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The guidline, WP:MERGE provides several good reasons to merge a page:
Duplicate – There are two or more pages on exactly the same subject and having the same scope.
Overlap – There are two or more pages on related subjects that have a large overlap. Wikipedia is not a dictionary; there does not need to be a separate entry for every concept in the universe. For example, "Flammable" and "Non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on Flammability.
Text – If a page is very short and is unlikely to be expanded within a reasonable amount of time, it often makes sense to merge it with a page on a broader topic. For instance, parents or children of a celebrity who are otherwise unremarkable are generally covered in a section of the article on the celebrity, and can be merged there.
Context – If a short article requires the background material or context from a broader article in order for readers to understand it. For instance, minor characters from works of fiction are generally covered in a "List of characters in <work>", and can be merged there; see also WP:FICT.
For this proposed merger, reasons #1 and #2 are most relevant.
WikiDan61, I believe your assumption is incorrect. My understanding is that College Boat Club is a university owned and funded facility that operates to train the varsity rowing programs at UPenn. Although varsity rowing alumni may row out of the club, it appears that College Boat Club is synonymous with UPenn Rowing. For example, team victories are sometimes recorded as "University of Pennsylvania, USA" and other times as "College Boat Club, Pennsylvania, USA" compare 1994 Henely Results with 1955. See official 1994 result. The very end of this College Boat Club article discusses membership and funding of the club in a way than makes me think that it is not accurate to view UPenn Rowing and College Boat Club as separate groups. Perhaps the issue should be clarified in the article. Ciricula (talk) 14:57, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
It is my understanding that College Boat Club would likely be a subset of a larger 'Rowing at Penn' article (maybe the Penn Rowing Tradition). It is my understanding that CBC is A) the official member organization of the Schuylkill Navy and owner of the boathouse B) A banner sometimes raced under by members the larger community of Penn rowing (including current and former members). Thoughts? Hpiranha (talk) 16:46, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
The Rowing at Penn article was meant to eventually document the history, records, rivalries, traditional race schedules, notable alumni, and coaches...I can't disagree with the proposed article mergeHpiranha (talk) 16:49, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Hpiranha, While you don't oppose the merge, I think it is a good idea to leave the merge tags up for a time to see if others have something to add. As for our mutually murky understandings of the relationship and the distinctions between UPenn's rowing programs and College Boat Club, I think it is important to emphasize that we need to find secondary sources that articulate any distinctions because, under WP:VERIFY, it is verifiability -- not truth -- that governs. I mention this because I have suspicions about the interplay between the two, but I have yet to find any succinct secondary sources. Your issue as to whether UPenn Rowing is a subset of College Boat Club, or whether College Boat Club is a subset of UPenn, is a tricky issue that need not be addressed at this time. It's tricky because they overlap imperfectly. Rowing at Penn is not coterminous with College Boat Club because of the University Barge Club years. Further complicating matters, the current UPenn team is a subset of rowers at College Boat Club if, as you believe, former members (non-members) race under the name College Boat Club. I think this issue is best addressed by having Rowing at Penn redirect to College Boat Club so information is easily found and supplemented. If the article grows as you envision, it may be necessary to reorganize, or even split, the article to prevent it from becoming cumbersome; however, there is very little additional information at present. Ciricula (talk) 18:31, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I can't say I disagree. The redirect sounds reasonable as the only hesitation I would have in making College Boat Club the official article would be the issue with cross-referencing (I would assume most people would be looking for information on the rowing program at Penn under keywords like 'rowing' and 'penn.' Few people outside of boathouse row and/or Penn probably recognize the relationship between the two).Hpiranha (talk) 12:24, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Hpiranha, If I understand the reason for your hesitation, and I think I do, I can address your concern by: (1) explaining a little more about how the redirect works; and (2) discussing the possibility of changing the name of the "official" article. First, the Rowing at Penn article will technically still exist and turn up in search results. A merge and redirect (rather than a simple cross-reference) is designed precisely to make sure readers who search for "rowing" and "penn" are sent directly to the information they seek in the merged article. For an example of how this works, see how City of New York; New York, NY; New York, New York; NY City; NYC; and N.Y.C all turn up the article at New York City. Not only do the articles redirect, but they show up in search results. See this example where the search for "ny ny" yields the NY, NY redirect: search results The same will be true for this article with keywords like "rowing" and "penn" even if the searcher did not name your article exactly. Moreover, other non-existant articles should be made to redirect to the merged page. Articles to redirect include permutations of: Penn Rowing, UPenn Rowing, UPenn Crew, Penn Quakers Crew, etc. Second, you raise the issue of whether College Boat Club should be the name on the "official" (merged) page. For two reasons, I think it is best to decide whether to change the name of the article after the merge is complete. The first reason is that changing the name now will seriously complicate the attribution process of the merge that is necessary to comply with Wikipedia's licensing requirements, see WP:MERGETEXT; the second reason is that it might take some time and research to reach a consensus about the name, and I want to remedy the copyright violation issues in the Rowing at Penn article quickly. If you don't object, I will merge the articles (which may take some time) and then set up a discussion section designed to solicit ideas about what the article name should be. I initially chose the name "College Boat Club" because it is the official and original name and I viewed the article in the context of the Schuylkill Navy. Neither of those reasons are determinative under the naming policy. See WP:UCN. That said, I think the name "Rowing at Penn" is more problematic than other alternatives for reasons that I will expound upon in the discussion after the merge is completed. Ciricula (talk) 15:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
The initial name chosen was "College Boat Club" because it is the official and original name and it was viewed the article in the context of the Schuylkill Navy. Neither of those reasons are determinative under the naming policy. See WP:UCN. Previously merged article that is currently redirected was named Rowing at Penn. Ciricula (talk) 18:30, 28 April 2010 (UTC)