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Contents

Synthesis in the lead of Friendship paradoxEdit

At the mathematical article Friendship paradox an editor inserted a primary sourced Zuckerman/Jost paper (a tangential work about self-enhancement) in the lead description diff.

By way of explanation the Friendship paradox is "mathematically people have fewer friends then their friend have" (a paradox of the law of averages) and the Zuckerman/Jost paper is one of the many applications of the Friendship paradox that says "people think they have more friends than their friends do (and we know this because we compared our results to the figures in the Friendship paradox)" (A study of self-enhancement/Illusory superiority).

Since it was not part of the lead paragraph description of the Friendship paradox I moved it to "See also" as topic Illusory superiority (what all secondary sources say Zuckerman/Jost is about) and the editor reverted it with the rational Zuckerman/Jost was the "explanation for why this should be called a paradox". Also claim made again hereherehere.

This seems to be a classical WP:SYNTH A (Friendship paradox primary source paper) +B (Zuckerman/Jost primary source paper mentioning the Friendship paradox) = C (Zuckerman/Jost explains or is the paradox) - claim not made by either source and there is no secondary source that even comes close to making this claim.

Did another cleanup cleanup moving Zuckerman/Jost to the body of the article and summarized it and the (9 or 10?) other papers describing applications of the Friendship paradox in the lead but the editor keeps reverting the cleanup. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 03:21, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

  • I have tried without success to figure out what the OP is talking about. For example, the very first diff is purported to show where "an editor inserted a primary sourced Zuckerman/Jost paper", but in fact both sides of the diff show the Z/J paper used the same way. EEng 04:26, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
    This issue has been discussed repeatedly on Talk:Friendship paradox with FoBW failing to persuade others their that their objections have any merit. Note also that FoBW simultaneously escalated this issue to here and WP:AN3, a clear case of forum shopping. And (per EEng's comment above) the writing quality of FoBW's "cleanup" of the article is no more clear than his report here; that lack of clarity is the primary reason for my reverts, as I have made clear both in my edit summaries and on my own talk. FoBW has repeatedly failed to understand the point of mentioning ZJ on friendship paradox, which is to explain in part why the effect is counter to many people's intuitions. Instead FoBW has replaced that information by text describing the experiments ZJ performed. This replacement is completely missing the point, completely off-topic to the article, and actually is problematic from the point of view of NORN since it described primary research without secondary sources. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:20, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
    the very first diff is purported to show where "an editor inserted a primary sourced Zuckerman/Jost paper", but in fact both sides of the diff show the Z/J paper used the same way"" - original edit had Z/J as (a secondary source?) sourcing the description of the FP. The edit changed Z/J to source for an added sentence implying "people thinking they have more friends" described what the paradox was. "ZJ on friendship paradox, which is to explain in part why the effect is counter to many people's intuitions" - and there it is not implied - and it is incorrect. FP is counter to the mathmatical law that everyone should have an average number of friends, it has nothing to do with "people's intuitions". As for "forum shopping", WP:AN3 is not a forum, its where you report edit warring when it happens. This noticeboard is about OR, a different issue. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 13:59, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
    I am completely unable to comprehend what you're saying (and just so you know, I have a degree in applied mathematics and statistics) – is there really a mathmatical law that everyone should have an average number of friends? While we're here, do not ever silently modify your post like this [1] after others have responded. EEng 17:46, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
    Apparently you can't read edit summaries or understand what "fix wrong diff" means. As for the rest, try Law of large numbers. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 22:38, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
    See Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Editing_own_comments; people shouldn't have to go through the page history to discover that you changed your post after others have responded to it. If you think the law of large numbers implies that everyone should have an average number of friends, then I think it's time for this thread to be closed. EEng 23:30, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
    "may deprive any replies of their original context, and this should be avoided" doesn't mean ever and context was fix and it didn't deprive anyone of anything. Otherwise, don't play dumb about the methodology of statistical sampling, both papers are very clear about how they go about it. Secondary sources are also very clear about what each study covers (insert sound of crickets coming from the direction of the editors who are supposed to be supplying secondary sources to prove this is not WP:SYNTH). Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 00:44, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
    You seem unable to benefit from the guidance of those with more knowledge and experience. Please be my guest and have the last word. EEng 01:05, 13 January 2019 (UTC)

