Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles

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WikiProject Missing Encyclopedic articles
(% done)
Project page—The goal of this project is to ensure that Wikipedia has a corresponding article for every article in every other encyclopedia. Sign in!
Monthly focus: Mammals 25

Let's finish them off!

1911 verification: 8.6%
ACF Regionals answers: 0%
Hotlist of topics: 85.9%
General topics: 79.6%
Science topics: 92%
Catholic Encyclopedia: 86.2%
Easton's Bible Dictionary: 88%
Encyclopaedia Biblica : 0%
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: 80.6%
Gutenberg authors : 57.1%
Jewish Encyclopedia : 39%
Literary Encyclopedia: 81.9%
List of Poles: 6%
Find-A-Grave: 85.1%
Stanford Archive answers 95%
Missing paintings 44%
Miscellaneous
Many other lists of politicians, songs, TV shows and others.
Overall progress: 63.4%
Spread the word through {{Project missing articles}}

Some Wikipedians have formed a WikiProject to better organize the completion of articles found in other encyclopedias but missing from the English Wikipedia. This is important because to be the most comprehensive encyclopedia on the planet, Wikipedia ought to contain articles on topics that other encyclopedias contain! This is also a good way to counter systemic bias in coverage. See also Wikipedia:Requested articles.

Project goals[edit]

Although the English Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia in existence, this does not mean it covers every topic covered by other encyclopedias. The main goal of this project is to ensure that Wikipedia has a corresponding article for every article in every other general purpose encyclopedia available, including alternative language Wikipedias! Since the main goals are very close to completion, secondary lists from outside sources have been added to the project as secondary goals. The main goals of the project should still remain the main focus.

Progress and status[edit]

This is an ongoing project with over 290 members contributing to 40+ subprojects (as of mid-2014). While difficult to know the exact contribution the project and its predecessors have made, a conservative estimate of 15,000 articles and 30,000 redirects have been created by its members and other contributors. Over 200,000 links have been verified and removed so far, about 300 links per day. A detailed overview of the progress is available.

Instructions[edit]

Your aim is to remove a red-link entry from one of the lists by making a new article or by redirecting it to an existing article. For detailed instructions, see below: Guidelines.

Lists[edit]

Main focus
General topics

Specialized hotlists

Specialized encyc. (Religion)

Specialized encyc.

Crossovers

Other Wikipedias

Constant update

Secondary focus
People

Politicians

Other lists

Places[edit]

Subprojects[edit]

  • Distributed indexing — to give us access to the several scanned encyclopedias which do not have editable-text lists of entries.

Guidelines[edit]

Your aim is to be able to delete a red-link entry from the lists by redirecting it to an existing article or making a new article. First, pick an entry.

Find a matching article[edit]

  • Find a WP article that's clearly on the same topic as the article from the external source (Tip: alternatively you can use this tool which suggests target articles for red links). Make sure the two articles are really about the same thing. If you have any doubt, you can consult online or print encyclopedias to see what they tend to talk about, but remember you are probably reading copyrighted text.
  • Click on the red link in one of these lists, and use the resulting edit page to create a WP redirect. Do so even if the differences between the article names seem trivial (such as differences in capitalization, diacritics, or punctuation). A redirect costs nothing, and it may be useful to a reader some day.
  • Other tips:
    • You may need to create a disambiguation page. For example (not a real example), suppose the external source has an article titled "J. Brown" that is about the WP subject John Brown, and WP also has a James Brown article, or you think that maybe it should one day. You would create a "J. Brown" disambiguation page.
    • Does the WP article contain the target information as a subset, and is the subset obvious to the reader? If so, redirect to the WP article. If the subset is not obvious, you may want to write a short article, using the new title, and in it refer directly to the larger WP article. It's not a stub because you aren't looking for it to be expanded; it is more like a disambig with only one target. Remember, you can't use a redirect to link to a subsection in another article.
    • For biographies, there are lots of ways to write someone's name, and you may not know what form of the name WP is using. One useful trick is search the target name using the WP search (or a site-limited Google search), as the searches allow for variations in special characters, hyphen use, capitalisation and order of names. Another trick is to look at birth/death categories, such as Category:1816 births. Look around the category for possible alternate spellings. In practice, death years are more reliable than birth years, particularly before 1800, but both tend to be unreliable before 1500. If you know basic information about the person - that they were president of a country, for example - try looking to see if they appear in any relevant articles, or on lists of office-holders. Finally, for help on how to write biographies, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography.
  • Reminder: To redirect a page to another; add this message and nothing else:
#REDIRECT [[Target page]], where Target page is the one to be redirected to.

Write a new article[edit]

If there isn't an appropriate WP article, create one.

