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Fossil Wiki:Verifiability

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The threshold for inclusion in Fossil Wiki is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Fossil Wiki has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed.

Fossil Wiki:Verifiability is one of Fossil Wiki's core content policies. The others are Fossil Wiki:No original research and Fossil Wiki:Neutral point of view. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Fossil Wiki articles. They should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should familiarize themselves with all three.

Burden of evidenceEdit

For how to write citations, see Fossil Wiki:Citing sources

The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. The source cited must clearly support the information as it is presented in the article.[nb 1] The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question. Editors should cite sources fully, providing as much publication information as possible, including page numbers when citing books.

If no reliable, third-party sources can be found for an article topic, Fossil Wiki should not have an article on it.

Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but editors might object if you remove material without giving them sufficient time to provide references, and it has always been good practice, and expected behavior of Fossil Wiki editors (in line with our editing policy), to make reasonable efforts to find sources oneself that support such material, and cite them.

If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, consider tagging a sentence by adding the {{fact}} template, a section with {{reference}}, or the article with {{reference}}. Alternatively, you may leave a note on the talk page requesting a source, or you may move the material to the talk page.

SourcesEdit

Reliable sourcesEdit

Articles should be based upon reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Reliable sources are necessary both to substantiate material within articles and to give credit to authors and publishers in order to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations. Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article and should be appropriate to the claims made: exceptional claims require high-quality sources.

In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. Electronic media may also be used. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work, the more reliable the source is.

Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine and science. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used in these areas, particularly if they are respected mainstream publications. The appropriateness of any source always depends on the context. Where there is disagreement between sources, their views should be clearly attributed in the text.

For a guideline discussing the reliability of particular types of sources, see Fossil Wiki:Reliable sources. Because policies take precedence over guidelines, in the case of an inconsistency between this page and that one, this page has priority, and FW:RS should be updated accordingly.

All articles must adhere to Fossil Wiki's neutrality policy, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view. Tiny-minority views and fringe theories need not be included, except in articles devoted to them.

Questionable sourcesEdit

Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves. Questionable sources are generally unsuitable as a basis for citing contentious claims about third parties.

Self-published sources (online and paper)Edit

Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media, whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, Internet forum postings, tweets etc., are largely not acceptable.

Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so.

Self-published and questionable sources as sources on themselvesEdit

Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as:

  1. the material is not unduly self-serving;
  2. it does not involve claims about third parties;
  3. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject;
  4. there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity;
  5. the article is not based primarily on such sources.

Exceptional claims require exceptional sourcesEdit

Certain red flags should prompt editors to examine the sources for a given claim:

  • surprising or apparently important claims not covered by mainstream sources;
  • reports of a statement by someone that seems out of character, embarrassing, controversial, or against an interest they had previously defended;
  • claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or which would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living persons. This is especially true when proponents consider that there is a conspiracy to silence them.

Exceptional claims in Fossil Wiki require high-quality sources. If such sources are not available, the material should not be included.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ When there is dispute about whether the article text is fully supported by the given source, direct quotes from the source and any other details requested should be provided as a courtesy to substantiate the reference.


Fossil Wiki policies and guidelines
Assume good faith  • Attribution  • Be Bold  • Creationism  • Naming conventions  • No angry mastodons  • Neutral point of view  • Notability  • References  • Sourcing  • Verifiability

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