User:DGG/to insert

(first drafts of what I propose to insert in pages as specified--or just in some new essay)

Academic notabilityEdit

There's a simpler and better criterion: if an academic has been mentioned by name in a WP article in the subject, that person is sufficiently notable for this purpose. Not including them would leave red links, which seem to bother some people. Conversely, if one wishes to have a page for an academic without notability in his subject according to WP,then either the subject page needs improvement by someone who knows the subject, or the academic can be notable for other reasons than his scholarship: For example, the presidents of major universities are almost invariably public figures even outside the place where the university is, and relevant information should be easily found. DGG 00:14, 29 October 2006 (UTC)



I would just like to comment on the above discussion. As a person working towards a Ph.D., I am not sure what I think about the proposed plan. I am sympathetic to the privacy argument and I am also concerned that a culture of verification will develop. If this happens, Ph.D.s may not feel it is appropriate to contribute without verifying themselves. In the humanities, where wikipedia is viewed with skepticism, being coerced into publicly revealing yourself as a contributor (if such a culture were to develop), would be nothing but detrimental to the project. But, on the other hand, while reading the above threads, I felt a strong sense of anti-intellectualism. The "I'm an expert, so you should listen to me" argument was viewed with great skepticism. I agree that such an argument is not enough, but experts have reached their positions for a reason - they have studied for many years and are very knowledgeable. To act as if this is irrelevant and that someone who has not done the same is likely to be able to contribute at the same level is absurd. This is why wikipedia demands that its articles be based on the research of experts. I find it interesting that at the same time a group of people are defending wikipedia's democratic culture to the death on this page, others are complaining vociferously on the featured article candidates talk page about the problem of non-expert reviewers doing FA reviews. There are real tensions in wikipedia regarding the necessity for "expert" editors and reviewers. I would also like to point out that the increased citation requirements that have irked so many people at FAC are a way to avoid implementing something like credentialling. Awadewit 00:52, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Having survived a few discussions about the role of "experts" in our fractious little family, I've been mulling over these questions for a while. All in all, I'd have to say that I'm an elitist. In fact, I love my elite so much, I think everybody should be part of it.
I don't think expert qualifications can play a direct role in generating encyclopedic content. I include in this category the normal, day-to-day sort of disputation which happens on individual articles' Talk pages: "Section X needs references", "The description of entropy is wrong", "We should reference Hume instead of Dawkins", and so forth. Anybody who tries to have their way on a Talk page by saying, "I've got a PhD in metaphysico-cosmonigology, so shut up" is not a nice person. They won't get anywhere, and nor should they, even if their claim of being a tenured Ivy League professor is blessed by Jimbo Wales and open for all to inspect.
"Experts" still have a great advantage, of course, in that their walls are lined with bookshelves, and they can point to the page numbers which back up what they say. They know how to organize articles, they've taught and written about the material before, and in a word, they're competent. If all you want to do is contribute encyclopædia content, I don't think you need to get your credentials vetted; it doesn't really bring you anything. So what if you still have to cite your sources like those amateurs down in the proletariat? It's the custom of the land, and it's easier for you than for anybody else (unless the amateurs really know their stuff, in which case you have nothing to crow about!).
When we consider dispute resolution, however, we become less concerned with competence and training than with trustworthiness. The higher I look in the structure of Wikapparatchiks, the more I want to see evidence that the functionary is a reliable servant of the community. And I want this evidence testable by all, just in case Jimbo's stressful schedule led him to make a slipshod judgment. (This is a point in which I suspect some ideological streak may be making me a bit too fervent an advocate of radical transparency.)
There is still a role for expertise in dispute resolution. One example I can think of right away is if the ArbCom has to consider a case where one group of editors accuses another of pushing pseudoscience POV into science articles. It may happen that certain pseudoscientific claims have not been debunked in the reputable literature. Normally, such claims could be rejected on notability grounds (WP:FRINGE), but there are always cases where one has to weigh academic journals against pop-science magazines, or judge if bogus references are being added to give a spurious air of notability. In such thorny tangles, the pragmatic solution is to find somebody who knows their stuff and whose background we can verify. The procedure for validating credentials should be open to all, including ordinary users who aren't even seeking Admin status, although a "background check" should only be mandatory for those seeking positions of trust. Anville 01:05, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

If you were referring specifically to my comment above, no, wasn't anti intellectualism - it was anti-anti-nonintellectualism; the perception that somebody without a PhD may be perceived to carry less weight in argument. I don't have a PhD, but I do have a Mensa tested IQ of 144 (which is a bastard because all I have is a piece of paper saying that this score means I cannot join Mensa - try verifying that!) so I would argue that a PhD is not the only criteria defining intellect. It is certainly not the only criteria defining worthiness in contributing to WP, but it and similar qualifications are being proposed as being currently the only ones that WP will accredit and approve. This might be a source of resentment within the non-expert grouping of contributors, one that WP:ATT might not mollify. I only ask if any thought been given to the possible response of the "non experts" to this proposal, given my growing emotive response? LessHeard vanU 01:26, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
As a person with a degree or two which I never mention in argument on a subject or AfD page -- nor do I mention my IQ-- I congratulate Anville on his excellent statement of what I think to be essentially the correct position. A person with greater knowledge should intrinsically be at an advantage within his field. The only caveat is that the WP level of debate on some topics is somewhat infantile; anyone with knowledge, however acquired, will not make an impression on the editors with a junior high school level of understanding (and some of those guys are highly-educated adults, in formal respects). The only solution is for a great number of knowledgeable people to come and to stay, until they outnumber the others. This will not be done by putting barriers in their way.DGG 01:35, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, DGG. You know, if tenure committees counted Wikipedia edits as much as journal articles, all these problems would be solved. :-/ Anville 01:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

sources for citation countingEdit

I have revised the paragraph for GS slightly, for clarity. PubMed (note the correct word form) in particular is almost useless for the purpose of citation counting, which is unfortunate but true. its use for the purpose is based on a misconception of associated records", now called "related records". They do not include articles on the basis of citing the one in question, but on the basis of common subject matter judged by a complex formula. Some of them usually turn out to also cite the article in question, and some don't, (This can easily be verified: look at the list--many will almost always be found to be published before the work in question, and couldn't possibly cite it.) This destroys the usefulness of one of the few freely accessible resources. (please do not blame me--I'm just the bearer of bad news)