I'd like to add some flavor to this discussion. The changes on the Friendship Paradox page grew out of a dispute on the List of Common Misconceptions page. FOBW has engaged several editors there and attempted to remove sections, including the Friendship Paradox. When his initial critique of notability was rejected he then attempted to make a removal based on similar logic to what I think he is arguing here. When I pointed out that there was no such distinction on the host page, he began attempting to make edits there that I think would put him in a position to make changes on the Misconceptions page. This is clearly just my opinion, but I think it best explains why the writing is so difficult to understand. I believe the editor is attempting to force a narrow interpretation into a wider discussion to suit other preferences. Squatch347 (talk) 19:52, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

Should be pointed out that the entry at List of common misconceptions was a copy/paste of the lead of Friendship paradox, so, yeah, the OR was copied over as well so its probably a matter of cleaning up that OR first. It has not been a one sided debate, another editor (Ahecht) has also pointed out that calling a mathematical paradox a "misconception" is illogical [2][3]. Asking editors to explain the logic of the entry or supply reliable sources has been an exercise in listening to the crickets. The (confusion?) over this stems from a paper on a mathematical paradox and a paper on self-enhancement being SYNTH'ed together in a claim that one showing an under-count in friends and one showing an over estimation in friends is the "paradox". Its not, the "paradox" is a mathematical paradox stated in the first paper "the mean number of friends of friends is always greater than the mean number of friends of individuals". Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 22:32, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
This is really getting crazy. The friendship "paradox" is no more an actual mathematical paradox than is the "birthday paradox". If you don't understand that then you're not competent to participate in discussions about this article. EEng 23:04, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
Reliable sources disagree with you[4]. You can quibble over what level a paradox rises to but the one thing Feld's paper is not is a paper on self-enhancement (so cue the "One of these things is not like the other" song). Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 16:25, 15 January 2019 (UTC)
Gosh, I guess I'm not seeing what you're seeing in the source you just linked. Please quote the sentence which disagrees with me i.e. which confirms that the friendship paradox is an actual mathematical paradox. EEng 18:45, 15 January 2019 (UTC)
No response being received, I'm forced to surmise that you've misinterpreted the phrase "He didn't need any data to show that the friendship paradox was true" as meaning "The friendship paradox is an actual mathematical paradox", when in fact it means the exact opposite. There's no such thing as "levels of paradox"; there are actual paradoxes, and then there are counterintuitive results that are not in fact paradoxes but which are colloquially referred to as such because it lends an air of mystery. That you don't understand this confirms my prediction that you lack sufficient mathematical maturity to deal with this kind of material. Seriously. You don't know what you're talking about. EEng 23:36, 19 January 2019 (UTC)
You failed to show how it is self-enhancement, you know, the actual question. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 01:40, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
I quote [5]:
As has been said by me and several others in previous iterations of what is essentially the same debate in multiple venues, I agree. The position Fountains of Bryn Mawr has been driving on all these threads has not won over the support of any other editor, while several said they disagree, and have explained -- more than enough times -- why. It's time to drop it.
EEng 05:58, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

Is it a violation of WP:SYNTH if one the correct translation is taken from context?Edit

If a foreign language source uses a word that has two or more different meanings in English, can the correct translation be taken from an English-language source even for information which only exists in the foreign language source without violating WP:SYNTH? SoWhy 11:59, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

Original post:

Okay, here is my problem: The article on Adele Spitzeder mostly relies on German sources, many of which use the German word "Schneeballsystem" to refer to Spitzeder's business practices. Unlike in English, in German Ponzi scheme (one person defrauding all people) and pyramid scheme (one person asking people to defraud other people) are usually used synonymously. Hence many dictionaries, such as LEO, Linguee, Langenscheidt and BEOLingus will offer both terms as potential English translations. A couple of German sources attribute the first such schemes to Spitzeder, which would be a major point of interest. However, the English-language sources I can find all more or less confirm that she ran a "ponzi scheme" (see [6], [7], [8], [9]) but none that she was necessarily the first to do so. Based on this, it's clear to me that "Ponzi scheme" is the correct translation for "Schneeballsystem" in this instance. So is it a SYNTH violation to use "ponzi scheme" in the article to cite a German source using the word "Schneeballsystem"? And by extension, can I use a German source using the word "Schneeballsystem" to verify that she ran the first ponzi scheme? Regards SoWhy 19:33, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

