Wikipedia:Don't build the Frankenstein

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Boris Karloff as the classic film version and Hollywood's interpretation of Frankenstein's monster

Building the Frankenstein is a variation of original research. Generally, it is a good faith error by Wikipedia editors attempting to find as many sources as possible about a subject. Often, in this situation, the information presented by the sources is not actually about the same subject, and when mistakenly combined, creates a Frankenstein's monster (often mistakenly called a "Frankenstein" which makes this analogy more interesting).


  • "John Doe played Johnny in the movie A." (source: Newspaper X)
  • "John Doe played Carl in the movie B" (source: Newspaper Y)

Based on that, an editor may write:

  • "John Doe played Johnny in the movie A<ref>NewspaperX</ref> and played Carl in the movie B.<ref>Newspaper Y</ref>

The information may be correct, but there is a possibility of mistaken identity with, for instance, John Doe from movie A being a different person than the one from the movie B. It would be accurate if a source (Newspaper Z) writes "John Doe, who played Johnny in the movie A, will be in the movie B as Carl".

Hypothetical examples[edit]

Attention: The following examples are all verifiable but mistakenly combine information from two or more homonymous people.

  • Adam Smith began his career as a lecturer in 1748 at the University of Edinburgh,[1] represented the United States as a swimmer at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris[2], and was elected as a Democratic representative for the state of Washington in 2006.[3]
  • Jim Jones, a cult leader who committed suicide after carrying out the Jonestown Massacre in 1978,[4] played offensive line for the Baltimore Ravens in 2001.[5]
  • Osmar Lins was a São Paulo mayoral candidate in 2000.[6] As a writer, he wrote the story "Lisbela e o Prisioneiro".[7]
  • The band Nirvana released the album "All of Us" in 1967[8] and the album "Nevermind" in 1991.[9]
  • Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza in Seinfeld,[10] married Britney Spears.[11]
  • Susan Boyle is a singer who became famous on Britain's Got Talent.[12] She's also a painter.[13]
  • Katie Perry is a singer[14] and fashion designer.[15]
  • George Bush was a NASCAR driver[16] and midfield footballer[17] who was elected president of the United States in 1988[18], 2000, and 2004.[19]
  • Luciana Cardoso, daughter of former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso,[20] is the wife of Brazilian TV host Faustão.[21]
  • Anne Hathaway (born 1556), wife of William Shakespeare, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2013 for her performance in Les Misérables.
  • Top model Cindy Crawford[22] was in the porno film "Anal Addicts # 22".[23]
  • Michael Moore wrote the books "Stupid White Men", "Dude, Where's My Country?"[24] and "Distance Education - A system view".[25]
  • Sting is a musical artist and professional wrestler who is a practitioner of Tantra, Jivamukti Yoga[26] and the Scorpion Death Drop.[27]
  • James Taylor was born in 1809,[28] sang lead vocals in Kool and the Gang,[29] played at Ronnie Scotts[30] and was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009.[31]
  • Dan White, a former San Francisco supervisor who assassinated George Moscone and Harvey Milk,[32] led the Arizona Wildcats to their first Pac-10 championship.[33]
  • John Gustafson, creator of Gustafson's Law,[34] played bass guitar in Quatermass with drummer Mick Underwood.[35]
  • Jenna Reid is a fiddle player[36] and runner[37] who was named the Penthouse Pet of the Month for September 2015.[38]
  • Michael Jordan is widely regarded as one of the best basketball player of all time[39], has won acclaim for his acting in movies such as "Creed" and "Black Panther"[40], and was elected to the Irish National Assembly for Wexford in 1927.[41]
  • Tony Banks, founder member of the rock group Genesis,[42] was well known in the House of Commons for his acid tongue.[43]
  • Jimmy Johnson played quarterback, defensive back, and tight end in American football, was a head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and an assistant in the NFL, CFL, and college football, and was named the 2009 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year after winning a record fourth consecutive NASCAR Racing championship[44]. He died in 2004[45] and 2009[46] and is currently a television sports commentator.[47]


According to WP:BIO: "Database sources such as Notable Names Database, Internet Movie Database and Internet Adult Film Database are not considered credible since they are, like wikis, mass-edited with little oversight. Additionally, these databases have low, wide-sweeping generic standards of inclusion."

Another reason why these are not reliable sources is because they build Frankensteins: they are based on trivial sources which makes them susceptible to errors. For instance, IMDb itself admits that "occasional mistakes and omissions are inevitable"[48] like some profiles which have credits of different persons,[49][50] and people who have multiple profiles because they were credited with different names.[51][52] For instance, according to an archived version of Mariana Rios’ IMDb profile, she was in a 1953 film (before she was born!).[53]


