Cabal fails to get Wikipedia article on viXra deleted

Last week computer scientist David Eppstein made a bid to have the wikipedia article about viXra deleted. He claimed that the article failed tests of notoriety, and verifiablilty and initially requested rapid deletion to avoid any discussion. This was rejected leading to a longer process requiring a concensus. In the event five people voted to keep it and only one other came out in support of deletion.

It was clear from the ensuing discussion that Eppstein’s real motivation for requesting the deletion was that he regards viXra as a “crank magnet”. During the AfD he selectively edited the article to remove references which showed that viXra contains articles that have been accepted for peer-review on the grounds that this was “original research by synthesis”, yet he kept in other statements of a more negative nature despite them being unsupported by references.

The request for deletion was rejected. An archived copy of the discussion can be read here.


26 Responses to Cabal fails to get Wikipedia article on viXra deleted

  1. paddy says:

    I have seen as much “crankery” on arxiv as vixra. I guess it all depends on your defintion of “crankery”. One has to exercise one’s judgement. To eliminate a wiki article on either is prejudging.

  2. carla says:

    What on earth does it have to do with David Eppstein?

    Maybe he’s annoyed about Carl Brannen’s paper– Unitary mixing matrices and their parameterizations–that cites papers on vixra.com and was mentioned on the science20.com website.

  3. Jin He says:

    Why do you guys care about wiki entries?
    There are over 50 people reading my papers on viXra each day:

    http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=623&q=jin+he&oq=jin+he&aq=f&aqi=g3g-s1&aql=&gs_sm=3&gs_upl=2688l3969l0l5594l6l6l0l0l0l0l1250l2327l0.1.4.7-1l6l0&gs_l=hp.3..0l3j0i10.2688l3969l0l5594l6l6l0l0l0l0l1250l2327l0j1j4j7-1l6l0.frgbld.&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=4d952af9e566b2f4

    while there are less than 30 people reading “viXra” entry on wiki each day:

    http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/ViXra

    2012 will change every thing: “Planck”, “LHC”, “Opera”, etc.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      As I said in the discussion for the AfD, I dont really care whether Wikipedia has an article on viXra or not, but if it is there it must be balanced.

  4. kevin says:

    Calling that a cabal is indeed a clear sign of crankery. Wikipedia rules of contribution are very complicated for a beginner contributor. Many scientists who don’t know the rule at first make the mistake of deleting crank content. I did that myself. But the the main problem on wikipedia is that a crank never understand the rule, and worst refuse to apply it. A scientist most often understand the rule and don’t do that type of mistake twice. To sum up the rule, only peer reviewed articles are accepted as sources on wikipedia, for scientific content. An article must represent each point of view proportionaly to its acceptance in peer reviewed papers. The case of vixra obviously don’t fit the rule. But on the other hand, every well known website can have an article about it on the wikipedia. So, if we apply the rule, vixra can have an article about itself on wikipedia, because it contains scientific content (because there is no peer review, and wikipedia consider only peer reviewed as being scientific), but because it is well known.

    • read my post on Bose-Einstein condensation

      according to your post Bose would be deleted..because he was unknown and rejected by peer-review

      .but since Einstein appeared then Bose was published and becames well-known…but the article on Bose-Einsrein condensation is 95% Bose

      again..science becames bureaucratic…..

      i sometimes uses wikipedia for quick references….imagine that i am reading an article where the author mentions for example “Hermite Polynomials” ….then i go to wikipedia to consult the formulas…..but i also verify the formula to see if it works as intended..imagine that when typing the formula somebody by mistake changed a plus sign by a minus sign

      peer-review failed with Bose….had Einstein not appeared and condensation science would suffer a different destiny ..

      so please do not say Dr Gibbls as crankery because he used the word cabal….crankery his what some people is doing with science…….and yes the word cabal is well suited to the caswe depicted here

    • i forgot….the rejected and unknown scientist called Bose that would be deleted by wikipedia gaves its name to an entire class of elementary particles called Bosons.

