Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Novels/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Hardy Boys novels up for AFD

It appears another attempt at creating precent for eliminating articles based upon series books is underway with the mass nomination of a number of Hardy Boys novels here. Granted the articles being nominated are extremely barebones with no information other than one-line plot summaries, so if anyone familiar with the Hardy Boys can jump in there and add the infobox, publication date, etc. that would be very helpful. Someone is also expressing the view there that only books with a suitable amount of scholarly coverage should be included, which pretty well disqualifies 99% of all novels. 23skidoo 20:10, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

added a bit extra myself. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:31, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The AFD has been relisted as there wasn't enough for a consensus. I take issue with one of the opponents who has made the assumption that no one will likely write any sort of detailed articles on these books. The same could have been said a year ago before Hayford Pierce and I began filling out the Simon Templar and Matt Helm books (a project that is still ongoing), and another editor has just started filling out the stubs in the Modesty Blaise book series. I still fear a nasty precedent being set (at least for the wikiproject) should this AFD pass. 23skidoo 00:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Blackwater (book)

hey, i made a change to the redirect for Blackwater (novella) to create a page for Blackwater, by Jeremy Scahill. it's non-fiction, but since i haven't come across any Title (non-fiction book) pages i figured this was appropriate. should i add a redirect on the page (For the novella of the same name, etc)?

thanks for your help. also, if you could remove Blackwater (book) from the Wikiproject Novels, that would help clear up information. i'll be working on the page slowly along the next few days, so it'll look pretty tragic at first.

cheers, --Chalyres 03:41, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Made a couple of minor changes and switch the book to the {{WPBooks}} project. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 07:47, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

More Categories

I think more categories are needed like, Adventure novels and comedy novels , parody novels etc.What do you think?--Dwaipayanc 06:12, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Joseph Conrad and Henry James novels

I'm not sure quite quite where to put this, so I'm putting it here. I was running through the James and Conrad pages today putting in some project boxes and in a couple of cases actually writing stubs. These authors are in a terrible state ... really shameful given their prominence. Anyone with some spare time ... --Sordel 19:25, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Uncategorized Books section

It is getting large with over 100 entries. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Jose Agustin

I came across this article by chance, and as most of it was concerned with in-depth assessments of Agustin's novels, I created separate articles for La Tumba, De Perfil and Ciudades Desiertas. The original article seems to have been written by someone who had studied the novels and in places reads more like a review or essay. I would like someone who is familiar with Agustin's work to have a look at these three articles and have a stab at eliminating any POV stuff they can see. Deb 17:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Made some additions = hope they suit! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:24, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Character pages

I'm looking to improve a couple of pages about important literary characters. I saw the suggested format for a character page in this project and I'm wondering if someone can point me to an example of where this model is successfully implemented. My thought, reading through it, was that it would be hard to do without a lot of WP:NOR. What are some examples of good character pages? --JayHenry 18:21, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

How about Victor Kendall (character), Orr (Catch-22), Joram MacRorie (Gwynedd) although the first of these is really still work in progess. The later two are better. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:36, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Personal website question

I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on Tklein27's additions to articles such as Empire Falls and The Stone Diaries, which include an external link such as this one. As was stated on the user's talk page, this is a personal website which has pictures and publisher information on bestselling and award winning novels. The common edit summaries for these edits include the note that "This is a reference only site, nothing is for sale." I must say that I'm torn on the subject, since I find this site incredibly informative and helpful in discerning which edition is the first, which in turn may help me to add correct info to articles and their infoboxes in the future. I'm curious as to whether or not these links may be considered spam by some, and/or a violation of WP:EL. Thoughts? (I've also given the user a link to this discussion in case they would like to weign in.) María (habla conmigo) 17:40, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Subheads won't show up

