User:Masem/Stand Alone Articles
Wikipedia strives to be a comprehensive summary of human knowledge, and due to its electronic nature, is not bound by the limits of paper encyclopedias, and can include other forms of reference material, including that of gazetteers and almanacs. However, at the same time, Wikipedia aims to avoid the inclusion of indiscriminate information, and provide information that is verifiable and free of bias and original research.
A key element of this approach is determining when a topic merits a stand-alone article. This process is a subjective measurement based on both objective evidence and consensus decision. This guideline aids this by identifying all the applicable policies and guidelines that should be considered in determining whether a topic merits a stand-alone articles. Topics that fail any one of these, but are otherwise appropriate for inclusion in Wikipedia can be included in broad topics, using redirects to allow such terms to be searched for by users.
Note that these requirements for stand-alone articles apply to all articles in the Main namespace excluding disambiguation pages, navigational lists, or redirection pages. There is also more specific advice for stand-alone lists. These requirements do not apply to other namespaces, though policies like WP:NOT are still applicable to content within these other namespaces.
Determining the merit of a topic for a stand-alone article
There is no single guideline that determines when a topic merits a stand-alone article. Instead, there are several intersecting policies and guidelines that editors use to evaluate if a topic should get an article, or, if an article has already been created, whether it should be merged, redirected, or deleted via consensus. The following guidelines and policies reflect, roughly in the order which with editors should consider stand-alone articles.
- A necessary but not sufficient requirement for a stand-along article is demonstration of notability of the topic. Because of the subjective nature of considering a topic to be notable, Wikipedia relies on the objective demonstration of notability through sources independent from the topic. This may either be through the general notability guideline, or through field-specific subject notability guidelines. Topics that fail to show notability can be included in broader articles on more notable topics.
- The content of an article must avoid the types of articles that we disallow through What Wikipedia is not. The menu from a restaurant may be notable, but listing out the full menu with prices, calorie counts, and other minutia is not appropriate for an article. In many cases, the content of such articles can be massaged to avoid conflicting with WP:NOT, but if it is impossible to do this, a stand alone article is likely inappropriate.
- Articles dealing with living persons must be handled appropriately, per the Wikimedia Foundation's resolution. In particular, living persons known for only one event should usually not have articles, instead discussing the person in context of the larger event or related topic. Even if the subject is notable or known for multiple events, an article about them which is very unbalanced (for example draws disproportionately on one matter in summarizing their life) or does not fairly and neutrally reflect the highest quality of sources will have these flaws corrected even if it means deleting the article to do so.
- Topics must provide verifiable third-party sources. If there are no third-party sources about a topic, Wikipedia should not have a stand-alone article for it.
- The core policies of original research and neutral point of view must be met. An article on a topic that briefly discusses the notability but then proceeds to introduce much original research will likely be trimmed without the sections on original research. An article that focuses on only one side of a notable heated issue will either be removed or edited to include all viewpoints on the issue. If such editing leaves little else to discuss about the topic, the article will likely be merged to a broader topic.
- While summary style is encouraged to break large topics into manageable sub-pages. However, caution is given for breaking topics into too fine a structure; short, stubby articles spun out from a larger one with no likelihood to grow are discouraged and likely to be merged back into the larger topic.
A topic meeting all these conditions, where applicable, can merit a stand-alone article. Topics that fail one or more of these can be included in a notable parent topic article, using redirects and anchors to allow these to still be searchable terms for readers. Redirects also allow potential expansion of the topic in the future should the topic later be shown to merit a stand-alone article.