Furthermore, I know have found some German sources that both use the word "Schneeballsystem" and "Ponzi-System" to refer to the same business, clarifying that "ponzi scheme" is the correct translation. With that in mind, can I now verify the claim that this was the first ponzi scheme even with sources that do not explicitly use the word "Ponzi"? Regards SoWhy 13:17, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

Ponzi scheme denotes a fraudulent snowball system. Harper's Weekly included "Spitzeder swindle" in 1873, and this usage requires a proper adjective followed by a pejorative noun. Other examples of "Ponzi scheme" or "Spitzeder swindle" may exist, but in translating Spitzeder's method, "Ponzi scheme" seems to be accurate.Tamanoeconomico (talk) 15:15, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
Wow, nice source find. Thanks (also for your comment regarding the translation). Regards SoWhy 16:34, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
@SoWhy: I concur with Tamanoeconomico. In more general terms, no it's not a WP:SYNTH problem, categorically. A particular instance of "selective translation" could be, of course, but we'll know that when either a) no RS can be found to corroborate the idea you're trying to get across by translating something a particular way, or b) RS directly contradict your claim and show it to be wishful or inventive thinking. But it cannot be the case that (to clarify the RfC's opening) "if a foreign language source uses a term that has two or more different translations in English" that you're engaging in SYNTH if you pick one. Otherwise it would not be possible to use and translate non-English material for use on WP at all, since the majority of non-English terms can be translated different ways. Hell, even the majority of English words have multiple synonyms, and we use this feature of the language every day, following the non-plagiarism mandate to use our own wording and not rip off our sources by copy-pasting from them or too-closely paraphrasing. If someone does this in a PoV-pushing way, this become obvious pretty quickly. E.g., look at "nationality" in a thesaurus [10], and consider what effect it would have on any given sentence if you swapped in a word like "race". Any time you "translate" – from one language to another or from one term to another in the same language – the important part is not significantly altering the underlying meaning, the implications or the likely inferences.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:45, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Rfc about whether public domain list articles present OR concernsEdit

Do the contents of a series of list articles including 2020 in public domain, 2019 in public domain, etc., back to 2011 in public domain present concerns over original research? Largoplazo (talk) 17:58, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

I've set forth my analysis and the basis for my question above at Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard#Lists of works by year of entry into the public domain. My thesis in summary: Contributions to these articles are mostly uncited and based on contributors' own application of arithmetic to data about the authors and their own understanding of public domain law in all the authors' respective countries. This falls squarely into the realm of synthesis as defined at Wikipedia:SYNTH and corroborated by my reading of WP:NOTSYNTH. It may even amount to Wikipedia issuing a legal opinion about the legal status of the works of each of these authors.

I created this Rfc because I received little feedback.

I believe responses can fall into three basic categories, though others may have answers that fall outside of that box:

  1. The content doesn't amount to impermissible original research or synthesis.
  2. The articles include WP:OR but it suffices to tag each of the articles with {{original research}}, possibly with the eventual removal of noncompliant content if the issue isn't remedied.
  3. The articles include WP:OR that should be removed immediately because Wikipedia doesn't allow WP:OR.

Largoplazo (talk) 18:09, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

  • 1: I'd say it counts as an exception under WP:CALC. While I would maybe split it up a bit more (e.g. into language, medium, etc) and come up with a reusable intro with a bit of background on common concepts like rule of the shorter term, I can definitely imagine this being helpful for someone, which is my main criteria. I myself, in fact, have thought about joining LibriVox, and wondered about where I could get a list of works which have recently entered the public domain and so won't have been covered yet. ─ ReconditeRodent « talk · contribs » 04:09, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • It's that this isn't like saying "I've got 7, and I'm adding 12 to it, and I'm getting 19." It's more like "I've got 7, and I've got this source that claims it's as simple as 12, but as far as I know there are extenuating circumstances under which it's 9 or 11 or 15, or something else altogether apart from that formula, because laws can vary tremendously by country, and they can adopt international conventions with their own additional provisos, and because List of countries' copyright lengths isn't a reliable source, and, because Wikipedia isn't a lawyer, it isn't my place to have Wikipedia issue what is basically a legal opinion that the answer is 19." Largoplazo (talk) 04:00, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I take your point, but I think with an expanded disclaimer explaining both potential complications that may apply to specific works and that any given work's status depends both on the specifics of copyright law in the jurisdiction it was published and the one the reader is in would be enough to make sure that it can't be construed as legal advice. ─ ReconditeRodent « talk · contribs » 14:59, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3. This is blatant OR with a touch of legal advice. EEng 12:26, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3. WP:PROVEIT by citing a reliable source that directly supports the assertion. If you can't, it's OR and can be removed on sight. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 03:42, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

