[WikiEN-l] Verifiability equating to notability

Anthony DiPierro wikilegal at inbox.org
Mon May 1 11:31:19 UTC 2006

On 4/30/06, Steve Block <steve.block at myrealbox.com> wrote:
> 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
> verifiability chain.
> 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.
I've always considered NOR to be *part of* the verifiability rules. 
It is a description of what sources count toward verifiability.  For
that matter, both rules are really an explanation of what NPOV means -
"assert facts, including facts about opinions — but don't assert
opinions themselves".  NOR and V go on to describe what is meant by

I guess what I'm saying is you can't really eliminate any of those
three rules without significantly affecting the interpretation of the
other one, or to quote NPOV: "Because the three policies are
complementary, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one
other, and editors should therefore try to familiarize themselves with
all three."

> 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.
I don't see how V, NOR, and NPOV imply that we should not impart
greater weight to a topic than exists in the wider world.  For that
matter I don't even understand what that means.

> 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.
To this point I still can't really figure out what you're trying to
say.  That paragraph above is pretty much indisputable.

> 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.
I'd say it needs to be expanded if that's all it says.  Using those
secondary sources provided by the person adding the information I'm
sure you could come up with a nice little article on the subsection of
Pullman where the street is located, or maybe on [[Streets and
intersections in Pullman, Washington]], or something like that.  Right
now it's far too hypothetical, so I don't know exactly what the best
solution would be, though.

But as I pointed out when the comment was first made, it's not clear
whether or not the four-way stop on that intersection is verifiable
without resorting to original research.  It might be, and it might not
be.  It would, of course, be the job of the person adding the
information to show that it is.

Speedy deletion of such true information doesn't make any sense to me
though.  At the least move the information into the talk page of the
Pullman, Washington article, please.


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