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Facto Post – Issue 2 – 13 July 2017[edit]

Facto Post – Issue 2 – 13 July 2017
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Editorial: Core models and topics[edit]

Wikimedians interest themselves in everything under the sun — and then some. Discussion on "core topics" may, oddly, be a fringe activity, and was popular here a decade ago.

The situation on Wikidata today does resemble the halcyon days of 2006 of the English Wikipedia. The growth is there, and the reliability and stylistic issues are not yet pressing in on the project. Its Berlin conference at the end of October will have five years of achievement to celebrate. Think Wikimania Frankfurt 2005.

Progress must be made, however, on referencing "core facts". This has two parts: replacing "imported from Wikipedia" in referencing by external authorities; and picking out statements, such as dates and family relationships, that must not only be reliable but be seen to be reliable.

In addition, there are many properties on Wikidata lacking a clear data model. An emerging consensus may push to the front key sourcing and biomedical properties as requiring urgent attention. Wikidata's "manual of style" is currently distributed over thousands of discussions. To make it coalesce, work on such a core is needed.

Links[edit]


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Arctocephalus forsteri requested move discussion[edit]

I've set up a RM discussion on the talk page for what you may know as New Zealand fur seal. Some controversy about whether to use scientific name or use common name. Please feel free to comment.....

Invasive range maps?[edit]

Should we add the invasive ranges of invasive species to the range maps? HLHJ (talk) 03:09, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable, but how would this be done accurately, and kept up-to-date (presumably every 5–10 years)?  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:20, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I think it should be done in a case-by-case basis. If an invasive species has a large and substantially documented non-native range, it might be prudent to include it with native range in the Taxobox. If a widespread species is invasive in only a few scattered locales, it might be better to discuss this lower down in text, perhaps with a second map. In either case, native range should be clearly defined, and discussed first. --Animalparty! (talk) 16:46, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Bot for adding IUCN data[edit]

At Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Extinction#Useful future bots, I have suggested that adding IUCN database categories to species pages should be automated. Does anyone here has suggestions or comments? HLHJ (talk) 03:18, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Might be useful. Are we certain that the whole world agrees with IUCN, and that they don't have "competition"? Last I looked, they are not the only organization making declarations about endangerment status, so there could be a WP:UNDUE concern. But I don't know of any particular criticism of IUCN. A side concern I would have is misuse of a bot to try to force capitalization of IUCN labels (e.g. "Endangered", "Critically Endangered", etc.), when the last several times we've had discussions about these, the consensus was clearly against the capital letters.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:23, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
  • One problem is the different names and taxonomies in use. When a bot was used years ago to create stub articles from the IUCN database, it resulted in some duplicate articles at synonyms and classifications not used in the English Wikipedia. So any bot needs to be very carefully set up and monitored. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:52, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
  • if a way can be found to avoid the problems Peter brings up, I'd be all for it. There are competing assessments, but most of the species that Wikipedia has pages for have a IUCN assessment, rather than another body. The only non IUCN assessments I see is for those species not IUCN assessed, and then its sporadic. Also, the IUCN does publish updates, which I've been trying to keep up with manually. Automation would be great. The IUCN also adds new assessments for species all the time for unassessed species. Manually, for existing Wikipedia pages, there is no way to keep that current, unless you happen to be lucky and editing the page at roughly the same time the assessment is published, or adding them some time after.....Pvmoutside (talk) 19:00, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

iucn_id, or similar, would aid automation[edit]

Assuming the IUCN's id number for species is semi-permanent, having it easily accessible in the species/taxobox would be very useful, instead of hunting around the page for an IUCN URL and/or an {{IUCN}} |id= parameter. I can go through the Red Listed WP pages and add |iucn_id=, verifying that the IUCN page name matches the WP page for confirmation, if there're no reasonable objections.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:18, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

Would adding a {{taxobar}} template for all Redlist pages do the same? This would provide access to the IUCN number and also others for other purposes. I don't know if the taxobar is complete in terms of IUCN numbers.   Jts1882 | talk  16:03, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Ah ha! Yes it would, thank you! And I believe I can proceed uncontroversially to make sure all/most {{taxobar}}s have an IUCN id, and ultimately to make an update script (and possibly formalize it as a bot if robust enough to be hands-off).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  16:21, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure if there is a semi-automated way to get and use the IUCN id info on WikiData. I've asked, and, assuming there is a way, in the meantime I'll be adding missing {{taxonbar}}s on all pages under Category:Species by IUCN Red List category with a {{taxobox}} or {{speciesbox}} template (it's useful, regardless).
If anyone here knows how to interface semi-automatically with WikiData (AWB can/does not), that would help. If there isn't a way, then that strengthens the argument for creating |iucn_id= in {{taxobox}} & {{speciesbox}}. I do not prefer that solution, because that opens the door for all of the other various databases' ids—the very thing {{taxonbar}} is attempting to shoulder (ironic, isn't it?). However, if |iucn_id= (or any, single, taxon-id) were the only allowed (or strictly limited) taxon-id (by project consensus) in those 2 templates, I could begin updating the conservation status immediately.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  23:13, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
If you want to get the latest assessment from the IUCN using their API, it might be better to use the species binomial name rather than the id. The species name would get the latest assessment when there is a change of ID, while the ID would continue to get the old assessment (or nothing, as they usually delete old ID entries from their database when the ID has changed).   Jts1882 | talk  07:34, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Well that was my first explicit assumption in this section. Thank you for clarifying. I've just requested a token from iucnredlist.org. Have you used the API before? I might have some questions.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  12:57, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I've being playing with some JQuery for getting information through the IUCN API. I've a crude tool that allows me to explore their database using some of their API options. For instance, a function to get the status and citation (in {{cite journal}} format) for a species name. I did try and get it to run in my commons.js but it got a "Blocked loading mixed active content" error. I don't really understand what this means, but it could be because the IUCN is not HTMLS. Anyway, I will answer any questions I can.   Jts1882 | talk  14:04, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
2 issues regarding binomial name vs id number. A few months back I got a note from another editor stating the IUCN was requesting citations be referenced as a http link rather than referencing the id #. Since then I've copied and pasted the IUCN ref which does not reference the ID #. I haven't changed the older references unless they've been updated over the past year. The other issue is some editors in the tree of life prefer species in monotypic genera without English names use only the genus name for the species article. The entire binomial should be found somewhere on the page, but sometimes not on the article name itself. I know you need to pull from other the article title the many species with English names anyway......Pvmoutside (talk) 16:19, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
If you are using jQuery and there's a species-level taxobox on the page then a binomial will be available in $('.binomial i'). It may not be the binomial that IUCN prefer, of course. William Avery (talk) 17:13, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Via the API, I've found a robust way to avoid ambiguity between WP & the IUCN. By doing a "forward lookup" like this using a valid |binomial= or |taxon=, storing the "taxonid":12392, then using this query to find the weblink that the IUCN associates with a particular binomial, and making sure the weblink ID # matches the taxonid # from the original lookup, an unambiguous match can be made (assuming |binomial=/|taxon= are correct). I'm avoiding any WP pages failing this check.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:41, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Category:Nephrozoa taxa[edit]

Category:Nephrozoa taxa was made recently by a temporarily soon-to-be-blocked editor with few legitimate edits. Someone please have a look since this is outside my realm of expertise. 3 additions were made to this category by the same user that may/not need to be corrected/reverted.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  19:38, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

