Wikipedia:No original research/Examples

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Here are some examples of original research.

Unsupported assertions[edit]

Mainstream medical opinion[edit]

A previous version of the article Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle contained the assertion shown in bold. The assertion is original research because it is not supported by a source.

"Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle"[1][dead link] was part of a North Korean government propaganda campaign promulgating grooming and dress standards. It was broadcast on the state-run Korean Central Television in the capital of Pyongyang. The television program claimed that hair length can affect human intelligence, in part because of the deprivation to the rest of the body of nutrients required for hair to grow. This is at odds with the mainstream medical understanding that hair growth is unaffected by the amount of previously grown hair that remains attached to the body.

Original synthesis[edit]

The two following examples show violations of WP:SYNTHESIS in bold.

Intelligence officers[edit]

Intelligence officers of the attacking forces claimed to have telephoned the residents of buildings where military assets were suspected of being stored, to warn them to leave before it was bombed.[Sourced to an article about the bombing] During the war, 90% of the telephone system was down.[Sourced to an article that does not mention the bombing] (Implied: Thus the attacking forces could not have warned 90% of the residents whose buildings were bombed.)

Pre-Christmas boycott[edit]

Organisation X called for a pre-Christmas product boycott. They subsequently claimed on their website that it had a dramatic effect. [This was properly sourced.] In the run-up to Christmas that year, Retailer Z suffered disappointing sales, [source mentions sales drop for retailer Z, but does not mention Organisation X, nor the boycott] and its share price dropped. [The share price source for Retailer Z does not mention Organisation X or the boycott either.] (Implied: Organisation X's boycott may have had something to do with the drop in sales and subsequent drop in share price of retailer Z.)

Implied conclusion[edit]

A previous version of the article on Taiwan contained the following sentence:

[In Taiwan], since the 2008 election of President Ma, unemployment rate has risen to over 5.9% and Economic Growth fallen to -2.9%.

This is original research because no source makes the correlation between the rise in unemployment and the election of President Ma. Later, in this edit, the sentence was changed to the following:

Since the global financial crisis starting with United States in 2007, unemployment rate has risen to over 5.9% and Economic Growth fallen to -2.9%.

Another implied conclusion[edit]

A previous version of the article on the sinking of the ROKS ship Cheonan, a section titled "Controversies" contained the following statements:

  • Korean Naval Tactical Data System, the digital system to track down every South Korean naval vessel, malfunctioned during the sinking incident.
  • On 31 March 2010, The Ministry of Defense officially decided that it would not release the communication logs of the Cheonan to the public.
  • The maritime area where the ship sank is dedicated solely to fishing and corvettes had not scouted there for many years.
  • There are conflicting accounts between the Ministry of Defense, who claimed that the corvette sank rapidly in 20 minutes after the explosion, and the Coast Guard, which witnessed that it had continued afloat for over three hours.
  • While the Ministry of Defense claimed that Cheonan was assigned to practice new naval tactics, military experts, including a naval veteran who scouted around the Baengyeong island in the past, found this practice unfeasible for ships with over 1000 tonne of displacement to efficiently sail around the proximate littoral areas of the Baengnyeong island.

Although each statement can be verified and no conclusion is drawn, the section as a whole represents a synthesis. This is because the editors have gathered unrelated details in the same place, possibly to imply that the sinking was the result of a conspiracy.

It worked in the lab[edit]

This is a simple adding-up to promote a medical treatment:

"Severe vomiting in pregnant women is normally managed by a class of drugs called antiemetics. THC, the active compounds in marijuana, is an antiemetic; therefore, pregnant women are usually prescribed marijuana to stop vomiting."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 北, 장발족 또 공개망신, 2005-03-06, Yonhap (Korean)