Forums: Helping Hand > Sources in infoboxes

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Here's another crazy idea. I've never been keen on putting source and page at the bottom of an infobox. It works fine if there's one source for all the information in the infobox, but in many situations, there are lots of sources for the various bits of info.

I would argue that information has no place in the infobox unless it is also present in the text of the article. I would also argue that it has no place being in the text of the article unless it has a valid source and page listed against it, in an inline citation.

With that in mind, I don't think we need source and page in the infobox. We can just remove this from the template, and anyone looking to find out the origin of a piece of information in the infobox can simply look in the article to find out.

However, removing source and page from the infobox means that the source and page parameters will still be present in the article code for each page; they just won't appear. This gives us a chance to add the infobox details into the main article in any situations where they don't exist.

What do you think? Is this a good idea?

Fw190a8 00:21, February 11, 2012 (UTC)

FW... cool... and I agree almost everything in the infobox is in the pages... or at least in one of the cited references... so does this mean when adding a new infobox to a page, should we not include the lines source and page... or just leave them blank?
Darkwynters 00:31, February 11, 2012 (UTC)

I also have never been a fan of the source being in the infobox, for several reasons (not the least of which is people changing other parameters and not citing the change, making it unclear that the information does not come from the stated source). The only problem with this is for things like the {{Alignment grid}}, which looks strange when an in-text citation appears next to it.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 01:09, February 11, 2012 (UTC)

I concur that the Source field in the infobox is somewhat unnecessary, especially as the information contained is rarely found in a single sourcebook. However if we are removing the Source field from the info box then I suggest an increase in citations for the infobox (a la Wookiepedia). Otherwise we will need to integrate stuff like class levels, imports/exports, population sizes, deity portfolio's etc into the main article, which I don't think is what you are proposing (correct me if I'm wrong).
--Eli the Tanner 04:12, February 29, 2012 (UTC)

FW... actually, I agree with Eli... since some time has past, I have noticed there is information in the infoboxes, which is not included in the pages... maybe we should just keep the source line... but make it the most recent scource and then if there is info which is in a different source... cite it... for example, on the Malchor Harpell page I used City of Splendors: Waterdeep, but in the Savage Frontier sourcebook it stated Malchor worshiped Deneir and Mystra, so I cited that line specifically. Hmmm, I just looked at Luke Skywalker's page on Wookieepedia... the infobox is filled to the brim with citations... I guess it is up to everyone else... but I think our infoboxes are fine with the one main source and a few additional citations from other sources
Darkwynters 05:38, February 29, 2012 (UTC)

I suppose the question to ask about the Luke Skywalker article is whether the information in the infobox is summarising the text from the article, or whether it is completely new information. If it's just summarising what's already in the article, the citations from the article should be enough, right? If it contains new information not found in the article, shouldn't that information be put into the article?

Another factor to consider is the "no crunch" aspect. We currently list things like levels and challenge ratings, but only in the infobox. We don't really put that into the article text. The question is whether we should retain this information. If you were reading a novel about Elminster for example, you wouldn't expect to see "Elminster was a 28th level wizard" or whatever. Does that mean we should be completely rule-agnostic? Or perhaps we should list only certain rule-related information. If so, what should that be?

Fw190a8 11:39, March 3, 2012 (UTC)

FW... I like how you post questions, instead of using an "admin" iron fist... it makes this wiki feel more like a community... you're the teacher and we are the students :) I, personally, like having the level, alignment, race, and class (if applicable) in the infoboxes... for example, I created Iftuu last night and while I think he was a drow fighter, I have no idea, because he might have been a warrior, or even a rogue for that matter... but we CAN find information which backs up Elminster as being a 28th level wizard... while this might not help a reader, I believe this wiki also helps gamemasters, which this info can help... plus, this info is not all, so wiki readers still need to actually read the sourcebooks, for stats, game mechanics, etc... we, editors & admins, research... when we come across the class or level of a character, it is exciting... but I agree, levels DO NOT need to be in the articles... you are right, I would not write: Chaotic good Drizzt Do'Urden broke his vow by killing a 2nd level chaotic evil drow warrior; the 16th level ranger slit the throat of the dark elf as he dove into the escape chute... I would say, Drizzt broke his vow by slitting the throat of a fellow dark elf, while escaping from his sister, Vierna Do'Urden.
Darkwynters 18:28, March 3, 2012 (UTC)
Ok, so I think what we're saying, to summarize the conversation so far, is:
  • Drop the 'source/page' from the bottom of infoboxes
  • Put in-text citations in the relevant places in infoboxes, which appear in the "References" section at the bottom of articles just like regular citations
  • Mention certain crunchy information in infoboxes, since that's what we do currently and it's useful

With that in mind, if we can agree that's a good way to go, we can put together a proposal for a guideline article on what to put in infoboxes.

Fw190a8 18:37, March 3, 2012 (UTC)

Here here...
Thomaslove92 19:47, March 3, 2012 (UTC)

That sounds like the best of both worlds Fw190a8, it has always bugged me that the infobox was not cited properly like everywhere else. As for the crunch, I think we currently strike a good balance of crunchy sprinkles at the momenent. Don't see a need to change it.
--Eli the Tanner 21:55, March 3, 2012 (UTC)
I have created Forgotten Realms Wiki:Infoboxes to summarize what we've discussed here. If you think it needs changing at all, do discuss it on the talk page for the proposal, rather than here, in case it gets missed. Thanks.
Fw190a8 22:50, March 3, 2012 (UTC)

Okay, moving this discussion off of BadCat's user page. It looks like we all agreed that the Source/Page attribute of the infobox is/was not sufficient most of the time. Wookiepedia was given as an example of a wiki that puts lots of citations in the infobox and it got a general nod of approval but nothing strongly stated either way. Then FW summarized the apparent consensus and it was seconded by Thomaslove92 and Eli. I would like to add my approval to this policy also. Although I didn't chime in at the time, I took this recommendation and ran with it, putting many citations in the infoboxes of my cosmology-related pages. Check out Nine Hells with 15 different citations in the infobox. So where do we go from here?
Moviesign (talk) 17:38, October 18, 2012 (UTC)

I agree... I cite everything I post on this wiki... one, easy to check... two, easy for me to see if other editors' work is sourced... three, using Jarlaxle as an example... I edited his wikipedia page a few months ago, because someone continued to change our page (his Alignment)... I added a ref to both wikipedia and our site... BOOM... official, there is a citation proving the material is correct... This appears to be the way of Wookiepedia and I think it works for this wiki as well... also with crunch... it just feels weird to say: "The 8th level fighter Artus Cimber saved the 20th level fighter, Prince Azoun." So this is what the infobox is great for... adding the "good" crunch to our pages!!! Of course, as always, if we choose another method, I will rigorously follow and change all my pages to fit the new standards :)
Darkwynters (talk) 18:39, October 18, 2012 (UTC)
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