Philip Welch wrote:
On Apr 23, 2006, at 4:21 PM, Steve Block wrote:
I had a bash at creating a proposal which would
define notability on
wikipedia as meaning that an article or topic is mentioned in a third
party reliable source.
I can provide multiple third party reliable sources as evidence that
there is a four way stop on the intersection between Merman Drive and
Terre View Drive in Pullman, Washington. Does that mean that
aforementioned four way stop is worthy of mention in Wikipedia?
What this guideline is trying to do is define notability within the
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.
If there are no outside sources, how do we write an encyclopedic article
on the topic, how do we quantify the value of the topic, without
breaking the original research policy? Yes, I could write an article on
my street, for which verifiability exists in many sources, as do the
businesses and houses upon it. I could detail, through land registry
searches, phone books and electoral rolls, the history of the street.
But this violates original research; I have compiled a new narrative. I
have summarised something which does not actually exist, and for someone
to verify it they would have to repeat the research. Jimbo prescribed
against this way back, stating that something is encyclopedic if "it is
information which is verifiable and which can be easily presented in an
Verifiability, NOR and NPOV do not mean we can write articles on topics
we happen to feel should have them, they mean we should write articles
on topics for which we have good sources, the summation of which do not
amount to the original research through creating a novel narrative, and
which does not impart greater weight to the topic than exists in the
wider world, represented by the reliable sources we seek.
If we source only from the primary source, the topic itself, we cannot
do anything but present information from a biased point of view. Yes, it
is disappointing that there exists categories of information for which
Wikipedia would be a wonderful repository, but for which no other
sources exist for us to summate. However, that cannot be something we
should seek to remedy. Wikipedia is not a place for original research.
To me, that means Wikipedia cannot be a place to make claims of
importance for any topic. Such claims should already be established
within reliable sources, before we can attempt to document them. It is
unfortunate that closers in afd discussions are not mindful of this, but
it is the case that Wikipedia is a tertiary source. Wikipedia is not a
repository for primary research.
So is your four way stop worthy of an article? On the strength of your
description, I would say no, because you are imparting undue weight to
it by creating such an article, you are presenting information for your
own point of view rather than summarising someone else's, and if the
article states only that four way stop on the intersection between
Merman Drive and Terre View Drive in Pullman, Washington then I'd
consider speedying it per A1.
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