Sunday, May 29, 2016

#Wikipedia #citations - LibraryBase

The general idea is that if Wikipedia articles are to be believed, citations ensure the quality of the statements made. The quality of the sources is therefore important. When a specific publication has a problem, a problem like reproducibility or a known conflict of interest of the author or the organisation he stands for, it follows that the publication as a source becomes problematic.

The problem with sources in Wikipedia is that like all the rest they are buried in the articles. As sources are typically known in the text through templates, it becomes possible to harvest all this and put it in a database. When things get into a database it becomes possible to analyse the data and find the authors that are problematic, refer back to the articles and remedy the inherent conflict in the article.

Take Mr Ray Hilborn for instance. He is under attack for his conflict of interest by Greenpeace. Consequently his POV needs to be collaborated by independent sources and all his science is suspect. It is wonderful to harvest all the data about sources from all the Wikipedias but there is no point to it when it does not lead to something useful.

There is a lot of money going around to confuse issues and serve specific interests. When sources are available to us all, it becomes possible to mark publications for the quality that they have. When sources are not reproducible, it follows that you can not build arguments on top of those. It then becomes possible to consider basic stuff and no longer confuse a Neutral Point of View with what is patently false.

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