Talk:Notability in the English Wikipedia

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This should probably be renamed to something similiar to Notability (Wikipedia) or Notability in Wikipedia so as to assert that the subject is Wikipedia's concept of notability and not the dictionary's. ThemFromSpace 06:24, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. –xeno talk 06:37, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Done. Radiant chains (talk) 06:38, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


We'd never have an article about something like "reporting standards for CBS News" or "editorial inclusion policies of the Wall Street Journal" even if we could find three sources that have talked about it. It wouldn't deserve an article on its own and would be merged into the CBS News or Wall Street Journal articles.

Accordingly, this should be merged into the article about Wikipedia. To do otherwise would be to apply special standards to articles about ourselves. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:16, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that this article comes off as a section that's been stretched through OR. –xeno talk 16:19, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I know we have The Economist editorial stance and there may be others. The article has only just been born and there is plenty of academic work on Wikipedia, probably on notability too. I can't believe that I'm having to argue that Wikipedia's concept of notability is notable! This is 2009, not 2001. Rd232 talk 16:37, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Irony =) We has it. –xeno talk 16:58, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Many more articles discussing notability on wikipedia[edit]

Many of these articles could be added to this article too:

  • New York Review of books: "a narrow, almost grade-schoolish notion", "bullies, who take pleasure in wrecking and mocking peoples' work", "Notability purges' are being executed throughout Wikipedia by empire-building, wannabe tin-pot dictators masquerading as humble editors.", "book burners"; [1]
  • Guardian: "self-promoted leaf-pile guards appeared, doubters and deprecators",[2]
  • Guardian: "There are some people on Wikipedia now who are just bullies, who take pleasure in wrecking and mocking people's work..." "Inside, Wikipedia is more like a sweatshop than Santa's workshop"[3];
  • Telegraph: "The notability debate has spread across the discussions like a rash", "Newer folks feel like they're wielding a machete, not planting new trees.", "…in the past few years Wikipedia has changed; it now takes short stubs and throws them in the trash can, and excoriates those who have the temerity to create them."[4];
  • Washington Post: "Why does Wikipedia have a "notability" standard at all?...Wikipedia already maintains rules concerning verifiability and privacy. Why does it need separate rules governing "notability"?"[5];
  • PC PRO: "For an example of the dark side [of Web 2.0] running out of control, though, check out Wikipedia…In the NYRB article Baker explains how Wikipedia continually struggles to repel vandalisation...but as a result is now ruled by bands of vigilantes who delete all new material without mercy or insight. This is such a strong claim that it needed checking, so I decided to attempt an edit myself…I wrote a roughly 100-word potted history of [The Political Quarterly]… within five minutes I received a message to the effect that this entry has no content…and has been put up for "express deletion…It seems Wikipedia has completed the journey by arriving at an online equivalent of the midnight door-knock and the book bonfire".[6]
  • Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia wars erupt: At the heart of the include-exclude issue is the idea of notability, which a Wikipedia policy page defines as "worthy of notice." The problem is that deciding what counts as notable -- and who gets to decide it -- is a hopelessly slippery pursuit...if even a small number of useful articles are being deleted in the name of keeping Wikipedia clean, isn't that like allowing a few innocent men to hang in favor of a lower crime rate? "Wikipedia's community has become so rushed, so immediatist, that it is not willing to allow embryonic articles even a tiny modicum of time to incubate"[7]
  • Info World Wikipedia topics are selected for inclusion on the basis of their notability, which is subjective and fosters discrimination and elitism, "the very things the Wikipedia is against." "Unlike academic journals and other legitimate reference sources, the Wikipedia has created new and anonymous elite 'editors' and administrators"[8]
  • The Age Mzoli's Meats was deleted in 22 minutes...The two weeks of furious debate that followed was summarised [as the following]: "The Wikipedia that Jimbo (Wales) originally created takes short stubs like the one he created and turns them into articles; stubs should only be deleted when there is no reasonable hope that they will ever cease to be stubs. Unfortunately, in the past few years Wikipedia has changed; it now takes short stubs and throws them in the trash can, and excoriates those who have the temerity to create them. This stub is being saved only because it was created by Jimbo."..."The old timers remember the early days when we used to say 'ignore all rules' and 'assume good faith', but people tend not to emphasise that now,"[9]
  • "More on Wikability The arguments for a notability guideline don't hold up: Disptues these arguments:
  1. "Wikipedia does not command infinite Web space. Servers cost money."
  2. "Banning the notability guideline is an invitation to sock puppetry."
  3. "Facts about nonfamous people are difficult to verify."
  4. "Wikipedia articles about non-notables get policed less."
  5. "How many George Bushes?"
  6. "Wikipedia would turn into MySpace."

