Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Universities

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WikiProject Universities (Rated Project-class)
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  1. Work on articles that need cleanup. A randomized short list is here
  2. Work on the collaborations of the month
  3. Create a page for each and every university and college and add {{infobox University}} for it. See the missing list for those institutions still awaiting articles.
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  5. Ensure all articles, including Featured articles, are consistent with the article guidelines.
  6. Continue upkeep of University Portal

Categories nominated for deletion[edit]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob247 (talkcontribs) 21:03, 9 October 2012‎ (UTC)

John Cabot University draft article[edit]

Hi. I work for John Cabot University and have prepared a draft article about our university I was hoping could be used to substantially expand/improve the current stub. The draft is based on a close read of Wikipedia:College and university article advice.

I’ve been getting some conflicting advice on how to behave with a conflict of interest and what is acceptable content. For example, I’m told the draft is filled with unsourced content, but the only unsourced information is in the Lead, which I was told didn’t need sources. I’m told some sources are not independent enough, but the advice for university pages guide seems to suggest primary sources from a history professor should be acceptable. One editor old me it was inappropriate and potentially disruptive to suggest an entire draft on the Talk page, but others have told me this is best practice to avoid direct editing. One editor said he would review my draft, but never did.

Can someone please help me? I am trying to do what I thought was ethical best practice and what Wikipedia’s own guideline said was best practice for content and I’m just getting ping ponged all over the place.

Thank you so much.

Berenice at John Cabot University (talk) 14:38, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

I suggest proposing in the article's Talk page the specific changes you'd like to make to the current article. If what you're proposing is not obviously controversial and no one objects in a reasonable period of time (one week, maybe?) then I'd go ahead and make the proposed changes, one at a time and each with a clear edit summary. That would minimize the chances of someone objecting to a subset of your proposed edits reverting all of them by making it easy for them to just undo the specific one(s) that require further discussion. ElKevbo (talk) 17:14, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally, if the "primary source" to which you are referring is the Williams article then it seems highly unlikely that it is indeed a primary source. It's probably a secondary or tertiary source as the history is presumably based on primary sources such as meeting minutes, interviews, archival documents, etc. It's probably not an independent source since it appears to have been published in an alumni newsletter but if the material isn't controversial then that is a relatively minor problem that we usually overlook since it's also often intractable i.e., we'd have to omit a large amount of material from many articles if we adamantly insisted on completely independent sources for everything. ElKevbo (talk) 17:19, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Request for help[edit]

@ElKevbo: is on a Wiki-Break. Is anyone else able to help me? He suggested I edit the article slowly with detailed edit summaries, which I have done here, adding non-controversial information about the campus cited to independent books. When I have proposed changes on the Talk page, @Justlettersandnumbers: said it was inappropriate to ask volunteers to spend their time reviewing my suggestions, but when I made edits directly he reverted me saying I need to propose my changes on Talk. So I am not allowed to propose changes on Talk and also not allowed to make them in the article? Am I not allowed to contribute to the article? I just want to improve the page and I’m experiencing a lot of contradictions and conflicting instructions. Can someone please help? Thanks so much.

Berenice at John Cabot University (talk) 08:04, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Berenice, please read Talk:John Cabot University#Conflict of interest, and/or read the guidelines in the yellow box at WP:PAY. You are very strongly discouraged from editing the article John Cabot University (which is why I reverted your recent attempt to do so). However, you are always welcome to propose changes on the talk-page of the article using {{request edit}}; requests that are unduly long, or are not supported by independent reliable sources, are unlikely to be accepted. You might also take a look at WP:PAYTALK. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:37, 1 July 2016 (UTC)[edit]

An Editor during a AFD Discussion raised a valid question whether is a WP:Reliable source as it is a search engine for Universities through it is one of comprehensive list of Universities worldwide and the discussion is taking place in the Reliable sources/Noticeboard .Would welcome users to comment either way .Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 18:45, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Rankings of universities in the lede[edit]

There was some disagreement at University of St Andrews which ultimately led to a DR/N case that however closed unresolved. I'm seeking consensus on the underlying questions:

  • Which rankings should be given in the lede? If the university is ranked both globally and nationally, which should be included (or both)? What about regional rankings? Rankings like "best under 50"?
  • If certain rankings are less than flattering (as is the case for the University of St Andrews: there is a huge discrepancy between the ARWU and the QS/THE), should they still be given?
  • If individual faculties or subjects are ranked, what guidelines are there on which should be given?

