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In this wiki, verifiability means that people reading and editing the encyclopedia can check that the information can be attributed to a source. This wiki does have the same guidelines as Wikipedia and therefore some forms of original research may be allowable. It is important however that the content should be marked as appropriate to let the reader know that original research may have been used in this article and previously published information rather than the beliefs or experiences of its editors should be used whenever available. Even if you're sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it. What this means is that, for example, original documents like award certificates wouldn't be allowable as a "reliable source" because they haven't been printed in a secondary source. Here it is likely allowable as long as it is available online or as an uploaded image here. [1] When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view.

All material in the Military mainspace, including everything in articles, lists and captions, must be verifiable. All quotations, and any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, must include an inline citation that directly supports the material. Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed. Please remove contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced immediately. This is something that Wikipedia takes very seriously and so will this wiki.

Articles must also comply with the copyright policy.

Responsibility for providing citationsEdit

All content must be verifiable. The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material, and is satisfied by providing a citation to a source that directly supports the contribution.[2]

Attribute all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged to a published source using an inline citation. Cite the source clearly and precisely (specifying page, section, or such divisions as may be appropriate). The citation must clearly support the material as presented in the article.

Any material lacking a source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be replaced without an inline citation to a reliable source. Whether and how quickly this should happen depends on the material and the overall state of the article. Editors might object if you remove material without giving them time to provide references; consider adding a citation needed tag as an interim step.[3] When tagging or removing material for lacking an inline citation, please state your concern that there may not be a published reliable source for the content, and therefore it may not be verifiable.[4] If you think the material is verifiable, try to provide an inline citation yourself before considering whether to remove or tag it.

Do not leave unsourced or poorly sourced material in an article if it might damage the reputation of living people or existing groups, and do not move it to the talk page. You should also be aware of how the BLP policy applies to groups.[5]

Reliable sourcesEdit

What counts as a reliable sourceEdit

The word "source" in this wiki has three meanings:

  1. the type of the work (some examples include a document, an article, or a book)
  2. the creator of the work (for example, the writer)
  3. the publisher of the work (for example, Oxford University Press).

All three can affect reliability.

Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy are best. Source material must have been published, the definition of which for our purposes is "made available to the public in some form".[6] Unpublished materials are not considered reliable. Use sources that directly support the material presented in an article and are appropriate to the claims made. The appropriateness of any source depends on the context. The best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. The greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. Be especially careful when sourcing content related to living people or medicine.

If available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science.

Editors may also use material from reliable non-academic sources, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications. Other reliable sources include:

  • university-level textbooks
  • books published by respected publishing houses
  • magazines
  • journals
  • mainstream newspapers.

Editors may also use electronic media, subject to the same criteria.

Newspaper and magazine blogsEdit

Several newspapers, magazines, and other news organizations host columns on their web sites that they call blogs. These may be acceptable sources if the writers are professionals, but use them with caution because the blog may not be subject to the news organization's normal fact-checking process.[7] If a news organization publishes an opinion piece in a blog, attribute the statement to the writer (e.g. "Jane Smith wrote..."). Never use blog posts that are left by readers as sources.

Questionable sourcesEdit

Questionable sources are those that have a poor reputation for checking the facts, lack meaningful editorial oversight, or have an apparent conflict of interest.[8] Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely considered by other sources to be extremist or promotional, or that rely heavily on unsubstantiated gossip, rumor or personal opinion. Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves; see below. They are not suitable sources for contentious claims about others.

Self-published or questionable sources as sources on themselvesEdit

Self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources of information but should be done with care, usually in articles about themselves or their activities, without the self-published source requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as:

  1. the material is neither unduly self-serving nor an exceptional claim;
  2. it does not involve claims about third parties;
  3. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the source;
  4. there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity;
  5. the article is not based primarily on such sources.

This policy also applies to pages on social networking websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

AccessibilityEdit

Access to sourcesEdit

Some reliable sources may not be easily accessible. For example, an online source may require payment, and a print source may be available only in university libraries or other offline places. Do not reject sources just because they are hard or costly to access. If you have trouble accessing a source, others may be able to do so on your behalf (see WikiProject Resource Exchange). They might be able to assist in getting the information even for this wiki.

Non-English sources Edit

Citing non-English sourcesEdit

Citations to non-English sources are allowed. However, because this is an English-language wiki, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones, whenever English sources of equal quality and relevance are available. As with sources in English, if a dispute arises involving a citation to a non-English source, editors may request that a quotation of relevant portions of the original source be provided, either in text, in a footnote, or on the article talk page.

