On Mon, 30 Jan 2006, Matt Brown wrote:
On 1/30/06, Steve Bennett <stevage(a)gmail.com>
Well, I did keep the list. I'll keep my
reasons for not following your
suggestion to myself, to avoid offending anyone. Presumably you would
like me to email the list to you so you can carry out this work? If
you're impatient, feel free to start hitting that "random article"
button - you'll find lots more like I did.
I think you misunderstood Guettarda - he didn't mean improving the
list of random articles you created, he meant that each of us should
check all the articles we've created (or significantly rewritten, I'd
add) and ensure that they are up to modern referencing standards.
Er, what is this "modern referencing standards" you are talking about?
Is this some new thing that was voted on & made policy without much
fanfare, or are you referring to some academic standard like the _MLA
Handbook_? If it is the later, I can show you many examples of
unsatisfactory referencing in modern publications, & excellent examples
in older publications. If it is the former, I need to point out that in
the last month I have encountered a wide variety of opinions from other
Wikipedians on how this should be done to conclude that most believe
that "proper referencing standards" is another way of saying "this is
how I think it should be done".
(As for me, I like footnotes & use them when in doubt. But I won't
footnote a statement if it is reasonably close to the section I have
just footnoted, & try not to overuse them. And I wish the MLA hadn't
deprecated the use of "ibid." & "op. cit.")
After all, if you created the article, you probably know where to look
to reference it. Many of us created articles "back in the day" before
strict referencing was being encouraged as strongly as it is now, and
they could probably do with some work.
For the first couple of years I contributed to Wikipedia (up to about
the time David Gerard came on board) I was more concerned with avoiding
copyright infringements than proper research & reference practices.
(For example, if pressed about some of the material I contributed to
the Classical & Roman Empire topics, I doubt I could do much more than to
point at some of the standard references like the Oxford Classical
Dictionary or some other books on my shelves & say "I think it came from
somewhere in there.") I know I'm not the only person who did this:
I remember encountering the hundreds of mythology-related articles that
Tuff-Kat added in those days, & wondering which PD encyclopedia he had
copied the information out of. (Not to pick on Tuf-Kat; AFAICS, all of
that material looked reliable. And I could mention other, less salubrious
examples of material copied into Wikipedia from those days.)