Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 8

A lot of links building up here. As I have had a very unproductive conversation with this editor over exlinks before, would be great to get an uninvolved editors opinion. The Interior (Talk) 00:26, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

The "external links" all go to related articles in reliable sources such as Time (magazine) and the New York Times. It is not a wp:linkfarm but a collection of potential sources which could be used to expand the article. I see no reason to remove them from the article, but I will move them to a separate section called "Further Reading". Yoenit (talk) 15:31, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure they mean well, but it won't stop: [1]. The last time I cleaned up after this user, they had placed over 60 external links on John Prendergast. The Interior (Talk) 13:47, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
They sound like citations not external links of additional reading, we write our own articles here we are not a linkstation to other publications articles. If an article has additional details that are not in our article then use it as a citation and add the content to our article, if not them choose a couple of the most information and remove the others is how I usually deal with just issues. Over 60 external links, wow. Off2riorob (talk) 13:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I support Rob's move of the links to the talk page.--KeithbobTalk 17:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

A template has been created for this website and external links to it have been added to 11 different articles on the basis that it is the radio equivalent of IMDb. Having failed to gain consensus regarding its acceptability at Talk:Clare Balding#Unreasonable reversion of an external link I requested a third opinion which resulted in a suggestion to post here. appears to be a personal website hosted by an unrecognised authority who is depending on information which is unverifiable and possibly in violation of copyright. It's copyright statement acknowledges the use of material where the right to redistribute is only assumed and links to a BBC feed that includes a clear warning "Experimental (no guarantees made for the accuracy of this data)." A partial list of radio appearances adds nothing to a biographical article, the information is acknowledged as being not necessarily accurate and it is hosted on a personal website maintained by someone who is not a recognized authority. In my opinion as an external link fails grounds 1, 3 and 11 of WP:ELNO. Alistair Stevenson (talk) 12:20, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

This page may aspire to become the "IMBD of radio", but that is still far off. I see no reason to include it as an external link on wikipedia pages. Yoenit (talk) 15:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia articles frequently give little to no mention of an actor's work in radio drama - to give two examples of articles that would be significantly improved by adding this external link see Niamh Cusack where adding {{RadioListings|Niamh|Cusack}} would show a dimension to her career not even currently mentioned, and Judi Dench where {{RadioListings|Judi|Dench}} would justify the currently completely unsubstantiated "has appeared in numerous BBC radio broadcasts". Of course a complete list of radio broadcasts would be ideal, but a partial list is a whole lot better than no list at all! Jim Craigie (talk) 08:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The argument against as an external link is not only that the information it contains is incomplete, but that as a personal website - a fansite - that may contain copyright violations and which does not vouch even for its own accuracy, it is excluded by a content guideline. If a biographical article doesn't mention a subject's radio career then tagging on a deprecated external link is not the solution. Alistair Stevenson (talk) 11:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree, it looks like it is maintained by a single person and not a recognized authority.--NortyNort (Holla) 11:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

External links to interviews

Hi there! Calvin_Gotlieb has a list of 9 external links, 8 of which are interviews with him on "". This seems excessive, and I know we are supposed to avoid links to blogs. On the other hand, they do provide additional information about the interviewee. Should they be removed? Thanks :) Dracunculus (talk) 23:49, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

We should almost never have more than one link to the same web site. There ought to be one page to get to all the sub pages. If there isn't, the most important one can be picked. In this case, any of those pages has an easy link at the top to the rest, so there's no reason for it. As far as the site in general, I could go either way. I can't be bothered to listen to any of the recordings to tell if it's valuable or not. DreamGuy (talk) 01:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree that having more than one link to the same site is necessarily bad however I do agree having that many links to blog interviews is excessive and should be trimmed. --Kumioko (talk) 01:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I believe that having only one link to a website is specified in WP:EL--KeithbobTalk 17:25, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but the recommended solution (in this case, a page that would link to all eight interviews) doesn't appear possible in this situation.
I've been thinking it over, and I do not have any useful recommendation to make for this page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Ero guro gallery

I have removed an external link to this 'under construction' site from Ero guro several times, and it keeps being added back by a series of different IP addresses. Click on the 'More' at the bottom of the first page to see a defaced copy of the WP article on Ero guro. I would like another opinion on whether this link should be removed again. I also am tempted to remove the following links: Suehiro Maruo's website, Shintaro Kago's website, and Waita Uziga's website. These three sites are in Japanese, and I suspect they are commercial sites, but I can't tell. -- Donald Albury 23:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

It's an IP, so you might like to leave a note at User talk:XLinkBot to have it watched for. Alternatively, you can inquire at ANI about having the IP blocked for spamming and edit warring. (Do be careful not to trip over WP:3RR yourself, by the way.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC) and

(These questions and the first answer are moved to here from at the suggestion of DreamGuy)

Are and WiseGEEK ever acceptable as references or external links? Two concerns:

1) and are under less strict review than Wikipedia is. If that is the case in all situations, then quoting either tends to degrade the quality of Wiki articles. I just encountered an example of the problem caused to Wikipedia, in editing Walrus moustache[2]. The article as it stood seemed to be a combination of common knowledge, original research, essay language and peacock. The WiseGEEK article was written by one person, giving no credentials for himself; there were no references.

2) The reference appears to be a cut-and-paste of the Wikipedia article (including the reference to itself).

If both sites are always forbidden -- or at the least strongly discouraged -- should they be explicitly named in "Links normally to be avoided", point 11? ( returns 46,000 entries in Wiki search results. WiseGEEK 450.)

A special problem here is how much these sources "compete" with Wikipedia in search results, and that casual editors may mistake them as reliable, when in fact they may be less reliable than Wikipedia. Thoughts? (talk) 18:16, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

This question is more appropriate for the External links noticeboard, but the quick answer is no, they are not usable as reliable sources or external links. We don't normally name specific sites on the lists, as we expect optimistically that it shouldn't be necessary most of the time. Both link counts you provide are quite troubling, assuming they are in article space. DreamGuy

I've started to remove WiseGEEK references and external links in article space. Every one I've checked does not establish the authority of the author, and has no references. Most were added some years ago, and quite a few have S.E. Smith as the WiseGeek author. (talk) 18:15, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

link to in a company article

Could you please add some independent opinions at An IP keeps re-adding the link, and I would outside opinions before proceeding. --Enric Naval (talk) 11:02, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Ripoff Reports is one of many internet forums for anonymously complaining about alleged customer service and fraud problems. I have posted my opinion at the article's talk page (and encourage other people to do the same), but in the bigger picture, it would be desirable for someone with half an hour free to have a look at how we're (mis)using this website at other articles. In some cases, these anonymous complaints are being used to support claims of fraud. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Two points to add:
1) When mentioned on a talk page, Ripoff Reports may be a request for more information on a subject. Those mentions are rarely encyclopedic, perhaps, but they do alert other editors to a potential problem for investigation. Doing a quick check with, the number of visitors to main articles compared to talk pages is very roughly 300/1. One implication is that a Ripoff Report on a talk page will be very rarely read, but probably by a more informed readership that will not take a libel on face value.
2) I'm strongly averse to Wikipedia reporting on legal suits that are in process. Wikipedia is not a popular court room, it's not our job as editors to decide which side is winning, or to make implications about which side should win. That's the job of the judicial process. The Ripoff Reports, in main articles, have a flavor of judgment. I.e., the assumption a reader might make that anyone who complains must have a case based in fact. Unless Ripoff is reporting a court process that has completed in a verdict, references to it should not appear in main articles, where the implication is that Wikipedia editors endorse a criticism of dubious legitimacy. (talk) 22:04, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

External links at Ebionites

We have a low-level disagreement (an amicable discussion) on the talk page of the Ebionites article about whether it is acceptable to add an external link to a particular online religious group. I removed the link and started a discussion on the talk page about whether the external source meets the verifiability requirements of WP:V. After reading the guidelines on WP:EL, I'm no longer sure this was the right decision. Frankly, the criteria for adding external links that do not directly involve article content seem ambiguous to me. We considered seeking a WP:3, but you folks specialize in this sort of problem. So, let me reduce this long-winded introduction down to two short questions.

1. Is the specific link added to the article acceptable? If it is, I will be happy to self-revert.

2. Is there a general policy guideline we should be applying to future occurrences of this type?

Thank you. Ovadyah (talk) 23:35, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

See WP:ELNO #12 Weetoddid (talk) 23:46, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I reread ELNO #12 and I don't understand how to apply it. Are you saying links should only be made to recognized authorities? Please clarify. Thanks. Ovadyah (talk) 23:55, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
It appears to be a link to an open wiki. Unless it has "a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors" it is normally to be avoided. Weetoddid (talk) 00:02, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. That was very helpful. Ovadyah (talk) 00:33, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I have a follow-up question. If the link was directly to the same group's website rather than to an open wiki, how would we answer the same two questions above? Thanks. Ovadyah (talk) 00:39, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I think an answer would have to apply to a specific group and website: WP:ELOFFICIAL might be applicable if the EL was, in fact, official. BitterGrey (talk) 22:32, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for letting us know. I believe both parties are in agreement that this wiki link should not be added to the article, and therefore, the disagreement is now resolved. Ovadyah (talk) 22:42, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Charlie Sheen external link

There's a discussion on the Talk page of Charlie Sheen about whether his official website should be included as an external link. Some editors, including me, think it's essentially spam, promoting selling tickets to his tour. Others think that because it's "official", WP:ELNO rules. ELNO is a guideline and permits exceptions with consensus. Sheen's tour is not related to his notability as an actor. The tour wouldn't even be noteworthy if it weren't for his notability as an actor. There's nothing on the website that adds to the article or is really relevant to the article except the existence of the tour itself, which is already covered in the article. For more on the Talk page discussion, see here.--Bbb23 (talk) 02:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

WP:ELNO doesn't apply to official links. WP:ELNEVER still might, or one could argue that it isn't official. Short of those two possibilities, it can stay. BitterGrey (talk) 04:54, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I commented there, the link should stay.--NortyNort (Holla) 08:46, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
The fact that it's his official page is what's important, not whether or not we view it as relating directly to his main source of notability. If there are specific reasons for the site to be blacklisted that's a different story, but the fact that he chooses to have his site sell tickets to his tour is no different than a musician selling their book on their website.--Yaksar (let's chat) 09:07, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Yep, I the link should stay. Yoenit (talk) 09:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
a)'9th step' corporation controls the domain according to registrar records and is Charlie Sheen's well documented company.
b)The title of the page states 'Charlie Sheen Official Website'
c)Charlie Sheen has a new notability acquired through behavior/interviews when he no longer was acting in any tv shows/movies.
d)Another possibility may be that Charlie Sheen has been acting all along, thus the website content is an extension of acting.
e)The website is constantly updated with recording of Charlie Sheen branding his new pubic image.
wp:ELOFFICIAL litmus test passed I believe. Website link should stay. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 20:00, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

External link spam in gambling articles

I've been taken to task [3] by another editor for removing some of their additions over the past several months [4] of what I considered to be "spammy" external links from articles with professional gamblers and gambling authors and consultants as their subject. I wonder if perhaps I could have some fresh eyes on the external links contained in those articles. My personal inclination, is that if I see a link landing the reader on a site containing flashy banner ads,'sign up' offers or a 'book for sale'; especially if the site itself appears self published, I'm disinclined to see it as "legitimate", even if it does contain material that adds to the biographical details of the subject of the original article. Could I have some advice on this please? Are banner ads always a bad sign in this context? I'm going to let the editor know that I've posted this query here. Thank you for your time. Cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 05:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

If the website has no misleading links to trick visitors, and as you say has valid information about a Wikipedia article about some gambler or cheating method, it should be included as a reference. Perhaps not as a single reference, but if a couple of such sites agree that this is how come card trick is performed, i think it becomes more reliable.
You wont find much useful info on poker cheating methods at a religious school website, but I bet you can find quite a few at some site that's wall-to-wall covered in those annoying blinking square banner boxes. Most organized crime articles are referenced by self-confessed mass-murderers, thieves and criminals. Despite having little credibility, we simply have no one else who can provide the sort of information that they can about the underworld. I think with gambling its the same thing.
Since Wikipedia has NO FOLLOW exit links, the gambling website will not benefit by a boost in Google ratings. Yet someone writing a book or compiling a position paper would be very interested in such links to present a more balanced picture from all sides. Just my 5 cents. Cheers! I disagree. Meishern (talk) 10:37, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
There are too many links on that article where it is not clear at all what additional information is being provided, or to where a reader's attention is being directed. WP:ELNO point 5 deprecates "Links to web pages that primarily exist to sell products or services, or to web pages with objectionable amounts of advertising." Alistair Stevenson (talk) 10:51, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Looking at the contributors history it would appear he is just here to promote his external link, so wp:ELNO #4: "Links mainly intended to promote a website" comes into play as well. External links sections are not supposed to be a collection of interviews, so I will trim the section accordingly. Yoenit (talk) 10:58, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
So I believe that I am the editor in question here. The only reason I am posting links to my site is because you were deleting the links to my youtube channel. I am simply trying to post a video interview with the person who the page is about. It is useful information pertaining to the subject matter. And I made the video myself so I know it is not violating any copyright laws or rules of any sort. I am not trying to flood wikipedia with spam links, because I use wikipedia on a DAILY basis to look up information about everything. And I am also aware that there is no benefit to posting links to promote my site as they are all made NOFOLLOW. Please let me know if I am in the wrong. Frugalrhombus (talk) 15:53, 5 April 2011 (EST)
Frugalrhombus, please read Best practices for editors with conflicts of interest. It might be best to do so before any other edits. Its advice would apply both to your website and your youtube channel. Regarding NOFOLLOW, there may still be money changing hands due to the traffic generated from the external links viewing pay-per-view ads or sometimes clicking on pay-per-click ads. BitterGrey (talk) 03:05, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
So what if there is no talk page? I've also been trying to get someone to make a page about either our book or the author of our book. It is a yearly guide to casinos throughout the country, that has been published annually for over 20 years. So I believe it deserves its own page. Frugalrhombus (talk) 11:28 6 April 2011 (EST)
The relevant projects seem to be wp:WikiProject_Gambling or wp:WikiProject_Games. These would be the places to discuss gambling or games page creation. BitterGrey (talk) 16:01, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Frugalrhombus, see WP:Notability (books) for our notability guidelines on books and WP:AUTHOR for authors (and WP:N for notability in general - if somethings meets the criteria for WP:N, it probably passes the others). It's generally not simply a person's opinion whether a page exists or not, it must past certain criteria (generally whether independent attention has been paid to it in reliable sources). It is possible that your book and author are simply not notable according to wikipedia's definition, and wikipedia is not a place to advertise or promote. If you wish to establish whether your book is a reliable source sufficient to be referenced in a page, I would suggest you bring up that point at the reliable sources noticeboard.
Generally youtube isn't a good source or EL, see WP:YOUTUBE. I would refer you to WP:EL in general, and you must read that page carefully with an understanding that it may prohibit linking to your site. We are not obligated to link to sites, even if you think it's a great idea. That's why we have policies and guidelines, so it's not just one person's judgement call. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:06, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
WLU, if you were to do a search for "American Casino Guide," the name of the book in question you would see that it IS listed in the notes section for 2 gambling related articles. And many of the people in the "American Gambling Writers" page are listed as contributing authors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Frugalrhombus (talkcontribs) 16:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
If you are asking if the book is a reliable source, that is determined by our guidelines on reliable sources. If it's by a mainstream publisher, this should be uncontroversial. If it's by the publisher "Casino Vacations", I'm uncertain of whether it would be considered reliable and again would point you to the reliable sources noticeboard. If we're talking about a book, we're not talking about external links, and this is the external links noticeboard. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 17:30, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
alright thanks, I'll have to go take a look. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Frugalrhombus (talkcontribs) 19:00, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Retirement and Personal Life

