FAMEPedia:Verifiability

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(Redirected from FAMEPedia:CIRCULAR)
Verifiability means that, when other people using the encyclopedia checks an article they should be able to verify that the information comes from a reliable source. FAMEPedia currently do not publish original-research thingy. Even if you believe something is true, it must have been previously published and it must also be verifiable before you can add it to an article.

You can learn how to write citations by reading This page. Verifiability, no original research, and neutral point of view are FAMEPedia's core content policies. They work together to determine content, so editors should understand the key points of all three. Articles must also comply with the copyright policy.

Responsibility for providing citations[edit | edit source]

All content must be verifiable. The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material, and it is satisfied by providing an inline citation to a reliable source that directly supports the contribution.

Attribute all quotations, and any material whose verifiability is challenged or likely to be challenged, to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. The cited source must clearly support the material as presented in the article. Cite the source clearly, ideally giving page number(s) – though sometimes a section, chapter, or other division may be appropriate instead; see FAMEPedia:Citing sources for details of how to do this.

Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source. Whether and how quickly material should be initially removed for not having an inline citation to a reliable source depends on the material and the overall state of the article. In some cases, editors may object if you remove material without giving them time to provide references; consider adding a citation needed tag as an interim step. When tagging or removing material for lacking an inline citation, please state your concern that it may not be possible to find a published reliable source and the material therefore may not be verifiable. If you think the material is verifiable, you are encouraged to provide an inline citation yourself before considering whether to remove or tag it.

Do not leave unsourced or poorly sourced material in an article if it might damage the reputation of living people or existing groups, and do not move it to the talk page. You should also be aware of how FAMEPedia:Biographies of living persons applies to groups.

What are Reliable sources?[edit | edit source]

The word "source" when citing sources on FAMEPedia has three related meanings:
  • The work itself (the article, book)
  • The creator of the work (the writer, journalist)
  • The publisher of the work

These three can affect reliability.

If available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources in topics such as history, medicine, and science.

Editors may also use material from reliable non-academic sources, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications. Other reliable sources include:

  • University-level textbooks
  • Books published by respected publishing houses
  • Magazines
  • Mainstream newspapers

Editors may also use electronic media, subject to the same criteria. See details in FAMEPedia:Identifying reliable sources.

Newspaper and magazine blogs[edit | edit source]

These may be acceptable sources if the writers are professionals, but you're responsible for the usage because blogs may not be subject to the news organization's normal fact-checking process. If a news organization publishes an opinion piece in a blog, attribute the statement to the writer, e.g. "Jane Smith wrote ..." Never use as sources the blog comments that are left by readers. There's something related to this that is really not a reliable source, check out § Self-published sources below.

Sources that are usually not reliable[edit | edit source]

Questionable sources[edit | edit source]

If a source has a bad reputation for fact-checking, lacks meaningful editorial oversight, or appears to have a conflict of interest, it's considered questionable. These, are including but not limited to

  1. Websites and publications expressing views that are widely considered by other sources to be extremist or promotional, or
  2. Websites that rely heavily on unsubstantiated gossip, rumor or personal opinion.
  3. Predatory open access journals are also questionable, due to lack of effective peer-review.

Self-published sources[edit | edit source]

Anyone can create a personal web page, self-publish a book, or claim to be an expert. That is why self-published material such as books, patents, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, personal or group blogs (as distinguished from newsblogs, above), content farms, Internet forum postings, and social media postings are largely not acceptable as sources. Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established subject-matter expert, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable, independent publications. Exercise caution when using such sources: if the information in question is suitable for inclusion, someone else will probably have published it in independent reliable sources. Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer.

Self-published or questionable sources as sources on themselves[edit | edit source]

Self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, usually in articles about themselves or their activities, without the self-published source requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as:

  1. the material is neither unduly self-serving nor an exceptional claim;
  2. it does not involve claims about third parties;
  3. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the source;
  4. there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity; and
  5. the article is not based primarily on such sources.

This policy also applies to material published by the subject on social networking websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook.

FAMEPedia and sources that mirror or use it[edit | edit source]

Do not use articles from FAMEPedia (whether this FAMEPedia or FAMEPedias in other languages) as sources. Also, do not use websites that mirror FAMEPedia content or publications that rely on material from FAMEPedia as sources. Content from a FAMEPedia article is not considered reliable unless it is backed up by citing reliable sources. Confirm that these sources support the content, then use them directly. (There is also a risk of circular reference/circular reporting when using a FAMEPedia article or derivative work as a source.)

An exception is allowed when FAMEPedia itself is being discussed in the article, which may cite an article, guideline, discussion, statistic, or other content from FAMEPedia (or a sister project) to support a statement about FAMEPedia. FAMEPedia or the sister project is a primary source in this case, and may be used following the policy for primary sources. Any such use should avoid original research, undue emphasis on FAMEPedia's role or views, and inappropriate self-reference. The article text should make it clear the material is sourced from FAMEPedia so the reader is aware of the potential bias.

