Wikipedia:Merging

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A merger is a non-automated procedure by which the contents of two or more pages are united within a single page. Merging creates a redirect from the source page(s) to the destination page, with some or all of the content copied and pasted into that page.

Do not use this procedure to propose:

Reasons for merger

There are several good reasons to merge pages:

  1. Duplicate: There are two or more pages on exactly the same subject, with the same scope.
  2. Overlap: There are two or more pages on related subjects that have a large overlap. Wikipedia is not a dictionary; there does not need to be a separate entry for every concept. For example, "flammable" and "non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on flammability.
  3. Text: If a page is very short and is unlikely to be expanded within a reasonable amount of time, it often makes sense to merge it with a page on a broader topic. For example, parents or children of a celebrity who are otherwise unremarkable are generally covered in a section of the article on the celebrity (and can be merged there).
  4. Context: If a short article requires the background material or context from a broader article in order for readers to understand it. For example, minor characters from works of fiction are generally covered in a "List of characters in <work>" article (and can be merged there); see also Wikipedia:Notability (fiction).

Merging should be avoided if:

  1. The resulting article is too long or "clunky"
  2. The separate topics could be expanded into longer standalone (but cross-linked) articles
  3. The topics are discrete subjects warranting their own articles, even though they might be short

Merging—regardless of the amount of information kept—should always leave a redirect (or, in some cases, a disambiguation page) in place. This is often needed to allow proper attribution through the edit history for the source page. Superfluous redirects do not harm anything, and they can be helpful in finding articles, e.g. from alternative names.

You may find that some or all of the information to be merged is already in the destination page. That is fine; you can feel free to delete the redundant information and only add new material. If there is no information to be added to the destination page, you can simply redirect the other page there, but please make this clear in the edit summary.

Proposing a merger

Users may determine whether pages should be merged. In most circumstances, a local discussion should be started to attract sufficient input. This should include the proposal itself, the list of the affected pages, and a merger rationale.

Perform the following steps:

Step 1: Create a discussion

This is usually done on the proposed destination page's talk page, but exceptions exist:

  • If the intended destination is a combination page that does not exist, do not create its talk page, as it may be speedily deleted (WP:CSD#G8) or nominated at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion.
  • Having a discussion on the source page is acceptable. Don't move an existing discussion to another page.
  • It is recommended not to start discussion on a talk page that is regularly archived.

Example: if suggesting that Foo be merged into Bar, create a proposal to merge Foo into Bar in a new section at Talk:Bar. Start a new section at the bottom of that talk page and include the proposal itself, the list of the affected pages, and a merger rationale. A good example is the following section:

== Merger proposal ==

I propose that [[Foo]] be merged into [[Bar]]. I think that the content in the Foo article can easily be explained in the context of Bar, and the Bar article is of a reasonable size that the merging of Foo will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. ~~~~

Notify involved users (optional). As an optional step, it may be necessary to notify users involved in the affected pages, who might not be watchlisting them. Simply go to those users' talk pages and start a new section, leaving a neutral invitation to participate in the merger discussion. Make sure to provide a link to the discussion page. You may also use the following standard templates on the users' talk pages:

{{subst:Mergenote|<source page>|<merger discussion talk page section>}}

Example:

{{subst:Mergenote|Foo|Talk:Bar#Merger proposal}}

Step 2: Tag the relevant pages

Add the appropriate merger template to each involved page:

On the source page(s), add the following template to the very top of the page:

{{Merge to|<destination page>|discuss=<merger discussion talk page section>|date=April 2014}}

Example:

{{Merge to|Bar|discuss=Talk:Bar#Merger proposal|date=April 2014}}

On the destination page, add the following template to the very top of the page or section:

{{Merge from|<source page>|discuss=Talk:<merger discussion talk page section>|date=April 2014}}

Example:

{{Merge from|Foo|discuss=Talk:Bar#Merger proposal|date=April 2014}}

Notes:

  • The "discuss" parameter should contain a link to the new discussion section.
  • If the "discuss" parameter is accidentally omitted, the Discuss link on the template will lead to the top of the destination page's talk page.
  • If the "date" parameter is not used, a bot will add it in a day or two.
  • For mergers involving more than two pages, see the "Tagging multiple pages" subsection below.

Step 3: Discuss the merger

Discuss the merger proposal in the new discussion section; make sure to follow proper decorum and standard talk page guidelines, which includes staying focused on the content, not on the involved editors, using threaded discussion formatting, not biting newcomers, and being clear and concise.

In many cases, a hybrid discussion/straw poll is used, but remember that polling is not a substitute for discussion. Example formatting:

*'''Support''' - <insert reason for supporting merger here> ~~~~
*'''Oppose''' - <insert reason for opposing merger here> ~~~~

Step 4: Close the merger discussion and determine consensus

During discussion, a rough consensus to proceed with the merger may emerge. If enough time (normally one week or more) has elapsed and there has been no discussion or is unanimous consent to merge, any user may close the discussion and move forward with the merger.

General advice:

  • If you propose a merger, and nobody objects within 30 days, then you or any other interested editor may boldly perform the merger at any time.
  • If you see a merger proposal that is older than 30 days, and nobody has objected, and you personally believe the merger is appropriate, then you may boldly perform the merger whenever you want.
  • There is no required 30-day discussion period. If a consensus in favor of the merger is formed in less than 30 days, then anyone may perform the merger whenever they want. If the proposal is obvious (e.g., the mistaken creation of a second page for the same subject under a slightly different name), then a discussion need not even be held.
  • Mergers do not need to be approved by an admin. If the discussion is contentious, however, you can post it at WP:Proposed mergers to get some help.
  • If a page gets merged, and someone later objects, then a new discussion can be held. Mergers can be easily reversed if a consensus against the merger is formed shortly after the merger was performed.
  • If there is a consensus against the merger, or, for older proposals, if there's no consensus or no discussion and you don't believe it's appropriate to merge the pages, then please remove the merge proposal tags, and, if necessary, close any discussion.

