[WikiEN-l] Age fabrication and original research

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Fri Oct 2 00:17:21 UTC 2009

On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 7:58 PM, James Hare <messedrocker at gmail.com> wrote:

> You could phrase it like this:
> "The SSDI says 1904[source] while all these other publications say
> 1918[source]." Or you could discredit the reliability of the sources (which
> would be the right thing to do, since the SSDI is not likely to get birth
> dates wrong) and just say "Dixon was born in 1904.[source]"

SSDI might very well be wrong.  It's worth mentioning, but shouldn't be
taken as definitive.

And it's not a primary source.  "In historiography, a primary source (also
called original source) is a document, recording, artifact, or other source
of information that was created at the time under study, usually by a source
with direct personal knowledge of the events being described." Social
security didn't even exist in 1904, so clearly this information was not
created in 1904.

And primary sources aren't banned under OR.  "Primary sources that have been
reliably published (for example, by a university press or mainstream
newspaper) may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy
to misuse them."  There's nothing interpretive about this use.

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