would be best to leave all schools out of the guideline as Godric did when he closed the discussion as public and private is not a clear distinction in many countries such as Academy schools in the U.K.. Also, I don't think there is enough of a consensus to leave out for profit schools as many editors may have thought they were voting for a guideline where all schools were left out. Scam schools can be dealt with by AFD as WP:PROMO Atlantic306 (talk) 09:45, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
No: for-profit schools generally aren't actually schools, and we never treat them the same as non-profit private schools in discussions. The editors who commented on this are smart enough to know the distinctions (knowing most of them by name). For-profit schools are companies, and are covered by this guideline. Even in the schools RfC last year, people were making the distinction. What you are referencing are private schools, which are not the same as for-profit. Just because someone has to pay for something does not make it a for-profit institution. TonyBallioni (talk) 11:00, 23 March 2018 (UTC)