Thursday, November 30, 2023
From the WireSTEM

Why aren’t they in Wikipedia? [Interesting]

Have you ever wondered why some notable individuals or subjects are missing from Wikipedia? It seems that Dr. Wade, a lecturer in physics from London, is questioning this as well. In a recent article from The Guardian, Dr. Wade’s research on academia, knowledge, and high school education is highlighted. The article explores the issue of notability and how it can be subjective when determining who should have a Wikipedia page. It brings attention to the potential limitations of relying solely on mainstream metrics for determining what is considered “notable.” Dr. Wade’s perspective sheds light on the complexity of the “notability question” and raises interesting points for consideration.

Table of Contents

Reasons for Not Being in Wikipedia

Why arent they in Wikipedia? [Interesting]

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Lack of Notability

Notability is a crucial criterion for a subject to be included in Wikipedia. The platform aims to document topics that have significant importance or influence in the world. While the definition of notability may seem subjective, Wikipedia has established specific guidelines to determine whether a subject meets the threshold. These guidelines help maintain the credibility and quality of information on the platform.

Lack of Reliable Sources

Wikipedia values the use of reliable sources to ensure the accuracy and verifiability of information. Reliable sources, such as academic journals, books, reputable websites, and newspapers or magazines, play a fundamental role in building trustworthy articles. Without sufficient reliable sources to support the claims made in an article, it becomes challenging for the subject to be included in Wikipedia.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest is another factor that can prevent a subject from being included in Wikipedia. Wikipedia aims to provide objective and unbiased information to its users. When individuals or organizations have a personal or financial interest in promoting a particular subject, it can compromise the neutrality and reliability of the article. To maintain the integrity of Wikipedia, contributors are encouraged to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and take necessary steps to avoid bias or promotion.

Copyright Violation

Copyright violation is strictly prohibited on Wikipedia. The platform respects intellectual property rights and expects all contributors to adhere to copyright laws. Including content that infringes upon copyright can result in the removal of the article or legal consequences. To avoid copyright violation, contributors are encouraged to use free and openly licensed content or abide by the principles of fair use.

Incomplete or Biased Information

Wikipedia strives to provide comprehensive and unbiased information on a wide range of subjects. Incomplete or biased information can hinder the inclusion of a subject in Wikipedia. The platform has established criteria for the inclusion of relevant information and emphasizes the importance of maintaining objectivity and a neutral point of view. Addressing biases and controversies helps ensure that the information presented is accurate and balanced.

Spam or Advertising

Wikipedia has strict policies against spam and advertising. The platform is not intended to be used as a promotional tool for individuals, organizations, or products. Articles that are perceived as spam or advertisement-focused are typically removed. Wikipedia encourages contributors to focus on providing valuable and objective information rather than engaging in self-promotion or promotion of external entities.

Vandalism or Abuse

Vandalism and abuse are serious offenses on Wikipedia. The platform relies on the collective efforts of volunteers to maintain the quality of its content. Vandalism includes acts such as intentionally adding false information, removing valid content, or engaging in disruptive behavior. A subject associated with vandalism or abuse is unlikely to be included in Wikipedia. The platform has mechanisms in place to detect and revert vandalism, and users engaging in such activities may face consequences such as being blocked or banned.

Undue Weight Given

Wikipedia emphasizes maintaining balance and avoiding biases in article content. Giving undue weight to a particular aspect or viewpoint can distort the information presented. Wikipedia has guidelines to help contributors assess the weight and significance of different aspects when constructing an article. Failing to adhere to these guidelines may result in an article not meeting the platform’s standards and guidelines.

Not Meeting Wikipedia’s Guidelines

Wikipedia has established guidelines to ensure the quality and integrity of its content. These guidelines cover various aspects such as notability, reliable sources, neutrality, and copyright compliance. If a subject or article fails to meet these guidelines, it may not be included in Wikipedia. Understanding and adhering to these guidelines is crucial for contributing to the platform effectively.

Language Barrier

Language barrier can be a limiting factor in the inclusion of a subject in Wikipedia. While Wikipedia is available in numerous languages, contributors are primarily English-speaking. This language barrier can make it challenging to find comprehensive and reliable information in languages other than English. However, Wikipedia encourages multilingual contributions and provides resources such as translation and transcription services to bridge this gap and expand its coverage of non-English content.

Lack of Notability

Definition of Notability in Wikipedia

In Wikipedia, notability refers to the requirement for a topic or subject to have significant importance or influence to be included on the platform. Notability can be subjective, but Wikipedia has established guidelines and criteria to determine whether a subject meets the threshold.

