User:RogDel/Notability as a source of quotes

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Text-x-generic.svg This is an essay. It is not a policy or guideline; it merely reflects some opinions of its author(s). Please update the page as needed, or discuss it on the talk page.
Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.

—Samuel Johnson

Introduction[edit]

The point of this essay is that anyone notable as a source of quote/s is notable according to Wikiquote, even though he or she may be non-notable according to Wikipedia.

A person non-notable on Wikipedia may be notable on Wikiquote[edit]

A person does not have to be notable according to Wikipedia for being notable according to Wikiquote. In other words, a person may be non-notable according to Wikipedia and at the same time may be notable according to Wikiquote. Why? Because:

1. According to Wikiquote:Quotability, a famous quote that is generally accepted as originating from an otherwise little-known person may justify the existence of an article on that person. Such person, for example, may be non-notable on Wikipedia and yet s/he is considered notable enough on Wikiquote to warrant an article on him/her.

2. Since Wikiquote is meant to be a compendium of quotations, not an encyclopedia covering biographies of people, its notability standards could quite logically be different from Wikipedia. In other words, since Wikiquote is not an encyclopedia, a person does not have to have encyclopedic notability to be notable on Wikiquote. Encyclopedic notability would be required on Wikipedia.

Wikiquote is not an encyclopedia

Wikiquote:What Wikiquote is not

A person notable only as a source of quote/s is notable on Wikiquote[edit]

Since Wikiquote is for quotes, a person notable only as a source of quote/s must be notable according to Wikiquote, even though such person may be non-notable according to Wikipedia. For instance, an aphorist cited as a source of quote/s[fn 1] in hundreds of reliable sources that are intellectually independent of each other and independent of the aphorist can certainly be presumed to be highly notable as a source of quote/s even though s/he may be non-notable according to Wikipedia for the possible lack of significant coverage on him or her in independent reliable sources.[fn 2]

The aphorist does not argue or explain, he asserts; and implicit in his assertion is a conviction that he is wiser and more intelligent than his readers.

—W. H. Auden

Basic criteria[edit]

A person can be presumed to be notable (worthy of notice) as a source of quote/s if he or she has been cited as a source of quote/s in multiple[fn 3] published secondary sources which are reliable, intellectually independent of each other, and independent of the person, the way a person is presumed to be notable on Wikipedia if he or she has been the subject of multiple published secondary sources which are reliable, intellectually independent of each other, and independent of the subject.[fn 4]

Quotability[edit]

Q: Does notability (as a source of quote/s) imply quotability?

The standard for determining whether material should be included in Wikiquote is quotability.

Wikiquote:Quotability

Anyone presumed to be notable as a source of quote/s could be presumed to be quotable too. It’s almost tautological. Couldn’t a person notable as a physicist, for instance, be presumed to be a physicist? Also, according to Wikiquote:Quotability, the presence of a quote in a published collection of quotations[fn 5] is strong evidence of quotability, both as to the quote and as to the author of the quote. Wouldn’t similarly then the presence of citations that cite a person as a source of quote/s in multiple published secondary sources which are independent and reliable be strong evidence of quotability as to the person (i.e. the author of the quote/s)? In other words, if a person is cited as a source of quote/s in multiple published secondary sources which are independent and reliable, wouldn’t it be strong evidence that the person (i.e. the author of the quote/s) is quotable? And if a person can be presumed to be quotable, shouldn’t Wikiquote (which is a compendium of quotations) have an article on them?[fn 6]

Comprehensive: Wikiquote aims to have quotes from many different people, literary works, films, memorials, epitaphs and so on.

Wikiquote:Wikiquote


Q: Then why is it that a person who is considered non-notable on Wikipedia is likely to be considered non-notable on Wikiquote too?

if an article about the topic has been deleted from Wikipedia on grounds of non-notability, then it is likely to be considered not notable on Wikiquote

Wikiquote:Notability


The reason is that although notability on Wikipedia is not necessary for notability on Wikiquote (when the subject is notable only as a source of quote/s), a person who is generally non-notable (i.e. s/he who does not possess encyclopedic notability) is unlikely to be quoted in independent reliable sources. Notable or remarkable people (i.e. they who possess encyclopedic notability) are normally quoted by others in reliable sources, though there may be exceptions to it. And Wikiquote may certainly allow such exceptions to be considered notable, since such exceptions are notable for quotes and Wikiquote is for quotes.

