This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result of the debate was for the amended proposal. - Sikon 07:19, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
One of the major problems Wookieepedia faces today is credibility. Anyone can edit a wiki, and this draws major criticism from several holds. Worst of all are the wiki bashers; people who, upon seeing Wookieepedia mentioned, will leap into a discussion and state how "Wookieepedia is useless as a resource." I'm sick of that, and I propose we do something about it: Revamp our whole sourcing system. We should switch to a more Wikipedia-like system, adopting footnotes as the proper way to source. With footnotes, we are able to cite specific pages in books, comics, and the like (Exact time in movies and TV shows). Sure, it looks less visually appealing, but it is much more academic and professional, and will silence the wiki bashers if handled well. To summarize:
Switch to a footnote system allowing specific citations
Less visually appealing, more professional
Helps boost credibility.
A hastily put-together example of the proposed system can be found here. —Imp 18:36, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Weak support. In favor of citing sources, but differing page numbers between editions can cause problems. In addition to page numbers, chapters and sub-sections should also be included in the citation to allow users who have a differing edition (hardcover, paperback) to ensure accuracy. Simply citing a book without pointing out some sort of guidepost within it is bound to cause problems. For example, Aerospace Engineers, Incorporated states that the subject of the article was the "manufacturer of IRC-A fighter steering vanes" and gives two sources. In neither of those sources was I able to verify this and I'm hesitant to delete the possibly erroneous information because there may have been something that I missed skimming through both sources. Ultimately while I favor a somewhat mellowed-out version of it, support the original proposal (weakly) because for all its problems, it stands a better chance of ensuring accuracy than the amended proposal below. Muuuuuurgh 17:44, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
For a few reasons...1) Visually unappealing, which you've noted...2) It just means that people will make up page numbers, so we'll still have to check everything...3) Just try sourcing articles like Anakin Skywalker like this...4) We use something similar over on the Stargate wiki and, even when there's only episodes that need referenced, it still causes so much work that I don't edit there much...5) New users won't know about it (they don't even know about the Appearances and Sources sections sometimes) and so won't use it, leading to almost all new users edits being reverted. —Jaymach Ral'Tir (talk) 20:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
No. Very unsavory to look at, and distracts me from the IU of the article. It's like... I'm reading someone's story and then suddenly they have a random fourth-wall break.---VladiusMagnum(Clan Magnum) 22:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Interferes with IU flow. Hold up the fourth wall within the article itself. If anything, expand the sections on the Appearances and References. For obvious stuff seen in the movies, should we need to do this? -- Riffsyphon1024 11:49, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I really don't think we need this. If we ever need to confirm something with a source, we bring it up on a talk page and there is always someone here who can check it. If it's fanon, we get rid of it. The system works just fine. -- Ozzel 03:46, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
For amended proposal
I'd suggest something similar, but less rigourous. I think it's a bit too much work to get, for example, the time at which a character appears in The Star Wars Holiday Special. Also, several books have been reprinted with varying page numbers: which printing do we have to use?
If we say no to page numbers, there may not be a point in footnotes for articles with only one source/appearance. Thus, I'd suggest:
Only the source needs to be given: the page number/time code/game level/etc. can be omitted.
No footnotes are needed for articles with only one source/appearance.
While we're phasing it in, we shouldn't jump down new users' throats for failing to footnote their articles, especially if they list a source according to our old standards.
We'd need detailed citations for all future "good" and "featured" articles, but sourcing all of our current articles will be expected to take some time: this isn't an addition to the policy, just something we'd have to bear in mind. —Silly Dan(talk) 22:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we really need this. --Azizlight 06:39, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure we should be forgoing page numbers, but until we can think of a satisfactory manner of citing which book they come from, this will have to do. jSarek 08:35, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Comment: Sorry, I'm dead set against requiring page numbers, except in cases where no one believes a citation for some specific contentious fact and the exact sentence needs to be quoted on a talk page or something. 8) —Silly Dan(talk) 01:32, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Going over all existing articles will take forever and be an immense pain in the choobies, so we'll need to be very forgiving during the phase-in--especially when it comes to new/casual users. I mean, a sourced but unfootnoted article is still valid and is preferable to no article at all.--Valin Kenobi 09:11, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Page numbers would never work here. I do like this idea though. Sionay 17:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I think page numbers are a bit excessive; I usually just want to know roughly where it's from. But I'm all for this practice. --GenkiNeko 20:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The ammended policy is fine with me. Not asking too much. -Fnlayson 21:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm for this. It would certainly help to make it more professional, and would probably help to root out fanon and the like. Though I also think that requiring the page number or especially the exact time in a movie would be excessive. I would think simply the actual source would be enough. Kaje 02:50, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
It may look odd, but I'm for it. JorrelFraajic 20:29, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I've actually used references on some pages before. I presume that for the statement "Luke blew up the Death Star," we would just use one footnote, like Episode IV. However, what would we do to determine the proper source, since many sources tell of him blowing it up? Use the first published, with movies taking precedence? --Xwing328(Talk) 20:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds good. --Imp 20:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
That is a horrid example if I must say. Who is going to question that Luke blew up the Death Star? ;) -- Riffsyphon1024 11:46, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
How do you propose we handle articles for which there is only one source? —Silly Dan(talk) 20:26, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
By citing individual pages in that source. --Imp 20:50, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I see. In that case, I'll suggest an amended proposal (see above). —Silly Dan(talk) 22:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the problem with page numbers could be alleviated somewhat if the chapter or subsection of the referenced work is included in the footnote (perhaps along with the page number). It is less accurate, but from my experience, chapters appear to rarely changes between editions.--Muuuuuurgh 19:33, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Might be a better compromise than the page numbers. (It would be extended to issue numbers for comic collections, too, I suppose.) —Silly Dan(talk) 19:38, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
If we do go the page-numbers route (which I'm not entirely convinced won't be more hassle than it's worth), it should be in the currently available printing or latest edition--which normally would be the paperback instead of the hardcover. No sense citing hardcover pages in, say, the Children of the Jedi hc that hasn't been in stores for a decade--whereas you can waltz right down to Barnes & Noble and pick up the ppb.--Valin Kenobi 09:18, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I tested out another page with the references: Asyyyriak. This one gives an example of how a multiple-referenced work can be used. —Xwing328(Talk) 15:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd rather include page numbers if possible, and also a note as to the version; okay, it might get a bit messy, but at least it would allow for precise referencing, rather than a vague "it's in this book, somewhere" note - \\Captain Kwenn//— Ahoy! 21:08, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think page numbers are necessary, but I am curious why all the numbers are the same? Atarumaster88(Audience Chamber) 04:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
While we're at it...