GS nonetheless can be used if exact numbers are not needed. Try this

  1. search for a particular paper, click on the author's name

I have therefore added a section on the two reliable tools, although like GS, they may not work well for non-contemporary figures. (I do not see this as a problem, because for earlier figures there should be plenty of other documentation). What I do see as a problem is the inaccessibility. A full installation of WoS(science citation Index, all the way back to 1900, with associated SSCI and AHCI parts, can cost upwards of $100,000 a year, and GS is only a little cheaper. (There is special pricing for 4-year colleges, and Scopus in particular will increasingly be found there.)

There are others on the way, mostly free, but at this point mostly of specialized use; I will add the most valuable in this context.

The diverse views about the validity of citation counting as a measure of quality have been presented on the impact factor page and related pages. DGG 00:14, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Phaistos disk article talkEdit

Please don't think I support that peculiar idea--I think it doesn't belong in the first section here either. somewhere at the bottom among the miscellaneous hypotheses,yes. A few may think it "the chief reason it's interesting."(from the edit history) but most of those interested think it interesting --or should I say fascinating--for more general reasons.)

I've put it where I think it should go. DGG 05:20, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Finding OAEdit

Romeo lists the self-archiving policy of publishers, whether they permit eprints and under what conditions. This is useful information, especially to authors, but does not necessarily mean there is even one such article--and the journal and article title pages never tell; of the indexes, only PubMed indicates this.The optimal routine for determining this for a specific article changes from time to time, but usually starts with a search on Google Scholar, followed up if necessary by its transfer into a Google search; there are alternatives, such as starting with OAIster <>, or Scirus <> . How well Windows Live Search Academic <> will work is not yet clear [at the moment, it isn't working at all).

The reliable place to find true open access journals, where all the articles are open access, is DOAJ <>. but this does not include journals that offer delayed Open access after an embargo (very common in biomedicine, and HighWire <> is a good place to find many of them), or hybrid OA, access to only articles paid for by their authors, which is getting to be significant and now for example, includes one-fourth of the articles in PNAS. I do not know of a complete listing. I do however follow this very closely, for it is my specialty in the Real World. In WP, I try to keep a copy of my current best advice on the Google Scholar page, but this sort of instruction doesn't really fit into WP, but we should be able to find a place for it here.

Keeping up with individual changes is not easy, and the people who keep track best are interlibrary loan specialists at major libraries, and they do it mentally. I can certainly maintain a checklist on which ones should be checked where(we can do lists of these once we decide how to do such lists), and I see most of the online lists and commercial newsletters that announce major changes, at least in the science.

What I plan to start with is the existing pages, but then we can see. Some of this is field dependent--all actually existent journals of high energy physics are pretty good, but for cell biology that would be laughable. Circulation is a rather good measure, for 99% of them are only purchased by libraries; low circulation means that only a few top-ranking libraries have them. The only problem with circulation is that academic publishers mostly keep this a secret, because the numbers tend to be in the low hundreds, even for good journals. There are ways of getting at this indirectly, but not as a practical matter. Downloads is another good measure, and that is really a secret.

As for actually working on them, I will go by publisher, because that's the easiest way. I'm thinking of using an infobox, but if the box had much content, there wouldn't be anything else on the page.

Previous titles is another matter. There is one commercial database (Ulrich's) which includes this, with fair accuracy, but there are some library catalogs that can be trusted, though they go one change at a time. This is something to be added gradually, the really big ones first. If we end up with a good record of these, we will be better than any non-commercial source. For that matter, for the open access information we'd be better than any source at all. DGG 22:13, 12 December 2006 (UTC)


For political subjects, one does not necessarily assume everything on an official web site is true. The site for the White House is not where one looks for an objective view of Iraq, or for that matter of the US, but it is evidence for what the present government chooses to say.

A recurrent problem in many different contexts is that when there is an article on an organization, & also a closely connected person, how much does one say about the organization in the article on the person? Usually, very little--just enough for the context of his life, and a reference does the rest. That's what we do for companies and their owners. The article on Bush describes his presidency, not the US during his presidency.
linking to individual words looks much more POV.


How close a copy (orig for "Herb Sheldon")

Dear grendel, I usually spot 2 or 3 speedy or prod deletions a day that should be kept, and I do work on improving some of them, about 1 a day. The rest of the WP will be edited by others. I just try to postpone the deletion to give them the chance, and, usually, give some detailed advice to the author if there is one who can be identified. . In particular, for articles that are close to good enough or good enough, I leave it to the others & work where i think i will be most needed. As for the issue at hand, it is perfectly practical and appropriate to base an article on a good source, as long as there is more than one source so it can be confirmed. Most WP articles are in fact written that way. How close it is is not necessarily absolute. I know as a teacher i would accept this as not being plagiarized. But if you continue to feel it is too close, there are ways to decide, and it is perfectly possible that your opinion may be considered the best. But there is no point in you and me fighting about this here. But try comparing the two ago.

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