      .Bosons came from Bose….

      consult wiki

      bureaucracy….some scientists are not scientists…are salesman of scientific knowledge….

      • ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’
        Wikipedia rules of contribution are very complicated for a beginner contributor. Many scientists who don’t know the rule at first make the mistake of deleting crank content. I did that myself. But the the main pro…bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        So, if we apply the rule, vixra can have an article about itself on wikipedia, because it contains scientific content (because there is no peer review, and wikipedia consider only peer reviewed as being scientific), but because it is well known…bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla
        —————————–

        okay i will write an article abiut Mickey Mouse????Donald Duck….????and these ones would be accepted by wiki because Mickey and Donald are very known?????
        ————————————————————–
        The case of vixra obviously don’t fit the rule. But on the…bla bla bla bla bla bla
        ——————————————————————
        …are you mathematician or physicist…i think you are not….
        ——————————————————————

        i would not contribute to wiki because guys like you
        ..hmmmm

        by the way the article that is on viXra as crackpottery

        .http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0012

        is on the best mathemathical institute of France…

        http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/INSMI/hal-00637783/fr/

        just in case France was the country that gaves some of the more important mathemathicians of the World….Lagrange Legendre Laplace..Cauchy Descartes Poisson Poincare Pascal..Fourier..etc etc etc…..browse wiki for these ones

        BTW browse the history of Evarist Galois…

        i place my work on viXra also because viXra needs good works in order to survive……..

        so wiki is making a lousy job….killing viXra,,

        ,because as a matter of fact some formulas in your sites have typographical errors..and a novice taking a formula where terms were typed mistankenly will be driven to some errors even worst than the a work of a crackpot would do

        perhaps wiki must hire a peer review not for viXra but for your own sites

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        Yes the criterion for a web site to be acceptable in wikipedia is just its notability backed up by relaible references from independent sources. Even if someone does not like what viXra does they can not ask for it to be deleted on that basis. Wikipedia has articles on many silly but notable things inclduing very detailed entries for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

        Inclusion of viXra in Wikipedia is no more an endorsement of what viXra does than inclusion of a paper in ViXra is an endorsement of the correctness of that paper. These things are determined by other means.

      • Dr Gibbs

        as always you was brilliant..

        .yourlast most brilliant act was the creation of viXra

        keeping the things in a moderator and sweet pace

        the last thing viXra needs is a war against wikipedia

        but why is wikipedia attackiing viXra.???

        look if a bunch of guys .launch a site on the Extrraterrestrial of Roswell and Warp Drive Starships to propell the ship faster than light…..i would perhaps examine their works…but i would never prosecute them

        because it would not belong to my business…they could ever launch a site about the Snow White…and an astronomer would take it by a White Dwarf….

        the last thing viXra needs is a war against wikipedia

        why is wikipedia attackiing viXra.???

        if wikipedia enters in war with viXra…i have a word to say on this

        keep up the good work Dr Gibbs

  5. again the thing on crackpottery…..viXra really is a pain in the neck of many people…..viXra is making some people feels jealous….breaking harts!!!!!

    viXra is really a bad boy ..!!!!!!

    .disturbing the reputation of Mr Eppstein

    well i have read some viXra articles beyond my own articles and some of them are very good

    science becames bureaucratic dictated by some lines of reasons of some Universities………and everything outside these lines of reason is consider crackpottery…..i do not judge an article if the article falls outside the scope of these lines of reason …i judge an article by what is being written and how its being written………

    i think Mr Eppstein must know the Bose-Einstein condensation before making such claims of deletion

    Bose was a scientist from India that tried to publish an article about condensation….he was rejected by almost all the “reputable and credible” scientific journals of the time…..so he sent his article to Einstein…..except from little modifications the article was published in a “reputable and credible” journal of that time 95% in the original Bose form…the text Einstein included was to reinforce Bose points of view

    funny….Einstein was like the genius of the bottle….Bose passed from crackpot to brilliant scientist from a night to a day

    i am confident that viXra will encounter his genius in a bottle

    yes viXra is really a bad boy !!!