The terms "Appearances" and "Sources" still cause confusion among some users, or don't actually make much sense. Should we make up new unambiguous terms, to make the purpose of these sections more obvious? Eg. "In-Universe references" and "Out-of-Universe references". Not a great example, but I can't think of anything better at the moment. While this may seem like a daunting task, it would be fairly easy to achieve with bots. --Azizlight 06:56, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
How about merging "Sources" into the "Appearances" section as a subsection titled "Reference books"? --Imp 06:57, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, yeah that could work. Or call it "Reference materials", to include sources like the SWCCG and the Databank. --Azizlight 07:04, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Hit am edit conflict there. I think renaming Sources to 'Reference materials' or 'Reference something' would fine. Leave Appearances as is. -Fnlayson 07:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Or 'Reference sources'.--Valin Kenobi 09:05, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
So we can't make Sources anymore apparent for our new users? If any change is made, then Sources can be changed to References, but DO NOT change Appearances, as they signify in-universe "appearances", something I'm quite proud of that has stood up. I do hope your bot can take the pressure of this change. -- Riffsyphon1024 11:45, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Let me ask again . . . WHY do we have two separate sections? Why don't we just have a single Sources section instead of constantly trying to figure if something is a source or appearance? jSarek 12:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Those are IU and OOU seperations, for the most part. And I wouldn't recommend changing "Sources" to "References" becuase the references tags are supposed to go under "References" using <references/> —Xwing328(Talk) 14:35, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, simply make "Sources" a subsection of "Appearances." --Imp 15:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
This is part of my thoughts as to why we should do this: "With articles that have lots of [appearances], it can become hard to see after a while exactly which sources have been used.... A References section, which contains only citations, helps readers to see at a glance the quality of the references used." —Wikipedia:Citing sources—Xwing328(Talk) 14:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
As mentioned above, "Appearances" is IU and "Sources" is OOU. I'd prefer to keep them separate, as they are two separate things. Also, the way they are sorted would present problems, and should not be altered anyway - \\Captain Kwenn//— Ahoy! 21:08, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
A few additional thoughts
1) We don't need to do footnotes - we can use a similar alternate text citation system currently in use for quotes. This might improve the overall appearance and make adding information to long articles easier by allowing for section editing. 2) If we don't use that method, might we want to break up the notes by placing them at the end each section rather than in a giant lump at the end of the article? 3) If citing sources of any sort goes through, and we have the technical knowledge/capability to do so, we should have a topmost banner on every page (much like the one Wikipedia recently had regarding fund drives) announcing the change for a few weeks. This would be the biggest change to our policies since we started requiring sources in the first place, and should be widely visible both to new editors and skeptical readers. jSarek 19:54, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
We could always use the "hide" or scrollbox feature to reduce the size of the "lump" at the end of articles. --Imp 01:21, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't help someone who's looking for a particular note and pouring over the list to find it, whereas including them at the end of a section would, giving them a smaller list to look through. Anyway, it's just a thought, admittedly partly for selfish reasons - I use the "edit section" feature a lot, and not having to edit an article twice or edit the whole article in order to include the notes has some appeal. jSarek 04:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Whenever you add the ref tags, it automatically adds it to the references section. In order to see what source the thing is using, you just click the superscripted number. —Xwing328(Talk) 04:30, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Good to know; that'd make it a lot easier and assuages my own selfish concerns. Still, the alternatives I mentioned might still be worth considering on their own merits. At any rate, we need more votes on this whole thing; this is a big enough and important enough change that I'd like to see two or three times as many people voting on it, one way or the other. jSarek 07:17, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
It would also be useful to include refs on Year articles, especially since it's easy for those dates to be altered or vandalized. It'd also cut down on a lot of backtracking to reach the source of said dates - \\Captain Kwenn//— Ahoy! 11:52, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. EVERY article should be referenced. jSarek 21:43, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Does this look OK in terms of refs? I only added one ref tag for all the deaths that occur in Noob, and one for Broken, located at the end of each respective list, as it were. Is that clear enough, or do we need refs on each line? - \\Captain Kwenn//— Ahoy! 20:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Looks pretty good to me. jSarek 03:35, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
When referencing Hoth (Jedi), I had to do a list of students he had trained here. You can see my solution there: should we go that way, with a reference for each part in a list, or cram all the footnotes at the end of the sentence? - Lord Hydronium 03:23, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new thread.
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