Wikispecies:Requests for Comment

From Wikispecies
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to Requests for Comment. This space is for any conversations that might require the opinions of the community to decide policy or the application of policy. Start a new conversation. For general conversation, see Wikispecies:Village Pump.

Post a comment

If you use the title box, you don't need to put a title in the message body.


Original Research Policy[edit]

This is a draft proposed policy with no standing as yet.

Wikispecies articles must not contain original research. The phrase "original research" (OR) is used on Wikimedia projects to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist. By "exists", the community means that the reliable source must have been published and still exist—somewhere in the world, in any language, whether or not it is reachable online—even if no source is currently named in the article. Articles that currently name zero references of any type may be fully compliant with this policy—so long as there is a reasonable expectation that every bit of material is supported by a published, reliable source. This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources. To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material being presented. (This policy of no original research does not apply to talk pages and other pages which evaluate article content and sources, such as deletion discussions or policy noticeboards.)

The prohibition against OR means that all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable, published source, even if not actually attributed.

Despite the need to attribute content to reliable sources, you must not plagiarize them or violate their copyrights. Rewriting source material in your own words, while substantially retaining the meaning of the references, is not considered to be original research.

For questions about whether any particular edit constitutes original research, see Wikispecies' Village Pump.

For an in-depth analysis of OR, see en:Wikipedia:No original research.


--copied from pump--
Above it is suggested that we should have a "No original research" policy. I have posted a draft at Wikispecies:No original research. Does anyone have any suggestions for amendments or additions, before we have an RfC on its adoption? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:20, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Would it be "original research", when you find out, that a name already has been validly published in an earlier paper, that has been overlooked in literature? Would it be "original research", when you compile a taxon page on a genus, where no recent generic synopsis or revision is existing, based on different sources. I did a lot of this kind, e.g. Stephania, Securidaca, or Elvasia. Would it be "original research", when you only are applying the relevant code of nomenclature in a simple and straightforward case, that never would justify a separate paper in a scientific journal?
An example: When I created Xanthophyllum albicaule on March 1st, I changed the name from Xanthophyllum albicaulis, according to ICN Art. 23.5 and 32.2. After having notified IPNI on March 8th, they corrected their entry on March 9th. OK, now I can refer to IPNI, but for more than a week this maybe was forbidden OR??? Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 11:59, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

--copied from pump--

I made this into an rfc as it is a complex issue for wikispecies. We have a significant number of taxonomists contributing and using to support this what is in reality their own research. Myself included. What needs to be clear is that what those in this position must not do is utilise unpublished information in this, must publicly acknowledge their potential NPoV issue and ensure that everything they use is clearly referenced to an existing scientifically acceptable research article or similar. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 13:19, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

