Wikipedia:Offline sources
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page is about using offline sources. For using Wikipedia offline, see Wikipedia:Database download​.
This is an explanatory supplement to the Wikipedia:Verification policy.
This page is intended to provide additional information about concepts in the page(s) it supplements. This page is not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community.
This page in a nutshell: Offline sources are just as valid as online sources.

Even though Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and even though editors are increasingly using online sources and e-journals, printed books and paper journals that are not available online are still a reliable source.
Wikipedia's reliable sources guideline states that articles should be sourced with reliable, third-party, published sources. Even though Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, there is no distinction between using online versus offline sources. While many editors use online sources, such as websites and online journals, many great sources are only available offline in printed books and paper journals. Don't let the fact that a printed book or journal is not available online scare you away from using them as a source in Wikipedia. Likewise, do not remove cited material merely because it is from an offline source.
That Wikipedia relies extensively on online sources is not surprising, considering the relative ease of accessing such materials. There is also an additional advantage of using online sources, because it allows all users to evaluate the source and its value to the article. However, this reliance on online sources can lead to recentism​, where most articles and content are from the Internet era. It can also lead to an unfair bias against print books and print journals, where an editor's addition of material sourced from a book or print journal is reverted with the comment "Revert - I couldn't access and confirm this source online."
Books are a typical example of an offline source. These are often great resources for history, philosophy and literature, and they often contain information that can't be found online. Several ongoing projects, such as Project Gutenberg​, NLA Trove and Google Book Search, aim at digitizing certain books or newspaper articles and presenting them online. Even if the books are online, it might be necessary to consult a print edition to double-check any errors from the OCR scanning​. Many academic journals only make short abstracts available online. Other content providers, like the Wall Street Journal, publish their content behind a paywall that prevents non-subscribers from accessing the content. Other websites, like the Philadelphia Inquirer, only publish their content online for a few weeks. Sometimes a source was once online, but now is offline (link rot).
Special care should be taken when using offline sources. Provision of full bibliographic information helps Wikipedia's readers and editors find the source when they need it, and also increases the source's credibility as a reliable source. This is often done by using a fully-filled out citation template such as {{cite book}} or {{cite news}}. Use of the quote= parameter within those citation templates provides some context for the reference. This is especially important when using the off-line source to support a fact that might be controversial or is likely to be challenged. Providing identifiers such as an ISBN, OCLC number, Open Library number or similar can help others locate physical copies, as cataloguing data can often vary from one library to another.
Challenging offline sources​[​edit​]
Sometimes, the use of an offline source will be challenged. Be sure to assume good faith for the user who cited the offline source. They might even be able to provide you a scan or an excerpt from that source. Consider visiting your local library to obtain a copy. Even if the library doesn't have that particular book or journal article, it might be available through interlibrary loan. Also consider posting an inquiry on the relevant WikiProject​, because some interested editors might have a copy of that source. The volunteers at WikiProject Resource Exchange might be able to help you coordinate your search.
See also​[​edit​]
Essays on building, editing, and deleting content
Articles must be writtenAll Five Pillars are the same heightAvoid vague introductionsBe a reliable sourceCivil POV pushing​Cohesion​Competence is requiredConcede lost argumentsDissent is not disloyaltyDon't lieDon't search for objectionsEditing Wikipedia is like visiting a foreign countryEditors will sometimes be wrongEight simple rules for editing our encyclopedia​Explanationism​External criticism of WikipediaHere to build an encyclopediaMost ideas are badNeedNeutrality of sourcesNot editing because of Wikipedia restrictionThe one question​Oversimplification​Paradoxes​Paraphrasing​POV and OR from editors, sources, and fieldsProcess is importantProduct, process, policyPurposeReasonability ruleSystemic biasThere is no seniorityTen Simple Rules for Editing WikipediaTendentious editingThe role of policies in collaborative anarchyThe rules are principlesTrifectaWikipedia in briefWikipedia is an encyclopediaWikipedia is a community
100K featured articlesAcronym overkillAdvanced source searchingAdding images improves the encyclopediaAdvanced article editingAdvanced table formattingAdvanced template codingAdvanced text formattingAlternatives to the "Expand" templateAmnesia testA navbox on every pageAn unfinished house is a real problemArticles have a half-lifeAutosizing imagesAvoid mission statementsBare URLsBe neutral in formBeef up that first revisionBlind men and an elephantBOLD, revert, discuss cycleBuild content to endure​Cherrypicking​Chesterton's fenceChildren's lit, adult new readers, & large-print booksCitation overkillCitation underkillCommon-style fallacyConcept cloudCreating controversial contentCriticisms of society may be consistent with NPOV and reliabilityDeprecated sourcesDictionaries as sourcesDon't demolish the house while it's still being builtDon't get hung up on minor detailsDon't hope the house will build itselfDon't panicDon't revert due solely to "no consensus"Don't teach the controversyEditing on mobile devicesEditors are not mindreadersEncourage the newcomersEndorsements (commercial)Featured articles may have problemsFruit of the poisonous treeGive an article a