User:Brainy J/No Exceptions to Notability

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Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions#Notability is inherited

Notability of one or more members of some group or class of subjects may or may not apply to other possible members of that group. Discuss based upon the individual subject, not the subject's overarching classification or type. If a subject under discussion is independently notable, provide the evidence to show that.

Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions#There must be sources

Our criterion for good articles is to include enough references so that all their content is verifiable. When an editor challenges the verifiability of a claim, the burden of evidence to provide reliable sources is on the editors that include it. Unless you can indicate what and where the sources are, they are not verifiable.

Wikipedia:But there must be sources!

You may be confident that sources exist, but asserting this without proof is unlikely to convince anyone who believes that they don't. They may well have reached that conclusion by searching for references and failing to find any. Closing administrators on AfD debates will frequently afford unsupported assertions less weight. The best and most reliable way of convincing both doubters and the closing administrator is to actually provide the requested sources rather than simply declaring you're sure they must be out there somewhere.
Wikipedia's verifiability policy is one of its core content policies and demands that all material included in the encyclopedia must be sourced, or it may be challenged and removed. While some editors believe that, strictly speaking, this right of challenge only extends to material thought to be factually incorrect, in practice material is challenged on a variety of other grounds including notability concerns, relevance, undue weight, original research, etc. Articles can be, and frequently are, removed on these grounds. The burden of proof is on those who add or defend the contentious material to provide sources that satisfy the concerns of the challenging editor.
Insisting the sources must exist without being able to provide them is generally to be avoided in deletion discussions.
Q. But what if I feel very strongly about this article and sources on the topic are hard to find?
A. The article can be moved under your Wikipedia account where it can be edited for as long as necessary without fear of deletion. Once those hard to find sources have been located and used to improve the article, an admin can move the article back into the main article space.
Q. But the article is only X days/weeks/months old, references aren't there yet but they will be....
A. This idea is completely backwards to how Wikipedia actually works. The references must come first, then the Wikipedia article.


No company or organization is considered inherently notable. No organization is exempt from this requirement, no matter what kind of organization it is. If the individual organization has received no or very little notice from independent sources, then it is not notable simply because other individual organizations of its type are commonly notable or merely because it exists.
Organizations whose activities are local in scope (e.g., a school or club) can be considered notable if there is substantial verifiable evidence of coverage by reliable independent sources outside the organization's local area. Where coverage is only local in scope, consider adding a section on the organization to an article on the organization's local area instead.

Wikipedia:Notability#Notability requires verifiable evidence

However, once an article's notability has been challenged, merely asserting that unspecified sources exist is seldom persuasive, especially if time passes and actual proof does not surface.


Sometimes arguments are made that other articles have been put forward for AfD and survived/deleted ... Deletion debates can sometimes be faulty, and even if the debate was correct it can be hard to draw comparisons.

Wikipedia:Inclusion is not an indicator of notability

On the other hand, if a similar article was nominated for deletion in the past, but kept, this does suggest the topic is notable, since notability is one of many factors evaluated when deciding whether to delete an article. However, consider that there may be essential differences between the two topics, or that inclusion standards may have shifted over time, such that the article would not be kept today.

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes

This page summarizes what some editors believe are the typical outcomes of past AfD discussions for some commonly nominated subjects.
This page is not a policy or guideline, and previous outcomes do not bind future ones because consensus can change. The community's actual notability guidelines are listed in the template at the right. Notability always requires verifiable evidence, and all articles on all subjects are kept or deleted on the basis of their sources, not their subjective importance or relationship to something else. All articles should be evaluated individually on their merits and their ability to conform to standard content policies such as WP:Verifiability and WP:Neutral point of view.
As guidelines and actual practice change, this page should be updated to reflect current outcomes.
Avoid over-reliance on citing these "common outcomes" when stating one's case at Articles for Deletion. While precedents can be useful in helping to resolve notability challenges, editors are not necessarily bound to follow past practice. When push comes to shove, notability is demonstrated by the mustering of evidence that an article topic is the subject of multiple instances of non-trivial coverage in trustworthy independent sources.
This page simply attempts to summarize Wikipedia's common daily practice with respect to deletion debates. If you feel that an outcome common to articles like the one you are discussing does not apply, then give a common-sense or guidelines-based reason why it shouldn't apply. Avoid weak or illogical arguments, such as "Notability is only an optional guideline" or "We always keep these articles".

