It's dangerous to apply the notion of "original research" too literally
outside of its original context (dealing with crackpot theories, or simply
novel ones, student essays, and so on). Beyond that context, I'm not
literalistic, and I don't need a lot of guidlines. I think I know it when I
see it, and I think I know what is not intended to be covered by the
expression when I see it, even if it could be brought under the literal
description that is used. Common sense has to prevail, I think, which is why
we have all these processes involving shared community perceptions.
An example of something that is probably NOT "original research": "Bloggs
has approvingly cited the work of Derrida to attack the philosophy of
bohemian snarkism. According to Bloggs, it is all 'words, words, words.'
<reference, Joe Bloggs, Anti-Snark, p. 300>"
An example of something that certainly IS original research: "Bloggs, who
has attacked the philosophy of bohemian snarkism, could have found further
support for his view by applying certain claims famously made by Derrida.
<reference, Jacques Derrida, Words/ Words/ Words, p. 300>"
We all make these kinds of distinctions reasonably confidently, don't we?
When in doubt, at the margins, we do indeed want to call on our collective
wisdom. The process seems straightforward enough to me, though I suppose I
might change my mind if I got caught in an edit war over it.
As for notability, I'm not sure I properly understand the argument. It seems
to me that we have a (loose and largely unofficial) body of criteria to
apply to decide whether or not something is notable. We don't apply novel
theories, we just find the facts and apply the criteria. The facts should be
publicly available ones. The criteria themselves get clarified and developed
from case to case, with commonsense input from the community to resolve
doubts in individual hard cases. That seems like the right way to go about
it to me. I'm not sure whether I'm in disagreement with anyone here or not,
but it just doesn't seem all that complicated at my end.
Russell Blackford (a.k.a. Metamagician3000)
----- Original Message -----
From: "charles matthews" <charles.r.matthews(a)ntlworld.com>
To: "English Wikipedia" <wikien-l(a)Wikipedia.org>
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 7:35 PM
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Verifiability equating to notability
"Steve Block" wrote
It attempts to close the door on the possibility
of allowing wikipedians
to decide what is and isn't notable, something I believe is against both
the original research and POV policies. We should seek to summarise
claims of importance, where those claims are verifiable.
Err ... why? This may be what we resort to in some cases (garage bands).
But it is a bad idea in other cases (e.g. academics). And I think we all
should be allowed to express opinions on notability. In some areas, for
example the arts, poetry, if you go by tallying up awards and honours and
suchlike 'objective' credits, you will only reproduce the contours of the
'academic art' of the time. Thus missing what is coming up, for example.
Further, there could hardly be a better example of how 'original
launched by Jimbo as a way to deal with crank theories, has been spandexed
as an argument.