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ଉଇକିପିଡ଼ିଆ:No original research


Wikipedia does not publish original research. The term "original research" refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources. It also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sources.

This means that all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable published source, even if not actually attributed. The sourcing policy, Verifiability, says a source must be provided for all quotations, and for anything challenged or likely to be challenged—but a source must exist even for material that is never challenged. "Paris is the capital of France" needs no source because no one is likely to object to it, but we know that sources for that sentence exist. If no source exists for something you want to add to Wikipedia, it is what we call original research. To demonstrate that you are not adding original research, you must be able to cite reliable published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the material as presented.

"No original research" is one of three core content policies, along with Neutral point of view and Verifiability, that jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in articles. Because these policies work in harmony, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should try to familiarize themselves with all three.

Research that consists of collecting and organizing material from existing sources within the provisions of this and other content policies is fundamental to writing an encyclopedia. The best practice is to write articles by researching the most reliable sources on the topic and summarizing what they say in your own words, with each statement in the article attributable to a source that makes that statement explicitly. Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication. Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intent of the source, such as using material out of context. In short, stick to the sources.

If no reliable third-party sources can be found on an article topic, Wikipedia should not have an article about it.

Reliable sources[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

Any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged must be supported by a reliable source. Material for which no reliable source can be found is considered original research. The only way you can show that your edit is not original research is to cite a reliable published source that contains the same material. Even with well-sourced material, if you use it out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source, you are engaging in original research; see below.

In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published by university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication. Self-published material, whether on paper or online, is generally not regarded as reliable, but see self-published sources for exceptions.

Using sources[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

Information in an article must be verifiable in the references cited. Article statements generally should not rely on unclear or inconsistent passages nor on passing comments. Passages open to multiple interpretations should be precisely cited or avoided. A summary of extensive discussion should reflect the conclusions of the source's author(s). Drawing conclusions not evident in the reference is original research regardless of the type of source. It is important that references be cited in context and on topic.

Primary, secondary and tertiary sources[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

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Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources. Secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic's notability and to avoid novel interpretations of primary sources, though primary sources are permitted if used carefully. All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors.

Appropriate sourcing can be a complicated issue, and these are general rules. Deciding whether primary, secondary or tertiary sources are appropriate on any given occasion is a matter of common sense and good editorial judgment, and should be discussed on article talk pages. For the purposes of this policy, primary, secondary and tertiary sources are defined as follows:[୧]

  • Primary sources are very close to an event, often accounts written by people who are directly involved, offering an insider's view of an event, a period of history, a work of art, a political decision, and so on. An account of a traffic accident written by a witness is a primary source of information about the accident; similarly, a scientific paper is a primary source about the experiments performed by the authors. Historical documents such as diaries are primary sources.[୨]
Our policy: Primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source can be used only to make descriptive statements that can be verified by any educated person without specialist knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source. Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about material found in a primary source. Do not base articles entirely on primary sources. Do not add unsourced material from your personal experience, because that would make Wikipedia a primary source of that material.
  • Secondary sources are second-hand accounts, at least one step removed from an event. They rely for their material on primary sources, often making analytic or evaluative claims about them.[୩] For example, a review article that analyzes research papers in a field is a secondary source for the research.[୪]
Our policy: Wikipedia articles usually rely on material from secondary sources. Articles may include analytic or evaluative claims only if these have been published by a reliable secondary source.
  • Tertiary sources are publications such as encyclopedias or other compendia that mainly summarize secondary sources. Wikipedia is a tertiary source. Many introductory undergraduate-level textbooks are regarded as tertiary sources because they sum up multiple secondary sources.
Our policy: Reliably published tertiary sources can be helpful in providing broad summaries of topics that involve many primary and secondary sources. Some tertiary sources may be more reliable than others, and within any given tertiary source, some articles may be more reliable than others. Wikipedia articles may not be used as tertiary sources in other Wikipedia articles, but are sometimes used as primary sources in articles about Wikipedia itself.

Synthesis of published material that advances a position[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

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Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources. This would be a synthesis of published material to advance a new position, which is original research.[୫] "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published the same argument in relation to the topic of the article.

  • A simple example of original synthesis:

The UN's stated objective is to maintain international peace and security, but since its creation there have been 160 wars throughout the world.

Although no conclusion is drawn and both parts of the sentence are true, it implies that the UN has failed to maintain world peace. If no reliable source has combined the material in this way, it is original research. It would be easy to imply the opposite using the same material, illustrating how material can easily be manipulated when no source is provided:

The UN's stated objective is to maintain international peace and security, and since its creation there have been only 160 wars throughout the world.

  • The following is a more complex example of original synthesis, based on an actual Wikipedia article about a dispute between two authors, here called Smith and Jones. The first paragraph is fine and properly sourced:

Smith claimed that Jones committed plagiarism by copying references from another author's book. Jones responded that it is acceptable scholarly practice to use other people's books to find new references.