It's a pointless category regardless of whether the entries are correct or not, because it can't have more than the three subcategories. Further, User:Knson continues to make edits without summaries or discussions which are messing up taxonomy templates and articles. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:31, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Most of the damage should be contained now, just pending a few CSD C1/G6s. {{Taxonomy/Planulozoa}} needs a once-over, since User:Knson created it, and it was auto-transcluded to 588 pages somehow. How did that happen? 04:12, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
{{Taxonomy/Planulozoa}} is not so transcluded now.
To answer the question, it takes two edits to insert a new taxon into a taxonomic hierarchy: one to create the new taxonomy template and one to set it as the parent in another taxonomy template. Then a hierarchy that contained A → B will contain A → X → B. If this hierarchy is part of 588 taxoboxes, then 588 articles are potentially changed. It's why editing taxonomy templates is dangerous. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:17, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Interesting; that's a very powerful and impressive (but massively breakable) setup! They should all probably have at least a basic level of protection on them - either pending changes or even extended confirmed? Doing a spot-check of about a dozen on the first page of Category:Taxonomy templates shows that they have very few edits, and exclusively by established editors, so WP:ECP seems quite appropriate (I'm glad I voted yes on its creation :). I can help semi-automatically put whatever protection request tag on non-protected templates that the project agrees on.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:24, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Sounds like a very wise plan. Won't say more per WP:BEANS.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:31, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that ECP is a good idea, certainly as a trial. The WP:Automated taxobox system is, as you say, powerful and impressive, but by the same token open to abuse, and dangerous for inexperienced editors to meddle with. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:26, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Excellent. I see 2 options:
1) I'm running a transclusion-distribution script now for the first 25,000 members (75%) of the Template:Taxonomy/<x> template family. I'll share the graph of it here when it's complete, and we can perhaps decide on a transclusion cutoff number which accounts for the majority of the total transclusions. It's shaping out to be a very steep exponential that hugs the X-Y axes. Or,
2) I can just do all 33,313 of them.
I already have a preliminary list which I'll start working from, from the most-transcluded on down, which accommodates both options.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:58, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
MuskiAnimal protected everything(?) that had more than 1,000 transclusions a month ago. Plantdrew (talk) 19:18, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Here it is, up to 10,000 only, for easier viewing. Protecting the top ~3000 templates will protect ~97% of all transclusions (the completion fraction at 3000 may deviate from a value of 97% after I include the remaining 25% of all taxonomy templates). So I'll improve on MuskiAnimal's protections up until the top 3~4k templates, which will account for transclusion counts as low as 16~11, respectively, unless we want to go farther up the graph.
Also, after looking at the guidelines, WP:ECP can't be used preemptively, so I'm afraid we're restricted to pending changes, which is still good.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  00:28, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
@Tom.Reding: I'm doubtful that pending changes is very useful, since it depends on a reviewer coming along who understands the automated taxobox system plus the taxonomy of the organisms in question. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:41, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
That's ok - the only people throttled by pending changes are IPs and new users, neither of which make productive edits to these templates (as far as I've seen via a spot check of some of the highest transcluded templates).
My only concern is how PCP behaves with templates. I'm not confident that "the edit is not directly visible to the majority of Wikipedia readers" satisfies our desired behavior. If it doesn't, then WP:SEMI is next.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:26, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Apparently, since WP:PCPP is only for main and project namespaces, it looks like WP:SEMI is the only option for these circumstances. I'll put in a bot request in the next day or so.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  20:51, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── While writing the BOTREQ, I thought it would be good to also include all of the {{Taxonomy/}} templates down to a certain taxonomic level, say down to family? Since these templates are all hierarchical, some not-so-frequently-transcluded templates might still have a larger effect?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  19:44, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Transclusions go all the way down the taxonomic hierarchy. Any species article that uses the automatic taxobox will show up as a transclusion of a family taxonomy template. However, with ongoing efforts to convert manual taxoboxes to automatic taxoboxes, there are certainly taxonomy templates that aren't highly transcluded now that have the potential to be highly transcluded in the future (e.g., the template for Asteraceae has about 300 transclusions, but there about 4700 Asteraceae genera and species using manual taxoboxes). Plantdrew (talk) 20:08, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm just worried about the templates in the bottom 91%, which have transclusion counts <= 23, and what the maximum single-edit disruption potential is for them. Perhaps we'll just have to see how easy/hard it will be to get the top 3000 templates basically-protected, and go from there. I'll post the WP:BOTREQ here after submission, for reference.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  20:19, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
Submitted.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  21:37, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Monotypic genera[edit]

I've been spending some time in rodents, and I noticed some of the extant monotypic genera there only list the genus for the title page, but not the species. I know fossil monotypic genera, plant monotyoic genera, and nonvertebrate monotypic genera usually list the genus only, but I thought higher class extant and "recently extinct" vertebrate monotyopic genera (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) list both genus and species. I know all extant and "recently extinct" bird species in monotypic genera list genus and species. Before I change any more I thought I'd reach out for any history......Pvmoutside (talk) 18:38, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Any examples? FunkMonk (talk) 19:06, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
yup....Drymoreomys, Eremoryzomys, Lundomys, Mindomys, etc. in rodents; Anelytropsis in reptiles.....Pvmoutside (talk) 19:11, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. Are you asking whether the article title should be the binomial rather than the genus name? As far as I'm aware, most monotypic genera use the genus for the title, per WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA and WP:MONOTYPICFLORA. The big exceptions are birds (where the title is the common name for the species) and fishes (local consensus by a couple of no-longer active(?) editors led to many articles on monotypic genera at the binomial title). Plantdrew (talk) 19:26, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
So I have a small problem with WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA. It only lists dinosaurs and invertebrates as examples. Numbat has an English name title. Both the binomial format and the genus format are found on existing pages. I'd suggest extant and recently extinct vertebrates use the binomial when English names aren't available. Most taxonomic authorities follow this format. I can move them to binomial whenever I find them if there is no objection........Pvmoutside (talk) 19:35, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I object most strongly, and what's more, no decision can be made here. WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA (and WP:MONOTYPICFLORA) are long established and widely used conventions for use when articles on monospecific genera are at the scientific name. Yes, some Wikiprojects have wrongly followed a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS, but local consensus cannot over-ride a higher level consensus, and the correct procedure is to move those articles that are not in line with these two naming conventions.
If the species has an English name that truly meets all the criteria in WP:AT, then the article title should be the English name. Again it's clear that some Wikiprojects have been attempting to use a local consensus to over-ride WP:AT by insisting on the use of an English name when the scientific name is actually more commonly used – in WP:COMMONNAME, "common name" does not mean "vernacular name", it means the most commonly used and hence recognizable name. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:03, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Yep. And for a lot of obscure extant and recently extinct stuff that'll be the binomial.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:32, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't think the current rule is the way it is because it's the best possible in every situation. A case could be made for other options, but I think the current rule is a good because it is pretty simple and straight forward. Changing it would open difficult-to-solve issues at each article. We've got better things to do.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  20:42, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Peter, I don't entirely disagree with your statement regarding WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA, but as I mention above, examples listed for the guideline only list dinosaurs and invertebrates. As a suggestion, perhaps some examples can be listed in the guideline for some vertebrate taxa? or a statement can be added to allow for a binomial page name for vertebrates? Just because its been that way for a while doesn't mean concensus can't change the format, particularly since both ways are used now. Again, most taxonomic authorties list the binomial as the species name for extant and recently extinct vertebrates...SMcCandlish thank you for your opinion, Schreiberbike as well. Wouldn't be that difficult to change all monotypic vertebrates to a binomial format on a gradual basis (or the other way for that matter) since there is no consistency now......anyone else out there care enough to comment?....Pvmoutside (talk) 20:49, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, another example is reasonable, as long as it doesn't mislead, by implying non-extinct taxa in general should be subject to that rule.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  22:15, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
To me, the rule as currently stated in WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA and WP:MONOTYPICFLORA seems logical, and I do not see what would be the benefit of moving to binomials. Micromesistius (talk) 22:21, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
The benefit for using binomials for extant and recently extinct vertebrates is to follow prevailing taxonomy from most other sources. I also had a page where the monotypic genus was the article name, but its species was a red link which I promptly fixed. Was only one page though.......(so far)...Pvmoutside (talk) 23:28, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
@Pvmoutside: I really don't see what you think is a problem. How are we not following prevailing taxonomy? The article title for monospecific genera doesn't much matter, provided that redirects exist (from the species name if the article is at the genus name and from both the genus and species name if the article is at the English name). The article should, of course, discuss both the genus and the only species. If you are saying that some articles on monospecific genera don't mention the sole species, then that's a problem with the article, not the title. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:36, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Peter, I agree the article title shouldn't be a big deal...I'll drop it. My only point is at most other tax websites they use binomial for species in monotypic genera for the higher class organisms (i.e. vertebrates) and was trying to get that consistency to Wikipedia titles. I linked the redlink species for the 1 article I found in a monotypic genus article title. I suppose the reverse can be true as well. FYI, my preference is still to use binomials for monotypic article titles, but I'll leave as is, given the input above.....Pvmoutside (talk) 12:24, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
I would add that "WP should do it this particular way because some other organization prefers it" (in biological article titling in particular) has led to massive shitstorms on WP before, including one that ran for about eight years. Having some kind of default here is probably reasonable, but there's no way to prevent the interplay of things like WP:UCR, when a most-common name exists and doesn't fit the default pattern.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:08, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
The convention at WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA is a strange one. The article title should be "under the scientific name of lowest rank" with one exception, the genus. And the exception is dropped when there is a common name for the species or when the genus name needs disambiguation (which the binomial shouldn't ever need). The specific animal is the subject of the article so would be the obvious article title under the binomial or common name. The species name gets bolded in the lede. No one would suggest using the monotypic family or order for the article title so why was the exception made for the genus when there isn't a common name? However, as it is a long-standing convention and followed on the majority of Wikipedia projects I see no reason to change it without a strong reason for doing so. The important thing is that the redirects are correct.   Jts1882 | talk  10:07, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── though I recognise @Peter coxhead:'s point about this not being the pace. Please note I am not suggesting change of policy here either but want to make some observations with this issue. With monotype genera where there is only a scientific name (no vernacular name exists) it is often the case that I have seen that the page name is the genus name. Personally I think that is not the best method. Taxonomy can change and the thing that should be stable is the species name. We cannot use the species name alone, as homonyms are only an issue if two identically named species are in the same genus. I think you should use the binomen with authors as the title. Then even if the combination changes, requiring a page move, part of the original title will be maintained. I am no fan of vernacular names as titles at all, they are messy, unstable and honestly unprofessional. But that is another topic. I think this is a topic that could use a decent discussion with all viewpoints presented. However this is not the place to do it. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 06:36, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

