Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Bibliographies/Science task force/Archive 2

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Criteria for entering the lists and categories

The aim of the project is to find publications that contributed to science. These definition is very vague and for time to time there are some arguments regarding that. Some claim that any such list will be subjective. I think that one can differentiate between the importance of the Euclid's Elements and a fourth grade pupil work on shapes. Though, making the criteria clearer will help to reduce arguments and further develop the project.

When the project started it was suggested that an agreement of 90% of expert will be needed to add an entry. Since then, in the chemistry talk page some more concrete rules were formed.

I would to note that now that we use categories we can be much more liberal. We can use the list as a useful interface to add entries. Afterward we can classify the most important publications in the main topic category (e.g., mathematics) and the less important ones in the sub category (e.g., geometry).

So, does some one has a specific suggestion for criteria or some other directions? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by APH (talkcontribs) 09:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC).

Hello, I'm preparing an article on a classic of Engineering but I noticed classics of engineering are not listed here yet. Would my article potentially fit the goals of this project if it is a classic of Engineering? --pjm 20:11, 24 January 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grizanthropy (talkcontribs)
Indeed. However this Project is not very active, so you may not get much help. The various lists each attract a number of editors, but few bother with the general issues at the project. If several engineering classics are given articles, then a list could develop. --Bduke (Discussion) 22:03, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. My thesis has taken me deeply into "What Engineers Know and How they Know It". Amazing book. It was translated into Turkish this year. I have it drafted on my user page. I've been conferring with author. A few more of those talks and then I'll launch. He's 93 years old.
The article is launched. This book is referred to in the additional reading section of "engineering". I put a redirect there too. --pjm (talk) 02:11, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of individual lists

In case anyone is still reading this talk page, List of important publications in biology has been deleted and there are six related articles, currently at AfD:-

Also, the template that lists the criteria for inclusion has been modified to tighten those criteria. It now reads:-

This is a list of important publications in discipline X, organized by field.

Some reasons why a particular publication might be regarded as important:

  • Topic creator – A publication that created a new topic
  • Breakthrough – A publication that changed scientific knowledge significantly
  • Influence – A publication which has significantly influenced the world or has had a massive impact on the teaching of discipline X.

--Bduke (Discussion) 22:13, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

How this project might be made more active

Two things that might make this project more active:

  1. Create a template to put on discussion pages so editors know this project exists.
  2. Make it a child of either Wikipedia:WikiProject Lists or Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Science—or both, if that can be done. This project may be too small to thrive on its own. RockMagnetist (talk) 04:29, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I have already added templates for both Wikipedia:WikiProject Lists and Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Science to all of the pages under attack. RockMagnetist (talk) 04:46, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Some good ideas there. This project has been totally inactive for a long time. I keep an eye on it. This has meant that hardly anyone has looked at these lists as an entity. It is just chemists looking at chemistry list. geologists looking at the geology list and so on. I will see if I can create a template as you suggest. I am not sure whether the editors on the psychology and economics list would want it to be with history of science. --Bduke (Discussion) 07:54, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I think creating a template is just a matter of copying and modifying the one for Wikipedia:WikiProject Lists. I haven't added templates to articles that are not under attack. I suppose psychology and economics would benefit from being on WikiProject Lists, at least. RockMagnetist (talk) 14:06, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks. I think they are supposed to be created from a meta template. I looked at it and decided it was too hard for me with everything else I am doing this week. --Bduke (Discussion) 22:28, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

All the lists are on at least one Wikiproject (aside from this one) now. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:12, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I have created the template and I am now putting it on all the list talk pages. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:41, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I have put the template on all the talk pages. Now - can I get the bot to work? RockMagnetist (talk) 17:04, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

It should be possible for it to be a daughter project of both WPLists and WPHist of Science. I know there are other projects with joint parentage like that, but I know nothing of the mechanics of setting that up. Also, I don't think all topics need to be equally relevant to the parent projects. LadyofShalott 18:17, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
If you can give me an example, I might be able to figure out how to do it. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
It appears that it is really only a matter of adding links on the WikiProject pages and putting this project in the appropriate categories. I have done that. RockMagnetist (talk) 20:40, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
You may have all the information you already need (I'm not caught up with what you've done). A couple examples though: Wikipedia:WikiProject California State Highways is a subproject of both the US Roads and California projects. Closer to this subject matter, the Paleontology project is a descendant of both the Tree of Life and Geology projects. LadyofShalott 22:56, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

