- I didn't quite understand that myself. I thought it might be an either/or; i.e., you can provide a WQ link or an external link (presumably not both, as the former's article, if it exists, should contain the latter). But that's just speculation. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:12, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Attributed vs. Unsourced
Over at Wikiquote talk:Templates/Themes, Jeffq mentioned the possibility of changing the "Attributed" header (and section) to "Unsourced". His concern seems to be confusion between uses of the word attributed; the WQ usage is roughly equivalent to "unsourced", or quotes that don't have a strong source. Another (and I believe more common usage, in context) is quotes which are only sourced through a second party claiming the persons said it. Jeff mentioned the possibility of changing "Attributed" to "Unsourced", and agree that it would be a better fit, as it's a more general word (which included both "attributed" (in the common sense) quotes as well as ones that simply don't have sources). Therefore, I propose that this template be changed to use "Unsourced" instead of "Attributed" as the section title for quotes without primary sources. —LrdChaos 16:14, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
- And, not incidentally, change a couple of thousand existing articles to match. It's my bright idea, so if we do this, I volunteer for the scut work. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:19, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
- Since there seemed to be some agreement that this is a good idea, what are the next steps to enact this? Does it need to be agreed to by a larger body? If it is to be adopted, I'd like to see the template updated to reflect this. What needs to happen next to get this to happen? ~ UDScott 12:45, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
- I've mostly been using "Unsourced" when I clean up pages, and since there wasn't any opposition to the plan (now that I remembered it after seeing your post), I've been been bold and changed the header from "Attributed" to "Unsourced" on the template. —LrdChaos 13:16, 23 June 2006 (UTC) [PS: I goofed on the edit summary, saying "Sourced" instead of "Unsourced". Don't pay much attention to that. —LrdChaos 13:18, 23 June 2006 (UTC)]
Wouldn't it just be better to use inline citations as is done on Wikipedia instead of the idiosyncratic system used here? I know this is probably the resuilt of some discussion here but I feel the format on Lawrence Taylor looks infinitely better than any other person article and it was tagged for cleanup. I no doubt will receive disagreement here but putting sources inline in the text kills the flow of the article. Probably why it was nuked over at Wikipedia, at least as regards FA's and GA's. Quadzilla99 22:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
- You make a good point, Quadzilla99. For the current status, I see several reasons why we use source lines instead of ref/references footnoting (aka m:Cite/Cite.php) that would have to be considered.
- Obvious uniqueness. As a Wikimedia project, and for legal reasons (the kind that got French Wikiquote into trouble), Wikiquote treats sourcing as a serious issue, and is moving to improve this in its articles. This makes Wikiquote virtually unique among quote websites, as they almost never give anything more than the quote and the quotee. This difference is not as obvious when the sources are all moved to footnotes.
- Ease of reading. Although source lines do indeed break the flow of quotes, they also provide evidence of accuracy right along with each quote. Moving these lines to footnotes makes it harder for readers to notice whether a quote is solidly, weakly, or not really sourced. They must bounce back and forth between the page sections. Even though this is much easier to do with ref links than with a paper page, it's still a bit jarring.
- Ease of editing. This is less of a problem for editors, since the ref/references system actually requires that the footnote text immediately follow the quote text. However, an important principle in wiki editing is that new editors be able to pick up editing techniques by observing existing pages. This is easier to do with simple source lines than with footnotes. Anything that decreases the chance of editors adding a reasonable source makes our effort to improving sourcing that much more difficult.
- Inertia. The most compelling current obstacle is simple inertia. Most Wikiquote editors make only a few edits per month. As of last December, we have never had more than 12 people at a time doing more than 100 edits per month. This makes any major change very difficult to implement.
- This doesn't mean we won't ultimately change. In fact, discussions on improving our various practices should regularly take place. As Thomas Jefferson is attributed as saying, "A little revolution now and then is a good thing." But making them happen will probably require considerable discussion. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
- Obvious uniqueness. I don't see how this would be a problem, the article I worked on was meticulously sourced. A simple explanation could show that the article is well sourced.
- Ease of reading. Most of these articles are so short that going to the bottom of the page and coming back up takes minimal time.
- Ease of editing. I'm not sure why this would be more of a problem here than on Wikipedia. I don't think Wikiquote has any more or less need to have strict citation format standards.
- Inertia. Exceptional point, I can see how that would be the case.
- Don't get me wrong, Quadzilla99 — I believe your suggestion needs to be considered for the future, for much the same reasons that WP has adopted it. Some articles are already using this format, although many of them (all the ones I've done with ref/references) still offer a source line for each quote with an abbreviated reference, so that the details are in the footnotes but the Harvard-like basic source is still obvious.
- The first three arguments might be better summed up as a practical matter of getting readers and editors to understand in their bones that Wikiquote demands sources for quotes. Most people (including quote book authors, even respected ones) feel that "quote and quotee" are all you need. For Wikiquote to overcome this expectation and get people to provide proper sources, which they almost never do despite our strenuous attempts to get them to, we must, for now at least, practically SCREAM "sources, sources, sources". Pushing these sources to the bottom of the article will undermine this already inadequate effort.
- Wikipedia has its own severe sourcing issues, but they're not quite as legally urgent because most legitimate WP material is user-written, whereas all primary Wikiquote material is by nature an exact copy of someone else's words. Also, prose suffers more from long citations inserted into the text than quotes do with such sources inserted between clearly delineated segments.
- All in all, I think we're probably a few years away from having the luxury of footnoting our sources. There are some ideas floating around that might help reduce the "interference" of sources lines without burying them at the bottom. For examples, French Wikiquote is using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to present its (now-mandatory) source lines in shading that emphasizes the quotes and shrinks but leaves visible the source info. (See fr:Dune for an example.) I suspect that as we revisit old formatting guidelines in the coming year or so, we will have an opportunity to consider mechanisms like this. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:36, 4 April 2007 (UTC)