Not sure this is an appropriate place for me to type this (I hope it is though), but I've expanded Black Water (novella), and for some reason the last subheads and the categories won't show up - though they do in the 'edit this page' tab. Any idea why that is? I am slightly dismayed.Zigzig20s 02:28, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Just a case of forgetting to close the ending ref tag -- I do that all the time. Fixed! María (habla conmigo) 03:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Another potential "free use" timebomb

I was just reading Wikipedia:Non-free content and came across a statement here which is troubling. Check out No. 1 on the list. It says cover art can only be used for BOTH identification and critical commentary. If I read the "letter of the law" correctly, it potentially means cover images aren't allowed unless the article discusses the actual covers in some way. Someone please tell me I'm reading this wrong. I don't recall seeing this rule before, either -- maybe it's been recently added? 23skidoo 15:52, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

It appears ambiguous whether the and and critical refer to the article or the image. If it is the article we should be alright, however if it is the Image (which in my view makes no sense) then no fair use cover images are permissible unless we are commenting on the cover art itself. Wow. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:12, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it's not a coincidence but there's a bot going around flagging older images with "Fair use - unsure" tags now. So far I'm just seeing old magazine covers and publicity images being flagged but I wonder what's next. Reading the Non-Free Content article it mentions how other Wikipedias have prohibited any non-free images. I took a look at the French and German Wikipedia pages and they're the ugliest pages you could ever hope to see with no images whatsoever. And those that do have images (such as the one for Star Wars) have awful amateur photos taken by fans or silly choices like a public domain image of a Buddha statue (exactly what that has to do with Star Wars I have no idea; I don't read German so I don't know the rationale). Instead of showing us an image of the big Death Star battle scene at the end of A New Hope, instead the article has a World War II photo of German planes in a dogfight. I still maintain this image paranoia is going to result in Wikipedia becoming a much poorer resource; at the same time I wish they'd just outright either allow images period or ban images period and save us all the headache. 23skidoo 17:08, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Seperate template

Since your subject area is entirely a subset of WP Books (which I've only just discovered) wouldn't it make more sense to share a project banner? Currently you can have articles tagged by both projects which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. --kingboyk 21:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

It actually isn't a subset, a Book is a Physical thing, A Novel is a literary form, normally deliverd in Book form, we couldn't just tag Books as novels (or vice versa), as many Novels here have not made it into Book form. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The Brothers Karamazov FAR

The Brothers Karamazov has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. LuciferMorgan 19:40, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Usage of blurbs/back of books/front flaps

I have noticed that some contributors to Wikipedia copy the blurbs etc. from the back or front of the books themselves onto the novel and novel series articles. Is this a good thing to do or is this deemed to be under some violation. Sorry if this has been asked before etc. etc. Caladon 15:21, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Technically it is a copyright violation - so should be discouraged. Also for advertising and pov and tone reasons. No it is a bad idea. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:06, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Books published before the use of ISBN

I ran across The Caves of Steel and noticed that the ISBN was N/A. When I looked in the markup, there was a note saying that the book was published prior to ISBNs. This brought up some questions...

  1. Are ISBNs assigned retroactively?
  2. If not, should it be standard practice to enter N/A or simply exclude that portion of the infobox?
  3. What if the book has a later edition which does have an ISBN? It seems to me that a blank ISBN helps no-one. Should the first instance of an ISBN assigned to an edition of the story be included, perhaps with the edition it refers to in parantheses? Having said that, however... how does one find the first instance of an ISBN?

Maybe someone else has some thoughts along these lines or knows more than I do about ISBNs and such. --Thehighseer23 20:07, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