  6. wl59 says:

    I think it should be observed and registered these persons, which try to corrupt systematically science and divulgation of opinions and results. It’s right that wikipedia is and should continue to be an encyclopedia, which gives a fast and very resumed overlook, inclusive for persons without specific knowledge (which all we don’t have w.r.t. 99,9% of all sciences together), and thus about established knowledge. On the other hand, one can’t ignore that in science always a big part is controverse and the end is unknown. We currently f.ex. don’t know, what’s true on Higgs, string theory, multiverses etc. However, these topics pass through internet and through the general discusion. Nowadays, simple persons have more ‘knowledge’, interest and imagination about multiverses than about classical mechanics. Thus, persons have to be informed, in an adequade way, just because the discusion exists and is inavoidable, no matter if such theories at the end will be affirmed or not. In public discusion, no matter if between specialists or laymen, it’s right that is desirable objectivity, but not the same strength like in peer-reviewed articles.

    In addition, the peer-review system meanwhile is questionable enough. I suppose I don’t need here explain the reasons. It’s sufficient to remember, that nowadays a big number of results pass at the side of such reviews – inclusive all CERN results published at them server, or by arXiv. Even if finally reproved, the discusion about the topic exists, and no-specialized people want to get a summary.

    Now, like each person, each group, project, encyclopedy, also wiki can make them rules, what they ‘believe’ and accept, and what not. For a dictionary with a monopole position and requesting donations like wiki, it’s supposed a careful equilibre and sense, for the procedure and acception rules. According to my own opinion, adequade is, to add a remark that (or inhowfar) a certain topic or theory isn’t yet mainstream or affirmed by experiments, inclusive contra-arguments, however, not to supress or hide theories or essential results. What concerns simple theories/opinions by laymen, one should establish one time a very short wiki entrance about each kind of such ideas (f.ex., our universe is living inside a black-hole, already existing for wrong theory like ‘Hohlwelttheorie’, ‘Welteislehre’ etc), inclusive with the reasons because of which is wrong such a theory/opinion, and after this, one can quickly attribute to them proposed articles about new theories of this kind (i.e. reject them as already existing). On the other hand, wiki’s criterions and politics is mainly a problem of wiki, less of the publicum. Effectively, wiki has to deliver what the readers want, not what them, the authors, or third people want. If wiki selects an inadequade way, f.ex. becomes corrupted, then very quickly it will loose its reliability and disappear in insignificance. Because, as said, discusions about any topics exist, can’t be repressed effectively, people want to get more informations, and if wiki don’t deliver them as readers expect, then it’s simply wiki whom fails. It’s nice if wiki exist, and sometimes I use it also, but not a big loss if it don’t exist, inclusive because then ‘ld exist another, perhaps better, project. That’s the same with the peer-review system: it failed to go in the wrong way, so that currently it’s fading away.

    Unfortunately, the corruption of the public opinion unfortunately is normal; it’s also normal that the subjects use personal attacks, diffamations, desqualification. It’s important to draw attention to such individuals (and try to identify them common characteristics, too, because they often belongs to any group with that general habit and interest) which try to corrupt or even try to hinder the divulgation of informations, to manipulate and monopolize informations. They desrespect also YOUR right that you can manifest your scientific opinion, and that you can get easy informations. As said, the rule is, that everybody can manifest his opinion, and with very few exceptions, others can’t repress them, but if they want to speak something against, then they can do this in a QUALIFIED, not personal way.

