Forum Talk:Non-member Comments and Suggestions on Approvals

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What about review of CZ:Approval standards? If the/a purpose of the new approvals system is to encourage contributions by giving people something to aim at, that aim needs to be made as clear as possible. Peter Jackson (talk) 15:40, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

Yes, obviously *that* makes sense! Hayford Peirce (talk) 23:46, 8 January 2018 (UTC)


In response to Hayford's question on the committee page, I've found CZ:Naming conventions, but it doesn't say much. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:37, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Thank you, Peter. I remember now looking at this page years ago. It does have a lot of useful info, but, as you say, it doesn't really address the question that I raised on the committee page. Maybe we Editors should discuss it and then, possibly, come to a decision about it. Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:08, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Removing articles from the calls list

See this edit. You can take articles off the calls-for-approval list by changing the approvals template. This produces a category of failures. If you look here you can see the different template options. John Stephenson (talk) 15:26, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

... and from citability

"I suggest we remove this article as a citable version" When the old approved page system was replaced with citability, we were told citable pages were supposed to be permanent. All you should be doing is adding some sort of template, not removing. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:30, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

As a comparative newcomer, I don't think I've seen anything about "permanent". In the blurb about Citable Articles we are encouraged to carry on improving the Main Article so as to get a better version. I don't see any point in leaving disapproved citable versions, not even as a Dreadful Warning of what can go wrong. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 21:08, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

As I understand it, the idea was that people could cite a citable page. There might be links from somewhere. You'd be killing those links instead of adding a warning. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:48, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

For the record, the page in question is archived at [1]. People who come across a dead link might go there. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:34, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Cowdray House

Reply to Anthony Sebastian:

I'm glad the approval process has started to move. On the subject of references, some of those in the Wikipedia article such as the National Heritage List for England are good quality, but the websites in particular are short on detail and not as informative as those currently used in Citizendium's article. The CZ references consist of a well researched guidebook published by the Cowdray Heritage Trust and an academic study from the Castle Studies Group Journal. As for the organisation, I'd be interested to hear your feedback on how it could be improved. Richard Nevell (talk) 00:46, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Is anyone open to discussing the article? Richard Nevell (talk) 15:22, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
As I thought that the article was superior to the Wikipedia one and should be approved, for reasons I have given, I am the last person who should suggest improvements. However: (1) as I remember, Wikipedia gives more information on the causes of the fire; (2) I am not clear on the current legal status - is it in private ownership subject to conditions of public access, or is it held by a trust? (3) all I can think of in the way of improved organisation is a few sub-headings. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 19:44, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


Above, "the author needs to tell us where he got his data from" &c. It would be nice to have some clarification on the need for references:

  1. when are they needed?
  2. should they be in the article, or just made available to the Committee?

Peter Jackson (talk) 15:40, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

I would think good practice would be including references when information has been adapted from external sources. As for availability I think having them visible to everyone should be the default to help transparency. I don't see much benefit in making them only available to the committee. Richard Nevell (talk) 18:42, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by that. Presumably the Committee isn't going to approve original research, so all information will have been "adapted from external sources".

On the other point, I was asking this because our traditional policy has been to have only minimal referencing. Maybe the Committee are changing this. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:33, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

(See [[2]].) Peter Jackson (talk) 09:35, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

I suppose that we Committee members could have a formal discussion about this, but at the moment I don't think that we have changed any basics -- we at CZ put in references and sources when common sense dictates we should, not according to insanely nit-picking Wikipedia criteria, which, in any case, are not always honored. At CZ it is more of a judgment call, I would say. In other words, at CZ we could write: "Wilt Chamberlain was a tall basketball player." That is, or was, so well-known, that we could, or could not, reference that with a specific source, depending upon our mood that day. At least that's how *I* see it.Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:31, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm reacting to Anthony's comment [3]. It's understandable that the Committee might not want to spend ages researching the topic of an article, but the natural response to that is to give sources for pretty much anything, as in WP.

"well-known" is a relative concept. Unsurprisingly, I'm not sure I could name any basketball players from memory. The more obscure/specialized an article topic, the harder things would tend to get for the Committee. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:04, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

I've been looking at CZ:Approval Standards. I find the following:

Editors should review every substantive claim made by an article, and be of the opinion that the claim is well justified by the relevant evidence, before approving the article.

