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Forum:References

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A reminder to everyone, that as per Help:References you are required to provide page references for all publications apart from The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales. From this moment I will be rigorously enforcing this policy. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 19:32, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

I feel kinda confused with this policy. There are many many editions of The Hobbit, TLOTR and The Silmarillion, each one with different pagination. So I don't see the need of including pagination for TLOTR in particular, unless for very specific statements, which can otherwise be expressed including a textual cite, as many articles have. In the other hand, as far as I know most of Unfinished Tales editions have the same pagination (just like HoMe), so I have always included pagination when referencing it. --LorenzoCB 22:36, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
I shall check my editions of Unfinished Tales to confirm this, but the policy is clear that the paginations of the 50th anniversary editions of The Lord of the Rings need to be used, and these are consistent.--Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 08:41, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
I am very sorry if I am overlooking something, but I could not find what to do regarding the page numbers of The Silmarillion. Is there a specific version or publisher I should use for citations? --Grace18 14:38, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
I am confused. I agree with LorenzoCB that there are many editions of The Lord of the Rings with different paginations and I do not see the need to include page numbers from a particular edition of The Lord of the Rings. The Help:References page says that including page numbers in citations is generally "preferred" for paginated sources. In addition it says only to follow the "guidelines" to include page numbers "in citations from the 50th anniversary Edition" of The Lord of the Rings. It does not even say that the page numbers should be from the printed 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings. As anconsequence it would still allow page numbers from an e-book version of the 50uth anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings (which will likely be different). If it is only "preferred", only a "guideline" and does not refer to the "printed" 50th anniversary edition, than I see no sufficient legitimation for a single "Administrator" to "rigourosly" "require" page references for all publications apart from The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales. A literal reading of Help:References only has a guideline to include page numbers "in citations from 50th Anniversary Edition" of the Lord of the Rings, but not in citations that are not from the 50th anniversary edition of the Lord of the Rings, but citations from other Editions of The Lord of the Rings. Many readers and contributors only have access to an e-book version of the Lord of the Rings. The page numbers in an e-book version of the 50th anniversary edition of the The Lord of the Rings are probably different from the page numbers in a printed version of the 50th anniversary edition of the Lord of the Rings any may even be different depending on the reader program. Many readers and contributors, especially if they are older or from countries where english is not the native launguage, only have access to an earlier printed edition of The Lord of the Rings or to a printed edition of The Lord of the Rings in another language with varying page numbers. "Rigorously" requiring the page numbers of the printed 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings will exclude contributions from a large number of users, because they do not have access to a printed 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings and cannot cite page numbers form there and page numbers from there will not be of use to them as readers, because they will not help them to verify or look up passages in their e-book version or in their different printed version of The Lord of the Rings. Not requiring page references for citations from The Lord of the Rings was and is a good policy that takes into account that users and contributors have access to editions of The Lord of the Rings with differing page numbers. Erik Mueller-Harder from Vermont Softworks is aware of this reality and has created The Lord of the Rings cross-reference with every paragraph of The Lord of the Rings with cross-reference page numbering for five common editions to eliminate paragraph counting for people who try to look up paragraph rather than page number citations. A wiki relies on having motivated users to contribute content and to clean up content that is not supported by facts and references (at least chapter references and headlines of chapter references). I am strongly against running a wiki like Sauron driven by the desire to order all things without consulting the users as the "free peoples" first. I rather support benevolent kings who think of the good of all users and that hold a "council" first where they gather the opinion of the free people before taking important decisions. Viva la revolucion! --Akhorahil 09:50, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
In my opinion, if all Sauron had done was require page numbers from a certain edition for citations, Middle Earth would have been a very different place. And, in the end, Mith is the authority, so what he says goes. However, I think it is fair to reassess, seeing as some confusion has occurred, and some valid points have been presented, especially regarding the Lord of the Rings. As pointed out previously, some editors (including myself) are not currently in possession of the 50th anniversary edition. Requiring page numbers in citations would make it difficult for editors such as myself to give proper citations, or even assist in fixing incorrect ones. That said, it makes perfect sense to use this edition as the standard for citations. I think that strongly encouraging editors to include page numbers for Lord of the Rings, if possible, and only using this specific edition, would be a reasonable solution to the problem. It would allow those who can to add page numbers, without preventing editors without a copy from making changes. Otherwise, it might be necessary to make clear to editors who do not have this copy to avoid editing things they cannot give the proper citations for. --Grace18 19:00, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
There seems to be a misunderstanding. My comparison with Sauron did not refer to the idea of requiring page numbers from a certain edition for citations itself, but to the act of the announcement by a single user that all other users are required to provide page references for all publications apart from The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales and that he will be rigorously enforcing this policy from this moment" without consulting the users as the "free peoples" first like benevolent kings that hold a "council" first where they gather the opinion of the free people before taking important decisions. If that would have been done, one could have said before this announcement that this announcement is not supported by the Help:References page and that many users simply do not have access those editions and thus do not know the page numbers in those editions and would be prevented from making edits if edits without page numbers are not longer allowed and that such page numbers are of no user for readers who do not have access to such editions. --Akhorahil 10:36, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
To address some of these points:
  • Pagination from the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings is consistent. I understand the point about ebooks but that is an argument against ever citing page references anywhere ever, which is not the convention in academia or any wiki (and which LRC doesn't resolve).
