Wikipedia:What claims of relevance are false

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Further information: Wikipedia:Relevance

Any editing "rule" can be ignored if it keeps relevant material from getting into an article. This essay informs on when claims of relevancy might seem legitimate but are actually something else.

Claims via similar concepts do not assert relevance[edit]

  • Arguing "it is compelling" is not enough to assert something is relevant.
  • Arguing "it is endangered" is not enough to assert something is relevant.
  • Arguing "it is important" is not enough to assert something is relevant.


In more detail:

Relevant confused with Error editor might make Comments
Compelling Is interesting so it must be relevant (even though off-topic). Find the right article for the material if you think is of interest to readers.
Endangered If it is not stored in Wikipedia it will be lost to the world. Must be material that is useful to readers. No point in saving data that will never be of public interest.
Important Relevant because readers need to know about it (even though only indirectly connected). It must be about the topic of the article and must be important in the eyes of readers. (Moving to the appropriate article could fix this.)

In summary:

  1. Do not put off-topic content into an article solely because its compelling nature argues it is relevant.
  2. Do not put content into an article on the reasoning that if it is not stored in Wikipedia it will be lost to the world.
  3. Do not put content into an article just because readers need to know about it.

Claims of indirect relevance do not assert relevance[edit]

Content must be directly about the subject of the article. Claiming relevance because of an indirect relationship to the subject of the article suggests the item is more about something else than it is about the subject of the article.

Example 1

Maria Emerald is one of 24 featured speakers in a motivational film. She is in the film as a Public relations expert. For this example, assume she is also an expert on Advertising—an expertise of hers not mentioned in the film. However, the film talks about both public relations and advertising. Which should the article on the film say?

  1. Maria Emerald, an expert on public relations and advertising, ...
  2. Maria Emerald, an expert on public relations, ...

The correct answer is (2) and it has a simple reason: "film is not using her advertising expertise." Her expertise on advertising only has an indirect relationship to the film.

Example 2

Using the hypothetical example above, could the article on the film have a section on public relations?

  • Yes, if public relations is one of the topics addressed by the film and then, only to describe what the film says about public relations.
  • No, if the section is essentially a mini article on what public relations is, outside of the film. Public relations in the world only has an indirect relationship to the film. Describing it is not describing the film. The film and public-relations-in-the-world are directly connected to the concept of "public relations"—that's it. They are not directly connected to each other, hence relevance is indirect.

See also[edit]