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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
Before posting, please check the archives for prior discussions of the source. If after reviewing, you feel a new post is warranted, please be sure to include the following information, if available:
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  • Source. The book or web page being used as the source. For a book, include the author, title, publisher, page number, etc. For an online source, please include links. For example: [].
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  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".
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The article Ambazonia doesn't provide verified sourceEdit

1. Source. 2. Article. 3. Content ... (b) President Paul Biya is [also] guilty of treason for furthering and completing the treason of Ahidjo by bringing about the secession of the first defendant (East Cameroon) from the United Republic of Cameroon on February 4, 1984, reinstating its name "Republic of Cameroon" which had not been used since January 10, 1961. (c) That the break-away Republic of Cameroon continues, illegally and forcibly occupy the territory of the first plaintiff, which means the first defendant is guilty of an international offence of aggression and annexation, (d) The report made the Restoration of the statehood of the first plaintiff the starting point of restoration of legality.

My Observation: While i reading articles on cameroon actuality, i was redirected on the ambazonia wikipedia page, but, the information provided by the page doesn't provide verified source. i'm a citizen, and think that an encyclopedia must provide right information.

Beall's List resurrected and maintainedEdit

Are books by an ex-Nazi writer of fringe books on Atlantis, etc RS for military history?Edit

I raised this at the MilHist talk page 3 1/2 years ago.[1] There I wrote "I just came across The Axis Air Forces:Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe by Frank Joseph. ABC-CLIO describes him[2] as "professor of world archaeology with Japan's Savant Institute, and recipient of the Midwest Epigraphic Society's Victor Moseley Award. His published works include more than 20 books in as many foreign editions, such as Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45." Impressive, right? At face value, certainly sounds like a reliable source if you don't question it. But leaving aside the fact that the Savant Institute only seems to be mentioned on the web in connection with Joseph, we know Joseph better as Frank Collin, ex-Nazi and writer of New Age and fringe archaeology material. Descriptions of him by the publisher of his other two books, Helion, are equally or even more misleading."

Sadly he is still being used in almost 20 articles[3][4] although there was more or less agreement with me. I'll ping them and notify MilHist. @Brigade Piron, Sturmvogel 66, Andrew Gray, and Nick-D:. Doug Weller talk 17:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

No, they're not. Volunteer Marek  17:29, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Any use of the books or other writings by this thoroughly discredited author are either sadly naive or POV-pushing. Either way, they should be removed. Even where the material cited is non-controversial (e.g., Focke-Achgelis Fa 223) there are almost certainly better sources. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 17:55, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
The moral questions aside, and that is a great big heap of moral questions, this isn't like using, say, a former SS writer on German weaponry, or Bigeard on interrogation tactics, etc. And it's not just the fact that several categories of his writing are lunatic fringe, albeit in different lunatic fringes. It's someone who wrote, over his whole career, to a selected commercial audience...i.e., potboilers. That sort of thing is never any use, except for locating better sources, with the other baggage putting the nails in its coffin. The problems with it, IOW, go beyond the squicky sleaze, and that might have already been enough on its own. Anmccaff (talk) 18:34, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
These are clearly inappropriate sources; thank you, Doug, for noticing them and bringing them to attention. Please let me know if you encounter any issues while cleaning them up. MastCell Talk 18:46, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
We should avoid rejecting him as a partly Jewish nazi convicted child molester with some fringe views, but rather judge his milhist work by its reception, which seems negative.Icewhiz (talk) 19:00, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Comment in addition to the aircraft and submarine facts of questionable accuracy, Joseph describes the Italian Vendetta battalion as fighting well at Anzio. From other sources it appears its companies did, but dispersed among German units. That's not a trivial difference. Anmccaff (talk) 19:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
No, these should all be cut. Neutralitytalk 01:53, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

"rejecting him as a partly Jewish nazi convicted child molester with some fringe views"

The neo-Nazism and the child molestation have little to do with his writings. But most of his writings have to do with the historicity of Atlantis and Lemuria, and theories about pre-Columbian colonization of the Americas. He is at best a fringe historian, if not a writer of pseudohistory. Dimadick (talk) 08:44, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