Criteria for Determining Notability

To determine notability, Wikipedia considers various factors, including the depth and breadth of coverage in independent reliable sources, the subject’s achievements or significance in a particular field or industry, and evidence of widespread coverage or recognition beyond local or limited contexts. These criteria help maintain consistent standards for including noteworthy topics on the platform.

Subject’s Achievements or Significance

One aspect that contributes to the notability of a subject is its achievements or significance. Topics that have made significant contributions to their respective fields, achieved notable milestones or breakthroughs, or have a substantial impact on society are more likely to meet the criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia.

Why arent they in Wikipedia? [Interesting]

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Evidence of Widespread Coverage

Widespread coverage of a subject in independent reliable sources is a crucial factor in determining notability. When multiple reliable sources from different perspectives and contexts discuss a topic extensively, it demonstrates that the subject has garnered attention and is worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia.

Lack of Reliable Sources

Importance of Reliable Sources in Wikipedia

Reliable sources play a critical role in maintaining the accuracy and credibility of information on Wikipedia. They provide the necessary evidence, factual data, and expert opinions to support the claims made in articles. Without reliable sources, it becomes challenging to establish the verifiability and trustworthiness of the information presented.

Identifying and Using Reliable Sources

Wikipedia emphasizes the importance of using reliable sources to ensure the quality of its content. Contributors are encouraged to evaluate the credibility and expertise of a source before including it in an article. Reliable sources are typically peer-reviewed academic journals, reputable books, newspapers, magazines, and credible websites.

Academic Journals and Books

Academic journals and books are among the most reliable sources of information. They undergo rigorous peer-review processes, ensuring the accuracy and validity of the research and information presented. These sources provide in-depth analysis, scholarly opinions, and a solid foundation of knowledge for articles.

Newspapers and Magazines

Newspapers and magazines, particularly those with editorial oversight and fact-checking processes, are valuable sources for current and timely information. They cover a wide range of topics and often offer multiple perspectives on issues, enhancing the comprehensiveness of articles.

Reputable Websites

Reputable websites that have a track record of accuracy, editorial integrity, and reliability are acceptable sources for Wikipedia. Websites sponsored by reputable organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, and media outlets can provide valuable information and citations.

Conflict of Interest

Definition of Conflict of Interest in Wikipedia

In Wikipedia, conflict of interest (COI) refers to situations where individuals or organizations have personal or financial interests that may compromise their ability to contribute to the platform objectively and neutrally. COI undermines the credibility and reliability of the information presented, as it introduces bias and promotional content.

Avoiding Bias and Promotion

To avoid conflicts of interest, contributors are encouraged to prioritize the accuracy, neutrality, and verifiability of information over personal or promotional interests. This involves providing a balanced and unbiased perspective, abstaining from self-promotion or promotion of external entities, and focusing on providing valuable and objective information to the readers.

Disclosure of Conflicting Interests

Wikipedia encourages contributors to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to maintain transparency and allow other editors to assess the content accordingly. Disclosing conflicting interests helps ensure that the article is not influenced by personal agendas or hidden affiliations.

Handling Edits and Contributions

When contributors have a conflict of interest, they are encouraged to make suggestions or propose changes on the article’s talk page instead of directly editing the article. This allows other editors to review and incorporate the suggested changes objectively, ensuring that the article maintains a neutral point of view.

Copyright Violation

Importance of Copyright Compliance

Copyright compliance is vital on Wikipedia to respect intellectual property rights and avoid legal issues. Using copyrighted material without permission or proper attribution can result in copyright violation and can lead to the removal of the article from Wikipedia.

Using Free and Openly Licensed Content

Wikipedia encourages the use of free and openly licensed content to comply with copyright laws. Free content licenses, such as Creative Commons licenses, allow for the legal use and adaptation of copyrighted material under certain conditions. Using such content ensures that contributors respect copyright while providing valuable information to readers.

Fair Use and Exemption Doctrine

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner. However, fair use is subject to specific conditions, such as using the material for commentary, criticism, news reporting, or educational purposes. Contributors must carefully evaluate whether their use of copyrighted material falls under fair use or applies to any copyright exemptions in their jurisdiction.

Why arent they in Wikipedia? [Interesting]

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Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism, the act of using someone else’s work or ideas without proper attribution, is strictly prohibited on Wikipedia. Contributors must cite their sources and provide accurate information to avoid plagiarism. Properly attributing sources not only avoids copyright issues but also enhances the credibility and trustworthiness of the article.

Incomplete or Biased Information

Criteria for Inclusion of Information

Wikipedia has established criteria for the inclusion of information to ensure that articles are comprehensive and provide valuable insights to the readers. Not all information about a subject is relevant or suitable for inclusion, and contributors must carefully evaluate the significance, relevance, and context of the information they wish to include.

