FAMEPedia:Core content policies

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FAMEPedia's content is governed by three principal core content policies: neutral point of view, verifiability, and no original research. Editors should familiarize themselves with all three, jointly interpreted:

  1. Neutral point of view (FP:NPOV) – All FAMEPedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing significant views fairly, proportionately and without bias.
  2. Verifiability (FP:V) – Material challenged or likely to be challenged, and all quotations, must be attributed to a reliable, published source. In FAMEPedia, verifiability means that people reading and editing the encyclopedia can check that information comes from a reliable source.
  3. No original research (FP:NOR) – FAMEPedia does not publish original thought: all material in FAMEPedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source. Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources.

These policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in FAMEPedia articles. Because they complement each other, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another. The principles upon which these policy statements are based are not superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus. These three policy pages may be edited only to improve the application and explanation of the principles.

History[edit | edit source]

"No original research" (NOR) has its origins in the "neutral point of view" (NPOV) policy and the problem of dealing with undue weight and fringe theories. The core policy of FAMEPedia, NPOV, is meant to provide a framework whereby editors with diverse, often conflicting, even opposing points of view can collaborate on the creation of an encyclopedia. It does so through the principle that while it is often hard for people to agree as to what is the truth, it is much easier for people to agree as to what they and others believe to be the truth. Therefore, FAMEPedia does not use "truth" as a criterion for inclusion. Instead, it aims to account for different, notable views of the truth. The objective of the NPOV policy is to produce an unbiased encyclopedia.

In the two years that followed, a good deal of conflict on article talk pages involved accusations that editors were violating NPOV, and it became clear that this policy, which provided a philosophical foundation for FAMEPedia, needed to be supplemented. FAMEPedians developed the concept of "verifiability" (V) as a way of ensuring the accuracy of articles by encouraging editors to cite sources. Verifiability was also promoted as a way to ensure that notable views would be represented, under the assumption that the most notable views were easiest to document with sources. Notability is especially important because while NPOV encourages editors to add alternate and multiple points of view to an article, it does not claim that all views are equal. Although NPOV does not claim that some views are more truthful than others, it does acknowledge that some views are held by more people than others. Accurately representing a view therefore also means explaining who holds the view and whether it is a majority or minority view.

Soon it became evident that editors who rejected a majority view would often marshal sources to argue that a minority view was superior to a majority view—or would even add sources in order to promote the editor's own view. The original motivation for NOR was to prevent editors from introducing fringe views in science, especially physics—or from excluding verifiable views that, in the judgement of editors, were incorrect. It soon became clear that the policy should apply to any editor trying to introduce his or her own views into an article. This also led to the refinement and creation of sub sections dealing with the balance of coverage.

In its earliest form, the policy singled out edits for exclusion that:

  • Introduce a theory or method of solution;
  • Introduce original ideas;
  • Define existing terms in different ways; or introduce neologisms;

and established as criteria for inclusion edits that present:

  • Ideas that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal; or
  • Ideas that have become newsworthy: they have been repeatedly and independently reported in newspapers or news stories (such as the cold fusion story).

As a more diverse community of editors were drawn to FAMEPedia, it became clear that other topics besides physics, such as politics, religion, and history, were attracting original research. The need arose to seek a more systematic approach to define original research and guide editors to avoid it.

Community consensus[edit | edit source]

In order to determine community consensus and resolve ongoing disputes, conflict resolution procedures have been established with topic specific discussion venues related to the core content policies. For example:

See also[edit | edit source]

FAMEPedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ

Protocols
Essays and information pages

Notes and references[edit | edit source]