Talk:Sciences Po

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ref name=Dahrendorf[edit]

Under 1872 to 1945: École Libre des Sciences Politiques, History section‎: Added citation details to <ref name=Dahrendorf> per googlebooks. I am copying this data from jawiki (174570) dated 2018-08-12T03:37, so pls kindly ping me if you correct/edit the text containing this citation. --Omotecho (talk) 03:43, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 28 October 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move. (non-admin closure) В²C 00:35, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Sciences PoInstitut d'Études Politiques de Paris – see below Mathglot (talk) 23:23, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

The article should be restored to its original title, and official name: Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. An earlier move discussion decided in favor of a move to the current title, however the argumentation was flawed, imho, and the voting sparse (2–1).

Although the nickname Sciences Po is used almost universally in speech in France, and frequently in writing, thus commonality might apply there, the French article still uses the official title, nevertheless. The nickname is not used in formal settings and it is not the official name of the university. However, the nickname is far less well known in the English-speaking world. The article title should be restored to the official name of the university, due to the page history, the lack of wide and data-backed discussion of the original move, and per naturalness, recognizability, and precision, and for consistency with other university articles in English that also have very common nicknames. Finally, the data shows that per commonality criteria, the official French name is the overwhelming favorite in English over other alternatives. Some particulars:

  1. The official name of the university is "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris".
  2. The article was created as Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris in 2004 and remained that way for eight years.
  3. The article title was moved to the popular nickname "Sciences Po" in 2012 after a move discussion that garnered three votes. (With the exception of one invalid rename and revert on the same day, there have been no other page moves since the article's inception.)
  4. Among several dozen equivalent articles in other languages, only three use the term "Sciences Po", all of the others use the official name. In particular, the French article uses the official name of the university.
  5. "Sciences Po" is a nickname. The fact that it is very widely used in speech and even sometimes in writing is irrelevant. Per WP:NPOVNAME one doesn't choose colloquialisms where far more encyclopedic alternatives are obvious. See MIT.

In my view, the main uncertainty here might be whether to use the English name, "Paris Institute of Political Studies" or the official name "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris". A careful search[note 1] shows a 25–1 preference[note 2] for "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris" over the English title in English books. (Even "Sciences Po" comes out second-best by this measure.)

The first sentence in the body of WP:ARTICLE is, Article titles are based on how reliable English-language sources refer to the article's subject. The official French name, "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris", is the clear choice here, by all the measures above. Since that is also the original title of the article, unchallenged for years until a very iffy vote in 2012, the original article title should be restored. Mathglot (talk) 23:11, 28 October 2018 (UTC)



  1. ^ Careful search: You must restrict your language output to English only (Preferences, Search settings, Languages, Search results), and add appropriate English words to the search to exclude French results that escape the filter.
  2. ^ 25–1 preference: A careful search in English gives 50,300 results for Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris,[1] and 2,020 results for Paris Institute of Political Studies.[2] (Also, 10,400 results for "Sciences Po" but that's not in the running for reasons previously described.)

  1. ^ Google search in English books for official name: Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris
  2. ^ Google search in English books for English name: Paris Institute of Political Studies


Oppose:The logic for rejecting Sciences Po is flawed as WP:NPOVNAME is specifically about using a non-neutral name, and no evidence has been offered that Sciences Po is not neutral so the guideline that "one doesn't choose colloquialisms where far more encyclopedic alternatives are obvious" does not apply. The statement that ""Sciences Po" is a nickname. The fact that it is very widely used in speech and even sometimes in writing is irrelevant." is completely opposed to Wikipedia policy on this matter, which states that "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it generally prefers the name that is most commonly used" (WP:COMMONNAME). There are no grounds, therefore, on which to exclude Sciences Po from consideration. That Sciences Po is the common name in English is borne out by looking at high quality English-language media, where Sciences Po is either used on its own or is given as a gloss when the official name is used in order to let the reader know what is being referred to. Examples include "the Institute d'Études Politiques, better known as Sciences Po" (The Guardian)[1], "the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies – known as Sciences Po" (Daily Telegraph)[2], and "the Institut d’études politiques, commonly known as Sciences Po" (New York Times)[3]. This is also the name by which it is listed in both the QS World University Rankings[4] and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings[5]. As we have high quality sources explicitly starting that the common name of the institution in English is Sciences Po, there is no need to resort to counting Google hits. WP:COMMONNAME leads to the inevitable conclusion that the English language article should be titled Sciences Po. Robminchin (talk) 05:37, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't buy your logic based on a handful of examples, unless you're also ready to rename University of Mississippi to Ole Miss. Starting with the fact that the official website of the latter is Finding reliable sources to support the fact that the university is known as 'Ole Miss' is easy as pie, but that doesn't argue in favor of a rename, because it's a non-random operation. The internet is a big place, and it's always possible to cherry pick and enumerate as many examples as you care to if you're looking for them; such as:
a whole bunch of news articles and published books referring to Ole Miss (merely the tip of an enormous iceberg)

