On 12/20/06, zero 0000 <nought_0000(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
Someone who can read music should be able to report
a musical score that it is in E-flat, even though that requires
specialist knowledge. What the policy *should* require
(somehow) is that anyone who can read music will agree that
the score is in E-flat. The fundamental skills of the field
should be assumed, and the policy should reflect that, imo.
Not for all music. There are scores for which it requires more than
trivial music knowledge to know whether it's C major, A minor or
atonal. But I'm quibbling :)
4. Sarah wrote: "We use writers as sources, not
libraries." Nobody suggested libraries. I don't see that
databases are excluded by any existing policy, provided that
the process of extraction of the information from the database
More generally: We can use *anything* as a source. We just have to use
each source for the *right purpose*. You wouldn't use even the most
detailed academic research paper by the most respected researcher on
molecular biology to back up a statement about Pokemon. And it's
perfectly acceptable to use a cheap trashy blog as a source to back up
the statement "as Smith himself wrote...".
So there are no good sources and bad sources - just misuses of sources.
Suppose I have a book about a serial killer, which
lists all the
victims one by one. I think it is perfectly ok to write "all the
victims were women" after looking up each case in the book.
You can cite the book, and even page numbers, so yeah.
It comes under "research that consists of
organizing information from existing primary and/or secondary
sources is, of course, strongly encouraged."(WP:NOR) I can't
see how that is different *in principle* from reporting that all
the articles on a particular subject in a particular database
give the same story about something, provided that that
observation is one that anyone can verify. Of course this
criterion might not always be satisfied, but that shouldn't
eliminate the cases where it is.
All these things are sliding scales. It's easy to objectively say "all
the victims were women". It's just *harder* to objectively say "all
the papers supported notion X". Maybe it's ok. Maybe it isn't.