User talk:Colin/Archive 5

Active discussions

Seizure articles

I personally feel it is best to have one of the following:

  1. "Seizure" directing to Seizure (disambiguation), where the two most common uses of this term are in medicine and law.
  2. "Seizure" directing to seizure (medicine), which would be an article about the general concept of a seizure, and that article having clear links to epileptic seizure, non-epileptic seizure, and seizure (disambiguation), as well as all the various seizure types throughout the article.

Regardless, I feel that seizure (medicine) should be the main article pertaining to the medical term, and epileptic seizure should not front non-epileptic seizure, because many seizures are non-epileptic, and it is important to recognize that. The assumption that seizure is synonymous with epilepsy like that is just as ignorant as having sexually transmitted disease go straight to AIDS, and there being a link from there to other STDs.

Tatterfly (talk) 19:55, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

  1. We are not a dictionary. Although the seizure of goods is a common use of the word, it is not suitable for an encyclopaedia article. We have no article on the seizure of goods (search and seizure is a US phrase).
  2. There is no "general concept of a seizure". I think you've got non-epileptic seizures confused with epileptic seizures that can occur in people who don't have epilepsy. As someone once said (regarding "seizure"), there are only epileptic seizures, and misdiagnoses. The term "non-epileptic seizures" is a classification of various misdiagnoses that is useful to the sort of medical folk who study disease. You don't get diagnosed with a "non-epileptic seizure", you get diagnosed as having fainted, or having tics, etc. The diagnostic term "psychogenic non-epileptic seizures" is a psychiatric illness. Anyone can have an epileptic seizure if suitably provoked, you don't need to have epilepsy.
  3. The article on seizure types discusses the various epileptic seizure types. For example, P.N.E.S. are not a type of seizure.
  4. You say "many seizures are non-epileptic". See above points. The seizure article makes it quite clear that "seizures can occur in people who do not have epilepsy".
  5. You say "the assumption that seizure is synonymous with epilepsy .. is .. ignorant" is very true and I agree our seizure and epilepsy articles should (and hopefully do) make that clear. The seizure article has a whole section on "Seizures without epilepsy". The neurological event we call a "seizure" is always more fully termed an "epileptic seizure", regardless of whether the person has epilepsy.
Read our Wikipedia:Naming conventions for why "seizure (medicine)" is a bad choice of article name. Of the nearly 1000 links to seizure, almost all of them are referring to an epileptic seizure.
If you still think there's a problem, you could try WT:MED but I didn't get much response when I asked last time. Colin°Talk 21:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I found that as I reviewed the articles from the "what links here" section of "seizure," lots of the links referred to a specific type of seizure, even though they simply had "[[seizure]]" in their text, and I have changed the links accordingly.
I also found that in some cases, "[[seizure]]" was in an article referring to the legal term. Likewise, I changed it accordingly. Currently, "Seizure (law)" redirects to "Search and seizure." I could see it being possible for there to be an article on the legal term seizure itself because it is a concept of its own, but for now, the "search and seizure" article has it pretty well covered.
Perhaps merging non-epileptic seizure and seizure types back into seizure, and then having subarticles only for the specific types of seizures would solve this problem. This would cause less confusion.

Tatterfly (talk) 07:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

The seizure types article was split off of seizure by adopting the guidance found in WP:Summary style. Both seizure and epilepsy have short "Seizure types" sections that refer to seizure types as the main article. This is standard practice as articles grow, which I hope both seizure and epilepsy will do. Moving daughter articles back into the main article would be a backward step, and clutter it with lots of less important stuff about classifications. The content of the article non-epileptic seizures has no place in the seizure article, because they aren't seizures (they just look like them). There's probably a case for adding a sentence or two on differential diagnosis and referring to the non-epileptic seizures article for more information.

It would be great to have short articles for each of the different seizure types. We generally only merge stubs together -- if an article has grown to be a reasonable size, then it can stand alone. I don't really see what the confusion is. Colin°Talk 09:01, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Pulmonary contusion

Hi Colin, I wondered if I could ask you a favor. I'd like to take pulmonary contusion to FAC at some point, but I'm not sure how close I am. I had a few questions based on comments you've offered before, which I found really valuable. I'm having trouble finding sources for the pathophysiology section, do you think resorting to primary studies would be ok for this section? I'm not sure how strenuously I should be avoiding these studies. Do you think there's a problem with the number of times I use the same sources? Can you see any other problems with the references? Any other ideas you have for improvement would be extremely helpful, but I do understand if you're busy. Thanks much, delldot talk 06:22, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for the reply, I replied on my talk. delldot talk 17:42, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi, replied again. delldot talk 15:13, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi again, I think I'd like to go ahead and take it to FAC, did you see anything that really needs to be fixed before then? Or can you make any further comments you want to make during the FAC? Thanks much Colin, your work is always valuable because you're so thorough. Peace, delldot talk 13:54, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi, replied. delldot talk 14:58, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