Now comes the original synthesis:

If Jones did not consult the original sources, this would be contrary to the practice recommended in the Harvard Writing with Sources manual, which requires citation of the source actually consulted. The Harvard manual does not call violating this rule "plagiarism". Instead, plagiarism is defined as using a source's information, ideas, words, or structure without citing them.

The second paragraph is original research because it expresses a Wikipedia editor's opinion that, given the Harvard manual's definition of plagiarism, Jones did not commit it. To make the second paragraph consistent with this policy, a reliable source would be needed that specifically comments on the Smith and Jones dispute and makes the same point about the Harvard manual and plagiarism. In other words, that precise analysis must have been published by a reliable source in relation to the topic before it can be published in Wikipedia.

See above for advice on how to summarize sources without violating this policy.

Citing oneself[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

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If an editor has published the results of his or her research in a reliable publication, the editor may cite that source while writing in the third person and complying with our neutrality policy. If you are able to discover something new, Wikipedia is not the place to premiere such a discovery. This policy does not prohibit editors with specialist knowledge from adding their knowledge to Wikipedia, but it does prohibit them from drawing on their personal knowledge without citing reliable sources. See also Wikipedia's guidelines on conflict of interest.

Original images[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

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Because of copyright law in a number of countries, there are relatively few images available for use in Wikipedia. Editors are therefore encouraged to upload their own images, releasing them under the GFDL, CC-BY-SA, or other free licenses. Original images created by a Wikipedian are not considered original research, so long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments, the core reason behind the NOR policy. Image captions are subject to this policy no less than statements in the body of the article.

It is not acceptable for an editor to use photo manipulation to distort the facts or position illustrated by an image. Manipulated images should be prominently noted as such. Any manipulated image where the encyclopedic value is materially affected should be posted to Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Images of living persons must not present the subject in a false or disparaging light.

Where English translations of non-English material are unavailable, editors may supply their own, subject to consensus, with the original posted alongside or in a footnote. Copyright restrictions permitting, translations published by reliable sources are preferred to those provided by Wikipedians.

Routine calculations[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

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This policy allows routine calculations, such as adding numbers, converting units, or calculating a person's age, provided editors agree that the arithmetic and its application correctly reflect the sources. See here for some conversion templates.

Related policies[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]


The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. The policy says that all material challenged or likely to be challenged, including quotations, needs a reliable source; what counts as a reliable source is described here.

Neutral point of view[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]

The prohibition against original research limits the extent to which editors may present their own points of view in articles. By reinforcing the importance of including verifiable research produced by others, this policy promotes the inclusion of multiple points of view. Consequently, this policy reinforces our neutrality policy. In many cases, there are multiple established views of any given topic. In such cases, no single position, no matter how well researched, is authoritative. It is not the responsibility of any one editor to research all points of view. But when incorporating research into an article, it is important that editors provide context for this point of view, by indicating how prevalent the position is, and whether it is held by a majority or minority.

The inclusion of a view that is held only by a tiny minority may constitute original research. Jimbo Wales has said of this:

  • If your viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
  • If your viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
  • If your viewpoint is held by an extremely small minority, then — whether it's true or not, whether you can prove it or not — it doesn't belong in Wikipedia, except perhaps in some ancillary article. Wikipedia is not the place for original research.[୬]
  1. This University of Maryland library page provides typical examples of primary, secondary and tertiary sources.
  2. Further examples include archeological artifacts, census results, video or transcripts of surveillance, public hearings, trials, or interviews; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires; original philosophical works; religious scripture; and artistic and fictional works such as poems, scripts, screenplays, novels, motion pictures, videos, and television programs. For definitions of primary sources:
    • The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries define primary sources as providing "an inside view of a particular event". They offer as examples: original documents, such as autobiographies, diaries, e-mail, interviews, letters, minutes, news film footage, official records, photographs, raw research data, and speeches; creative works, such as art, drama, films, music, novels, poetry; and relics or artifacts, such as buildings, clothing, DNA, furniture, jewelry, pottery.
    • The University of California, Berkeley library offers this definition: "Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied, or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs) and they reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer."
  3. University of California, Berkeley library defines "secondary source" as "a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one step removed from the event".
  4. The Ithaca College Library compares research articles (primary sources) to review articles (secondary sources).
  5. Jimmy Wales has said of synthesized historical theories: "Some who completely understand why Wikipedia ought not create novel theories of physics by citing the results of experiments and so on and synthesizing them into something new, may fail to see how the same thing applies to history." (Wales, Jimmy. "Original research", December 6, 2004)
  6. Wales, Jimmy. "WikiEN-l roy_q_royce@hotmail.com: --A Request RE a WIKIArticle--", September 29, 2003.

Further reading[ସମ୍ପାଦନା]