Imho the problem is much deeper than citing sources or lack of them.
The wikipedian may cite newspaper X, or even researchpaper Y, but
because he has limited inderstanding and/or knowledge about the field,
he may misinterpret the source or judge its weight in much more
absolute terms than the real expert does.
Errors may be very subtle. I have seen an edit war between a
wikipedian and an expert, where the admin protected the incorrect
version of the wikipedian against the changes made by the expert.
Motive of the admin: the changes mthis guy makes are not in wikipedia
style. And if he thinks there are any errors he should point them
out. The expert was fed up with the situation.
Sad but true.
Having some basic knowledge of the subject, I was able to spot two of
the five errors introduced by "rewriting the text so that it is easier
to read", the other three are probably still there.
On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 9:14 PM, <WJhonson(a)aol.com> wrote:
In a message dated 9/20/2010 12:02:43 PM Pacific
In my experience
the problem of humanities in Wikipedia is that the methods and training of
the 'experts' is so fundamentally different from that of 'Wikipedians'
by and large have no training at all) that disputes nearly always turn
You are again stating the problem as expert vs pedestrian (untrained at
However I again submit that in Wikipedia, you are not an "expert" because
you have a credential, you are an expert because you behave like an expert.
When challenged to provide a source, you cite your source and other readers
find, that it does actually state what you claim it states.
However it seems to me that you'd perhaps like experts to be able to make
unchallengeable claims without sources.
If I'm wrong in that last sentence, then tell me why being an expert is any
different than being any editor at all.
What is the actual procedure by which, when an expert edits, we see
something different than when anyone edits.
I can read a book on the History of the Fourth Crusade, and adds quotes to
our articles on the persons and events, just as well as an expert in that
The problem comes, imho, when "experts" add claims that are unsourced, and
when challenged on them, get uppity about it.
The issue is not uncited claims, or challenged claims. All of our articles
have uncited claims and many have challenged and yet-unfulfilled claims.
The issue is how you are proposing these should be treated differently if the
claim comes from an "expert" versus a "non-expert", isn't it?
So address that.
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