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General notability notes[edit]

  • My basic formula or math for notability is RS (NYT) + V = N (WP). In plain English, a person or a concept that is referenced by multiple, high-quality secondary sources (such as a well-known text or historical book) or primary sources (such as the New York Times, the gold standard), and has verifiable significance almost always meets the basic standard of notability for Wikipedia.
  • I use the "student standard" -- if it is probable that some high school or college student would find this article useful as a starting point for research, then keep it in.
  • If I've heard of a famous person, I think of that person as possibly notable; but if I haven't, he or she is not necessary "NN".
  • I believe that Precisionism [1] often shades into Trollism.

Notability of High Schools at WP:AfD[edit]

English Wikipedia does not have a Policy on Notability of High Schools, but they are almost always kept. These are my own Standards.

A Public High School is inherently or per se notable, and thus will earn a keep vote from me at WP:AFD, regardless of anything else wrong with its article, according to these standards:

A notable High School is defined by these required factors (meeting at least 7 of 9):

  1. Has (or has had 50) or more students
  2. Has (at least) 10th through 12th grades
  3. Has been in existence for (at least) 2 academic years
  4. Grants a diploma
  5. Pays its teachers (who presumably have Bachelors' degrees or higher)
  6. Is a Public school, or an Accredited Private school, or an Accredited Charter school
  7. Has 2 or more notable alumni, who already have their own articles
  8. Has 2 or more reliable sources, as defined below
  9. Has 1 or more notable academic programs, major annual events, or scholastic sports.

New high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools, those Yeshivas that do not grant diplomas, EOP's, EOC's, BOCES, and the like are not inherently notable, in my humble opinion.

Reliable sources for High Schools are one or more of these:

  • Daily newspaper articles on line, or a Magazine article.
  • Public school district web site.
  • A recognized accrediting body's web site.
  • A sports web site.
  • For a non-public school, evidence must be cited and referenced that a school meets the above criteria. Those references must come from reliable independent sources other than the school or sponsoring entity, and meet normal Wikipedia standards for reliable sources.
  • Notes and links to other, notable Wikipedia articles.

Facebook, MySpace accounts, and the like, are not reliable.

I believe these standards are in line with the statement of Jimbo Wales on high school articles. These are also based upon the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Schools/Old proposal, and comments from other users.

See also[edit]

Notability of Streets[edit]

  • I agree with the standards enunciated by User:Grutness at WP:50k. Specifically: "Notable streets and roads can be divided into two types: those which are inherently notable due to some specific historical, geographical, or other quirk, and those which are notable simply by way of their prominence within a city or town." Also, "The "50,000 people per street" rule of thumb [is] ... For every 50,000 people in a city or town, there is probably one road or street prominent enough for a Wikipedia article."

1. Inherently notable streets have:

  • a subway, El, or bus lines that runs down it (the more frequent the service, or more routes, the greater the tendency towards notability)
  • a center of a well-known industry or neighborhood(s)
  • historical buildings facing or having addresses on that street
  • a book, or major article, has been written about this street (a single passing mention is probably not enough, but if noted or used frequently in multiple books, then it is likely to be notable)
  • a notable person has ever lived on this street
  • a WikiProject to list every named street in X notable neighborhood.

2. Business districts, very long avenues, or streets dividing "slums" from "fashionable districts" are "notable simply by way of their prominence within a city or town." From WP:50k.

  • Obviously, with very important cities, such as Manhattan and London, the ratio is probably more like 1 street per 20,000 persons.

Notability of Rivers[edit]

I declare that a river is notable if it:

  1. is verifably real
  2. is at least 1 kilometer long
  3. is filled with water at least 3 months of the year, or, in Australia, 3 months in 10 years.

Notability of hamlets and other places[edit]

I declare that a hamlet, borough, city, town, or village is per se notable, for English Wikipedia, if it:

  1. is verifiably real by at least one reliable source
  2. is in an English-speaking country
  3. has at least 12 persons living year-round, according a government census taken in the past 12 years.

