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Forum:Incorporated sources

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Forums: Grand Lodge > Incorporated sources

So I've recently thought that it would be useful to have a template similar to Unincorporated sources {{u}}. Instead of listing sources that still needed to be incorporated, it would list the sources that had been fully checked and whose info had been fully integrated into the article in question. I created an example of what this would look like in Talk:Codwin, and called in "Incorporated sources". It's kind of a check list that includes sources that have been checked but that didn't include any useful info. What do people think? Is it useful?
I've been just creating a second ref tag if all of the facts are included, so that each source has at least one ref
Sorry, what do you mean by a "second ref tag"? A second ref of what, Cpt?
I was thinking more along the lines of sources that have information already incorporated, vs sources that didn't have any useful info. By my second ref comment I was thinking similar to Field plate how ref 2 and 3 are both for the same information, so when we reviewed the second, there wasn't new useful info, but it would have been useful if the other didn't exist. Does that make sense? This is only semi related to this thread, but I also still think that unincorporated sources should be listed on the actual page instead of the talk page. We tell people to look at the page and the references on the page to see where information was pulled from. We and the community don't include a 'check to see if there's a talk page for more sources' instruction when we provide a link. I just don't think its utilized by a non-editor the way if could when it is hidden away.
I would argue that the "incorporated sources" are really only for the editors and would not really need to be easily accessible to the general public. It's only to let editors know that a particular source has already been checked and doesn't have any additional useful information. It saves him or her the time of checking the document him or herself. The general public is only interested in where the useful information IS, not where it isn't (if the sources are of interest at all).

We have a few options for tracking source inclusion.

  • What we already do: When a book contains information about a subject and that content isn't in the article, list it on the subject's Talk page under Unincorporated Sources, and cross the source out when the content is incorporated. If a source isn't listed, assume its content is either incorporated or unknown. The downside is that these lists are out of sight from editors; unless you already know they exist on many pages, you might not discover them on your own.
    • What it answers: "Which books that cover this subject have not already been incorporated in the wiki?"
  • What BrOp proposes here: Add a separate list on the Talk page to track when a source's content on a subject is fully incorporated in the subject's article.
    • What it answers: "Which books that cover this subject have already been incorporated in the wiki?"
  • Projects. We do this for major sourcebooks, like ISWGII. We theoretically could have a page for each book. This would centralize the work in the appropriate project namespace and make it easier to identify which sources have been fully incorporated into the wiki's content—something easier to identify than which subjects have been fully sourced. The downside is that our existing inclusion initiatives haven't caught on; will adding a few dozen more of them ultimately do any good?
    • What it answers: "Which subjects are covered in this book, and has the book's information been fully incorporated into the wiki?"
  • Content meta pages. We have meta pages for several projects that list tasks for each subject. We could do the same for content pages (such as Meta:Absalom), and move the Un/Incorporated Sources content to it. The result would be dedicated, more meaningful pages for tracking the work toward incorporating sources at the subject level, rather than the source. The downside is this is just the same stuff we already do with a different appearance, though it would be easier to either expose this in the site nav alongside Discussion and add automatic links to it from the {{refs}} template.
    • What it answers: "Which books cover this subject, and what is the status of each source with regards to this subject?"
  • Categories. We could categorize articles with each source's relevance and state, rather than listing it on the Talk page. (For instance, every page on the wiki would have one of these categories for each source: Category:The Inner Sea World Guide/Incorporated, Category:The Inner Sea World Guide/Unincorporated, Category:The Inner Sea World Guides/Irrelevant). Categorizing is relatively low-impact (no need for templates or formatting), and the category automatically indexes all of the relevant articles. The downside is that each article would need to be accurately categorized, though bots could take on some of the initial work. (If we're afraid of these categories cluttering pages, they could be hidden, particularly a source's "Irrelevant" category.)
    • What it answers: "What books cover this subject, what is the status of each source with regards to this subject, and how do subjects and sources intersect with other categories?"

Ideally I'd lean toward categories as a source's status regarding a subject is effectively metadata (and categories are metadata), categories give us indices of articles in that state for free (and the resulting category pages would effectively be an automatically generated index), and categories plug into things like DPL to allow us to build smart content around those categories (like automatically generated and updated lists of sources that contain information about a subject, or a list of subjects covered by a source, or all of the wizards in an adventure path, etc.). They're useful to both visitors ("What books cover this subject?"), editors ("What is the status of each source with regards to this subject?"), and researchers ("How do subjects and sources intersect with other categories?").

The workload to categorize everything correctly would be steep, however, and not particularly automatable. Even though we have Unincorporated Sources lists on many articles, most of those don't use templates for the sources themselves, so there's no reliable way for a bot to identify when a source is or isn't incorporated.

This probably makes having an inclusion initiative project for each sourcebook actually more feasible, if less flexible. Centralizing these updates around the sourcebooks instead of the subjects also lines up more closely with what a lot of us already do: We don't often bounce around from subject to subject searching all of our books for information on that subject. We read a book when we get it, list out what stuff from that book isn't in the wiki, and eventually add the missing stuff to the wiki.

Just a quick posting from me on this tonight in relation to 'What we already do' section above. That is half of the equation as {{U}} gets put on the pages needing updating from a particular source. The red links for pages that do not yet exist from a source get added into the various sandboxes in the User:Fleanetha area. This is an old discussion: see Forum:What still needs including from Paizo Sourcebooks? from 2012. So from about that time, for the books I have read, we do have a pretty diligent record of which pages need updating with what and which pages are missing. In this way any search for an article that actually doesn't exist will at least give the person an idea of which book to reference. We used to have an ugly bar that got displayed to show that there were updates needed for a page pointing at the discussion page, but that got removed as so many pages had them it started to be a bit depressing. We also had a note on each page suggesting looking at the discussion page for extra sources but somewhere along the line that seems to have disappeared. Some history here: Forum:Updates and Cleanups.

There is also this even older discussion on Stubs that may have some ideas: Forum:Section Stubs

Also fiction sources have indices to help too.

We actively removed the suggestion to check the talk pages from articles as it was appearing in the synopsis that showed up on search engines and within the wiki itself. The decision was largely based on the fact that we didn't want to draw attention to all the information that wasn't on the wiki before we provided the information that actually was. I can't find the discussion at the moment, but I recall that consensus was reached without much dissent.