Should not read "died as a result of heart disease". He died as a result of amyloidosis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Some more information would be helpful, such as the name of the article where the debated EL is or was. BitterGrey (talk) 17:43, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

An IP has been adding links to to multiple articles. Sometimes multiple links to are added to a single article. I'm tempted to remove them as spam, however I want to ensure that single-purpose linking to the site would be considered an WP:EL violation prior to doing so. --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 17:34, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

In general, if the links are desirable, then the fact that one person has added them isn't a problem... until someone decides that the behavior has moved beyond "happening to" add links to the same site to WP:SPAMMER activity.
In the instant case, the links (to this online bookseller) are not desirable, and should be removed per WP:ELNO #5, "Links to web pages that primarily exist to sell products or services". Also, my spot check of articles in the list suggest that some serious weeding needs to be done on several {{linkfarm}} pages, so if you choose to remove a few extra links while you're at it, then that would be desirable.
If the problem comes back, then we can set User:XLinkBot on the trail. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:34, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
The edit history pretty clearly suggests that this is a fixed IP address for, a/k/a Distributed Art Publishers.--Orange Mike | Talk 13:06, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
The links have all been reverted (with thanks to Seaphoto and yourselves). Now that I'm aware of the spammy-nature of the site I will be more stringent when assessing its addition to articles. Thank you both! --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 13:09, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
As a side note, officially outside the scope of this noticeboard: The books might be useful, if actually used as proper reliable sources, or listed under WP:FURTHERREADING, with a standard bibliographic citation and ISBN, but the URL to the bookseller should basically never be included. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:59, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

External links for ITC trade database

Hello everyone, I am working for the International Trade Centre(ITC), a UN agency that provides latest data on trade. The external links that I have added to some products pages (e.g.: coffee, cotton) and economics sections of country pages have been removed. As an example, the external link that I would add for coffee takes directly to the specific page of our database. I just wanted to know if there is a way to contribute to Wikipedia external links without incurring into spamming. The reliability and transparency of our intentions hinge on the following points:

1)We are part of the United Nations

2)No registration is required

3)Our agency's aim is to share data on trade by country and products

4)The link gives direct access to the trade database for the specific product/country.

At least I would like to know if these external links could be added for a set of 10 products. Thanks Divoc (talk) 08:46, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

While Jonkerz[5] is correct that anonymous users adding external links en masse to organizations that they belong to is almost always frowned upon, the links still might be worth considering: They might include data which articles can't due to detail ( ELYES #3 ). Since relevance to the particular article and the marginal value of additional data are factors, it might be best to open a discussion at the talk page for one of the articles, proposing the external link. (There isn't a limit on the number of external links, but discussing them one at a time avoids opening discussions en masse.)
Please feel encouraged to contribute to Wikipedia in other ways as well, but please be aware that if a conflict arises between you and another editor, that editor may take it out on pages relevant to or that refer to the ITC. BitterGrey (talk) 14:54, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I also think this links are acceptable under ELYES #3. In particular, I think that the coffee trading data is a particularly appropriate addition to Economics of coffee, since the entire article relates to trading coffee. I have restored that individual link.
We are sometimes a bit aggressive about people who might be WP:SPAMMERs, since unfortunately the English Wikipedia attracts a lot of them. Thank you for calmly discussing the question with Jonkerz, and then posting here, rather than engaging in an WP:Edit war.
BitterGrey's advice about proposing the links at each article's talk page is also a "best practice". Usually, the thing to do is to leave a note saying what the link is, why you think it helpful (refer to WP:ELYES #3), and wait for about a week. If no one objects during that time, then it's usually safe to add the links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:15, 15 April 2011 (UTC) - "embedding links to our papers in relevant Wikipedia entries"

Is the linking conduct of described in the Signpost within Wikipedia policies of WP:COI and WP:EL#ADV? "three UK professors from "an independent network of nearly 300 historians" wrote that they had "discussed the pros and cons" of doing so, and "decided to insert links in the references of Wikipedia entries" to their own website". From their description (my emphasis): "The aim was to provide Wikipedia users with high-quality historical research, accessibly written and freely downloadable, and to drive traffic to the H&P website" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:49, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

The site has already been blacklisted on en.wikipedia, based on WP:COI/WP:EL/WP:SPAM concerns. I also have concerns about the main account that is used, as the Signpost suggests that the edits are by three professors. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:52, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

I have been informed by another editor that " has been trying to spam their links into various town articles." I have no connection to Patch, but I support the effort to provide online news for under-served communities. Specifically, my town, Los Gatos, California, where Patch provides 24/7 online news. I think an external link to is appropriate to Los Gatos, California because it provides "a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article," namely, up-to-the-minute news for the subject at hand. Clearly, a policy change here would be relevant to all of the communities served by a Patch site.Adallas (talk) 17:27, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

this is not the kind of external link that would be acceptable here. Pls see WP:ELNO specifically...

1.Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. (we dont need to know were the best place to get drunk in town is)
2.Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research, except to a limited extent in articles about the viewpoints that the site is presenting. (entry after entry is guess work from what i can see) policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.
4.Links mainly intended to promote a website. See also WP:ADV as this site has been marked as having been spammed here before
11. Links to blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority. (This exception for blogs, etc, controlled by recognized authorities is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for people.) [This is a personal blog type site with editor control overseen by one person The Board and is exactly what we wish to avoid.
.Moxy (talk) 18:41, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

External links to articles by John Madera, by the author

Edits may be considered spamming, but I'd like to have other eyes on this---user's sole purpose is linking to his own essays, primarily at a blog that he edits. The question is whether he's an acknowledged expert on these subjects; though he's a published author, there doesn't appear to be reason to believe he's a recognized authority. Given resistance to discussing edits, and continued linking, I'm leaning toward a spam/coi account. (talk) 20:24, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Looks like a pretty clear-cut case of linkspam; over a dozen ELs, all added within five hours, most after a neutrally worded message, that he didn't reply to... BitterGrey (talk) 03:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

The editing policies of are less exacting than Wikipedia's. There are a few related questions I'd like an opinion about, but the nub is: Should a source that's less exacting than Wikipedia be generally disallowed as a reference or an external link?

1) Quite a few articles are nothing more than cut-and-paste versions of the Wikipedia article, and are labeled as such. Such links should never be allowed: [6] cited in [7].

2) Some articles do not have references and do not establish the credentials of the writers.

3) Some articles appear to be straight copies of published sources. Military artists, Grilling. claims it's drawing from a licensed database,[8] yet the method they are using -- with no internal article footnoting -- does not make clear what part of the work comes from what source. For example, although in the grilling article three books are mentioned in the Bibliography, there is no explanation how or if they were used.

4) Again using the Grilling article, the quality of writing in is often what we would call in Wikipedia informal or essay language and original research. "Virtually every American man either feels himself to be a master of outdoor grilling", "when people say that they love the smell of cooked meat, they are in fact admiring the aromas that accompany browning", "It's a tough decision for many people".

5) Companies use as an extension of their corporate Web site. Oddly, sometimes the information on the official Web site is better than, yet the Wikipedia article references what is obviously a secondary source. Environmental Waste Controls references the article, but the official site is -- especially after clicking around a little -- a far more useful resource Official site.

6) There are articles that are less complete than the information in Wikipedia. Wiki version of Ideotype vs. cited version. In this case has only a brief sentence, while the bulk of their page is promotion and advertisement.

7) There are articles that are a combination of the above. [9], [10]

Broadly, the question is whether should be allowed as a reference, except in unusual circumstances. Their policy for accountability is quite different from Wikipedia's: They obscure their sources, allow WP:CONFLICT in business articles, and do not provide in-text footnote support. As seen in the grilling article, the writing sometimes isn't even intended to be formal or encyclopedic.

Given the many ways that does not support core policies WP:SOURCE, WP:OR and WP:NPOV, it seems to me they should be generally disallowed as a reference or an external link. ELNO Checking (talk) 13:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC) 07:08, 16 April 2011 (UTC) is imho generally not allowed as a reference, whether an individual case is suitable for an external link might be subject to debate (though afaik many editors might not tolerate it there either (comparing it to forums or blogs which are usually to be avoided).--Kmhkmh (talk) 11:27, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, good, thank you. My intention, if there's consensus, is to remove a good number of them. Unfortunately, is misused in several ways, so there's a great deal work involved. (Compared to MySpace, blog or WiseGEEK references.) I'd like to be sure before I invest any significant kind of energy. ELNO Checking (talk) 13:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC) 05:54, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the consensus above.--KeithbobTalk 17:38, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Can't think of a case where it would ever serve as a reliable source, usually something you remove on sight.--NortyNort (Holla) 21:41, 17 April 2011 (UTC) carries a disclaimer, "Answers does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information.... Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficacy, and timeliness. Additionally, please note that WikiAnswers is a community-based question-and-answer service using the "wiki" approach of developing answers that the community constantly improves. Answers allows ANYONE at any time to write and edit content in this service" so, at the very least, it is disqualified by WP:ELNO points 2 and 12. Even though occasional exceptions are allowed to a content guideline, where it might be argued that it provides some unique resource, in my opinion best practice is that it should not be included as an external link and that removing it where it appears is inevitably an improvement. Alistair Stevenson (talk) 22:31, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you all. To make sure we've covered the bases, in my planned culling of references, there are two situations I might hesitate: 1) Where a company is using as an extension of its official site -- but has a more concise and linear presentation (say, compared to clicking a dozen "Web pretty" pages on the company's official site). Example:'s American Pad & Paper Company compared to their "official site" [11]. 2) Where an reference is given, and is unusually good.
Agreeing that as a general rule ALL references and External Links should be removed would make editing much faster. 1,000s of articles may be affected. I plan to do this by hand, and not by writing a program, so I am going to be sensitive to special cases. I just want be relatively sure someone doesn't feel the need to do a mass rollback. ELNO Checking (talk) 13:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC) 05:03, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Your plan sounds good to me.
As a piece of standard advice: if someone at any given article happens to revert you, I recommend just letting it go. In the time that it takes to argue with one person, you could clean up 10 articles where people will be grateful for the assistance.
We can always review and mop up any leftovers later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:06, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Trial Result: I started removing links, checking them first. 1) It is very time-consuming, compared, say, to evaluating and removing MySpace links. 2) There are often several sources mixed in one article. It's apparent that many sources are taken word-for-word from reliable places such as published encyclopedias; the encyclopedias are named. 3) Some sources that considers reliable, Wikipedia generally does not (AllMusic, AllMovie).
There's no particular doubt in my mind that the encyclopedia and dictionary sources are generally correctly quoted, and that they are reliable references. I understand and agree that one solution here is simply to remove all links. But this other solution I was proposing to evaluate each article referenced seems insurmountably time-consuming. For that amount of time and that quality of effort? An editor could be fixing a Wikipedia article, directly. ELNO Checking (talk) 13:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC) 09:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

How about adding to User talk:XLinkBot/RevertList? Yoenit (talk) 12:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I would tend to say yes, but I'd want the opinion of someone well familiar with XLinkBot's advantages vs. disadvantages. Should the suggestion be made there? ELNO Checking (talk) 13:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Google Video

Google Video is shutting down. [12] There are over 4,000 links to the site (I stopped counting).[13]   Will Beback  talk  22:34, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like a mass removal on or about 13 May. Some videos links could be replaced but that would make the task much greater. Maybe we could get the word out to editors soon to try and replace links where they are acceptable in their articles of interest.--NortyNort (Holla) 23:19, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Have a bot tag them now with some custom made {{dead}} tag? We have 100k dead links or something, so not like it will really make a dent. I will note will probably get a full archive up eventually, but that might take a while. Yoenit (talk) 23:24, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Exact number of links is 6098 [14] btw. Yoenit (talk) 23:26, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Great idea, I forgot a bot could do it. I think SporkBot is up to the task. Would it be better to just remove the link though? If an editor is watching the article, they can notice and replace it.--NortyNort (Holla) 03:39, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
A problem with using the {{dead}} tag in this way is that editors are encouraged to place this tag when there is a possibility that the link is temporarily unavailable, or that it has moved, and just needs a little research to find the new location. What's being suggested here is a different use, which is a marker for links that probably will never come back, or that might require considerable research to locate a replacement. As it stands, editors are invited to check or fix links marked with {{dead}} tags. The new use suggested here would add 6,000 tags that mostly can't be fixed -- which is a disincentive to investigate the other{{dead}} tags that were added in hopes of recovery. (talk) 05:33, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Since that article is completely wrong regarding youtube and the 15 minutes (that's old limit from youtube's past), I wonder how reliable it is regading the other details. Meaning the chance for a video to resurface on youtube or even might not be that small, which in turn would shed a different light on the pros and cons of the dead link template.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:37, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
[dead link] means one thing and only thing only: The link is dead. It does not suggest the link is easily replaced or anything, it just says that this link no longer works. I also said a custom dead link template. I was thinking of something like google video will go offline soon, please replace this link with a link to a page explaining the issue and possible solutions. That way editors watching these pages will be alerted now and can take preventive action. Yoenit (talk) 10:58, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Please pick a shorther template next, we should avoid to mess up the articles display completely.--Kmhkmh (talk) 11:09, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
New link needed...then if a user clicks it, they go to a page explaining the situation. Later, presumably, all Google video links could be removed.--NortyNort (Holla) 11:13, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, my example was a bit long, shorter is better but I couldn't think of something good at the time. Nortynorts example is fine with me though. Yoenit (talk) 11:57, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, well I can can put the template together later today and query SporkBot for the task if everyone is fine. Playback on the videos stops in two days.--NortyNort (Holla) 22:19, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I could do it, but check with User:NoomBot, who is approved for these tasks. Thanks! Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 14:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

During a brain lapse I posted this over at WP:RSN instead of here.

Someone has been repeatedly adding links to the site (which has its own article here) to Faraday effect and other articles. The link-adding accounts were blocked for 2 days, and Faraday effect is temporarily semi-protected.

Instructables consists of purely user-generated/uploaded content. As such, it doesn't qualify as a reliable source for use as a reference, but I wanted to gauge the community's thoughts on its use as an external link.