Accessibility[edit | edit source]

Access to sources[edit | edit source]

Do not reject reliable sources just because they are difficult or costly to access. Some reliable sources may not be easily accessible. For example, an online source may require payment, and a print-only source may be available only through libraries. Rare historical sources may even be available only in special museum collections and archives. If you have trouble accessing a source, others may be able to do so on your behalf.

Non-English sources[edit | edit source]

Citing[edit | edit source]

Citations to non-English reliable sources are allowed on the FAMEPedia. However, because this project is in English, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones when available and of equal quality and relevance. As with sources in English, if a dispute arises involving a citation to a non-English source, editors may request a quotation of relevant portions of the original source be provided, either in text, in a footnote, or on the article talk page. (See Template:Request quotation.)

Quoting[edit | edit source]

If you quote a non-English reliable source (whether in the main text or in a footnote), a translation into English should always accompany the quote. Translations published by reliable sources are preferred over translations by FAMEPedians, but translations by FAMEPedians are preferred over machine translations. When using a machine translation of source material, editors should be reasonably certain the translation is accurate and the source is appropriate. Editors should not rely upon machine translations of non-English sources in contentious articles or biographies of living people. If needed, ask an editor who can translate it for you.

In articles, the original text is usually included with the translated text when translated by FAMEPedians, and the translating editor is usually not cited. When quoting any material, whether in English or in some other language, be careful not to violate copyright; see the fair-use guideline.

Other issues[edit | edit source]

Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion[edit | edit source]

While information must be verifiable to be included in an article, not all verifiable information needs to be included in an article. Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article, and that it should be omitted or presented instead in a different article. The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.

Tagging a sentence, section, or article[edit | edit source]

If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, you can tag a sentence with the {{citation needed}} template by writing {{cn}} or {{fact}}. There are other templates for tagging sections or entire articles here. You can also leave a note on the talk page asking for a source, or move the material to the talk page and ask for a source there. To request verification that a reference supports the text, tag it with {{verification needed}}. Material that fails verification may be tagged with {{failed verification}} or removed. When using templates to tag material, it is helpful to other editors if you explain your rationale in the template, edit summary, or on the talk page.

Take special care with contentious material about living and recently deceased people. Unsourced or poorly sourced material that is contentious, especially text that is negative, derogatory, or potentially damaging, should be removed immediately rather than tagged or moved to the talk page.

Exceptional claims require exceptional sources[edit | edit source]

Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources. Warnings (red flags) that should prompt extra caution include:

  • Surprising or apparently important claims not covered by multiple mainstream sources;
  • Challenged claims that are supported purely by primary or self-published sources or those with an apparent conflict of interest;
  • Reports of a statement by someone that seems out of character or against an interest they had previously defended;
  • Claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community or that would significantly alter mainstream assumptions—especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living and recently dead people. This is especially true when proponents say there is a conspiracy to silence them.

Verifiability and other principles[edit | edit source]

Copyright and plagiarism[edit | edit source]

Do not plagiarize or breach copyright when using sources. Summarize source material in your own words as much as possible; when quoting or closely paraphrasing a source use an inline citation, and in-text attribution where appropriate.

Do not link to any source that violates the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations. You can link to websites that display copyrighted works as long as the website has licensed the work, or uses the work in a way compliant with fair use. Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered contributory copyright infringement. If there is reason to think a source violates copyright, do not cite it. This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as Scribd or YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates copyright.

Neutrality[edit | edit source]

Even when information is cited to reliable sources, you must present it with a neutral point of view (NPOV). Articles should be based on thorough research of sources. All articles must adhere to NPOV, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view. Tiny-minority views need not be included, except in articles devoted to them. If there is disagreement between sources, use in-text attribution: "John Smith argues X, while Paul Jones maintains Y," followed by an inline citation. Sources themselves do not need to maintain a neutral point of view. Indeed, many reliable sources are not neutral. Our job as editors is simply to summarize what the reliable sources say.

Notability[edit | edit source]

If no reliable, independent sources can be found on a topic, FAMEPedia should not have an article on it (i.e., the topic is not notable).

Original research[edit | edit source]

The no original research policy (NOR) is closely related to the Verifiability policy. Among its requirements are:

  1. All material in FAMEPedia articles must be attributable to a reliable published source. This means a reliable published source must exist for it, whether or not it is cited in the article.
  2. Sources must support the material clearly and directly: drawing inferences from multiple sources to advance a novel position is prohibited by the NOR policy.[1]
  3. Base articles largely on reliable secondary sources. While primary sources are appropriate in some cases, relying on them can be problematic. For more information, see the Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources section of the NOR policy, and the Misuse of primary sources section of the BLP policy.


Guidelines[edit | edit source]

Information pages[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. When there is dispute about whether a piece of text is fully supported by a given source, direct quotes and other relevant details from the source should be provided to other editors as a courtesy. Do not violate the source's copyright when doing so.