Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia in brief

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10 word[edit]

Anyone for a 10 word version?

Wikipedia is a communally created, neutral and unbiased compilation of notable, verifiable facts.

FT2 08:01, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Down with "notability"[edit]

Why does something have to be notable to be included on Wikipedia?

I understand all of the other requirements, and even though I'm simultaneously having a little debate over the "No original research" policy, I understand the need for and reasons behind such a policy.

However, as a proponent of "comprehensive inclusion" on Wikipedia, I insist that facts, no matter how trivial, are still facts. No fact is more important than another simply because it is of greater interest to more people. Everything little fact that is verifiable and might be of interest even to a single person other than the author who visits this website should be allowed recognition on Wikipedia.--Lapin rossignol 03:52, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Then that's not Wikipedia's stance. As a philosopher each fact may be equally valid. But this isnt philosophy, it's an encyclopedia and it tries to present the shape of debate. The place to discuss that question is under village pump and get it changed, not on a specific policy page. Read the other WP guidelines and policies:
  • WP:NOT -- "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information: Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of items of information. That something is 100% true does not mean it is suitable for inclusion in an encyclopedia."
  • WP:NPOV -- "If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties."
  • WP:NPOV -- "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not."
  • WP:Tutorial -- "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Hence, articles should be encyclopedic information about "notable" subjects."
Notability is very broad. For example, the fact that exists may be true, but is not notable even in the pokemon world. The fact that quantum mechanics is a scientific field is true, and notable. In the context of education, intelligent design may be right or wrong as a theory but is notable whichever the case may be. So think of notability as saying "will this really be valuable information to someone, enough to justify inclusion?" (And not just 1 or 2 people). It isn't enough something is a fact. It has to be a fact worth including in an article in an encyclopedia.
FT2 (Talk) 23:10, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Lapin. Any article, even if it only pertains to a few people, is important. The encyclopedia of Diderot is in the past: paper encyclopedias are limited because what they publish must be important enough to be sold to make up for production costs. Not so for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a true encyclopedia because it's electronic. The cost to add one more byte of information is negligible.

It's possible that in the future I come across and find it interesting but I want another POV so I go to wikipedia. The Wikipedia pokemon article may have, at the very bottom of the list, a link to this article, and the article may be only a few words, but I may find that information very interesting. The cost to put that article up (the cost for a _gigabyte_ of storage is around $1.15) is certainly validated by my gratitude for it having been there.

The problem I see is people clogging up the general pokemon article with references to websites like that are "not notable". I see the general pokemon article as being self-sufficient without these types of references, but I also see the existence of another article that may or may not be crossreferenced to the general pokemon article, an article applicable only to the vast minority who visit

What I'm getting at is, if it's true and it doesn't interfere otherwise, why bother removing it? Obscure articles cost nothing yet they impart knowledge. That is the beauty of Wikipedia. -snpoj

Same problem. What you are asking is "why is wikipedia policy as it is?" And that may be a valid question, but it's outside the scope of this page which can only reflect policy as it is, not as others hope it will change to be........ FT2 (Talk) 03:50, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

"Why does something have to be notable to be included on Wikipedia?" Well, if something is "noted", it is be definition, notable. If the article is interesting enough to read, then it has satisfied the "notable" requirement. I only see the "notable" requirement having purpose with regard to referencing. There is certainly a lot of non-notable referencing going on in. I think a useful approach is to read the references as if fully included in the text. If the reference is less useful than it is a distraction, then it should not be there. Good referencing is a difficult skill.--Anthony Duff 03:22, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Is notablility on Wikipedia measured by absolute standards or is by case-by-case basis? Moreover, I feel that the process of measuring notability is highly relative. Article interesting enough to read? This also depends on who the reader is. --Siva1979Talk to me 19:32, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

demote unbiased[edit]

It seems to me that "unbiased" is largely enclosed within "neutral", and that that that is "unbiased" but not "neutral" is not particularly significant. Maybe "unbiased" should be moved from the list to be part of the explanation of "neutral". This would yield: "Neutral compilation of notable, verifiable facts". Sounds much better to me.--Anthony Duff 02:45, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Status of "facts"[edit]

We are told in this entry: "Remember, Facts are never subject to consensus". This is, of course, itself a consensus view. I would argue that facts are often simply that view of a specific aspect of reality with which most people agree. Robma 13:59, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

This is easier[edit]

This can be the easier to understand version of the Five Pillars Of Wikipedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sathyan Bhrama (talkcontribs) .