I agree with User:Jts1882 and with User:Faendalimas. Although User:Peter coxhead thinks, "that WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA (and WP:MONOTYPICFLORA) are long established and widely used conventions". It is not truth. There has never been consensus on it, there has never been resonable discussion on it, that stupid rule was writen without discussion and without any reason. That guidleine has been written with an effort to standardize article names on Wikipedia, but the decision was seriously wrong. There are still about a half of monotypic genera named in this or that way on Wikipedia. There is need guideline, that fits Wikipedia and Wikipedia readers needs. This is something, that can never been done randomly. User:Micromesistius "seems logical" actual guidleine. So I will provide few reasons, why actual guidleine is irrational, overcomplicated and harming Wikipedia principles:
  • Species is the most specific major taxonomic rank. People are asking: "How many species is there?". Not genera. (Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Consistency)
  • When people are referreing (linking) to some species (without deep linnking to the article history), the resulted page should provide at least article about the same species forever. With everchanging taxonomy a reader can be linked (after some time) to even completely unrelated genus article. This can be fixed very easily: use binomial names for article names normally. Genus articles should be about genera; we never know if there will be one, two or 10 species in the genus. But the article about certain species should always be about the certain species (including its article history optimally). (Stability)
  • When there are three species in the genus, the genus article normally exist. When will the taxonomy change, the genus article can redirect to a single species article (which normally existed before). When the taxonomy will change again, we can add ten new species in the genus. When there will be change, we can make just redirect (not move). And so on. And so on. This will normally keep genus article history and it will keep article history in its place.
  • Articles about species are usually larger than articles about genera. Moving a species article from one binomial name to another binomial name is quite simple. But moving of such article, when there is also a genus, usually results to complete deletion of article history of the genus. This is serious issue. I am loosing my determination to edit monotypic articles, because I KNOW, that current actual guidleines are so bad, that could results in complete deletion of user's edits very easily. Not just moving texts somewhere else, but complete descruction of user's effort from the history. It is regularly happening there.
  • This is issue, that can hardly resolve somebody, who focus only for example on extant birds, on extant mammals, and so on. This is issue, that can be resolved in its whole complexity. Thanks for your attention.

--Snek01 (talk) 11:06, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Most of what you write doesn't apply to prehistoric genera, though. What layman knows (or cares about) the specific names of any prehistoric animals, except for T. rex? Likewise, most dinosaur genera are monotypic, and that's another reason why they are kept at the genus level. FunkMonk (talk) 12:01, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I do not want to change the prehistoric genera articles. I respect the fact, that some prehistoric species are poorly described, for example a dinosaur can be described accoring one bone only. - Prehistoric articles usually interfere with extant articles on Wikipedia like this: An extant species is descibed on Wikipedia somehow. It is thought to be monotypic by wikipedias or it is really monotypic. Then somebody will recognize, that there already exist prehistoric species in the same genus or new prehistoric species in the same genus are newly described. Then it is needed to resolve it somehow. --Snek01 (talk) 13:20, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
It needs to be taken into account, though, as guidelines at TOL covers all lifeforms, extinct and extant. FunkMonk (talk) 23:06, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Snek01: you can certainly argue for a change in the guideline (and I might well agree with you). But this guideline has been there since this edit in January 2010, i.e. for eight years. A guideline that has existed for so long has consensus by definition.
You're also wrong to say that a user's edits would be deleted from the record. It makes absolutely no difference which title is used. No article will be deleted, so no history will be deleted. If the single article is at the genus, then the material relating to the species will be split off into a new article. If the single article were at the species, then the material relating to the genus would be split off into a new article. Either way, {{Split article}} on the talk page of both articles provides links to the history. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:19, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
When there is moved an article about a species over the redirect to the article name of the genus, then the page history of the genus is - lets say - destroyed. I do not wonder, that you did not know that, because this is not visible. - For example, I think, that there was article history about the genus Dicathais at the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicathais webpage prior to 1 June 2012. Unfortunately such information is not visible and is not traceable on Wikipedia. Could any administrator let us to know what informations are stored inside the Wikipedia about the website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicathais prior to 1 June 2012, please? --Snek01 (talk) 13:20, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
@Snek01: I don't understand. At [1], I can see the history of the page back to its creation in 2007. It was moved twice on 1 June 2012. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:32, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Here's another example. Look at the history of Mei long. It started at "Mei long"; was moved to "Mei (dinosaur)" [wrong because monotypic genera needing disambiguation should be at the species]; then moved back to "Mei long". All the history is preserved, from creation on 30 December 2004 to the present.
It's true that if you use the "Move" command under the "More" tab, any history of the target page will be lost – but that's why you can only use this command when the lost history is extremely trivial. As soon as there is a substantial history at the target page, the move has to be done in a way that preserves histories, e.g. by a "round robin" move. v|Peter coxhead]] (talk) 14:46, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
User:Peter coxhead, you may call lost article history "extemely trivial". But every genus article has the following minimum things: introductory sentence, complete taxonomic placement, authority, authority year, may have authority reference, links, categories, at least one reference. All of this things allow existence of the article in its own way and all of these informations are being lost forever. When there will increse number of species in the genus to two or more species, then there could be possible very simply create the article from its page history. --Snek01 (talk) 13:47, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Snek01: no, sorry, you continue to misunderstand. You cannot "move" an article over another in a way that deletes the history of the target article unless that article has a very trivial history, as explained at Wikipedia:Moving a page#How to move a page: "the move will fail if a page already exists at the target name, unless it is simply a redirect to the present name that has never been modified". Only admins can delete all or part of a page's history (e.g. because of plagiarism). None of the information you list above will be lost. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:58, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Peter coxhead:, it is lost how the website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicathais about the genus looked like in 2007. It is only kept how the website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicathais_orbita about the species looked like in 2007. It is not possible to renew from the history how the article about the genus looked like before. --Snek01 (talk) 15:15, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Snek01: why do you think there were two articles before 2007? I see no evidence that there ever were. Anyway, I don't intend to pursue this thread since you clearly don't believe what I say. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:38, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I concur with Snek01. And there is another problem. When one uses the templates {{Automatic taxobox}} and {{Speciesbox}}, for the sake of continuity Speciesbox must be linked to Automatic taxobox of the genus. Furthermore, if one looks at the example raised by Snek01, one can see all the synonyms of the species Dicathais orbita. These synonyms do not belong to the genus Dicanthais. The same applies to the many references in the article, most of which are referring specificallly to the species. In my opinion, there should be a separate article for the genus and for the species, even if the genus is monotypic. In malacology, the reference database is WoRMS This database always gives a separate article for the species and the genus, even if the genus is monotypic, as one can see here. Dicathais and Dicathais orbita. The content of the articles is even different, as they should be. Ii may be that in other areas of zoology, this distinction is not so stringent and an article about a monotypic genus may be acceptable. Nevertheless, I would like to see the distinction be accepted as a general rule: as a practical rule and for the sake of continuity. JoJan (talk) 15:11, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
@JoJan: actually this is a different proposal to Snek01's, since you're arguing for two articles rather than one at the species name. Or, to be more accurate, for many articles, if the idea is applied consistently. For example, there would be four articles at Amborella trichopoda, Amborella, Amborellaceae and Amborellales.
@Peter coxhead: Indeed, I'm arguing for separate articles. This would be only logical, even if this needs four articles as in the case mentioned. Whenever I create an article about a monotypic genus (which doesn't happen all too often among the many articles I've already created), I also make an article about the species involved. In my opinion, a monotypic genus is not different from any other genus, and should be treated the same way. JoJan (talk) 16:29, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
@JoJan: you should not be creating multiple articles when it is clearly against the long established convention. By all means argue for changes to the way things are done, but don't act unilaterally. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:46, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Agree, making multiple pages that are both based on and will only effectively present the same information is redundant. In cases of monotypy one page grouping all the info of the various taxonomic levels effected is plenty. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:09, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean by for the sake of continuity Speciesbox must be linked to Automatic taxobox of the genus. Taxoboxes are never linked. If you use {{Speciesbox}} for a species and {{Automatic taxobox}} for the genus to which the species belongs, monotypic or not, both obtain their taxonomy from the taxonomy template for the genus (at "Template:Taxonomy/GENUS_NAME"). Why is that a problem?? The higher level taxa to which a species belongs are necessarily the same as those to which the genus belongs.
I was under the impression that the templates (not the taxoboxes) are linked to each other. If there is no problem, as you say, then no problem for me. JoJan (talk) 16:29, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Comments moved to a new section at #Separating synonyms. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:40, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Just looking through some points raised since my last comment on this topic. First up almost universally prehistoric species have the scientific name as the vernacular name, but I agree that these are best kept under what is known. As for adding fossils to existing monotypic genera I would suggest Rheodytes as an example, this was a monotypic genus with Rheodytes leukops to which I later described the fossil species Rheodytes devisi hence it was no longer monotypic and the additional species are fossils. I do not agree that a custom being in place for 8 years makes it the best way, though I can see the point that this means consensus by default. However, this does not mean it should not be improved. My points on page titles were made with me fully aware that the history can be preserved I do not have that fear. I certainly do not think WP should be creating articles for every level of a, say, monotypic family (eg Carettochelyidae, Carettochelys, Carettochelys insculpta is over kill and ridiculous, all this can be merged at one level. However, my point is that the title Carettochelys insculpta Ramsay 1890 would be the most stable title. As far as taxoboxes etc go, template driven issues are easily dealt with by modification of templates to suit the needs in question, I do not see a problem here. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 17:17, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I think I've read the relevant information here to understand what is going on with this discussion. I have to agree with those above that prehistoric fauna and extant fauna should have different requirements, with regards to the article titles. In paleontological papers, the binomial and genus name of a monotypic taxon are used almost interchangably, although most of the time the full binomial is only indicated at the beginning (unless shared species named are involved). Extinct taxa also do not have the potential depth to articles, all we can write about are a few rocks, what they are related to, what they look like, and potential implications. Based on the published literature, monotypic extinct taxa should be titled with the genus name (as is typical), or the binomial as a form of disambiguation (this is more controversial). For multi-species articles, there is more subjectivity, but generally unless there is the possibility of a splitting between the species, or the genus article is too long, those remain in a single article as well. None of this really applies to extant genera, which is why I think *if* we change the current guideline then we should *also* make a distinction between extinct and extant taxa, which means we have to draw a new line somewhere. IJReid {{T - C - D - R}} 18:40, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I would like to also recommend to read this old discussion: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Gastropods/Archive_5#Monotypic_article_titles.
  • Wikipedia claims on its Main page "... that anyone can edit." There will not be administrators right needed for necessary changes, when number of species within a monotypic genus will increase. This is within the spirit of Wikipedia. There already exist Wikiprojects, that have no human administrators power to provide all necessay changes of article titles (because of changing taxonomy). There will still remain enourmous work for administrators to do other necessary moves, but at least every little simplification will help.
  • I propose this change not for my pleasure to change anything. But because of we have enough evidence, that this can be done easier, more simple, more standardized, more practically for everyones profit. Thank you. --Snek01 (talk) 13:47, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Guideline change proposal[edit]

I propose a change in the guideline WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA.

