Wikipedia:Independent sources

Identifying and using independent sources (also called third-party sources) helps editors build non-promotional articles that fairly portray the subject, without undue attention to the subject's own views. Using independent sources helps protect the project from people using Wikipedia for self-promotion, personal financial benefit, and other abuses. Reliance on independent sources ensures that an article can be written from a balanced, disinterested viewpoint rather than from the subject's own viewpoint or from the viewpoint of people with an ax to grind. Emphasizing the views of disinterested sources is necessary to achieve a neutral point of view in an article. It also ensures articles can catalog a topic's worth and its role and achievements within society, rather than offering a directory listing or the contents of a sales brochure.

In determining the type of source, there are three separate, basic characteristics to identify:

Every possible combination of these three traits has been seen in sources on Wikipedia. Any combination of these three traits can produce a source that is usable for some purpose in a Wikipedia article. Identifying these characteristics will help you determine how you can use these sources.

This page deals primarily with the second question: identifying and using independent and non-independent sources.

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