Wikipedia talk:Reference desk

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To ask a question, use the relevant Reference Desk
The guidelines for the Reference desk are at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines.
For help using Wikipedia, please see Wikipedia:Help desk.
This page is for discussion of the Reference Desks only. Please don't post comments here that don't relate to the Reference Desks. Other material may be moved.

Video game publisher

  • Transferred to Entertainment desk

Format of the talk page

The top of the talk page looks a little weird, with the archives kind of pushing down everything. Someone added a "{clear}" tag to force that to happen. Removing that gets rid of the blank space but reinstates the earlier problem of the archives interfering with the actual discussions. I don't want that either. Are there other options? Is there a way to have them take up the same vertical space? Or, could we kind of "hat" a portion of the archives? I have a feeling that I've seen that elsewhere, but I can't think of where. WP:ANI does something different again, though they're dealing with even larger amounts of material and their solution might be overkill here. Just a minor annoyance, to be sure, but maybe there's an easy solution. Matt Deres (talk) 16:00, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

The "clear" is after the "FORCETOC" thing, so why it would be messing with the actual TOC is unclear to me just now. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:50, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
I just created a "dummy header" and put the "clear" after it, and that seems to take care of the TOC / archive box. Maybe something a little more elegant could be used (and also somehow kept from being archived). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:54, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
I did some reading and switched the template to default to collapsed state (and removed the dummy header, etc.). I think it looks better now, but feel free to revert if I've broken something on the way. Matt Deres (talk) 13:29, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
Lookin' good! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:49, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

Help desk

The reference desk is part of the help desk. The help desk is the place to find technical and practical help with using the site, while the reference desks are used to help with the content and information, though not limited to that, that is what the ref desks are, part of the help desks. It's very important. If a vote were passed to close them, somebody would try to close them and there'd be war, guaranteed. To leave them as they are, even if they do nothing, as long as they do nothing damaging, is the only way. Only individuals can be damaging from the reference desk. The concept itself, dissemination... It's out of bounds to voting here on the encyclopaedia. It could be part of the first pillar. Problems are based on individuals. You can't, fairly, challenge a crowd of well intentioned people without being particular. General chastisement without powerful, clear motivation, that they are poor, ugly, useless or worthless on the whole, is just a form of discrimination/intolerance/apathy/abuse. After financial corruption, it is the major evil of democracy. We should anticipate it, and show it not the door, but the mirror. You don't polarise the opposite of your enemy or you will risk becoming their reflection. You hand them the mirror and let them reflect upon themselves, if you can. That's what bullies do. Look at yourself you are weak, and therefore intolerable, they say. It's difficult to enact bullying if those words are removed. Prevention is better than cure. This is not part of the voting discussion. This is a request to prevent (part of) that discussion, much as that discussion is largely a request to prevent this reference desk. ~ R.T.G 13:12, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

The ref desk was spun off from the help desk. The question of what to do as a replacement is being discussed on that request-for-comment page. You could add these comments (hopefully in a condensed form) to your for-or-against comment on that page. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:52, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
I absconded from that page when I saw the weight on the closure vote. I don't know Bugs I didn't use WP as a hobby for a while. Usually that sort of initiative is led by contributing professionals or their highest level students, i.e. MOS, diplomacy etc., and we lowly just refine over time. I'd say librarianism. It's an L-space matter. The librarians know this stuff. I'm going to see if they have also avoided that page, o/ ~ R.T.G 00:26, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
So only two of our active librarians have even chimed in on that page, and then not to be constructive, but to give short votes on the closure. I'll note it with them, ~ R.T.G 00:38, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
This is a bit of a persistent myth. The Ref-Desk was not "spun-off" the help-desk.
The Ref-desk pre-dates the help-desk.
The help-desk started in 2004, but the Ref-Desk already existed in 2001, which is as far back as our current database goes.
ApLundell (talk) 19:18, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No one is going to close down the Ref Desks. Every few years or so, someone gets a bug up their ass, and thinks that everything they don't personally like must be ended. We ignore those people (except to vote against their silly proposals) and we go about our business. They desks aren't going to be shut down. Pay it no mind. --Jayron32 19:21, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Some links from search hits for:- What is a reference desk? .\o/. ~ R.T.G 13:38, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
    • Obviously, Wikipedia uses the terms "ref desk" and "help desk" to describe different functions. At BYU they might be the same thing, but not here. Also, how are you identifying so-called "librarians" within Wikipedia? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:25, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
There's a libraries project on the site. And believe it or not, the question, was rare and almost exclusively answered by librarians and academics. And if you think about it, where do you find a reference desk? Typically a major urban library, or a specialised one, like a university. Librarianism is a science. ~ R.T.G 06:06, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm aware of Library Science as a profession. Thanks for explaining how you found them here. Maybe it would help if more of them weighed in at the ref desks. But there's no requirement of such, at Wikipedia. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:01, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
No, and it is understandable that a reference clerk isn't interested in doing reference clerk on Wikipedia. ~ R.T.G 14:49, 13 February 2019 (UTC)