In more unclear, controversial cases, the determination that a consensus to merge has been achieved is normally made by an editor who is neutral and not directly involved in the merger proposal or the discussion. If necessary, one may request that an administrator who is not involved close the discussion and make a determination as to whether consensus has been established; such a request may be made at the Administrators' noticeboard.

To close a merger proposal discussion, the {{Discussion top}} and {{Discussion bottom}} templates are used in the following manner:

== Merger proposal ==

{{Discussion top|1=The result of this discussion was to ... ~~~~}}

<discussion>
.
.
.
{{Discussion bottom}}

After closing the merger proposal discussion, place the following template on the source page's talk page:

{{Old merge full|otherpage=<destination page>|date=<date merger was proposed>|result=<result of discussion>|talk=<merger discussion talk page section>}}

Step 5: Perform the merger

See #How to merge, below. The main reason that the merger backlog includes more than ten thousand articles is because the people who support the merger neglect to undertake this final step. Any editor, including you is permitted to perform mergers in accordance with consensus. Merging pages does not require intervention from an administrator.

Special cases

Tagging multiple pages

When proposing that more than two pages be merged, it helps to be as informative as possible.

Add the following template to the top of each source page:

{{Merge|OtherPage1|OtherPage2|OtherPage3|target=<destination page>|discuss=<merger discussion talk page section>|date=April 2014}}

Add the following template to the top of the destination page:

{{Merge from|OtherPage1|OtherPage2|OtherPage3|discuss=<merger discussion talk page section>|date=April 2014}}

Controversial mergers

More than 99% of merger proposals are handled directly by the editors involved in those articles. But if you believe that your proposal will be controversial, then please follow the directions at Wikipedia:Proposed mergers to request extra attention from uninvolved editors.

Merger as a result of a deletion discussion

While mergers are generally not proposed from the onset of Articles for Deletion (AfD) discussions (also see Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Alternatives to deletion), it is not uncommon for editors, in an effort to mediate and/or compromise, to suggest that the article(s) nominated for deletion instead be merged to a parent article. If there is a rough consensus for a merger at the end of a deletion discussion, the following template is placed at the top of the nominated article:

{{Afd-merge to|destination article|debate name|debate closure date}}

Similarly, the following template is placed on the destination article's talk page:

{{Afd-merge from|nominated article|debate name|debate closure date}}

This informs users involved in those pages that content is to be merged as a result of a deletion discussion. It is the involved editors' job, not the closing administrators' job, to perform the merger. Proceed in the manner described above and at Help:Merging.

Merger proposed after a deletion discussion

Merge is one of the outcome options that can be considered at a deletion discussion. See WP:ATD-M. Deletion discussions generally reach a broader spectrum of editors than a particular talk page. As such, talk page merger requests proposed after a deletion discussion, such as at Articles for deletion, where the merge outcome option was raised by someone participating in the deletion discussion, should identify and overcome the reason(s) listed in the deletion discussion when requesting an action different from the outcome of that deletion discussion. This does not apply if a merge outcome option was not raised by someone participating in the deletion discussion. Alternatives to talk page merger requests that follow a deletion discussion include formally relisting the page for deletion through an appropriate deletion discussion venue or posting a request at Wikipedia:Deletion review.

How to merge

A merger may be full or selective. While some mergers can be done boldly, most others (as described above) require a rough consensus.

Perform the following steps to merge an article into another article:

  1. Copy all or some of the content from the source page(s) and paste the content in an appropriate location at the destination page. Save the edit, leaving the following edit summary (as required by the Creative Commons Share-alike 3.0 license):
    Merged content from [[<source page>]] to here. See [[Talk:<merger discussion talk page section>]].
    Ideally, do any necessary copyediting and rearranging in a separate, second edit rather than when you first paste the moved text. (This two-step approach simplifies attribution for the license by separating your contributions from the material that was created at the other page.)
  2. Redirect the source page whose content was just merged by replacing everything with the following:
    #REDIRECT [[<destination page>]] {{R from merge}}
    If the content was merged to a single section within the destination page, it is recommended that the source page be redirected directly to that section. In that case, replace everything with the following:
    #REDIRECT [[<destination page>#<section name>]] {{R from merge}} {{R to section}}
    Save the page, leaving the following edit summary: (also required by the CC-BY-SA):
    Merged content to [[<destination page>#<destination section, if applicable>]]. See [[Talk:<merger discussion talk page section>]].
  3. Tag the destination page's talk page with {{merged-from|source page|date}}, and the source page's talk page with {{merged-to|destination page|date}}. Place these tags at the top of the talk pages.
    As an alternative, experienced users can add {{Copied|from|from_oldid|to|to_diff|to_oldid|date}} to both talk pages. Place at the top of the talk pages.
  4. Check Special:WhatLinksHere for the source page and fix any double redirects. Otherwise, a bot should fix any such problems within a day or two.
  5. Provide further attribution by using the {{Merged-to}} and {{Merged-from}} templates, if not already done in step 3. See the template's documentation and Help:Merging#Performing the merger for more details. If the source page has any merged or copied templates, for example, you will need to copy those tags to the destination page.
  6. Check the merged content for non-free files. If any of these files are present, edit the non-free use rationales to replace the old article title with the new one. This is required under the non-free content criteria.

Pages to merge

See also

Articles to be merged
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