Submissions:2019/Article Inclusion criteria and systematic bias

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Due to limited space, WikiConference North America 2019 unfortunately could not accommodate this submission in its program this year.
Please check out our Unconference for opportunities to present and share there.


Article Inclusion criteria and systematic bias


Inclusion and Diversity

Type of session:



To avoid differential or disproportionate coverage, we should not rely on the chance availability of sources to meet WP:GNG , but rather we should explicitly decide what we want to include. We still need to be limited by the one basic rule, WP:V -- there needs to be some reliable source. Other than that we should include what we have a consensus to include, not manipulate the way we argue about interpretations of exceptions to guidelines in the hope of decisions coming out as we want.

Relying on number of sources is not a question of how much information might in principle be available to a trained researcher, but in practice it depends on how much of this potential material is available to an ordinary Wikipedian. The extent to which different types of publication are reliable differs in various fields and countries and areas of bias. For example: there is much less information available for companies selling to other businesses than for those selling to consumers, the reliability and independence of information on films is much lower in some countries than others; books published in English and other European languages are much more likely to have accessible substantial reviews than those in most Asian languages; information about the careers of women before to the mid 20th century is much more scanty than at present, in all fields and languages.)

As a continually challenged example, if we decide it is--or is not--appropriate to counter systematic gender and ethnic discrimination by accepting first female/first person of color/first person of a particular religion, we can do so; if we choose to use a world-wide standard, we can say that. What we should not do is leave it up the accidents of available sourcing, or the skill of the debaters at an AfD. We can decide on guidelines that apply to the situation, rather than use very indirect guidelines and manipulate the arguments to get them to apply.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

David Goodman

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):


Estimated time:

30 min

Preferred room size:


Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

I gave a talk on notability but without the emphasis on equity at the 2012 Wikimania, User:DGG/Notability 2012

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)