Wikipedia:Notability (high schools)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes

Notability always requires verifiable evidence, and all articles on all subjects are kept or deleted on the basis of sources showing their notability, not their subjective importance or relationship to something else. All articles should be evaluated individually on their merits and their ability to conform to standard content policies such as WP:Verifiability and WP:Neutral point of view.
Avoid over-reliance on citing these "common outcomes" when stating one's case at Articles for Deletion. While precedents can be useful in helping to resolve notability challenges, editors are not necessarily bound to follow past practice. When push comes to shove, notability is demonstrated by the mustering of evidence that an article topic is the subject of multiple instances of non-trivial coverage in trustworthy independent sources.
Avoid weak or illogical arguments, such as "Notability is only an optional guideline" or "We always keep these articles".


Welcome to Wikipedia! We welcome your help to add new content, but your recent additions do not assert the notability of their subjects and have been reverted or removed.

See also[edit]

About consensus...[edit]

Wikipedia:Consensus can change

Editors who revert a change proposed by an edit should generally avoid terse explanations (such as "against consensus") which provide little guidance to the proposing editor (or, if you do use such terse explanations, it is helpful to also include a link to the discussion where the consensus was formed).

Wikipedia:Consensus#Consensus-building pitfalls and errors

Editors who refuse to allow any consensus except the one they insist on, and who filibuster indefinitely to attain that goal, risk damaging the consensus process.

Wikipedia:What is consensus?

...consensus cannot override decisions by Jimbo Wales,...
User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 83#Notability of High Schools
I don't think there is any such consensus. I hope you'll join me in improving Wikipedia:Notability (high schools), which is an essay which may have persuaded people falsely otherwise. The truth is that most high schools are not notable.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:44, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no consensus that these articles are exempt from normal notability policy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:12, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Other Quotes[edit]

  • Wikipedia isn't all about indiscriminately hoarding material, though your use of the word "build" implies that. Yes, things get deleted. Some people (have to) take on the burden of passing that kind of judgement; it's not easy and I'm not taking it lightly (whatever you may think). Nothing is "everyone's job", what's everyone's job is nobody's job and is not likely to ever get done. The WP:BURDEN of proof "lies with the editor who adds or restores material", not the one who proposes removing it. You can say that the institution is notable and I can believe you, but it needs to be proven in the article. I'm busy doing other things for Wikipedia, I'm not taking it on as my job to do external research for every article that doesn't look worth the effort to me. — Jean Calleo (talk) 22:56, 24 November 2011 (UTC) (Talk:Indian Society of International Law)
  • Delete. The game exists/existed, but existing is not notability.... Userfication is always a possibility, though. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 06:59, 2 April 2013 (UTC) (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Toxic Ravine)
  • The fact that it is still exists is not in question. You'd have to have magazine/newspaper reviews of the game, for starters. If it is notable, surely someone said something about it. Notability is the issue. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 04:29, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Delete or Redirect. Why is notability inherited in this case when one of our guiding principles is that notability is not inherited? ... AndyJones (talk) 13:19, 31 October 2008 (UTC) (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Zulu Wikipedia)
  • I want to point out I believe this article may be notable, but does not establish the fact, and I was unable to find sources to dismiss reasonable doubt. If reliable sources are found and implemented to support notability, as I've said above, I'll revise my !vote. Salvidrim! 19:14, 7 January 2012 (UTC) (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Push!!)

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 94#Secondary schools should meet WP:GNG or are they exempt?:

  • There is an important distinction between having "significant or demonstrable effects" and "being a building where education (in some form) takes place". (Similarly, a given textbook might be notable, but the warehouse from which it was distributed, or the presses on which it was printed, probably would not be.) High schools – as a collective phenomenon, and as a way to deliver education – certainly are notable and have without question shaped society's creation, consumption, and interpretation of culture, athletics, economics, history, literature, and science. It's less clear that we should make an a priori assumption that any randomly-selected high school will have had some particular part in shaping that phenomenon and therefore be inherently notable (absent reliable sources corroborating that claim). To draw a loose analogy, The Catcher in the Rye is a notable work of literature about which we certainly should have an article; on the other hand, we don't want or need a separate article about each of the 65 million copies in print—but we do have a fair bit of commentary about the particular copy Mark David Chapman was carrying when he shot John Lennon. Our articles about high schools need to strive to identify the factors that make each one unique and culturally-relevant. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:10, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I see no reason why a group of articles should be exempt from GNG. Some people see GNG as a ceiling, i.e. "anything that meets GNG is notable". I see GNG as a floor, i.e. "anything that doesn't meet GNG is non-notable", and in addition some things that pass GNG but fail specific guidelines like WP:POLITICIAN are also non-notable. I think that schools of any stripe should have significant non-trivial coverage. I take that to mean coverage above and beyond the following five types of coverage that fail to establish notability:
  1. Local coverage (Recall that before WWII, newspapers in small towns also mentioned when townsfolk had the flu or relatives from out-of-town over)
  2. Routine coverage (The San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group has a "School of the Week" feature where they have a half-page blurb in each of their papers about an area school. Since the feature is several years old, every school has been coveraged. That doesn't make all of them notable.)
  3. Fleeting (a couple mentions of the school here and there, or a five-sentence writeup does not notability make)
  4. Human interest stories that aren't really about the school (if there's a story about an 8-year-old who beat cancer and happens to goes to Spiro T. Agnew Elementary School, that article is attesting to the notability of the 8-year-old, not the school).
  5. Random coverage (Many news stories pick a school, essentially at random, to illustrate some larger point about a district or state. They could've picked any number of schools to make the same point, therefore the article doesn't really establish the notability of the school they picked)

