Wikipedia:Don't be an ostrich

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When standing upright, ostriches have a wide field of view. Try to emulate this one that can sing "Hello, Dolly!"

Nominating articles for deletion can sometimes be a controversial action. Articles on notable authors, scientists, and artists have been nominated for deletion simply because the nominators hadn't heard of them and, more importantly, hadn't put in a little work to investigate the subject.

It is important for editors who create articles to cite reliable sources and assert significance. However, newcomers often need help. Experienced Wikipedians know this, and should act accordingly.

Don't be an ostrich.

Don't put your head in the sand.

Don't keep your head in the sand.

Just because you don't know the subject of an article doesn't mean it is without merit for inclusion on Wikipedia. We do not make our own judgments about the importance of a topic, we use reliable sources instead. Assume good faith in new editors. A little research on a topic you are unfamiliar with will take just as much time as putting an article up for deletion. Once it has been made clear that an article meets guidelines, there is no point in going forward with deletion.

  • If the context seems unfamiliar or non-notable, consider first whether the article or list is a necessary fork of a larger main article or series of lists. Think about whether deletion of the sub-topic would disrupt the overall cohesiveness of the main topic.
  • Before nominating a recently-created article, please consider that many good articles started their Wikilife in pretty bad shape. If the article can be fixed, this is usually preferable to deletion. Unless it is obviously a hopeless case, consider sharing your reservations with the article creator, mentioning your concerns on the article's discussion page, and/or adding a tag such as {{cleanup}} or {{disputed}} instead; this may be preferable if the article has some useful content.
  • Read and understand the Wikipedia deletion policy, which explains valid grounds for deletion.
  • Familiarize yourself with the frequently-cited guidelines WP:BIO, WP:MUSIC, WP:WEB and WP:COI.
  • Read the article's talk page, which may provide reasons why the article should or should not be deleted.
  • Do a search engine test on the topic of the article. This technique is used by supporters for weeding out hoaxes, fictions, and personal theories and hypotheses. It is also used to ascertain whether a topic is of sufficiently broad interest to merit inclusion in the wiki.
  • Click "what links here" in the article's sidebar, to see how the page is used and referenced within Wikipedia.
  • Consider making the page a useful redirect or proposing it be merged rather than deleted. Neither of these actions requires an AfD.
  • Confirm that the article does not meet the criteria for Wikipedia:speedy deletions or Wikipedia:Proposed deletion.

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