The questions of Franz Xaver are important for all taxonomists contributing here. From the explanations on en:Wikipedia:No original research and the essay en:Wikipedia:These are not original research, I think these examples resemble OR, but they are not: 1. When you find out, that a name already has been validly published in an earlier paper - Very often taxonomic works cite different papers as first publication. So Wikispecies authors can "reasonably expect", that there probably exists a scientific work, which cites this earlier paper, too. Nevertheless, the info of the "re-discovery" should be sent to a reliable database. 2. When you compile a taxon page on a genus, where no recent generic synopsis or revision is existing, based on different sources - This kind of compilation work is done at all wikipedia pages too and is ok. But we must not use references A and B to come to conclusions C and D which are not cited in any of the references. So of course no new combinations of names should be made here! 3. Regarding those small correctable errors according to ICN, the essay states that "We have a responsibility to present an accurate and factual overview of the topic addressed in the article....In many cases, the best solution is to remove minor incorrect claims." The incorrect claim should then be sent to a reliable database, and be additionally noted in the taxon page, until the database is updated. - Would you agree with this assessment? --Thiotrix (talk) 15:33, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
@Thiotrix: Yes, I agree more or less. (1) In my opinion, the least problematic point is the first one, as you can use the neglected publication as a valid reference in WS. Anyway, there may be objections by someone, whether the earlier paper actually is a valid publication according to the relevant code. So, an interpretation of the Code would be necessary, and this might be counted as OR. That's why I reported the case of Xanthophyllum colubrinum (and two other species) to IPNI: They updated their entry today. Before that, they had neglected the earlier paper in J. Bot. (Morot), which conforms to the rules on valid publication for 1908, but would be invalidly published today. (2) Compilation of this kind generally is accepted, and references can be given for the separate components. However, it is inevitable in such a case, that the final species count in a genus deviates from published species numbers. E.g. for Stephania, compare the numbers in the rather recent treatments in Flora of China (2008) and Flora of Australia (2007), i.e. ca. 60 vs. 35–40, with my result of at least 64 species. On the other hand, for Securidaca compare the numbers in Flora of China (2008) and Flora Malesiana (1988), i.e. ca. 80 species in both references, with the lower species count resulting from my compilation. (It's not yet finished, but at the end it will probably be between 60 and 70.) So, any species count resulting from such a compilation would be OR according to some opinions, if there exists no publication reporting exactly this number. That's why the species count is hidden text in the genus articles compiled by me. (3) I agree, that such simple corrections should be reported to IPNI or other relevant databases. Anyway, when IPNI is updating in consequence of having contacted them, it's not their research, which is the basis of the update. Anyway, this should be allowed. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 16:38, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with above points also, as discussed by Franz Xaver, in zoology of course it is a little different in some places. In zoology until a nomenclatural act is made to deal with a previously unused but older and valid name, the younger though incorrect name remains in place and should not be dismissed. A nomenclatural act requires a publication that meets the ICZN code with regards to being a valid publication. Which we are not. So we can mention the issue but cannot change it. I am aware of several species in this situation but I cannot do anything about it here. I cannot tell someone about it because that message would be to me in regards to these species, I already know. I cannot do anything yet.
@Pigsonthewing: Andy just so you know I am not against what you proposed here, the problem is that we are in an unusual situation and we have to carefully modify this policy to suit our specialist needs. Many of the taxonomists on here who edit are the original sources of the information.
With this in mind I think it is imperative to make the point that our editors must restrict themselves to peer reviewed published in acceptable science journals any information that technically originates from them. In other words anyone could have obtained the information because it is published, I just happen to have done it myself from my own publications. But the point is it has been peer reviewed, it has been published, it has been open to scrutiny by other scientists, before we use it. It is not some theory or hypothesis I have in my head. We need to be clear on this point in our policy. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 01:18, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
When I posted to the Village Pump, I wrote (emphasis added) "Does anyone have any suggestions for amendments or additions, before we have an RfC on its adoption?". My intention was explicitly to encourage discussion before voting (so that we could, indeed, "carefully modify this policy to suit our specialist needs". You have copied my comment here, without asking me, and with a voting section, without it being clear what people are voting on, and discussion has effectively ended. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:23, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Which is why I moved it so we could have a discussion. But fair enough I should have discussed that with you (we need to communicate better Andy, I am at fault here too). In any case the issues specific to Wikispecies have been laid out, above. Otherwise I am fine with it. Or I would not have supported it. I am trying to keep the Pump clear of some of the basic policy discussions, in the hope they get dealt with quickly and better. In the past they have had a bad habit of getting smothered by other issues coming up. People stopped reading it. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 11:37, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


  • Symbol support vote.svg Support This or something like it. I'm glad that we don't have a flood of amateur entomologists coming up with "Todd Beetles" or "Lepidotera Stupidia" here but having a firm policy will dissuade it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:58, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support the above is a reasonable policy if it can just be made to highlight the discussion points above. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 09:49, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Dan Koehl (talk) 11:51, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Abstain, since there is no indication of what is being voted on. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:44, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral, per Andy Mabbett. --Zerabat (talk) 11:59, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Abstain, per Pigsonthewing. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 05:06, 16 April 2017 (UTC).
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral --Samuele2002 (talk) 07:23, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support The development of a simple policy statement based upon the above and supported by references to a more in depth Wiki policy and other relevant sources. However, caveats may be required to deal with ongoing work that may be OR when started but not so when completed - see discussion. Andyboorman (talk) 10:12, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Maik Bippus[edit]

Moved to Wikispecies:Administrators' Noticeboard#Maik Bippus. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:36, 23 March 2017 (UTC)