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Joined 29 March 2006
This user is no longer active on Wikipedia.

Doing research at the University of King's College Library


Thank you for dropping by my user page. My name is David Mark Purdy and my username on Wikipedia is Neelix.

I consider myself an academic and love working in academia, but I choose to spend more time writing Wikipedia articles than submitting articles for publication in scholarly journals because I believe that Wikipedia embodies three values that academia too often neglects:

  1. Wikipedia is thoroughly, inherently collaborative. In the humanities division of academia, we still hold to the ideal of the lone genius, expecting that each humanities scholar be the sole author of his or her journal articles. In the sciences and social sciences, we expect that there be two or three authors for each journal article. On Wikipedia, every well-developed article has many more than three authors. The result is an ever-increasingly accurate approximation of objectivity. This objectivity is not the pseudo-objectivity that results from ignoring our biases as authors, but is rather the result of diverse perspectives all being covered proportionally through discussion between people who have those diverse perspectives. We write better when we write together.
  2. Wikipedia recognizes the interdisciplinarity of all things. The development of the Giraffe article requires not only the collaboration of many biologists, but also requires the collaboration of sociologists to contribute the cultural significance of giraffes; folklore specialists to add information about giraffes in folk tales; and historians to document how giraffes and humans have interacted. On Wikipedia, the walls that separate the disciplines fall down.
  3. Wikipedia is free for everyone to access. Every article that appears on the main page of Wikipedia is read by at least hundreds of readers and normally thousands. The average academic journal article is only read by between 3 and 4 people, mainly because journal subscriptions and journal database subscriptions are prohibitively expensive for the average global citizen. Humanity has amassed an overwhelming amount of knowledge, and the majority of that knowledge is out of the grasp of the average person because it is too expensive to access. As academics, we have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy producing novel treatises on novel concepts rather than disseminating the knowledge that we have already attained. Wikipedia allows us to give our knowledge to the world, instantly and free of charge.

The main thrust of my edits on Wikipedia is a desire for a better relationship between Wikipedia and academia, which is why I volunteer as an Online Ambassador with the Wikipedia Ambassador Program. Many of my edits on Wikipedia attempt to establish format standardization and better navigation. I accomplish this goal mainly by creating and reformatting redirects, disambiguation pages, navboxes, and hatnotes, but also by standardizing article titles so that the only differences between titles are substantive. I have created articles on a range of topics, and I have written far more disambiguation pages. I am deeply involved in Today's featured list which currently runs biweekly and I hope to eventually get running daily, although this may be something of a long-term goal.

The guidelines I feel most strongly about are the notability guidelines (particularly the general notability guideline), the manual of style for disambiguation pages (particularly the one against partial title matches), the hatnote guidelines (particularly the one against disambiguating article names that are not ambiguous), and the article title guidelines (particularly those about precision and disambiguation). If you are interested in working on disambiguation pages, I would recommend reading "Disambiguation Dos and Don'ts". If you are interested in creating new articles, I would recommend reading "The answer to life, the universe, and everything".

Feel free to post a message on my talk page. I would love to hear from you.


