Thanks for visiting my user page.
I've been sporadically contributing to Wikipedia since 2005. When editing, I like improving presentation and clarity, and making sure that pages are balanced and adequately represent mainstream academic thought.
Arbcom rulings have consistently upheld the principle that Wikipedia articles should first and foremost reflect mainstream science. See for example:
|“||Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and its content on scientific and quasi-scientific topics will primarily reflect current mainstream scientific consensus.||”|
|— Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee, Requests for arbitration/Fringe science|
|“||Serious and respected encyclopedias and reference works are generally expected to provide overviews of scientific topics that are in line with respected scientific thought. Wikipedia aspires to be such a respected work.||”|
|— Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee, Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience|
Verifiability not TruthEdit
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It seems that many new contributors are confused about this, so it bears repeating here. Our standard for inclusion in Wikipedia is "Verifiability, not Truth". Facts and citations can be verified; 'truths' are often open to endless dispute. This principle has allowed a diverse community of editors to work together on Wikipedia to cover a wide spectrum of subjects including Global warming and Jesus of Nazareth, for which there is hardly a lack of dispute over 'truth'.
Wikipedia is not a forum to promote or educate people about neglected fields. Ideas and theories should not appear on Wikipedia until and unless citations can be provided that show that they have been published in reliable sources that are not self-published.
The following are accepted reliable sources (in order of reliability).
- Peer-reviewed journals and books published by university presses
- University-level textbooks
- Magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses
- Mainstream newspapers
Another way to view the principle "verifiability, not truth", is to understand that we as editors, cannot judge what should or shouldn't be in this encyclopedia, and so we look to external authorities (academic journals, textbooks, major newspapers) to guide us. It's no use convincing me, or any of the other editors here on Wikipedia, of the truth of your position. Judgment of what should be in Wikipedia is deferred to external mainstream sources of information. This is one of the bedrock principles upon which Wikipedia is built.
As Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales puts it:
|“||The specific factual content of the article is, in a sense, none of my business. My sole interest here is that the wiki process be followed and respected. Talking to me about physics is pointless, because it misses the point. ... [Instead] What do mainstream physics texts say on the matter? What do the majority of prominent physicists say on the matter? Is there significant debate one way or the other within the mainstream scientific community on this point?
Remember, I'm not much interested in "is it true or not" in this context. We could talk about that forever and get nowhere. I'm only interested in the much more tractable question "is it encyclopedic and NPOV or not"? And this question can be answered in the fashion I outlined above.
|— Jimmy Wales, September 2003 post on the WikiEN-l mailing list.|