Ikip (talk) 20:33, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

My concern is that the article is being created to be self-congratulatory, and that "well, some sources outside Wikipedia are talking about it, so it deserves an article" is just an excuse. If the article does include negative as well as positive references from outside sources, it would alleviate my concern.

So I would approve of adding a good selection of those to the article (adding every single one probably violates Undue Weight). If the article is actually what it claims to be, this would improve it. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:36, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Negative as well as positive references?? Have you read the controversy section? Rd232 talk 16:03, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
One could just as well argue that many biographies are created for promotional reasons and the fact that they satisfy the general notability criterion (which can be summed up as "some sources outside Wikipedia are talking about it") is just an excuse. Excuse or not, it's a good excuse because it's the type of excuse that enables a lot of stuff to be kept. I don't see the article as very self-congratulatory. Opinions obviously differ. The main purpose of an article such as this should explain what 3rd party sources are saying about notability. Many of them are not "negative" or "positive" but informational. --C S (talk) 01:15, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Should the page title be "Notability on Wikipedia" instead of "Notability in Wikipedia"?[edit]

I believe in general that the preposition "on" is used for websites rather than "in". Oren0 (talk) 03:17, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Style Issues[edit]

Is it just me, or is much of the problem with this article the cramped, pedantic style, and the bureaucratic tone. This is acceptable for WP policy and guideline pages, but surely unacceptable in an article like this. If I begin to make changes it will only be to make the style more fluid and accessible.--Moloch09 (talk) 09:19, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Feel free. I'd be the first to acknowledge that it's just a first draft. Rd232 talk 13:22, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Apologies if I seemed to have attacked just one editor. I thought it had been blandified by the AfD. If it's all one person's work, you deserve praise not blame. Tough subject. I should also have been more precise about the style is a bit jargon filled. It's really just the 'sourcing' para. I'll see what I can do, but please accept my apologies for the slightly crabby tone on my comment. Too long on AfD--Moloch09 (talk) 17:28, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Historical record[edit]

I'm not sure how you marry up the historical record within the history section, but the earliest I've found is Sept 2005, although it is possible it existed before then. Obviously it contradicts the later history, but I guess per WP:NPOV we need to reporesent both the historical record and what Jimmy has said. Hiding T 13:29, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

What do you mean? Wikipedia:Notability goes back to Sep 2006. You mean something in the history of WP:NOT? Rd232 talk 20:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Never mind, I see WP:N (music) old revision from Jan 2005. However WP:N (music)'s earliest revision is from October 2005; I don't get that. Also these records contradict the external sources, I think; or at least it's not clear to me how to disentangle that. Rd232 talk 20:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Like I say, NPOV means we have to summarise both points of view, and WP:PSTS allows us to describe primary sources. I don't know why the external source contradicts the record, but per WP:NPOV, "all sources have biases — what matters is how we combine them to create a neutral article. Unbiased writing is the fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate, including the mutual perspectives and the published evidence." Hiding T 03:44, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I think we need to distinguish between what PSTS allows and what we ought to be doing when talking about ourselves. We are all leveraging unique and obscured (to the reader) experience on a subject which is relatively arcane. The chance that we will end up speaking in a voice which isn't neutral and being the first to do so is pretty good. when the world needs a detailed and loving description of the history of notability, someone will publish one. We should display an excess of caution when expanding this article. Protonk (talk) 03:54, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Diffs as a reliable source[edit]

