Talk:William Baker Rock

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Death certificate[change source]

I was patrolling the article you started, William Baker Rock, and deleted the Commons source (simply an image of a death certificate). You reverted me pointing out Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but this came from Commons. I thought about it and you're partially correct, nothing actually states we cannot use a Commons object as a source citation, per se. However, Commons or an image from Commons does not meet the criteria as a reliable source. As you probably know: "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy." Anybody can upload images, sounds, videos, and other multimedia files to the website—you, in fact, uploaded this image. But there are some choices here. First, delete the citation—it's just not necessary. In two instances of this citation, the information is verified by other sources. In the third instance, that he was buried in Fairview Cemetery, isn't on the death certificate so it fails verification. So does using his middle name, Baker. I didn't see any of these sources, including the death certificate image, show his middle name. You may know this information personally, but editors do not use their own knowledge, opinions, etc. There are two other legitimate uses for the image. One is, as intended, add it as an image to the article. The other is add it as a link to Other websites section. You took the trouble to find and upload the image, we should probably find a good use for it. Just not as a source citation. Since there isn't much room on the article, I'll move it to Other websites unless you have a better idea (or plan to expand the article). Please let me know soon as you can as we need to patrol this and other articles on the New pages list. I appreciate it, Thanks User:Rus793 (talk) 17:39, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

"Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy." Are you arguing that the death certificate is: NOT reliable, or NOT third-party, or NOT accurate? There is no ban against first-party sources, we use autobiographies for facts all the time. In fact for sexual orientation and ethnic identity, autobiographies trump independent sources. Self published autobiographies are not to be used to prove notability. I think you are worried that it is a primary source. There is no ban against primary sources. WP:Primary says: "Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reputably published may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them." In some cases people may confuse a John Smith from Chicago with another John Smith from Chicago in a primary document, it happens occasionally, and also happens with secondary and tertiary documents. Why don't you open the question up to all editors so we can get everyone's opinion? I don't know where to post the question. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 21:40, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Actually that isn't a bad idea. You can post it to wikipedia:Simple talk. I marked it patrolled by moving the image to Other websites for now. See if we can get any guidance on this from the community on whether a direct link to the image can be used as a source citation or not. Thanks User:Rus793 (talk) 01:20, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
To answer your question, however, as you pointed out there is no ban against primary sources, just an admonition to use them very carefully. I am not objecting to a death certificate as a source. But in this case, a picture of a handwritten death certificate as a raw source citation is not following the guideline. There is no editorial control at Commons—not in the sense the reliable sources guideline specifies. This is user-submitted information. As I pointed out, anyone can upload just about any image that isn't a copyright violation. Also, the possibility exists that anyone could Photoshop an image and represent it as anything they like, not saying that this particular document isn't real. Just that no one at Commons verifies images as authentic. They do not have that capacity. Like us, they're volunteers. By just linking to the image you are leaving it to the reader to interpret the information, assuming they can read the handwriting. You and I may read cursive, but younger adults and children usually don't. Our audience includes younger people and those new to the English language.
Now the death certificate could itself be used as a source citation if you cite the original source and not the image on commons. Provide the requisite information necessary for someone to verify the source and find a copy if they wished to. Depending on citation style, an example might be:

City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Death certificate file no. 60156 (1922), William B. Rock; Pennsylvania Department of Health, Philadelphia.

User:Rus793 (talk) 04:23, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Why is your first assumption that it is a forgery? Editors can just as easily forge references to existing books that are not online, to support any incorrect fact. That is why we assume good faith, unless contradictory evidence exists. If someone is born in Oak Forest, Illinois, an editor can add that they were born in Chicago, and cite a library book that no one can check. You are disallowing the actual document, but a prose reference to it is preferred? I am not following your logic at all. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 17:49, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Allowed[change source]

  • "Primary sources that have been reputably published may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them." Sometimes two people with the same name in the same place can get confused with primary, and even secondary and tertiary resources. Here the death certificate contradicts an encyclopedia that published the wrong year of birth. The death certificate also contradicts his date of death in his obituary, by one day. The death certificate should overrule these errors. The note explains that the other sources are wrong. It is very important to have it in the references for the facts that have been sourced to it. If the reference remains removed, the facts have to be removed because they are now contradicted by the other sources. There is a whole category in Wikipedia for age controversies, many of them settled by birth, marriage, and death certificates. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 02:55, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Primary sources are fine, and I would assume good faith that this is the actual death certificate. -DJSasso (talk) 16:09, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Disallowed Discouraged[change source]

All this discussion is not about whether a death certificate (a primary source) can be used as a source citation—it can. This is about our readers. Very simply, it was about a source citation that appeared in the References section like this:
(4.) Death certificate for William B. Rock.
No additional source information, just a link to a user-submitted document at Commons. We can do better than this. User:Rus793 (talk) 13:07, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

  • You are rewriting history. You deleted it saying that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. I restored it reminding you that the document is from Wikimedia Commons and NOT from Wikipedia. You deleted it again this time using the argument that it was NOT reliable, and/or NOT third-party, and/or NOT accurate. I think you are just aesthetically opposed and are on a fishing expedition for a rationale. If you truly didn't like the way it was formatted, there would have been no reason to delete it, you would have simple reformatted it, instead of deleting it twice. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 03:29, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
As a rule, citations should be to reliable secondary sources, and generally WP is not a reliable source. But with all rules there may be exceptions, and this is one, IMO. A scan of an official public document such as a birth or death certificate is entirely satisfactory as a source. In fact, older death certificates are much more reliable than older birth certificates. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:01, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
WP is not the source, the source is the state in which the death certificate was issued. The image of the document was stored on Wikimedia Commons. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:47, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Fairview Cemetery[change source]

Are we supposed to be breaking down proper nouns into their components and making links to them? Should the White House be: White and House and George Washington be George and Washington? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 17:53, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

It's one method we use. We're a much smaller wiki than enwiki and have a different readership. In this case Fairview cemetery is such a common name it's very unlikely we would have an article on each one. We have a much smaller number of active editors, a few dozen most of the time. You are entirely welcome to make it into an article or red link it as a future article. We link words (mostly nouns) not in Simple or Basic English. The page Wikipedia:How to write Simple English pages will explain more. I don't know if you've seen it but you might find Wikipedia:An English Wikipedian's guide useful. If you have any questions you can ask any of us or post to Wikipedia:Simple talk. User:Rus793 (talk) 03:40, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I must disagree. Link the combined term, and don't remove a link just because you think it's not likely to get an article here soon. I spend time and effort combining words that are linked separately like this. The most meaningful term should be linked, even if it's a red link. You never know whether or when someone might make a legitimate article for a given link. As with other red links, it lets us know that an article may be needed. The White House and George Washington examples mentioned should be obvious: link the combined words, because that is what is meaningful. Less obvious are links like Battle of Foo. Separate links for ones like that aren't helpful: it only tells you that there was a battle related to something or somewhere called Foo, not what the battle was about. Of course it depends on the exact example, but I say link the term with the larger meaning. --Auntof6 (talk) 04:20, 25 September 2015 (UTC)