The bot is working! Except that the log file isn't generated. RockMagnetist (talk) 18:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I have added a userbox so participants can proudly display their membership on their user page! RockMagnetist (talk) 20:13, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Criteria for lists

This project needs a better definition of the criteria for inclusion in one of these lists. The section that I have renamed Criteria for lists has some dubious elements, like the 90 percent requirement (how could we possibly check that?). For an impressive (but possibly unattainable) example of clear criteria, see List of important operas. RockMagnetist (talk) 23:20, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Arguments for deleting these lists center around the pillars Neutral point of view (It is not the job of the editors to decide which publications are important) and Not original research (No original research should be done in compiling these lists). Many other lists must be consistent with these requirements, and the main policies that address them are the Manual of Style for Stand-alone lists and the Notability criteria for stand-alone lists. Of these, only the latter is relevant to whether an article can be deleted or not.

The main points I take from the very poorly written Notability criteria for stand-alone lists are:

  1. There should be at least one reference that discusses the list topic itself as a subject (as opposed to the individual items on the list).
  2. Not every member of the list has to be in that reference.

The main point in the Manual of Style for Stand-alone lists is:

  • Selection criteria should be unambiguous, objective, and supported by reliable sources.

Thus, each member of the list should include a statement showing why it meets the selection criteria and providing references for that statement. However, an article that does not meet this criterion is not subject to deletion. Instead, each item in the list might be challenged and removed, as is true of any other statement in an article. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:32, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

The current guideline seems to have arisen after this discussion earlier this year. --Bduke (Discussion) 00:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Wow, it would be hard to say exactly where in all that discussion! RockMagnetist (talk) 01:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I have rewritten Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Science pearls#Criteria for lists. RockMagnetist (talk) 01:32, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Selection criteria for inclusion in a list

The previous section was mainly about notability of a list. In this section I have some proposals for inclusion of a work in the list:

  • In an edited collection of works for the subject as a whole (not conference proceedings and not limited to a small number of years)
  • Subject of multiple, non-trivial published works whose sources are independent of the book itself (see Criterion 1 in Wikipedia:Notability (books))
  • The book's author is important enough to be the subject of multiple books.
  • Has >X citations in Science Citation Indices (maybe X=1000?)
  • Has won a major literary award (e.g., Pulitzer) or a scientific prize like the Godel prize.

Are these both unambiguous enough and suitable for the subject? RockMagnetist (talk) 02:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

List of important publications in biology

If someone is interested in revamping that article, let me know, and I'll be glad to userfy it for you. Alternatively, we could put it in project space to work on. Is anyone interested? LadyofShalott 02:46, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

The same goes for List of important publications in sociology. LadyofShalott 04:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
You might want to repeat the offer at WikiProject Biology and WikiProject History of Science (etc.). There still aren't many of us here. RockMagnetist (talk) 04:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


Might it be worth attempting to lose "important" out of the titles? The fact that they are listed at all presupposes some sort of notability, and, from the vehemence of some of the recent arguments, it is apparent that the word has caused considerable controversy just by being there in the title. --Matt Westwood 05:19, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

If you look at the archives for this talk page, you'll find that these pages did not always have the word "important" in them. Someone had a problem with that, so the titles were changed. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:18, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Tricky. Shrug. I dunno, from what I can tell, someone (mentioning no names) is going to have a problem with whatever we call these lists. I wonder whether we're going about this the wrong way: rather than defending what should not need to be defending, should we instead be going into attack mode, directly against those who are attacking these lists? --Matt Westwood 16:57, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that is necessary. In all of the discussions, the votes are strongly in favor of keeping the lists. Although their approach is heavy-handed, the pro-deletion forces have forced us to think carefully about how these lists should be defined. That is actually a good thing. Also, the discussion has energized people and I am seeing a lot of activity going into improving the articles. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

The general consensus has always been that the word "important" or "notable" should not be in the title of a list. The items are assumed to be notable. The history is that in the last but one Afd on "List of publications in biology" (note no "important"), it was a condition of keeping it that "important" be added. Consensus changes. As a result, I added it to all the lists for consistency. It clearly should be removed. The argument that then we would list every publication in the universe is of course nonsense. We add publications that meet the criteria. --Bduke (Discussion) 23:16, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposal: rename to bibliography?