  • Remember the WP copyright rules. You may have just consulted another encyclopedia as part of your search for the matching WP article; don't let that dictate what you write.
  • Use the WP naming conventions. They may differ from other sources in capitalization and in many cases of personal names. If the correct title has diacritics, they should be used.
  • If you have chosen a title different from the target title, create a redirect or disambiguation page to the new page, as described above. Even if the only difference between the target title and the new article's title is capitalization, create a redirect. Create other redirects to represent reasonable variations on capitalization, punctuation, and diacritics. Redirects are good.
  • You may be able to use material from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica directly since it is old enough that it is in the public domain. Be aware that the world has changed a lot in a century, and 1911EB is not so useful for science, ethnography or geography. You may want to place {{update-eb}} or even {{1911POV}} at the top of the article if you are unsure what is outdated. On the other hand, comparison of 1911 and contemporary descriptions of, say, 18th-century French dramatists shows that the 1911 versions are often more informative (but also more old-fashioned in their critical approach) than the versions in modern encyclopedias. Beware: some online versions of the 1911 Britannica are derived from uncorrected optical scans of the printed books, with claimed copyrighted additions mixed in with the original text. In addition, the scanning process is particularly bad at picking up diacritics, so do check spellings of non-English words against other sources. In particular, Greek text is completely mangled into meaningless junk.
  • If the article you create is a stub (a short article), please give it the correct stub tag. After all, there is no point in making articles if they are never going to reach a high standard!
  • If the same title appears more than once in one of the lists, it's because there are two topics with the same name. To match the coverage, you'll create two new articles (stubs at least) and link them with a disambiguation page.

Pruning the lists[edit]

You can remove your new article from one of the lists, although it doesn't matter if you don't. Several Wikipedians regularly prune the lists. If you do remove any articles, be careful and double-check your editing; it is too easy to delete the wrong line, and it is unlikely that anyone will check your work. Also check the article itself, to make sure that it is not a copyright violation or that it doesn't redirect to the wrong topic. For instance, Yaka redirected to a sci-fi character, but there was no possibility of redirecting to the ethnic group Yaka. Remember our goal is to create articles and content so be careful when creating (and checking) redirects to make sure that they are to the same article. They should not be "smudged" into something related, just for the sake of knocking another one off the list.Your contributions in all forms are welcome.

If you have done a significant number of deletions, update the count and the "% done".

Tips[edit]

  1. Remember to stick to Wikipedia naming conventions!
  2. Check for alternative capitalization and diacritics.
  3. Chinese and Korean use different spellings in Britannica. For Chinese, the main article should use the pinyin spelling, which is the Wikipedia convention; for Korean, use Revised Romanization of Korean. Create a redirect from other variants.
  4. Cyrillic languages also use various spellings. Check them, and possible patronymics (or lack thereof).
  5. If you look up an article, see if the facts concur. You may even be able to add facts to the Wiki article. Check the birthdates too. Wikipedia may be wrong, but so may the other sources. This is a good way to fact-check basic facts. Check for middle names and initials as well.
  6. If the English Wikipedia doesn't have an article, it does not mean that other languages don't. For non-English names and places, you can search in the "home" Wikipedia for the person or topic in question. For proper names which don't need translating, you can check the Global Wikipedia Search to find articles in other languages. Mark it down or, better yet, see if you can find someone to translate it. An automatic translator can be used to get a sense of the article, but care is needed; editing an automatic translation often results in awkward English prose.
  7. See if you can come up with other ways to classify the articles, so that people with particular interests can find something to write about. For instance, you might want to make a Wikipedia:List of missing biology articles, or a list of cities in China that we need.
  8. Don't be afraid to ask someone to help by contributing an article in their particular area of interest. That is how we got Restoration literature, which was missing for a very long time. Muslim League is another example of that.
  9. One of us often tries to get at least one article on the requested article list on Recent Changes.
  10. A good place to look for redirects is here. They have all the towns in the U.S. and England. Be careful though--Wikipedia is still missing articles for townships in many states. If they list something as a slang term, you can likely remove it from the list, or possibly include it in Wiktionary.
  11. Once you have created an article/redirect, leave an edit summary pointing to this project. This is important as it tells reviewers why the article/redirect was made and gains this project some visibility. Suggested edit summary: Created as part of the [[Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles|WikiProject Missing articles]]

Participants[edit]

Sign in on the Missing encyclopedic articles participants page.

Completed goals[edit]

Note: There might be cases when glancing through the completed projects that certain articles seem to have been left out or not created (e.g. Towns and cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants). Contact the person who last edited the project page or added the "complete" banner on the page to find out for the reasoning of why certain articles were not completed or were left out. Accidental omissions could also be a possibility.

Useful article-writing resources[edit]

Tools[edit]

  • Red link checker - toolserver page which checks all the red links on a given wiki page (such as any of the lists of missing articles, above) and looks for similarly named existing articles.
  • Missing Encyclopedic Articles - toolserver page which reports articles with many inter-language links that lack a corresponding article in a given language.

See also[edit]

Other Wikiprojects[edit]

External watchlist[edit]