Diffs surely cannot be used as a reliable source? they are a reliable source that a diff occurred, not as source to providing sourcing for our views of what the difference meant for policy? --Cameron Scott (talk) 22:27, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

  • They're being used to support that a diff occurred, not to provide sourcing for our views on what the difference meant for policy. That can only be done in so far as the edit summary used in the diff would allow, since the diff would support that. I've pointed to relevant policies elsewhere on this page. The diffs are not being used in any manner except descriptive of the diffs themselves. Hiding T 03:47, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Huge problems with the article[edit]

  • original research based on primary source: wikipedia itself.
  • Since when Uncle G &c. became reliable sources? Twri (talk) 22:36, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Quotations from works of nonnotable postgrads, such as Kathryn Tabb: her childish text in a publication of dubious authority adds nothing serious to understanding of the concept beyond the wikipedia policy ityself.
  • A coatrack of quotations from various bloggers/journalists which are nothing but show-off of their witticisms.
  • Wikipedians writing about wikipedia is a paradoxical WP:COI, but I leave it as a professional joke.

While some pieces seem reasonable, its growth must proceed with extreme caution. Twri (talk) 22:35, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Take a gander at anything in {{Wikipedia}}. It is obvious we write more about ourselves than other issues, all things equal. I think bemoaning the practice of navel-gazing won't actually stop it. I don't mean that as a slight, you have raised some important points about the article. I just despair that anything will be done with this. The content here should rightly be merged into Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia, but I'm not holding my breath. Protonk (talk) 22:48, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
no it clearly shouldn't be merged into Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia just because that existed before. Instead, both should be merged into a new Wikipedia inclusion policy or something like that. Comments? Rd232 talk 23:40, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't follow you. Why should this article not be merged into an article that existed before? I'm not arguing that simply because the article existed before that all following articles are subordinate. I'm arguing that the basis for this article is lightly covered in another, more balanced article (and many of the sources and a few of the quotes are redundant). We would be better off covering specific third party mentions of the notability policy in the article on deletionism/inclusionism because that's invariably what the sources are talking about. Tim Noah devotes some time to the policy itself, but most of the article is a combination of whining that his entry faced deletion and rehashing the "NOTPAPER" debate. Segal's comment relates to the policy in a way, but the article is just the same "there are geeks out there stopping people from putting whatever they want on wikipedia!". This whole back and forth fits perfectly under the deletionism/inclusionism article. Protonk (talk) 00:33, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
That may be the focus of the coverage (I suppose), but it is logically a smaller topic. Deletionism/inclusionism as editing philosophies etc and notability guidelines both fit well into Inclusion Policy - much better than notability guidelines fits into deletionism/inclusionism. I think anyway. Rd232 talk 02:06, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not being clear. The third party sources this article cites deal predominantly with deletionism/inclusionism topics, broadly defined. The remainder of the content which deals exclusively with WP:N (the policy) are diffs or past revisions on wikipedia. Protonk (talk) 02:17, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
"deletionism/inclusionism topics, broadly defined" - yeah that's what I'd call "Inclusion policy", looking at it from the point of view as WP as encyclopedia that needs somehow to decide what to include, not from the point of editors' "opposing philosophies" (to cite the del/inc article). I'm not sure I can state any more clearly that the first one is a broader topic than the second, and that's why I'd merge as I said above. Rd232 talk 03:14, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't really understand, but I don't think that we will reach any agreement on the subject. Regardless, if we think that the two should be merged into a common article how is that functionally different from merging this article into the other without creating a new one? I think the thing we have to determine is whether or not there is enough daylight in what the secondary sources have to say in Del/inc and what they have to say in this article. Near as I can tell, the big differences between this article and the del/inc one is OR in the history section. Protonk (talk) 03:47, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
The functional difference would be in the focus of the resulting article, namely (a) how does the largest community-edited encylopedia decide what's included (b) what philosophies do groups of editors of that encyclopedia have in relation to what should be included. If you accept that the philosophies are accurate descriptions of individual editors' views and that those views drive their decisions dogmatically and there are no other issues or factors then A=B. Otherwise, A includes B. Rd232 talk 04:02, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree with that syllogism in the slightest. Nevertheless it is still beside the point. I don't think there are enough sources dealing with this topic substantively enough for it to be a standalone article. Also, we really have to be careful with overemphasizing the importance of this issue. All of us in this conversation are far more invested in "how does the largest community-edited encylopedia decide what's included" than the average reader. I think that we have a temptation to overcover it. Protonk (talk) 04:15, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Who's arguing for "it" (notability?) to be a standalone article? We currently (now the AFD has concluded) have Notability in WP and Deletionisim/Inclusionism. We agree that this should be merged into one article and (I think) that the resulting topic is notable enough by WP normal standards for inclusion. The only question is what the title (and hence focus) of the merged article should be. PS It is ludicrous to suggest that this is "overcovered". This is a major aspect of a top-10 website and you know the reams of trivia, cruft and WP:NOTNEWS violations we have. (This is not WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS, this is "crap exists and this isn't crap"...) Rd232 talk 12:59, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not convinced. Notability is a subject that even within wikipedia receives outsized coverage relative to its importance. Also simple because other things are overcovered (star wars minor characters and whatever) doesn't mean that coverage of this is sober and proportional. This is an interesting window into the web and web 2.0 and should be noted as such. There are secondary sources which cover the subject. but my main point, that we will be unable to render a neutral, OR-free article on this issue remains. Protonk (talk) 17:53, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I think I get your view on that. What I don't get is why you think merging it into Del/inc is better than merging it and del/inc into a new article. Rd232 talk 20:21, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
The actual selection of the title is cosmetic (though "inclusion policy of wikipedia" basically == Notability in Wikipedia). If both get merged into a new article whose focus is on the community philosophies (and consequently the community standards) or wikipedia, ok. I say "ok" because I still insist that the bulk of the sourcing relates to those philosophies and the conflict between the expressed or implied philosophy of open editing and the notion of deletion or paring down. Protonk (talk) 05:20, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Uncl G is not a source, the edit itself is. It is a primary source, and is used per WP:PSTS, in a descriptive manner. The edit itself is reliable and is usable to support descriptive claims. Unless you are suggesting the article does not describe the edit, there's no issue with using the edit as a source. It's exactly the same as using a work of fiction as a source in an article on that fiction, for example for plot summary. I've restored the edits on that basis. Hiding T 03:39, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