From this (deleted that will be deleted are stroked):

A monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group which only contains a single subgroup (e.g., a genus with only one known species, even a subphylum with one family with one genus). In such a case, the ranks with identical member organisms should not be separated into different articles, and the article (if there is no common name) should go under the scientific name of lowest rank, but no lower than the monotypic genus. Redirects should be created from the other ranks to the actual article.

The species name Myrmecobius fasciatus and its monotypic genus Myrmecobius are both redirects to the article at the common name of the species, Numbat.

   The two-species genus Xenoturbella has redirects from the monotypic family Xenoturbellidae and subphylum Xenoturbellida.
   The genus Nodocephalosaurus has a redirect from its sole species, Nodocephalosaurus kirtlandensis.
   The family Amphionidacea, redirects to its single genus Amphionides, as does the sole species Amphionides reynaudii.

The exception is when a monotypic genus name needs to be disambiguated. The article should then be at the species, since this is a more natural form of disambiguation.

   Viator picis with a redirect at Viator (bird) rather than vice versa.

To this:

A monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group which only contains a single subgroup (e.g., a genus with only one known species, even a subphylum with one family with one genus). In such a case, the ranks with identical member organisms should not be separated into different articles, and the article (if there is no common name) should go under the scientific name of lowest rank. Redirects should be created from the other ranks to the actual article.

Could you do all formal things regarding the proposal for updating of guideline page, please? Thanks. --Snek01 (talk) 13:47, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose It is clear from the discussion above that there is no consensus for making this change. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:02, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I think that a change that I would imagine is actually fairly broad sweeping requires more than a few votes here and a more rounded discussion above. I am not going to oppose it at this stage but rather recommend an RfC made known to as many relevant projects as possible. I think this needs better discussion and a better balance of opinions. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 14:19, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose As Peter coxhead mentioned, there is a distinct lack of consensus and it is to soon to propose a change like this. Additionally, I agree with IJReid above that if such a change goes through, a clause must be made exempting prehistoric genera from this guideline. I lack experience with extant genera articles in order to comment on whether this is a positive or negative change there, but for prehistoric articles, this makes little sense. We keep the articles at the genus level whether or not the genus is monotypic as a rule (exceptions exist; Edmontosaurus is the only dinosaurian exception to my knowledge and that has been questioned; Mammoth has species-level articles, but Smilodon does not), since there's generally not enough material for that article to get overly long or for species-level articles to progress beyond stubs. With this in mind, anytime a genus switched from monotypic to polytypic, we'd have to move the article and make some re-wordings. With genus-level titles this is not a problem and the new species needs merely be added. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 19:33, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Lusotitan: Thank you for your comment. Prehistoric taxa are not mentioned in the whole WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA guideleine at all. I thought, that prehistoric taxa guidleine were completely covered within the Wikiproject Paleontology guideline and I thought, that this note about monotypic taxa will not affect prehistoric taxa at all. But if you wish to implement recommendations about prehistoric taxa into the WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA, I do agree with that. Could you suggest how the proposal would sound like? --Snek01 (talk) 22:11, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Snek01: Prehistoric fauna are already included in WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA, Nodocephalosaurus is listed as an example, and is an extinct taxon. There is no specific mention of prehistoric fauna because the entire article covers *all* fauna, and so far prehistoric fauna are not an exception anywhere in the guideline. IJReid {{T - C - D - R}} 22:47, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Thanks. This is not issue. My intention has never been to alter way for naming prehistoric taxa. There can be one subsection for extant and one section for prehistoric. Therefore there should be three new prehistoric examples instead of extant ones. --Snek01 (talk) 23:22, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Snek01: please clarify what you are proposing. Immediately above you say that you don't want to change the guidelines for prehistoric taxa, but this is not what your proposal says. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:12, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

I wrote there Wikipedia:Village_pump_(idea_lab)#MONOTYPICFAUNA_initial_guideline_change_proposal and probably RfC will be fine too. --Snek01 (talk) 15:54, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Comment - seems this needs more discussion before we can have a "vote". FunkMonk (talk) 23:04, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
  • IN SUPPORT - I have asked for Argyrocytisus to be moved to Argyrocytisus battandieri, as this is a monotypic genus and the entire article (including the speciesbox, image, etc.) is about the species not the genus. There may be information about the genus which is distinct from the species (though I doubt it, since this genus has been created for the purpose of housing the sole species). Until such time as we know something meaningful and distinct about the genus, there should not be a Wikipedia heading for the genus. Darorcilmir (talk) 22:37, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
The genus is effectively the same as the species when it comes to monotypic genera, so it doesn't really matter whether something meaningful can be said about the genus, the same information would be included in an article about the monotypic species. FunkMonk (talk) 22:54, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@Darorcilmir: Please don't do that. There is a guideline now existing which says how we handle those. There is a discussion going on about changing that, and if we do change it, there will be many thousands of articles to move, but trying to make changes before that is disruptive.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  23:15, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support (with examples expanded, not deleted; the examples should help get consensus). The current convention makes no sense when considered using logic or common sense.
The article is about the species, not some abstract category containing the species. We don’t use a monotypic phylum name for article titles because the article is about the known species. The current guideline reflects this when it says "should go under the scientific name of lowest rank". Then it introduces the exception "but no lower than the monotypic genus". Why? When there is a species name it makes no more sense to use a monotypic generic name than a monotypic family name or monotypic order name. This already happens when there is a common name because there is an exception to the exception for this case. Another exception is when there is a need for disambiguation, which would never be the the case with a species name. Use of the species name would avoid the need for the exception or the exceptions to the exception.
Common sense suggests the article should be under the most commonly used name. This happens in non-monotypic genera where the species articles are named after the common name (if widely used) or the binomial name if that is more commonly used. Common sense also suggests that for extinct species where the generic name is the commonly used name that the generic name should be the title. The only exception to the common sense approach is using a monotypic genus over the species name when that is widely used.
The point about extinct species using the generic name is worth a further note. As already mentioned, the generic name is generally the name in common usage and is most suitable for the article title under common sense considerations (although not for Tyrannosaurus rex). The examples in the guideline should be used to make clear that the generic name should be used for extinct species in monotypic genera. Similar reasoning would apply to organisms like Trichoplax adhaerens, the sole extant (known?) species of the phylum Placozoa. This organism is generally referred to as Trichoplax (who remembers the species name?); thus the generic name is the most suitable article name.
Overall I support the change because the current rule is unnecessarily complicated (why have an exception when it introduces the need for exceptions to the exception?). I have some sympathy for using the binomial name on scientific grounds and can see arguments why the authority name should also be included. But Wikipedia is an encylopaedia and the names in general use are more suitable. This applies equally when there is a common name, a widely used binomial name, or a generic name for extinct or unusual species. Keep it simple.   Jts1882 | talk  09:51, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
@Jts1882: you say that you support the proposal, but your comments imply a different guideline, namely that the most commonly used name, genus or species, should be used. I strongly oppose introducing this degree of subjectivity in the guidelines. Please clarify what you are actually supporting. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:10, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree, this adds in the work of the question "is the generic name or full binomial more commonly used?".
What is actually happening with many fossil species is that in the absence of any vernacular name the genus name is used as a vernacular name. So technically if you are using the common name to create the article this is the name you would use as per current policy. I think the defense of this of not changing it for fossils is pointless as its already covered in existing policy on naming pages. When you call it a Triceratops you are calling it by its common name it just happens to be the same as its scientific genus name. The comments I made above was in the absence of a common name to use the full name. Not replace a well known common name with the scientific name. Triceratops and Triceratops are not the same. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 22:03, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't know, where are we cutting off "many"? Triceratops and Brontosaurus, sure, the generic name has become the common name, but I'd say, for example, Sirindhorna doesn't have a common name, it's an obscure species. The just-named Caihong had its name italicized in the press report I saw, so it's clearly being used as a scientific name in absence of a common one. Anyway, currently we use the generic named italicized whether or not it's also the common name, unless a different and widely-used common name (ex. Woolly Mammoth) exists, and I don't see a reason to change that. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 22:18, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Note so far I have not voted I have only added points to consider. In any case I generally avoid discussions on common names as I feel they are somewhat useless. But I really do not think there needs to be a change to the policy (not a vote still commenting), however, if you did, my suggestion was to make it 1. more professional, and 2. less likely to loose all title information in the event of a taxonomic revision. What I mean by this is what if someone moves the species from your monotypic genus into another genus, species name stays the same, but the genus name is gone. My reason for adding authors was not to give them credit but to avoid disambiguation issues. As for the below mentioned WP:PRECISE and WP:RECOGNIZABLE points made below, well the only precise name of a species is the binomial, hence it fails recognisability. You can be precise and use redirects to deal with peoples knowledge of names. Those policies are not written to deal with scientific names in a way that is useful. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 00:06, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're on about with losing title information, in the case of reclassification we have to change the title either way (if not merge the articles, in the case of a consensus for the reclassification), it doesn't really matter whether we used the generic name or binomial. For the author issue, we have less clunky ways of dealing with disambig issues. On preciseness, I fail to see how the generic name of a monotypic taxon fails WP:RECOGNIZABLE, it is if anything more recognizable - you said yourself the generic name alone forms the de-facto common name. Leaellynasaura is just as if not more recognizable than Leaellynasaura amicagraphica. You even say "deal with people's knowledge of names", which would seem to imply you admit the generic name is more well known. Yes, the binomial is more precise... but WP:PRECISE doesn't say to use the most precise name, it says to use the least precise name that still passes WP:RECOGNIZABLE, which has nothing to do with being the most precise name, specifically to avoid long clunky titles like "Leaellynasaura amicagraphica, Rich & Rich 1989". Those policies are not written with scientific names in mind, true, but following them doesn't cause any issues when using scientific names and so therefore I see no reason to go against them just for the sake of it. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 00:32, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
You missed my point on the names, I mean it will still be recognisable if it changes because part of the old name is preserved in the new page name. I am thinking of the reader, I know we have to do a move anyway. The most accurate name is always the binomial, this is what I see as precise, I acknowledge the policy was not written with this in mind. I am not arguing as I said I do not think a policy change is needed as a really good one would also include changing the policy of using common names over scientific names. Not asking for this Just pointing out that a good change in the right direction would be to change both policies, not just this one. Hence I do not think this is really needed at all. It also will generate a lot of work if the change was made, which I acknowledged, and this is not worth it, plus I think most people have a reasonable idea what to do anyway. The biggest issue seems to come up when taxa have multiple common names, then it becomes really stupid. But thats not the issue here. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 00:54, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for reasons already covered in the prior discussion. I don't think it's improper to formally propose something based on that discussion, but I don't think this proposal encapsulates anything close to what emerged from that discussion, and the result would conflict directly with WP:CONCISE and WP:PRECISE policies, and possibly also WP:RECOGNIZABLE at least in some cases. That is, Argyrocytisus battandieri and Argyrocytisus are synonymous for our purposes, so the longer name is pointlessly long, is over-disambiguation, and may actually be recognizable to fewer people, since it requires familiarity with the specific not just genetic epithet.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  19:24, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with this sentiment, the two terms are functionally synonymous but one is clunkier. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 20:46, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Guideline change proposal covering prehistoric[edit]