    1. I believe in some cases they are - but I am not sure and the majority of information in the infobox is intended to describe the encyclopedia, historical and literary significant "first edition". I take that to mean the state of information at the time!
    2. In no ISBN and pre 1966 cases the input should be NA which should be visible.
    3. "helps no one" - I disagree, it clearly says that the book didn't originally have an ISBN. If more information is necessary then a short "Release details" section with major editions should be included towards the end of the article. Don't forget this is an encyclopedia not a fansite or advertising portal for the publishing industry.
Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:09, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I take your point in the case of points 1 and 3. I think that the Release Details section is an excellent suggestion. Do you know if anyone has already made use of that convention in any way, or can you show me a good example?--Thehighseer23 16:17, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I am registering my opposition (again) to the "Release details" section. As I mentioned on the template talk page, this section implies that the page lists all of the editions of the book. This is original research WP:OR and is not allowed on wikipedia. Scholars do this work and we can only copy what they have done. Might I ask what this section is trying to achieve anyway? For popular novels, there is no need to point readers to where they can access the book (as I have done at Original Stories from Real Life in my "Republications" section). For older novels, scholars have often done this work and we should use their more complete and detailed lists. Awadewit 22:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Retro fit ISBN 13 to ISBN 10

And a related question: should we go back and change ISBN 10 to ISBN 13? Doceirias 20:53, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Personally don't think this is necessary - but am open to other opinions.:: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:09, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

lack of knowlege

I was hopeing to use this to help me with a book report. instead i found a small amount of information concerning plot and characters. can someone put in a spoiler and character descriptions?

  • There is no way to help you with your request given that you did not include the title of the book in question. Here's a helpful suggestion: read the book. You'll probably find everything you want for a book report in there.--Thehighseer23 16:22, 27 April 2007 (UTC)


There needs to be a much heavier emphasis placed on using scholarly sources for wikipedia's novel pages; I have recently had to delist GA novel pages because they referenced only sparknotes, cliffsnotes and gradesaver. I think that an explanation of the appropriate sources to use for a novel page needs to be prominently displayed somewhere on this project page. We can have a separate discussion about what to do for novels that have not been extensively studied by scholars, but for those that have been, clearer guidelines regarding the use of the secondary materials need to be established. I have a feeling that many of these problems stem from ignorance rather than from any master plan to destroy wikipedia's novel pages, but nevertheless, editors should be apprised of what kinds of sources will help them learn about the novel they want to write on and what kind of sources can mislead them. I would also suggest that these guidelines be prefaced with the statement: "You should take several months to research the novel you want to write on." This will emphasize that wikipedia novel pages are not book reports. Awadewit 18:46, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree. Some guidelines should be established for what kind of sources are not only acceptable, but also expected for novel articles. Also, as you breifly mentioned, there are novels that have not received much scholarly study... or any at all. Should there be less stringent guidelines for them? Since, admittedly, these are the bulk of the novels I myself would be contributing to in large quantities (since many of them still have no articles at all), I have wondered myself what sorts of sources I should cite in the articles I plan to write. Any elaboration on this would be extremely helpful.--Thehighseer23 20:24, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Might you list some titles so that I can get a sense of what you are talking about? Awadewit 22:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
  • A specific example would be the books of the forensic crime thriller author Jeffery Deaver. I have recently added a stub article on one of his books, The Vanished Man, which I will be adding to periodically. I was at a loss as to what sources I would cite, other than the book itself, which is where all the information in the current article is from. His other novels are listed under his article, through the above link. These are only a few of numerous examples of the kind of "popular" fiction I was referring to.--Thehighseer23 01:56, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, personally (and this is just me personally), I wouldn't write pages on all of those novels since there are so few sources. I would concentrate on expanding the author page. Once there are sources for all of the novels, then we can create novel pages. I can think of several ways of approaching the sources. Here's what I can think of right now.
  • Scholarly sources on the genre itself. You don't need stuff written on a particular novel and you can still mention that the author is part of this larger literary tradition of the detective novel or crime novel or whatever it is.
  • Book reviews written by respectable publications in his genre. I'm not sure who that would be exactly, but perhaps you do. The point is to try to find sources who are experts in what he writes. A USA Today review is not that interesting because they review all sorts of books, but someone who specializes in reviewing thrillers, for example, would be more interesting to read and have more nuanced opinions. Of course, reviews have to be used carefully because there is a money trail.
  • What do other writers who write in his same genre say about his work? These opinions would also have to be used carefully because these authors are in competition with each other and may have personal "issues" you know nothing about.
  • Sales figures from journals who track that sort of thing - not from the publishers themselves. Publishers have an investment in boosting their numbers. One should always try to find independent verification of numbers like that (in this sense, you have to think like a journalist - have you seen All the President's Men? - you need two independent sources). By the way, if you don't already know, you should look up how the New York Times Bestseller list is calculated; it is very interesting.
  • I would only cite from the book itself sparingly - to illustrate the style of the writing, for example. (And that style has to be something that someone else described, not you, otherwise it is your own interpretation of the book and original research.)
  • I did find one source that is supposed to mention Deaver in it. I don't know how helpful it will be, but here it is.
Palmer, Joy. "Tracing Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Forensic Detective Fiction." South Central Review, Vol. 18, No. 3/4, (Autumn - Winter, 2001), pp. 54-71.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Awadewit (talkcontribs)