  • This is an English-language wiki and editors should reasonably expect to have access to English-language editions. There are wikis in other languages they could potentially edit.
  • Not requiring page references is a good policy for editors, but a poor policy for readers and researchers. We should be edited for the convenience of the latter. Currently we have a guideline which everyone is choosing to ignore - I am no longer choosing to ignore it.
Ultimately, we need to get our house in order. I don't think that's unreasonable. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 12:41, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
I think that is fair. Sadly, I do not have the 50th anniversary edition. What should I do (or not do?). Also, this may be a totally ridiculous idea (I am still trying to figure out how everything works, sorry!) but would it be worth creating a different maintenance template for references needing page numbers, so those do not become jumbled in with all of the pages that are lacking references? Right now we just have the generic Template:Sources for any articles that need "more/new/more-detailed sources to conform to a higher standard ". There are already a fair amount of pages with this template. Of course, there would be the question of what to do with articles that are generally lacking sources and are missing page numbers on the ones they have. But I thought I would throw the idea out there. It might make it easier to sort through. Again, sorry if it's an awful idea, I was just wondering. --Grace18 22:10, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
But for those that we don't have those editions, I guess there is no problem not indicating pagination (?). I mean, it's better to include a reference to a chapter rather than not including a reference at all. About this topic, it would be nice that the MoS was more specific about how to include pagination: is it always using the {{rp|##}} template, so all references of a book section are inlined? I've also seen that, in early stages of the wiki, textual citations were included within references (I think this is useful in some cases). Should this style be removed? --LorenzoCB 10:48, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
Grace18, you could use this Template:Footnotes for articles that are lacking page numbers however this can apply to about 90% of articles here, so I don't think anyone wants to manually add that to every article right now (could you use a bot?) so it will take some time to update everything. Gaetano 12:00, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
Please. I beg you all. Calm down with the maintenance templates. Like Niggle's tree, this wiki will never be finished until Arda is remade. Templates lose their porpose being so widely applied. --LorenzoCB 13:36, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
Grace18, LorenzoCB and Gaetano: Since you are among the few active users in this forum apart from Sage, could you let me know if you own a printed 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings or any of the books of the editions in The History of Middle-earth series for which page numbers are requested (Grace18 already said that she does not have the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings)? --Akhorahil 17:16, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
I do happen to have the History of Middle-earth series, but that was a surprise Christmas present, so I'm still a little stunned by it. I wish I had the 50th anniversary edition; I could help add page numbers to things. I understand what Mith is doing, and having the page numbers makes sense (hunting through the larger chapters for references can be a pain). But we have a limited number of regular editors, and not everyone has a copy of what they need. And I think LorenzoCB is right about the templates. We have maintenance templates everywhere. I've been going through To-do lately and it's a bit of a wreck. Some of the templates just need to be removed, as the articles have been corrected. But if we add a maintenance template to everything needing page numbers, the wiki will be full of them, and they will kind of lose their purpose. --Grace18 17:42, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't have the 50th anniversary edition of TLOTR. Yes, I have most of HoMe, tomes I-V and X-XII, and I've always included their page numbers accurately. My contributions are mostly about the First Age, I never go too deep into the Third. --LorenzoCB 09:18, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
Lorenzo, do you also have The Lord of the Rings: A Readers Companion? It contains the Unfinished Index for The Lord of the Rings with explanations of the meanings of some names and the Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings (explanations by J.R.R. Tolkien for the translation of names into certain real world languages). Do you also have issues of Parma Eldalamberion? I habe noticed that you have been active in the etymology sections of pages and those sources (in Edition to The Emymologies in HOME) seem to be the Main sources for the etymology of words. --Akhorahil 10:49, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't have the Reader's Companion, but I want to get it at some point. Yes, I have both all Parma Eldalamberon and Vinyar Tengwar. --LorenzoCB 12:20, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
Unfortunately I don't have the 50th anniversary edition but I'am okay with my copy of TLOTR. My HOME collection is from HarperCollins. Gaetano 23:45, 3 January 2021 (UTC)