Hi, Colin. I'm surprised that our paths haven't crossed before. From your user page, I can tell that you are strongly interested in epilepsy. However I can't tell what your work actually involves. Can you expand, please? Best wishes. Axl (talk) 08:00, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Ketogenic diet

Hi, Colin, wrt the GA nomination, would you like me to take it on, or should I wait for its FAC, or should I do nothing for the time being? What do you think? (worried about collusion), Graham. GrahamColmTalk 21:10, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

(assume you're watching here). Hi Graham. I haven't been able to edit much on WP recently but saw some good GA reviews and thought it would be worthwhile going through that process provided I get a thorough reviewer. There are things I still want to do with the article before taking it to FAC. I want to make it as lay-friendly as possible (the Mechanism section will be a challenge), to fill in a few remaining gaps, and to take some new photos. I lost my camera a month ago but am sure it will turn up somewhere in the house!
Since the GA nom is still recent, let's see if I can get some fresh eyes and a hard time from someone new. I can ask you any time (and will do) and your opinion is more valuable to me than a little green badge. If nobody reviews it, then I'd be delighted if you cast a critical eye over it. Similarly, if you want to help edit (e.g., on the Mechanism section for which I have plenty sources but are mostly a bit beyond my understanding) then that shouldn't preclude you participating at FAC provide we're open about any contribution. Cheers, Colin°Talk 21:52, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay Colin. I'll keep watching for now. GrahamColmTalk 05:29, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Hard time duly provided! This is a pretty good article, but I've found some things that might be improved. Tim Vickers (talk) 17:50, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm just off to the pub, but I'll try to take a look at this tomorrow. Tim Vickers (talk) 23:11, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


I know how much time you've spent on ketogenic diet, so congratulations on it becoming GA! Absolutely fascinating subject and perfect encyclopedic style. JFW | T@lk 04:17, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Continuation from MEDRS

Response to conversation here.