I agree with adding the sources guidance to the project pages. Can I suggest you have a look at the Style Guidelines page that I have been working on - still work in progress and not formally announced or added to the project yet, but have a look and see you you could add some of what you suggect above. Thanks. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:01, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I feel there is too much emphasis on the present day literature. What about literature from the good old days:)? Its not so easy to find references for such stuff, whereas any recent work, however unworthy it may be, will find a mention somewhere or the other (and therefore satisfy the "multiple nontrivial mentions" clause).
  • I'm not quite sure what problem you are having. While I agree with you that wikipedia has a "presentist" slant, I do not think that it is for the reasons that you are claiming. It is far easier to find reliable sources WP:RS on the "Golden Age of Science Fiction," for example, than it is on current bestsellers. There is a lot of excellent literary criticism on science fiction and that is what you would look to when writing the article. You should have no problem establishing non-triviality for the people in the article you link to - there are piles of academic books and articles written on them and the emerging genre of SF at the time. It seems to me that the problem of "presentism" in wikipedia literature pages comes from editors wanting to write pages on their favorite books. That is never a good idea. One should not write on a topic that one is so emotionally invested in. Awadewit Talk 20:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually this comment was about the literature as such, not the authors. And where I live it is hard enough to get such books, leave alone reviews of them. (And like you said, there is a lot said about the authors of golden age science fiction but there is little commentary on the internet about the novels. It is difficult even to get ISBN numbers on the internet for some books published in the 60's and 70's. On the other hand, for a book published in the past 10 years or so, there is all kinds of info). So in a way your proposal to concentrate on the author pages is the only feasible solution in such cases I guess. But I think this is a temporary solution; ultimately, old novels of average- and borderline importance will find no mention whereas lots of trash from the last 10 years or so will be everywhere on WP. - TwoOars (T | C) 21:07, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
  • One should not write on a topic that one is so emotionally invested in. - Yes, in an ideal world. :) But can that really happen? Speaking for myself, I read things I am interested in. I edit the articles that I read. - TwoOars (T | C) 21:14, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think "interested in" and "emotionally invested in" are really the same thing. I obviously edit and read what I am interested in as well, but I would strongly discourage any editor from writing a page on their favorite novel just like I would strongly discourage any student from writing an essay on their favorite novel or film. It is very difficult to attain the distance one needs to write dispassionately and from a NPOV about a text that one has such deep feelings about. That is how articles become fan sites. Awadewit Talk 22:56, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
  • What other writers who write in his same genre say about his work - does that also mean the stuff authors say about each other for promotional purposes, for example to be printed on a book cover below the blurb? :) - TwoOars (T | C) 18:07, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
  • No, it does not. Sometimes writers will make comments about each other's work in other book reviews or in critical essays. These are the kinds of comments that I am referring to. Your question points out the problem of relying on many of these sources, though - they have a strong POV. That is why I listed cautionary notes about many of them. Writing an article based solely on reviews, etc. without any academic criticism is extremely difficult for just these reasons. Awadewit Talk 20:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Acceptable practice?

