Help:Beginner's guide to reliability

Beginner's guide to reliability

How to check if the work you are reading is a reliable copy.

There are two types of work on Wikisource, those backed by scans and those that are not, and each has different ways of establishing reliability.

Proofread works edit

Proofread works are those that are backed by scans available through Wikisource. The reliability of these pages is indicated by the "Proofreading status indicator" (or ribbon) under the title of the page. This is colour coded using the same system used on pages in the Index and Page namespaces.

Proofreading status indicator
Example Description
Mixed statuses. The text on this page is 20% validated (green), 15% proofread (yellow), 25% problematic (blue), 10% not proofread (red) and 10% without text (grey). That leaves 20% not existing yet.
A text in the process of being proofread. All the pages are complete and none are problematic. It is half not proofread, but half has been proofread and half of that has been validated.
An almost completely proofread text. Most of pages are proofread and most of those have been fully validated.
A fully validated and reliable text.

Images of source tab & page numbers

Secondly, the original scans are available for each page for confirmation that the text you are reading matches the original printed version. There are two ways to access these scans:

1) A tab marked "Source" will be added at the top of the page, following the "Page" and "Discussion" tabs. Clicking on this will take you to the Index page for the work, from where you can access each page to view the text.

2) Page numbers are visible along the left of the text, beside the text from that particular page. Hovering over these page numbers will highlight the matching text. Clicking on these page numbers will take you to the page in the Page namespace from which the text comes.

If you do find an error, you can correct this by editing the text in the Page namespace. Please note that any mistakes in the original should be kept in the Wikisource version, although they can be noted with templates like {{SIC}}.

Other works edit

For works that are not proofread from scans on Wikisource, the template {{textinfo}} on the talk page should contain all the information you need about the source of the text. The work itself may have the parameter edition yes added in its header, which will provide an additional link to the talk page.

This is an example of a {{textinfo}} template:

Information about this edition
Edition: Trent's Last Case, 1913.
Source: Trent's Last Case from Project Gutenberg
Contributor(s): User One
Level of progress: Proofread and corrected  
Notes: Any extra notes go here.
Proofreaders: User Two

This shows you from where the work came, who contributed it, who proofread the contribution and how complete it is. You can use this information to judge how reliable you feel the text to be.

The edition and source lines show from where the text came. If another website is cited, such as Project Gutenberg in this example, you can go to that website for more information about their reliability. Some texts with no scans on Wikisource have been transcribed directly from a physical book so links will not always be possible. This might be the case if a book was borrowed from a library.

Texts without scans should still be proofread. This is harder than using Wikisource's proofreading system but still possible. In the case of a book borrowed from a library, the information in this template should show which book, and which edition, was used. The book can be borrowed from another library by a different user to confirm that the transcription is correct. If a work has been proofread, the name of the proofreading user(s) will be shown in the template.

Level of progress edit

Tab with progress image

There is an old system of displaying the level of progress in completing a text. Using this, the progress can be shown with one of the following icons. You may also be able to see this icon on the work itself, just below the title.

Progress and quality of texts
Text being edited :   Text complete :   Proofread and corrected :   Proofread by several users :  

This system is roughly equivalent to the colour-coded states of the newer proofreading system, although that provides more detail. As a rough guide, these states mean:

Rough equivalence
Old system New system

Licence edit

All pages should have a licence at the bottom to indicate the legality of hosting and distributing the work. This template will also provide some further information about the reliability of the work. The licence templates usually describe the legal situation of the work, based on the date of publication and the date of the author's death.

There are many licence templates but most situations are covered by the following ones. Use the following templates to create dynamic copyright messaging that will update as time passes and stay accurate when the author's death year (ADY) is known. Direction for including ADY is in each template document.

Published prior to 1929, ADY 100+ years ago {{PD-old}}
Published prior to 1929, ADY anything less than 100 years ago {{PD-US}}
Published after 1928 and before 1978, no copyright notice {{PD-US-no-notice}}
Published after 1928 and before 1978, defective copyright notice {{PD-US-defective-notice}}
Published after 1928 and before 1964, non-renewal confirmed {{PD-US-no-renewal}}
Published after 1928 and before home country's URAA date (January 1, 1996 for most countries), not published in the US prior to that date {{PD-1996}}
Published after 1977 and before March 2, 1989, no copyright notice and no registration within 5 years {{PD-US-no-notice-post-1977}}
Published after 1977 and before March 2, 1989, defective copyright notice and no registration within 5 years {{PD-US-defective-notice-post-1977}}
Published after 2002, ADY 70+ years ago {{PD-old-US}}

More information edit