Are software word counts OR?Edit

This issue has come up at Talk:List of longest novels. One editor doesn't seem too keen to continue the discussion there and suggested I take up the issue here. His point is a software word count is definitely OR, as explained under Wikipedia:No original research. My points are: I can't really understand why doing arithmetic is original research. It's not like one is going to the library and coming up with some new, original, independent conclusion based on one's researches. A software word count will agree with a human word count as long as the agreed rules are fixed: for example, if one discounts the front and back matters. We wondered if word count might be considered routine calculations: "Basic arithmetic, such as adding numbers, converting units, or calculating a person's age are some examples of routine calculations." To me, it might just be, except counting words are far more tedious.

We need to know whether editors can do a software word count themselves, if they agree on the edition used. For citations, the edition used will be cited. A lot of the cited word counts have been proven inaccurate using software on Gutenberg or Amazon ebook texts. DORC (talk) 02:37, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

If I were to take your post above dump it into wordcounter.net and say it contains 216 words and 1,284 characters (if I were compulsive, I would also count myself) - that would fall under WP:CALC which is not OR. However, the problem with what you are suggesting is not the word count per se, but rather:
  1. What is the text you will be dumping into the word counter? Are you agreed that the digitized text itself is a faithful representation of the book (no missing pages, no duplicated pages, etc.)?
  2. Agreement on what constitutes a novel (e.g. is a 30 volume book (or the smaller A Song of Ice and Fire) a single book? Several?).
The counting in an of itself doesn't sound like the issue (per WP:CALC) - agreeing on the input to the counting does. Icewhiz (talk) 06:36, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
Good questions. 1. Usually the text you dump into the word counter is either a) a Gutenberg e-text, of which extraneous materials like the disclaimer, front and back matters etc. are excised; or b) an Amazon e-book. The person who puts it through the program needs to discount these extraneous materials as well, such as copyright etc. One way to do this is to block the required text and copy it to a word processor, then do the word count from there. I don't believe such texts will have duplicated or missing pages. Gutenberg is well known for their integrity of their texts. An editor should cite his/her edition (Gutenberg or Amazon e-book) with an online link. We will not be accepting e-texts from dubious sources.
2. The definition of a novel, and whether to include such things as novel sequences, are ongoing discussions at the talk page. These are quite different issues from that of a word count. DORC (talk) 03:26, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

Note that word counters often disagree on the answer due to differing meanings of "word". Some don't recognize non-English letters. Some don't count numbers and some do. Most can't detect extraneous items like page numbers that shouldn't be counted. So it isn't quite as simple as a routine calculation. Zerotalk 10:53, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

Could we agree to use a standard Word processor (e.g. MS Word?) Most people use MS Word to do word counts rather than an online word counter. It has the advantage of being able to remove extraneous materials. It doesn't count page numbers.
Also, I know that there will be some errors involved in the calculations. But we can round the count off to the nearest thousand. We don't need to be so precise--all we need to know is whether they exceed the 500,000 word mark. A count rounded off to the nearest thousand will be accurate enough to rank the results. DORC (talk) 03:30, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I would argue word counting novels is definitely OR, as it is not a simple CALC. Let's compare it to a user-generated value for a measurement of the land area taken by a small town - yes, a WPian could possibly do it with maps and surveyor tools, but we'd take that as OR. The issue with long novels is that counting 10,000s could be error prone, something that an average person may screw up easily. Counter this, counting the number of chapters in a novel would be allowable; its a small enough scope that has little room for error. --Masem (t) 04:05, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
    It's OR without question. EEng 04:18, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