His track record as an author is terrible. I don't see how he could suddenly transform himself into a historian. He's been a big proponent of the hoax Burrows Cave which managed to earn him the disapproval of a number of pseudohistorians as being transparently a fraud. He's got a 2016 book called Our Dolphin Ancestors[5] - why should we trust someone who writes such nonsense to write good military history? There's also an article in the very respected Antiquity (journal) which discusses him.[6] Doug Weller talk 13:57, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Dolphin ancestors? Did you come across that book by accident? Or was it on porpoise? Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:42, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I've gone through and removed the references to the two books Doug identified, as best as I've been able to find them. Parsecboy (talk) 17:52, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Based on the links and the discussion here, it doesn't seem that this guy is much of a reliable source for virtually anything. There might be specific cases where claims in other specific topic areas would need individual evaluation, but this is pretty much a no brainer, and should effectively be a blanket ban on using him as a source. I don't care what about the details of his life, but this is like citing Giorgio A. Tsoukalas. He's clearly not a reliable source, and WP:FRINGE,
Thank you for noticing this, Doug, and thank you to those involved in cleaning up these references. . Quinto Simmaco (talk) 01:41, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
The issue here is probably how reliable sources judge this person's historial writing. Have experts in the field and/or professional reviewers judged the books reliable? There are a number of instances where the early works of good historians who later became sloppy or went fringe are still considered reliable, and I guess that the reverse applies. From the above, this doesn't seem to be the case here. Nick-D (talk) 03:51, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I take a different view. Frank Joseph's book was published by Praeger Publishing, which is the general interest imprint of the Greenwood Publishing Group, a prominent educational publisher. Presumably they thought the book was sufficiently accurate to publish. And note they don't publish books on Atlantis or the occult. While this is an extreme example, we could open the floodgates to challenges of lots of books and articles from reliable publishers based on other things their writers have done or published or said. TFD (talk) 00:41, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: I am afraid I do not understand the logic of this discussion. As Eggishorn notes, it is not like this author is the only one writing on the subjects cited. There is plenty of choice for alternatives and, given this particular author's record and his absence professional accreditation (to put it mildly), it is surely a clear fail of WP:RS. Unfortunately this is only the fringe of a much more widespread problem in MilHist, especially in less-travelled articles connected to the Waffen SS. —Brigade Piron (talk) 18:25, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
    • @The Four Deuces: They messed up. I don't know why they didn't fact check his claims: ""professor of world archaeology with Japan's Savant Institute, and recipient of the Midwest Epigraphic Society's Victor Moseley Award. His published works include more than 20 books in as many foreign editions, such as Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45." So far as I can see, someone at the publisher's just copied that from Joseph himself, possibly from here. If there is a Savant Institute in Japan it is very obscure. The website for the Midwestern Epigraphic Society is here. What self-respecting publisher would really see that as a recommendation for an author? Victor Moseley formed the society as a branch of Barry Fell's Epigraphic Society.[7] An example of what Moseley wrote is here. Again, why would a publisher want to mention this? Unless they hadn't done any due diligence. A review of his two books on military history is here on the Society for Military History's blog. Ah, almost forgot, the publisher mentioned that he'd written a lot of books. Some can be found in his article: Frank Collin#Books (as Frank Joseph) - I see he has a book about America's first bomber pilot, but look at the [8]. There are times when even a normally reliable press messes up. Doug Weller talk 19:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
      • It's worse than I thought. See "about the author" in his book about the Axis Air Forces. "Joseph served as editor in chief of Ancient American, a national popular science bi-monthly, from its inception in 1993 until his retirement in 2007. Today a feature writer for The Barnes Review (Washington, D.C.), where his articles deal primarily with military history". Here's a review of Ancient American[9] - a sometimes racist rag filled with "they all came to America" etc rubbish. Not popular and definitely not science. And of course Joseph would be at home with the holocaust denying Barnes Review. I found this in a review of the book.[10] Why would a publisher allow this to be written about him? If the simplest things about him were ignored, how well was the book edited? Doug Weller talk 19:52, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
        • Yupper. Far from the Praeger imprint "rescuing" this source, this source calls for some questions about Praeger. (Me, I think Praeger has been on a long slide since Praeger himself left it; even the respectable academic stuff is often niche, to the point where only a limited subspecialty would be comfortable with it.) Anmccaff (talk) 21:58, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
          • Quite honestly, editorial control and review at most commercial publishers has been steadily deteriorating over the last couple of decades as a cost-cutting measure. Enough so that I don't think that we can give any book an automatic RS or non-RS simply because of the publisher; they're each going to have to be assessed on the merits of their authors and whatever outside reviewers we can find.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 22:57, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Doug Weller, I know all that and also that he served time for sex crimes. But the issue is not whether we like him, but whether the books he published through reputable publishers are as factually accurate as the other similar books they publish. His book on Mussolini's war was published by Helion & Company.] He says he has written articles for military magazines, including FlyPast. It's not as if his book on axis warfare makes any unusual claims. While this is an extreme example, lots of editors question the accuracy of sources based on their perceptions of the writers' opinions. It's actually easy to challenge any source that way. After all, Newton wrote about the occult. A better case might be made that we should not use general interest books as sources. TFD (talk) 02:53, 22 November 2017 (UTC)