When reading the above section, I noticed the line:

  • I would also suggest that these guidelines be prefaced with the statement: "You should take several months to research the novel you want to write on."

My question is this: is it acceptable practice to create an article page and fill in the minimal information that is available to you, with the intention of coming back to fill in more later? Or with the expectation that another editor, if they find the stub, will fill in more? I guess I could be wrong, but isn't that part of the point of a wiki? Multiple contributions making a more extensive article then might be possible from one author? Perhaps it would not cross someone's mind to fill in information on an article or subject until they come across it in its infant form. Or is it instead expected that all articles should be authored as complete treatments from the get-go? I ask because with limited time on my hands, it was my intention to edit articles in smaller installments over an extended period.--Thehighseer23 22:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

It is perfectly acceptable to create stubs and pages with minimal information. But one of the reasons that I wanted to include that statement is because I keep seeing novel pages submitted for GA, peer review and FA that the editors feel are complete but which are far from that. If they only had some idea that one needs to thoroughly research the novel if they want the article to be comprehensive, then that wouldn't happen. Perhaps the statement should read If you want to create a truly comprehensive page on a particular novel, you should be prepared to invest several months of research or something along those lines. That might convey my thoughts better. What do you think? Awadewit 22:47, 29 April 2007 (UTC)\
  • That answers my question nicely, thank you. I think your revised statement works, though something more specific could be said, such as: Before you submit an article for GA, peer review, or FA, you must be sure that the article is well researched and fully comprehensive. You should expect the process of reaching that point to take up to several months. How's that sound?--Thehighseer23 02:05, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Excellent (except we probably don't need "fully" - it's redundant). Awadewit 02:13, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I think all this is a bit OTT. The point of wikipedia is that people start articles and other people add to them. Articles on wikipedia are never "complete". I would like to encourage people to add more short articles on novels. The real difficulty is knowing whether a novel is "deserving" of mention, and that's the real reason for quoting sources. But let's not be too prescriptive about it, please. Deb 16:50, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Theoretically that is how wikipedia is supposed to work. Unfortunately, far too many novel stubs, and stubs in general, become perma-stubs. I would discourage people from adding a stub unless they plan on contributing to that article in the future. But this is a philosophical difference. Wikipedia is expanding greatly - many new pages are being add every day - but I am not convinced that the quality of those pages is improving. Note the recent statistics on the proportion of FAs and GAs. Awadewit Talk 20:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Here I do not who I agree with more. What Deb says about the collaborative nature of WP is absolutely true. But I also agree with Awadewit; most often stubs remain stubs and there is no improvement whatsoever. In fact that is the state of the (totally useless :) stubs I created. - TwoOars (T | C) 21:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Edward Cullen

Hello, I have read both books and am waiting for the third. I would like to know your oppion on edward Cullen in both books — Preceding unsigned comment added by ILOVEEDWAEDCULLEN (talkcontribs)

New Task Force

I would really like to start a task force for Australian novels. I am also a member of Wikipedia:WikiProject Australia and there is no focus on literature there at all. What are everyone's thoughts on this? (Task force guide) xx baby_ifritah 15:23, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Having just had a brief look at the WP:AUS main page it looks like their "Specialised" WikiProjects would be the way to bleand the overlapped interest. A Wikipedia:WikiProject Australian literature might then be pointed to by a Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels/Australian literature task force, where it actually sit would not be that importance but could be in either namespace. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 13:34, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

New sister project proposal

I have listed a proposal for an Australian literature WikiProject with the Project Council. If anyone is interested please go here and register your support or add your comments. Thanks. xx baby ifritah