For the record:[edit]

A reliable source would be a person, such as a qualified historian, who has actually done the legwork and published xyr findings. That legwork would involve looking through the AFD (and other) discussions in 2005 and 2004 through which the PNC first developed, as well as interviewing the people involved. The only person who has ever approached me on this subject is Ryan Paddy, who was writing User:Ryan Paddy/Origin of primary criterion for notability. I was not able to help with the legwork at the time. Rossami helped with some background at User talk:Ryan Paddy#re: Origin of the notability concept. To my knowledge, which may of course be incomplete, no historian has actually properly researched and published work on this.

I suggest not performing primary historical research, through firsthand analysis of Wikipedia edits, here. That's the proper domain of historians researching historical analyses, not encyclopaedists writing an encyclopaedia. Look at sources where research and analysis has already been done and published. Start with this one:

  • John Broughton (2008). Wikipedia: the missing manual. O'Reilly. pp. 62–66,70,73,256,360–362,365,369–370. ISBN 9780596515164. 

I also recommend looking at this, in particular its references and further reading sections, to see how wiki-written documentation can be further reading (i.e. "other publications that have not been used as sources and may provide useful background or further information." that "cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article" itself) but is not a reference.

(By the by: Note the examples therein of how to cite such documentation with the ordinary {{cite web}} template, so that Wikipedia mirrors do not have the trouble with self-references that they do with the ill-thought self-referential headnotes, which don't work for mirrors, that are on several of our articles including this one. Cite such pages as you would any other WWW page, and the mirrors are the better for it, since they gain links to additional resources that they would otherwise lack. If the mirrors are the better for it, so are the readers using those mirrors. Remember the readers.)

If you want to perform primary research, in order to help any historians who may want to publish on this currently undocumented aspect of Wikipedia (how the PNC came about), please contribute your primary research to Ryan Paddy's page, not this article.