Estates and housing projects[edit]

In a large city, city as London, England, New York City, or Manila, thousands of people may live in a single project. I declare that an estate or housing project is per se notable, for English Wikipedia, if it:

  1. is verifiably real by at least two reliable sources
  2. is in an English-speaking country
  3. has at least 4,000 persons living year-round, according a government census taken in the past 12 years.

Some examples of notable projects in NYC are Co-op City, Waterside Plaza, and Kips Bay Towers. Obviously, smaller housing projects or subdivisions are usually not notable, but may be merged into a larger article for a street or neighborhood, for example, Sedgewick_Avenue#1520_Sedgwick_Avenue.

Rotten boroughs and ghost towns[edit]

Non-notable places[edit]

Classic examples of non-notable places would be:

  • Vacation resorts, holiday spots, golf courses, or country clubs.
  • Housing estates, condominiums, trailer parks, neighborhoods, subdivisions, or projects with fewer than 4,000 residents.
  • No reliable sources can verify its existence.
  • A collection of abandoned buildings that are part of a larger city, estate, or neighborhood.
  • Red flags of non-notability pop up: the exact location is not given, the title is written in small letters, it contains first person pronouns, etc.
  • Newly-created micronations.

Notability of historic churches[edit]

A church (or temple, synagogue, abbey, convent, or mosque) building is notable if it has three or more of these factors:

  • It is a National Historic Site, e.g. St. Paul's Church National Historic Site, or equivalent in the jurisdiction.
  • It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • It was designed by a notable architect, and/or is notable for its architecture.
  • It has had two or more notable congregants.
  • It is notable for its church organ, choir, or its music programme.
  • It has been notably large for its denomination, either in the size of the buildings or its congregation numbers.
  • It is the site of a major annual liturgical commemoration, or originator of a holy person's feast, or has been a major place of pilgrimage, beyond mere local interest.
  • It is a cathedral or basilica in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, or similarly large denomination; or the seat of a chief rabbi.
  • A major synod, or historically significant election of a bishop, was held therein.
  • A saint, or other notable holy person, worshipped or preached therein.
  • A significant icon or holy item has been housed therein.

For an example of an AfD with which I agree, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Basilica of Sant'Ubaldo, Gubbio.

Notability of attorneys[edit]

To be a notable attorney, a person must have notable accomplishments as an attorney, backed up by references that are reliable. These accomplishments include:

  • a leading editor (managing editor, editor-in-chief, executive editor, president) of a law review or journal at an accredited law school
  • admission to an American law school honorary society known as 'Inns of Court' (but not to the English Inns of Court, to which all such lawyers belong)
  • winning and/or judging in a regional or national moot court competition
  • service on a major bar association committee or section (for example, chair of the young lawyers division or section, chair of a state bar -- see Steven C. Krane -- or ABA Board of Governors)
  • teaching at an accredited college or law school, as a chairman or tenured associate or full professor (preferably a distinguished professor per WP:PROF)
  • clerked for a notable judge
  • nominated for an appellate bench, but for some reason was not appointed or confirmed
  • trying a notable case, which has its own article in Wikipedia
  • being recognized as an expert in a specialized area of law (see Mark Zaid and John S. Lowe)
  • specialized admission such as patent law or admiralty, or to a specialized court such as the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • arguing one or more cases before the Supreme Court of the United States
  • running for public office or managing a statewide campaign (but that alone is not sufficient)
  • service as a district attorney in a larger county (150,000 population or more), or United States Attorney
  • service as a legislator at any level of government, from county to Federal
  • service as a mayor in a city, village, or borough (75,000 population or more)
  • service as chair of a major civic committee in a major city or state (300,000 population or more) (for example, a Big City Centennial committee)
  • service on one or more statewide committees, commissions, or boards (for example, an investigative commission, public integrity commission, major state party, or state parole board), especially as a chairperson
  • service as a judge in an appellate court, or a Federal court, or major state trial court, such as New York Supreme Court
  • service in an administrative capacity in a major court system agency (example, clerk of a Federal court, chief court administrator)
  • service as an ambassador, especially as a political appointee (such as Frederic Jesup Stimson)
  • Queen's Counsel in Canada, the United Kingdom, etc.