    On this opportunity, I suggest to add to posts, and to recommend colleagues, the following statement (and to practize it personally):

    “All scientific results should be published on the fastest way, inconditionally and anyhow, so that they become free and generally accessivel to the WHOLE humanity, inclusive for not becoming subject to be robbed/monopolized, used for concentration of economical, civil, political, military kind, but for contribute to the power equilibry, survivance and continuation of the earth, and also for the recovery of a minimum of autonomy, dignity, general-benfit of science and scientists”

  7. read my comments on Bose-Einstein and the answers i gave to the guy of wiki

    yes science is corrupted but not by real scientists…it is corrupted by salesmen of science..and many of these guys do not even have a University degree…

    Einstein…Feynmann these would love the existance of viXra

  8. parsonsnose says:

    Have you tried putting it on aidepikiw.org? ;-)

  9. What I see here, beyond the problems of who can judge and are the peers for certain articles is that the problems of what is reality as science or as pseudoscience is on the same level of paradoxes in the use and understanding of the internet and how it is used as a medium. Are we to be restricted in the diffuse wandering between related articles and concepts in this freer medium?

    If those who cannot abstract the concept and understand this I doubt they are aware of any deeper science and they cannot distinguish in their own worldviews what is the quality of some scientific view. While science is a social thing, it is not just the subjective biases of any one group or person with an agenda – it is in theory neutral and objective also.

    Let us not allow the equivalent to an ancient Pythagorean priesthood delay the advancement of science- not that I support any particular theory or assume I have the expertise and ability to judge it. The internet has its own states of fantasy and limits to reality as if another way to view our human activity of which it makes no sense to market what is beneficial as an enterprise obviously for all.

    Some thoughts along these lines I posted recently on my pesla blogspot com if anyone is interested- but I am not one to discourage anyone who has the interest to learn. Again I find this a very informative and interesting, and needed science blog.

    ThePeSla

  10. Mike says:

    From what I have seen doing searches, Vixra articles are everywhere and I don’t see Wikipedia being much of an influence on it’s readership (in other words, most people are linking directly to Vixra). Even with that, Eppstein is no better than the Spanish Inquisition – the attitude that what somebody considers as incorrect science should be censored is really disturbing and is indicative of our slow crawl back into the dark ages (hard to believe with all this open information, but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). Fighting totalitarianism is part of our job for the rest of time as a human species and I hope we do it well because our grandchildren’s livelihoods depend upon it.

    I am fairly certain that when the results come in for the new paradigm in science (whatever it is), most of the original research will point back to sites like Vixra and other uncensored publications. I have had quite the laugh this weekend reading Magueijo’s book on Majorana – there are quite a few snipes in his book about paper reviewers and I know first hand how acidic (and obviously perturbed by new ideas) these reviewers can be. I have seen Vixra on many top searches and I thank Philip for his efforts to keep it going – the “openess” of this forum is what it makes it unique and great!!.

  11. Nick says:

    Most people who go to edit and help Wikipedia get sick of it and so those are left are bad editors. There used to be some really bad ones, like one paid by Israel intelligence, another paid by UK intelligence, that sort of thing. About the only place this is archived is Encyclopedia Dramatica, which is the type of site to visit with images disabled.

    As for arxiv vs. vixra, Wikipedia treats every arxiv article like Stephen Hawking wrote it and uses it as a source without verification. I then go to check the source and every single arxiv paper I’ve read has been intentionally written to be unreadable gibberish. In contrast, vixra articles while sometimes highly technical are written to be read.

    Since arxiv is a bunch of papers sent to people’s professors, I guess people write it intentionally to be unreadable gibberish so the professor can’t find anything to mark points off. Standard college paper technique.

  12. The Wiki rules for acceptable contribution are taillored to make possible complete silencing of the ideas and theories not accepted by the academic power holders. This has absolutely nothing to do with science. This is just one particular example of violence and corruption dominating everywhere in society.