It's not my lecture. It's the Can Fam Physic's lecture. I don't see much wrong with that diff. The sourcing to references which back up those statements? I'll admit that the weight loss should have been more precise by saying "One study of from mice suggests that coconut oil cuts bodyfat more than soy oil" -- which is how I would do it now, or perhaps I wouldn't add that one now, as it is a somewhat technical primary study. But it seems a minor issue. You should consider analyzing arguments for their own merit or lack thereof, rather than focusing on the source. Commenting on the source is generally considered bad etiquette, and is unnecessary in this case. It is also poor reasoning, except in cases where, as someone without technical expertise, you must rely on credibility (e.g. the global warming debate, for most of us). This isn't one of those cases. II | (t - c) 21:19, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Why are you participating in a discussion on WP:MEDRS if you believe "Commenting on the source is generally considered bad etiquette". On WP, the quality of your sources is paramount, and one of the core policies. There's nothing wrong with the first study you cite, but everything is wrong with the fact that it is used to back up that sentence. The mice were fed "Conjugated linoleic acid" to induce "a body fat loss". Coconut oil merely enhanced that effect more than other oils. The study says nothing about coconut oil cutting bodyfat in itself, nor should mice studies be used to make a bald statement about weight loss in general (i.e., in humans). The other study looked at an unusual form of poisoning that has no reliable cure (so case studies remain interesting but hardly count as sound evidence). Coconut oil was merely one of several treatments that man received, but perhaps the author's belief that it made the difference is justified -- that is exactly the sort of thing we look to a review to help us with. Regardless, saying coconut oil can help in "poison recovery" is also too grand a statement. There is a very specific reason why coconut oil might help with that particular poison.
I am disappointed you see nothing wrong with that edit. It is just the sort of misuse of primary sources that WP:MEDRS aims to avoid. Colin°Talk 22:19, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
When I say source, I mean person. You're assuming bad faith and commenting on the person, when you could just comment on arguments. I agree the arguments around reviews are getting repetitive at this point. As far as those studies, I'll admit that I read them hastily, and like I said, at this point I may not have cited the first one at all. After reading the second one closer, I may not have cited it at this point either, and I certainly would have worded it much more precisely and tentatively. I've learned a lot about medical articles in the past couple months -- at that point I had not looked at MEDRS. I'm not yet convinced that these points do not belong in the article, but I could see a strong case being made. Coconut oil is an area where there is relatively little literature. Typing "coconut oil" in PubMed yields only 20 reviews. One is on its hypoallergic status, another solidifies its heart benefits, this one is fairly broad, and another broad one. II | (t - c) 01:31, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
No, you are not merely a messenger passing on someone else's authoratative advice. Look at what you wrote: "I'm left with suspicions of bias", "I don't think we should", "We can't be making these assumptions", "Earlier I pointed out that this review [12] was biased", "I doubt that this biased", "it seems to me a "redflag" for bias", "you should be using". It is abundantly clear that you are giving your own personal opinion, and are not presenting it in any humble way. You are writing as though your advice is worth considering and yet your actions (such as the diff) make it abundantly clear that you either don't understand or choose not to follow the existing advice in MEDRS, or indeed WP:V. One has to wonder what exactly you are trying to achieve with the drawn-out discussion. Are you seeking advice or giving it? Colin°Talk 09:46, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Did you bother to read what I said? When I made that edit, I hadn't even read MEDRS. That was probably the first medical-related edit I ever made. Since then I've introduced probably a dozen or so up-to-date systematic reviews into various articles.[1][2][3][4][5] I'm getting the impression that you're persisting in your bad faith assumptions and refusing to read what I'm typing. As far as advice: I'm certainly not exclusively looking to give or take advice. I give advice when I think it needs to be given and I take it when it is good. I don't fight good advice. I appreciate your feedback on my edit, but assuming those are the sources that I generally cite when I've already said I wouldn't cite them (and certainly not so imprecisely) just seems like you're set in a outdated judgment of me, and you're unwilling to believe me when there's no indication that I shouldn't be believed -- i.e., you're holding some sort of grudge. This is textbook bad faith assumption. As far as what I'm trying to achieve, there's a couple things, which I've stated several times: 1) a preference for systematic reviews; 2) not assuming that a study which does not mention a contradicting study does so because that primary study has methodological problems; this is assuming something that we can't -- further, I think this the exclusion of contradicting studies without mention appears to be evidence of bias, although I'm not going to try and write this in a guideline page; 3) not relying on overly broad reviews when specific reviews are available. I don't understand why there's so much pushback to these concepts, some of which I'm drawing from PMID 8499790. In some cases these are nits -- in general I agree with a preference for more recent reviews, and Eubulides' revised draft looks fine to me, esp. since it took out that "assume that primary studies not mentioned in a particular review have methodological problems" clause. II | (t - c) 00:31, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
If you are going to respond with an angry and rude "Did you bother to read what I said?" then we're not going to get far. Please calm down. You are interpreting a disagreement over opinions and actions as though I have some kind of "drudge" or am assuming bad faith. If you, repeatedly, tell other people how they should and should not use sources, then it is fair game to analyse whether your own editing behaviour fits. I'm very glad to hear you believe you are learning and improving since your earlier edits but that isn't how you came across in your first post on my talk page: "I don't see much wrong with that diff". You continued to misinterpret the result of that primary research paper on rats, and it isn't a "minor issue". That mere fact that you (as a Wikipedian) are doing any interpretation of that primary research paper is a big hint that you are breaking WP:NOR.