Having one or two of the factors noted above is not enough, but four or five are probably sufficient. Having three factors would be borderline.

  • Local trial courts (such as city, town, village, county, family, orphan's and widow's, surrogate's, probate, borough, and Superior Courts) do not count in my mind for notability, so judges at those courts are not notable enough.
  • Local boards, such as planning, zoning, school, and assessment appeals, are not notable enough; unless their status or situation provides them with national notoriety (such as Lewis F. Powell, Jr. when he was board president of the Richmond Public Schools).
  • A lawyer is supposed to argue appellate cases; that by itself is not enough.
  • A lawyer is supposed to try cases; that by itself is not enough.
  • If there is no bar exam, law journal, or court admission for whatever area of law, then there is no such "specialty".
  • Service on the ABA or a state House of delegates is not notable enough.
  • Admission to the Supreme Court of the United States is not notable enough.
  • Campaigning for public office, or managing a congressional campaign or office, by itself, is not sufficient for notability!
  • Service on a political party county or state committee, by itself, is not notable, because many attorneys use such service as a marketing tool or résumé filler.
  • "Superlawyer" lists merely indicate notoriety; that by itself is not enough.
  • Service as a deputy district attorney, assistant county attorney, law clerk in the attorney general's office, or the like, is run of the mill - a very large number of lawyers have such experience.


  1. I have been a managing editor of a law journal at a law school, have judged a major moot court competition, served for years as county committeemen, managed campaigns, clerked for a DA, served on both the ABA and NYSBA House of delegates, and run and lost for public office, so I am below the margin of my own standards.
  2. Compare keeps for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Eugene Michael Hyman and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/William Elfving, with deletes for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Andrea Monti (lawyer), Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Michael Craig (judge), and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christopher du Pont Roosevelt. See also my delete opinion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jeffrey Gordon (lawyer).
  3. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Harry Whittington (2nd nomination) ended in a redirect, although, had I gotten the chance, would have argued for keep.
  4. I'd argued for a weak keep at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/James D. Diamond, which ended up getting deleted. I may have become too inclusionist.
  5. Being an elected official at the local level is completely run of the mill, as there are 1/2 million officer-holders in the USA. Bearian (talk) 21:17, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Law firms[edit]

  • These factors could be used generally for a whole firm, with caution. It is important the notability for partnerships, LLCs or other law firms be documented with more than merely trivial mentions in multiple reliable sources. Boies, Schiller & Flexner is an example of a law firm where two or more of its former attorneys would be notable, as is the whole firm.
  • Being one of the largest U.S. law firms by number of lawyers is a helpful factor.
  • A firm that has been continuously in practice for over a century, such as Rawle & Henderson LLP, almost defintiely would be notable.

Notability of persons in premodern times[edit]

At Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Blastus, User:Ihcoyc, a/k/a Smerdis of Tlön, wrote:

Keep. A handy rule of thumb is this: people who lived before the Gutenberg era are notable if their names were written down in a text that's been preserved.

  • I agree.

Notability of bishops and chief rabbis[edit]

Further information: Wikipedia:OUTCOMES § Clergy
  • I agree.

Notability of mixed martial arts groups and persons[edit]

At Wikipedia:MMANOT, there is an essay detailing the notability of such activities.

  • I agree.

Notability of X in popular culture articles[edit]

These are the standards I see as developing for "X in pop culture" articles:

  1. Are there several possible reliable sources pointing out that X has appeared or been used by popular culture?
  2. Do those sources mention that connection in a significant way?
  3. Is the list sufficiently long and durable such that the list will be more than a stub?
  4. Is it more than merely a list, and has some prose text as a lead?

