Template talk:Notability

Active discussions

Google prioritized?Edit

The links in the bottom of the template are mostly to Google searches. Could we include some other search engines in an attempt at neutrality and to avoid systemic bias against areas of the world that can't use Google? I'd also prefer that the links show that they are Google searches (i.e. "Google Scholar" and "JSTOR", not "scholar" and "academic archive"). Actually, I'd have a search of other Wikipedia articles, too; that often helps. HLHJ (talk) 21:00, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Maybe add link to the talk page?Edit

Just a proposal, maybe you should be able to add a link to the talk page discussion using a |talk= parameter. Other similar templates already have this, and it would be useful if the talk page is already full of discussions. ―JochemvanHees (talk) 16:09, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

The use of "establish" (×2) in the template's language is not technically wrong, but it may tend to misleadEdit

Clarity in template language is always good, and this one gets quite a lot of use, so it would be nice if it did not imply by its use of the word "establish" in two places, not only something wrong, but something that may reinforce a rather common misunderstanding about notability. To wit, that notability is about what exists in an article (that a topic is or is not notable based on its content), rather than that notability does or does not exist based on what the topic is – and that the existence of the right types of sources, treating the topic in substantive detail, demonstrates/shows/evidences the notability of the topic.

As headlined, the word choice of "establish" is not technically wrong – because establish, as one of its secondary meanings, can denote "demonstrate"/"prove"/"evidence" – but it is more commonly used to mean "founding", "instituting", "building". If understood in that way, for its more common meaning, it implies that adding sources can make a topic notable, rather than evidence its notability. It thus, in its current form, may reinforce the exact misunderstanding noted. (We so often need to explain to new users, for example, because they have this misunderstanding, why A7, based on on article's current content, is not speedy deletion for lack of notability, or why doing a WP:BEFORE search is important before taking an article to AfD on the basis of notability.)

I give you the word's first and second definitions from dictionary.com:

  1. "To found, institute, build, or bring into being...";
  2. "to install or settle in a position [or] place..."

So let's avoid that vocabulary choice here. I propose:

Note: a slight modification to my initially proposed language (immediately below), was later made based on the discussion following it.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:48, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. Please help to establish demonstrate the notability of the topic by citing reliable secondary sources that are independent of the topic and provide significant coverage of it beyond a mere trivial mention. If notability cannot be established shown, the article is likely to be merged, redirected, or deleted.

--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:26, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

That's actually quite a well-founded argument. I always interpreted it as proving/demonstrating notability, but I can understand where the confusion comes from. The only thing I have to add is that I personally think the sentence "Please help demonstrate notability" sounds a bit odd to me. Although it's not a grammatical error, changing it to "with demonstrating" or something would help making it easier to read. ―JochemvanHees (talk) 15:10, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for replying JochemvanHees. I actually think we can thrust more clarity on the first use (in the same vein as the concern I'm posted about) by changing it to: "Please help demonstrate the notability of the topic by..." – which, I think, also gets rid of the awkwardness you note. I actually originally thought of suggesting that, but my experience, over many years here of honing policy and guideline (and as we've become more de facto bureaucratic), is that the larger the change you suggest, the more the likelihood of misunderstanding and knee jerk rejection. I know, I know, but that's how I've experienced it.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:54, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
Ah, makes sense. I think it's a good idea. ―JochemvanHees (talk) 16:43, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Strong markupEdit

In this revision, Bsherr change the bold wiki-markup to use <strong> instead. On mobile, maintenance tags intentionally strip the bold markup (it gives them a lot of visual weight on a small screen), but it doesn't strip the strong markup. Not sure if the solution here is to add a similar strip rule for <strong> on mobile maintenance tags (not sure where that is implemented), or to revert the change made here. — Goszei (talk) 21:49, 22 May 2021 (UTC)

@Goszei: That's a great observation. Distinguishing semantic emphasis is important for accessibility, so a solution that disregards that is problematic. This raises a few questions for me. In removing bold text from banners on mobile browsers, was there an intention to distinguish between semantic strong text and other bold text? Which should be stripped, or should both be? How is italic text treated (and semantic emphasized text)? Assuming this is a feature of Template:Mbox, would that be the best place to discuss? --Bsherr (talk) 19:48, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
@Bsherr: This implementation is actually part of the Minerva mobile skin (see [1]), and it only applies to <b>. I am not sure the reasoning behind that, but I had assumed that it was because the devs felt that weighty text is too prominent on a small screen. That might be off, however, and I don't know their actual intentions. Not sure of the venue for a discussion about this. — Goszei (talk) 21:31, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
@Goszei: I see. Thanks for that. I still think Template talk:Mbox is the best place, since the skin discriminates based on the class with which Mbox templates are tagged, if I have that right? --Bsherr (talk) 22:17, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
WP:VPT might be the best venue, since the matter seems to concern the mobile skin more than the box implementation itself (and it also will cross more eyes over there). You're right about Mbox, though I will note that Ambox has more watchers. — Goszei (talk) 22:29, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

The notability template's google newspaper search is broken. A simple change to the search string should fix things, I hope?Edit

An editor has tagged the Bonanza Air Lines article with a notability template. I strongly disagree with that action, but I'm here to address not that issue, but the template itself. While the notability template tries to be helpful by generating links that supposedly help you find sources, in actuality the template's newspaper search is currently broken.

Here is how the template does a Google newspaper search for the exact string "Bonanza Air Lines"...

The result from Google is No results found for "Bonanza Air Lines" site:news.google.com/newspapers.

Now, try this Google newspaper search for the exact same string...

The result is a page filled with 100 newspaper articles, the maximum it can show at once. There are an additional 100 more hits on the second results page. Simply put, the notability template is using a broken search method. If people patrolling for notability are relying on the template's newspaper search link to determine if they need to tag the article, I can state without qualification they're being terribly misinformed by the bogus template search results.

Another issue, albeit probably beyond the scope of the template's logic: the template search used only "Air Lines" as part of the search string, but it did not attempt to also find "Airlines". Both terms are valid when dealing with mass-media searches for airline names, because people (including newspaper editors/writers/reporters) pretty much don't care if the official airline name uses "Air Lines" or "Airlines"; it's all the same to almost everyone, right? I don't know how/if it would be possible to make the template newspaper search aware of such nuances, of course, but I'm just pointing it out as another way the search can be misleading.

Clicking on the working Google newspaper searches below, using both terms, will result in just under 400 hits...

Bonanza Air Lines/Airlines getting mentioned in about 400 newspaper articles goes a long way towards establishing notability; yet when I clicked on the template's newspaper search link, I got no hits. I suppose it's possible, even likely, the template's search method worked in the past, but google (as they are known to do) might have changed something to break it, without notice.

It appears to me that a minor tweak to the generated search string should fix things. Can someone please look into this? Thanks. – Itsfullofstars (talk) 01:59, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Note: this is implemented at Template:Find sources mainspace, which in turn is implemented by Module:Find sources/links/google newspapers. — Goszei (talk) 02:11, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
I believe that I have made the necessary change at Special:Diff/1036028100. Like User:Itsfullofstars says, Google appears to have moved its newspapers to Books search, with special url parameters (instead of the previous News search). — Goszei (talk) 02:15, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
It's working again! Thanks for the incredibly quick response. Bravo! – Itsfullofstars (talk) 03:21, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
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