Where did Eubulides' draft ever say "assume that primary studies not mentioned in a particular review have methodological problems". I can't find it in the diffs. He does (and still does) say that such primary studies are dubious, which simply means they are "of uncertain quality, intention, or appropriateness" (Encarta dictionary) -- it doesn't mean they are bad. Can you supply the diff where the draft said that? Colin°Talk 11:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
You're right, it does still say that, and I don't agree with it -- it is unnecessary and possibly misleading. Also, I believe that, in accordance with standard scholarly procedure, citing the primary article when a review article is adding no value to it (i.e. it is not citing several primary articles on the issue) is better practice -- you put the reader straight to the source of an assertion, and you don't mislead them into thinking that the review is adding value to a finding, when it is simply reporting a finding. This point, along with an objection to the above clause (which you're right, still exists), were my two major points. II | (t - c) 22:15, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
The purpose of scholarly citations and the purpose of citations on Wikipedia are completely different. In the first, you have one expert communicating with another expert, indicating the root source of the information, and giving credit for its discovery where appropriate. Citing a review might well indicate laziness on the part of the scholar, but there are other reasons such as where (as you indicate) the review adds value or where the primary material is in a foreign language or otherwise inaccessible. On Wikipedia, we have the unique problem (not shared by other encyclopaedias, who generally don't cite their sources) where the authors are not regarded as experts. Even if some authors are experts, we have no way of proving this and so cannot rely on the authority of the author. By citing a review, one is saying "Look, an expert has reviewed the subject and agrees with what the WP article says." Even a poor review is a step above "A Wikipedian has reviewed the subject and thinks we should say X" as Wikipedians should have no voice at all. The review does add value: it adds the weight of an expert opinion. Colin°Talk 08:20, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Your argument is not convincing. I'm not convinced that this is a unique problem on Wikipedia; I'm convinced that some people are trying to create this problem; I'm not even convinced that many people would agree with you on Wikipedia if they really thought about it. No policies state that primary studies are unreliable; the longstanding guideline RS on primary sources only states that when they are cited, it should be clear that their language (this requirement holds as necessary, I'm assuming, for reviews as well). If you want to change Wikipedia policy, this is not the place for it, nor is MEDRS. Changing policy requires changing policy pages. To be perfectly clear: what you have stated as if it is policy, is not policy that I can see. It is on you to show that it is at this point, using policy pages. Peer review, as well as prior publications and credentials, in the field ensures that we can consider authors' experts in their field (see SPS -- we do make judgments about whether authors' are experts). If you cite a review as backing up a fact, when that review only cites one study, you are obfuscating the source of the assertion, and that's just making a hassle for readers, and also confusing credibility issues. If you want to cite that a review covered a primary study to solidify its notability (as was mentioned on MEDRS), that might be nice to solidify the fact that it is reviewed, but it is certainly not necessary. If a review adds some extra analysis, then that is a different story, but many do not -- and if the review adds extra analysis without sourcing it to some paper, then it is not a secondary source for that analysis, but rather a primary source -- and how can we be sure that the reviewer should be trusted to make synthetic claims? (Based on your earlier assertion.)
Also, one other thing I was trying to note was that original articles are not just primary sources; they are also secondary sources, because they cite plenty of previous work and comment on it, many times at much greater depth than reviews, which will casually mention studies without analysis.
For an example, I could cite Rooney (2007) or Mutter (2005) for the study which found that in people claiming to have "dental amalgam illness", and people with plenty of dental amalgam, have low levels of selenium. This would be misleading. Currently Jefffire has blocked me from citing the single primary study which these two reviews mention, and even when I pointed out the reviews it was cited in, he still blocks it. If I'd cited it to the reviews initially, he likely wouldn't have blocked it -- yet this would be dishonest, would it not? All Rooney says is that it is intriguing -- no value-added. Mutter, who no doubt covers over a hundred studies in a few pages, probably says little more (I don't read German). Nevertheless, the study has been "reviewed".
Update: Of course, WP:RS is a guideline just like MEDRS, so you can ignore my ranting about policies. Nevertheless, I don't think we have this problem of "not knowing an expert on Wikipedia" -- yours is the first time I've heard of this. Peer review exists, it works pretty well, and there is little real reason to believe that a reviewer is more of an expert than an original article writer. Of course, it is nice that a reviewer mentions a primary article, but it doesn't signify that the article has been rigorously analyzed; peer review connotes that much more strongly. II | (t - c) 09:23, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I going on break now. Please read Wikipedia:No_original_research#Primary.2C_secondary.2C_and_tertiary_sources. Particularly "Wikipedia articles should rely on reliable, published secondary sources." Note the full stop at the end of that sentence. There's not "but" or "except". Reliable primary sources can be used "but only with care". Part of what WP:MEDRS emphasises is the sort of care and dangers there are using them in medical articles. As for the the "expert" problem on Wikipedia, it is fundamental to why we have the three core policies. If you want a wiki written by experts, try Citizendium. Colin°Talk 12:31, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Enjoy you're break. As I've already said, primary articles are secondary sources on many studies. Also, you seem to contradict yourself: "there's not but or except" -- yet your next sentence notes they may be used "but only with care". I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I trust the peer review process more than a casual mention by some paper. I feel that it is impossible to explain the nuanced scientific details of a topic without delving into the primary articles. Now, for a broad overview with a summary style we might want to go with the review mentions, but as articles develop, it can become important to note the primary articles. II | (t - c) 22:19, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Survey request