Importance of Objectivity and Neutral Point of View

Objectivity and a neutral point of view are fundamental principles of Wikipedia. A neutral point of view means presenting information without bias or favoritism toward any particular perspective. Objectivity ensures that the article accurately represents the subject and provides readers with a fair and balanced understanding.

Addressing Biases and Controversies

Contributors should strive to identify and address biases and controversies related to the subject. By providing multiple viewpoints, evidence, and citations, contributors help create a comprehensive and balanced article. Addressing biases and controversies enhances the credibility and reliability of the information presented on Wikipedia.

Spam or Advertising

Definition of Spam and Advertising in Wikipedia

In Wikipedia, spam refers to content that is irrelevant, promotional, or intended to manipulate search engine rankings. Advertising, on the other hand, refers to content that seeks to promote products, services, or individuals without providing valuable or unbiased information. Wikipedia aims to maintain a high standard of content quality and prohibits spam and advertising.

Policies against Promotion and Self-Promotion

Wikipedia has strict policies against promotion and self-promotion. Contributors are expected to prioritize the provision of objective and valuable information over promoting themselves, their organizations, or their products. Articles should focus on the subject’s achievement, significance, or impact rather than serving as a promotional platform.

Notable vs. Non-Notable References and Citations

Wikipedia encourages the use of notable references and citations to ensure the verifiability and reliability of information. Notable references are those that come from reliable sources and have a broader recognition or influence in their respective fields. Non-Notable references, such as personal blogs or self-published materials, are generally discouraged as they lack the credibility and recognition necessary for a reliable source.

Vandalism or Abuse

Preventing and Detecting Vandalism

Vandalism can disrupt the integrity and accuracy of Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia has developed mechanisms to prevent and detect vandalism, including the ability for users to revert changes made by vandals and the use of automated tools to identify suspicious edits. The community of editors plays an essential role in identifying and addressing vandalism promptly.

Reverting and Reporting Vandalism

When vandalism is detected, Wikipedia encourages users to revert the changes to restore the article to its original state. Reverting changes helps maintain the accuracy and reliability of the information. Additionally, users can report cases of vandalism to administrators or use designated channels to report and document incidents.

Blocking and Banning Users

Wikipedia has established policies and procedures to deal with users engaged in vandalism or abusive behavior. Administrators have the authority to issue warnings, blocks, or even permanent bans to users who persistently engage in vandalism or violate Wikipedia’s policies. These measures are in place to protect the integrity of the platform and provide a reliable source of information.

Undue Weight Given

Maintaining Balance in Article Content

One of Wikipedia’s fundamental principles is maintaining a balanced representation of information. Giving undue weight to a particular aspect or viewpoint can lead to bias and a skewed understanding of the subject. Articles should strive to provide an appropriate balance by presenting multiple perspectives and giving weight to significant aspects based on reliable sources.

Avoiding Bias and Overemphasis

Contributors should be aware of their potential biases and strive to avoid overemphasis on personal opinions or perspectives. Objectivity and neutrality are essential in creating a comprehensive and reliable article. By presenting various viewpoints and evidence, contributors can provide readers with a more complete understanding of the subject.

Applying Weight Guidelines

Wikipedia provides guidelines to assist contributors in determining the appropriate weight of different aspects or perspectives within an article. These guidelines help ensure that significant aspects receive appropriate attention and that no single aspect dominates the article’s narrative. Following these guidelines enhances the quality and accuracy of the information presented.

Language Barrier

Challenges of Non-English Content

Wikipedia is primarily an English-language platform, but it recognizes the importance of multilingual contributions. However, a language barrier can pose challenges in including non-English content. It can be difficult to find comprehensive and reliable information in languages other than English, limiting the availability of content on certain subjects.

Translation and Transcription Services

To bridge the language barrier, Wikipedia provides translation and transcription services. These services enable contributors to translate articles from one language to another, making the information more accessible to a wider audience. Transcription services also help in converting audio or video content into text, expanding the coverage of non-English content.

Notable Resources for Non-English Information

Wikipedia encourages contributors to identify and use notable resources for non-English information. By citing reliable sources from different languages, contributors can overcome the language barrier and include valuable information in Wikipedia. Notable resources can include books, articles, journals, websites, and databases in various languages.

Encouraging Multilingual Contributions

Wikipedia actively encourages multilingual contributions to increase the diversity and accessibility of information. It provides resources, guidelines, and support for contributors who wish to contribute in languages other than English. By encouraging multilingual contributions, Wikipedia aims to bridge the language gap and provide a more inclusive and comprehensive knowledge repository.