Mike Cline proposed a good solution to the notability problem: we could rename the lists to bibliographies. Discussions can also be found at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of important publications in geology and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of important publications in medicine. RockMagnetist (talk) 22:44, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

And what would the inclusion criteria be?Curb Chain (talk) 22:50, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Have you read the discussions? RockMagnetist (talk) 22:54, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I have read the discussions and I see no objective criteria, or rather, exclusion criteria.Curb Chain (talk) 23:21, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The inclusion criteria are given in the template at the top of the list. All that is then needed is a reliable source that shows the entry meets the criteria. It has always been the case that editors on these list want to only list publications that do meet those criteria. The criteria have quite rightly been tightened up recently and that will result, and already has resulted, in some items being deleted. They do not have to be exclusion criteria, or even objective. They just have to be properly sourced. --Bduke (Discussion) 23:29, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I'd rather keep "important". I'd go for "landmark" I guess. What about "notable"? That should circumvent this nonsense. RobHar (talk) 01:40, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Dream on! ;) RockMagnetist (talk) 01:42, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
You're probably right. But still, instead of "But how would you determine which papers are important? that's OR!", in my dreams it would be "But how would you determine which papers are notable? Oh, right, by determining whether they are notable as is your duty as an editor of wikipedia! I'm totally fine with that!". Indeed. RobHar (talk) 02:35, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

A summary of naming suggestions

  1. "List of landmark publications in X"
  2. "List of notable publications in X"
  3. "Bibliography of X" (see discussion above by Mike Cline)
  4. "Additional reading in X" (see discussion above by DGG)
  5. Any name but create a stub establishing notability for each publication (see discussion above by DGG)
  6. Do nothing because anyone not satisfied with the current approach will not buy any of the others

(Is this a notable list?) RockMagnetist (talk) 05:26, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

"Bibliography" sounds good, because then it doesn't use the word "list" which is what seems to be alerting the anti-list brigade. It also sounds unimpeachably and encyclopedically academic. Mike Cline seems to be on the right lines. --Matt Westwood 05:39, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

I favour point 5, although of course it does not exclude the others. If a publication has an article, we should be allowed to list, summarize why it is notable and briefly describe it. The only alternative is where there are several sources saying a publication is notable, but then we can use those to write at least an acceptable stub. Without this, adding an entry is always going to be difficult. I would also commend what we do on the chemistry list. Once an item is added, I put a template by it saying there is a discussion on the talk page about whether to keep it or discard it. The discussion goes on for a period. Most have been discarded recently. I notify the editor who added it and sometimes they help to get it into shape, but often they are an IP editor who never comes back. We have been doing this for several years, with a set of criteria that were tougher than those in the template, but are now identical. I added the template to the chemistry list only a week or so ago. --Bduke (Discussion) 06:25, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