One of the simplest tests for notability of a subject, and of a quote, is to check whether other people have quoted it. They may have been approving or dissenting, said it was well-put or badly-written, but if a quote is often retold by others, then it is notable. If, on the other hand, no-one has thought it worth repeating, then the quote is probably not notable.

Wikiquote:Notability


Q: What's the fundamental difference between objective quotability and subjective quotability?
Practically, it is the difference of likelihood, nothing else. Objective quotability is in fact nothing but a form of subjective quotability. Nothing as of yet is really objectively quotable. When we say that something or someone is objectively quotable, we only mean that it is quotable in the opinion of one or more people who are very unlikely to be wrong in their opinion on the quotability. In other words, objective quotability is subjective quotability which can normally be trusted, which is very unlikely to be false. If a quotability determined by someone or something (say an extremely intelligent computer or machine) whose opinion on that particular quotability is impossible to be wrong, that quotability would truly be objective quotability. Can we find such person or such thing at all?

Q: According to this essay, a person quotable as per just one highly reliable independent secondary source is notable on Wikiquote and deserves a standalone article on them. However, according to Wikiquote:Quotability, although a famous quote that is generally accepted as originating from an otherwise little-known person may justify the existence of an article on that person, in order to insure that the quote itself is sufficiently famous for this purpose, it must be scrutinized heavily with respect to having withstood the test of time: any quote made within the past ten years must be scrutinized under the presumption that it is not inherently quotable, unless, for example, the author of the quote is highly notable and frequently quoted, or the quote received extensive coverage or has itself been adopted and repeated by other notable persons. Doesn’t this essay then contradict Wikiquote:Quotability on the barometer of notability for standalone articles?

Yes, it does.
However,
If a quote is (objectively) notable (worthy of notice), it is (objectively) quotable (worthy of being quoted).
If a quote has been quoted in a highly reliable independent secondary source, it is (objectively) notable, since, as we have seen before, unlike Wikipedia, neither multiple nor significant coverage is required on Wikiquote.
Therefore,
If a quote has been quoted in a highly reliable independent secondary source, it is (objectively) quotable, the fact which can overcome the presumption in Wikiquote:Quotability that any quote made within the past ten years is not inherently quotable.

Summary[edit]

Anyone, who has produced at least one quotation that is cited with attribution to the author in at least one published secondary source which is reliable[fn 7] and in both ways independent, is notable (as a source of quote/s) on Wikiquote, irrespective of his or her notability on Wikipedia. The degree of notability of the person (such as barely notable, moderately notable, highly notable) would depend upon the degree of reliability of the sources,[fn 8] the number of sources, the number of quotations, and the degree of notability (if any) of the author/s of the sources. Any degree of notability (of the person cited) may be sufficient to justify the existence of an article on that person. Anyone notable as a source of quote/s is quotable. A person who is not quotable is not notable on Wikiquote. Thus, a person who is not quotable cannot be the subject of a Wikiquote article; because Wikiquote basically exists for quotations and therefore the article on the person would either be empty or contain material that has no relevance to Wikiquote. And, a person who is objectively quotable is objectively notable on Wikiquote, even though they may not be objectively notable on Wikipedia. On Wikiquote, notability and quotability go hand in hand.[fn 9] Notability on Wikipedia does not imply notability on Wikiquote, and vice versa. "Notability as a source of quote/s" means nothing but "quotability", and vice versa.

Miscellaneous[edit]

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed.

—Samuel Johnson

Common misconceptions[edit]

  • A person must be notable on Wikipedia to be notable on Wikiquote.
  • A person can be considered "notable as a source of quotes" only when there are reliable and independent published sources which talk about his or her notability as a source of quotes.
  • A quote (or its author) can be considered notable only when it is quoted by several notable works or persons.[fn 10]
  • Any source that is normally considered reliable is 100% reliable.

Some other important facts to remember[edit]

  • Notability does not imply fame. A notable person may not be known widely enough to be considered famous. Fame and notability are different things. And, like Wikipedia, for Wikiquote purposes, the subject has to be notable, even though they may not be famous.
  • A self-published writer, a blogger, for example, may be objectively notable not only on Wikiquote but on Wikipedia too. Objective notability rests upon published sources that are independent and reliable.
  • A person who appears to have dubious academic credibility, a pseudophilosopher, for instance, may still be objectively quotable. A pseudophilosopher may be the author of quotable quotation/s, because although s/he may lack sufficient intellectual rigour, they may have produced objectively interesting thought/s and, more importantly, quotation/s.
I am not saying a pseudophilosopher can never be notable or widely quoted. Some have become very widely quoted bestselling authors.