As User:IJReid and User:Lusotitan commented in the discussion above, that the guideline WP:MONOTYPICFAUNA should cover prehistoric taxa. It can be done like this. For extant there was deleted "but no lower than the monotypic genus". For prehistoric there were just changed examples:

For extant taxa: A monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group which only contains a single subgroup (e.g., a genus with only one known species, even a subphylum with one family with one genus). In such a case, the ranks with identical member organisms should not be separated into different articles, and the article (if there is no common name) should go under the scientific name of lowest rank. Redirects should be created from the other ranks to the actual article.

For prehistoric taxa: A monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group which only contains a single subgroup (e.g., a genus with only one known species, even a subphylum with one family with one genus). In such a case, the ranks with identical member organisms should not be separated into different articles, and the article (if there is no common name) should go under the scientific name of lowest rank, but no lower than the monotypic genus. Redirects should be created from the other ranks to the actual article.
The species name Myrmecobius fasciatus and its monotypic genus Myrmecobius are both redirects to the article at the common name of the species, Numbat. Add prehistoric example
   The two-species genus Xenoturbella has redirects from the monotypic family Xenoturbellidae and subphylum Xenoturbellida. Add example for a monotypic prehistoric family.
   The genus Nodocephalosaurus has a redirect from its sole species, Nodocephalosaurus kirtlandensis.
   The family Amphionidacea, redirects to its single genus Amphionides, as does the sole species Amphionides reynaudii. Add an similar prehistoric example. 

The exception is when a monotypic genus name needs to be disambiguated. The article should then be at the species, since this is a more natural form of disambiguation.

   Viator picis with a redirect at Viator (bird) rather than vice versa.

Feel free to modify examples. --Snek01 (talk) 21:54, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

COMMENT: I really dislike the exception for "when a monotypic genus name needs to be disambiguated". All monotypic genera should be treated the same: their infoboxes and categories should reflect the genus, and the articles should all be structured in terms of discussing the genus (and then as a consequence the sole species). Why should the presence of some other article with a similar name change the focus/infobox/categories/title of an article to its type species instead of the genus? Umimmak (talk) 06:08, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Umimmak: I agree, but this is a consequence of WP:ATDIS, which is policy rather than a guideline, and which has as the first criterion a preference for natural rather than parenthetical disambiguation. It's not something we can choose here. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:48, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I assume that by "prehistoric" in the new proposal what is meant is "extinct in prehistoric times", so more recently extinct taxa would be subject to the changed guideline. I also note that the proposal only concerns fauna, so plants would continue to follow the existing guideline. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:51, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Prehistoric animals = taxa which went extinct before 1500 CE. (Extinct animals = that are extinct according to the IUCN Red List / that became extinct after the year 1500.) This clearly defined terminology is used also in corresponding categories on Wikipedia. --Snek01 (talk) 15:40, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Sure, I understand the categorization; I just wanted to be absolutely sure that's what you were proposing; any change to guidelines has to be precise. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:32, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Taxon list templates updated[edit]

I have today updated {{Species list}}, {{Taxon list}}, and the various allied templates meant for use in taxoboxes, to use an underlying Lua module. (I haven't touched {{Nested taxon list}}.) The updated versions no longer have different arbitrary restrictions on the number of arguments, but can take an indefinite number.

I've tested the templates fairly thoroughly (they're not very complicated as these things go), but if anyone sees any issues, please let me know here (and revert as appropriate). Peter coxhead (talk) 17:06, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Facto Post – Issue 6 – 15 November 2017[edit]

Facto Post – Issue 6 – 15 November 2017
Content mine logo.png

WikidataCon Berlin 28–9 October 2017[edit]

WikidataCon 2017 group photo

Under the heading rerum causas cognescere, the first ever Wikidata conference got under way in the Tagesspiegel building with two keynotes, One was on YAGO, about how a knowledge base conceived ten years ago if you assume automatic compilation from Wikipedia. The other was from manager Lydia Pintscher, on the "state of the data". Interesting rumours flourished: the mix'n'match tool and its 600+ datasets, mostly in digital humanities, to be taken off the hands of its author Magnus Manske by the WMF; a Wikibase incubator site is on its way. Announcements came in talks: structured data on Wikimedia Commons is scheduled to make substantive progress by 2019. The lexeme development on Wikidata is now not expected to make the Wiktionary sites redundant, but may facilitate automated compilation of dictionaries.

WD-FIST explained

And so it went, with five strands of talks and workshops, through to 11 pm on Saturday. Wikidata applies to GLAM work via metadata. It may be used in education, raises issues such as author disambiguation, and lends itself to different types of graphical display and reuse. Many millions of SPARQL queries are run on the site every day. Over the summer a large open science bibliography has come into existence there.

Wikidata's fifth birthday party on the Sunday brought matters to a close. See a dozen and more reports by other hands.

Links[edit]

Editor Charles Matthews. Please leave feedback for him.

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MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 10:02, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Taxobox and Taxonbar conflict, etc.[edit]

Rain forest shrew has a Taxobox that gives order Eulipotyphla, while its Taxonbar navbox gives order Soricomorpha. I suspected one would redirect to the other, but they're separate articles.

