Template talk:Autobiography

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Autotagging category:people[edit]

Dumping all the suspected inappropriate autobiographies into the category:people renders that page highly confusing for persons simply looking for articles about different types of people. The tag is a flag to notify editors to check the article, so it should put them into a cleanup category instead. --Blainster 17:10, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The category:people tag has been removed [1] by another editor. See that entry for suggestions on alternative categorizations. --Blainster 18:03, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Is there a guideline for use?[edit]

I have seen this tag used when an article has simply been edited by the subject. I just added content to a so-called autobiography and want to remove the tag but I suspect it would be reverted. Tbeatty 06:03, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

"Important note"[edit]

The guideline noincluded on the template confuses me. It appears to me to preclude any use of the template: doesn't identifying content as autobiographical perforce identify the user who added it as its subject? If I am missing something and this is not always the case, I'd appreciate if someone could clarify for me. • Lainagier • talk • 02:31, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Someone appears to have corrected/clarified this in [2] by explicitly restricting this to pseudonymous users. —SamB (talk) 00:42, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Using this template on articles about corporations[edit]

Dear @Bilby:

Hi! Thank you for all your contributions to Wikipedia, including your efforts to combat paid advocacy.

Over time, you've removed some {{autobiography}} tags I've added to articles about corporations. That's OK, but let me explain why I placed them in the first place.

I like to use it on articles about companies, in cases where I suspect the article is a company autobiography — an article about a company which was written by the company itself.

True, such articles are not biographies, so it sounds odd to call them "autobiographies". But {{autobiography}} says: "This article may be an autobiography or has been extensively edited by the subject or an institution related to the subject", and has said so ever since this edit by User:Frank Lea, a user with an editcount of just 24. Because the template says "or has been extensively edited by the subject or an institution related to the subject", I feel free to place it on articles about companies. I feel this template is a little clearer than {{COI}}: I feel it makes clearer that an entire article may have been written by the company itself.

I still am open to the idea that it may be better for me to use the unclearer {{COI}} instead; so you are welcome to try to influence me.

What do you feel, and why?

Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 23:53, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm currently working through the backlog of articles tagged with this template, but my normal first step with backlogs is to clean out the cases which clearly don't fit. In this case that meant replacing this tag with COI where appropriate, or removing the tag where there wasn't a clear COI with the article anymore.
I agree that the wording is a bit ambiguous. My reading was that this tag is for two situations:
  • Biographical articles written by the subject (autobiographies)
  • Biographical articles written by an institution closely related to the subject (defacto autobiographies, written on their behalf)
I can see why it might be interpreted to mean "autobiographies or anything written by an institution about themselves", but under those circumstances a standard COI tag seems to indicate the same thing, while the addition of an autobiography tag to a non-biographical article seems a bit odd. Perhaps we should reword it a bit to be clearer? - Bilby (talk) 07:00, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Dear @Bilby:
I still like using this tag on articles about corporations.
But I agree that it may seem odd to some. So: If you are confident that all the tagged articles are biographies, then feel free to reword the tag to preclude use on articles about corporations. For example, you could replace the words "This article" with "This biographical article".
Cheers, —Unforgettableid (talk) 01:46, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 November 2014[edit]

Violeta Jevtovic (*1969)Inorganic Coordination Chemistry

Received Ph.D. of Inorganic chemistry from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia (2002.), M.Sc. in Inorganic chemistry from the University of Kragujevac in Serbia (1999.), and B.A. in Inorganic chemistry from the University of Kosovo in Kosovo (1994.). Post-doctoral Associate, in X-ray characterization and Inorganic synthesis from the University of Oxford in UK (2010).<ref>http://www.unizwa.edu.om/profile_details.php?lang=ar&comingfrom=&staffid=1101&lang=en</ref>www.xtl.ox.ac.uk/dr-violeta-jevtovic-2010.1.html

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Stickee (talk) 03:07, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Template wording is in conflict with guidelines.[edit]

The template wording reads: "This article may be an autobiography..." but the guideline states: "This message should only be used when autobiographical content has been confirmed." If the autobiographical content has been confirmed, shouldn't the text read: "This article is a confirmed autobiography of such-and-such non-pseudonymous editor..."? The template benignly suggests that the article may be an autobiography, or is suspected of being an autobiography, but the penalty for musing aloud about the tone of the content is an indefinite block if you happen to be musing about an IP editor's contribution. That's totally nuts! How does one confirm an autobiography anyway? Is it the use of the first person voice?