Uncle G (talk) 11:22, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Result was no consensus. --Cybercobra (talk) 05:31, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I propose that this page and Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia be merged into a new page. The name could be Inclusion on Wikipedia, Article standards on Wikipedia, or another name. This could also allow some pieces of the large Wikipedia articles to be cut and moved into this creation. Any thoughts?--Ipatrol (talk) 21:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

tentative [support]. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Certainly has merit. I tentatively think it is a good idea - the Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia would be a subsection on editors differing standards on notability. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

This vote [referring to premature straw poll - see history] is not only evil but premature - proponents of the merge need to work out the title and scope of the proposed target. Skomorokh 21:04, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. my impression is that Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia works as a subsection of Notability in Wikipedia. My vote above is tentative anyway and am happy to change. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:08, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, by "vote" I mean the process. The proposer and you are already supporting different things – a straight support/oppose straw point at this point would yield incoherent results. Polls only work when the options are clear. Regards, Skomorokh 21:10, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
seems fine. As I note above in the discussion, the content in this article (Even though it shares many cites w/ the merge target) actually fills a needed gap in the merge target and prevents us from being tempted to over-cover WP:N in articlespace. Protonk (talk) 21:37, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
A consolidated article on notable aspects of Wikipedia's editorial policies is a good idea. However, the title should eschew jargon and terms of art whose significance in this context is not readily apparent to the general public. Consider that an independent encyclopedia writing about Wikipedia might use a caption such as "Wikipedia editorial policy." ~ Ningauble (talk) 22:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I find it hilarious that editors can say !vote, but not vote. It is like asterisks for letters in profanity. What is that called? Yet another legal fiction of wikipedia. Ikip (talk) 03:58, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I have made this into a discussion, please don't make it a vote until we sort out the name and scope of the new article.--Ipatrol (talk) 23:36, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

OK then, my view would be that Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia as a topic is clearly as subset of Notability in Wikipedia, the main gist being that is what deletionists and inclusionists are arguing about is where to put the benchmark of notability. The other benefit is that Notability in Wikipedia is a better more succinct name. So then...who agrees? Shall I make this a concrete proposal? Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:46, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't know that one is a subset of another. I think that a big portion of what deletionism/inclusionism are relates to how and when a community decides to draw borders. We have an inclusion policy because we are a project of both deletionists and inclusionists, attempting to grope toward some identity. Protonk (talk) 01:30, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Notability is only one of multiple distinct benchmarks argued about. Much of the debate at pages like NOT, TRIVIA and BLP1E go beyond notability to talk about broad types of articles allowed, article content, harm to subjects, etc. –Pomte 02:56, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I would support this, though to be honest I'm not sure which aricle is a subset of the other. I think we only need one article on this subject, but perhaps it should be called something like 'Wikipedia inclusion policy'. Notability is not the whole story, as articles are deleted for many other reasons; but conversely, the deletionism/inclusionism debate is only one part of a larger issue. Robofish (talk) 16:08, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed - Wikipedia inclusion policy or the like. Rd232 talk 08:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Is anyone else catching a sniff of irony? I had to ask. Notability, as a concept, can drive mergers, not just deletion, which seems neglected here. In my opinion, that merits separate articles, and besides, the article is about the conflict of ideology, which has been specifically covered by the press, whereas this article is about the concept of notability as it applies to wikipedia. Tealwisp (talk) 03:59, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose merger - deletionism and inclusionism are not subsets of the concept of notability. They are philosophical approaches to managing Wikipedia, and this article is also largely about the controversy that exists surrounding these differing views. Furthermore, notability is only one of the criteria used for determiningwhether an article could be deleted. Tarinth (talk)
  • Oppose merger - As above. Plus, I note that the deletionism article is substantially larger than this one, to the point where I feel that merging this into the larger article would take too much space and just make the whole thing ramble on.Teal Thanatos (talk) 21:19, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I just don't see it as a viable option. Dvs.I is an essay describing 2 viewpoints of the approach to editing WP, where this is a descriptive essay about notability. I just don't see the direct connection. (unless we're using the Bacon number thing) — Ched :  ?  21:38, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose merger - As above. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 08:55, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
  • comment - i think this is a very bad suggestion, as i don't see how it relates to notability article... (talk) 02:48, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose merger Just another effort by deletionist to destroy something. There is no reason for the other page not to exist. Any merge would result in them trimming/butchering the content. Dream Focus 02:02, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