At the moment I think a reasonable solution is to give roughly 7-10 rankings (if available) in the lede. The three major international rankings (ARWU, QS and THE) should always be given if available, and for the remaining 4-7 rankings, give the university's best or most notable rankings. So for example if a university has a physical sciences department that performed much better than its other departments, that could be given, while for universities that do really well on national tables (like the University of St Andrews) and / or the national tables attract more attention in the country, that could be given as well. I'll say though that I'm not too expert on this topic, so there might easily be problems with this proposal that I've not considered. Banedon (talk) 04:10, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Why should any ranking be used in the lead ? Especially "the best" rankings. The only place for them is in the article. XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 08:29, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Because, e.g., an article on the National University of Singapore should indicate that it is one of the most prestigious universities in Asia, and rankings are an easy way to establish that. Banedon (talk) 08:37, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
It's exactly what must be avoided at all costs. If you try to prove something, you are definitely doing something wrong. XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 08:49, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
In that case, I would still give the three major international rankings even if nothing else is given, since they are so widely followed. Banedon (talk) 09:01, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
What are ""the three major international rankings"" ? In France, only the "Shanghai Ranking" is well known... so there is no reason to use only 3 rankings. Again, there is not a single reason to mention any of them in the lead. XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 09:11, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Then how come WP:UNIGUIDE has an explicit section on rankings which mentions the lede? Banedon (talk) 09:13, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
It's only an essay. Still, it says that "In the lead, do not use rankings to synthesize an image of the institution, whether good or bad". XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 09:59, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
All the more reason to come to consensus about the place of rankings in the lede then. I still favour having the major international rankings in the lede, and any other rankings available to give an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the institution. Banedon (talk) 00:57, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
Clearly, if you can't find anyone else to support your view, it can't be consensual. XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 06:15, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
Consensus indicates lots of people agreeing. At the moment, it's just you and me. Banedon (talk) 06:35, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
I have discussed this issue with other members and no one sees the need for every university ranking to be included in the lede. Doing so would disrupt the majority of university articles and all the work and effort put in by editors. In my opinion, it is unnecessary for every university ranking to be made obligatory on a university's article lede, it leaves the article lede looking cluttered. As long as the article includes the international rankings somewhere on its page (ideally in the Rankings & Reputations section), I don't see the need for it. Have a look at the 'featured colleges', specifically University of California, Riverside and Dartmouth College which make no mention of every single university ranking on the article's lede or any mention at all. EmyRussell (talk) 11:08, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Certainly not every ranking should be in the lede. The question though is that which rankings (if any) should be there. It's hard for me to approve of the rankings given in the UC Riverside lede for example, because I think the international rankings are the ones that should be given, if any rankings at all are given. Similarly, reading the lede for Dartmouth College it feels slightly incomplete since the rankings are missing. In fact the Dartmouth College lede is off in the sense that it is also one of the institutions which perform badly in international rankings but superbly in national rankings, and the lede only mentioned its national ranking in one of the references. It's possible that I am biased here, but I personally ascribe most importance to the three major international tables in part because they allow comparison of universities across different countries and continents, and I'm not the only one to do so (refer the sources mentioned in the University of St Andrews talk page).
Question is, if this has been discussed before, what was the consensus? If this has not been discussed before, can we come to a consensus on how to handle it, across all university articles? Banedon (talk) 06:49, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate your response Banedon, however I must disagree with it. I don't think that international rankings trump national rankings given their widely different methodologies and their inherent bias against small non-specialist institutions such as Dartmouth. As I said before, as long as these universities do not omit their international rankings on their Wikipedia page (i.e. their international ranking placing should be in their 'Rankings and Reputations' section) then there is no need to do what you wish as comparisons can still be made this way. Dartmouth and Riverside are featured articles for a reason. It is of my personal view that it would be impossible to enforce X ranking on every university page as it would give X ranking undeserved legitimacy against the other possible rankings as well as because how vastly different some universities perform within international rankings. I am content with the status quo. EmyRussell (talk) 11:19, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Well then if international rankings don't trump national rankings, why do national rankings trump international ones? Putting certain rankings in the lede like is the case with Dartmouth and Riverside already gives those rankings undeserved legitimacy against the other possible rankings. Also you say "I am content with the status quo". What is the status quo? Insert national rankings into the lede and leave everything else out? What if there are no national rankings? Banedon (talk) 13:04, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