  13. dear Matt i had the oportunity to read your works

    well written…although we are in different fields of research..however we are viXra colleagues arent we???

    and i think we are colleagues on arXiv like you i was a blacklisted scientist

    i agree with you at 10 raised to a power of a gogolplex

    wiki is behaving like the Century XVI Catholic Inquisition ..just like arXiv

    and although we are the witches they cannot send us to the brush fire

    i was a Fairy…in arXiv with works on peer-review published see arXiv gr-qc/0603106 but i became a Witch

    because science becames corrupted

    only with a Witchcraft science will be back to normal

    unfortunately i dont have the power ot the Magician Merlin

    science passed to the Dark Side of the Force and i am not a Jedi Knight Padawan..i am not Luke Skywalker

  14. exp^137 says:

    It is unfair conclusion of this article:

    http://blogs.nature.com/news/2009/07/whats_arxiv_spelled_backwards.html

    He chose the worst articles (by his opinion), why he is not take take the best article by his opinion. This can be a real measure!!!

  15. Ulla says:

    Remember that the Truth takes care of itself, and we have the right to defend ourselves. Wiki really is untrustworthy many times. That is a way to tell lies too. Keep up the defense.

  16. wl59 says:

    In this discusion, we should not be too much bittered by the (even unjust) rejection of own articles, nor suspect to be personally blacklisted. Rejections happens, that’s inavoidable. We should take care more about principal arguments against the system, an item which is also near to the occurence of bad-faith rejections.

    For meself, of about 10 revised articles, only 2 didn’t pass at the first attempt, and in 1 of them I even agree a little with the rejection. One article was rejected, at the same time the referee thieved some of my results which he called wrong, and published them in his own name elsewhere. This referee realy was a scam, heself didn’t made no relevant work but only take ‘drops’ by other qualified persons (inclusive, after the break of the eastern system, with good scientists from there, putting himself shamelessness even on the first place of the articles with them work, visibly by use of the situation and arranging american money), and which also selled to a space agancy matter he knowed to be bad. I informed that to the editor, and he give my article to another referee, which recomended it as very good. The second article was about 85 page long, and had a part about philosophic aspects; here was requested that I shorten this very. In this case I even can understand that demand, however, I didn’t want to shorten it, because I kept the philosophic part as very important, and published it as a book. It’s interesting that Iself keep just these two works as my most interessant ones.

    However, the item what comes too short in the current discusion, is, that principially our world is constituted in a manner, that every existing entity exists out-of-itself, by their own autonomy, impulse, ad-hoc action, ‘offensive’, free will. One don’t exist only if someone observe you, agrees, nor one need permission for that. Thus, your own manifestation, basically, have to be free, otherwhise you don’t exist. Any kind of revision, avaliation, filtering, is a problem of the readers. Because also here it’s normal in the real world, that it’s each one’s own problem, from everything you see or hear, to filter out what’s of your interest. Nobody has to do that for you. Thus, the peer-review system is anatural, against all natural normality. Certainly, like there nowadays may exist even firmas which go for you to the toilet, or at least clean you your *** when you gone, so it’s quite possible that there exist also some ‘scientific journals’ which filter out for the reader only what he perhaps want to see — at least for readers which want this service and pay expensive for that, perhaps because they becoming old and can’t think more alone. However, that’s not the normal. Such a ’24-hour’ babysitter service is a problem of the reader side, not of the author side. And it’s not something to what authors should be forced, for being accepted as ‘reliable’ their articles; with this, the burden and responsibility of the reader, to make efforts to filter out what he want, would be shifted to the authors.

    The nature, and also the law, is very simple: WHAT’S MANIFESTED UNILATORALLY, SO THAT ANYBODY CAN TAKE KNOWLEDGE OF, IS PUBLISHED. It’s quite possible, that not-peer-reviewed articles are ignored and other persons ‘discover’/copy your discoveries and publish it in any peer-reviewed journal as theirs, but in such cases it’s a case for plagiat fiscalization associations, and then the scamp is quickly outside the scientific community.