I'm skeptical there's much utility in providing a navbox all the way back to the order level; family would probably make more sense. If I'm reading up about leopards and ocelots, I'm way more likely to want to navigate to Cheetah and Jaguarundi that to articles on mongooses and seals and wolves. The connection between felids (or whatever) and the rest of their entire order is generally too tenuous for a navbox (see criteria at WP:NAVBOX).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:48, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Unfortunately that's the problem you get sometime with duplicating info in different formats. Hopefully whoever makes edits follows thru and updates all pages and formats, but many times its not. You do the best you can......Pvmoutside (talk) 20:09, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
The taxonbar is the thing under the navbox. That said, I hate these navboxes. They're a maintenance burden, and they are NOT being maintained (hence the Soricomorpha/Eulipotyphla inconsistency). I dislike the incoming link clutter they produce. They probably would be more useful to readers (and would produce less incoming link clutter) if they were limited to families, but I don't see much point in encouraging the creation of more of these navboxes. Mammals are the only large group of organisms with widespread usage of footer navboxes. Plantdrew (talk) 19:57, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
the taxonbar is the autobox that populates external links like EOL,ITIS, WORMS, etc. which I think are OK....however the taxon template below that (i.e. Template:Buteoninae) are the things not getting maintained and which I also dislike Plantdrew........less is more as they say.......Pvmoutside (talk) 22:21, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I also echo Plantdrew's dislike of the taxon template/navbox at the bottom of the page. Certainly order-level navboxes can be unwieldy and un-necessary. Loopy30 (talk) 23:13, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Seems like Template:Soricomorpha needs to be redeveloped into Template:Eulipotyphla. It also seems that order-level navboxes shouldn't be used at the genus or species level, and that narrower navboxes should exist (where absent) for families and genera within mammals. Maybe there's a way to generate skeletal ones from the Taxbox data we already have? I'm skeptical that "no navboxes" would be accepted, since there are too many editors convinced that navboxes are a vital form of navigation.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:14, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Family would be a better rank than order to build navboxes around. But there are some very large families that would still have pretty unwieldy navboxes. I don't expect to see most of these deleted, although quite a few genus level footer navboxes have been deleted over the last couple of years. My argument there is that genus navboxes are particularly useless as you can usually get a list of species in a genus via either a single genus category, or a list in the genus article. Lists of species in a family may be split across several genus categories or articles.
Another wrinkle is that red-links are discouraged in navboxes. I'm sure exceptions would be made for organisms navboxes, but for most groups of organisms, Wikipedia's coverage of species is far from complete. Wikipedia has had essentially complete coverage of bird and mammal species since 2007 (basically all bird/mammal species have IUCN red-list assessments, and PolBot automatically created articles for IUCN assessed species in 2007). Plantdrew (talk) 20:39, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't worry about redlinks; they're permitted in a navbox when it's for a complete "set" of things and some of the articles don't exist yet. Species qualify as members of a set for these purposes.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:46, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Hundreds of pages use the Template:Soricomorpha so I think a simple temporary solution to the conflict bewtween the information in the navbox and taxobox would be to change the title of the navbox template to remove the rank order. While it is still dealing with an obsolete taxon, the title "Extant species of Soricomorpha" would avoid the confusion.   Jts1882 | talk  10:46, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Done.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:57, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Template:Taxonomy/Craniata change requested[edit]

There's an edit request, at Template talk:Taxonomy/Craniata#Template-protected edit request on 23 November 2017, to change the parent taxon to Olfactores. Wanted to get some review of that before I implement it, since sometimes these requests are wrong.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  23:55, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

I'd say, as a rule of thumb, having an article (not just a redirect) for a clade should be prerequiste to inserting that clade into the taxonomic hierarchy. Having an article doesn't guarantee inclusion (there's a whole bunch of articles about constantly shifting hypothesized clades at the root of eukaryotes that aren't included in the taxobox hierarchy). Requiring an article would also take care of (at least for now) the arthropod/euarthropod thing. Plantdrew (talk) 00:51, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

IUCN Red List website not serving dois[edit]

At the moment, on all the assessments I look at the IUCN Red List website, the doi field is empty and the html has "display:none;" set. e.g. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/167968/0. Yet it was there when I updated article Congo tetra on 23 November. Anyone else noticed this? William Avery (talk) 22:44, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

I noticed that ~16:45 on 1 December 2017 when trying to do a status-update run, when it coincided with some routine maintenance of other APIs/their main page. Their citation API is the only part I've noticed to remain offline, but it's probably/hopefully temporary.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  23:12, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. I was wondering if it was a blip or just affecting a few pages, but it seems not. William Avery (talk) 23:19, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
And it's back up! (@William Avery:)   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  16:18, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

List of brackishwater and introduced fish of Sri Lanka[edit]

I found this list the other day, and in my opinion, the list name is too ambiguous and not very helpful to readers. I thought of moving the page to List of introduced fish in Sri Lanka, and I can add an incomplete tag.....I did also reach out to the original author and they are OK with any title move.........any other suggestions on what to do with this list?......Pvmoutside (talk) 01:15, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

Converting {{IUCN}}s to {{Cite journal}}s[edit]

I'm pretty sure I can do this, as long as all of the key {{IUCN}} parameters are sterilized; namely, |id=, |date=/|year= (published or assessed), |title= (accepted name or synonym), and |author=/|assessor=, which I've already done moderate sterilization on, and that they match the most recent output of the citation API for a given |id=. I just wanted to gauge the project's interest of doing so.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:25, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

@Tom.Reding: I'm not quite sure what you've been doing with regards to updating IUCN status. Am I correcting in assuming that you have now updated everything (or at least everything where there is a straightforward match between the taxobox binomial and the IUCN binomial) to have the current IUCN status and status system? Assuming that is the case, I'd love to see (in this order):
  1. Polbot IUCN citations [(bare refs & sources)] not using a reference template updated to use Cite journal (see e.g. Schefflera palawanensis)
  2. Citations with versioned IUCN templates (e.g. {{IUCN2009.1}}) updated to use Cite journal
  3. Citations with the general {{IUCN}} converted to Cite journal (as you are proposing here)
I realize the first case might be more tricky than cases where a reference template is already used. If you're only interested in working on the last case, I'd still be most appreciative, but I think the first two cases ought to be a higher priority. Plantdrew (talk) 21:19, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Plantdrew, I'm only ~20% done updating the straightforward-match pages (due to a combination of IUCN server maintenance and semi/tangent gnoming sprees). It'll probably take about a month to get through the rest of them, as long as the IUCN servers stay up most of the time.
Polbot left a comment on every page it created, and there has been minimal effort to remove those comments, correct? If so, I can easily prioritize in the order above.
As for Schefflera palawanensis, my (semi-automated) solution would be to first add a |status_ref= instead of filling in the bulleted source in the Sources section. Yes, bare refs are hard enough to parse, but bare sources are even harder to find, even when only deviating slightly from a common format. After I see enough of these, though, I'm sure I can eventually convert most/all of them too (if and only if they match the most recent IUCN citations, of course), so I'd move those into my priority #4.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  03:59, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Much appreciated, Tom! --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 06:17, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Tom.Reding, unfortunately, I've been removing the Polbot comments from pages I've edited over the last 6 months or so, and updating IUCN citations hasn't been part of my workflow. However, the Polbot comments are still present on many articles. Dates that Polbot downloaded IUCN data (e.g. "Downloaded on 23 August 2007.", "Downloaded on 20 July 2007.") could perhaps be used as search strings when the comment has been removed. Plantdrew (talk) 02:22, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Ok, as long as there's some reliable means of identifying. So my priority #1 would more accurately read "Citations on Polbot pages updated to use Cite journal".   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  16:43, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
I had to try several different searches a few times before they stopped crashing on me...because Polbot created 116,485 articles. I don't know of an easy way to get all of them without grabbing 500 at a time, so I'll just stick with running about a dozen levels of recursion on Category:Species by IUCN Red List category as a starting point. I might be able to start in the next week/few days.
Is there a way to retrieve a non-current IUCN citation? Right now, I'll only be able to {{Cite journal}}-ify cites/ref/sources which have parameters matching the most recent IUCN citation. I don't know what the % of non-current WP cites is, but if I can grab old IUCN cites I should be able to convert the vast majority of them.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:26, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think so. You can get the historical assessments but it only returns year, status and code. The citiation would be a nice addition. The only way of getting the older citations I can think of is using the internet archive, which would be fine for a particular case (e.g. lion) but probably impossible to automate as the url included the date and time they captured it.   Jts1882 | talk  10:46, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Working this now; should be fun.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  14:59, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

 1st priority done, unless they escaped my Polbot-filter. 5636 bare sources converted on 5635 articles, out of a total of 11,374 Polbot articles found under Category:Species by IUCN Red List category. 2nd & 3rd priorities found on those pages were taken care of, if possible.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  05:53, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

 Working priority #2. I've made a large edit to The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates, replacing 36 {{IUCN2008}}s, and would appreciate/feel more comfortable if I knew someone more knowledgeable vetted it; positive/negative feedback welcome.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:08, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Recently I've noticed some citations (1, 2, 3) using the fine print at the top of the IUCN page as the title of the citation, instead of the much larger text right below it (which, to me, is the rightful title), i.e. |title=Nilopegamys plumbeus (Ethiopian Amphibious Rat, Ethiopian Water Mouse), instead of |title=Nilopegamys plumbeus for IUCN #40766. What's the desired option here?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  18:46, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

@Tom.Reding: I would think the large print title of the page is preferred as the smaller fine print version is effectively a text pointer associated with the id number (#40766) in your example. However the document and proposal for listing will have the large print title. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 19:01, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

 Mostly done with all 3 priorities after a little over a month, aside from ~800 exceptions/malformed authors/manual checks/etc., which will take me ~just as long to go through, so I'll post an update (probably final) now right after the bulk of my edits.