Are user-generated maps acceptable?Edit

Normally in yearly tornado articles, we place a chart, created by the Storm Prediction Center in the infobox based on the cumulative number of tornado reports in the United States. However, due to the federal government shutdown, no such chart has been issued for 2019 and it is unclear when it might be provided. I have created a map showing the touchdown location and Enhanced Fujita scale rating of all tornadoes so far confirmed in the United States in 2019. The information is taken directly from National Weather Service survey reports, which can be found in the references at List of United States tornadoes in January 2019. While I take information from multiple reports, I do not interpret it: I only show the location and intensity of each tornado and add up the number of tornadoes of each rating. TornadoLGS (talk) 23:56, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

I would say we can temporarily invoke WP:IAR in this case... my guess is that publication of the “official” map is merely delayed due to the shutdown, and will eventually be published. As long as the intent is to replace the user generated map with the published one (once it comes out) I think it is acceptable. Blueboar (talk) 01:48, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
Even with the likelihood a gov't produced chart will be made, in the broader case, this is certainly within the allowances of SYNTH, given the data is openly published by a reliable source. Just make sure to link to those sources somewhere on the file description page. --Masem (t) 02:03, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
Hopefully we won't need it for very long then. Currently I'd only need to link to about a dozen source pages, but by the end of the year it would be in the hundreds. TornadoLGS (talk) 02:17, 30 January 2019 (UTC)

Channel Island EnglishEdit

Channel Island English is effectively entirely unsourced and likely to reflect a high proportion of original research. If no sources can be found I suggest it is deleted, per WP:V. Curb Safe Charmer (talk) 13:26, 1 February 2019 (UTC)

Some sources which could help: [1][2][3][4]ReconditeRodent « talk · contribs » 17:54, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Mari Jones (4 March 2010). The Lesser-Known Varieties of English: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 35–. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511676529.004. ISBN 978-1-139-48741-2.
  2. ^ Bernd Kortmann; Clive Upton (10 December 2008). The British Isles. Walter de Gruyter. p. 232–. ISBN 978-3-11-020839-9.
  3. ^ Raymond Hickey (6 December 2012). Standards of English: Codified Varieties around the World. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-85121-3.
  4. ^ Mari Jones (8 January 2015). Variation and Change in Mainland and Insular Norman: A Study of Superstrate Influence. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-25713-9.
@ReconditeRodent: Nice work! Curb Safe Charmer (talk) 20:41, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Australian paradoxEdit

I cam across the article Australian paradox, and felt that the article becomes more and more an original research essay as it goes on. Looking at the history, I noted two major additions from Awbarclay, an editor who has only ever edited this article and that of Jennie Brand-Miller, and appears to me to be Brand-Miller's co-author Alan Barclay. IntoThinAir and Awbarclay are responsible for 73.3% of the edits and 95.3% of the text in the article. Looking at the history, it is clear to me that IntoThinAir wrote the original article in 2014, removed some subsequent additions from Awbarclay on NPOV grounds later that year, and that almost all changes subsequent to then and especially since December 2017 have come from Awbarclay. The isses that I see are:

  • OR argument rather than NPOV RS-based summary
  • Use of questionable sources included from predatory journals
  • Unfamiliarity with encyclopaedic format and referencing
  • Likely COI interest

I debated whether to post this to NPOV, RS, COI, or this noticeboard, and will post cross-notifications. I invite comment / suggestions / bold edits, etc. Thanks to all for any help. EdChem (talk) 01:05, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