NYT article[edit]

I think my removal makes this the third time this has been removed from the article. (article)

  1. It doesn't mention notability at all ---My mistake, edit note was supposed to read "reliability" not "notability".
  2. The reason for the ban was due to inaccuracies. Saying that more sourcing for notability would fix this is synthesis. ---Reading "reliability" for "notability" in the note, if sources specifically reliable for the topic in question (Jesuit activity during the Shimabara Rebellion) had been used, either no such claim would have been made, or if made, it would have been backed up.
  3. This edit summary makes no sense. Sources are not notable. Subjects are notable, sources are reliable. ---Reading "reliability" for "notability" in the note, the edit makes sense, if you grant that the section is about sourcing as a second basic WP concern, in addition to notability.

This article is almost completely irrelevant to the concept of notability. The only purpose this seems to serve here is to pad the article with "high quality" sources from widely known organizations in order to make the concept seem more important than it really is. Mr.Z-man 05:53, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

The section's about using reliable sources, the topic of the NYT article. Make sense now? -MBHiii (talk) 23:39, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Not at all, because that statement doesn't address the main concerns in Mr. Z man's post. I could make any section in this article and find a source relating to my section title without it being intrinsically related to the title. Protonk (talk) 00:36, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, sourcing is certainly a concern on Wikipedia, but this article is about notability. There is a difference between sourcing to establish notability and sourcing to verify content. This article is about the former, the NYT article is about the latter and even then, only if you read between the lines and equate "errors = lack of sourcing". Its a very tenuous connection at best, I don't see what it adds to the article at all, except a false inflation of legitimacy ("Even the New York Times is writing about this"). Mr.Z-man 01:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

A new article[edit]

I propose we create a new article entitled Coverage of topics in Wikipedia by merging this article and Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia. This addresses the concern raised in the merger discussion above, namely, the former isn't a subtopic of the latter (or vice versa). The proposed title is also more neutral, which translates to more room for growth. -- Taku (talk) 12:19, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

What is the Point of This Article?[edit]

Is this article just regurgitating information on the notability page?
Is it a timeline of how the notability policy has evolved?
Is it a summary of third party perception of the policy?
Is it satire? article about notability that lacks notability?

Based on the article's title and lead section, there doesn't appear to be any reason for this to exist beyond the policy page. Having read the article, the discussions here, and the archived deletion proposal, I can't make heads or tails of what about this, in its current form, is encyclopedic.
What am I missing?
--K10wnsta (talk) 00:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

From the lead[edit]

I removed the following sentences from the lead section, as the rest of the article does not discuss this content at all. The purpose of the lead is to introduce the subject and summarize the body. This currently does neither.

Notability policy has sometimes precluded the option of certain elements of the scientific community publishing their work via Wikipedia, and made it necessary for stand-alone wikis to be developed, as "a scientific paper will rarely be notable enough to gain its own page in Wikipedia."[1] The Gene Wiki project, however, sought to satisfy Wikipedia’s notability criterion by initially limiting its effort to genes with the most linked references in PubMed.[2]

-- Mr.Z-man 01:53, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


Is it really correct to say the "author" of the pages linked in the first two references is the wikipedia foundation? If it linked to a specific entry by the foundation, yes but it links to the actual live pages which are undergoing and have undergone significant editing by multiple editors who are not and have no connection with the wikipedia Foundation. --Cameron Scott (talk) 13:02, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Notability requirements for Actors/Actresses[edit]

Is there a specific set of criteria/requirements for an Actor or Actress to have an article about them? Or does the general Notability in Wikipedia suffice?-- Avazina, (Talk to me) DEMs are morons. 16:23, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Note that this is the wikipedia article about notability on wikipedia, not the wikipedia guideline, WP:NOTE. If that is confusing, don't feel ashamed, this sort of navel-gazing article is bound to confuse people. For actors, you would want Wikipedia:Notability_(people)#Entertainers. Protonk (talk) 16:35, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thank you.-- Avazina, (Talk to me) DEMs are morons. 18:38, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Verifying a statement that someone is or was a "significant contributor"[edit]

I hope the suggestion that follows is not presumptuous from someone who has worked with WP for less than a month. If it is an acceptable starting point for a discussion somewhere else please reroute me.

