Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes
|While this essay is not a policy or guideline itself, it is intended to supplement the Wikipedia:Deletion policy page, which should be deferred to in case of inconsistency between that page and this one.|
|Possibly unfree files (PUF)|
|Common decisions & arguments|
|Adminship (RfA) &
|Proposals & policy|
There have been many Wikipedia:Articles for deletion (AfD) debates over the years. This page summarizes how various types of articles, subjects, and issues have often been dealt with on AfD.
For an archive of this page, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Precedents/Archive.
- 1 Citing this page in AfD
- 2 General notability guideline
- 3 People
- 4 Companies
- 5 Education
- 6 Events
- 7 Broadcast media
- 8 Computing
- 9 Lists
- 10 Literature
- 11 Music
- 12 Species
- 13 Geography and astronomy
- 14 Transportation
- 15 See also
Citing this page in AfD
This page summarizes what some editors believe are the typical outcomes of past AfD discussions for some commonly nominated subjects.
This page is not a policy or guideline, and previous outcomes do not bind future ones because consensus can change. The community's actual notability guidelines are listed in the template at the right. Notability always requires verifiable evidence, and all articles on all subjects are kept or deleted on the basis of sources showing their notability, not their subjective importance or relationship to something else. All articles should be evaluated individually on their merits and their ability to conform to standard content policies such as WP:Verifiability and WP:Neutral point of view.
As guidelines and actual practice change, this page should be updated to reflect current outcomes.
Avoid over-reliance on citing these "common outcomes" when stating one's case at Articles for Deletion. While precedents can be useful in helping to resolve notability challenges, editors are not necessarily bound to follow past practice. When push comes to shove, notability is demonstrated by the mustering of evidence that an article topic is the subject of multiple instances of non-trivial coverage in trustworthy independent sources.
This page simply attempts to summarize Wikipedia's common daily practice with respect to deletion debates. If you feel that an outcome common to articles like the one you are discussing does not apply, then give a common-sense or guidelines-based reason why it shouldn't apply. Avoid weak or illogical arguments, such as "Notability is only an optional guideline" or "We always keep these articles".
General notability guideline
- Family members of celebrities are generally merged with the articles about celebrities themselves, unless the family member meets notability requirements themselves, e.g. Ashlee Simpson and Jessica Simpson; not James Fawcett.
- Winners of contests, games of skill, and other competitions are subjects of some disagreement. Such articles are generally kept as notable only at the national level. For example, winners of well-known national spelling bees (like Scripps or CanSpell) may be kept as notable. The typical winner of a local spelling bee is almost always deleted.
- Winners of lotteries and other games of chance are not considered inherently notable and are usually deleted.
- Athletes and other sportspersons are subject to outcomes which vary according to the sport in question. In general, professional athletes in major sports are always kept, players who fail to play in top level professional leagues are often deleted. Participants in sports at a national level are more likely to be kept as notable than participants at a local level. The notability standard for athletes is Wikipedia:Notability (sports).
- Elected and appointed political figures at the national cabinet level are generally regarded as notable, as are usually those at the major sub-national level (US state, Canadian province, Japanese prefecture, etc.)
- Sub-cabinet officials (assistant secretary, commissioner, etc.) are usually considered notable, especially if they have had otherwise notable careers.
- Unelected candidates for a national legislature or other national office are not viewed as having inherent notability and are often deleted or merged into long lists of campaign hopefuls, such as New Democratic Party candidates, 2004 Canadian federal election, or into articles detailing the specific race in question, such as United States Senate election in Nevada, 2010. Note that such articles are still subject to the same content policies as any other article, and may not contain any unsourced biographical information that would not be acceptable in a separate article. See Hong Tran for one such case where someone ran for US Senate in 2006, but had become notable due to media attention.
- Unelected candidates for office below the national level are generally deleted unless previous notability can be demonstrated.
