Wikipedia:Help, my article got nominated for deletion!

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Further information: Wikipedia:Guide to deletion

"Help, my article got nominated for deletion!" It takes a lot of work to create an article. New editors who decide to be bold sometimes encounter the deletion process because the new article may be at odds with a Wikipedia policy. Deletion isn't automatic. It's a process. Sometimes the article stays in the encyclopedia.

Very often, a person whose work is nominated for deletion feels hurt and/or gets angry. Maybe it helps to know that plenty of established users have had articles they wrote nominated for deletion and/or deleted. If you think your article should remain on Wikipedia, others are more likely to listen to you if you stay calm and explain why the article is relevant, than if you act upset. Also keep in mind that if an article you created is deleted, it usually has no reflection on you as a writer or editor, but rather on the notability of the subject matter. Try not to make the AfD discussion personal. People will always argue objectively (or at least try to) on whether the article is worthy of being on an encyclopedia or not, and will not associate the article with its creator's ability to create articles. Similarly, attacking those who think the article shouldn't be on Wikipedia is a bad idea. Remember: attack the idea, and not the person. No one will want to delete your article out of spite, but only to do what is best for Wikipedia.

How deletion nominations work[edit]

Another editor saw the article and thought it didn't belong in Wikipedia. Most nominations open a discussion that remains active for several days. The nominator describes why the article seems inappropriate and other editors respond. An administrator evaluates the responses and takes action.

Deletion is not automatic[edit]

Articles may survive the deletion process for several reasons:

  • A consensus of editors believe the article is encyclopedic.
  • The article improves to encyclopedic standards while the discussion is underway.
  • No consensus emerges, in which case the article stays.

A discussion for consensus, not a vote[edit]

The deletion process is really a discussion. Wikipedia has particular standards for deletion and editors explain why they believe certain rules apply. These comments often link to relevant policy pages.

Any editor can comment several times, but they only get to state one opinion about whether the article stays or goes. Editors who change their opinion indicate the change by striking out (like this, with the <s> tag) the previous statement and adding a new one.

Users sometimes try to sway the discussion by trying to vote several times or by getting friends to vote for them. This usually backfires. Administrators can tell how many previous edits a user has made and discount these "votes." The effort may draw negative responses from other editors who dislike these methods of trying to influence the outcome. Also, making multiple accounts to all vote for a certain position is sockpuppeting and violates policy.

How to save the article[edit]

The best is to duplicate it in a subpage (on your user page), then improve when possible (if and when sources are found), then later convert back to an article. Most editors are reasonable people. Be polite and address their concerns by improving the article. Verifiability and/or Notability are often the main issues. For example, an article about an independent film may get nominated for deletion because it isn't in the Internet Movie Database. Other editors might choose to keep it if the article cites Canadian newspapers to prove it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Mention the changes and improvements in the AfD discussion.

Other editors may work on the article too, standardizing the format or copyediting or adding content. This is a normal part of Wikipedia editing. Most changes are helpful. For an example of when working on an article saved it, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Bonny Hicks.

Most of the time an article will be deleted because the sourcing is not good enough. On Wikipedia the general inclusion threshold is whether the subject is notable enough for someone to have written something about that subject that has been published in a reliable source. The very best way to prevent an article from being deleted is to provide as many good quality sources as you can find. If you, the author of the article, cannot find sources than this is a good indication that the subject is not yet ready for a Wikipedia article.

Read up on Wikipedia policies to be sure your article meets acceptable standards. If you think you've met those standards but the improvements took place after most people finished discussion, one final option is Wikipedia:Deletion review.

Some articles will get deleted anyway[edit]

Some article subjects don't meet encyclopedic standards yet. An independent film that hasn't appeared in a film festival, a magazine in its first issue, and an unknown musical band might become encyclopedic later on. First get regular press coverage and meet Wikipedia's requirements for the subject. Save the existing draft before the article gets deleted, then recreate it later once it becomes encyclopedic and verifiable.

Some articles undergo speedy deletion when they fail to fit criteria that Wikipedia editors have already agreed regarding similar articles. One such type of page is an article that libels a living person who is not a public figure. Another type of page that often gets speedily deleted is an article about a little-known musical group. See WP:BIO and WP:BAND.

Some articles just don't belong in an encyclopedia, whether a paper-based one or an online one like Wikipedia. A local slang term which is not very notable from a worldwide view (or which is not covered in popular culture) is a candidate for the Urban Dictionary, not for Wikipedia. A photo album of your trip to Cuba is better off as a Tripod or Flickr site. Your favorite recipe, your advice on how to modify a tube amp, and your suggestions on how to improve your car's mileage could fit in at Wikipedia's sister project Wikibooks. Your amateur garage band which plays at the local pub could have its own Myspace page. If you want to memorialize a deceased friend or relative, you could do so on your Facebook page.

See also[edit]