I certainly favor Bibliography as a list of books about a topic is a bibliography by any other name regardless of specific inclusion criteria. Bibliographies are permitted by WP:LIST and clearly if a list of books about a topic has been discussed as a group (a bibliography) then the topic--Bibliography of Topic X--meets the criteria for notability in WP:NOTESAL. Why do we need to invent another way of doing this? --Mike Cline (talk) 13:20, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
We aren't trying to invent another way of doing this, we are trying to defend a current way of doing this. I think that renaming these lists as "Bibliography" will be confusing to readers of wikipedia. "List of important ... " is a clear statement of the intentions of the article (well, except to a few of the editors who seem to have no idea what important means). On the other hand, "bibliography" is meaningful if you know the rules of wikipedia and you know that by WP:DUE anything on the list has to be "important". So, while we might appease, what seems from the debate about the mathematics list, a very small portion of editors, it will be much more opaque to the general readership. Again, based on the discussion at the mathematics list, I favour point 6. To quote one of the two active "delete votes" in that discussion "You will still have to define notable". Hmm, you might be able to convince me of "Selective bibliography". I just think that we should think about what people reading this title will think the article means. And if they see bibliography by itself they will think it should be complete. RobHar (talk) 13:56, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
If one applied WP:COMMONNAME to this exercise, what would these lists be called? They'd be called Bibliographies. Bibliography is the search term almost anyone would use to search for a list of books on a particular subject. We learn that in our early years in school. I think it is a real stretch to believe that the majority of WP users will be confused by the term Bibliography. There's literally no evidence to that effect. And having just spent the morning doing my Campus Ambassador thing with instructors and students (freshmen) teaching them how to use WP in their research, I can say unequivocally that the term Bibliography is not vague or confusing to them, they know exactly what it means--a list of books on a particular subject.--Mike Cline (talk) 18:19, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I completely agree that people know that bibliography means a list of books. What I'm saying is that it does not mean a list of important books. Bibliography can often refer to "any and all relevant books". For example, a reader might rather reasonably think that the wiki article "Bibliography of mathematics" could be a list of all bibliographic math references used on wikipedia. Why not? If someone wants to know what are the, say, "masterworks" in mathematics, I assume they would google "important math books", or some such phraseology. I seriously doubt they would just google "math bibliography". Especially since the latter would return every single math-related thing that has a bibliography. When I apply WP:COMMONNAME in my head to a list of important things, it returns "list of <superlative adjective> things", not "generic name for a collection of such things". As I've said, one could argue for "Selected bibliography"; indeed, some of the sources one would use to compile the list of important publications in mathematics use that term. RobHar (talk) 22:52, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I think you're right, RobHar. I favor 6 as well. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:08, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

What is the purpose of the article in Wikipedia:WikiProject Science pearls#Internal lists?

Is this article being developed for entry into the main namespace? RockMagnetist (talk) 18:11, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

It is a deleted one, that maybe we can bring back when the dust settles, but of course it is not science so may be it does not come under this Project, or maybe we should rename the project. --Bduke (Discussion) 21:37, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Glad you suggested that ... RockMagnetist (talk) 21:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking about that as well... "WikiProject Academic pearls"? "WikiProject Professional literature pearls"? (uh, barf... but you see the lines along which I'm thinking). Better ideas??? LadyofShalott 02:04, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
The whole "pearls" thing is potentially misleading. See the next section for my suggestions. RockMagnetist (talk) 02:08, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I responded to what I thought was the complete discussion so far on names/scope before looking down a section. Since the two are really about the same topic, could we merge them to avoid pitfalls like that? LadyofShalott 02:11, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, this one segued into renaming the project, but the important question is - what is this project for? RockMagnetist (talk) 02:14, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

What is the purpose of this project?

There is a lot of stuff in the Goals section of this project that is too broad for the articles actually covered. At the same time, there has been some interest in broadening the scope to (say) publications in philosophy. MIke Cline's renaming idea might also apply to this project. Here are some ideas:

  1. WikiProject Science Bibliographies
  2. WikiProject Academic Bibliographies
  3. WikiProject Bibliographies

(I think 3 may be too broad. I rather like 2.) RockMagnetist (talk) 21:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Note also that there is overlap with WikiProject Books. RockMagnetist (talk) 22:15, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

There are are also two categories that are related to this project: Category:Lists of technical books and Category:Science bibliographies. RockMagnetist (talk) 00:46, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Annotated Bibliographies? Question: do we want this project to include List of works by Author So-and-So? LadyofShalott 16:39, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Relevant to deciding how broad or narrow we want to be is Category:Bibliographies and all of its subcategories. LadyofShalott 16:41, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

The notability guideline for lists

The discussion of WP:LISTN at Wikipedia talk:Notability#Notability of lists is relevant to this Project. This guideline was only introduced early this year, long after these lists were started. Maybe we should start a discussion to tweak this new guideline to be more appropriate for lists of publications. --Bduke (Discussion) 22:24, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Result of AfD's

All of the articles were kept. However, the keep for List of important publications in computer science was conditional. Sourcing for this article needs to be improved or next time it may be deleted. RockMagnetist (talk) 14:06, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