- Leaders of registered political parties at the national or major sub-national (state, province, prefecture, etc.) level are usually considered notable regardless of that party's degree of electoral success.
- Municipal politicians are not inherently notable just for being in politics, but neither are they inherently non-notable just because they are in local politics. Each case is evaluated on its own individual merits. Mayors of cities of at least regional prominence have usually survived AFD, although the article should say more than just "Jane Doe is the mayor of Cityville". Mayors of smaller towns, however, are generally deemed not notable just for being mayors, although they may be notable for other reasons in addition to their mayoralty (e.g. having previously held a more notable office). Note that this criterion has not generally been as restrictive as the criterion for city councillors. City councillors and other major municipal officers are not automatically notable, although precedent has tended to favor keeping members of the main citywide government of internationally famous metropolitan areas such as Toronto, Chicago, Tokyo or London. Unelected candidates for municipal election are not considered inherently notable just for their candidacy and are generally deleted unless previous notability can be demonstrated.
- Politicians who (a) represent a historic first, such as the first woman, first person of colour or first LGBT person elected to a municipal government, or (b) have received national or international press coverage, e.g. for acting as a spokesperson on a major political issue or for breaking the law, are also often found to be sufficiently notable.
Business people and executives
- Presidents, Chief Executive Officers, and Chairpersons of the Boards of Directors of companies listed in the Fortune 500 (US) or the FTSE 100 Index (UK) are generally kept as notable.
- Biographical material on heads and key figures of smaller companies which are themselves the subject of Wikipedia articles are sometimes merged into those articles and the biographies deleted.
- The bishops of major denominations are usually notable. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Communion bishops are generally found to be notable. People listed as bishops in Pentecostalist denominations may fail AFDs unless they have significant reliable third party coverage.
- The chief rabbi of a larger nation state, such as that of Brazil, may also be notable by virtue of their status.
- Companies are not kept on a basis of how much revenue or how many employees they have. See WP:BIG.
- Blatant advertising pages have been subject to speedy deletion.
- Products that have been planned, but not created yet, are generally deleted. See WP:CRYSTAL. However, exceptions have included "future-tech" items which already have substantial referencing behind the fundamental concept, such as fusion reactors, and prominent products in development (e.g. the next version of a computer operating system) for which well-sourced product updates are released on a relatively regular basis.
- Companies reported as significant subjects of news coverage are usually sufficiently notable.
- Local retailers and service merchants (franchises or individually owned) are generally deleted, with exceptions, including businesses with particular historical significance (e.g. the first motel), those centered around a major historical event, or tourist attractions.
- "Populated, legally-recognized places" include school districts, which conveys near-inherent notability to school districts per Wikipedia:Notability (geography).
- Schools are frequently nominated for deletion. The current notability guideline for schools and other education institutions is Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies) (WP:ORG).
- Most elementary (primary) and middle schools that don't source a clear claim to notability get merged or redirected in AfD. Schools that don't meet the standard typically get merged or redirected to the school district that operates them (North America) or the lowest level locality (elsewhere) rather than being completely removed from the encyclopedia.
- Most independently accredited degree-awarding institutions and high schools are being kept except when zero independent sources can be found to prove that the institution actually exists.
- Schools that are being planned or built, except high schools reliably sourced to be opened within 12 months, are being deleted.
- Professors (in the American sense of the word) tend to be kept and deleted in about equal numbers. Prominent tenured professors tend to be kept, while assistant professors without major awards are deleted. The notability standard is Wikipedia:Notability (academics) (WP:PROF).
- Most schoolteachers and instructors below the level of professor are considered not notable, and thus deleted.
- Students are generally deleted as not notable. The notability standard is Wikipedia:Notability (people) (WP:BIO).
- School principals and superintendents are generally not considered notable, with the exception of school superintendents of very large cities.
- Classes, classrooms or lessons are invariably deleted.
- Departments or degree programs within a university, college, or school are generally not considered notable unless they have made significant contributions to their field. Separate articles on law schools and medical schools are being kept.