chanceIdentifying and using independent sources History sourcesLaw sourcesPrimary sourcesScience sourcesStyle guidesTertiary sourcesIgnore STRONGNAT for date formatsInaccuracies in Wikipedia namespace​Inaccuracy​Introduction to structurismLink rotMine a sourceMerge TestMinors and persons judged incompetent"Murder of" articlesNot every story/event/disaster needs a biographyNot everything needs a navboxNot everything needs a WikiProjectNothing is in stoneOrganizing disambiguation pages by subject areaPermastubPotential, not just current statePrinciple of some astonishment​Printability​Pruning article revisionsPublicistsPut a little effort into itRestoring part of a reverted editRobotic editingSham consensusSpecialized-style fallacyStub MakersRun an edit-a-thonTemporary versions of articlesTertiary-source fallacyThere is a deadlineThere is no deadlineThe deadline is nowUnderstanding Wikipedia's content standardsWalled gardenWhat an article should not includeWikipedia is a work in progressWikipedia is not a reliable sourceWikipedia is not being written in an organized fashionThe world will not end tomorrowWrite the article firstWriting better articles
Adjectives in your recommendationsAfD is not a war zoneArguments to avoid in deletion discussionsArguments to avoid in deletion reviewsArguments to avoid in image deletion discussionsArguments to make in deletion discussionsAvoid repeated argumentsBefore commenting in a deletion discussionBut there must be sources!Confusing arguments mean nothingContent removalCounting and sorting are not original researchDelete the junkDoes deletion help?Don't confuse stub status with non-notabilityDon't overuse shortcuts to policy and guidelines to win your argumentFollow the leaderHow to save an article proposed for deletionI just don't like itIdentifying blatant advertisingIdentifying test editsImmunityKeep it conciseLiar liar pants on fireNothingNothing is clearOverzealous deletionRelisting can be abusiveRelist biasThe Heymann StandardUnopposed AFD discussionWikipedia is not Whack-A-MoleWhy was the page I created deleted?What to do if your article gets tagged for speedy deletionWhen in doubt, hide it in the woodworkNo Encyclopedic Use
Essays on civility
The basics
ALPHABETTISPAGHETTI​Civil POV pushingCyberbullyingDon't accuse someone of a personal attack for accusing of a personal attackDon't be a fanaticDon't be a jerkDon't be an ostrichDon't be ashamedDon't be a WikiBigotDon't be high-maintenanceDon't be inconsiderateDon't be obnoxiousDon't be prejudicedDon't be rudeDon't bludgeon the processDon't call a spade a spadeDon't call the kettle blackDon't call things cruftDon't come down like a ton of bricksDon't cry COIDon't demand that editors solve the problems they identifyDon't drink the consensus Kool-AidDon't eat the troll's foodDon't fight fire with fireDon't give a fuckDon't help too muchDon't make a smarmy valediction part of your signatureDon't remind others of past misdeedsDon't shoutDon't spite your faceDon't take the baitDon't template the regularsDon't throw your toys out of the pramDo not insult the vandalsGriefingNationalist editingNo angry mastodonsjust madmenNo, you can't have a ponyPassive aggressionPlease don't bite the newcomersPOV railroadThere are no oraclesYou can't squeeze blood from a turnip
Essays on notability
Advanced source searchingAll high schools can be notable​Alternative outlets​Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions​Articles with a single sourceAvoid template creepBare notabilityBig events make key participants notable​Bombardment​Businesses with a single locationBut it's true!Citation overkill​Common sourcing mistakes​Clones​Coatrack​Discriminate vs indiscriminate information​Drafts are not checked for notability or sanityEvery snowflake is unique​Existence ≠ Notability​Existence does not prove notability​Extracting the meaning of significant coverage​Fart​Google searches and numbers​High Schools​Inclusion is not an indicator of notability​Independent sources​Inherent notability​Insignificant​Masking the lack of notability​Make stubsNews coverage does not decrease notabilityNo amount of editing can overcome a lack of notabilityNo big lossNo one cares about your garage bandNo one really cares​Notability/Historical/Arguments​Notability cannot be purchased​Notability comparison testNotability is not a level playing field​Notability is not a matter of opinion​Notability is not relevance or reliability​Notability means impact​Notability points​Notability sub-pages​Notabilitymandering​Not every single thing Donald Trump does deserves an article​Obscurity ≠ Lack of notability​Offline sourcesOne hundred wordsOne sentence does not an article makeOther stuff exists​Overreliance upon Google​Perennial websites​Pokémon testRead the source​Run-of-the-mill​Significant coverage not required​Solutions are mixtures and nothing else​Subjective importance​Third-party sources​Trivial mentions​Video links​Vanispamcruftisement​What BLP1E is notWhat is and is not routine coverage​What notability is notWhat to include​Wikipedia is not here to tell the world about your noble cause
Humorous essays
Anti-WikipedianAsshole John ruleAssume bad faithAssume faithAssume good wraithAssume stupidityAssume that everyone's assuming good faith, assuming that you are assuming good faithAvoid using preview buttonAvoid using wikilinksBad Jokes and Other Deleted NonsenseBOLD, revert, revert, revertBoston Tea PartyBarnstaritisDon't stuff beans up your nose​Don't-give-a-fuckism​Edits Per Day​Editsummarisis​Emerson​Seven Ages of Editor, by Will E. Spear-ShakeGo ahead, vandalizeHow many Wikipedians does it take to change a lightbulb?How to put up a straight pole by pushing it at an angleIs that even an essay?Newcomers are delicious, so go ahead and bite themLegal vandalismLTTAUTMAOKNo climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-ManOops DefensePlease be a giant dick, so we can ban youPlease bite the newbies​R-e-s-p-e-c-t​Reducing consensus to an algorithmRequests for medicationRequirements for adminshipRouge adminRouge editorSarcasm is really helpfulSausages for tastingThe Night Before WikimasThe first rule of WikipediaThe Five Pillars of UntruthThings that should not be surprisingThe WikiBibleWatchlistitisWhy not create an account?You don't have to be mad to work here, but
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This page was last edited on 28 October 2020, at 07:43 (UTC).
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