My inclination is to remove such links due to the first two WP:ELNO criteria of links to be avoided, as well as WP:NOTHOWTO. Thoughts? ~Amatulić (talk) 18:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree with their removal. Linksearch en (insource) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wikigs • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced - RSN • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:
There are a lot of them, and perhaps a few past discussions. --Ronz (talk) 19:17, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The Center for Lumbee Studies

Any opinions on this link The Center for Lumbee Studies as a valid EL? The editor User:Rbarton59 seems to spend the vast majority of their edits adding it to various articles, some associated with the Lumbee people, a good bit not. I've removed the ones on articles not associated with the Lumbee, but have for now left it on others related to the Lumbee. I believe it may be a WP:COI WP:SPAMming of a personal website. Any thoughts from other editors? Heiro 21:38, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The user appears to be the president of the center. Overall, it isn't that substantive of a website; the blog hasn't been updated in four months and I don't see any news at all. Is it even an academic or research organization? I wouldn't include it in any Wikipedia articles.--NortyNort (Holla) 00:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I surmised as much when I looked at it earlier. Heiro 01:06, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I have invited the editor who repeatedly adds a link to his/her self-published map [15] to seek a second opinion on this page, but it was reinstated again today without comment. The contributor seems to have had a change of heart, previously having declared that "It is simply not worth the effort when my blog and Google Maps public exposure is doing well on their own". Views, please? --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:57, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

This is a tough one IMO. ELNO aside, it appears to be useful but I am not familiar enough with the subject to deem how accurate it is. However, it is self-published and wouldn't be used a reference for the article so I would support its removal on that basis.--NortyNort (Holla) 01:14, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I might allow it under ==External links== (IMO it passes ELNO #1, ELYES #3, and ELMAYBE #4), but the diff I looked at show it having been added to the middle of the article rather than as a proper external link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:03, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Seems to fail ELNO #15, though: shouldn't the {{Template:GeoTemplate}} be used instead? I'm not convinced that the conditions of ELMAYBE #4 are satisfied: that the contributor, as the proprietor of a WP:SPS, represents a "knowledgeable source".--Old Moonraker (talk) 09:23, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Would it be a good idea to create an article Second voyage of HMS Beagle locations where {{GeoTemplate}} can easily export the coordinates into Google Maps or another viewer? My big worry with the link is that it is self-published and cannot be easily monitored for changes and accuracy by Wikipedia editors. Here is an example article to demonstrate what the template can do.--NortyNort (Holla) 11:06, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Nearly every external link is self-published: Self-published only means that the author and the publisher are the same entity. As an example, is self-published, because it is both written and published by Coca-Cola, Inc. Even if you meant this term as a means of discriminating against small voices, rather than as a description of the mechanics, the fact remains that there are zero restrictions against self-published websites in the EL guideline.
As a practical matter, the objections you raise against this link apply with equal force to every single external link in the entire project. We cannot easily monitor any external link for changes or accuracy, and as the folks who deal with WP:link rot have good reason to know, many do change over time. Any link might be changed. When/if that happens, we'll remove it. Until then, I see no clear reason to exclude it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:12, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking of "personal websites...are largely not acceptable as sources" in WP:SPS. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:38, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
External links (which is the only way this link should be countenanced) are not required to comply with SPS. External links are (by definition) not "sources". WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:36, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Xiatica and

Moved from WP:ANI.

Could someone take a look at Special:Contributions/Xiatica edits please ? They appear to be a single purpose account adding links to which describes itself as "an online marketing channel for the fine art market". On the one hand it looks like external link spamming, on the other I'm biased so I don't have the heart to remove the links. Sean.hoyland - talk 12:15, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Xiatica has very kindly stopped adding links for the time being pending clarification here. Sean.hoyland - talk 12:51, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Hmm. Interesting. I think, considering Xiatica's willingness to play by the rules, that no administrative action is required. Sean, would you agree that this discussion can be moved to the EL noticeboard? That's where it seems to belong. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 00:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like a plan. I'll move it over there. Sean.hoyland - talk 07:56, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

<-Would it be possible to get some views on the external links that Xiatica was adding please ? Although some of them are rather nice I'm not sure that they qualify as either WP:ELYES or WP:ELMAYBE. Thanks. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:14, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

If you can find any artist pages which either have large galleries of copyrighted work or complete expositions histories you might make a case for wp:ELYES #3, but empty skeletons like this should not be included. The pattern of addition is obviously spam and a mass revert seems appropriate. Yoenit (talk) 08:49, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I have had a fair bit to do with the wikipedia entries of Australian artists in the past. To Xiatica's credit, some of the additions have not been as bad as others I have had to revert, and Xiatica's conduct has been exemplary in stopping as soon as the issue was raised and agreeing to wait for an outcome of discussion. However, my view is that for notable artists I have almost always been able to find a link to an image of a representative work at a public institution. My general view has been that, unless there is no other option available online, do not link to a commercial site that either directly or indirectly is involved in the sale of works. I would suggest Xiatica/other editors replace the Artabase links with links to works by the artists at public galleries or non-selling exhibitions. Otherwise, I'm with Yoenit and would favour across-the-board reversion. Incidentally, what an appalling choice of company name by the website! Didn't they look up "abase" in the dictionary before they named it??! :-) Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 05:34, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

The GoAlleghany website is a local news, business directory, classifieds, and moderated message board website specifically for Alleghany County, NC. This county has a population of about 11,000 people, and no local newspaper. It is a high-elevation, rural area, and has approximately 3,000 homes with internet access.

I am the owner of this website, and added a link to it under "External links" for the Alleghany Wiki page. I also added a "Media" section to the page, and referred to the site as a so:

Media Alleghany county is represented online by, a popular website with local news, events, and free classifieds. The website also allows residents of the county to discuss local topics. is a member of the GoNC Network.

This was subsequently removed by a moderator as spam, who further stated that since I'm the owner, there may be a conflict of interest.

However, I would argue that it's not spam, and that there is no conflict of interest, because:

1. The site is pretty much the only news media in the area;

2. With a small population, I can't imagine that anyone not related to the site would be expected to add it;

3. I see where in other counties that we represent, print newspapers have similar "Media" sections and "External links", with no problem; and

4. It seems to meet the criteria listed at; re: Links to be considered - 4. Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources.

I understand that spamming is a major concern, but I contend that the placement of a link to a county-specific website on a county-specific Wiki page is not spam, but is instead a link to relevant content.

Thanks in advance for your further consideration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GoNC Network (talkcontribs) 19:01, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

I was one of the editors who reverted the addition of what I saw as WP:LINKSPAM by an IP user, who I assume was the same person before their creation of this account. See Special:Contributions/ I do not think that any of these websites meet WP:EL, and note that the editor in question clearly has a WP:COI as owner of the websites. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 19:11, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Please note that there are at least 10 different such websites which have been added as ELs by the IP user, not just one. GoNC Network has confirmed that s/he is the same as the IP user who was repeatedly adding these websites to the North Carolina county articles on my talk page diff. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 19:32, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I went to and looked at it. It has links to national and international news from the AP via Yahoo News, and links to three "local news" stories all from an Ashe County newspaper, the Jefferson Post (and all three stories were about Ashe County, not Alleghany). Besides personal ads, the only local news I could see was the cheapest gasoline price from February 2, which is not very up to date. I fail to see how this meet WP:EL. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 19:38, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure the correct way to respond to this, so I'm doing the same as Ruhrfish and preceding with a colon.

You are correct that I originally posted the information as an IP user. When I first posted information, it stated that registration was not required, so I only registered in order to discuss this issue.

We currently operate 38 websites, respective to 38 counties, which is why I had updated 10 county listings to link to 10 different county websites; eg, Alleghany linked to GoAlleghany, Ashe linked to GoAshe, etc. These are all smaller counties in North Carolina, and I believe that the logic of one applies to them all; a website with specific content regarding the county should be relevant to the county listing page.

I agree that there is a concern of a conflict of interest, but as stated before, I'm not sure who else would be expected to add such information? I also contend that my ownership does not change the relevance of the information.

In response to the description of the site, as I stated, there is no local newspaper. Ashe is a bordering county to which many of the residents travel, and so their news is relevant for Alleghany as well; which is why we show national news, as well as local (or, in many cases, as close to local as we can get). However, Ruhrfish overlooked the Community Voice, which is where the majority of the local information is posted, as well as the Local Events calendar, Restaurant Menus, Weather, etc... all of which is specific news for the county.

While it's true that GoAlleghany isn't a terribly active website, I would again point out that this is because Alleghany itself is a small county with limited internet access, so this is pretty much what the residents have.

Thanks again for your consideration. GoNC Network (talk) 20:47, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

As a side note, if popularity is an issue, then I would point out that the External link to GoAshe on the Ashe County page was also removed. This is a much more popular site, and the local news is always pertinent to Ashe county.

GoNC Network (talk) 20:50, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

The user has been spam blocked by another admin. Just as an aside, I went to and all the local news is linked from the local newspaper (not original to the website). Community voice is a discussion board, which does not meet WP:EL. I am marking this resolved as the user is blocked. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 21:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
User is appealing his block, so I have removed the resolved tag for now. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:33, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Ruhrfisch. The block has been removed now, so I've created this new policy-appropriate account.

I would still like to contend that the sites I linked are appropriate, due to the specific features that apply to WP:EL / Links to be considered (my explanation begins with an -) -

A well-chosen link to a directory of websites or organizations. Long lists of links are not acceptable. A directory link may be a permanent link or a temporary measure put in place while external links are being discussed on the article's talk page. The Open Directory Project is often a neutral candidate, and may be added using the links/Noticeboard/Archive 8 External links/Noticeboard/Archive 8 at Curlie template.

- Please notice that one of the primary features for the site is a searchable directory of local websites on the homepage. This directory is unique to the site, and provides information only for businesses that exist within the county, or that have a specific interest to the residents of the county.

For example, the directory on GoAlleghany currently contains 82 listings; while this isn't huge, please remember that we're talking about a county with 1 grocery store and 20 restaurants. GoAshe, representing a bordering county, currently contains just under 300 listings in its directory.

Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources.

- While it's true that many of our sites do syndicate news from an external source, the news is still relevant to its respective county. In addition, the business directory, personals, restaurant listing (and menus), events calendar, weather report and forecast, and classifieds are all local and unique for the county that the site represents. These are the same types of features that are usually found in local printed newspapers (which often only reprint syndicated articles) and Chambers of Commerce, both of which are obviously acceptable for the Wiki articles.

Further, I understand that there are limitations regarding message boards. However, I would suggest that the "Community Voice" message board is primarily a discussion of local events and news topics from local residents, which should make the content "information about the subject of the article [the county] from knowledgeable sources [the local residents]".

Finally, in reference to the potential conflict of interest, I would still assert that when the article pertains to small rural counties and towns with a small population, it would be unrealistic to expect anyone other than the owner or director of an organization to volunteer accurate information. In fact, the majority of the information for the "Wilkes County, North Carolina" page was written by the county's Economic Development Director and myself (as a volunteer for the board); the majority of the information for "North Wilkesboro, North Carolina" page was written by the Town Manager and myself (as the town's website designer and friend to the Town Manager), etc.

Thank you again for your consideration. As a side note, I would like to mention that it's a real pleasure to be able to appeal this to the moderator and group, regardless of your decision. I know that it's impossible to review each site manually before making a moderating decision, so the fact that you're willing to discuss it has truly impressed me. Jason W. Carlton (talk) 00:02, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

I think that all the sites should be considered - links to about 10 were added to NC county atrticles and above Jason W. Carlton says there are 38 such sites. I have not looked at more than 2, but both were prett similar. The only true local news was linked from a local newspaper in each case, so why not add the EL to the newspaper websites instead? I assume that the content is licensed, but if it is not licensed, then these linkes meet WP:ELNEVER. As for the discussion boards, these are explicitly forbidden as ELs under WP:ELNO 10.Links to social networking sites (such as Myspace and Facebook), chat or discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups), Twitter feeds, Usenet newsgroups or e-mail lists. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:39, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Ruhrfisch, did you mean that they should be considered acceptable, or not acceptable? Your first statement sounded like you thought they should be accepted, but then your further description differed.
You're correct that we currently manage sites to represent 38 counties, but only 10 are active enough to be considered a relevant source of information. This is why these sites were added, but not the others. They are all similar in layout, but have different content that is relevant to each county. The oldest and most active of the sites is, if you would like to review it as well.
All of our news headlines are licensed, and appropriately link back to the original source. And while I agree that you should link to the newspaper as well, my argument is that we offer considerably more information than just news; eg, the business directory, local events calendar, local gas price reports, personals, restaurant listings, etc, and this content is stated as acceptable under WP:EL. We do not present ourselves as a news site (and do not compete with newspapers), but as a resource for current information that is primarily of interest to the residents of that county.
I would also like to cite the precedent of Mecklenburg County, NC, where a link to has existed since, according to, at least June 2008. This is a site that's similar in purpose to, but doesn't include the syndicated news, personals, restaurants, events, etc, and that hasn't been updated in several years. Jason W. Carlton (talk) 06:35, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Local gas reports as one of the useful items…I'd agree, except that on the GoAlleghany site, the gas prices are over three months old (last update 2 February as I write this message). That said, there are still the local calendars on the website. Now, the sites appear to be very consistently templated—it's clear the same production house is behind all of them. I moved from GoWilkes to GoAlleghany, and several elements did not change: layout, top (non-local) part of In the News, etc. Important elements did change, however, including the local news.
As for linking to the news providers' sites directly, that may be a mixed bag. GoAlleghany's news is from the Jefferson Post, a traditional print newspaper. GoWilkes' is from WWWC, a Christian radio station. Is linking to 3WC's news department directly going to produce more cries of bias in choice of links than a link to the GoWilkes portal page is?
I'm really on the fence about this. I think the links were correctly removed initially under the WP:EL#ADV guidance of "you should avoid linking to a site that you own, maintain, or represent." The user who added the links has appealed to the noticeboard for consideration of the links on their own merits. The sites don't scream to me that yes, they should absolutely be added, but the also don't scream that they should not be added. My suggestion would be that, if there are county articles that are weak in direct sources for news about the county—or as in Wilkes County, the GoWilkes portal may present a less-biased face to people seeking news—it's acceptable to add the site in those counties. —C.Fred (talk) 14:43, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Just to be very clear - my first post here was that I thought this was an example of WP:LINKSPAM, that the links do NOT meet WP:EL and that Jason W. Carlton (and as an IP and under his previous username) had a conflict of interest. Now the linkspam has not been repeated and Jason is doing the right thing by asking about the inclusion of the links (let me clarify here that the COI is the owner / operator of a website linking to his own website, not the fact that you generated some of the website's content). However, I still feel the links do not meet WP:EL. I looked at the GoWilkes page just now and for it and all of them that I've seen, relatively little of the content is related directly to the counties. The county news, which is the most relevant, is always from another source (so why not link that source, if it is so useful?). The ads and chat are the other major items that are local that I saw, but again I do not see how they meet WP:EL (chat / discussion boards are expressly listed as not suitable ELs to link here, as I noted above, and links just for ads is also not allowed). I have helped to get quite a few articles to featured article and can guarantee that these websites would not be seen as WP:Reliable sources at WP:FAC. How then do they meet the first item under links to avoid? should generally avoid: 1.Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 15:50, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
PS As for the news link in GoWilkes, since the county has two newspapers (The Journal Patriot and The Record) which both have websites, I would say they should be ELs bfore the radio station, and see this as an argument that the GoWilkes site is even less suitable as an EL than a site that links to a newspaper. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 15:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
No offence intended to Jason; I'm sure that there are people in these communities that find his company's pages useful. However, I fail to see any convincing reason for inclusion in Wikipedia's articles. The pages aren't acceptable as a reference source, and there does not appear to be any great need to add them in the EL section. It would be akin to adding links simply because they exist, and we are not a directory service. --Ckatzchatspy 18:53, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
No offense taken at all, Ckatz. Quite the opposite; I find this to be a very learning experience. You're definitely correct; the GoWilkes site for Wilkes county is 10 years old now, and in this area is considered the primary source of information about the county. Of the two local newspapers, I understand that the circulation for the Journal Patriot is down to around 5,000 (for a county with about 70,000 residents), and The Record is a weekly op-ed with a circulation of around 500. In comparison, GoWilkes has an average of 90,000 unique visitors a week.
I know that this isn't necessarily a point for this Noticeboard, but I am surprised that message boards are off limits. By today's standards, many newspapers are collapsing, and message boards are taking their place; mainly because information can be attained more quickly, and from actual witnesses rather than potentially biased views of the reporter. For example:
(You'll want to click on the "Reverse" button to see the first post)
Both of these threads referenced and discussed major tragedies; in the one about the baby being abused, the family was able to reply, and in the one about the teenager dying in an auto accident, the parents and friends both replied. But the Journal Patriot didn't report on either for over a week, and the Record never actually reported on either.
I completely understand the concern of biased content, but when you consider that The Record is strictly an op-ed newspaper, the content is obviously biased, too. The only real difference, other than that The Record is one person's opinion versus GoWilkes having thousands of opinions, is that The Record is both printed and online, while GoWilkes is exclusively online.
On that topic, too, Ruhrfisch, the reason that you're not seeing a lot of discussion topics that are directly related to the county right now is because of Bin Laden being killed, which is obviously a hot topic. Just today, though, there are threads regarding a pastor of a local church leaving, a local rabies clinic, the new charity-driven free health clinic, advice on certain neighborhoods before buying a home, lost / found pets, several threads on asking where to make certain purchases locally, local events, etc.
C.Fred, you are also correct about the gas prices. When I first added that section to GoWilkes, it was a very useful section, but now that local gas prices have leveled out, it's nowhere near as utilized. This is especially noticed on GoAlleghany, which represents a county with 2, maybe 3 gas stations. However, the directory of local websites is much more utilized and kept up to date, as is the local events calendar, the restaurant list / menus, and the local classifieds. Interestingly enough, the sites actually began as little more than a directory; the other features were added over time to fill the demand.
Finally, I would just like to say that I did read the rules before making any edits, and truly believed (and still believe) that the content of the sites met the minimum requirements. I had (and have) no intention of breaking the rules or spamming, and naturally, I will abide by whatever is decided here.

