Buzzpedia:Source Rules

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Buzzpedia articles need to use sources to back up assertions and statements of fact. All statements of fact in Buzzpedia articles must be cited to an appropriate source. These source rules are designed to help authors choose reliable and appropriate sources to cite in support of their Buzzpedia articles. The Buzzpedia source rules have been modeled on the Wikipedia policy on identifying reliable sources but have modified in the following ways to meet the rhetorical situation of Buzzpedia:

  • Simplicity: Since Buzzpedia is smaller than Wikipedia, and has a smaller writing community, it does not need as complex a code of rules.
  • Primary Sources: Part of Buzzpedia's purpose is to draw off of the primary sources found in the Georgia Tech archives to write unique content. Thus, unlike Wikipedia, Buzzpedia must develop ways to deal with interpreting primary sources, rather than shun them.
  • Academic Context: Because both Buzzpedia's writers, and primary readers, are associated with an academic community, Buzzpedia's sources need to reflect the standards of Academic writing.
  • Synthesis: Again, because Buzzpedia's writers are academics, synthesizing sources, or drawing conclusions off of patterns revealed by multiple sources, is encouraged. The guidelines reflect best practices for performing this synthesis.


Credible Sources

  • Rule: Online sources such as the Georgia Tech library and the Georgia Tech Athletic website should be used as credible sources for these articles.
  • Neutrality: Sources should always be checked for bias. Use of a biased source should always be done carefully, as all published articles should provide information about both majority and minority viewpoints. Avoid a strongly biased source or author to avoid conflict.
  • Self Published Sources: Self-published media such as books, websites, blogs and so on should not be used as sources because the person who wrote about the topic does not necessarily have to be an expert and the source can contain an unrealistic bias.
  • News Organizations: If the news source is reputable, this source should be considered reliable if the facts are checked. If the news organization published its article during the time of the event than it would be considered a primary source.
  • First Person Pronouns: Buzzpedia should not be based on personal accounts or experiences, so pronouns like I should never be used (except in quotes).
  • Sources with Academic Backing: Sources should not be based on personal opinion but instead base on a group consensus or some sort of published academic backing.
  • As with any source, one should be extremely wary and cautious about using information from the internet. Check if the author and resource is reliable. - Poorna Rajeevan
  • When using a neutral online source, make sure that there are other sources that support the same fact.
  • Personal websites like Facebook, blogs, Twitter or Myspace do not consist of reliable sources and should not be used.
  • Websites as Academic References: Not only printed books have to be proper sources, but also public commentary, blogs, general information from .com sites can be used, but most of the times the web sites end with .gov and .edu are the most reliable sources. Knowing which publications are reliable and which may not be can help in writing a paper or article that needs to have references from trustworthy sources.

Read more at Suite101: Find Credible Sources or References: Cite Reliable Peer-Reviewed or Scholarly Articles in Papers

Questionable sources

"Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources are generally unsuitable for citing contentious claims about third parties, which includes claims against institutions, persons living or dead, as well as more ill-defined entities. The proper uses of a questionable source are very limited." [1]

Quoting Sources

  • Quote Rule: Limit any direct quotations to just the information pertinent to your topic, and avoid simply quoting an entire section of a source. Basically, keep the length of your quote(s) to 1-2 lines; this will keep "fluff" from building up in your article. If the quote is altered for clarity, place the alterations in square brackets at the appropriate place.
  • Using quotations longer than 1-2 lines can be confusing to the reader and unnecessary to an article. However, when quoting several lines of text, possibly a fight song, a speech, or a poem, a different rule is enacted. Any text longer than 3 lines, needs to be separated from the article text by adding two paragraph return spaces and decreasing the margins or 'centering' the quotation.
  • When quoting an opinion from a primary source, be sure that it is clear to the reader that the source's opinion is being quoted, and that this should not be confused with fact.
  • When one is quoting from a source, they must quote the entire phrase or line from the source and must not remove any words from the context, because this could possibly alter the meaning of the quote from the source. The reader must get the entire quote to comprehend the importance of the source. - Kajene Murugathasan
  • A direct quotation from a source containing a mistake should not be corrected. The source should be copied with the exactly, with the mistake. However, the writer should indicate the mistake was not yours by adding "[sic]" right after the mistake which tells the reader that the mistake appears in the original text.
  • When using quotes, it is acceptable to mix in a word or short phrases into your own sentense if it backs up your fact and is consistant with what the writer of the quote is saying.
  • As the Wikipedia's Manuel of Style suggests, the use of quotations must always be used appropriately. The author must always know when to place the period inside of the quotation marks or outside of the marks. Another common mistake that an author may stumble on is knowing how to correctly use quotations within quotations. You must put the double quotation marks on the outside and use single quotation marks for the quotation within the quotation.

Primary sources

Due to the historical nature of Buzzpedia, primary sources are useful in that they provide a picture of an event in Georgia Tech history from the perspective of someone who was there at the time. If a primary source can be confirmed by a more recent source, both source should be cited.

  • An Oral (interview type) source can be used for reference purposes so long it is documented in some manner or form by the subject on hand or by the primary audience the subject is interacting with. The form of documentation may be, but is not limited to, a video source, an audio source, or written source by the primary audience or the subject. All sources must be provided in original digital format, protected from user alteration (read only restriction), and easily accessible by users of Buzzpedia. Possibly by uploading to the Buzzpedia server. The source can only be used by the primary audience or the source of the oral source (i.e. The person who heard it, who it was directed to, or the person who said it.). Third person recital/ summary of the content should be removed from Buzzpedia and flagged as unreliable because it provides an opinion of the third party.
  • A primary source may be cited given that the credibility of the source is established in the text. In text, citations and establishments of credibility should be within reasonable proximity to the information being cited.
  • A primary source such as a letter or journal entry may contain only opinion of someone, which may or may not be accurate or true. If there is a secondary source that supports the opinion presented in a primary source, then the secondary source should be cited along with the primary source.
  • A secondary source should be relied on when possible, if the article is heavily academic related or present comparison between Georgia Tech and other fellow engineering schools.
  • Information should not be implied from combining facts from two different primary sources. For example, if one source says A and another says B, the facts from A and B should not be combined to make conclusion C.


  1. Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. (October 2, 2010). In "Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia". Retrieved October 22, 2010 from
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