[WikiEN-l] Citationgate: expertise and verifiability

Nyenyec N nyenyec at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 04:07:53 UTC 2006

On 9/29/06, Mak <makwik at gmail.com> wrote:

> Inline citations have now been added to Dido and Aeneas, easily enough
> (there are no page numbers given, because Grove online doesn't have page
> numbers, and this particular article is short enough to not have
> sub-sections). The point is that if reasonable references are given, inline
> citations should not be necessary for uncontroversial facts. If you look at
> actual encyclopedias, you will notice that they don't have inline
> references, especially for generally accepted facts.

That's true, but is also misleading.
You don't see those references in the *end product*.

But encyclopedia's do check the sources of their statements. I highly
recommend that you listen to this:

Validation on Wikipedia: How do I know this article is accurate?

1) An expert writes an article.
2) A fact checker checks *every statement* in the article from at
least 2 reliable sources and documents all of them on a newspaper
sized sheet where the article text is in the middle of the sheet and
the rest contains the references, annotations, recommended changes.
All this material is kept for later editors. (Forward to 27:00 in the

Yet, the reader doesn't see all those inline references in the end
product. But they can trust that this validation does happen
throughout the editing process.
A Wikipedia reader doesn't have that luxury, they can't tell apart
checked facts and sneaky vandalism inserted 2 minutes ago.

Inline references are very important. Much more important for
Wikipedia than the published version of a traditional encyclopedia.

-- nyenyec

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