IUCN Template Transclusions
2017 Dec 21
Transclusions
2018 Jan 19
{{IUCN2006}} 773 618 -155
{{IUCN2007}} 91 46 -45
{{IUCN2008}} 2,489 1,787 -702
{{IUCN2009.1}} 129 83 -46
{{IUCN2009.2}} 372 192 -180
{{IUCN2010}} 487 136 -351
{{IUCN2010.1}} 89 44 -45
{{IUCN2010.2}} 83 37 -46
{{IUCN2010.3}} 156 77 -79
{{IUCN2010.4}} 169 76 -93
{{IUCN2011.1}} 115 68 -47
{{IUCN2011.2}} 203 112 -91
{{IUCN2012.1}} 74 48 -26
{{IUCN2012.2}} 335 110 -225
{{IUCN2013.1}} 418 105 -313
{{IUCN2013.2}} 988 276 -712
{{IUCN2014.1}} 420 51 -369
{{IUCN2014.2}} 467 146 -321
{{IUCN2014.3}} 905 297 -608
{{IUCN2015.1}} 76 27 -49
{{IUCN2015.2}} 64 27 -37
{{IUCN2015.3}} 14 6 -8
{{IUCN2015.4}} 18 8 -10
{{IUCN}} 21,385 14,369 -7,016
Totals 30,320 18,746 -11,574
Total {{IUCN/x}}s converted to {{Cite journal}}
({{IUCNx}}s all call {{IUCN}}; avg=1.11 templates fixed/page)
7,802

I wish I'd taken the first snapshot right before I started, instead of after completing priority #1s 5 days in, but priority #1s only included ~108 collateral template-conversions.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  16:43, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Strophurus elderi[edit]

I created the above article today, and linked an image from Wikimedia Commons. The image has a copyright watermark (and there are a few others on commons for the same species)......If I remember right, watermarked photos are not generally allowed.......since commons hasn't deleted them, and looks like they've been there for a while, and looks like the image creator was the one who took the photo, and uploaded and watermarked the image, am I to assume the images are OK for both Wikipedia and Commons?.......Pvmoutside (talk) 20:01, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

It seems to be OK. If you look at the description page for the file, it has a notice about the use of watermarks. In short, watermarks are discouraged but not prohibited. Plantdrew (talk) 20:46, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Plantdrew....Pvmoutside (talk) 21:45, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Color scheme for taxobox template[edit]

There is a proposal to simplify the taxobox color scheme at Template talk:Taxobox#Refined proposal. Please weigh in if you have an opinion. Kaldari (talk) 05:55, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Facto Post – Issue 7 – 15 December 2017[edit]

Facto Post – Issue 7 – 15 December 2017
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A new bibliographical landscape[edit]

At the beginning of December, Wikidata items on individual scientific articles passed the 10 million mark. This figure contrasts with the state of play in early summer, when there were around half a million. In the big picture, Wikidata is now documenting the scientific literature at a rate that is about eight times as fast as papers are published. As 2017 ends, progress is quite evident.

Behind this achievement are a technical advance (fatameh), and bots that do the lifting. Much more than dry migration of metadata is potentially involved, however. If paper A cites paper B, both papers having an item, a link can be created on Wikidata, and the information presented to both human readers, and machines. This cross-linking is one of the most significant aspects of the scientific literature, and now a long-sought open version is rapidly being built up.

WikiCite wordmark.svg

The effort for the lifting of copyright restrictions on citation data of this kind has had real momentum behind it during 2017. WikiCite and the I4OC have been pushing hard, with the result that on CrossRef over 50% of the citation data is open. Now the holdout publishers are being lobbied to release rights on citations.

But all that is just the beginning. Topics of papers are identified, authors disambiguated, with significant progress on the use of the four million ORCID IDs for researchers, and proposals formulated to identify methodology in a machine-readable way. P4510 on Wikidata has been introduced so that methodology can sit comfortably on items about papers.

More is on the way. OABot applies the unpaywall principle to Wikipedia referencing. It has been proposed that Wikidata could assist WorldCat in compiling the global history of book translation. Watch this space.

And make promoting #1lib1ref one of your New Year's resolutions. Happy holidays, all!

November 2017 map of geolocated Wikidata items, made by Addshore

Links[edit]


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MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 14:54, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Categorising Ancyromonadida[edit]

Ancyromonadida was categorised only in the non-existent Category:Varisulca.

I will place it instead in Category:Excavata. I'm not sure if this is the best option, so maybe someone with more expertise can check it out. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 07:14, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

Recruit new editors for your project?[edit]

Happy new year! I've been building a tool to help WikiProjects identify and recruit new editors to join and contribute, and collaborated with some WikiProject organizers to make it better. We also wrote a Signpost article to introduce it to the entire Wikipedia community.

Right now, we are ready to make it available to more WikiProjects that need it, and I’d like to introduce it to your project! If you are interested in trying out our tool, feel free to sign up. Bobo.03 (talk) 19:58, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Species at GA review[edit]

The article species is a GA nominee and will benefit greatly from all participants here to identify gaps and help in improvement through additional review comments. Shyamal (talk) 08:44, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Separating synonyms[edit]

Moved, as suggested, from an earlier discussion.

I would like there to be a way in which if {{Speciesbox}} is used to provide the taxobox for an article about a monospecific genus, the synonyms for the genus (if any) and the synonyms for the species (if any) are separated. This can be achieved easily by adding "subheadings" to the list of synonyms, but a standardized way of doing it would be good. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:07, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Completely agree with @Peter coxhead: here, a way of both automating, and standardising the presentation of synonyms, both generic and species would be a major improvement to the taxobox. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:06, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Peter, if you do come across a "standard example" of listing synonyms for both a species and its monotypic genus in the taxobox, please post it here. In the past, I have just made something up like Sombre greenbul (monotypic genus Andropadus). 'Cheers, Loopy30 (talk) 16:39, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
@Loopy30, Faendalimas, and JoJan: My idea is that just as {{Speciesbox}} has both |authority= and |parent_authority=, we should add |parent_synonyms= + |parent_synonyms_ref=. Then rather than putting the genus and species synonyms in one 'box', when |parent_synonyms= was present, there would be a 'box' headed "Genus synonyms" followed by a 'box' headed "Species synonyms". I suppose there could also be |grandparent_synonyms=, etc. if there was any demand for this.
I can work up a revised version of {{Speciesbox}} if the idea has any support. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:51, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I would support this its a major improvement and synonyms are important. Refs for the synonym is also needed as opinion can differ. I would suggest that in the docs for the {{Speciesbox}} should be explanation, with examples, of good references for a synonymy. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 00:45, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, a modification to the species template to produce a standardized compartment for separate genus and species synonyms would be an improvement to the present ad hoc arrangements. Thank you Peter. Loopy30 (talk) 13:10, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
This modification would indeed be appropriate, if one sticks with the present recommendations for monotypic genera. However, I still think it would be much better, in case of a monotypic genus, to create separate articles for each taxon. If the major databanks such as Zoobank (Amborella and Amborella trichopoda) or WoRMS (Dicathais and Dicathais orbita ) work this way, why shouldn't we ? The same goes for NCBI, GBIF, iNaturalist, the Australian Faunal Directory and probably many others. Why should we work otherwise ? Even wikidata makes a distinction between a species and its monotypic genus: see e.g. Indoplanorbis and Indoplanorbis exustus. And to compound the problem thus created by the present recommendations, species of a number of monotypic genera are described under the title of the genus and not of the species, see: Indoplanorbis. Looking at Category:Monotypic mollusc genera, this example is not the only one. We can make all the recommendations we want, but, in the end and in the interest of the occasional contributor or future contributors, the simplest solution is to use the same rules for all the taxa and not making exceptions for monotypic genera. (remember: Occam's razor). JoJan (talk) 16:08, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I have to disagree with JoJan, as monotypic taxa with separate species articles serves no purpose here. There is no reason to separate these articles, as their content would simply be duplicated. I strongly agree with previous commenters that separating genus and species synonyms would be a good idea, it would help keep a standardized look on articles that normally have large collapsed (or not) lists in the taxonbox, for both the genera and the species. IJReid {{T - C - D - R}} 16:52, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Agree with @IJReid: here, these other sites are presenting data, Wikispecies is another example that will list all monotypic ranks. But Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, its scope is broader, but too many pages saying essentially the same thing for no other purpose than a page name that follows phylogeny is redundant. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 20:55, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
It's not necessary that the content would be duplicated -- the page about a species could be about the species, but the page about a genus would be include information about who decided to make a new genus and on what grounds, its phylogenetic relationship with other genera in the same (sub)family, other species which had previously been classified in this genus (when they were added, when they were removed, and on what morphological, genetic, etc., grounds), which families the genus had been historically classified in, the etymology of the generic name, the type species (maybe a now-invalid synonym was designated), synonyms of the genus, etc. This sort of information is often present in pages about genera, but can be neglected when the article solely focuses on a monospecific genus's sole species (e.g., when there is a common name for the species), instead of writing both about the genus and the species. (To be clear: I'm not arguing that we should break from having a single article for both the genus and its sole species -- just that the information be included and that ideally all monospecific genera be treated similarly -- contra The exception is when a monotypic genus name needs to be disambiguated. The article should then be at the species, since this is a more natural form of disambiguation. which makes some articles on monospecific genera about the species instead of about the genus, causing inconsistency in the taxonbox and in overall article structure of articles which should pattern together.) Umimmak (talk) 19:48, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
There are many monotypic genera, at least on the bird side, that redirect articles of the monotypic genus to the species page (see Pine grosbeak and Pinicola for one I just did following other articles). If a change in format or adding monotypic genus articles when species articles are available, I would oppose that as the current format seems to work well. There is a small controversy regarding how far up the taxon chain one uses the monotypic genera or the species for the article name, but that also seems to work pretty well. In that case, an article rename is the preferred change rather than creating duplicate articles. Regarding synonyms, I noticed that differing authorities list the same synonym for some species (I've been finding them mostly in reptiles lately). On a manual basis, I've been trying to list the earliest non-duplicative synonym available, but if the process is automated, I'm guessing using the same synonym listing multiple authorities isn't a problem?....Pvmoutside (talk) 21:02, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I strongly disagree that we should arbitrarily split various ranks that all pertain to the same species. First, it is extremely redundant, and second, it just creates more work, we have to add information to two or three articles (if we split a family or subfamily which includes a monotypic genus), instead of simply having a centralised article where all the information can be collected. Likewise, it does the readers a huge disservice that they have to chase links to get a full picture of what is effectively a single topic. Who would such a split benefit, other than the most ardent taxonomists? FunkMonk (talk) 22:25, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with FunkMonk, he described it very good. --Snek01 (talk) 22:11, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Facto Post – Issue 8 – 15 January 2018[edit]

Facto Post – Issue 8 – 15 January 2018
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Metadata on the March[edit]

From the days of hard-copy liner notes on music albums, metadata have stood outside a piece or file, while adding to understanding of where it comes from, and some of what needs to be appreciated about its content. In the GLAM sector, the accumulation of accurate metadata for objects is key to the mission of an institution, and its presentation in cataloguing.

