Anonymous Dissident wrote a very kind and pertinent reply to my complaint that he had taken down the links to Acta Pauli that I put in articles in the French and German Wikipedia on Acts of Paul and Thecla (etc). I reproduce his reply, which shows that he is a thoughtful young man with a great future:
Anonymous Dissident Says:
May 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm
The action I took in removing links to this site was not the result of the ill-discretion of a twelve year old (who is now approximately two years older than posited by this entry — while you may possess PhDs, you’ve neglected to review your sources and their dates of publishing properly here), but rather one prescribed by Wikipedia policy. See [this link] for more, with particular attention to the recommendation for blogs in the “links to be avoided” section. Posts like this one, which does not concern anything remotely educational or pertinent to an encyclopedia, lead me to believe that this blog does not meet the criterion thereat explicated.
My Wikipedia related-posts are a signal to scholars and others interested in the Acts of Paul that Wikipedia will be unhelpful if they want reliable information on Acts of Paul related subjects–I could spend the time to critique its articles line by line, but the rapidly changing content of that platform creates a significant challenge. Why provide a critique against something that could soon be gone?
I therefore recommend that scholars like myself not bother to make edits on that platform where any non-specialist can take them down within seconds. Scholars don’t have the time to waste on such games. My posts about my personal experience with trying to edit Wikipedia are therefore of interest to other scholars in our orb (specialists in Bible, history and theology) who may be tempted to participate in Wikipedia. That is why it suits the threshold of Acta Pauli, which is an international scholarly discussion of the Acts of Paul.
As a co-founder of the blog, my goal is to make it the go-to site for the academic study of the Acts of Paul. If you can point me to a better site, please do so. I think your Wikipedia readers would be well-served by a link to Acta Pauli; however, I challenged your judgment as an editor because you let stand another link, Le Champ du Midrash: by reproducing a French translation of a 5th century text by Ps. Basil as though it were the 2nd Century Acts of Paul and Thecla, it is only approximately 300 years off the mark. Consider also, that numerous articles and my PhD dissertation are available at Acta Pauli in PDF format, and a link to Dr. Jeremy Barrier’s PhD dissertation, and it is arguably already the best academic site on the WWW.
“See [this link] for more, with particular attention to the recommendation for blogs in the ‘links to be avoided’ section.” I have read the rules against blogs and self-published works; in general, I would have to agree because it is difficult to determine the credibility of the authors. Let me cite rule 11 under links to be avoided:
11. Links to blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority (this exception is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities always meet Wikipedia’s notability criteria for biographies).
I would think that the authors on this blog would meet the criterion of “recognized authority”, possessing degrees from accredited universities, Barrier and Merz are professors; Willy Rordorf, who has contributed was my mentor and is a professor emeritus at the University of Neuchatel; I have taught in recognized schools in Canada and Africa at both the graduate and the undergraduate level. Prof. Willy Rordorf more than the rest of us merits the so-called “notability criteria”. If we who have spent many years of academic research on the Acts of Paul and have articles in peer-reviewed publications and presented papers at academic conferences are not “recognized authorities” than nobody is. But notability and “recognized authority” are two different standards. Not every professor who is an authority on a subject is also worthy of an article, though I have seen a few vanity articles on Wikipedia.
“…while you may possess PhDs, you’ve neglected to review your sources and their dates of publishing properly here”. Now that is an interesting criticism. Perhaps you examined some of the posts and found that we have not provided detailed bibliographic information in every case. This may the case in the discussion posts. But you will notice that in all the articles and dissertations posted on Acta Pauli, standard bibliographic information is given. In posts, we have tried merely to give sufficient information so that readers possessing a bibliographic knowledge of the field may find the sources. For full bibliographies of the Acts of Paul, see my dissertation and more recently Dr. Jeremy Barrier’s.