Also have put in a request for an {{Australia-Novel-Stub}} at WikiProject Stub sorting/Proposals but a concern was raised that the novels project might not like this. could someone (other than me!) leave a note there regarding this issue. thanks. baby_ifritah 00:18, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
It should be {{australia-novel-stub}} if you are sticking with that name - or I notice that name has been re-proposed as {{australia-lit-stub}}. See proposal page for my responses. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:09, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

empty "infobox needed" worklist

Should we just get rid of this? It doesn't seem to serve any purpose. --P4k 02:49, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed writer biography project

There are an incredible number of biographical articles in wikipedia, many/most of which fall within the scope of WikiProject Biography. I have recently proposed that the Biography project perhaps be involved in a number of subprojects to work on smaller, and perhaps more focused, areas. One such proposal relates to writers of books and short stories. This proposal can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Writers. Any member of this project who would be interested in working specifically on biographical content relating to writers would be more than welcome to indicate as much there. Thank you. John Carter 16:44, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Spoiler warning discussion

Members of this project might like to express a view at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Policies/Wikipedia:Spoiler warning where the concept of spoiler warnings is currently undergoing heated debate. Note that some editors are systematically removing spoiler warnings from articles used as examples in the discussion. PaddyLeahy 19:09, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Several on my watchlist that have been affected include Dr. No and The Illuminatus! Trilogy. I really disagree with the idea of removing the warnings on pages with detailed synopses. Incidentally this sort of nonsense is exactly the reason why I'm phasing out my involvement with Wikipedia over the next few weeks and moving over to Citizendium. 23skidoo 22:28, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Spoiler Warnings

The WikiProject Novels template includes a spoiler warning for plot summaries. According to one user (see Moonfleet for one example), AWB recommends removing the spoiler tag--although I could not find anything on the AWB page. So my question is: which is correct? Should we add spoiler warnings or not for plot summaries? I'd rather avoid a back-and-forth editing war. Thanks!  :) JordanSealy 21:14, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

unfortunately the "war" idea is unavoidable; peoples views differ so widely. (see 23skidoo's comment above). The official view of the project is that "Plot introduction" are for spoiler free "intro's" to the plot and "Plot summary"'s are for more detailed and very likely spoiler filled description. So a spoiler tag is appropriate. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:43, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Did you read what the {{spoiler}} tag says? It says "Plot and/or ending details follow." It is not necessary to put this in a section that is clearly named "Plot"; that's like putting "Warning! Information about Kansas follows." at the top of the article Kansas. Kusma (talk) 14:27, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but the original meaning was to alert to spoiler material, which should "not" be present in the "plot introduction" and may well be present in the "Plot summary". Hence the need to alert in one case but not another. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 15:31, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't follow you here; doesn't that just mean the article should be edited to remove spoilers in the introduction? That way spoilers are only in the plot summary, and there is no need for spoiler tags. Doceirias 20:30, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and if there was another way to indicate this too the reader I would agree entirely. The spoiler tag is the only current way I know to clearly give this information to the reader (and I hasten to add to some editors). :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:46, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Kevin, for moving this here. Sorry that I failed to pay attention to where the discussion is.  :) Anyway, I have no opinion regarding the spoiler tag, and I can understand both sides of the argument. For me, it is about project consistency (I'm an engineer, I cannot help it). If the project requires the use of a spoiler tag, then it should be used. The spoiler debate, which I discovered after I asked my question here, is rather heated, and I don't think it will be resolved peacefully or anytime soon, and perhaps never. Since there is a core group of editors and admins systematically deleting all spoiler tags everywhere on Wikipedia, then my gut feeling says to wait until all the hullabaloo dies down. Already the re-inserted spoiler tag on Moonfleet has been deleted; I don't see any point to adding it back in only to see it deleted again. Personally, I avoid plot summaries for books that I intend to read but haven't yet. Nothing is worse than getting a spoiler in the article's lead (lede?), though. Not sure if it is possible, or even practical, but I wonder if plot summaries could be "hidden" until clicked for viewing--sort of a collapsible-expandable thing like one might see for comments on a blog, etc. Hmm, that might be a bit ugly... Still, if the tag is ultimately deemed unnecessary, there are workarounds and options to consider.JordanSealy 09:57, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