I need your help. I am working on a research project at Boston College, studying creation of medical information on Wikipedia. You are being contacted, because you have been identified as an important contributor to one or more articles.

Would you will be willing to answer a few questions about your experience? We've done considerable background research, but we would also like to gather the insight of the actual editors. Details about the project can be found at the user page of the project leader, geraldckane. Survey questions can be found at geraldckane/medsurvey. Your privacy and confidentiality will be strictly protected!

The questions should only take a few minutes. I hope you will be willing to complete the survey, as we do value your insight. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Professor Kane if you have any questions.

Thank You, BCeagle0312 (talk) 18:25, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


I seem to recall offering to vectorize two charts for Ketogenic diet... and than I completely forgot. I am really, really sorry—but here's the first one! :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 15:40, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

By the way, Trebuchet MS doesn't render, so I switched it to Bitstream Vera Sans (not the same, but cuts down on the file size). If you'd rather keep Trebuchet, let me know and I'll convert the text to paths and upload a new version. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 15:41, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Fvasconcellos. I've changed over to it. I don't have a strong opinion on the font other than it should be clear. Colin°Talk 21:23, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

RfA Thanks

  Thank you for participating in my RfA, wich was successful with 73 support, 6 oppose, and 5 neutral.

I'll try to be as clear as I can in my communication and to clear some of the admin backlog on images.

If there is anything I can help you with, don't hesitate to ask me on my talk page!

Cheers, --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 15:08, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

List of people with hepatitis C

Hi Colin,

Hope you don't mind that I've been working on this article this week. I'm not a medical professional; I happened upon this article while researching Hep C for a client. (I'm a counselor, working with the persistently mentally ill.) My focus has been on getting the sources reliable and on general improvement.

I got an email from User:PeachStatePam, who's with some Hep C organization in Florida, and she asked that I pay more attention to its accuracy. I agreed, since I'm a sucker for good causes, so I began to check some of the names on the article's talk page, re-check the current sources, and add some images. Pam isn't an editor (and doesn't seem to want to figure it out), so she asked if I could maintain the article more closely. I hope you, as its creator, don't mind that I've taken that on. I've looked at your FLs (i.e., List of polio survivors), and think that eventually, we could get this list to FL as well. Currently, though, it's not long enough. I'm sure there are lots of reasons (Hep C not being a very "sexy" disease, its stigma, which seems more severe than HIV/AIDS), but Pam could probably help us with that.

I wonder, though, if we should go ahead and separate the list like the polio list, into occupations. I wanted to get your input. Please excuse my boldness; if I've overstepped by being too aggressive in my removals/deletions, please correct them. I'm looking forward to working with you on this article's improvements, since I tend to take on projects all by my lonesome. --Figureskatingfan (talk) 18:38, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I certainly don't mind, I don't WP:OWN it and I'm pleased someone else has adopted it. I'm no medic either. You were quite right to remove any names with doubtful sources, as WP:LIVING and WP:V require ("The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material.")
I agree that the list isn't long enough for FL, especially when you consider it affects so many people. Possibly, the only way to satisfy the "Comprehensive" requirement is to clarify that it includes only people whose Hep C status is on public record (rather than merely "known"). I haven't spent anything like the time on this list as I did on the other FLs. The polio list was a good collaboration: we created a list of candidates on the talk page based on unreliable sources/searches (IMDB, Wikipedia, other lists) and then worked through them finding reliable sources. Don't restrict yourself to Google searches: try Google Books and the online newspapers' own search tools. If the list is to grow, then a split into occupations would be useful. Up to you if you want to do it now and be prepared to revise the groupings as it grows. Colin°Talk 22:44, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Colin, I've made some major changes to the article: I've reorganized the list into categories, removed some unnecessary images, and expanded the lead. Please let me know what you think, or if I've fracked up the whole thing. ;) --Figureskatingfan (talk) 07:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay. I've not been on WP for a week. The changes are good. I've revised the lead a little. You'll need to make sure it is reliably sourced with citations for each fact. There are three names that are either unlinked or redlinked. You'll need to create articles/stubs for those or else drop them as non-notable. I think the Kansas City Star external link probably fails our WP:EL policy as it doesn't add anything a featured article would contain, and isn't as accurate as this one. Keep looking for reliably sourced entries as the biggest problem I think you'll have at FL is the perception that it isn't comprehensive. I'm afraid I just don't have any significant time for WP at the moment. Colin°Talk 17:08, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for replying in the midst of your busyness. I'll take over the work on this article, so don't worry, although I may come back if I need additional assistance. No pressure! ;) --Figureskatingfan (talk) 17:36, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Canvassing? -No, firendly notices.

I do not understand your problem. Friendly neutral notices to a limited amount of editors are expressly permitted: "Neutrally worded notifications sent to a small number of editors are considered "friendly notices" if they are intended to improve rather than to influence a discussion (while keeping in mind excessive cross-posting below). For example, to editors who have substantively edited or discussed an article related to the discussion." That is exactly what I did. Similarly, I would love to receive the notification of the previous discussion on MEDRS, which, I believe, was not sufficiently publicized. Paul Gene (talk) 12:49, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Systematic reviews and primary sources

A new thread Wikipedia talk:MEDRS #Systematic reviews and primary sources is about text you put into WP:MEDRS #Article type when you created MEDRS in 2006. Could you please comment if you have a mind? Thanks. Eubulides (talk) 05:36, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm reminded that Eubulides wasn't around then, and Colin and I were struggling to get the Medicine participants to tune in to anything. I still retain a small sting about that, wrt the FA processes :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:27, 15 August 2008 (UTC)


