Sunday, July 1, 2007

Reoccurant VfD

The [[Relationships]] book has been nominated for VfD (votes for deletion) again on en.wikibooks, making this the third time that this book (or part of it) has been nominated for deletion. That is the most that any book has ever been nominated, a fact that has some tempers riding unusually hot.

Chief among the common criticisms of the book are the obvious POV bias, coupled with the fact that there are no active contributors working on it who would be willing to make the necessary changes to keep it in conformance with policy. Those who defend the book (and there are some very notable names crying out in it's defense) cite the book's wiki-nature as one that is open to eventual improvement. After all, what is the use of a wiki if things are removed before they have a chance to improve? And can we really expect books to be 100% perfect from the very first edit, or is there a development curve where books are granted a certain amount of leniency until they "come up to speed"?

The fact that the book contains a number of POV violations, and even the fact that the book might contain some copyright violations is really not being called into question: We know that the book is currently not in accordance with policy. However, what is being called into question is the ability of the book to ever improve beyond these problems: Not a single change for the better has been made to the book since the very first VfD, several months ago. There are two options: the book needs to be deleted, or it needs to be improved. After 3 VfDs, it is looking like the book is not headed for improvement.

New information has surfaced that the book apparently is a digital version of a preexisting book. However, it is not known the exact details of this: Was the book donated to Wikibooks under the GFDL properly, or is it a copyvio? And if the book is a proper donation, would it perhaps be better suited at Wikisource, considering that it contains a strong POV bias? I know that Wikisource doesn't accept all manner of garbage, and we dont know whether the original book was self-published, or if it is released under an acceptable license, or what. We are trying to get in touch with the author, but using an old email address it's a shot in the dark. In the end we may end up deleting this book for a different reason then what it has been nominated three times on VfD for: a copyvio instead of all the POV violations.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the community will ever reach a consensus on this so hopefully we can find somewhere appropriate to transwiki it... or just riddle it with tags and let it wither away over time.