I think this is just the result of a narrow minded editor.  I've edited plenty of articles that have foreign-language sources - and no one has commented or even thought twice about such things.  Nowadays, with Google Translate, there's no excuse NOT to use foreign language sources.

If the article you're editing is under the aegis of a WikiProject, post on the talk page of the WikiProject and ask others to weigh in.  

Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Librarian, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music & Recorded Sound Division 
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts - Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

On Wed, Dec 8, 2021 at 4:47 PM Riehman-Murphy, Christina <cer20@psu.edu> wrote:
Hi Emily,

This question came my way via a colleague at Penn State who saw it on the same listserv.  Here were my suggestions but I'd love to hear what others think as well.

Christina Riehman-Murphy
Reference & Instruction Librarian
Penn State Abington

Off the top of my head, here are a few options to pass along:

Wikipedia has some built-in mechanisms for resolving and discussing disputes.  The Talk page is the page for an article where editors can discuss their reasons for including something, answer sourcing questions, etc.  There are also guidelines for resolving disputes.  In this case, it sounds like the article has been rejected outright over reliable source guidelines, which are particularly stringent for biographies of living persons (not clear if the fellow chemist is living).

I would suggest that the author review all of those guidelines, and see what can be done to address the concerns and reach out to the Help Desk and a TeaHouse  to get some feedback.  I do not know if the author speaks Russian, but that is also an option - translating the Wikipedia article into Russian and submitting it to Russian Wikipedia.

I know this situation can be very frustrating and certainly Wikipedia does have its problems, but it's worth chatting through these forums to see if there's a way to move forward.

From: Jack, Emily <jack@email.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 4:44 PM
To: Wikimedia & Libraries <libraries@lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: [libraries] Question: using Russian sources on English Wikipedia

Hi all,


This isn’t strictly a libraries question, but I’m sending to this group because I appreciate the brain trust here. If there’s somewhere more appropriate to post this question, please let me know.


A chemistry librarian I know sent this question:


“I am trying to help a professor who has written a biography of a fellow chemist whose original work was in Russian, starting in the 50’s. My profs article has been rejected as not being supported by reliable sources. The journals are reliable sources but they just aren’t in English, apparently a major sticking point. Some may not be available electronically either. Obviously we are looking at the articles and do have access to most in translation and most electronic. Reality remains, as we all know, that some are just not going to be translated nor available easily online. Is this the norm for Wikipedia? One journal they considered non-reliable was Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR. Not exactly an unknown, unreliable source. We can deal with this one but has left me wondering about the rules, who decides what is reliable, etc. Would appreciate any insight and guidance I can get.”


Anyone have insights? I would be grateful!




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