Wikipedia:New pages patrol/Article namespace checklist

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New page patrolling is intended to catch problems with new articles, and either fix those problems or tag the article for future cleanup by other editors. There are a few basic checks that all new page patrollers should perform on each article they patrol. Following the checklist below can help ensure that our new articles are quickly improved, and not lost in the shuffle.

Article namespace checklist[edit]


  • Is the article referenced? References are essential to Wikipedia articles. If the article is unreferenced or poorly referenced, you may be able to improve the article by adding better references. Otherwise, add appropriate tag(s) to the top of the article (see collapsed box to the right).
  • Is the article categorized? If the article is not assigned to any categories, either add {{Uncategorized}} to the very bottom of the article, or add some appropriate categories to the bottom of the article. It is usually fairly easy to find two or three appropriate categories. If the subject is a living person, it must be categorized in Category:living people.
  • Do other articles link to this article? Click the "What links here?" link (in the Toolbox, left margin) to see how many articles link to the article you're patrolling. If the article has less than three incoming links (from actual articles, excluding pages in other namespaces like User talk, Talk, Wikipedia, etc.) add {{Orphan}} to the top of the page. Conversely, if the article has few or no links to other articles, add {{Deadend}} to the top.
  • Are there versions of the article in other languages? Look below "Languages" in the left-hand sidebar. It may be that, even without translation, the existence of a fuller version with references in another language suggests that, rather than tag an unpromising stub for deletion, it could be tagged with an "Expand" template such as {{Expand Spanish}}.
  • Is the article properly formatted? If the article lacks a proper lead section, add {{lead missing}} or {{lead too short}} to the top of the page. If the article uses HTML markup instead of wiki markup, add {{cleanup-HTML}}. If the citation style is messy, confusing or inconsistent, add {{citation style}} or {{format footnotes}}.
  • Does the article have grammar or spelling mistakes? If so, either fix the mistakes or add {{Copyedit}}.
  • Does the article have any other glaring issues? Check Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup for any appropriate cleanup tags that might need to be applied to the article.

Article namespace checklist tips[edit]

  • Don't be discouraged by the number of things that need to be checked. Once you get into a rhythm, you can check all of the above things in less than 30 seconds. As you become more familiar with patrolling, you will no longer need to "check" for such things, but instead you begin to spot them instinctively.
  • It's preferable to include dates in your cleanup tags, for instance: {{Unreferenced|date=August 2014}}. This helps to quickly track how long an article has suffered from a particular issue.
  • If there are more than three cleanup tags at the top of an article, it's generally preferable to condense the cleanup tags using the {{Multiple issues}} template.
  • Tools exist to help speed up and automate the process of adding cleanup tags to articles, nominating articles for deletion, and tagging articles for speedy deletion. The most popular include Twinkle and AutoWikiBrowser.
  • New page patrollers are highly encouraged to patrol the oldest pages in the queue first (i.e. patrol from the back of the queue). It is often considered disruptive for new page patrollers to add cleanup tags and/or propose the deletion of articles that are only a few minutes old.
  • There are a lot of new pages created every day! New page patrollers are encouraged to fix as many issues as they practically can, and add cleanup tags for any issues that haven't been addressed.
  • Familiarize yourself with the common outcomes for deletion discussions to get a better idea of which articles are usually deleted and which are usually kept.