For example, in News, we have: Ole Miss' Journalism School Should Be Named For Ida B. Wells (huffpost), Ole Miss Tests Dorm for Mold, Lets Students Move Elsewhere (U.S. News), Experienced attorney to lead Ole Miss compliance (Daily Jrnl), Ole Miss Officials Test for Mold in Dorms (WTVA), Ole Miss professor under fire for urging people to harass senators (Hattiesburg American), Ole Miss Professor Calls For Harassment Of Republicans (Mississippi Center for Public Policy); these are all news articles from the past week or so, and all excluding sports references, without which exclusion the number skyrockets.

In books, I get 140,000; starting with: Ole Miss Juvenilia, Integration at Ole Miss, Oxford and Ole Miss, The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights v. States' Rights, OLE Miss. 1918-1919, Vol. 23: The Year Book of the University of Mississippi, The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2011: Students on Campus Tell You What ... (including the quote: formally known as the University of Missisippi, but to those in the know, it's Ole Miss), James Meredith and the Ole Miss Riot: A Soldier's Story, and so on.

Mirroring your exposition: examples of websites and books calling out "Ole Miss" as the common name, on the web: "The University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss, is a large public institution ..." U.S. News, "Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi, affectionately known to alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, is Mississippi's flagship..." UM, "Oxford is home to The University of Mississippi, otherwise known as Ole Miss." Visit Oxford, "The University of Mississippi, more famously known as Ole Miss, was founded in 1844, and..." OCM, "This is a lesson being taught at the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss, where..." Huffpost. And in books: "Henry matriculated to the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss."Berman (2007), "University of Missisippi, founded in 1844, is better known as Ole Miss." Bailey (2013), "...made him the first black student formally admitted to the school popularly known as Ole Miss..." Eagles (2009), "...two carloads of students from the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss, ..." Dickerson (1996), "The University of Mississippi is known universally as "Ole Miss"..." Mohr (2011). The list is virtually endless.

If you tell me how many examples you want of high-quality sources telling you that "Ole Miss" is how it's better known, it's easy to oblige. But it would be invalid to use that as a basis for renaming the article. So cherry-picking your examples as you did above is essentially meaningless, because we can both cherry-pick limitless numbers of them, and it doesn't prove a thing except perhaps who has more patience. It is precisely the method you reject, that is the only correct method here: the only valid way to determine which one is truly more common, is not by enumerating a handful of references as you did or a barrelful of your choice, but by looking at large datasets that are not hand-picked, and drawing inferences based on them. That's what I did, and you can check out the data in the links in the references for yourself. It could be that your intuition is still correct nevertheless, but you certainly haven't demonstrated that, as your logic is faulty and I reject the analysis based on it. Cordially, Mathglot (talk) 07:55, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Maybe it should be called "Ole Miss", that's not the question under discussion here and nor should it be. One significant difference I see is that Ole Miss is not used officially in branding, whereas Sciences Po is – look at the logos on the respective home pages. One of the tests on WP:NAMINGCRITERIA is: "Naturalness – The title is one that readers are likely to look or search for and that editors would naturally use to link to the article from other articles. Such a title usually conveys what the subject is actually called in English." Ole Miss probably fails this as it is very much a nickname – it is not what the institution would be called in league tables, for instance. But Sciences Po is the name by which the institution is listed in league tables.
Many universities are known by their common name on Wikipedia, not their legal name, for example: University of Oxford (The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford); University of Cambridge (The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge); Durham University (the University of Durham); Newcastle University (the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne); Royal Holloway, University of London (Royal Holloway and Bedford New College); London School of Economics (London School of Economics and Political Science); St George's, University of London (St George's Hospital Medical School). All of these are operating names, like Sciences Po. The long-established convention – and Wikipedia policy – is to use the name by which an institution is commonly known, not its official legal name. Robminchin (talk) 03:56, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Further: Doing a Google search, with the language settings as above, for "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris" returns "About 399,000 results" (including for "Institute of Political Studies of Paris", which Google considers equivalent). The same search for "Sciences Po" returns "About 9,350,000 results". Switching to"News", the results are "About 8,650 results" for "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris" (again including "Institute of Political Studies of Paris") and "About 119,000 results" for "Sciences Po". It is clear that "Sciences Po" is the WP:COMMONNAME. Robminchin (talk) 04:42, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Support: No vote as nom. Show me the data., and I'll happily switch my vote to oppose. Mathglot (talk) 08:02, 29 October 2018 (UTC) Struck my vote, per In ictu and Feminist; by Mathglot (talk) 23:06, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

