[Foundation-l] Has Wikipedia changed since 2005?

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 5 11:01:50 UTC 2010

> > It's very distracting, and completely unnecessary.
> There are ways of
> > bundling citations into one footnote at the end of
> each paragraph,
> > while still making clear which citation supports which
> words. But it's
> It doesn't distract me at all, 

Me neither. As a reader, I find it confidence-inspiring; as an editor, I find it helpful.

> and I am not aware of any effective ways 
> of bundling citations at paragraphs' ends.

Me neither. Bundled end-of-paragraph references have several distinct drawbacks: 

1. Wikipedia is a collaborative project. If another editor subsequently inserts an unsourced sentence in the middle of the paragraph, it becomes hard to recognise this sentence as unsourced, and remove it. An editor would need to have access to all the sources bundled at the end of the paragraph to be sure that the sentence is, in fact, unsourced.

2. If another editor inserts a sentence cited to a different source in the middle of the paragraph, and adds an in-line citation to it, the beginning of the paragraph becomes separated from the bundled end-of-paragraph reference that verifies it. So the beginning of the paragraph will appear either unsourced, or people will think it too belongs to the new in-paragraph reference. As that is not the reference it comes from, it will fail verification and may end up being removed.

3. If another editor splits a paragraph in two because of its length, this results in an apparently unsourced paragraph.

4. If an editor cuts a passage and pastes it to a different place in the article, it will end up looking unsourced, and will be unverifiable.

If the original author edits daily, and keeps a close watch on the article, those drawbacks can be minimised, but generally speaking, it is a big "if".



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