Jason W. Carlton (talk) 02:31, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Can someone explain how I'll know when a final decision has been made? I'm not sure if other moderators are expected to chime in, or if an overseeing board makes a final decision that will be posted, or if it's a simple matter of the majority of the moderators that reply? Jason W. Carlton (talk) 02:01, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Mark Russell Bell

I've removed some external links from Poltergeist a few times, and they keep being restored: [16]

The links in question are:

The reason I removed these links is because they primarily promote books and a website by Mark Russell Bell. I don't think they conform to the criteria required of external links i.e. criteria 4 & 5 at WP:LINKSTOAVOID; a possible criteria 11 violation as well because it is not established that Mark Russell Bell is a "recognized authority". There may well be a WP:COI of interest violation here given the editor's preoccupation with this writer. I don't want to do the editor an injustice so I would welcome a third opinion. If the impartial view goes against my judgement I'm happy to drop the issue. Betty Logan (talk) 04:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't feel strongly about this, but I don't really think that they're appropriate. The first feels kind of spammy, and I'm just not sure that they add encyclopedic information. It's more sensationalism than encyclopedic. Perhaps someone else would like to take a look and offer an opinion.
I agree that the comment about "not judging me" suggests, but does not prove, that Blogger10 (talk · contribs) is the author. If edit warring becomes a problem, we may have to ask for the user to be blocked or even to have the links blacklisted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:41, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I have not looked at the above links, but a quick scan of Poltergeist#External links makes me think some heavy pruning should occur. The "Poltergeist caught on video" and "Scientific evidence of poltergeist knocking" links are gold-plated nonsense. Johnuniq (talk) 09:13, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

External links as temporary repository for yet unused references

Am I wrong in believing that the external links section is not the place for specific references that have not yet been added to the article? As a general example: users dumping links to reviews etc. in the EL section. The third paragraph of the lead of WP:EL indicates to me that references should be added with content, not without and dumped in the EL section. Xeworlebi (talk) 14:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I thought that is what "further reading" sections were for? Yoenit (talk) 14:56, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
In general your both right. It happens all the time though. --Kumioko (talk) 17:09, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I thought "further reading" was for books etc. about the subject in general, not for specifics, and more to be used like "we used this book as a reference but there's much much more in it, so you might want to read it completely as well." Main problem being that people dump a bunch of possible references at EL and then expect other people to go fish them out to be used as references. Basically saying "hey we didn't care to add any context, but here are a bunch of reviews", turning the section in a link farm until someone comes along to turn them into reference and add info from them. Am I correct that possible references should go on the talk page until someone comes along to utilize them, instead of turning the external links section in a link dump. Xeworlebi (talk) 17:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Assuming a link qualifies for inclusion under the usual rules, there is no firm rule against listing it under either ==Further reading== or ==External links==. Whether it would be possible to use the link as a source is basically irrelevant.
You should use your best judgment, after considering the current state of the individual article in question. Available options include leaving them alone, using the links to expand the article, and moving them to the talk page with a note encouraging someone else to use them to expand the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:07, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

McAndrews Estate - Facebook Link

I've been working on a page for property containing a number of ruins called the "McAndrews Estate". Very little is known about the property and there is an intense research project occurring to unlock some of the mysteries. The main venue for this project is a Facebook "group" called the 'Historic McAndrews Estate' ( This page contains lots of new content - photos, maps, historical records - as well as emerging information and events. Although Facebook normally requires registration, this 'group page' does not. Users can view all the content without logging in or registering. I tried linking to this page, but the link is automatically getting removed. There's no commercial interest here, and the content on the external site is both appropriate for those seeking more information and doesn't overlap with the Wikipedia content. How can I get that link to stay? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

A Facebook page is not a reliable source. If the information is useful, we need links to the actual published sources used, not to a Facebook page. The other content you describe sounds like original research and synthesis, which we do not use here, since no sort of vetting or filtering process has taken place. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:29, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately Orangemike is right. There are some great photos on that Facebook page and if you are the copyright holder, you can upload them on Commons and put them in the article.--NortyNort (Holla) 21:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
  • As the editor is not using the Facebook page as a WP:SOURCE, then it doesn't matter whether it's a reliable one. External links do not have to be reliable sources. External links have to be on-topic and justifiable.
  • XLinkBot is playing the odds. Usually, when an unregistered user adds a link to Facebook, it's clearly a poor link, so the bot removes them all. On occasion—and this is probably one of those occasions—the link is desirable. In that case, all you need to do is to follow the directions it left on your talk page by WP:UNDOing the bot. It will not WP:Edit war with you to keep the link out of the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Unverified Twitter accounts

So, this user is spamming Jennifer Lawrence and Hayden Panettiere with these unverified Twitter accounts. I know I am right in removing them, but the user won't listen and tries to place the WP:BURDEN on me. I can't be bothered to get into a lengthy argument, so if anyone could deal with it, that would be appreciated. There's a short discussion at my talk page about it as well. Thanks. Nymf hideliho! 14:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

As I suggested on your talk page, the people in question should post a Twitter link on their official website or make mention of it to a reliable source. Anyone can setup a Twitter account and write anything. --NeilN talk to me 14:59, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Yep. And looking at the Twitter accounts, it's so obviously the user adding them here that is the owner of them. See this post for example. Same rhetoric. Nymf hideliho! 15:03, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
And same thing by the other account. Nymf hideliho! 15:07, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

And i said many times before they are verified accounts the jennifer Lawrence one is even listed on her own website it's just now under maintenance because of xmen promotion stuff being added she said, also It is forbidden in the law to record telephone calls so yeah you have to make the call yourself as i am not going to brake the law by recording phone calls made to verify their accounts. I'm a celeb reporter from The Netherlands and verify every single source. So please do not tell me those links are unverified because they are, just contact the production company's yourself.The Source (talk) 15:02, 15 May 2011 (UTC)--The Source (talk) 15:02, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

If you want to add the links, it's up to you to find a reliable source that confirms their authenticity. If a website is down, we can wait until it comes back up. There's no rush to add links. --NeilN talk to me 15:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

fine then I gues I can also start removing links other people added to wiki because there are more celebs websites that are down, so each time a website goes down links will have to be removed.And Hayden does not have a website but even gives 3 verification adresses maybe you should get more into this and check those resources, again Phone Call Recordings is a violation of law. But I willl make a copy of this where you guys ask people to brake the law it will make a nice news paper headline because the only way to really verify is making the phone call to the production company's The Source (talk) 15:11, 15 May 2011 (UTC)--The Source (talk) 15:11, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Asking a production company to confirm an actor's Twitter account instead of their publicist? And giving no contact info besides the company name? Something is not quite right.. --NeilN talk to me 15:15, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

You obviously are not into reporting, the Production Company is what they are under contract with, they are the most reliable source of information everything else is less trust worthy. Always contact the company they are under countract with, lesson nr1 when you become a Celeb Reporter ;) The Source (talk) 15:17, 15 May 2011 (UTC)--The Source (talk) 15:17, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, well, lesson number 1 for Wikipedia editing is finding a reliable source for content you want to add. If you can't be bothered then the content stays out until someone else is willing to do your work for you. --NeilN talk to me 15:26, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

o by the way the link to Jennifer Lawrence was first given by herself when she appeared on a TV show last week ;) So even the celeb herself giving out a link on TV is not good ? It was probably a strange guy with a wig right ? lol Anyways last week I added the link after verifying it and it was also on her site on that time, now like I said make a wiki law of it that each time a celebs site goes down we have to remove links, there are a lot of wiki's that have links that can no longer be verified because their websites are down, i gues we have to start removing each and everyone now huh.The Source (talk) 15:27, 15 May 2011 (UTC)--The Source (talk) 15:27, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Can we stop having a discussion in two places? Nymf is probably tired of having new messages. Again, there's no hurry to add the link. Wait until the website comes up and then add it. Thank you. --NeilN talk to me 15:32, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I just said I added the link last week when her site was still up and running and then it was also on there, been on there for a while now. So each time a site goes down links will have to be removed here, you just said so yourself basicly. Someone should have checked a week ago then and not come after more then a week that it is no good now because at this time her site is under maintenance, sorry but that is just stupid thinking, but I will leave the links of there and remove every link I find on wiki where websites are down and can no longer be verified. Will keep it here and not on nymfs, but like i said it's not right that after more then a week all of a sudden a link is removed because at the time of posting the website was up and running, so you say each time a site goes down links have to be removed because they can not be verified then, I will remove every link I see in the future on wiki where the website is down from at that time then.The Source (talk) 15:37, 15 May 2011 (UTC)--The Source (talk) 15:37, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Also, I checked what's supposed to be her Facebook page. No mention of her Twitter account there. --NeilN talk to me 15:43, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Lawrence's website is currently down. We're saying wait until it comes back up so we can verify. Read what you wrote. --NeilN talk to me 15:48, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm hardly an expert on social networking accounts, but my understanding is that when a Twitter account is verified, it has a blue check mark next to the account holder's name, as in Emma Watson's account ([17]). The Lawwrence account does not have such a check mark. I have no idea what process Twitter uses to verify, though. In Watson's case, her Twitter account is also listed on her official website.--Bbb23 (talk) 15:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Twitter has a page on verification. See here.--Bbb23 (talk) 15:53, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
As The Source pointed out, that program is currently closed for new applications. --NeilN talk to me 15:55, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
The wording of the Twitter page is confusing. At the beginning it says it is "currently" verifying accounts. Then, it says that public requests for verification are no longer accepted without saying whether Twitter would verify "well known accounts" on its own. Then, it says they are still verifying some "partners or advertisers". There is more than one way to interpret such poorly drafted material.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:38, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Um, guys, the last I checked, the WP:External links guideline does not require a proper WP:Reliable source to include a Twitter link. Hoaxes are bad, and spam is bad, but we identify WP:ELOFFICIAL links with editors' best judgment, considering all the facts and circumstances, not with reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:10, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Blog ELs

Hi, User talk:George Dance is posting his blog across poetry articles in citations and for external links. I have pointed out that ones own blog links are not considered an RSs, they are not encouraged as external links and maybe taken as spam promoting a personal website systematically across various articles. He says he has his own ideas. Please advise. Thanks Span (talk) 04:43, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, they are not only external links in external links sections, they are also used as inline-external links (often together with many others). Per our manual of style and our external links guideline, thát is not the way we link here. Moreover, this editor has also a conflict of interest. I have started to clean up a bit, but there is enough. I also left a message and a warning on the editors user talkpage, having own ideas is one, applying WP:IAR maybe a second, but if people contest it, then 'having own ideas' is not the way forward. Cleanup, please. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:30, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I noted that in the articles a lot of books and info is linked directly to a google-book or other bookshop site, while ISBN is available. Not related to this blogspot, but maybe worth cleaning up in the same round. I've done some, may have missed some as well. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:40, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Dirk. Best wishes Span (talk) 09:49, 20 May 2011 (UTC) Actually, as I've written, the books in the bibliography section were linked, not to any "bookshop site," but to html copies of the books, mainly at the University of Western Ontario site but in one or two cases on Google Books. Since all such books were published more than 50 years ago, they don't have ISBNs (though, when I had an ISBN for a reprint or a later edition, I did include that).George Dance (talk) 17:01, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

