Wikipedia:Credible claim of significance

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"WP:Significance" and "WP:SIGNIF" redirect here. For the now-historical Significance guideline in use until 2006, see Wikipedia:Notability/Historical/Significance. For Wikipedia's current Notability guideline, see Wikipedia:Notability.

Wikipedia's speedy deletion criteria A7, A9 and A11 state that certain pages can be speedy deleted if they don't make a "credible claim of significance or importance" (among other requirements specific to each criterion). Wikipedians have often struggled with this aspect of these criteria, and may ask the question, what does it mean?

Significance is a much lower standard than notability. While the inclusion of reliable secondary sources may itself be an indication of significance, not including any sources is entirely irrelevant to an assessment under these speedy deletion criteria.

The following are important points to keep in mind about significance:

  1. A claim of significance need not be supported by any cited sources, much less by inline citations to reliable sources.
  2. A claim of significance need not amount to a statement that, if sourced, would establish notability.
  3. Therefore, a claim of significance need not pass any of the general or specialized notability guidelines, such as general notability guideline, music notability, or biography notability guideline.
  4. A claim of significance need not be self-evidently true, but should not be blatantly false. A blatant hoax, or a claim so improbable that no one but a conspiracy theorist would believe it is not a plausible claim of significance.
  5. Any statement which, if reliably sourced, would be likely to persuade some of the commentators at a typical articles for deleteion discussion to keep the article is a claim of significance.
  6. Any statement which plausibly indicates that additional research (possibly offline, possibly in specialized sources) has a reasonable chance of demonstrating notability is a claim of significance.

"Credible claim of significance" is a two-part test: Credible and significant. A good mental test is to consider each part discretely: a) is this reasonably plausible? and b) assuming this were true, would this (or something that 'this' might plausibly imply) cause a person to be notable? Or, in line with point 6 above, does it give plausible indications that research might well discover notability? So, a claim that the person is the King of Mars would satisfy b, since a person who's King of Mars would almost certainly have coverage in sources that would constitute notability, but of course it fails a, since it's not plausible. Conversely, an article describing a subject whose main claim to fame is that they've been the top of their class for the last four years would pass a, since it's quite plausible for that to be true, but not pass b, since that kind of thing is not likely to lead to notability.

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