For putting the icons in at WikiProject Medicine featured topics project for poliomyelitis :) Fancy getting involved in it, btw? —Cyclonenim (talk · contribs) 23:54, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


This is to leave you a note about Samuel Johnson. As per this, I trimmed out 3k worth of text and then added in 9.5k worth of text in terms of elaborations of plots/subjects of works, influence on contemporary works, more detailed explanation of biographies, added a section on his influence on criticism and response, and organizations/celebrations based around his character. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:43, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

A lot of the article criticism is valid, yours was the most intelligible, and Ottava might have responded better to the criticism, but some of it is just old business, "gotcha" aimed at Ottava. I was hoping he wouldn't take the bait; I wish he wouldn't become so defensive. Anyway, there's now discussion of the TS diagnosis at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Samuel Johnson#Tourette. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I need to know what more is pending for your concern to be addressed. I also wanted to note that things like "He soon left for Islington to visit George Strahan" are important because it marks when he left to go to the place that he died at. Regardless, what is still missing? Ottava Rima (talk) 17:57, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

This removed an additional two schools with a different complaint and was a moment held as important by every major biographer of Johnson. It also gives important detail about how people saw him, and that the previous one was not an isolated incident. The section was also requested by a few readers, so there is no consensus to remove. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:10, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Sent an email. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:38, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I put up a sample way to mention that the June 1783 incident was brought on by a stroke. I also pointed out where I left out a few other problems (but I feel that these could go on a page devoted to his medical history, especially the more disgusting ones). Ottava Rima (talk) 01:53, 27 August 2008 (UTC)



I apologize. I did not mean to be rude. You are always very polite and reasonable, even when we disagree. My comment was mostly addressed to JFW, who is somewhat forceful (and likes to get personal) in advancing his point of view. I feel that, unfortunately, the current MEDRS version presents only one side of the WP:NOR. One may say that it engages in selective quoting in that respect. The other side - secondary sources are not always better, and editorial judgment is important - has to be present there explicitly, in my view. This will prevent the abuse of poor quality secondary sources, which happens much more often than one may think. Paul Gene (talk) 06:30, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Including the editorial judgment piece would go a long way in making the MEDRS more flexible. The proposed guideline is very reasonable otherwise. One additional problem that should be addressed is the questionable definition of all reviews as secondary sources. Do you think, there is a way to work in the definition of only independent review as a secondary source?
As I understand it, the letter and spirit of WP:NOR definition of a secondary source requires its author to be one step removed from the subject of research. Thus, overview of a military campaign written by its participant is, probably, still a primary source, even if he uses other sources in compiling it. Similarly, a review of a drug (say, bupropion) written by the company (GSK) people should be considered a primary source. The authors are not removed from the subject of research, their livelihoods are dependent on the positive review and the success of the drug.
What would you say about this (in bold are my additions)? - "A secondary source in medicine summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources, usually to give an overview of the current understanding of a medical topic. Most review articles and specialist textbooks are examples of secondary sources. A good secondary source from a reputable publisher will be written by an independent expert in the field and be editorially or peer reviewed. Reviews written by authors with clear conflict of interest or based to a significant degree on their original research should be considered primary sources, since the authors are not "at least one step removed" from the subject of research as required by the WP:NOR policy. Paul Gene (talk) 01:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for your tips. Will follow.

I will try to make a subpage for the Epilepsy Syndromes section of the epilepsy article, and I invite you to mess with it for improvement. Any formatting is especially helpful since I know little about it.Karmattol (talk) 18:09, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Retrospective diagnosis

Colin, I think you've got a DYK there. I've never participated, but it can be fun. I guess. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-05-02/Dispatches SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:17, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

As one of Wikipedia's least prolific editors, DYK wasn't a game I thought I could play. Looks like the body text (two paragraphs) is just shy of the 1500 characters needed. Hmm, maybe it will grow a little. Colin°Talk 17:57, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I think you've got five days. Maybe Ottava will help; he plays the DYK game. It gets an interesting hook on the main page, at least that's what I hear. Had i tuned in to DYK earlier, I could have put a lot of interesting stuff on the main page in the olden days (er, when I still had time to create content :/ ) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:15, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you've got five days. Casliber's mind-blowing efforts notwithstanding, there is a shortage of health and science DYKs, so it would be very nice to see this on the Main Page. Just make sure the article is over 1500 characters and the hook under 200 :) You could use something like "...that several historic figures, from Samuel Johnson to George III, have been retrospectively diagnosed with diseases unknown during their lifetimes?" :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 00:12, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Fv, where have you been all my life ? I never see you any more <pout>. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:15, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I have already nominated this for DYK. JFW | T@lk 06:13, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Did you mean to delete the Charles Darwin item? --Una Smith (talk) 22:01, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