I've stripped out 4 completely unsourced paragraphs some which included quoted text.
That said, reading this more, I think understanding that this article is about a legitimacy of a study in a possibly-predatory journal is going to require mentioning predatory journals here (heck there was even an investigation into MDPI over this). I do feel the article tries to be sympathetic towards Brand-Miller and Barclay's paper by manner of tone, so the COI sniff test is right on the nose.
The article probably would have less issues if it was frames as a controversial study rather than a seeming-sound scientific principle. That is, maaaaybe the conclusion is right, but our focus should be why this paper raised may an eyebrow. --Masem (t) 01:37, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, I don't like the look of this script edit by a regular, just removing wrongly-formatted refs, rather than correcting them. Most of the (Oct 18) article text is taken up with criticism of the idea, and the first line seems neutral. All the paras you have removed were referenced before this! WTF???? At the moment it would seem appropriate to revert both of you, back to October! User:Walter Görlitz, perhaps you would like to explain what you were doing? I note the paper kicking this off was published in 2011, while the board resignations were not until 2018. Johnbod (talk) 03:05, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
I restored three of the four paragraphs that I took out given that they were earlier sourced. (however, they were badly formated - using single-bracket external link approach instead of refs, which are a no-no, and why the script edit removed them.) The four paragraph read as OR and COI, as the only conclusion of the three reports were to say sugar consumption did appear to drop, but did not discuss the increase of obseity so that the Brand-Miller conclusions is not proven out by those. --Masem (t) 03:48, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
I created this a while ago (almost 5 years ago now!) and I haven't been paying too much attention to it lately, to be honest. But looking at the old version (before the recent helpful clean-ups by Masem and others) it clearly had a lot of problems with unsourced OR and SYNTH. Mostly these seem to have been solved though there still seems to be some biased language ("Rikkers et al's flawed analysis"). IntoThinAir (talk) 04:03, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Masem. I thought the last para looked iffy. The subject is clearly a big thing in Oz, and perhaps beyond, so we should have an article. Johnbod (talk) 04:20, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
@Johnbod: I was editing the article and the edit summaries and diffs show what was done. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:22, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Indeed the diff does, but then it would, wouldn't it! Like I said, you were just removing wrongly-formatted refs, rather than correcting them. Your edit summary "(per WP:Linking, General formatting by script)" is highly misleading, with nothing about completely removing references. Seriously, do you think this is in accordance with policy, or a good idea? Are many of your edits like this? Johnbod (talk) 04:33, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Interpretation of WP:OREdit

My edit here was reverted by doomsdayer520 on the claim that the content that I removed was sourced and not original research. When I explained to them what the source is about and asked them what part of the content that they restored in the intro is supposed to be backed by it, they ignored my request and accused me of misusing the term "original research", because according to them Original research (on Wikipedia) is when a scientist tries to claim that his/her own research is notable.

Your views on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. M.Bitton (talk) 00:21, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

M.Bitton, we have a precise but very minor disagreement that does not belong here. My original reversion of your edit was because you removed two different pieces of notable material and justified it with one reason (original research) that I found to be inaccurate in both cases. I actually took some of your words to heart and concluded that the source on the translation of the band's name could be considered unreliable -- a much different problem -- and I added a "better source needed" tag to that piece of information in the article. You seem to have missed this step. Meanwhile, disagreement about the band's hometown is not even close to a dispute over the meaning of original research. We have a minor disagreement between two good-faith editors who care about the accuracy of that article, and it can be discussed there even if I said something you don't like. Wait for other people to support you or disagree with you there. For everyone else on this board, M.Bitton's decision to bring the discussion here as an incident that needs to be investigated is an over-reaction at best. ---DOOMSDAYER520 (Talk|Contribs) 21:57, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
@Doomsdayer520: We're here because we disagree over the "interpretation of the OR policy". You think that the translation is not OR and I think that your interpretation of OR is erroneous, therefore, we need input from uninvolved editors familiar with the policy. M.Bitton (talk) 23:39, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Translating foreign languages to English is not original research Wikipedia:No_original_research#Translations_and_transcriptions though it's reasonable to ask for sourcing to support difficult or questionable interpretations. Rhoark (talk) 17:47, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

@Rhoark: Translating foreign languages to English is not original research, provided the source is relevant. In our case, what's being translated is the group's name using a dictionary that doesn't even mention the group in question. Let me illustrate by way of an analogy why this method is both OR and terribly flawed (regardless of the result). Imagine the Bee Gees article being created in the French Wikipedia. How wrong would the editors be if, in order to define the group's name, they decide to use an English to French dictionary to translate the words "Bee" and "Gee"?
The other issue is Doomsdayer520's interpretation of the OR policy (highlighted in green). What do you think of it? M.Bitton (talk) 00:25, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

Space elevatorEdit

I hate to ask for this, but a long-winded argument (now going on around a dozen screenfuls) is essentially based on the question about whether what's being added is WP:OR, WP:SYNTH or entirely acceptable. Discussion at Talk:Space_elevator#Graphs_of_optimal_profiles with a brief diversion to Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution_noticeboard#Talk:Space_elevator#Graphs_of_optimal_profiles (which I inadvertently blew up by stating I didn't think the dispute was amendable to resolution).