In essense the debate is as you say "heated, but on one side we have the remove tag arguement that is fuelled by the anti-censorship and "keep it encyclopedic" lobbies and on the other are the more practical how do we cater for the reader that get their reading aspirations burnt, quiet inadvertantly, whilst they research a book to see if they would like that type of story of not, checking on what reviews have said, what critic comment has been made on it. It is reasonable in my view to try and tread a middle ground. Personally I have little in common with people who hold ideas too passionately to see that others have a different perspective. Maybe wikipedia just can't stand the pressure of what it is, open to all! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:32, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I went away on holiday and came back to find that one editor who has been removing the spoiler tags is continuing to do so. My attitude at this point is remove them all (I assume the movie and TV show spoiler tags will be next) -- and I'm not being snarky; if the book ones go, there is really no reason to have spoiler tags for anything. And when people start complaining, or edit wars break out between people concerned about certain storyline details being or not being included in an article, we know who to point our fingers at. 23skidoo 19:43, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius at FAR

I have nominated Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Thanks for your time, Atropos 00:06, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

The Dig (novel)

The creator of the article User:Dr Steven Plunkett has objected to the {{novels}} template being placed on the article. There are some concerns about presumed ownership (see my talk page User talk:SkierRMH... I'd like an official member(s) of the project to please look at the article, determine the appropriateness of the template on the talk page, and if you could, please leave some comment on the article's talk page regarding your thoughts. Much thanks!! SkierRMH 19:46, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I took the liberty of leaving him a note (I don't know if there is such a thing as an "official" member but apologies anyway if I stepped on any toes). 23skidoo 19:40, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Author's photo & book covers copyright permissions

I am with the Australian Literature Project and am finding that book covers others have posted are slowly being deleted from the article sites. So i have started sending emails to authors asking for permission to use their personal photo and also book covers. But i am confused as to what is actually needed from them to prove they have given full permission ? Also what would they need from their publishers to have proof that the book covers are allowed to be used also ? If anyone just give me advice it would be appreciated, as i find the pages on copyright long and confusing as what they are actually requiring. Boylo 05:06, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Two related issues here - relating to copyright. First, author photos, any promotional images can be used under "fair use" rules but need a "fair use rationale" added to the image file uploaded. Secondly, book covers for modern literature can also be used under fair use rules but you need to indicate where the image was obtained and also load a "fair use rationale". :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 11:06, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

On this topic, I've noticed deletion notices appearing on a number of novel-related articles in recent days with a link back to

I'm wondering if part of the problem might be related to this statement: A CD cover, album cover, or book cover used to illustrate an article about the CD, album, or book, when the article does not justify this by reference to attributes of the cover art. The mere fact that a picture has been placed on the cover of an album to sell it is not enough.

Thus, if I'm understanding that point correctly, are we now being told that unless the article directly refers to the cover art, we shouldn't be using an image of the cover? Silverthorn 10:07, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Not yet. That may well be the next step, but for now all that's changed is that the book cover tag is no longer enough - we have to write out a detailed explanation for how it is used, where the image came from, and why it qualifies as fair use. The pages explaining this are horribly written, making it really hard to figure out exactly what you need to do... Doceirias 19:22, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
The template on WP:FURG is helpful for generating rationales for the affected images. I suggest that everyone pay attention whenever a warning appears on the talk pages of articles, and add the rationale whether or not you uploaded the photo originally. Better to fix someone else's image, wherever possoble, than take a chance it will be deleted on a mere technicality. --Karen | Talk | contribs 21:29, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, be sure to remove the deletion warning after you provide the fair use rationale. Even though the template told you not to until today. But leaving that thing on there will result in it getting deleted regardless of accuracy. Doceirias 23:03, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Greetings. I'm an admin with a good working knowledge of copyright law and Wikipedia's image policies, and I was asked to comment here. Let me give you a thumbnail sketch of the issues involved with using book covers on Wikipedia.