If, and only if, a school has coverage that isn't any of those five things should it be kept. In short, nothing should be exempt from WP:GNG. Not primary schools, not secondary schools, not anything. Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 17:13, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

  • We're looking for more than just mere existence or mention as a factual event in a local news story. Why should anyone else in the world care about the school? That's why we need non-local sources that provide significant coverage of the school to make an encyclopedic article about it - otherwise its datum with no context, useful as part of a larger article but not enough for an article by itself. --MASEM (t) 15:40, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Schools, like other subjects, shouldn't be exempt from the WP:N/WP:ORG guidelines, but we aren't in a position to organize a witch hunt to rout out the nonnotable schools. If, after a dedicated search, a school doesn't meet the WP:N/WP:ORG guidelines, the article should be merged elsewhere or deleted. Most high schools meet our notability criteria, at least in high-coverage areas like the first world. Editors should be cautious about nominating these for deletion without doing a WP:BEFORE search. ThemFromSpace 02:06, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • All chools need to meet WP:ORG and WP:GNG. The "all high schools are so important that they're automatically kept" argument is wrong and outdated: there are many high schools that have only one or two students, are really minor extensions of much larger entities (tiny religious schools attached to churches or mosques or run out of the home of a minister), or that exist in places where high schools aren't written about in published sources (most rural schools in developing countries). But the fact is that ~99% of government-run high schools—and middle schools, a fact overlooked by many pro-high school editors—in Canada and the US will easily meet both ORG and GNG, so the practical difference is minimal.
    Anyone with a daily newspaper subscription should think it through: how many papers do you see in a week that contain zero information about your local schools? Has any public school in your area, regardless of the age of the students, ever built a single school building or passed a single tax without information about that change being amply and repeatedly discussed in your newspaper? No? Well, then those schools definitely meet the basic source requirements for notability, don't they? And not "because they're high schools, and we keep all high schools", but because they easily meet the GNG. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:35, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • So... if you consider a school an organization, which I don't think is a big stretch, then we can apply WP:CORPDEPTH which says (in part), "The source's audience must also be considered. Evidence of attention by international or national, or at least regional, media is a strong indication of notability. On the other hand, attention solely from local media, or media of limited interest and circulation, is not an indication of notability; at least one regional, national, or international source is necessary." (emphasis added.) What we have been doing for ages is short-circuiting the GNG and allowing a class of articles to exist under a special exemption. I say this stops now. If a school has coverage in reliable sources from outside its service area, then it's notable. If it's only covered in sources distributed in the same area as the school serves, then it's not notable.

I'd really like to see the whole schools tree of articles refactored in the following way:

  • Add a paragraph or so in the article about the city/county/whatever (or, in fact all of the above) that describes the school board that serves the area.
  • Create school board articles with a list of each school governed by the board. Schools which do not meet the GNG can be covered in a paragraph in the school board article. Schools which do meet the GNG have their own articles and a hat in the school board article pointing to the article on the notable school.
  • Create redirects for all non-notable schools in the region pointing back to the school board article, anchored to the paragraph on the specific school.
There, done, easy-peasie, lemon-squeezie. LivitEh?/What? 19:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I assume that you are referring to the "Establishment of notability" section of WP:BIAS, but it appears to me that you are misusing that essay. Nowhere does it say that we are to ignore Wikipedia:Notability and just include the page anyway. It does say that we should make a special effort to find evidence of notability in the regions and languages of each of the grandmothers, and I certainly had WP:BIAS in mind when I searched and failed to find evidence that any of the grandmothers meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. Do you have a specific non-English or regional source that you think we have overlooked? --Guy Macon (talk) 14:42, 12 June 2013 (UTC) Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/the remaining members of the council of grandmothers
  • In principle, the notability of a subject should be clear when the article is launched, by proof and not by guesswork. The Banner talk 14:07, 14 September 2013 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Notability means impactWikipedia:Existence ≠ NotabilityWikipedia:Don't drink the consensus Kool-AidWikipedia:Inherent notability