Notability of Occupy Wall Street protests[edit]

User:Hurricanefan25 suggested some "views on the notability of individual Occupy Wall Street protests", and I accept these guidelines: User:Hurricanefan25/Occupy. Bearian (talk) 21:53, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Notability of classical music[edit]

As a general rule, penultimate and ultimate works of major composers are probably epitomes of their work, and written when they were already famous, so their last work or two are likely to be notable.

Unnamed albums[edit]


Hotties are not necessarily notable; cf. User:GlassCobra/Essays/Hotties are always notable.

Consorts of nobility[edit]

Royalty are almost always notable, even their spouses, children, and grandchildren (queens, princes, and princesses).

First Ladies are always notable. The parents of a President of the United States are almost always notable.

Princes and dukes should be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on their relative rarity. There are only a dozen princes of the United Kingdom, and about 27 dukes existed in England for many years. They are not run of the mill. So individual articles on princesses and duchesses will not overrun the Project.

I am not sure about the notability of Landgrave, Graf, etc. in German/HRE nobility, so would vote weak keep for those, at least for now.

Spouses of earls, marquesses, barons, counts, baronets, and the like (countesses, marquessas/marchionesses, baronesses, ladies, Hon. Mrs., etc.), are rarely notable in their own right, and they do not automatically inherit notability from their spouses, so would go with a delete for them. If their charitable work gains them notice, or if they are included in some group biography, then they might be considered notable enough for their own articles, and I would go with a keep in such cases.

WP:RFA standards[edit]

I am more lax than many Users, such as Kudpung.

I agree that the process is broken, per User:WereSpielChequers/RFA_reform, although I do not endorse all of the the proposals.

User wants to be an admin.

In the meanwhile, I agree with:

  1. User:Dlohcierekim/standards, i.e., "3,000 edits or equivalent service". Work at WP:AfD a big plus. "Generally at least 3 months." But: "History of vandalism, recent blocks, recent serious conflicts (Incivility), demonstrated unreadiness weigh against."
  2. User:WereSpielChequers/RFA_reform#Qualifications, especially (2) "2,000 edits" to "3,500 edits"; (3) "High percentage of manual edits"; (4) "Maturity"; (11) "Civility."
  3. See User:Giggy/RfA criteria for a less serious view. LOL.
  4. See User:Wisdom89/RfA philosophy and criteria for a great overview.
  5. See User:Winger84/Standards for Adminship except that I don't see being open to recall a big concern for me, one way or the other.
  6. See User:Davidwr/Administration is not for new users for a nice essay about why Newbies can't be admins.
  7. See User:Cyberpower678/RfA_Criteria#What_will_get_me_to_support, but not entirely - these are useful: "1. You can be trusted. 2. You have at least 3000 edits. ... 5. You are civil and able to keep your cool."


  • Having rollback privileges is a big plus factor, but not a necessary element. Likewise, file mover, autopatroller, and reviewer rights are helpful.
  • Having an interesting userpage with useful userboxen is a big plus. This is important for me to judge a person's character, and to show that they are part of a community. The only Userboxen that concern me are "phobic" type comments, but otherwise, Wikipedia is a big tent.
  • Having barnstars from editors and sysops whom I respect can be helpful as a plus factor, but is not required.
  • Showing evidence of marked improvement since a past RfA.
Pleez, no moar drama.


  • Not having a user page is a huge minus. It means that the user is not a full member of the community.
  • Evidence of stalking, outing, or other uncivil behavior is also a huge minus.
  • Too much drama can be a tipping point.
  • Poor edit summary usage is a minus.
  • Irregular edit history.
  • I believe that admins must be of suitable age and discretion; in other words, they must be a minimum of 14 years of age under New York law.

WP:RfB standards[edit]

  • One full year's service as a sysop.
  • Activity in blocking, protection, page patrolling, and WP:RfA.
  • One or more barnstars.