User:RoySmith/Three best sources

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Over the years, I've participated in a lot of WP:AfDs. I don't enjoy deleting articles. It means wasted effort of authors, editors, and reviewers. Nobody wins. But, reviews are how we figure out what's crap and what's not. A necessary, if sometimes unpleasant, task, like taking out the garbage or unclogging the plumbing.

Often, there will be a lot of references in an article, many of which use poor sources. I'm not willing to slog through dozens of sources to evaluate them. I am, however, willing to look at a few sources in detail if somebody else (i.e. you) does the footwork to figure out which ones are the best.

When given this offer, your best strategy is to take it. Don't look at this as, That guy wants to delete this and he's busting my chops. It's more like, That guy wants to help me get the article kept and all I need to do is meet him halfway.

  • Look over WP:RS and WP:SIGCOV so you understand what makes a good source in general.
  • If people have been claiming that your article doesn't meet some particular guideline (WP:NBIO, WP:NCORP, WP:GNG, etc), read that page and understand what they're looking for.
  • Look over your list of sources and find the three that best meet WP:RS, WP:SIGCOV and whatever other guidelines people are citing.
  • Be honest with yourself about how good they are. If they're not good sources, people will figure that out real fast and reject them. Then you've lost your chance.
  • Keep it to no more than three. Three good sources is enough to convince anybody. If somebody agrees to look at three, and you give them more than three, they're likely not to look at any of them. That may not be fair, but it's reality.
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