    This item, that your manifestation and publication of your results or opinion, naturally and sufficiently, is an UNILATERAL act, autonome by youself like your whole existence, is, by my opinion, the most important item on all this discusion. Everything against this – f.ex. the necessity and sense of peer-reviews – has to be proven by whom it claims.

    I state this only in this hard manner, in order that we come back to the normality – because the normality in this discusion, and also in the head of the person which wanted to cancel wour wiki article, is inverted. I agree, that there should exist any quality control, I also agree that wiki (as a part of their own autonomy) first can determine any politics for them what themselve want and second has to have any exclusion of waste and stupidness. Similarily I agree that journals can have them own politics – some with, some without peer-review. However: 1) Just in this sense, no of this two classes (with/without peer-review) can be discriminated ‘ad-hoc’ , and, more important, 2) the ‘normal’ is and continues to be always, the immediate and free manifestation of results and opinions, independently on censorship.

    It’s right that in our world there exist repression and corruption, thus, connected with the first item above, is also the next important item. Persons which categorically reject your right of free manifestation, or try to repress it, repress also your existence and freedom. Often this happens simply for monopolization , or any other interest. Not just for blacklist you personally, but generally, in the sense of a general fiscalization and ‘permission’ of tour thinking and manifestation. Such practics we have to reject. Thus, I think, it’s just to start a wiki or forum, to list exactly individuals with such intentions, which could be started with registering that person which tried to cancel your wiki entrance.

  17. Stephen Crowley says:

    I for one am very happy that viXra exists, and while I don’t consider my work scientific in nature, it’s “just mathematics” at the *very* least it has given me a way to share my work without worrying about my own server hosting. I trust myself to judge article quality and I think sites like arXiv, while useful, are too strict on their formatting requirements which can take up a lot of time and resources which are in addition to the actual work being done. Thanks a lot Phil!

  18. Once I was an Wikipedia editor but then got tired of arguing with each new crank who believes that has the right to edit something because just read some popular science book.

    I recall a ‘genius’ who wrote a completely wrong Lagrangian for a charged particle and insisted that his was right and others wrong (he was finally banned).

    I recall an editor who deleted any reference to mainstream articles, because he disliked them (this editor was banned as well). He got another account and repeated his cranck behavior (he was banned again).

    I recall a consensus version of a polemic article. The consensus version was obtained after months of debate. Then an editor had the brilliant idea of ignoring the entire talk page and wrote his own version. I wrote a complaint in the talk page and he launched an official report against me. Administrators debated about the case, some editors defended me… finally I was not banned.

    I posted in the talk page of that polemic article a list of flagrant mistakes done during last edition (including bad grammar). Last time that I checked some were corrected by other editors but other errors remain in the current version of the article.

    Although I retain my account and can edit Wikipedia I have not edited more. The quality of the scientific articles is poor each day. Some articles give even wrong dimensions for well-known formulae and it is very easy to find articles that contradict themselves because each section was done by a different editor.

    This, more the increasing policies bureaucracy, more the huge increase of mediocre editors, more t scandals (as the scandal of a hidden email list used by some wikipedians to coordinate attacks on others) did me to abandon the encyclopedia.

    I now started my own encyclopedia knowledge for sciences.

  19. wl59 says:

    Although people kindly wrote a wiki article about me, I have a rather negative opinion about wiki. The reason is, that there subjectivity and politics wins always over objectivity. (This not in that sense that always should be obsertved too, that it’s a encyclopedy) Auto-denominated and auto-established ‘permanent editors’ establishs a troll and cranc wiki pseudo-aristocracy, like ‘natives’ or ‘habitants’ of plenty forums, against which normal people loose quickly the pacience. It’s the common reason, why very, very few serious scientists participate in forums or in wiki. The content and the objectivity of 80% or more of the wiki articles is dominated by inadequade persons. Effectively, wiki is from the mob for the mob.

    I feel that the administration of wiki know about this problem, and in the last time it diminuishs. We’ll see whereto wiki will drift in the future.

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