Ningauble

I shall never be ashamed to quote a bad author if what he says is good.

—Seneca the Younger

Why none of the objectively notable authors should be left red-linked[edit]

  • Red links do not look good; when most of the authors are blue-linked, red links look odd. (e.g. Joel Hawes at Purpose)
  • Red links (or no links) are inconvenient for the reader.
Suppose a reader likes a quote by a red-linked author and wants to see if there are any more quotes on Wikiquote by them, wouldn't it be much easier for the reader to just click and visit the standalone Wikiquote article on the author instead of looking for the quotes through the search box?

6 Important Points about Notability on Wikiquote[edit]

1. Wikiquote is basically for quotations; it is not an encyclopedia that covers biographies of people.
2. Wikipedia requires "significant coverage" in reliable sources so that it can actually write a whole article, rather than half a paragraph or a definition of that topic.
3. Wikipedia requires "multiple sources" so that it can write a reasonably balanced article that complies with Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, rather than representing only one author's point of view.
4. Points 2 & 3 imply that "significant coverage" and "multiple sources" are not vital to the concept of notability. They are required for things other than notability, things which normally do not matter on Wikiquote (See Note 2 & Note 3 for details).
5. Therefore, if a quote is cited as a quotation in a published secondary source which is highly reliable and independent (or in a published tertiary source which is at least moderately reliable) there is no reason why it cannot be presumed to be notable on Wikiquote. Similarly, if a person is cited (or noted) as a source (or an author) of quotation/s there is no reason why s/he cannot be presumed to be notable on Wikiquote and why Wikiquote may not have a page on them. In other words, if a quote is noticed by a (published) source which is independent and reliable (i.e. a source which can reasonably be relied upon), it can be presumed to be notable (deserving to be noticed). If a person is noticed by a (published) source which is independent and reliable as a source (or author) of quote/s, the person can be presumed to be notable (deserving to be noticed) as a source (or author) of quote/s. However, the source is required to have a sufficient degree of reliability to be considered truly reliable for practical purposes. (Since theoretically nothing can be considered truly reliable. See Note 8 for details.)
6. A person who has produced multiple notable quotations could be presumed to be notable as a source of notable quotations. (Couldn’t an author of multiple notable quotations be considered notable on that which is exclusively devoted to the collection of quotations, i.e. Wikiquote? An author of 3 notable books, for example, would be considered notable on Wikipedia or on a place exclusively devoted to the collection of information about books and authors, a literary encyclopedia.)
Examples of persons notable as source of notable quotations: Joel Hawes, Kedar Joshi, and Sally Kempton. Needless to say, these persons are also notable as source of quotations, which may include quotations that are (objectively) non-notable in themselves.

The notability and quotability policy in a nutshell[edit]

It’s simple:
  • Any notable quote is quotable: if it is objectively notable, it is objectively (and possibly subjectively) quotable; if it is only subjectively notable, it is only subjectively quotable.
  • A quote is notable if it is quoted in a published secondary source which is highly reliable and independent or in a published tertiary source which is at least moderately reliable. If the secondary source is not highly reliable, then multiple sources may be required. An otherwise objectively non-notable quote may become notable if its author is objectively notable, either as a source of quotes or on Wikipedia. Quotability of such quote may be highly subjective and difficult to determine.
  • An author is notable if s/he is the author of one or more notable quotes, or s/he is notable as a source of quotes, none of which may in itself be notable, or s/he is notable on Wikipedia and subjectively quotable and notable on Wikiquote (i.e. A person who is objectively notable on Wikipedia, but objectively non-quotable, may become subjectively quotable and notable on Wikiquote).
  • Any author objectively notable as a source of quote/s is objectively quotable.