  • @Mathglot: nom does not usually support own proposal. current title + is test. new title + is. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:59, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
    @In ictu oculi: Really? I'll strike my !vote if that's true, but I'm sure I've seen it so many times... or am I confusing it with Afd? Mathglot (talk) 11:01, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
    It's customary at WP:RFC discussions (as they should be worded neutrally), but not at RM. feminist (talk) 14:43, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Sciences Po" is by far the WP:COMMONNAME in English for this institution. Google Ngram statistics show no results for the proposed new title, while "Sciences Po" is much more common than "Paris Institute of Political Studies". Same with French results; the official name returns no results at all. feminist (talk) 14:43, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
    I'm sorry, but you really don't have the faintest idea about how ngrams work, and your conclusion about the ngrams result above is completely baseless. There are so many problems with it, it's hard to know where to start, and I can't embed a course in information retrieval into a RM reply. But in brief, ngram analysis is more reliable for unigrams and bigrams, some trigrams, but beyond that it becomes less and less useful as you get into n-grams and the population becomes thinner and thinner. In addition, it's impossible to compare results from a bigram to results from a 5-gram, as you tried to do. Thirdly, d'Études is analyzed by Google ngrams as two tokens due to the apostrophe, which makes it a 6-gram and useless for comparing to a bigram. Fourthly, the accented capital E complicates things further, because English keyboards don't have it and a lot of references probably won't have it that way which reduces it's frequency; you'd have to sum the results of Études and Etudes. Even the French themselves don't always use accents over capital letters, as this comparative ngram comparing only French sources makes clear; English sources use it even less. Finally, the fact that your ngram of French sources returned no results at all for "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris" should've been the tip-off that ngrams was doing something you didn't understand. Do you really think there are no books in French which discuss this venerable educational institution? What about these 52,000 books? There may yet be a valid analysis out there which may show that "Sciences Po" is the more common usage in reliable sources, but if so, so far we haven't seen it. Mathglot (talk) 22:49, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
    Striking my comment regarding Google Ngram Viewer results. Although I generally consider it a reliable indicator of WP:COMMONNAME, perhaps it doesn't work as well with non-English names. I still think that the proposed title is an obscure name in English. feminist (talk) 02:10, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support It's been already discussed in the french article talk page ([6]). It seemed obvious to everybody there, so I think it should also be done in the English one. Regards, Comte0 (talk) 00:16, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Firstly, that's a merger discussion regarding Sciences Po (Paris) particularly, not a name-change discussion. Secondly, this is English Wikipedia and we should be making our decision based on the name commonly used in English, not copying what French Wikipedia (which certainly has a different corpus and may have different rules) does. Robminchin (talk) 02:19, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
I must agree with Robminchin here that whatever fr-wiki has to say about this is certainly not binding on us, because of the possibility of different rules (and also due to what I perceive as fr-wiki's laxer adherence to their own rules). Having said that, even top tribunals will, on rare occasion, go outside their own body of national law to look at international practice (e.g., the U.S. Supreme Court, in three cases between 2002 and 2005) and the fact that 39 foreign wikipedias use the official name, while three use "Sciences Po" is, I think, worthy of pause or consideration even if it should not be decisive at en-wiki based on our rules. Mathglot (talk) 10:18, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm still undecided. I agree with Robminchin that the frwiki is of no help here; it's about a merge between Sciences Po and the IEP article, while leaving the FNSP article separate. All of those have always been a single article here. We generally don't use nicknames (in addition to Ole Miss, acronyms such as BYU or UTEP are not article titles even if they are the primary source). On the other hand, I didn't know "Sciences Po" was a nickname; at a certain point the nickname becomes the name and in English usage we may have passed that point. Most of the references for IEP-Paris are in academic citations which are expected to use the most formal version; Virginia Polytechnic Institute instead of Virginia Tech. The WP:ENGVAR concern will come in to play; I'm not convinced by the Google Book Search results that there is a "common name" of this organization of "Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris" in English. As noted, the common name is Sciences Po; if that can't be used we should use the English name of Institute of Political Studies, or the acronym of IEP Paris. power~enwiki (π, ν) 02:30, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: "Sciences Po" is by far the most common name in English-language sources, including high-brow publications. --RJFF (talk) 13:10, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: "Sciences Po" is the most common name in French. Also, the complete name should be written as "Institut d'études politiques de Paris" (only the first letter is capitalised in French).
    提尔巴 (talk) 17:15, 3 November 2018 (UTC).

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Please stop removing ranking in the introduction and putting laudatory inaccurate statements.

By world reputation, it not ranked by THE among the top 100 in the world and the top 3 of France. QS : Social Sciences: 69th (4rd in France) THE : Social Sciences: 68th (2nd in France). It is not " one of the most prestigious and selective European schools in the social sciences."

--Delfield (talk) 08:36, 9 October 2019 (UTC)