At this point, the discussion has foundered over a point whether symbolic integration (which was done incorrectly at least the first time) qualifies under the WP:CALC exemption of "obvious and correct". But it's more than that, the very premises of the equations that are being subjected to integral calculus are unclear. And uncited, of course, hence my request here.

If I can trouble an expert on WP:OR and WP:SYNTH to take a look, I'd appreciate it. I'm entirely amendable to being told I'm being unreasonable, but given the tremendously long discussion over what should be the simple point "what WP:RS documents this interpretation?", I don't think I am.

I'll leave a mention on the talk page that this request has been filed. Regards, Tarl N. (discuss) 03:30, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

This is Eric Kvaalen. I am the one with whom Tarl and another guy who prefers to remain anonymous have been arguing. I do not agree with Tarl's description of what's going on. Just yesterday I wrote something in our discussion and used an integration to show something. That was on the talk page, not in the article. I claim that there's nothing wrong with doing a simple integration on a talk page. The point of it was to show that the radius of the earth plays a role. This question came up because Tarl himself claimed that the earth's radius had nothing to do with the subject (how strong the cable of a space elevator has to be).
The actual discussion is not about some easy integral on the talk page, but about the fact that I made two graphs, based on an equation that was already in the article and which is supported by a "reliable source", and I put those two graphs into the article. Tarl and the other guy claimed that that was "original research". I claim that it's totally legitimate to graph a function and put the graphs in. The calculations are very straightforward. They do not involve doing some sort of integration.
Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:04, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
Which equation cited by which source are you using now? My original objection was that you came to a conclusion that the ratio of characteristic length (or free breaking length as used in the conversation) to radius of the earth was meaningful. At this point I have no idea what you are currently planning on, and after a dozen screenfuls of greatly involved discussion, I'm not really interested. Just document which equation you are using from which WP:RS to produce your graphs, so I can verify that your graph doesn't generate any conclusions the source doesn't. Tarl N. (discuss) 19:06, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I took a look at the discussion at talk, and while I'm not about to jump into that big mess of math, I will make a couple of generalized points here:
  1. The radius of Earth does matter, but (AFAIK) only insofar as it established a minimum distance from the center of gravity of Earth where the base of the elevator would be tethered. In other words, it doesn't appear to need to be a be fundamental unit in the equation.
  2. Merely graphing an equation is categorically not original research, unless it involves the editor doing so providing arbitrary values to some terms and then using the result to come to a conclusion. So, it's not OR to graph  Fx = x2  unless the user arbitrarily states that  x = π  in order to show that  Fx = π2 , which you might recognize as having more problems than simple OR.
  3. The graphs proffered at talk both seem to both insert an arbitrary value (the Earth's radius and 1/10th the Earth's radius, respectively, both apparently in kilometers), as well as express one axis as a ratio of altitude (in unspecified units, presumably kilometers) to that value. That seems to be the root of the problem. I'm not prepared to declare those graphs OR on the basis of an arbitrary choice of units, but it seems to me that the concerns about it are warranted. It would be best to alter the graphs so as to use one kilometer as the chosen unit, which would not only address the OR concerns but make the graph easier to read for those of us whose brain starts hurting whenever we hear the word "equation". ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:42, 12 February 2019 (UTC)


Tarl N., the equation I graphed is equation 7 of Aravind.

MPants at work, the problem is that the graphs are, let's say, y versus x, but there's a parameter called L. To make a graph, you have to choose a value of L and then vary x and see what happens to y. Now of course one could use a random number generator to come up with L, but that would be stupid. The whole point of making graphs is to illustrate something meaningful. Now, the text of the article, before I edited it, mentioned the fact that L has to be similar to the earth's radius, and that if L is one tenth of that then you get a ridiculous space elevator. So those are the two values I used, and sure enough, they illustrate the point very well. So what are we supposed to do? Throw out these useful values of the parameter L and use some values that are NOT useful?