Examples[edit]

The following are some examples of persons who appear objectively notable as source of quotes[fn 11] (i.e objectively quotable). Each of these persons may also be notable for producing at least one notable quotation which they are cited along with as its source.[fn 12]

Jerome Blattner (The degree of notability as a source of quote/s: Barely notable)[fn 13][edit]

Rose Cherin (Barely notable)[fn 17][edit]

Nick Diamos (Moderately notable)[fn 21][edit]

Joel Hawes (Moderately notable; perhaps Highly notable)[fn 27][edit]

Vithu Jeyaloganathan (Barely notable)[fn 35][edit]

Kedar Joshi (Moderately notable)[fn 39][edit]

Sally Kempton (Moderately notable)[fn 54][edit]

John Kord Lagemann (Moderately notable)[fn 62][edit]

Willis Player (Moderately notable)[fn 67][edit]

Henry J. Tillman (Highly notable)[fn 72][edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. For example, a research paper beginning with the line "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein can be said to have cited Albert Einstein as a source of a quote. This remarkably differs from an article merely mentioning a fact such as "Albert Einstein said yesterday that he was not feeling well". In the former example, it is evident that the author of the research paper is citing a statement by Albert Einstein as a quotation, that they are treating the statement as a quotation (that they are considering Albert Einstein quotable or quoteworthy: worthy of being quoted); while in the latter example such treatment does not seem to exist.
  2. This example is important to illustrate the fact that there does not at all have to be any source that mentions, be it in brief or detail, that a person is remarkable, famous or notable as a source of quote/s. In other words, there does not have to be any The Washington Post or The New York Times article, for instance, on the person mentioning and praising his/her notability as a source of quote/s. Because even without such source, the person can appear notable/remarkable as a source of quote/s if they are cited as a source of quote/s in independent reliable source/s. Also, while Wikipedia requires "significant coverage" in reliable sources so that it can actually write a whole article, rather than half a paragraph or a definition of that topic, Wikiquote would normally not require significant coverage of a person to consider them notable or to include a standalone article on them, because when it writes a standalone (or whole) article on a person, its primary objective is to include quotations of that person, and not to write their biography.
    Wikiquote is a collection of quotations. While, for completeness, articles should have a short introduction of the topic or source, the primary goal is to include quotations.

    Wikiquote:Wikiquote

  3. Wikipedia requires "multiple sources" so that it can write a reasonably balanced article that complies with Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, rather than representing only one author's point of view. Since such issue normally does not arise in the case of quotations, Wikiquote would in fact normally not require multiple sources, unless a highly reliable single secondary source or at least moderately reliable single tertiary source is not available.
    Quotations included in Wikiquote do not need to conform to NPOV, as they are reflections of the point-of-view of the quoted individual

    Wikiquote:Neutral point of view

    In other words, presence of a quote in a published secondary source which is highly reliable and independent or in a tertiary source which is at least moderately reliable is sufficiently strong evidence that both the quote as well as its author is quotable and therefore notable for Wikiquote purposes.
  4. There may be different ways to look at it, to understand it. One of the ways could be this: Wikiquote is the Wikipedia of quotations. If multiple reliable sources with significant coverage of a person can establish notability of that person on Wikipedia (which is an encyclopedia), then couldn’t the same number of sources with the same degree of reliability which cite a person as a source of quote/s establish his/her notability (as a source of quote/s) on Wikiquote (which is a compendium of quotations)? One other way could be this: On Wikipedia, the barometer of notability is whether people independent of the topic itself (or of its manufacturer, creator, author, inventor, or vendor) have actually considered the topic notable enough that they have written and published non-trivial works of their own that focus upon it – without incentive, promotion, or other influence by people connected to the topic matter. Since, as we have seen before, Wikiquote normally requires neither significant (or non-trivial) coverage nor multiple sources, its barometer of notability (as a source of quote/s) would be whether anybody independent of the person has actually considered the person quotable enough (i.e. sufficiently notable as a source of quote/s) that they have cited the person as a source of quote/s in work/s of their own – without incentive, promotion, or other influence by people connected to the person. A person who possesses encyclopedic notability, but has never been cited as a source of quote/s in independent reliable source/s, may subjectively be considered quotable on Wikiquote.
    Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams.