It was nice of Spangle to advise me that she posted this; I wondered where Dirk had come from. I have put up a statement about external links on User:George Dance, and I'd ask anyone interested in this to read it. George Dance (talk) 18:41, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia.
About these 'hard-to-find poems' you're posting on your blog and then linking on Wikipedia: Is there any compelling reason why they can't be uploaded to Wikisource? (Feel free to give me an example or three, so I don't have to spend too much time looking through your contributions.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:13, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi, there. I don't know who told you the poems I've linked can't be uploaded to wikisource; perhaps you'll say. Some can't be because they're copyrighted (in the U.S.), like the [Wylie links here.] Some have been, and the links for those were changed to wikisource links, like the Robert Herrick links that Spanglej removed. George Dance (talk) 06:10, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if WhatamIdoing was thinking that someone told her they could not be uploaded .. the question seems more general. But .. if you say that the Wylie links here can't be uploaded to wikisource .. how come you can upload them to blogspot? --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:22, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

The poems are not hard to find. I suggest a block is in order. Span (talk) 16:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

It sounded to me that WhatamIdoing was implying I'd said they couldn't be uploaded to wikisource. As for the Wylie books, it was actually someone at wikisource who decided all the Wylie books published after 1923 couldn't be uploaded and removed them. I have no idea who decided that or why: Wylie died in 1929, so her works should have become public domain in 1979 in the U.S. just as they did in Canada (where my blog is published). George Dance (talk) 17:20, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Other poems on my blog are copyrighted and used with permission; as are most of those from the Canadian Poetry Online site. George Dance (talk) 17:35, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
We're usually more lenient about linking to Wikisource than to a personal blog. (Copyright violations are unacceptable in either place, however.)
My quick search found no evidence that any of Wylie's works were deleted from Wikisource. It looks like they simply weren't ever uploaded. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:03, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe they weren't. That puts them in the other category I mentioned: "Still others can be input to wikisource, but haven't been." No one's going to link to a page that isn't there, whether you allow it or not. George Dance (talk) 01:07, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree Wikisource is the best spot instead of having numerous ELs linking individual works, especially those as questionable sources. I removed links to Robert Herrick's poems which were all on Wikisource already. Multiple editors bringing up the same issue indicates that it is probably a problem. If this is consensus and George's reverts continue, it becomes disruptive and I would support a block then.--NortyNort (Holla) 16:18, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Block applied. Further cleanup is necessary. This way of editing fails WP:EL and our manual of style and more, whether George likes it or not. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:40, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking action. Span (talk) 22:51, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I've cleaned up the remaining links. While I've not checked each and every poem, those that I have checked are available on other websites that are much more commonly linked within Wikipedia, such as I also haven't seen any talk page discussions per WP:AVOIDCOI. --Ronz (talk) 00:23, 26 May 2011 (UTC)


I think there may be a spammer on the Egyptian pages? Satseshat has added a lot of external links to the site. See Contributions. This person was warned in 2007 about this behavior User talk:Satseshat. The website is not necessarily bad, but it is (to my knowledge) written by a non-expert. At this point the only contributions from the editor is the addition of these links. --AB (talk) 12:35, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I have reverted the last edits, I see you already invited the editor here (awaiting input), and I think your analysis (the pages fail WP:EL) seems correct. Maybe further cleanup is needed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:55, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Dirk. I do think it will require further clean-up. I hope this at least stops it from getting worse in the mean time. Regards Anneke --AB (talk) 17:22, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Goldie Hawn and video copyright violation

Goldie Hawn (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

An editor added this link to a YouTube video to external links. I reverted, but after an extended discussion, where I failed to convince him that he misunderstood both Wikipedia policy and the law, he reinserted it. The video was created by a user who put together a montage of Hawn's movies (all copyrighted, of course), along with a copyrighted song in the background. The editor seems to think we can use it as fair use or as a "compilation". I've tried to explain to him why he's wrong, but to no avail.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:01, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Note that the compilation included a clear disclaimer about its Fair Use.--Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 18:18, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
The disclaimer is very amusing. Either, the YouTube user thinks his work is copyrightable, so he's telling other people they can use his video for "educational" purposes, or he thinks that by simply saying the video is fair use, he can escape infringement. If the latter, I don't see how the video is being used for "educational" purposes on YouTube.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:30, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
It would be reasonable to view a "compilation" of movie clips showing a particular actor as being descriptive and relevant to their biography. It visually shows a filmography of the actor. It illustrates and confirms details about their roles and characters described in the bio. That's essentially the only thing that makes actors notable for WP, so it fits as a perfect method of supporting notability. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 18:40, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't know how much value a video of this type adds to the article. Anyway, notability is not an issue for article content, just relevance and the degree of relevance. None of this matters, though, because I'm not challenging it based on value or relevance. In my view, it's a clear copyright violation - not even a close question - despite Wikiwatcher's valiant efforts to show the contrary.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:14, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
"Compilations" are a special category in the copyright law that many are not aware of: Find sources: Google (books · news · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · JSTOR · NYT · TWL --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 19:49, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Wikiwatcher misinterprets the law on compilations (a statutory term), mixes it up with the ordinary English word "compilations", and then reaches conclusions based on legal misunderstandings. Copyright law is complex even for lawyers who specialize in it and for judges who must rule on it. Regardless of the merits of Wikiwatcher's views, his insertion of the link and this discussion show the dangers of permitting Wikipedian editors to apply their own legal interpretations to the use of copyrighted information, particularly when attempting to analyze fair use, a multi-factorial test that almost all people in the field acknowledge is thorny at best.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:06, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
While under discussion, Bbb23, can answer a hypothetical question: Let's say that person X creates an audio-visual compilation, like Goldie Hawn's, but using only PD film snippets. Person Y sees it somewhere and makes a copy to upload to WP as PD. Is that acceptable? --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 21:44, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with WhatamIdoing, we should stop and let others respond.--Bbb23 (talk) 21:56, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree, although a "neutral" title to the section would have been preferred. In answer to my hypothetical question, the answer is "No," it would not be allowed. The "compilation" of PD material, or Fair Use material, in any form, would have its own automatic copyright as a "compilation." --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 22:13, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I see that you two are currently involved in a dispute. Having (properly) brought the question here, I request that you two stop arguing with each other, stop trying to edit war over the link (Wikiwatcher1, you might take particular note of WP:ELBURDEN), and wait for responses from uninvolved people. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:26, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I have removed this in accordance with WP:LINKVIO. It doesn't matter if he claims that it is fair use. There's no critical commentary in that video; it's simply a montage of somebody's favorite scenes overlying a copyvio picture of another artist with a copyvio song by somebody else. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to seek consensus, but this content must not be restored in the meantime. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:52, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Anyone can rip something off and say it is OK. Contributory infringement is bad. See WP:VIDEOLINK since I like plugging it (only an essay).Cptnono (talk) 02:00, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Links to this site (example) are being added using {{Top250 movie}}. To me it does not look like a unique resource of useful further information unlike IMdB, Allmovie, Box Office Mojo and so on. Thoughts? Skomorokh 18:05, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Liberal National Party of Queensland

Some new users and IPs are adding dubious external links to the article (diff of most recent). Briefly, the links fail WP:EL because is "under construction" and not relevant anyway, and the rest are search and aggregator sites. A recent edit refers to a long term abuser. I have not fully confirmed that diagnosis but the abuser has been active on this article in the past, and the link is definitely the abuser (no need to explain). Thanks for any help cleaning out the EL. I suppose I should alert an admin/checkuser re the abuser? Johnuniq (talk) 11:07, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm curious as to opinions on adding which is a site for the "International Council for Direct Selling Industry" to the article Direct selling.

I removed it once, but an IP restored it, so wanted to bring it here for a broader discussion both on this link, as well as on the appropriate use of industry group sites in general.

What got my attention on this one initially is the username of the user who added it the first time (a clear COI). But, when I began looking closer, I found that I'm unable to find anything on this group mentioned anywhere other than its own website. It claims to be involved in government policies, so obviously would be working "behind the scenes" and not out in the public eye ... but I would expect to find some mention of it from someplace - either news, scholarly work, or other industry journals/organizations ... yet I can't turn up anything.

To me, this may be either a new group trying to attract members and attempting to promote itself, or worse case (as I'm unable to find anything as yet to prove otherwise) it could be a scam attempting to give itself some degree of legitimacy by listing itself on WP.

Do others have opinions on this link? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:15, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

I haven't attempted to replicate your search for sources, but it sounds like self-promotion to me.
In general, I'm not fond of linking industry groups or trade publications. I don't think that they provide value to our readers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I removed several other ELs including that one from the article for a few reasons.--NortyNort (Holla) 10:10, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

TV Tropes

There is a discussion at Talk:Lackadaisy as to whether is an acceptable external link. It appears to be an open wiki, and hence unsuitable by WP:ELNO no.12, but the opinion has been expressed that it is acceptable under the exception as having "a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors". It does not appear to have been discussed before. There are about 220 articles which link to it. Sergeant Cribb (talk) 16:39, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Knowing the type of info TV Tropes gives, the question to ask if this is the type of information we would normally include in WP if there were no copyright or similar technical issues that we normally rely on ELs for. And that answer is pretty much "no" - nearly all the info on TV Tropes are in-universe discussions and theories that, while of interest to fans of the show, are not necessary from an encyclopedic purpose (If there are themes or motifs that are documented in sources, they can be included here on WP). --MASEM (t) 16:47, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Looks like this was discussed pretty extensively at the WP:EL talkpage in 2009. General consensus, as I read it, seems to be that TV Tropes is not an appropriate external link. Would others agree? --Elonka 17:22, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see that consensus there -- later discussion seems to show in detail that it meets the exception above, and that occasional links are acceptable. I'd prefer to go case-by-case -- linking to might be problematic, especially since there are so many other info and analysis sites we could link instead., on the other hand, looks like a valuable source for information about the comic and characters. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Masem, that reasoning suggests that the link should be included, since it would constitute a "unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article", but I suspect that you meant for this to be an argument against the link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:40, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I feel that the TV Tropes link[18] would be appropriate to add in the external links section of the Lackadaisy article. Then again, I have been involved in editing the article (and added the link in the first place), so will admit to some bias here. I don't feel particularly strongly about it in terms of the Lackadaisy article, but since TV Tropes seems to be being linked from multiple locations, it is probably worth having a wider discussion to determine consensus once and for all. In general, I feel that any wiki that is constructive, has been around for years, and is notable enough to have a Wikipedia article about it, is probably suitable to be linked from an external links section if it has a substantial page specifically about that same topic. --Elonka 17:54, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
The logic I'm using is that the tropes that TV tropes covers (regardless of media) are themes, motifs, dramatic elements, etc, that establish the narrative style of the work itself. Identifying these, unless they are blatantly obvious, requires sourcing to avoid original research because they clearly are concepts requiring analysis of the work and other similar works. Because of the user-contributed nature, all such material at TV Tropes is effectively unreliable and as good as original research from our standpoint. I'll contrast that with the idea of fan-wiki above where the bulk of the information on it is verifiable from the primary source, and as long as it has the userbase and length of time for establishing itself, wouldn't necessarily be 100% reliable as a source but can be a valuable addition for fictional works that WP just can't going to the detail for. --MASEM (t) 19:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Are you remembering that external links do not have to be reliable per WP:ELMAYBE #4? They normally shouldn't be demonstrably misleading, but they do not have to be verifiable/reliable/NOR-compliant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:29, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
But I would not call, as per the second part of ELMAYBE#4, the contributors to TVTropes as "knowledgeable sources", at least universally. Even if overall TV Tropes could be considered a well-edited source to qualify under a wiki classification, we're talking about linking to one page, and there we have no assurance that this one page is as good as the average quality of the work. --MASEM (t) 21:43, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Their articles are edited by complete fans, and none of the information is reliable. Most of it is made up, and that website is all natter and the opinions of the biased editors. This website is even worse than youtube due to opinions. The website's format is that of a forum. Are forums and youtube considered "good sources?" 13:00, 5 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Super mario fan (talkcontribs)
Except we're not talking about using it as a source, just an external link (why is it so many people cannot understand this difference?). And it's no more "mostly made up" than Wikipedia is. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Of course, WP has procedures for dealing with "mostly made up" information so that it doesn't stick around. Doniago (talk) 16:30, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Super mario fan: It's probably worth reviewing the guideline at Wikipedia:External links, specifically WP:YOUTUBE, where it states that YouTube links are not necessarily forbidden. Getting back to TV Tropes though, the point of an external links section is to include links which are directly relevant to the article topic, and helpful to our readers. For example, an external link might be to a list of sports statistics about an athlete, interview transcripts, etc. I'm currently on the fence about TV Tropes. I do think it's a site that might be of interest to our readers, but would it necessarily be helpful to our readers? --Elonka 00:59, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Another thing to consider for TV Tropes is that they are a site where fans write material for other fans usually requiring in-depth knowledge of the series before one can comprehend what they are talking about, as opposed to most external dedicated wikis are written by fans for the general reader (the goal we start with for Wikipedia). Editors will also make assumptions about the various terminology used, assuming initial familiarity with their casual terms like lampshading much as we do on our talk pages with policy shortcuts. But here, we're not too worried on the generic reader understaning these, that's not a goal on TV Tropes. Basically, while it is additional information about a fictional /creative work, it is the type of information that is not of good general interest to any reader that wants to learn more. --MASEM (t) 01:49, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  • TV tropes makes fascinating reading, but it is simply user generated content with no editorial oversite and not at all what encyclopedic external links should be. While there may be limited occasions where a link might be appropriate (although I have yet to see an actual example), the general stance should be DO NOT LINK with the rare exception that can be shown to be a benefit the encyclopedia determined on a case by case exception. Active Banana (bananaphone 17:25, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Of interest to the board

Pls see "Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2011 June person.Moxy (talk) 17:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Contributory copyright infringement

Please see the discussion at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Intentional misrepresentation of a living person's comments at Freedom for Palestine (song) and contributory copyright infringementCptnono (talk) 23:31, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I had a look and have absolutely no idea what it has to do with external links, nor do I see copyright infringement Yoenit (talk) 16:54, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello community, please visit and decide if it is a genuine source for information on Nigerian public listed companies or a spam link. This is because i came across that site, decided to share it on wikipedia so registered my account and added the link to a company page. it got deleted and the moderator (cutoffties) asked me to come a discuss it here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ombuguys (talkcontribs) 16:09, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

It looks like solid gold spam to me... sorry. TeapotgeorgeTalk 16:15, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
It is spam. The site doesn't tell us about the country or it's economy, it's a private company's for-profit site. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:18, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
"Jobs in Lagos" and "Where would you rather invest?" don't seem to be conducive to a resource "relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject". --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:33, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

There's been recent spamming of the link. I've cleaned it up and notified all the other editors involved. --Ronz (talk) 17:08, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

I've given Ombuguys (talk · contribs) a final warning for spamming this link, after he added it once again. --Ronz (talk) 16:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC) library

The Library at is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in cold fusion/LENR. It has a comprehensive listing of publications in this field, with abstracts and the full text in many cases. A number of w'pedia editors have insisted that there be no link to this library, on the basis of hypothetical copyright violation (there having been no instances, to the best of my knowledge, of cases where such editors have been able to point to specific instances of violation; this is purely 'armchair criticism'). In fact, the Curator (Jed Rothwell) routinely, where relevant, asks permission of the authors concerned, and always removes papers in the rare event of copyright owners requesting removal. Publishers very often do not object when papers in their journals appear on the internet even when technically there is copyright violation, and this is likely to be the case for almost all papers that have been made available in the library.

