Proposal talk:Every piece of information in Wikipedia should be cited

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Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 01:10, 4 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Really, I'm asking for more attention to be paid to the part of the First Pillar that says "Content should be verified with citations to reliable sources." This proposal will make Wikipedia a more useful and reliable source of information. Users who want more detailed information, or a primary source instead of a secondary or tertiary one, will easily be able to find what they need. Users will not be left wondering why some unsourced piece of questionable information was included in the encyclopedia. Students who come to Wikipedia looking to do research for some assignment will find many published sources that will help them in their research. Gary2863 17:42, 7 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree we should do better than we currently do on the English Wikipedia, but I'd be concerned about moving from our current policy of verifiable to a policy of verified. I think the Germans have got a system which prompts editors to give a source for their edit, and if the Germans tell us that it works well then I'd be happy to see that implemented on English and many other pedias. But I don't agree that we should shift to a literal policy of every fact must be verified for several reasons:
  1. If somebody states in an article that Barack Obama is President of the USA or that pigs are mammals we should not change our current policy to say that such an uncontentious widely known fact needs to be verified. Contentious information needs to be sourced and any unsourced statement can be challenged, but some stuff is so uncontentious we would look silly if we insisted on it being cited.
  2. Overciting affects readability and becomes irritating for those article readers who are checking every cite.
  3. This is the encyclopaedia that anyone can edit - requiring a citation for literally every fact will drive some editors away.
  4. different language pedias are at different stages in their growth cycles. For a pedia that currently has only a few thousand articles it is surely more important to have editors complete such low hanging fruit as "The city of Paris is the capital of France, it is situated on the banks of the river Seine." rather than source all five facts in that sentence.

WereSpielChequers 23:19, 8 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I agree in the big picture aspect that we should cite as much as possible. Obviously we don't need to cite that the Earth is round although some fanatics disagree. Anything which may be opposed by a significant number of people should have a citation or it shouldn't be presented.

This proposal is relevant because, while sourcing is of the utmost concern, the sourcing templates are rather difficult to use (especially for newbie editors). Wikipedia should remain strict about sourcing, yet it should open itself up more for new editors. Perhaps an prominently placed "CITE" button should be added to the interface, as well as a warning to use it on the edit page, perhaps near the warning to abide by copyright laws. Themfromspace 03:15, 12 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

By requiring everything be cited you -

  1. Reduce readability, citation tags are exceptionally annoying to view in extreme numbers. Almost as annoying as a field of citation needed tags next to blatantly self evident facts. The sky is blue
  2. Summarily eliminate a vast swathe of your potential contributors. Requiring citations puts the amount of effort required to contribute well above what most are willing or able to do.
  3. Summarily eliminate vast swathes of information. Some information is simply not citable which does not in and of itself decrease its value in any way. By declaring such information irrelevant then Wikipedia becomes irrelevant to any niche, developing, or swiftly evolving entity ie. a good chunk of the internet.
  4. Make Wikipedia completely beholden to traditional media. Since nothing would be able to be on Wikipedia without citation and all citations have to come from existing publications you're essentially abdicating any and all authority to established sources. That to me seems to go against what Wikipedia should be about.

-- 18:10, 23 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Readibility issues can be fixed by technology; simply hide the numbers and add a button that can be clicked to show them or a tool that allows one to click on a sentence and it'll show the sources. - Simeon 21:31, 2 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

The dilemma is that how we handle Verifiability because it is a Critical issue on whatever people are joining or leaving Wikipedia. There are ongoing discussions on that subject on both Community Health and Wikipedia Quality Task forces. Most likely some recommendations will aim for minimum level of verifiability with more guidances on the sourcing and more users friendly editing tools. Wanting every sentence sourced = putting a dagger under the throat of new editors which i think isn't very welcoming. Another point not raised by the Ip editors is Wanting every sentence sourced will increase systemic bias because people would focus on the easier articles to source those with sources in their language and dropping completely stuff not in their languages or not in English because writing those one will be a beating to source every sentence. --KrebMarkt 22:59, 2 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]