By the way, I offered to try to put a kilometre scale as well, but got no reply. The advantage of the scale I used is that it allows the reader (or viewer) to see immediately what the mass ratio would be, because it's the area under the curve if you graph it with this scale. To understand that one does need a tiny amount of mathematics.

Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:58, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

MPants at work, the problem is that the graphs are, let's say, y versus x, but there's a parameter called L. To make a graph, you have to choose a value of L and then vary x and see what happens to y. Yes, I'm aware of that. But there's no requirement that you use x/L as a unit, which is something you did for the X-axis of both graphs.I don't think that picking the Earth's radius as an input for Lc is OR, but I can see how then using that to establish a ratio of altitude/Lc as the units for the X-axis could be seen as synth. I mean, you're taking a value that's specified to be important for something, and then using it for that and for a related purpose. That's putting a ton of weight on a single input, weight that doesn't need to be there. Hence my hypothetical example of setting  x=π  to prove that  Fx=π2 .
I would also note that there's no label on the Y-axis. I'm still unsure what the units are, there. I know that axis is the cable diameter, but in what units? Meters seems too small, but kilometers seems to much. Is it a proportion to some other number? I just can't tell.
At the end of the day, I don't think this is egregious OR. It looks more like a bit of minor synthesis to me. But even minor synthesis doesn't belong, and given that most of the choices you seem to have made in producing those graphs don't have to be carved in stone, the easiest solution would be for you guys to agree on a set of choice that doesn't look like OR to the other parties. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:41, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

I have no objection to a graph of Aravind eq (7), in SI units. I had thought you were interested in eq (8) given your focus on the characteristic length. Bot are simple exponential curves, although in different directions, not sure what's interesting about them. What parameters are you going to use for ρ and T in eq(7)? (I'll post this on the Space Elevator talk page, since the discussion really belongs there). Tarl N. (discuss) 16:52, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

If you're not replying to me, you should probably outdent your comment one (you can take this one with it). If you are; I'm not planning on graphing anything. I have a lot of experience reading graphs of all different sorts, but my math-fu is not good enough that I'd feel comfortable contributing in any way more in-depth than my comments here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:01, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Done. It was a reply to Kvaalen. I've posted on the article talk page, which is where that discussion belongs. Tarl N. (discuss) 17:10, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Per WP:CALC: Since there does not appear to be a consensus among editors that the result of the calculation is obvious, correct, and a meaningful reflection of the sources, then the only plausible conclusion (at this stage) is that the calculations are OR. The Rfc that you started should settle it. M.Bitton (talk) 00:29, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

User:C-Kobold/EU parliament national election systemsEdit

Hello everyone, I would like to hear your improvement suggestions and opinions about my law quotations in foreign languages (!) in my article User:C-Kobold/EU_parliament_national_election_systems. Is it WP:QUOTEFARM? Is it WP:NOR? Please also consider why I made these long quotations from foreign laws and did not just quote (scientific) research papers or newspaper articles:

  • to make the statements in the table easily verifiable with e.g. Google Translate and
  • to make the statements in the table easily updateable: if the laws change, the content behind the links changes as well and the table can get updated easily. Scientific research papers or newspaper articles do not get updated however when laws change, so references to them are useless in the near future C-Kobold (talk) 13:44, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Unconstructive Editing at Book of EnochEdit

I have honestly no clue what to say to this person. They just posted a rant about the Book of Enoch on their talk page. What do? ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 00:09, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Yasmine TaebEdit

Requesting a third opinion on recent edits to Yasmine Taeb. I'm concerned that much of the material added in recent edits by User:VirginiaPoliticalFactCheck is either poorly sourced, original research or given undue weight. (I'm not quite sure which noticeboard to go to!)

Specifically, the YouTube video and Soundcloud podcast are dubious. Additionally, there are several instances of probable original research, such as the use of board minutes (it's unclear which) to claim Taeb isn't engaging with the board. Even the material supported by sources is undue; for example, an entire section has been assigned to the BDS issue despite no indication that any independent secondary source cares. I'm not saying these edits are necessarily false (I freely admit my lack of knowledge of AmPol), just that the current state of the sourcing is unacceptable. I reverted the addition once, but the material has been re-added mostly unchanged. – Teratix 13:11, 21 February 2019 (UTC)