  • agree strongly. redundant. and erroneous (11 words). completely superfluous. --Quiddity 05:51, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I disagree. I like this article. A good wrap-up. --Ketorin 19:38, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm asking for feedback on some merge-related suggestions, please come give input at Wikipedia talk:Simplified Ruleset#Merge suggestions?. Thanks :) -Quiddity 22:13, 2 June 2006 (UTC)


Re: the merge tags, and discussion, here's my synopsis:

Wikipedia:About#Wikipedia content criteria links to it as the main article, but summarizes it in 5 points. (wp:npov, wp:nor, wp:not, wp:verify, wp:cite)

The definition statement has 6 key-words (neutral, unbiased, compilation, notable, verifiable, facts). (or 7 words with 'Wikipedia', or 11 words if counting everything)

It contains these good links:

  • 4 policies from List of policies#Content (wp:npov, wp:nor, wp:not, wp:verify)
  • 1 style-guideline (wp:cite) (already in the nutshell description for wp:verify)
  • 1 essay (wp:nn) (mentioned throughout wp:not)

and these poor links:

  • a link to the article Bias (which has a selfref to wp:npov; the article itself is short and US-centric)
  • a link to the article Fact (which is in dire need of tag-related attention)
  • a link to the dab Fringe. (possibly fringe science would work, but that has a "sources needed" tag)

I think it should either be merged with, and redirected to, Wikipedia:About#Wikipedia content criteria.

Or, we could rename the page to something like Wikipedia content criteria

I'd be grateful for feedback. Thanks :) -Quiddity·(talk) 02:34, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

My removal of notability mess[edit]

The notability parts were unclear at best and do not reflect any sort of consensus on wikipedia. As such the many subcases were not warranted on a page that could and should be extremely simple. The removed sections are below.

  • Notable: A view is generally considered notable if it is potentially information of value or interest in some way to a significant number of people, or to some perspective, or its omission would leave a significant gap in historical human knowledge of a subject. Even minority, controversial and discredited views are often notable. Often it is valuable to see how people thought, or competing views of the time. By contrast many fringe views are not notable by this definition, because they are not sufficiently significant or had little or minor impact in their field as a whole.

"For information to be included in Wikipedia, it should at a minimum be both notable and verifiable.

  • If it is verifiable but not notable, it is by definition below a certain threshold of importance, and will not usually merit recording, no matter how true.
  • If it is notable but not verifiable, it is effectively hearsay.

"Unimportant matters or hearsay are usually outside the scope of Wikipedia. Notability is a subjective decision formed by consensus of editors when they try to characterize human knowledge and history of a subject or field, in a balanced manner.

"If a view is both notable and verifiable, and not original research, then it may be appropriate to record it in Wikipedia, in which case:

  1. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view ("WP:NPOV") is the core policy that informs how facts must be represented and articles written.
  2. Wikipedia:Verifiability ("WP:V") and Wikipedia:Cite your sources ("WP:CITE") are the twin statements explaining how verifiability should be checked and documented.
  3. Other policies and guidelines cover ancillary matters such as appropriate user conduct, style and content, and copyright compliance."

Ansell 09:42, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

eight words? O_o[edit]

i fail to see how an article about a 9-word-statement explained with 5 main dot points can count as "Wikipedia in eight words". --`/aksha 06:07, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

See #Criticisms above. (How are there 9 words? I count either 7, 8, or 12 currently...)
And I still strongly believe this needs to be merged into Wikipedia:About#Wikipedia content criteria or renamed to Wikipedia:Wikipedia content criteria (or something similar). Almost nothing links here, except Wikipedia:About and usertalk pages. --Quiddity 20:39, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I count 12 words. : ( -- Jreferee 18:37, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

How about this?[edit]

Wikipedia's aim is to be a neutral and unbiased compilation of previously written, verifiable facts.KNcyu38 (talkcontribs) 12:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


With the recent changes in BLP, I think WP:BLP now is part of the article inclusion/exclusion criteria and should have a spot in Wikipedia in brief. -- Jreferee (Talk) 03:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

It looks like this page is just meant to be a short, single-sentence description of Wikipedia's goals and policies. Does BLP need to be shoehorned into that sentence? This isn't a heavily-referenced page anyway: the largest number of links to here come from a single person who cites it (along with many other pages) in her "Welcome, new user" message.--Father Goose 06:12, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I use Wikipedia in brief at AfD sometimes. Lately, BLP has become more significant there. However, I don't see how BLP could be worked into 'Wikipedia in brief.' The thought has been posted here in case someone else want's to consider it. -- Jreferee (Talk) 23:29, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


I just finished a big edit. I dropped "unbiased" as a synonym for "neutral" ("brevity... is wit"). I dropped "it judges the value to users of neutrally representing different views" as complicated and unclear on a page which is trying to be simple. I made a few more wikilinks, and added the principles template, in an effort to give newbies more traction. I added a bullet point for "previously written", and moved NOR into that. Hopefully others will agree with me that this is an improvement. Comments, commendations, condemnations? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:24, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Another change: "Previously written" → "established". I didn't like "previously written" because I can easily see newcomers interpreting that as meaning they must reproduce previous writings word for word. Obvious copyright problem there. I think "established" conveys the intended meaning much better -- information has to be established somewhere else first. My only concern is that "established" can also mean "orthodox" or "accepted by the community", which could lead to problems with interpretation about NPOV. If somebody has a better word, or other ideas, please comment!  :) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 15:02, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


Would anyone object to setting up MiszaBot II to auto-archive this talk page, in incremental mode, with an "old thread threshold" of 30 days, and have said archives indexed by HBC Archive Indexerbot? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:31, 17 December 2007 (UTC)