The key point in any case, is that there is a significant difference between linking to an article which violates copyright and linking to a collection where a small minority of papers hypothetically might involve copyright violation. The article Wikipedia:Copyrights#Linking_to_copyrighted_works makes a number of relevant points:

  • if you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work.

comment: as noted, linking to a collection is not the same as linking to a work in the collection. Linking to the work focusses attention on to that work, linking to the collection does not.

The article also says

  • it is currently acceptable to link to internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time. In articles about a website, it is acceptable to include a link to that website even if there are possible copyright violations somewhere on the site.

Some critics have attempted to say this principle does not apply to the LENR library as the article concerned is not about the web site. To me, this is being 'fussy', and in any case the objection could easily be evaded by including a reference to the library within the article (which would be good in any case as the existence of the library is an important fact about the subject of cold fusion), e.g. simply "in 19** Jed Rothwell set up the LENR library, an important resource for the field".

The article admittedly says:

  • Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors.

But it is not the intent of the library to 'illegally distribute someone else's work' and, for reasons already noted it is unlikely that this is happening. I do not find it credible that the fact that the library just might contain material to which copyright holders might object, as such, could bring discredit on w'pedia. In no way is this case comparable with the example given in the article, viz. 'linking to a site hosting the lyrics of many popular songs without permission from their copyright holders'.

I really believe that those who repeatedly raise objections to linking to the LENR library are doing a disservice both to Wikipedia and to the wider community. These are purely technical objections, not ones that offer genuine cause for concern.

Brian Josephson (talk) 09:29, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

(from that discussion, stating the counterargument) is a great resource for people interested in developments in the field of cold fusion research from an insider point of view, especially since much of the work receives little to no comment from independent sources. It hosts copies of a number of published research articles, often with permission from the author. The problem is that with science papers the authors do not generally hold the copyright - the journals do. This, in my view, makes linking to the library contributory copyright infringement, since publication there is made without permission of the copyright holders. There are also concerns of editorializing by the site, inappropriate promotion here by the site owner, and whether the site otherwise conforms to the external links policy (see prior discussions). - 2/0 (cont.) 10:15, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

That depends partly on what agreements are in place. Often, for example, the publisher allows unconditional posting of prepublication versions of a paper, and in many cases this is what people send in to Again, when I have asked a publisher if I can post a published paper on the web, this is normally accepted. Your statement generally the authors do not hold the copyright is an irrelevance, indeed a nonsense, because if authors could not post their own papers, because they do not hold the copyright, there would be copyright violations all over the place and w'pedia would be able to include very few references. Case dismissed!

You talk of 'editorialising' on the site. Where, pray, is the editorialising on the page I actually linked to. You do not help your case by raising objections that simply do not apply. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:10, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

In this case, I'm aware that some of the papers are originally published through Elsevier, and retain their copyright statement. While authors are allowed by some publishers to include papers on their own personal or university sites, this doesn't normally extend to providing them to third parties, and it seems unlikely that this is the case here. The owner of the site has previously stated that he seeks permission from the authors, but not necessarily the publishers, and this is where the problem can arise.
I think we have very good cause to believe that some papers which are included on are copyright violations. The question, then, is whether or not this means that providing a link is not viable, or if, given the importance of the site to the Cold Fusion movement, it would be reasonable to link to the site as a whole. - Bilby (talk) 11:29, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Bilby's and 2/0's point requires repeating, because I'm not sure it's sinking in. When an author publishes a paper, they typically transfer copyright to the journal in which it is published. In my experience, most copyright-transfer agreements give the author permission to repost the article on their personal/university website; to re-use text and images in their own future presentations and publications; and to distribute a limited number of copies to other researchers or students, for educational purposes. I would be seriously surprised if authors can "give permission" to a third-party website to re-publish their papers. As you might imagine, doing so would essentially destroy the journal's business model.
As an example, Elsevier's copyright policy states:

Authors of Elsevier-published articles may use them only for scholarly purposes as set out above and may not use or post them for commercial purposes or under policies or other mechanisms designed to aggregate and openly disseminate manuscripts or articles or to substitute for journal-provided services." ([19], emphasis mine)

It seems to me, as a non-lawyer, that this agreement would forbid an author from "giving permission" to a third-party aggregator website to repost their manuscript. Again, the authors of a published manuscript generally do not hold copyright - the journal does. If I want to include a figure from a previous publication in one of my works, I can't email the author for permission, because that permission is not theirs to give. I have to contact the journal in which the article was published and negotiate permission to reproduce the figure.
I don't really understand the arguments for linking the site. If a paper is not freely available online, surely readers can obtain a free and unquestionably legal copy from their local lending library, given the citation information, if they're sufficiently motivated. I don't think that one-click convenience trumps the copyright concern. What's more, I'm concerned by teh attitude on display above. Our standard is that we don't link to potential copyright violations. We don't link them and then wait to see if a journal files a formal complaint to the site. MastCell Talk 17:47, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

So the dispute appears to be over an external link, in the ==External links== section, to the whole website/main page, rather than to any given paper as seen here. The actual page being linked to is unlikely to contain copyvios, but it is not unreasonable to consider the copyright status of the whole site in this case.

The website (from the description above) likely contains some information for which the copyright owner legitimately authorized its inclusion (e.g., the stuff they wrote themselves), some information that might be accepted as fair use or implicitly authorized (e.g., titles and possibly abstracts, since—although abstracts are copyrighted—the publishers might see the abstract as a sort of advertisement to promote sales of the full paper, rather than product, and it's pretty rare for a commercial entity to object to third party publishing the business' ads at the third-party's sole expense), and some material that is not legally posted (e.g., probably any full-length paper that was published in an Elsevier journal).

Does this sound like a fair description of the situation? Does anyone want to make a guess about how much of the site's value is in full-length papers for which publisher permission is probably not available? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:29, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

According to User:Mastcell, 'we don't link to potential copyright violations'. Not so: potential copyright violations are everywhere. For example, Cambridge University's dspace archive relies on uploaders declaring that they are authorised to upload. One of their staff admitted to me that all they have time to do is a quick scan of uploads to check they are appropriate for the archive. But they have legal advice that their procedures are adequate. The bottom line is that how the law is interpreted in practice is what matters. Generally speaking, the library follows accepted standards. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:05, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, the Elsevier page that User:Mastcell quotes also says this:

What rights do you retain as a journal author?

As a journal author, you retain rights for a large number of author uses, including use by your employing institute or company. These rights are retained and permitted without the need to obtain specific permission from Elsevier. These include:
  • the right to post a pre-print version of the journal article on Internet web sites including electronic pre-print servers, and to retain indefinitely such version on such servers or sites for scholarly purposes ...

-- Brian Josephson (talk) 09:36, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

This concession does not apply to the print versions of the journal articles. In the first example I looked at, the lanr-canr version of "Celani, F., et al., Deuterium overloading of palladium wires by means of high power microsecond pulsed electrolysis and electromigration: suggestions of a "phase transition" and related excess heat. Phys. Lett. A, 1996. 214: p. 1." is not a pre-print, it clearly specifies the copyright notice of Elsevier. It does not appear that articles as they actually appear on that website fall under that exception. --Noren (talk) 13:30, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

That's a pretty ancient paper -- we don't know what conditions applied then. And, as someone else noted, the actual degree of copyright violation on a site is very relevant -- at what point is it considered a feature? But I accept that if it is too high a proportion this could be an issue. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:15, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

All right, I took a look at a 2011 paper from that website- Biberian, J.P., ed. J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. Vol. 4. 2011. included a page concerning its own copyright:

© 2011 ISCMNS. All rights reserved.

This journal and the individual contributions contained in it are protected under copyright by ISCMNS and the following terms and conditions apply. Electronic usage or storage of data JCMNS is an open-access scientific journal and no special permissions or fees are required to download for personal non-commercial use or for teaching purposes in an educational institution. All other uses including printing, copying, distribution require the written consent of ISCMNS. Permission of the ISCMNS and payment of a fee are required for photocopying, including multiple or systematic copying, copying for advertising or promotional purposes, resale, and all forms of document delivery.


It is clear that this copyright problem is not limited to older articles or limited to Elsevier journals. --Noren (talk) 17:30, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

However, if you check out, you will see that the Society's mission is "To promote the understanding, development and application of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science for the benefit of the public". They may well have wanted to assert ownership of copyright, and to maintain control over republication, but in the light of this mission statement it is highly improbable that they would have wanted to prevent inclusion of papers in their Journal in the library. Furthermore, that issue of the Journal can be downloaded free of charge from the Society's web site. In the immortal words of Sven-Goran Erikson, this is a nonsense. Noren, can you not occupy the time you have on this planet for the betterment of mankind, rather than this destructive manner in such non-constructive ways (and the same goes for others for whom the most important thing in life seems to be to prevent this reference library being linked into the site)? Think about it, when you have a moment! --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:54, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Brian, I understood the above paragraph to mean, in essence, "Yes, that's a copyright violation, but I don't care, because the noble cause of linking to this website is more important than the details of copyright law." Is that what you meant me to understand? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:23, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

No, it's a lot more complicated than that. I will return to this matter when I have the time. Note, however, my comment above concerning how the law is interpreted in practice (NB: by judges), which is pretty well all that needs to be said. --Brian Josephson --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:54, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Can I however just ask WhatamIdoing (a) whether he considers Jed Rothwell, the LENR librarian, is violating copyright law, and (b) if so, on what grounds? --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:58, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I'd also like to enlighten WhatamIdoing as to what I had, rightly or wrongly, assumed would be understood by people in regard to the aforementioned paragraph. Biberian, as editor of the journal in question, will almost certainly have checked with the Society if it was OK to send material to Rothwell for him to make it available in his online Library. Assuming Biberian did this and gained approval, that approval would override any copyright statement in the published journal, and there could be no question either of CI by Biberian, or of CCI on Rothwell's part. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:57, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm a "her", not a "him".
Wikipedia's own policies require not only strict compliance with the actual written (US/Florida) copyright laws, regardless of how well or poorly they are enforced, but a slightly higher standard that the community believes presents Wikipedia in a better light among academics (for example) than meeting the bare minimums would.
Speaking from the facts that are actually in my possession—the copyright statement on the document does not permit the copying that has been done on that website—it is my opinion that the LENR website is violating the journal's copyright. There may be some secret agreement that permits this (e.g., the author got the journal's okay), but the existence of any such agreement is purely speculative. WP:LINKVIO does not authorize editors to link to copyright violations on the basis of speculation, wishful thinking, or handwaving. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
My sincere apologies for my gender error. Two comments: (i) WP:LINKVIO requires you to know, not merely speculate, that there is a copyright violation, and you have agreed that you do not actually know what the status of that paper is; (ii) more significantly, that policy notes that The copyright status of Internet archives in the United States is unclear. Let me amplify the point. Regarding the meaning of 'internet archive': typical examples are the Physics Preprint Archive and the CogPrints Archive. In both cases, users upload papers themselves, and a simple verification procedure, not as far as I am aware investigating the copyright situation which could be very time-consuming, is carried out by the administrators who if they are satisfied save it to the public area. The procedure at is essentially the same: in this case people who feel it appropriate to have their papers in the library email them to Rothwell who, if he is satisfied, deposits them in the library.
Archives such as have never been considered in violation of the law, it being considered the author's responsibility to avoid copyright violation (note that no material appears in the library unless it has been sent with the intent that it should be included). I cannot see why should be a problem for w'pedia, any more than and should be. If of course there is a 'known' violation rather than a merely speculative one then Rothwell would, on application from either the copyright owner or the author concerned, remove it -- there have been rare occasions in the past where such an application from a publisher has been carried out. --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:19, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm never comfortable with the "if there were problems, they would have been contacted" argument - most of the time the copyright owners are simply unaware of the violations. It seems clear that we have very good reason to believe that there are works hosted in the site in violation of copyright - the works themselves have a copyright claim on them, prohibiting reuse. This is a separate case to preprint archives, which are not the same as collections of post-print articles, and also isn't the same as an internet archive. It is also separate from self-archiving. The owner of serves as a gatekeeper to the collection, and is therefore in a position to check and remove copyright violations, unlike self-archiving models. - Bilby (talk) 08:52, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

If you, who obviously have lots of time on your hands, can't be bothered to check your facts, why should Rothwell be expected to do a more complicated and time-consuming job? Let me spell the ways:

  • Cogprints is not restricted to preprints, and neither is
for (formerly is a highly-automated electronic archive and distribution server for research articles
and for Welcome to CogPrints, an electronic archive for self-archive papers in any area of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics ...
  • both archives have gatekeepers, who check out what has been uploaded before carrying out the process that makes them public. It is not a totally automatic process as you seem to think (indeed, at one time, arxiv's gatekeepers routinely blocked papers on LENR -- the automated process accepted them and gave their URL, but they never appeared in the public archive).

In summary: you are totally, totally, wrong. --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:33, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

It seems our article on is inaccurate then. However, won't accept papers that are formatted with the publisher's layout, as the copyright generally remains with the publisher, while clearly has no such hesitation. While CogPrints does accept PostPrints, they only do so where it is permitted by the publisher, and mostly point to preprints as that is something legally permissible. Where uses preprints there is no problem. Where it uses postprints, in the draft from the journal, based on the author's permission rather than the journal's permission, then we have a problem. - Bilby (talk) 14:21, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Information has just come in, to the effect that Rothwell was granted permission to place the Biberian item referred to above in the library. In other words, he appears to be taking appropriate precautions (or, at the very least, evidence that he is not is absent). I propose that the link be restored. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:40, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Good to know, but that doesn't cover all of the Elsevier articles. I'm not sure if there are others, but they're still a problem. - Bilby (talk) 21:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Even if there are others, I can't see this as a significant problem. It may be a problem for Rothwell (but rather theoretical unless he tries to evade a takedown order), but we are after all linking to the site, not to the articles concerned, which are a tiny fraction of the whole if indeed there are any at all. If a copyright holder is displeased with anything, they can ask for the offending paper to be removed from and that will solve the problem, no action on w'pedia's part being necessary. And if people want a specific article in the Library and want to avoid paying for it, a search for it will find the lenr library copy, irrespective of whether w'pedia links to it.