Is [11] a reliable source to show that Emmerson Mnangagwa is now President of Zimbabwe? 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état, Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe are also pages where the result of this discussion will be of interest. power~enwiki (π, ν) 23:12, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Unless we have multiple, independent sources to the same conclusion, I don't think it's reliable right now. Kiteinthewind Leave a message! 02:18, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Wait. Whomever is president post-coup is always in legal / diplomatic / legistlative / policing / combat flux.Icewhiz (talk) 11:04, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The president of Zimbabwe is currently Chaos. Which is, to be fair, not much of a change from the kleptomaniac bastard Mugabe. Guy (Help!) 16:11, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Surely you must know, Guy, that your remark is a BLP violation. Please strike it. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 19:50, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
My bad: I meant, of course, murderous[12][13][14] kleptomaniac[15][16] bastard[17][18][19]. I have friends from the region. Guy (Help!) 20:11, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
It's times like this I miss the "like" button. Sadly, it's not clear he'll be replaced by a government that's much of an improvement. - Nunh-huh 21:43, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
While your sources confirm that Mugabe is widely regarded as a very bad ruler, Guy, none of these sources confirm that Mugabe is either a "kleptomaniac" or a "bastard". Even if his parents were unmarried, it would be a BLP violation to use that fact in a pejorative fashion, as you have done here. His parents were devout Catholics with six children so I see no evidence that he is a "bastard". BLP policy applies even to aging dictators. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 22:20, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Not going to argue, old friend. Bastard is a colloquiallism which he meets in spades, and his thefts are ell documented, as is his murderous regime, so that's all I have to say about it. There is a reason there was a public outcry when he was named as a goodwill ambassador recently. He is one of the last of the classical African dictators. Guy (Help!) 22:24, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
It strikes me that describing Mugabe as a "very bad ruler" is both inadequate and misleading—a lie by omission, if you will, and not a précis worthy of inclusion in an actual encyclopedia article. We should be aware when policy leads to ridiculous results, and either change that policy or choose that time to invoke our Überpolicy: "ignore all rules". - Nunh-huh 21:03, 20 November 2017 (UTC)


Have a guess how many links to the defunct Geocities we have.

If you guessed "over 10,000", congratulations.

Many are in mainspace, though few of these would ever have met WP:RS.

It's far too large a task for me, does anyone know a botmaster who could perhaps fix this plague? Guy (Help!) 21:31, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

There are likely to be valid links among the many. --Izno (talk) 17:54, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree that some would likely be valid among the many. Also, Many could be rescued by the Internet Archive bot, (if that makes any difference). Huggums537 (talk) 16:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Really? Most of them are random opinions by random people. Guy (Help!) 19:48, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
That might very well be true. However, (most of them = all of them) is not true. I think "a few bad apples spoils the bunch" is a stupid old saying for more than one reason. First of all, bananas come in bunches, not apples. Also, I grew up very poor, so a few good apples among a bushel (the correct collective noun) of bad ones has always been a treasure to me... Huggums537 (talk) 22:51, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

About my first article: need sources reviewEdit

Hello Wiki fellows,

I'm currently working on my first wiki page submission. It's a biographic one, about an australian futurist named Dr Stuart CANDY. I've collected several secundary sources in order to prove my submission's reliability. Based on your experience, are these sources reliable ones?