"Verifying" the importance of Robert Allen Smith in Malvern, Worcestershire led to the suggestion presented below. Although he is not the subject of a WP article he was a Fellow of the Royal Society and received an OBE. He played major roles in developing solid state physics in the UK and became Presient of Herriot-Watt University. His obituary in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society "verified" this. It lists several scientists and engineers in his department who went on to distinguished careers in other institutions. There are no WP articles about some of them, and none about five or more other members of his staff who became senior academics with rank and publications comparable with his one time staff who do have WP articles.

I suggest the descriptor "significant contributor" for people who should be mentioned in WP articles for their work in science and engineering who are not the subject of WP articles, but who meet certain criteria of "verifiability" of phrases such as "X made significant contributions to (topic) Y".

Easily acceptable criteria of significant contribution include an obituary, a published speech giving X an award, a published list of the election of X to a learned society, a national or local newspaper report of such action or appointment to a senior academic, industrial, government or not-for-profit post.

I could not find any of these for several people who I think made significant contributions. However, to establish "verifiability" that John Battiscombe Gunn was at Malvern, I used Web of Science to retrieve bibliographic records that showed the Royal Radar Establishment was where he worked.

This suggests a criterion of verifiability along the lines: (1) "major publishers published n or more books by X on the topic Y", or (2) "X published m or more peer reviewed papers in "prestigious journals", that showed his affiliation with organization Z. This information can be found from search tools that include Scopus, SciFindScholar and Web of Science.

The inflexible use of fixed values of m and n would be absurd. Some scientists establish greatness in a single publication. Others grind out large numbers by fragmentation and replication. Which publishers are major and which journals prestigious also can be arguable. The quantification gets murkier by giving a threshold number of books for a publishing house to be considered major, and a threshold Web of Science impact factor (or equivalent) for a journal to be considered prestigious.

However, criteria that are based on the idea that has been described could be useful fallbacks when X scores very highly. Seeking concensus of subjective opinions then could be bypassed, allowing for objections on grounds such as plagiarism, high publication rate achieved by reporting "results" of fictitious experiments, and fragmentated and replicated publication.

Analogous principles may be applicable in the humanities, social science and other fields.

I intend this as just a zero-th order approximation. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 03:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Better title?[edit]

I propose this article be moved to Notability in English Wikipedia, since it says nothing about the Wikipedias in other languages, and in fact many of those versions use terms that translate differently than "Notability". Thoughts, comments? UnitedStatesian (talk) 23:07, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

It's an article in en.wikipedia, so that would not be appropriate.--Truth Glass (talk) 22:48, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd prefer the article be redirected to navelgazing, but barring that the current title is unobjectionable. Protonk (talk) 10:09, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't happen to care, but just for future reference, technically that's "pre-disambiguation" and shouldn't have been done. Also, changing the title like that has the effect of telling people that information about notability in other-language Wikipedias is not wanted or permitted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:49, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Other concerns aside, if you propose a move and get one response of "no" and another response of "this title is fine," that's not what we generally deem as consensus.--~TPW 16:22, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I guess I should have been more clear. the new title is better in a sense insofar as it doesn't conflate "Wikipedia" with the "English Wikipedia"--a mistake we all make. And the sources almost exclusively talk about the english wikipedia (with the exception of the German Wikipedia). However I think having "Wikipedia" stand in for "English Wikipedia" is a venial, rather than a cardinal, sin. "Notability in Wikipedia" is simple and relatively unambiguous. So while I agree that there wasn't resounding consensus for the move I don't think it is too different from the old one. Protonk (talk) 19:02, 30 September 2011 (UTC)