National rankings do not trump international rankings, you will notice that there are pages which only mention their international rankings rather than their national ranking. I do not wish to change these articles as well. The status quo being how articles are edited according to how the editors best see fit. There is no strict standard across all university pages regarding rankings in university article ledes, with some university pages making mention of only their international rankings or only their national rankings, a mixture or both or no mention at all. People can make comparisons by scrolling to the Rankings and Reputation section of articles - I have spent significant time updating the infobox of these sections for this reason alone. EmyRussell (talk) 14:18, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
If the status quo is to edit according to "how the editors best see fit", then I think it should be changed. Keeping the status quo means that I could revert the University of St Andrews page again, which would probably lead to us repeating this same discussion about which rankings to have in the lede again, except this time we do it on the University of St Andrews talk page instead of here. This same discussion could easily happen as well on any other university's page. I would much rather choose something more objective and stick to it for every university. Banedon (talk) 02:56, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I am curious as to why you are so insistent on making these changes to the University of St Andrews page only? There are plenty of other article pages which are similar to St Andrews' in terms of rankings in lede. Your edit history shows that it is the only university article page you edit and you are not part of the WikiProject University. As I said before, the problem is is that objectivity is not possible. Even right now, you are the only person who wants this in the WikiProjects talk page. I would prefer to hear the view of other editors who share your view. EmyRussell (talk) 10:27, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Because I happened on that page, made the change, and was reverted basically. I think objectivity is possible: simply choose some rankings (again, the international ones, since national rankings only apply to that country) and give them for all universities. If international rankings are not available then say they are not available. Also on this talk page there are only three participants, and we all want different things - XIIIfromTOKYO above prefers to completely remove rankings from the lede. I don't know anyone who shares my view, but I also don't know anyone who shares yours, or XIIIfromTOKYO's. I'd advocate a RfC at this point, just to get some consensus on this issue. Banedon (talk) 06:04, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I share EmyRussell's views. SubcommandanteLOL also makes a similar case to I and you clearly saw our conversations in previous talk threads. It would be preferable if we are honest and and upfront about this, don't lie and say you don't know anyone else who shares that opinion please. Kioj156 (talk) 14:52, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
What talk thread are you referring to? Because I don't remember seeing any such thread. Plus, I will emphasize, if we adopt the "as editors see fit" position then you must be ready to justify, e.g., the University of St Andrews article listing the THE world ranking in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities but not the wider institution-wide ranking in the lede (and every other currently-listed ranking in the lede besides), because I am going to challenge its inclusion. I started this thread here because I believe it's an issue that applies to all universities as a whole. "As editors see fit" does not resolve the issue; it just moves it to every university's individual talk page. Banedon (talk) 00:51, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Incidentally if one looks at Imperial College London, the lede references its high placing in the QS and THE tables, which is rather to be expected considering it placed so well in the international tables than the national ones. Similarly the University of Manchester mentions its international rankings instead of its national ones (and that's in spite of Kioj156's arguments that national tables are more widely followed). As XIIIfromTOKYO mentioned, it is very much like academic boosterism, and not likely to be resolved by "as editors see fit". In a choice between the three positions on the table so far, "no rankings in the lede" would be my second choice. Banedon (talk) 06:48, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Well, it's been almost a month without new input, which means the dispute is still unresolved. If nobody objects I'm going to start a RfC on this, with the three options discussed above ("as editors see fit", "list certain rankings only" and "no rankings in lede"). Banedon (talk) 01:13, 8 August 2016 (UTC)


Should an individual be included in a university's alumni category if they didn't finish the course/graduate?--obi2canibetalk contr 11:14, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Is the Highland Park Methodist Church on the campus of Southern Methodist University[edit]

The maps of Highland Park and University Park seem to say that the Highland Park Methodist Church is on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Is this true? WhisperToMe (talk) 03:44, 2 August 2016 (UTC)