Barnstars and user boxes

How I edit
 This user hopes that in light of massive media coverage of the blackout that SOPA and PIPA will not become a law.
This user has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian and was awarded his own day.
170,000+This user has made more than 170,000 contributions to Wikipedia.
150,000+This user has made over 150,000 contributions to Wikipedia articles.
 This user has created over 5000 articles on Wikipedia.
 This user has contributed over 800 images to Wikipedia and Commons.
 This user has created over 100 templates on Wikipedia.
 This editor is a WikiGnome.
evenThis editor is an eventualist.
precThis editor is a precisionist.
incr This editor is an incrementalist when considering fictional subjects.
Lists can be a good thing.
This user values quality over quantity and has mergist and mild incrementalist tendencies.
 This user is interested in helping with GLAM projects.
 This user is interested in open access to research literature.
- to –This user employs the Dashes script to fix dashes on Wikipedia.
YOU This user is Time magazine Person of the Year 2006.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Anthroponymy.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Africa.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Senegal.
CAThis user uses
Canadian English spelling.
SIThis user uses the metric system and loves it. 
~~~~Neelix signs his posts and thinks you should too!
  This user opposes the installation of any kind of advertisements on Wikimedia Foundation operated sites.
 This user believes that there should be a navbox on every page.
spellThis user likes to correct spelling errors.
A, B, and CThis user prefers the serial comma.
theyThis user considers singular they standard English usage.
to¦goThis user chooses to sometimes use split infinitives.
…in.Ending a sentence with a preposition is something that this user is okay with.
which & thatThis user knows how to use which and that correctly.
if & whetherThis user knows how to use "if" and "whether" correctly.
byThe passive voice may be used by this user.
Who I am
 This editor is a
Master Editor III
and is entitled to display this
Bufonite Editor Star.
122This user is ranked 122 on the list of Wikipedians by number of edits.
  This user has been on Wikipedia for 13 years, 7 months and 24 days.
 6 of this user's featured articles have appeared on Today's featured article.
 This user has written or expanded 9 articles featured in the Did You Know section on the Main Page.
 This user successfully nominated or updated 1 article featured in the In The News section on the Main Page.
 This user has a page on Wikimedia Meta-Wiki.
 This user has a page on the French Wikipedia.
 This user has a page on Wikimedia Commons.
 This user has a page on MediaWiki.
 This user has a page on Wikisource.
 This user has a page on Wikidata.
 This user comes from Newfoundland.
 This user is a Wikipedian in Nova Scotia.
 This user is a Canadian citizen.
enThis user is a native speaker of the English language.
fr-2Cet utilisateur peut contribuer avec un niveau intermédiaire en français.
AThis user has graduated from Acadia University.
KING'SThis user has an affiliation with the University of King's College.
DALThis user has an affiliation with Dalhousie University.
UWOThis user has an affiliation with The University of Western Ontario.
 This user has an affiliation with
Cape Breton University.
BAThis user has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French.
MAThis user has a Master of Arts degree in English literature.
BEAKER This user is an academic.
ENFJThis user's MBTI type is ENFJ.
POSEJesusfreak4545 once posed as this user.
11This user page has been vandalised 12 times.
  Neelix has signed the Petition against Ignore All Rules abuse.
 This user uses Google as a primary search engine.
  The Barnstar of Diligence
For the creation of many useful disambiguation pages, e.g. Yellow-breasted. -- MightyWarrior (talk) 00:30, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
  The Bio-star
I commend your actions in taking this bold step in disambiguating abbreviated binomial names. Keep up the good work. Bob the Wikipedian (talk) 12:57, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  The Working Wikipedian's Barnstar
Great work creating all those disambig pages. Thanks for your contributions! J.delanoygabsanalyze 02:18, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  The Original Barnstar
Thank you for doing all that cleaning up (Template:Warriors (Erin Hunter), etc.) after me after I moved the Warriors lists! Brambleclawx 14:17, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
  The Cleanup Barnstar
Thanks for completing the Goosebumps (Original series) merge. d'oh! talk 05:10, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Belated Congratulations on your 100000th edit! You have achieved a milestone that only a rare few have accomplished. The Wikipedia Community thanks you for your continuing efforts.Buster Seven Talk 12:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Neelix, thanks so much for your work assessing student articles! For that (and more) I award you the Tireless Contributor Barnstar Sage Ross - Online Facilitator, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 13:30, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  Civility Award
for exceptional work at and leading up to Talk:Environmental impact of nanotechnology#Requested move. Andrewa (talk) 13:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  The London Transport Barnstar
Awarded for undertaking the laborious task of adding alt text to the hundreds of images at List of London Underground stations. Thanks on behalf of WikiProject London Transport --DavidCane (talk) 23:01, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
  The Disambiguator's Barnstar
A barnstar for your creation of the Noria (disambiguation) disambiguation page, and for working to further improve disambiguation on Wikipedia. Northamerica1000(talk) 00:44, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  The Human Rights Barnstar
For your contributions to bring She Has a Name to Good Article status. Thanks from WikiProject Human rights-- and keep up the good work! -- Khazar2 (talk) 16:28, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  The Good Article Barnstar
I award you this barnstar for promoting ProtoGalaxy to GA status. Thanks, and keep up the good work! --Niwi3 (talk) 20:35, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  The Copyeditor's Barnstar
Thanks very much for all of your help with successfully getting Freedom for the Thought That We Hate to Featured Article quality. I really appreciate the assistance in getting this article about freedom of speech to FA. — Cirt (talk) 23:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  Spirit Barnstar!
Got to recommend you... for your excellent hat at Spirit in the Sky. Warden (talk) 13:29, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for quality articles on underrepresented topics, such as Carabane and 2012 tour of She Has a Name, for uploading images and illustrating Featured articles, for gnomish tasks, and for your trust in collaborative interdisciplinary free access for everyone, - repeating: you are an awesome Wikipedian (29 June 2010)!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 05:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

  The Original Barnstar
I was very pleased to see When God Writes Your Love Story get promoted to FA today. Well done! Keep up the great work. Cliftonian (talk) 12:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  The Human Rights Barnstar
For the work you've been doing on the subject of human trafficking, but specifically for getting the Tara Teng and Natasha Falle articles to GA status. Great job! --1ST7 (talk) 20:46, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
  The Invisible Barnstar
I re-read Tintin in Tibet today; I have to admit: It's a great read. That's because everyone who contributed to it did an outstanding job. This includes your contributions, Neelix! I'm glad to have most of your advice (your good ideas truly were the very best copy edits the article received; it is a better article because of you). But what an honour it was to work on this particular article, right? Thanks again for your uniquely thorough and insightful contributions; keep them coming. :-) Cheers. Prhartcom (talk) 15:39, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
  The Writer's Barnstar
Congratulations on WP:TFA day! And thank you for contributing to human rights and expanding coverage of WP:WikiProject Human rights related articles with your Quality improvement project successfully bringing Not My Life to WP:FA. Much appreciated. :) — Cirt (talk) 00:44, 17 November 2014 (UTC)