- The notability of student unions may vary between different countries and different universities. A case-by-case demonstration of notability for each student union should be the prime determining factor. See also WP:UNIGUIDE#Student life.
- Clubs are generally deleted as not notable unless they are syndicated or coordinated on a national/international level.
- Breaking news events that receive a large spike of media coverage are frequently closed as no consensus, defaulting to keep.
- Events that do not indicate a credible claim to importance are now being speedy deleted. See WP:CSD#A7
Broadcast media 
- Licensed radio and TV stations are generally kept as notable if they broadcast over the air and originate at least a portion of their programming schedule in their own studios. Lower power radio stations limited to a small neighborhood, such as Part 15 operations in the United States or stations with a VF# callsign in Canada, are not inherently notable, although they may be kept if some real notability can be demonstrated. Stations that only rebroadcast the signal of another station should be redirected to their programming source (e.g. CICO-TV is a redirect to TVOntario.)
- Internet radio stations are usually kept as notable if they can demonstrate a clear and verifiable cultural notability or influence. AOL Radio and WOXY, for instance, are clearly notable, but your own personal Peercast stream with three listeners is not.
- Satellite radio channels on XM, Sirius or WorldSpace are kept, but if they merely relay an existing conventional broadcast service such as Fox News or Deutsche Welle, then the satellite service should be written about as part the existing service's article rather than as a separate article.
- Television series broadcast nationally by a major network or produced by a major studio are usually kept as they are considered notable.
- Communities, message boards and blogs are generally deleted as not notable.
- Flash animations are generally deleted as not notable, unless they are extremely well-known.
- Programming languages are usually kept if widely used.
- Notability of Internet phenomena is widely disputed.
- Internet radio stations: see #Media.
- Lists and categories have different uses, and lists nominated for deletion because they have overlapping categories are often kept.
- However, this criterion does not mean that it's always necessary or valid to have both a list and a category for any given grouping of topics. Categories which duplicate lists with no obvious purpose for the pairing, or which are attempting to serve a purpose for which a list would be a more appropriate presentation, may sometimes be deleted based on the principles and practices of Wikipedia:Categories for discussion. See Wikipedia:Overcategorization for further information. Lists are sometimes also deleted because they duplicate the functionality of a category and the category serves the purpose better.
- Lists are generally kept if they are limited in scope, are based upon concrete criteria for inclusion, have verifiable content, and have a logical reason for their construction.
- Ephemeral listings of current personnel are generally deleted, except for the ministries of national parliaments, etc.
- Published authors are kept as notable if they have received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work, or if their work is likely to be very widely read.
- Books are notable (and thus kept) if well-known, and should be listed under the author if not.
- Characters and locations from books are often deleted, unless a large amount of information is written on a character. See Wikipedia:Notability (fiction) (proposal).
- Fanfic is generally deleted as not notable
- Poems and other literary texts themselves are often deleted as they often violate copyright; articles about poems or texts are often kept (if the poems/texts are notable).
- Bands and musicians are kept as notable if they have been written about non-trivially by multiple sources.
- Albums are often kept as notable in and of themselves, if the artist is notable. Articles that provide the name of the band and more info than a mere tracklist are kept more often than articles that do not. An article on an album whose artist does not have an article is usually considered a candidate for speedy deletion.
- Untitled, unreleased albums very rarely pass WP:CRYSTAL, and are often deleted — however, once a title and track listing have been confirmed by the artist or their record label for an upcoming release, an article on the album is not a WP:CRYSTAL violation if the information is properly referenced to reliable sources. See also WP:HAMMER.
- Articles on band members are often deleted if listed in an article separate from the band, unless the person is deemed notable for his/her independent accomplishments
- Lyrics are usually deleted, as they belong in WikiSource, unless they are copyright violations
- Articles about songs are generally considered not notable, and deleted or redirected. Songs which have been verifiable Top 40 hits generally tend to survive AFD, although not without dissent.