I replaced it with FDR, who I've submitted as an alternative hook on the DKY nomination. I really don't want the article to become a list of retrospective diagnoses, as it would be hundreds of entries long. I'd prefer to replace the examples list with prose and give some more general comment on some of the better RDs -- as currently the article is a bit unbalanced. Colin°Talk 22:10, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I saw some interesting digs on the DYK page; are there seriously still people who don't accept Johnson's diagnosis? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, you've lost me there. Where are the "digs"? I must admit I'm finding the DYK a bit confusing. Three comments by three editors and no follow-up. I suppose it is a "lite" process rather than a discussion. Perhaps it isn't fascinating enough? I remember finding that FDR article and reading the paper and thinking it was a great story. Colin°Talk 07:47, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree, the page is a mess; no wonder I've never participated :-) This looked like a dig at all the recent Johnson DYKs, but it could be that I'm still just surprised at the questions that come up on the FAC, since the diagnosis is so solidly supported. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


But I really stopped by to once again beg ask if you're interested in writing an entry on how to distinguish a list from an article (for the purposes of FLC or FAC) for the Signpost Dispatch. Tony1, Jbmurray and others would help if you plop in some starter text. Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I think I'll have to decline. I'm sure I wrote something briefly before, which got replaced and I'm fine about it. The whole issue got people wound up that their FA would be demoted to an FL and I'm not sure there was any consensus resolution. I'd rather read a dispatch that was upbeat than about disputed areas. Colin°Talk 17:58, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, well; I tried :-) Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Retrospective diagnosis DYK

The nom had been struck through as well ... I presumed then that this reflected some consensus. Nevertheless, if an article is subject to this much drama and controversy at that point we usually don't put it on the Main Page. Daniel Case (talk) 17:01, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Again? Something needs to be done when one editor's OR becomes "this much drama and controversy". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:12, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I give up, the page is a navigational nightmare, most participants there don't use edit summaries, and I'm unable to determine who struck the hooks. What I can determine is that Una Smith's OR derailed a perfectly legit DYK (saw similar on at least one FAC), which confirms my suspicions about the value of investing time in that page. Why was one editor's OR allowed to create the impression of "this much drama and controversy", and where were the other medical editors? Well, since the page is so hard to negotiate ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:22, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I struck through the original nom when I offered an alternative as reviewers will still looking just at the original. The original was deemed too long and (I think) a reviewer had an issue with us saying "is regarded by some medical historians" but only citing one. I couldn't figure out how to use the quote in a short DKY and remain accurate. I thought my alternative was interesting and 100% sourced but Una has some problems with it that I just can't understand. Certainly the lack of any interaction with reviewers at DKY makes it hard to respond and ask questions. Colin°Talk 17:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's a concern that one person's OR can create the impression of drama and controversy, but also of concern is how difficult it is to negotiate that page. Most editors don't use edit summaries, it's hard to follow, and it seems like a free-for-all, ripe for a situation where one editor's OR can derail a nom. I regret recommending that you go there, as the page appears to be somewhat of a timesink. Of course, I'm obliged to divulge that FAC isn't entirely immune either, considering Una Smith did similar on a FAC, but at least in that case there were many editors involved so it wasn't one person derailing the FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Our general convention is that a strikethrough of the original hook means the entire nomination is withdrawn. I agree it's a navigational nightmare for newcomers; I have had some ideas about at least making the individual date pages transcludable onto the main T:TDYK page a la the various deletion pages, but not the time to suggest it because we're all so busy 1) reviewing hooks, 2) waiting for people to respond to concerns, 3) putting good hooks into the next update and 4) updating the template every six hours or so, reuploading the new image from Commons (which we usually have to do) and protecting it spamming the article talk pages, notifying everyone who deserves credit for creating the article and/or nominating it, clearing the next update page, archiving the old hooks, and finally deleting the old image if its been uploaded from Commons. Yes, in other words, we're overworked and understaffed (That last series of tasks can take me about 20 minutes; it used to take a half hour). The current system is probably a holdover from the days when hook nominations were less frequent, usually approved and posted as a matter of course with or without sourcing and the template was only updated once a day.