And it is not a legal issue, but one of good practice. I think the majority of people, if asked whether the possibility of copyright violation in a very small proportion of items in an internet archive should be sufficient cause for not linking to what is a very useful archive, would say no (maybe not on this page, which seems to be infested populated with a very atypical collection of people), that it would be an unfortunate situation, but in the larger context one ought just to accept this and link to the archive nevertheless. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
As I said elsewhere, if there are specific documents which are in violation of copyright, then we should not link to them. If the link is continuously pushed, then that might be cause for administrative actions from Wikipedia administrators (blocking editors, blacklisting, whatever) - note, that that is also true if the document is not in violation of copyright. Other documents on such a source are no problem with regard to copyright, and can be linked to. The (theoretical) situation is similar to e.g. YouTube - there are many movies there in violation of copyright, there are also many (way more!) which are not and which we can freely link to (an unfortunate part is, that the interesting stuff on YouTube has a higher fraction of copyright violations than the (for Wikipedia) 'uninteresting' stuff, but well). We would never consider to blacklist the whole of YouTube, only on repeated violations we blacklist specific movies of YouTube (or for whatever site where one finds copyright violations). A site must mainly consist of copyright violations ánd be abused (and that does not have to be a major abuse in this case) on Wikipedia to be site-wide blacklisted - if a site contains of only copyright violations, I would consider that such a site could be blacklisted even when there were only a few good faith additions.
I do want to urge, since these documents are copies, that we should link mainly/prominently to the originals, adding a link to the copy as a 'convenience link' - this is fair to the original publisher, and avoids cases where there are differences between original and copy (for these type of sites, cases exist where there is text added to documents on free sites, in some cases it are not final but near-final copies, or they are cut-outs avoiding material which for whatever reason is deemed unnecessary by the copier, etc.). Note, IMHO, the convenience link is not needed, but it is certainly nice to have a link to a free accessible backup if that does not have any further issues. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:26, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
If I understand the issue, it isn't about linking individual articles (in which case I admit to wanting to err on the side of caution, as they can be found anyway with good citations), but the site as a whole. My assumption is that the site would appear to have some articles which are violating the copyright of the holders. However, I also think it is fair to assume that this is incidental to the purpose of the site. On those grounds, is it reasonable to link to the site as a whole, given its importance to many researchers in the field? (And it does seem to be an important resource). I admit that I'd be more positive if it wasn't for the apparant issues with the site in the past, but I do see a good case along those lines that suggests it is well worth considering. - Bilby (talk) 12:24, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
If we can't link to any site that has copyvios on it somewhere, that'd kill of a LOT of links, including probably many sources as well. YouTube and Internet Archive for starters. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:17, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

What 'apparent issues' exactly? I've heard of an issue that was raised once regarding a DIA report, but that proved to be a chimera and so is irrelevant. --Brian Josephson (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:26, 9 June 2011 (UTC).

If you are referring to my use of the word 'issues' - if the document on the freely accessible source (like e.g. on or is not a copyright violation or should not be linked for other reasons (e.g. being heavily editorialised and not a reasonable copy, or being pushed/spammed throughout, or actually, the original is already freely accessible on the official site .. ). --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:33, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for confusion -- I was actually referring to Bilby's I admit that I'd be more positive if it wasn't for the apparant issues with the site in the past. It's for him/her to answer that, I guess. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:41, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

That is mostly in regard to Guy's points about spamming on the Cold Fusion talk page, which was, I gather, one of the reasons it was blacklisted. But I don't see that as a knock-down argument: I think we can decide to add a link irrespective of how it was added in the past. - Bilby (talk) 11:09, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Another note about this site - it does not appear to function as an archive, see its self-description, it mentions that "When we change or correct an error in an older paper, the date is changed and the paper moves to the top of the list.." A site that actively changes older papers in this way (and plans to do so in advance) is not functioning as an archive. --Noren (talk) 15:14, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

So what, Noren? An internet resource doesn't have to be an archive in your sense to be useful, and usefulness is the most important thing. In fact, the cogprints archive (called an archive officially) provides a counter-example in that people can ask for an upload to be replaced if there is good reason for so doing (this isn't stated officially, but I know this is the case). --Brian Josephson (talk) 19:35, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Affiliate spam

Is this edit at Top CashBack affiliate spam? I assume it is, but I have reverted three times now so would someone please have a look. Johnuniq (talk) 11:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's affiliate spam. One of the edit-warring ips has been blocked, hopefully ending the problem. --Ronz (talk) 00:03, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The article has been partial protected as well. --Ronz (talk) 19:46, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Is it me or is this article way out of hand and largely a directory a links? If it's not just me, is there a quick and easy way (e.g. a bot or script) that could quickly remove the links instead of having to do it by hand? ElKevbo (talk) 16:15, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about this rather restrained use of URLs. The links serve the desirable purpose of verifying (as WP:ECITEs) that the information is correct (they are reliable WP:PRIMARY sources for the existence of the student newspaper). There are more than 600 entries, and I don't believe that the page would be improved by adding 600 footnotes. Additionally, less than 15% of the entries actually contain a URL; most link to the Wikipedia article about the newspaper, or to nothing at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:23, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
The ELs shouldn't be needed at all I'd think. Theoretically they should be in their respective articles, so an extra click through shouldn't be a problem for anyone interested. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:10, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Except that in theory, we're not supposed to rely on sources being present in the clicked-through article. I realize that this aspiration is rarely implemented in lists (below the WP:Featured list level), but that is the theory. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:57, 18 June 2011 (UTC) as External Link

Hello, I have been adding external links to to the wikipedia pages of various colleges and universities in North Carolina. The links go directly to the materials belonging to the school (yearbooks and newspapers) housed on this website. The purpose is to allow people using wikipedia to gain access to the materials related to wikipedia page. However, another editor has been marking the links as spam and deleting them. Can we please get more opinions on this particular site? Emjohns (talk) 17:47, 13 June 2011 (UTC)Emjohns

Question: The links you've added to the external links section appear to go to directorires (ie: search result pages) that contain the documents of the specific schools, not linking to specific documents themselves. Is that a fair characterization of the links? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:57, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but there are multiple documents. It's not exactly a *search page,* although the site itself is searchable, but a listing of all the documents available. The links are to the *collection* of yearbooks online, so there is more than one document available.Emjohns (talk) 18:05, 13 June 2011 (UTC)Emjohns

This article: says that it is acceptable to link to internet archives, which can be classified.Emjohns (talk) 18:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)Emjohns

What is your connection to DigitalNC? --Orange Mike | Talk 18:49, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Questioning my possible connection to is irrelevant because there is no COI here. The COI would be if the aims of conflicted with Wikipedia, which they don't. is non-profit, neutral, and adding it as an external link enforces Wikipedia's reliability by providing direct access to materials published by the institutions of which the pages are about. The links themselves are unbiased and neutral, as they provide access to historic and archival material. ( Emjohns (talk) 19:10, 13 June 2011 (UTC) Emjohns
A question of your connection is relevant, but not required that you disclose.
The site in general likely qualifies as a reliable source on information within specific documents held in its collection, for the reasons you've listed; but WP:RS and WP:EL are two distinct areas - what is appropriate for one is not necessarilly appropriate for the other.
The remaining questions that I see are if these links are compatible with WP:ELNO #9; and if these links are appropriate in the articles to which they are being added.
The reference that you provided to WP:COPYLINK mentions linking to documents in archives, not to search results in internet archives, which are different. I believe that the links added are not appropriate under ELNO #9.
Also, the search results page is to yearbooks for the given schools, which are a tangentally related subject. The links are not directly about the schools themselves, so would fail WP:ELYES, and I believe would also fail WP:NOT#REPOSITORY. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 20:32, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Barat, Thank you very much for this helpful explanation with citations to Wikipedia policy. It's much clearer now. Emjohns (talk) 21:24, 13 June 2011 (UTC) Emjohns
Note: This is my interpretation of the appropriateness of the links. We can wait and see what consensus develops from input provided by others in the community. I've also posted a link to this discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Universities (notification posted earlier, below), as they are a directly relevant WikiProject whose members may have additional input that could help build the consensus. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:29, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Barek's analysis seems reasonable. Most importantly WP:ELYES #3 does not apply since the material is only tangentially relevant and the same could be said for WP:ELMAYBE #3. --Muhandes (talk) 08:50, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I need your input. Ckcaveny (talk · contribs) is adding links to various parts of the Zinn Ed Project on a lot of articles. I removed some of them (the ones where they put in text describing the project), but I'm now finding that they also simply added links to the EL section. In my opinion, these are way too spammy--the project is not notable as far as I can tell, and while the links may be useful to some people, I don't think the jive with the EL policy. Your help is appreciated. Drmies (talk) 17:39, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you - spamlinks. – ukexpat (talk) 19:22, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Agree -- spam. The external links are being used to promote the website throughout WP, ELNO #4. The only place I can see having a link to this site is at an article on the Zinn Project (ELNO #13) which the user appears to be drafting in their user space.--NortyNort (Holla) 00:31, 18 June 2011 (UTC) Linksearch en - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C Cross-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advancedCOIBot-Local - COIBot-XWiki - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain: • Live link:

I cleaned up a few of the remaining links. Anyone think it's a reliable source? --Ronz (talk) 01:05, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

For the project I'd say yes. When it comes to the teaching materials, I'd question POV first. The website offers another side of U.S. history, that I agree is misrepresented in respect to a few areas, but this project is largely a liberal effort to alter education in schools.--NortyNort (Holla) 01:19, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Let's focus on WP:EL and WP:RS for this discussion board. NPOV is another matter. --Ronz (talk) 15:40, 18 June 2011 (UTC)


By the way, we seem to have accumulated thousands of links to (750) and (more than 10,000). Within the main namespace, these are likely to be errors and should be removed, if anyone's got some time to work on it. Outside the main namespace, they might just legitimate examples. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:05, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

I made a list of the 300 pages at User:Johnuniq/Links to example. I'll have a look through the list in due course. Johnuniq (talk) 09:47, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I just breezed through a block of links (thanks, Johnuniq), but there are plenty more. It looks like is linked in the Article Wizard creation tool, and possibly in one of the buttons above the edit window. Do you think it might be worth finding out how to add some hidden text to the effect that "" should be replaced with the desired link? I am all for keeping the usability bar low, but not at the cost of appearing to encourage people to make edits they did not intend. What about XLinkBot - would it be worth adding to that list? - 2/0 (cont.) 13:24, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
So would it be an accurate generalization to expect the right ELs to example.x to be only in wrong places? Examples should be in the article body, not the external links or references section. BitterGrey (talk) 15:04, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I believe that the Article Wizard pre-loads a page that includes an ==External links== section with "" as an example of how to format such links. That doubtless accounts for thousands of links in incomplete userspace drafts.
I don't think this is a task for XLinkBot, since it would revert all the content created through the Article Wizard for the primary audience. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:48, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

External links in Naveen Jain

I've tagged three recently added external links to Naveen Jain as disputed:

The Google profile appears redundant with the official site and current references. The Huffington Post blog contains only redundant information about Jain, other than the blog posts themselves. Given the number of websites and blogs Jain has linked from his official site, I don't see strong reason to add it. Lastly, the Bloomberg profile is already used as a reference. --Ronz (talk) 02:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

There are times when strictly adhering to WP:EL and removing all possibly dubious links is helpful, and there are times when it is isn't. The trick is to recognize when an article is ok and does not need the dedicated attention of a single editor. I have again suggested that you take this article off your watchlist (at my talk). While it is important to combat promotional or over-the-top editing, it is more important that editors collaborate and back off when a problem does not need their attention. How many people at how many talk pages are needed before it would be reasonable to conclude that whereas only one editor is correct, it would probably be better to just go along with all the other wrong editors? Johnuniq (talk) 03:49, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
It's too late to try to dismiss the issue when you're at the noticeboard - might as well settle it. Wikipedia:External_links#Official_links specifically deals with links to the article subject's own pages. It's an incredibly narrow topic area and it's a rather detailed policy and there is not a whole lot left to the imagination. It's rather restrictive to my taste (I'd drop #2 entirely if I had my way) but what it says you can have a link if:
  1. The linked content is controlled by the subject (organization or individual person) of the Wikipedia article.
  2. The linked content primarily covers the area for which the subject of the article is notable.
So the question is, does anyone dispute that #1 and #2 both apply to these links? Wnt (talk) 23:20, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure the Bloomberg profile is controlled by him, but I think this is not the main issue. The main issue is the section "Minimize the number of links" in WP:ELOFFICIAL. Specifically, "[m]ore than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites." The Google profile fails both criteria. It does not provide unique content and it is linked from the official website's front page. The Bloomberg profile fails in not providing unique content. The Huffing Post link fails in being linked from the official website's front page. --Muhandes (talk) 13:01, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The Bloomberg profile is definitely not an official link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:05, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

A more thorough discussion is taking place at the article talk page. --Muhandes (talk) 07:36, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Éowyn (band)

[20], [21], and [22]. Last two edits make it seem as though an edit war is shaping-up over this. It would be appreciated if someone, other than me, could explain the policies on the article's talk page. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:01, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

And [23] this edit. It's an edit war. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:03, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
It looks like the editor earned a 12-hour block. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Yup! and the other editor earned a 24-hour block. As Mtking said "WP:ELNO is a guideline and not a policy, as such it can be ignored", I could pursue this further by making my case on the talk page, but that's fine. The official site has the links, and if it's that big of a deal regarding social media in 2011, I'll let it go. I'm happy with the outcome. Boffo (talk) 15:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC).
Actually, I earned a 24-hour block because of past edit wars.
Would someone like to explain to Boffo why his actions were incorrect and how ignoring the guideline is not constructive editing. Editor has clearly not seen fit to be cooperative in this matter and insisted that he had the right to add them but decided to just "let it go" instead. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:01, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

We have this Template:LibGuides

This template is being added to a bunch of pages as an external link as here for example [24] which links to this page [25]. Do not really see anything added here. Comments? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:39, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

User unhappy with situation [26] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:05, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I had a quick look at a couple of articles in Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:LibGuides and could not see anything of value at the LibGuide link. I wonder how many universities and major libraries in the world could have such a template—perhaps we need a new WP:NOT like "not a directory of links that promote arbitrary good places on a first-come-best-dressed basis"? Johnuniq (talk) 10:02, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Will put up for deletion. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:05, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Michael Stone (murderer)

Hi, is this Michael Stone and the Chillenden Murders - qualify as n external link on this BLP Michael Stone (murderer) - It seems to fail WP:ELNO no,11 - The user that is desirious of adding it may well also have some connection to the site - at the top of the main page is this email [email protected] and the user that is adding it is User:Londonlinks - Same user has also been adding the link to Levi Bellfield - there is a large discussion on that talkpage regarding the external - Off2riorob (talk) 22:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

All templates up for deletion

There's a TfD going on for all the templates for at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2011 June templates. With as reason that is not an acceptable EL. Xeworlebi (talk) 10:26, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Aggregator templates

An edit at Rupert Murdoch (diff) added five EL templates to those that were already present, so it now uses: {{C-SPAN}}, {{Charlie Rose view}}, {{IMDb}}, {{Aljazeeratopic}}, {{Bloombergtopic}}, {{Economisttopic}}, {{Guardiantopic}}, {{NYTtopic}}, {{WSJtopic}}, {{Worldcat id}}, {{Nndb}}. There appear to be several more similar similar templates used on other articles. These look like problems per WP:ELNO#9 (search aggregators) and WP:NOTDIRECTORY. Thoughts? Johnuniq (talk) 00:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

External links in academic journal articles

There is a discussion here about the appropriateness of including external links to an organization that sponsors or publishes an academic journal in the EL section of articles on academic journals. Whereas I think this inclusion violates WP:ELNO#19, User:Headbomb feels differently. While not a hugely important issue, I would appreciate some more opinions on this issue. Thanks. --Crusio (talk) 20:51, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Would you like our comments here or on the article's Talk page? If the Talk page, feel free to copy my comments there.
I don't see any harm in having one additional link in those articles. The publisher of a journal is usually very important in understanding the journal and its credibility so a link to the publisher isn't completely out of line. ElKevbo (talk) 21:52, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually the publisher isn't usually important enough to warrant having an external link. This is especially true in the case of journals published by the giants (Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, Cambridge University Press, etc...). What WikiProject Academic Journal recommends is to include the links for the journal itself, as well as those of affiliated societies and organizations. I gave examples on my talk page, but I'll repeat them here.