- Concert tours are only kept as notable if they are well-referenced by third-party reliable sources to show notability in terms of artistic approach, financial success, relationship to audience, or other such terms. Tour articles that only list tour dates and set lists are liable to be deleted, as are articles that are unreferenced or rely only upon fan sites.
- Brand new genres of music are likely to be deleted. For examples of deletions, see Electrocrunk, Christian post-hardcore, Slow grass, Chelpedo punk, Christian fantasy metal, Trance metal, and Alternative bubblegum pop. This is because, even in a postmodern world, new music genres rarely catch on. The articles may be re-created once they garner critical notice or charted sales. Exceptions are rare; see Alternative metal as a contra-example.
All species that have a correct name (botany) or valid name (zoology) are inherently notable. Their names and at least a brief description must have been published in a reliable academic publication to be recognized as correct or valid. Because of this, they generally survive AfD.
Geography and astronomy
- Major geographical and geological features featured on maps, such as lakes, rivers, mountains, mountain passes, etc., generally survive AfD
- Unless a structure is demonstrably historic (like the Eiffel Tower) or otherwise serves an important function to a wide population (such as structures with rotating restaurants, publicly accessible observation decks), stub articles of utilitarian radio and television masts which are only referenced in the FCC database are generally deleted. They have also sometimes been redirected to the relevant tenant radio or TV station, or list of tallest structures in the world.
- Asteroids, comets, stars, etc. may not survive AfD unless they are visible to the naked eye or multiple sources have written about them in detail; see Wikipedia:Notability (astronomical objects).
- For streets, roads and other transportation infrastructure see #Transportation
- Attractions and landmarks often survive AfD.
- Bars, pubs, cafes and hotels may not survive AfD, unless multiple sources have written about them in detail
- Cities and villages are generally kept, regardless of size, as long as their existence is verified through a reliable source
- Larger neighborhoods are usually kept, but their names must have verifiable widespread usage
- Smaller suburbs are generally merged, being listed under the primary city article, except when they consist of legally separate municipalities or communes (e.g., having their own governments)
- Larger malls are generally considered notable. Very small malls, strip malls, and individual shops are generally deleted unless significant sourcing can be found.
- Subway and railway lines often survive AfD.
- A dedicated bus rapid transit line, such as Ottawa's Transitway, is also usually kept, but a regular bus line that travels along normal city streets is not usually considered notable, however, some articles about bus lines in major cities have survived AfD — articles that describe the line's history and social impact in depth are more likely to be acceptable.
- Articles about individual bus routes are rarely notable, recommendations to merge into a suitable list article are common.
- Bus stops are usually deleted as not notable, with the exception of certain hubs in major cities.
- Most numbered roadways are acceptable if they can be described beyond the route itself.
- In the U.S., state and interstate highways (aka: freeways, turnpikes, expressways and motorways) are usually kept.
- In Canada, any highway that is part of a province's or territory's official highway system is usually kept.
- In the U.K., motorways are usually kept. 'A' roads are usually kept if all or part of the road is trunk or primary. 'B' roads are usually deleted or merged (see below).
- Highway exits should be listed in an article on a highway, not as a separate article, except for some highly notable ones (e.g. the Springfield Interchange near Washington, D.C.).
- County roads are disputed, but are kept if genuine fame or notability is demonstrated. If the notability claim boils down to "it's notable because it exists," however, then redirection to a single merged list of that county's numbered roads is more common.
- City streets are contested, but minor streets are generally deleted.
- Major, unnumbered streets and roads beyond the level of a side street or neighborhood roadway have varied outcomes. An article that explains the social, cultural, historical or political context of a road in depth is more likely to survive AfD than one which merely describes the road's physical characteristics.
- In the UK, motorway service areas are not considered to be equal to rest areas in the rest of the world and are generally kept as notable.