Why do we have the warning anyway? Lets say SoccerMan6 comes by and creates article Tyler Smith which reads, "Tyler Smith is an American professional soccer player. He enjoys long walks on the beach and spending time with his children." I happen by and think, "Wow, this sounds like an autobiography. Tag!" Did I just out him, or did he out himself? If the latter, why do we need the warning?

Thoughts invited. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:16, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I hope this edit of mine solves the issue. Note the edit summary, which sheds some light on how this happened. Debresser (talk) 19:02, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Hi @Debresser: Thanks for that. That clears up some of it. I'm still confused by the practical application of this template. Seems like it has greater potential to be accidentally misused than it provides in benefit, as noted above. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 19:50, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
True. And the second half of the text in the template has much in common with Template:COI. You might want to check how much the template is in use, and perhaps consider nominating it for deletion, or, depending on how it is predominantly used, for merging. I'm not saying such a nomination will succeed, but it is something I have considered in the past. Debresser (talk) 22:20, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


Abhijeet Singh Arora is working as an Associate System Engineer in CGI Group Inc. He was a National Level Athlete of 100M Sprint has has won various medals at state level and participated in National Level Athletics Championship as the Captain of Madhya Pradesh R.G.T.U Athletics team. Abhijeetsingharora (talk) 10:13, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Amortias (T)(C) 12:24, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 October 2015[edit] (talk) 21:17, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --Stabila711 (talk) 21:57, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Edit request: shortening[edit]

The template is currently written "There may be relevant discussion on the talk page." but how would "Relevant discussion may be on the talk page." work? We are only taking out the unnecessary word there, and the sentence is paraphrased. Gamingforfun365 (talk) 23:17, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Fine. Debresser (talk) 06:07, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Documentation overhaul[edit]

I began editing the template's documentation only to help distinguish its use from the rather similar {{COI}} template. In the course of doing so, I could see that the documentation was not very helpfully structured, didn't include concrete examples of when to use it, and no explanation of when or if to ever remove it. I ended up giving the documentation a complete overhaul, and now feel like I may have overstepped my bounds as a well-intentioned editor. I have done my best to rewrite the documentation in a way that matches with its intended and historical use and removal, but must admit that I have no personal experience with applying the tag and would like other editors to review what I have done and make sure the current documentation still fits the template's bill (and if not, then please feel free to take a shot at it yourself— writing good template documentation is hard!). KDS4444 (talk) 10:22, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Proposal to remove "or by someone connected to the subject" from this template[edit]

According to Google, the definition of an autobiography is "an account of a person's life written by that person". If it hasn't been edited by the subject, then, by definition, it's not an autobiography. Also, we have Template:COI for people who appear to be closely connected to the subject of the article. That template is more specific, and we should avoid overlap. Omni Flames (talk) 08:01, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 15 August 2016[edit]

See above. Since no one has objected to the idea after almost a fortnight, I think it's safe to implement what I suggested there.

Omni Flames (talk) 06:32, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Not done: That bit should be kept since it would still be a COI violation for someone close to the subject of an autobiography to edit the article. --MorbidEntree - (Talk to me! (っ◕‿◕)っ♥)(please reply using {{ping}}) 07:09, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
@MorbidEntree: Of course it would still be a COI violation for someone closely related to the subject to edit the article, but would it be an autobiography? No, of course it wouldn't be. We already have Template:COI for people who are closely related to the subject, this template is specifically for autobiographies. Omni Flames (talk) 12:05, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. for (;;) (talk) 12:22, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 October 2016[edit]

Christian Thune Jacobsen (born 15 November 1959, Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish physicist and mathematician. His original fields were physics of matter with applications in superconductivity (Copenhagen University and geophysics (The Geological Survey of Denmark) but branched out to other disciplines and teaching (Gl. Hellerup Gymnasium and DTU). Since 2009 he is head of the teaching department Admission Course at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). He is also involved in IPhO (the Physics Olympiad) and most recent EUSO (European Union Science Olympiad) (talk) 14:16, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Not done as you are in the wrong place, since this page is only to discuss improvements to Template:Autobiography, not the place to post suggested articles; please try articles for creation - however, you will need to show there has been significant coverage, in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. - Arjayay (talk) 15:21, 15 October 2016 (UTC)