I usually put it this way. If someone says "Foobar society", can you reasonably think "Foobar journal"? If so, the ext. link to the Foobar society should probably be there. If not, it should probably stay out. For example, if I say Elsevier, the chance Earth and Planetary Science Letters comes to mind is pretty slim. But if I say World Health Organization, you could definitely think of Bulletin of the World Health Organization. I wouldn't give an ext. link to Elsevier in the EPSL article, but I would give an ext. link to the WHO in Bulletin of the WHO article.

In this particular case, Experimental Hematology, published by Elsevier, is the official journal of the Society for Hematology and Stem Cells, so the article include external links to both the journal and its affiliate society, but not its publisher. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 22:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • My reasoning here is that an EL to the organization with which a journal is affiliated belongs in the article on that organization. In my reading, ELNO19 seems to tell us explicitly not to put an EL to an organization. Note that publishers and affiliated organizations are, of course, always wikilinked. --Crusio (talk) 04:38, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't much care either way, but I don't think that ELNO #19 completely prohibits it in this instance (read the second footnote; it should give you a better idea of the main point behind ELNO #19). At some level, the society's website is the WP:ELOFFICIAL link for the journal, just like is the official link for Big Mac.
An in-text wikilink is much more important, but Wikipedia doesn't have an article on absolutely every single academic group. I would certainly never object if the group is a redlink. Also, you could consider linking to the organization's page about the journal rather than the home page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:03, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • That is indeed what I normally do: if the organization has no article, I do include the EL to their homepage, despite ELNO19. As "official link", both Headbomb and I always link to the page about the journal, not the organization homepage. The point where we differ in opinion is whether there should be an EL to the organization's homepage in addition to that. See this for an example. --Crusio (talk) 05:57, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I've apparently been unclear. There is "the journal's page" at the publisher's website (which everyone agrees should be linked) and "the society's page about the journal they sponsor", which is a completely different page with a completely different URL.
That is, instead of linking to "Only look, the Society for Hematology and Stem Cells has a website at!" you could link to "They have a specific webpage entirely and solely dedicated to describing the journal that they sponsor at" WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • You were clear, I think I was not. What I do in journal articles is: I provide (1) a link to the "official" webpage at the publisher website and (2) a link to the journal page on the society site if they have one. In addition to this, Headbomb includes (3) a link to the homepage of the society (which may not even mention the journal), which I think violates ELNO19. To use your example above, Headbomb argues that we should include a link to, regardless of whether we also link to a journal page on that site or not. --Crusio (talk) 03:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Headbomb, if you're still watching this, would a link to (not's main page) be sufficient for you? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:09, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Cross-posted from Talk:Ron

This website declares This website is maintained by independent grassroots supporters. It is not paid for, approved or endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul. In their "about" page they say, Ron Paul was not informed of our launch and he has nothing to do with it in any way.[27] I presume that Ron Paul's speeches, writings, and the other materials on this website are all copyrighted, and based on the disclaimers I also assume that he has not given them permission to reprint them. Hence they are copyvios and we should not link to the website. Other thoughts?   Will Beback  talk  01:25, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

The need for politicians' distance from on-message but otherwise independent supporting websites might complicate the copyvio argument. However, there is clearly no shortage of external links there (currently 28) and claims to be a fansite (most visibly by the "fansite" bubble in the title logo). Have arguments for the website been offered in some location other location? If not, it might not be worthwhile fleshing out arguments against.BitterGrey (talk) 04:41, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I posted at Talk:Ron yesterday, but didn't receive any response there so I posted here. You're right that it's explicitly called a fansite. Together with the presumed copyvios it probably shouldn't be linked to, even from within citations, IMO.   Will Beback  talk  05:04, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Going three times...   Will Beback  talk  11:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Gone.   Will Beback  talk  00:07, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I will appreciate your inputs on the discussion happening here --Anshuk (talk) 06:09, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

open wikis

I notice in Wikipedia:External Links criterion 12 under what not to include says "Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors." I think there would be value in adding an external link to the page William Tulloch to his page on the open genealogical project WeRelate page here so that readers can see the details of his ancestors and wider family. I'd also be interested in adding links more generally between these two projects, where they add value to the wikipedia article. My question is whether this project would count as one with a "substantial history of stability" and a "substantial number of editors" and what people's opinions are generally about adding links between these two projects? AndrewRT(Talk) 22:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

AndrewRT, could you give a better example? Most of the text in that EL is from Wikipedia. Ideally, there should be some reason for including a link, not just an absence of reasons to exclude a link. BitterGrey (talk) 23:03, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
It might have enough activity to count... but why would anybody care? Most people aren't interested in the genealogy of people they're reading about. At most, they're interested in people they are personally related to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:23, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Bittergrey - this example is typical for werelate pages. The value in the link lies not so much in the content of the page - wikipedia is always going to be a better place to develop an article about a notable person that werelate - but in the family connections shown on werelate. WhatamIdoing - why would anyone care? Or to put it another way, what value would there be in the link? Quite a few people do have an interest in family connections - I accept that that's most often when people are personally related to them but it also applies to the family of famous people - as shown by the popularity of programmes like "Who do you think you are?". It's only an external link, after all, so it doesn't really "cost" Wikipedia very much for there to need to be huge value. There are also secondary benefits in as much as it links up two communities who are both interested in free content and have an overlapping interest in the particular individuals.
I'm interested in a conclusion here - reading both comments seem quite negative, which is a bit of a surprise to me if I'm honest given that this is two comunities with a common aim and a common set of values cooperating for mutual interest. Should I take the answer to my question to be no? AndrewRT(Talk) 21:58, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
You have to remember, Andrew, that we do not consider Wikipedia itself (ourselves?) a reliable source. "References" that simply link to other Wikipedia articles are routinely rejected. There is no evidence that WeRelate is sufficiently reliable and with adequate editorial control to be included in articles as a link. This is not a matter of hostility to WeRelate, but rather a question of maintaining our own standards and not using other wikis as if they were the same as, say, The Lancet. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:35, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's really relevant, since it's not being used as a WP:Reliable source. It's just being linked as an WP:External link, which is not required to be reliable.
Andrew, what the page basically provides is links that let you go up and down in the family tree (and a copy of the Wikipedia article). I'm just not seeing the value for the typical reader. Perhaps if someone else here thinks that would be good/interesting/desirable/something they would be happy to click on, they would (please) chime in, but I'm personally just not seeing enough value for the typical reader to justify inclusion. I don't think the average reader would care. Actually, I think the average reader would be disappointed if they clicked on the link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:37, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

External links at Lying down game

There is a dispute over whether these are good links for this article or not:

The discussion seems to be (to greatly simplify) that on the one hand they violate WP:ELNO, while on the other hand they include photographs which (are asserted to) shed further light on what is a fairly visual phenomenon. See Talk:Lying down game#External links for more detail. Herostratus (talk) 16:58, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

There are already several photos in the article illustrating it; it's not a complex subject that requires lots and lots of photos to comprehend what it is. The sites above violate WP:ELNO in that they are essential personal sites (created on Wordpress or a similar platform) with advertisements. One of them was added originally by a user with an obvious WP:COI. OhNoitsJamie Talk 17:43, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Is 50 links a record?

That's how many Antikythera mechanism has at the moment. Dougweller (talk) 20:43, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Although they're in the body not an EL section List of WTF with Marc Maron episodes has got it beat with 189. Weetoddid (talk) 22:19, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
With lists, you have to wonder whether they're truly external links, rather than primary sources (verifying, for example, that there really was an episode named ___). WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:42, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Augusta Municipal Airport

official website: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thedigitaltree (talkcontribs) 15:54, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Voice of America's Special English service links

I'm a bit concerned about all of the links to Voice of America broadcasts being inserted by ChristopherCruise (talk · contribs). If you look through his contributions, you'll see he is a single-purpose editor, adding links to VoA to a variety of articles since March. I think the likelihood of a conflict of interest is high, and another user asked on his talk page if he works for VoA.

But this is about the links, not the user. I don't really see what they add to the articles. The VoA Special English service is for people learning English, so the broadcasts and transcripts are relatively simple in order to be easy to understand. And that's fine, I don't intend to insult them, it's just that it means they might not meet the criteria for inclusion, since they don't generally provide information that is outside the scope of the Wikipedia article.

I did revert one of his additions, to Coal mining, because that article has an instruction not to add any more external links without consensus. I also put a level 1 spam warning on his talk page.

In the interests of assuming good faith and not biting a newcomer, I thought it was worth bringing some attention to it here rather than unilaterally reverting all of ChristopherCruise's edits. I happen to think they are inappropriate, but most of the links he has added are still there - though a few were reverted as spam - so perhaps consensus is that they should stay. Or is it just that nobody has really noticed? Thoughts? Cheers, Dawn Bard (talk) 16:57, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I have invited him to join this discussion. Normally, we expect an external link to contain something more than the article. For example, we regularly remove links to websites that provide information that was simplified for children or teenagers, because it contains less information than our article. Perhaps this is a similar situation. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:19, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I regularly warn (and occasionally block) link canvassers like this, regardless of the quality of the link. It's nearly always a WP:COI issue as well. OhNoitsJamie Talk 22:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
So should the links all be removed? In similar situations, should the links usually be unilaterally removed? Cheers, Dawn Bard (talk) 13:26, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I usually remove all of the fresh links that the canvassing user added. Links like this are often added in good-faith by non-spas, so I'd leave those alone. OhNoitsJamie Talk 13:37, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
You know, these links might actually be valued over at simple:. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:38, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
That's an excellent idea - I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! I'm going to leave a note at ChristopherCruise's talk page. Dawn Bard (talk) 13:19, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Links to photos

There are some very good articles on film stars on the wikipedia but for most of them this side of 1950, there are no photos. Where there are photos, they are often of people 80 and 90 years old and more, when people who remember them do so from when they were young people. These pictures of very old people are if anything a let down to the memories of great actors and actresses. I have to admit that in general I would rather not see them. Who wants to know that the Fonz is now officially an old fogey?

I know there is lots of hassle over copyright and screen captures and so on here to the point where most people just give up rather than trawl through the largely incomprehensible endless pages of rules supplied by the wikipedia. I thought I'd cut out the middle man and set aside a section of my internet forum for photos of stars from this side of 1950, with images that will be recognisable to people, which could be accessed through a tiny link at the bottom of the article page in the "external references" section.

But I have had complaints about this from a moderator, with these links called spam because surprise, surprise, they all link to the same internet site (as with the IMDB). But the rules quoted all seem to apply to ARTICLES on fan sites and I can understand the wikipedia not wanting links to young fans gushing about their heroes. But that is not the case here. They are just photos of stars. No comment. Nothing more. Here is an example of the links used: [28]. Check it out. Unfortunately there is no way to use the link just once for all the different photos for all the different articles.(Cyberia3 (talk) 20:45, 13 July 2011 (UTC))

WP:ELNEVER says that we don't link to websites that display copyrighted works. - MrOllie (talk) 22:43, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
To be a bit more precise no links to sites that display pictures in violation of copyright laws, you can display copyrighted works as long as you do so in a legal fashion.--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:06, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
The lack of good images that can be used on Wikipedia because of copyright is one of the big drawbacks for articles. In some cases, Template:External media may be appropriate to use for linking images but as stated above, the site hosting them can't violate copyrights.--NortyNort (Holla) 12:07, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

External links - elected official's private web site +

Despite citing relevant WP guidelines months ago in an attempt at creating discussion with user, who was earlier shown to be engaging in an edit war, the user, a publicly elected official, continues to include his openly personal website in the external links section of Port_Jervis,_New_York. It seems to me this is in clear violation of WP most basic guidelines in these regards.

Of different but kindred concern is the user's insistence upon the inclusion of a historical assertion contending Stephen Crane wrote his most remembered work, The Red Badge of Courage, in Port Jervis which is an unsubstantiated claim and simply not supported by the historical record.

Thank you most kindly (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:27, 17 July 2011 (UTC).

Death of Caylee Anthony

Is an appropriate external link on Death of Caylee Anthony? I can't tell and wanted to get some input.  Chickenmonkey  01:30, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Further Reading section

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question. If not, can you point me in the right direction?

I've been helping to edit the main Astrology page, and it's been suggested by another editor that we should start to develop a bibliography of scholarly literature on the subject. The page already has a Further Reading section, with 5 entries, one or two of which are dubious. This seems like a good place to compile a list of seminal works, although I believe it would need to cover all levels of interest and not just the academic. I don't expect these would be links, although there could be links to more details of the works included.

My question is whether there is any policy which outlines how extensive the 'Further reading' section can be, or the criteria it needs to adhere to. Any helpful information on this will be much appreciated. Thanks Zac Δ talk 11:18, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

The official guideline is at WP:FURTHERREADING; a failed proposal is at WP:Further reading.
In general, the primary purpose of the section is to list sources that are desirable or interesting, but that you didn't happen to use in building the article for one reason or another. Because Wikipedia is WP:NOT#DIRECTORY, people usually avoid creating a "directory" or bibliography that lists the most important books published on a subject. Also, most people believe these lists should be rather short, and a list of seminal works in Astrology is likely to contain more than a handful of books. If you want to do something more substantial, there are a handful of "Bibliography of..." articles (e.g., Bibliography of fly fishing) on Wikipedia that might make an interesting model. (I do not know how well-accepted these lists are, but a search shows that some exist.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:29, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your very helpful information (I was still looking!). I will copy your response over to our talk page so we can discuss the proposal with a good idea of what we should be aiming for. Cheers Zac Δ talk 15:35, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

This article, New York University Graduate School of Arts and Science has ELs in the article text as a list of graduate programs at the university. The links are to various pages on the university's website describing the programs. Is it acceptable to use ELs in this manner? jsfouche ☽☾Talk 12:03, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

No: "Wikipedia articles may include links to web pages outside Wikipedia (external links), but they should not normally be used in the body of an article." An external link to (for example) the biology department's home page in the list of departments is not a good way of supporting the text, and it is a bad way of providing an external link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:33, 18 July 2011 (UTC)