    —W. Somerset Maugham

  5. i.e. a reliable tertiary source of quotations
  6. Thus, the fact that a person is objectively notable as a source of quote/s implies that the person is objectively quotable, and vice versa. In like manner, the fact that a person is subjectively notable as a source of quote/s implies that the person is subjectively quotable, and vice versa. Notability as a source of quote/s implies quotability, and vice versa. For Wikiquote purposes, both notability as well as quotability must be objective, and not subjective.
  7. If the secondary source is not highly reliable (Nature (journal), for example, is a highly reliable source), then multiple secondary sources would be required. It may be that if all of the secondary sources are barely reliable (e.g. Dogwise Publishing), a minimum of three sources would be necessary to establish notability. In case the source is tertiary (The Yale Book of Quotations, for example), it must be at least moderately reliable.
  8. It should be noted that any source that is normally considered reliable may err. Even a highly reliable source may inadvertently, or even advertently, speak untruth. But that’s life; nothing can be expected to be perfect. A barely reliable source would be more likely to err than a moderately reliable source, while a highly reliable source would be least likely to err. However, even a barely reliable source can still normally be considered a reliable source because although it may err, it is very unlikely to err. In other words, the chances that any reliable source errs are low enough to be practically insignificant. The reliability of a source may be extremely difficult to quantify.
    You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.

    —Frank Crane

  9. For Wikipedia:Notability (people), the person who is the topic of a biographical article should be "worthy of notice" – that is, "significant, interesting, or unusual enough to deserve attention or to be recorded" within Wikipedia as a written account of that person's life. Similarly, for Wikiquote:Notability (people), the person who is the topic of a Wikiquote article should be "worthy of being quoted" – that is, "significant, interesting, or unusual enough to deserve attention or to be recorded" within Wikiquote as a source of quote/s.
  10. This very misconception is responsible for the aforementioned contradiction between this essay and Wikiquote:Quotability.
  11. It may be that none of these persons is objectively notable on the English Wikipedia; so all of them may be (objectively) notable only as source of quotes on the English Wikiquote.
  12. There may be a person (outside these examples), who is notable as a source of quote/s, none of which is notable in itself.
    We limit ourselves to quotations which are notable. A quotation can be notable either because it has achieved fame by itself, but more usually because it was said by someone notable, or appeared in a notable work.

    Wikiquote:Wikiquote

  13. cited as a source of a quote in 2 reliable sources: both of which appear moderately reliable, 1 of them is tertiary
  14. cited in Trust
  15. The source looks moderately reliable
  16. moderately reliable
  17. cited in 2 reliable sources: both of which appear moderately reliable
  18. cited in Family
  19. moderately reliable
  20. moderately reliable
  21. cited in 4 reliable sources: 1 highly reliable, 1 moderately reliable, 2 barely reliable
  22. cited in Dishonesty
  23. highly reliable
  24. barely reliable
  25. barely reliable
  26. moderately reliable
  27. cited in 5 reliable sources: 2 highly reliable (1 of which is tertiary), 2 moderately reliable, 1 barely reliable (tertiary)
  28. cited in Purpose
  29. moderately reliable
  30. highly reliable
  31. barely reliable
  32. moderately reliable
  33. cited in Resolution & Optimism
  34. highly reliable
  35. cited in 2 reliable sources: 1 moderately reliable (and tertiary, cited 2 times), 1 barely reliable
  36. cited in Self
  37. moderately reliable
  38. barely reliable
  39. cited in 7 reliable sources: 2 highly reliable, 4 moderately reliable (2 of which are tertiary, cited 3 times in 1 of them), 1 barely reliable (tertiary)
  40. cited in Certainty
  41. highly reliable
  42. cited in God
  43. moderately reliable
  44. cited in Doubt
  45. The independence of this particular source is under suspicion.
  46. moderately reliable
  47. cited in Genius
  48. highly reliable
  49. cited in Philosophy
  50. moderately reliable
  51. cited in Doubt
  52. moderately reliable
  53. barely reliable
  54. cited in 3 moderately reliable sources
  55. cited in Feminism
  56. moderately reliable
  57. cited in Enemies
  58. moderately reliable
  59. moderately reliable
  60. cited in Feminism
  61. moderately reliable
  62. cited in 3 reliable sources: 2 moderately reliable, 1 barely reliable
  63. cited in Intuition
  64. moderately reliable
  65. moderately reliable
  66. barely reliable
  67. cited in 3 reliable sources: 1 highly reliable, 2 moderately reliable (both of which are tertiary)
  68. cited in Liberalism
  69. highly reliable
  70. moderately reliable
  71. moderately reliable
  72. cited in 6 reliable sources: 1 highly reliable, 5 moderately reliable
  73. cited in Problem solving
  74. moderately reliable
  75. cited in Life
  76. moderately reliable
  77. highly reliable
  78. cited in Oregano
  79. moderately reliable
  80. cited in Aviation
  81. moderately reliable
  82. moderately reliable

References[edit]

External links[edit]