A Venn diagram representing intersections of sources A, B and C

Verifiability is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Let the sources be sets; make sure that there are enough intersections of non-trivial reliable independent secondary sources to guarantee that all sources are about the same subject. If the depth of any source is not enough, you should avoid adding it to the article. It's not just a way to make sure the topic of your article is notable: it's also a way to make sure that the article is consistent. If several reliable independent secondary sources are in a consensus (represented by intersections) about a statement, it tends to be more reliable. In addition to these, it is also a way to find biased or minor views: if just a few sources agree about a statement it tends to be a minority point of view.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Adam Smith". Biography. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Adam Smith". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-04-18.
  3. ^ "2006 General Election Results". Washington Office of the Secretary of State. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  4. ^ 1978: Mass suicide leaves 900 dead. BBC, November 18, 2005
  5. ^ "Jim Jones". Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Freire, Sílvia (2000-09-04). "Osmar Lins (PAN) participa hoje do bate-papo da Folha Online" (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Folha de São Paulo. Retrieved 2009-09-18. Apesar de ser candidato à Prefeitura de São Paulo pelo Partido dos Aposentados da Nação, o PAN, Osmar Lins ainda trabalha.
  7. ^ Bartolomei, Marcelo (2002-08-19). "Dirigida por Guel Arraes, Débora Falabella vai viver Lisbela no cinema" (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Folha de São Paulo. Retrieved 2009-09-18. A comédia [Lisbela e o Prisioneiro], de Osmar Lins, foi adaptada para a TV e para o teatro por Arraes.
  8. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "All of Us – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  9. ^ "17) Nevermind – The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  10. ^ Goodman, Tim (2004-09-20). "Jason Alexander sitcom chalks one up for the 'Seinfeld' curse". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-18. [Jason] Alexander, whether he likes it or not, has an acting style and a comic delivery that, no matter what he does, closely resembles his George Costanza character
  11. ^ Morales, Tatiana (2004-01-09). "Has Britney Gone Over The Edge?". CBS. Retrieved 2009-09-18. The new issue of People magazine explores whether [Britney Spears]' 55-hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander indicates that the pop star has gone over the edge or if it merely represents the spur-of-the-moment actions of two young people.
  12. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (2009-04-18). "Susan Boyle: a dream come true". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  13. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  14. ^ Thompson, Judy (2008-12-10). "Katie Perry apologises for calling Lily Allen 'fat' after Brit star labels her 'crass'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  16. ^ George Bush statistics,; Retrieved April 17, 2008
  17. ^ Lamming, Douglas (1985). A who's who of Grimsby Town AFC : 1890-1985. Beverley: Hutton. p. 28. ISBN 0-907033-34-2.
  18. ^ "How Bush beat Dukakis". Politico. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  19. ^ "George W. Bush Miller Center". 26 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Filha de FHC ocupa cargo de confiança no Senado". Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  21. ^ "Famosos lotam restaurante para festejar casamento de Fausto Silva". Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  22. ^ "Cindy Crawford: 'I've tried Botox but it scares me' | Mail Online". 10 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  23. ^ "Anal Addicts # 22 DVD". Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  24. ^ "PAPERBACK BEST SELLERS – August 1, 2004 – List –". August 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  25. ^ "Book Reviews". Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  26. ^ "Sting and Yoga". YogaEdge. 1 June 2011.
  27. ^ "Sting profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  28. ^ "James Taylor". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  29. ^ "James "J.T." Taylor". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  30. ^ "The James Taylor Quartet with Nick Smart horns and Yvonne Yanney vocals". Ronnie Scotts. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  31. ^ "2009 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  32. ^ Weiss, Mike. (September 18, 1998). "Killer of Moscone, Milk had Willie Brown on List", San Jose Mercury News, Page A1
  33. ^ Maisel, Ivan (1994-06-20). "White and the Wildcats are ready for Pasadena". The Sporting News. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  34. ^ Reevaluating Amdahl's Law, John L. Gustafson, Communications of the ACM 31(5), 1988. pp. 532-533
  35. ^ "Quatermass". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  36. ^ "Renowned Scottish band Blazin' Fiddles bring acclaimed show to Ulverston". The Mail. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  37. ^ "High School Top Performer - Week 4: Jenna Reid (girls track and field), Middletown North". 8 May 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  38. ^ "Penthouse Names Jenna Reid Penthouse Pet for September". AVN. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  39. ^ "The 10 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time | Britannica".
  40. ^ Dargis, Manohla; Scott, A.O. (November 25, 2020). "The 25 greatest actors of the 21st century (so far)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  41. ^ "Michael Jordan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  42. ^ "Genesis founder member Tony Banks". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  43. ^ "BBC report on "wit and wisdom of Tony Banks"". BBC News. 8 January 2006.
  44. ^ "Driver Jimmie Johnson". Racing-Reference.
  45. ^ Coach Jim tackled a lot in life, but one was most memorable, The Virginian Pilot, December 1, 2004, retrieved February 3, 2009.
  46. ^ Brookover, Bob "Eagles' Jim Johnson, 68, dies of cancer" The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday, July 29, 2009
  47. ^ "Jimmy Johnson Bio & Career Accomplishments". FOX Sports.
  48. ^ "How do I correct my credits?". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  49. ^ "I know for a fact that the John Smith who worked on film X is not the same John Smith who worked on film Y. How do I delete the incorrect credits?". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  50. ^ "Person X actually has credits for person Y too, how can I split their listings?". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  51. ^ "It's clear that John Q. Public and John K. Public are likely to be the same person. Why do you have two listings for him?". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  52. ^ "Person X and person Y are the same, how can I combine their listings?". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  53. ^ "Mariana Rios". ( Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 24 May 2014.