  1. Association of Professionals Futurists [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]

Thanks in advance for your answer. Best regards,

Bappyh Bappyh (talk) 16:41, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

Why don't you start your article in draft space or in your user sandbox so we can see how you're using the refs?--Georgia Army Vet Contribs Talk 01:03, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • None of these sources establishes the significance of the subject. Most of them are not independent. The only one that is substantive is desktop mag, which is not exactly Time. Guy (Help!) 10:38, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

I think it's a good start, Bappyh, and the fact that he has a work in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp is promising. Your ongoing sandbox draft is a good start as well. You might want to paste {{friendly search suggestions}} at the top of your sandbox, and click on some of the links to find new sources (by replacing his name inside the quotation marks after you click on a link). Good luck! After you finish, remember to trim you article to make it compact and non-promotional, making it concise, since the person is not massively notable. And remember to include a citation for each and every fact. Softlavender (talk) 11:51, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Know Your Meme for emoticonsEdit

List of emoticons is generally using bad, inappropriate, questionable or unreliable sources because good ones are rare. For emoticons (and probably other internet phenomena) you will find mentions in sources that should be reliable by Wikipedia's standards, but the author was actually just curious or clueless and thus did not compile a list of somewhat established emoticons, but mostly of ones they saw once and found funny or ones they came up with themselves.

Anyhow, the Lenny Face, i.e. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) or a minor variation thereof, is (or was) undoubtedly used quite widely in some subcultures. In that article, which is currently the target of the redirect at Lenny Face, the reference used is its entry at Know Your Meme (KYM). This is actually a useful resource for anyone who wants to know more about its history. Alas, the reliability of KYM has been questioned here before several times, e.g. in May 2011, and is currently challenged by user:Otterathome (also see my Talk), because at least its basic content is user-generated and thus would fail the WP:UGC criterion at WP:IRS. However, after editorial review, their confirmed articles may qualify as reliable. The Lenny Face article is indeed confirmed.

While I totally agree that the list article needs better sources, can we agree that KYM is sufficient here? Otherwise, can someone suggest something better? — Christoph Päper 10:08, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

KYM remains a user-generated blog (even though there's some paid-editor oversight) so would be inappropriate as a source. --MASEM (t) 14:33, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Predatory journalsEdit

I have a little list. User:JzG/Predatory. Alphabetically grouped, with search links and everything. I am filling in ISSN, DOI and other identifiers as I get time. I am also checking agianst DOAJ and other credibel sources, with a view to removing any that are currently considered OK. Guy (Help!) 17:36, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

This seems to be a hot topic lately. I noticed several other discussions on different policy/guideline talk pages. I can't remember exactly where I saw them, but there are people interested in this subject to be sure. I will post a link to hook you up with them if I run across those discussions again. Huggums537 (talk) 23:02, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

The New AtlantisEdit

I failed to find mention in RSN archives. Appears to be a conservative advocacy group. What brought my attention to it was this edit. We currently have 89 uses in mainspace. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 02:06, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

More Libertarian than Conservative... but yes, an advocacy journal. Material can be used with attribution, keeping UNDUE in mind. Blueboar (talk) 03:06, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Hmm some sources describe EPPC (who publishes it) as conservative. Thanks for the tip, —PaleoNeonate – 07:45, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Think tanks and ideological magazines are a plague on Wikipedia. The Cato Institute (funded, of course, by the Koch brothers as a source for policy-based evidence making) has set the pattern. In my view we should not include content from any political think tanks, left , right, or anything else, unless a reliable independent source establishes that their view on a subject is objectively significant. Guy (Help!) 10:35, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. I will not check the other instances right now, but I've just removed this new addition. —PaleoNeonate – 09:04, 23 November 2017 (UTC)


We have a significant number of links to this website, mainly used as sources in articles. I don't see any evidence that it meets WP:RS.

It claims: " is the most complete and comprehensive directory of diplomatic and consular missions ever created. More than 26,000 embassies, high commissions, consulates and other missions worldwide are listed at, and frequent and constant updating help maintaining's position as the world's leading embassy resource." But there's no obvious sign of who is behind it, what fact-checking processes are in play or anything else.

I would be inclined to view this as a non-authoritative source, a personal project, unless there is some evidence otherwise. Thoughts? Guy (Help!) 10:32, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Agree with you. John Carter (talk) 18:59, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
I also agree with Guy. Neutralitytalk 05:29, 23 November 2017 (UTC)


I found a dead link of (itself was found from the internal link to Money Times, that NOT related to the website) The site was currently dead, displaying text "hosted in wordpress", but looking in webarchive (example), it may be an online newspaper that may or may not reliable. Any idea to deal with ? Replace all link with archive or another reliable source? Matthew_hk tc 17:52, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

It had a Chief Editor and Sub Editor according to the about page as well as news desks in both India and the USA. Looks like it definitely had something going and was not just some random guy doing a blog or similar self published site, however I am not sure if it would be an RS. My view would be that we should err on the side of caution and remove, especially as the link search shows it is used in BLP's. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 18:28, 22 November 2017 (UTC)