First off, all images are either considered "free" or "non-free". If it's free (and you can prove it), you can use it all you want without justifying it to anyone. If it's non-free, you can only use it in very limited ways, as described at Wikipedia:Non-free content. It's free if it's public domain (i.e. not copyrighted), or if it's released under a free license such as the GFDL or a free Creative Commons license. Otherwise, it's not free. Even if the author gives permission for it to be used on Wikipedia, even if you know there's no way we could ever be sued, if it's not public domain or legally under a specific free license, it's non-free. So it really doesn't do any good to ask someone for permission to use the image on Wikipedia: unless they are willing to license it under a free license (for Wikipedia or anyone else to use), we have to treat it as non-free no matter what they agree to. If you, Boylo, or anyone else wants to get permission for an image to released under a free license, you might want to look at Wikipedia:Example requests for permission. But note that only the copyright-holder can license an image this way. Usually an author doesn't hold the copyright for the cover of his book. (Often the publisher holds that, and companies are much less likely to freely license something than individuals are.) He may not hold the copyright to his photo on the back either.

So that leaves us with our non-free content policy. Even if a work is non-free, we can use it if it passes all 10 criteria on that page. Criterion #1 requires that the image not be replaceable by a free image that could convey the same information. This isn't a problem for book covers, but it could be for author photos. If the author is alive, presumably someone could take his photo and release that new photo under a free license, so a non-free photo would be considered "replaceable", and would fail criterion #1. (Here's where it might be useful to write the author and ask if he has a photo he wouldn't mind using.) If the author is dead, no new photos can be taken, so criterion #1 isn't likely to be a problem.

Criterion #3 requires "minimal use", so don't use a high-res scan of a book cover when a small image would work well in the article. Also, don't include six different images of different covers of the same book (in different printings). That would fail criterion #3 as well. Criterion #8 requires significance, so if a non-free image isn't really important to an article, you can't use it. (For instance, in an article about economics, you couldn't use a non-free image of the cover of an economics textbook.)

And then there's criterion #10. It requires that the image description page contain the source, an image tag, and a fair use rationale. They're starting to get really strict about having fair use rationales on pages, so it's pretty important. For a rationale, I usually just say something like "Fair use rationale: This image passes all our non-free use guidelines. It is no bigger than necessary in the article it is in, it could not be replaced by a free image, and it is significant in it's article." That usually does it. If you have questions, either in general or about specific images, feel free to ask me. – Quadell (talk) (random) 02:13, 10 June 2007 (UTC)


I'm curious if there have been discussions about bibliographies on author's pages. There's an interesting discussion going on particularly at the talk page for Charles Dickens about how to handle bibliographies or even navigation templates of works. Feel free to join in. --Midnightdreary 14:46, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Novels or Not

What exactly is a novel? In many articles it will have the name of the book and the (series). In other articles You see the name of the book and then (novel series) after it in the title. Is there any difference between the two? The title and the (series) after it makes more sense to me because it's simply a series, I don't think there are novel series. ~Bella 21:20, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I must say I;m not sure I understand what you are driving at. But I will attempt to answer clause by clause.
What exactly is a novel?
Generically a work of narrative fiction of a certain length (i.e longer) which is published normally as a unit and following certain characters through a series of incidents (i.e. plot). There are of course other definitions.
Is there any difference between the two?
Don't think so, if the article is for a novel and it is part of a series, that makes in intrinsically part of a novel series. The only exception would be if other parts of the series are not novels for instance "short stories" and then it would not be a novel series, just a series. Maybe that is the difficulty you see!
Are there Novel series.
Well yes I believe to so, but subject to the proviso above. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 15:36, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, that actually helps a lot. ~Bella 12:30, 3 July 2007 (UTC)