Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources/Cost

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Isn't this essay conflating verifiability and reliability?

Moreover, does not some aggregate cost impact usability? An extreme example: an obscure work, in a foreign language, with incomplete information on publication. Perhaps I'm simply suggesting that the more obscure and potentially more difficult a source is to access, the more incumbent it should be on the editor to provide complete publication information. But ultimately, what happens when even a source's existence is almost impossible to verify? It would seem to me that there's a lot of ground between not requiring that any particular person at any given moment be capable of verifying a source and requiring only that some person somewhere possibly be able to verify a source. Assuming that the source actually exists and supports a statement that it is purported to support. I'm not suggesting that faking references is common practice on Wikipedia, but I've encountered a few editors who have offered as support sources that they clearly had not personally consulted.

A cost-related issue is the lack of a page number. Though it appears to me that WP policy does not require one, for practical purposes, a lengthy source without a page reference is essentially unverifiable to anyone who hasn't memorized that source. Moreover, without a page number, it's difficult to reasonably assume that the editor correctly understood (or perhaps remembered) the source material (or in some cases, even consulted it).

Reliability is, of course, a different, and in my opinion, a far more difficult and subjective issue. And perhaps one for another essay. JeffConrad (talk) 05:47, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Extremely difficult to access works[edit]

Imagine a tablet sunk to the bottom of a trench in the Pacific Rim. Only accessible by a skilled and well-moneyed expedition of mariners. No other copies. Prior to sinking, the tablet was read and used as a source by several well-known Wikipedia editors. Still verifiable? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:07, 11 July 2013 (UTC)