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In order to be included in Discourse DB, an opinion must have been published in at least one notable source. The standards for inclusion are different in different media:

  • Print periodicals (newspapers, magazines, etc.) - the publication must be devoted to news and/or politics, and it must have a circulation of at least 50,000 per issue, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations or a comparable body.
  • Online periodicals (online magazines, online journals, weblogs, etc.) - the online source must be devoted in a substantial way to news and/or politics, and it should have at least 50,000 unique visitors per month, as demonstrated by either Alexa figures, BlogAds, a site counter, or another reputable source.

Many newspapers and magazines have web-only content on their web sites. Current policy is that any such content is only allowable if it too can be proven to get at least 50,000 unique visitors a month, although this may change.

If a source, due to changing readership numbers, fluctuates in and out of being considered a notable source by these standards, only those items published in it while it was notable should be considered acceptable for Discourse DB.

Some columnists are syndicated, meaning that their columns appear in more than one publication when they are published. If the press-syndication service that publishes them is affiliated with one publication (such as the Washington Post Writers Group, tied to The Washington Post), the version that appears in that publication should be used. Otherwise, any version of the column that appears in a notable source is fine to use (there's no need to include more than one, though). The title given to the item representing that column should be whatever title the column had in that source.

The current list of accepted sources can be found at Category:Sources.

Representing sources

Every source should have its own page in Discourse DB. The page's title should be the name of the newspaper, which should, whenever possible, be the name given to it in Wikipedia. That is especially important for determining whether there should be a "The" at the beginning of a newspaper or magazine's name.

The page for a source should use the "source" template (see the Help:Template text page); this template inludes the following fields:

  • type - the standard values for this field are Newspaper, Magazine, Online magazine, and Blog.
  • country
  • language
  • circulation/monthly unique visitors - for a print publication, the circulation value should be the last known audited number of copies sold of a single issue; for daily newspapers with a Sunday edition, the Sunday number if usually cited, since it tends to be the highest value for the week. For online publications, the value should be the last known number of unique visitors per month to that blog or site. For both cases, given the inherent inexactness of all reader-measurement metrics, only two significant figures should be used; so a magazine with an audited circulation of 987,654 should be recorded as simply having a circulation of 990,000.
  • URL - the main URL of the publication