As the DYK policies say at the top of the page, we reviewers reserve the right to reject a hook if there are serious problems with an article that would make it reflect poorly on Wikipedia were it linked from the Main Page. I felt that this much discussion about OR probably reflected the aforesaid issues, and those might even be heightened if it appeared on the Main Page (We have seen people use that opportunity to spitefully nominate articles for deletion, forcing them off the Main Page. At least I have. And I wouldn't have been surprised if that had happened here). Yes, these concerns were raised by one editor, but the response and counterresponse cycle didn't help. My suggestion is that if this happens again, move the discussion to the talk page sooner rather than later and resolve them there while you put the nom on hold (I'd be willing to extend the deadline for it a few days and I think other DYK reviewers might as well). Daniel Case (talk) 18:05, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I understand, Daniel Case, and there are never enough people in any of the content review areas. It was an unfortunate case, and if any of us had more experience in DYK, it might have been approached differently. Although it is unfortunate that one person created the faulty impression, I guess that's really not DYK's problem. Transcluded pages may help, but who has time to set them up. If anyone is eventually interested in trying that, you could check with Ruhrfisch, Geometry guy, and Happymelon for people who have some experience in that realm. By the way, we're running out of topics for WP:FCDW, so if putting together a Dispatch will help resolve any of the short-staffing, please weigh in there with a proposed topic and we'll find a slot for you; the last DYK Dispatch was Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-05-02/Dispatches. (How's that for taking over Colin's talk page?) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:13, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your kind and civil response. This does happen occasionally when people who don't have as much experience submitting submit and run afoul of DYK procedures, but I'm confident you've learned from the experience (I've been on the other side of it at FARC, actually). I'll see what I can do about putting together a dispatch ... if this aspect of the discussion needs to be continued, we can do so at my talk page. Daniel Case (talk) 19:15, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I wish you would have contacted me. I had an idea for a good alternate that was short, too the point, and without any problems, but I guess its too late now? Ottava Rima (talk) 18:24, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Colin didn't submit the DYK; part of the issue may have been that JFW somewhat jumped the gun when he submitted. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:23, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't have any problem with what JFW did and it wouldn't have gone any better if I had. He's perfectly entitled to create the DYK and is more experienced than me at nominating them. I'd have been happy for his hook to go through too. Perhaps if I'd just waited for him to fix it... That article could have had any number of potential DYKs created from it. I think Daniel did the correct thing re: controversy and his advice is wise.
You know, a DYK is < 200 characters and generated this much response. I wonder if that text:discussion ratio beats Ottava's FAC? :-) Colin°Talk 20:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Colin, I watched all this from the sidelines; I don't know anything about the DYK process. It all got rather silly. Sorry I could not help. Graham. Graham Colm Talk 20:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I will just say, again, that I thought the article had great DYK potential but we did not find a satisfactory hook. I saw that Colin did not understand my objection to the one hook I objected to (out of four proposed), but rather than explore why he jumped on me. When I proposed a hook, he jumped on me again. I don't blame him, though; as I said on the DYK page, I think the fundamental problem lies in the DYK process. (I am sorry Colin took my saying so as a personal remark.) I think Colin felt the clock was running and time was too short for discussion. That's how I felt, and indeed time was too short. I had to make an unpleasant choice between solidarity and quality. I chose quality. --Una Smith (talk) 04:17, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

In view of the above, I offer you this: Wikipedia_talk:Did_you_know#Possible_new_nomination_process. GDallimore (Talk) 08:02, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Guideline meta issues

Colin, WP:MOSCO is finally getting some attention and shedding some light on meta issues regarding guidelines; it won't be the best it can be without your participation. I hope you'll find the time to join in, all the best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:42, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry about the WP:MEDRS overload

Re "I'm seriously considering unwatching this page": Some of this is perhaps my fault, for spending so much time on issues like reorganization and Brandon/Hill that aren't that important. Sorry. I'll scale back. We really need your wise advice on that page.... Eubulides (talk) 17:48, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Dear Colin

  Thank You!
for your assistance in helping Virus to become a Featured Article today.

It's much appreciated, Graham. Graham Colm Talk 13:05, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


Wikipedia:FCDW/TempME is up next week in the Dispatches; is there any change you could engage the talk page there and provide some guidance on the List/Article content? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:28, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Discrepencies with list guidelines

Hi, Colin. I've left this same message with Tony1:

I've begun a thread at WP:FLC#completely contradicting guidelines for lists. Let's begin with the Lead section regarding all the inconsistencies the style guidelines have wrt lists. I know it's a big ask, and this of course is all dependent on how interested people are in changing it, but I was hoping that if real life isn't too stressful at the moment, you might be willing to help address some of the problems, as you did earlier in the year with the overhauling of the FLC criteria?

I know you're not as active there as you used to be, but in case you're interested. Regards, Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 07:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

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