Today Wikipedia turns 17, with worlds still to conquer. Zooming out from the individual GLAM object to the ontology in which it is set, one such world becomes apparent: GLAMs use custom ontologies, and those introduce massive incompatibilities. From a recent article by sadads, we quote the observation that "vocabularies needed for many collections, topics and intellectual spaces defy the expectations of the larger professional communities." A job for the encyclopedist, certainly. But the data-minded Wikimedian has the advantages of Wikidata, starting with its multilingual data, and facility with aliases. The controlled vocabulary — sometimes referred to as a "thesaurus" as term of art — simplifies search: if a "spade" must be called that, rather than "shovel", it is easier to find all spade references. That control comes at a cost.

SVG pedestrian crosses road
Zebra crossing/crosswalk, Singapore

Case studies in that article show what can lie ahead. The schema crosswalk, in jargon, is a potential answer to the GLAM Babel of proliferating and expanding vocabularies. Even if you have no interest in Wikidata as such, simply vocabularies V and W, if both V and W are matched to Wikidata, then a "crosswalk" arises from term v in V to w in W, whenever v and w both match to the same item d in Wikidata.

For metadata mobility, match to Wikidata. It's apparently that simple: infrastructure requirements have turned out, so far, to be challenges that can be met.

Links[edit]


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MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 12:38, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Template taxonbar on genus article for monotypic taxon[edit]

I was curious if there is a strategy to deal with taxonbar templates on genus-level articles when it is monotypic and incorporates information about the species. For instance the genus Sinochasea is about both the genus and the species Sinochasea trigyna, which is a redirect. I didn't immediately find documentation about how to deal with this, but perhaps I am overlooking it. Thanks! --TeaDrinker (talk) 14:41, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

If there are two entries in Wikidata, then you can link to both, as per Template:Taxonbar#Multiple Wikidata entries – the examples are for synonyms, but the logic applies to any situation in which there are multiple Wikidata entries for one taxon article here. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:29, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Ah, that makes good sense. Thanks! --TeaDrinker (talk) 19:05, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Adding Species Stub Articles[edit]

I am interested in adding a lot of new stub articles for arthropod species. I can add several thousand of these over a period of a few months, provided I can get a bot approved. (I am hoping this won't present a problem since the bot will be creating new pages instead of altering existing pages, and I can limit the number of new pages per day to something reasonable.)

In my mind, these stubs will serve three primary purposes:

  1. They will give users some idea of the organism, including references and, if available, a photo or two.
  2. They will make online and print references available to users.
  3. Most will contain enough references to make it convenient for editors to expand the article.

The quality of the pages might be a little above average for WikiPedia stubs. I uploaded these pages today as examples. The content was generated locally with what I hope to use later as a bot, and posted manually on Wikipedia. The topics were roughly selected as a random sample over arthropods.

I've made a similar post on the Arthropods Project, and was hoping to get some input from the Tree of Life project as well.

  1. Is this a good idea? Would it be worthwhile for WikiPedia or is this just noise?
  2. What changes should be made to the pages? (Of course there should be more information, but that will come over time.)

Thanks! Bob Webster (talk) 05:04, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Amphibians offer a cautionary example. In 2007, Polbot created an article for all amphibian species that were recognized in the Global Amphibian Assessment a few years earlier, and which were not already in Wikipedia. This resulted in something like 5000 new articles. My hunch is that 90% of these have not seen any substantive improvements, with a large proportion not receiving a single human, non-technical edit — in now more than 10 years! Unless you are convinced that there are enough editors interested in improving the new articles, I would be cautious about adding new stubs that then get forgotten in corners of Wikipedia, and gradually get outdated as taxonomy changes and links rot. Micromesistius (talk) 09:03, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I share the caution, but it does depend somewhat on the quality of the sources used. For plants, Polbot created a lot of articles based on the IUCN Red List of the time. The list itself contained caveats about the quality of the taxonomy, and, yes, this did result in articles that persisted unchanged for years and became inaccurate (there may still be a few around). One useful move is to add the articles to a hidden tracking category, so that if resources in the form of editors do become available, then they can be reviewed. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:36, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I have some experience sorting out problems with bot-created articles, but I'm only against poorly created bot articles (bot or mass-created by a human). I think what you're doing here (requesting community vetting) is a good idea and definitely a necessary step. If you see any changes made to many of the articles above (as I've just made, running my 'common problems' scripts over them), and incorporate those and other systematic community improvements, and follow consensus-backed restrictions suggested in this discussion, after some reasonably long period (perhaps a month?) into future page creations, I think that would be a net positive.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  12:29, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Edits to Turtle.[edit]

Hi everyone, and sorry for cross posting, as it has been flagged as too long, and having looked I agree, it is also way out of date. I have started major editing of the Turtle I am doing it in steps with a save so that is easier to track what I have done. So far I have done the first paraagraph, still needs some refs, and removed the enourmous phylogeny, that is out of date and plain wrong anyway. I am also going to slash the references, currently it has notes and refs, will make one refs list only that will refer to inlines and remove any unused refs from the bottom. Not done this yet. Would appreciate feedback as I go through it. Particularly from anyone who knows turtles well. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 06:37, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

In what way is the phylogeny plain wrong? The family and above part of the phylogeny, based on Crawford et al (2015), seems to be appropriate still. At least the IUCN Turtle Taxonomy Working Group mentioned it in their 2017 checklist as a valid alternative system using the phylocode, although they recommend taxonomic names that follow the linnean system. I assume the lower divisions, dating back to 2012 are the problem. I can add back a phylogeny based on Crawford or an alternative if you can provide what you consider more appropriate references.   Jts1882 | talk  17:48, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
So we can discuss it I have saved the phylogeny on a subpage HERE as a temporary measure, it is unaltered exactly as it was. I will make some notes about it asap. However, apart from the errors in it based on more recent work. It is also very large and I think a bit of overkill, and removing it has significantly shortened the article. I felt it detracted from the message of the page. Do not get me wrong I am a turtle taxonomist, and associated with the TTWG, I know what they said. However I will point out the errors for you later tonight. I have just arrived home today and need a little time. Cheers, Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 00:37, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

MOS or guidelines on non-monotypic species redirecting to genus[edit]

I have noticed that some species articles have been created with a redirect to the genus. I will admit it raises my hackles, since it seems pointless (except to make the project seem to have more articles than it does) but is it against a guideline or MOS, such that I would be justified in deleting the redirects? My thinking is that redlinks encourage editing, redirects discourage it. But I hesitate to delete based on my own preferences rather than an established rule. --TeaDrinker (talk) 16:39, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

I agree, redlinks in species lists on genus articles are better than redirects, which mislead readers into thinking the species articles exist. The same goes for higher taxons too. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:49, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree too. What's particularly stupid is when you look at a list of species in a genus article, click on what look like real links, and end up back at the same article. If possible, create an article to replace the redirect – even a stub is better (I've just now done this at Eragrostis spectabilis which was a redirect to Eragrostis). Failing that, it's better to delete the redirect (but you need to be an admin to do that). Peter coxhead (talk) 17:36, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I will add the note that for articles on prehistoric taxa where species-levels articles are generally discouraged, such redirects should be left as is. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 17:49, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Is that because most prehistoric genera are monotypic, or because there is little agreement on the species classification? Perhaps we should propose a guideline to make these recommendations (unless one already exists). --TeaDrinker (talk) 18:09, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
The monotypic part is part of it, I think, but it's mostly because there's simply not that much to say about the species most of the time; you can fit the information about both into a single article most of the time, at least in theory. In many cases it's fine anatomical details separating two species in a genus and many aspects of an article may apply to both. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 18:52, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
It's fine to have such links when (a) there's no prospect of there being an article (b) the redirects at the species name are not used on the genus page. Peter coxhead (talk) 19:03, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree that redlinks are better, but I don't see that we have this in writing anywhere. I would support adding it someplace.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  18:27, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Actually, WP:Naming conventions (fauna)#Redirects says in the first sentence that these redirects should be created for animals (no such advice is given for plants). Peter coxhead (talk) 19:17, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Wow. All the rules I've read and I don't remember that one. It was added in 2014 by SMcCandlish. Do people agree with that or should we change it?  SchreiberBike | ⌨  23:03, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, I assume the logic is that if I type in, say, Hypacrosaurus stebingeri, I get redirected to the article on the genus Hypacrosaurus, which will have some information on the species, despite not article about the species specifically existing. As opposed to the article not existing and not leading to anything. Lusotitan (Talk | Contributions) 00:02, 21 January 2018 (UTC)