Quoting non-English sources Edit

When quoting a non-English source (whether in the main text, in a footnote, or on the talk page), a translation into English should always accompany the quote. Translations published by reliable sources are preferred over translations by editors, but translations by editors are preferred over machine translations. When using a machine translation of source material, editors should be reasonably certain that the translation is accurate and the source is appropriate. Editors should not use machine translations of non-English sources in contentious articles or biographies of living people. If needed, ask an editor who can translate it for you.

In articles, the original text is usually included with the translated text when translated by editors, and the translating editor is usually not cited. When quoting any material, whether in English or in some other language, be careful not to violate copyright.

Other issuesEdit

Verifiability does not guarantee inclusionEdit

While information must be verifiable in order to be included in an article, this does not mean that all verifiable information must be included in an article.

Verifiability and other principlesEdit

Copyright and plagiarismEdit

Do not plagiarize or breach copyright when using sources. Summarize source material in your own words as much as possible; when quoting or closely paraphrasing a source use an inline citation, and in-text attribution where appropriate.

Do not link to any source that violates the copyrights of others. You can link to websites that display copyrighted works as long as the website has licensed the work, or uses the work in a way compliant with fair use. Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered contributory copyright infringement. If there is reason to think a source violates copyright, do not cite it. This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates copyright. Note that due to the 100Mb limit in Commons and the uploading of files to the wiki, many publicly available files and videos have been loaded to YouTube.

NotesEdit

  1. This principle was previously expressed on this policy page as "the threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth." .
  2. Once an editor has provided any source that he or she believes, in good faith, to be sufficient, then any editor who later removes the material has an obligation to articulate specific problems that would justify its exclusion from this wiki (e.g., undue emphasis on a minor point, unencyclopedic content, etc.). Any problems with the text or sourcing should be fixed before the material is added back.
  3. It may be that the article contains so few citations that it is impractical to add specific citation needed tags, in which case consider tagging the article with {{unreferenced}}. In the case of a disputed category or on a disambiguation page, consider asking for a citation on the talk page.
  4. When tagging or removing such material, please keep in mind that such edits can be easily misunderstood. Some editors object to others making chronic, frequent, and large-scale deletions of unsourced information, especially if unaccompanied by other efforts to improve the material. Do not concentrate only on material of a particular POV, as that may result in accusations that you are in violation of neutral point of view. Also check to see whether the material is sourced to a citation elsewhere on the page. For all of these reasons, it is advisable to communicate clearly that you have a considered reason to believe that the material in question cannot be verified.
  5. Wales, Jimmy. "Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information", WikiEN-l, May 16, 2006: "I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons."
  6. This includes material such as documents in publicly-accessible archives, inscriptions on monuments, gravestones, etc., that are available for anyone to see.
  7. Please do note that any exceptional claim would require exceptional sources
  8. Sources that may have interests other than professional considerations in the matter being reported are considered to be conflicted sources. Further examples of sources with conflicts of interest include but are not limited to articles by any media group that promote the holding company of the media group or discredit its competitors; news reports by journalists having financial interests in the companies being reported or in their competitors; material (including but not limited to news reports, books, articles and other publications) involved in or struck down by litigation in any country, or released by parties involved in litigation against other involved parties, during, before or after the litigation; and promotional material released through media in the form of paid news reports. For definitions of sources with conflict of interest:
    • The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, Columbia University mentions: "A conflict of interest involves the abuse – actual, apparent, or potential – of the trust that people have in professionals. The simplest working definition states: A conflict of interest is a situation in which financial or other personal considerations have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. An apparent conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the professional's judgment is likely to be compromised. A potential conflict of interest involves a situation that may develop into an actual conflict of interest. It is important to note that a conflict of interest exists whether or not decisions are affected by a personal interest; a conflict of interest implies only the potential for bias, not a likelihood. It is also important to note that a conflict of interest is not considered misconduct in research, since the definition for misconduct is currently limited to fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism."
    • The New York Times Company forwards this understanding: "Conflicts of interest, real or apparent, may arise in many areas. They may involve tensions between journalists' professional obligations to our audience and their relationships with news sources, advocacy groups, advertisers, or competitors; with one another; or with the company or one of its units. And at a time when two-career families are the norm, the civic and professional activities of spouses, household members and other relatives can create conflicts or the appearance of them."

Further readingEdit

  • Wales, Jimmy. "Insist on sources", WikiEN-l, July 19, 2006: "I really want to encourage a much stronger culture which says: it is better to have no information, than to have information like this, with no sources."—referring to a rather unlikely statement about the founders of Google throwing pies at each other.

{{Wikipedia|Wikipedia:Verifiability

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