RM, please wiki email me as I have a question I want to ask you off-wiki for the time being. Thanks --Mike Cline (talk) 14:14, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Some of them have been reopened/relisted - apparently the transclusion got broken on the 5th. LadyofShalott 16:53, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

The final result is now in. All of the articles were kept. However, the decision for List of important publications in computer science was no consensus. This article could be reconsidered for deletion, so it should be improved. RockMagnetist (talk) 16:50, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Restored articles

List of important publications in biology and List of important publications in sociology have been restored - by Curb Chain! Is it a new era of peace and harmony? Not yet - now there's an AfD for the introduction template! RockMagnetist (talk) 23:11, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I am not sure this template is really the right approach. Its content is really the sort of thing that belongs on a talk page. Wikipedia:WikiProject Lists has the template {{stand-alone list}} for talk pages, and maybe we should consider a variant of it, linking to a discussion of notability criteria on the project page. RockMagnetist (talk) 23:31, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
The sociology list is now deleted again. See discussion at User talk:Sandstein#List of important publications in sociology. --Bduke (Discussion) 08:45, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I must admit, the general references were not very impressive. We'll have to find some better ones. The people in Wikipedia:WikiProject Sociology ought to be the best qualified to find one, but they didn't seem to care about the list. Yet it had some wonderful books there, like Jane Jacobs' "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", one of my all-time favorite books. RockMagnetist (talk) 14:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
The biology list has been moved to the incubator. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:43, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Note that it cannot stay there forever, lest it becomes deleted again, and by that time, it will be even hard to restore the article as the arguement that it will never be improved is stronger. Please make this article a top priority and improve just enough to get it on articlespace, so it's deletion future looks better.Curb Chain (talk) 20:51, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, but let's not panic. No one is going to nominate it for deletion in a day or two. RockMagnetist (talk) 21:00, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Of course not!:-) I'm just saying that if it languishes, it will!:-)Curb Chain (talk) 07:04, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

List of important publications in chemistry at AfD

List of important publications in chemistry has been nominated for deletion. Discussion is at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of important publications in chemistry.  --Lambiam 22:19, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

The result was keep. RockMagnetist (talk) 20:07, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Result of AfD for introduction template

The result was keep for now. RockMagnetist (talk) 01:28, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

A bibliography template?

The preferred format for entries in articles covered by this project has been a multiline citation with description and importance added. However, there is a lot of variation in how this is done and some conflicts with general style guidelines. I wonder if it might be worthwhile creating some general bibliography templates along the lines of {{glossary}}? And if so, what format would we encourage? RockMagnetist (talk) 01:36, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

List of important publications in sociology

I've started the article after the deletion review endorsed it's deletion. I would like help with the article.Curb Chain (talk) 05:40, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

It was proposed for deletion because there was no content. I moved it to the article incubator so it can be ready to be made live.Curb Chain (talk) 06:17, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

List of important publications in law

I've created the article because List of publications in law endorsed so the content there can not be moved to the new title. Help there would be appreciated.Curb Chain (talk) 05:56, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

List of important publications in biology Ready?

I think the article is ready to be made live. There are enough references, where before, there were none. Thanks a kudos to RockMagnetist.Curb Chain (talk) 06:07, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome. I also think that it's ready. RockMagnetist (talk) 14:29, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I suggest you take it to deletion review and seek approval for making it live. Otherwise it may just get deleted again as an article deleted at AfD. --Bduke (Discussion) 20:57, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Where's the draft?, I'd like to see it. --Mike Cline (talk) 22:08, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Article Incubator/List of important publications in biology. --Bduke (Discussion) 22:14, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
If it does get deleted again, it'll go through AFD. A deletion review had been opened, closed for article incubationCurb Chain (talk) 14:24, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

List of important publications in philosophy vs. Wikipedia:WikiProject Science pearls/List of publications in philosophy

Wikipedia:WikiProject Science pearls/List of publications in philosophy should be deleted, but there are a few differences between both. Peruse the pages and amend List of important publications in philosophy appropriately.Curb Chain (talk) 14:30, 30 October 2011 (UTC)