Assuming the Committee to be following that suggests to me

  1. articles should reference anything not easily found through the bibliography
  2. whereas WP requires (with very few exceptions) a single, pretty explicit source for each statement, we can give one or more sources from which the statement would be a reasonable conclusion (or something like that)

Peter Jackson (talk) 09:49, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

In the article on Dartmoor, which was written at various times by me, apart from a photo from Richard, the referencing is hit and miss. But assuming it was complete, there is a statement under the heading of Scenery which, as far as I know does not appear in any existing source (there are so many books relating to Dartmoor that it would be a lifetime's work to read them all, and I've only lived in Devon for seven years). It can be verified by observation, but it would be a bit much to expect someone to go there to look. If this article ever got to the stage where it could be considered for approval, would that statement be enough to condemn it, or would it be accepted on the basis that the rest is verifiable, so its credentials are sufficiently established? Personally I would be inclined to accept anything in a similar case. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 19:55, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
I myself would certainly give you a pass on this particular article. Some things, in my opinion, really don't need to be minutely referenced. I grew up in the New England state of Maine -- I think I ought to be allowed to say in an article about Maine that it is "heavily forested in many areas and contains a good many lakes". I suppose that both assertions could be backed up with references and sources, but for a generality like this, why bother? If I wrote, "it has 3,272 lakes over 50 acres in size, and a total inland water area that is the seventh largest of the 50 States," then I think THOSE should be referenced. Hayford Peirce (talk) 20:51, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

OK, that's a clear majority for a more relaxed attitude, though it remains unclear what that means in practice. I remember when Howard tried to persuade the old Editorial Council to work out some general principles and then apply them (the civil law approach) he didn't get anywhere. The Council instead followed the common law approach of deciding individual cases and seeing what developed. This committee seems to be doing the same. I can only warn you that that way may make for more work in the long run: people who're left to work on trial and error may end up submitting articles in alternative versions quite a few times. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:22, 10 March 2018 (UTC)


There's a picture showing the chemical formulae of the constituents, but even when I click to expand the writing is too small. Can someone make it bigger? Peter Jackson (talk) 10:22, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Pali Canon

OK, let me nominate this one for consideration when you've got time in your schedule. If you don't think it's suitable as it stands, I hope you'll be able to tell me what sorts of changes you'd like me to make. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:11, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Good. But I think it would be useful to have at least a two-sentence article on Theravada Buddhism. The sub-section on the topic under Buddhism tells one virtually nothing. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 20:37, 13 April 2018 (UTC)--Martin Wyatt (talk) 20:27, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

I can do something there, but it's hard because of scholars' obsession with origins. They study the origins of Buddhism, the origins of Mahayana, the origins of various schools of Mahayana. Their theories of those origins then get projected onto the religious groups concerned, often with little consideration about what those groups as they actually exist in the real world at the present day actually believe and do. So there hasn't been all that much study of Theravada because it's fairly continuous with early Buddhism.

A quick look through the category suggests most, but not all, of our articles on branches of religions omit the name of the main religion, so probably this article should be called just Theravada. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:11, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Martin, obviously the approval process involves designating a frozen version; that's what it's all about. Yes, I had to revise fairly recently after coming across a reference to a paper by Lammerts that included some important material. There may be other sources that might require similar revision, and new ones might appear at any time. As it happens, Lammerts has a book out about now that may have more to add. I don't know when if ever I'll have access to it, but I'd certainly be able to access reviews online. Anyone know how long after publication such reviews tend to appear. I agree it would make sense to hold off consideration till then. But more generally, such things can always happen. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:12, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

I've now replaced the dead links with archived versions which I traced through the old address, i.e. not the one that's just died. WP comes in handy here as they'd never updated it. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:20, 22 September 2018 (UTC)


"The surprising conclusion that germs themselves can also have germs" Surprising?

  • "So, naturalists observe, a flea
    Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
    And these have smaller still to bit 'em;
    And so proceed ad infinitum." Swift, On poetry, 1733

(copied from Wikiquote; maybe misprinted?)

Peter Jackson (talk) 08:51, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

I know that Swift wrote something similar, I've seen it for years. Hayford Peirce (talk) 17:19, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

W. S. Gilbert

RationalWiki has something to say about this one: [4]. Peter Jackson (talk) 17:04, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

How come references were removed? Richard Nevell (talk) 18:50, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Citable article template

The new one, unlike the old, seems not to tell the reader who approved the article. Peter Jackson (talk) 08:55, 16 October 2018 (UTC)