User talk:Aymatth2/Common types of list

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Analysis of category:list[edit]

The table below gives results of a rough attempt to determine from category:lists and its subcategories whether most lists fall into a small number of well-defined types of list, for which specific guidelines would be useful. The basic approach was to expand each subcategory, and then its subcategories, until that tree was fully expanded, then to count the number of pages in the tree. Results are only approximate for a number of reasons:

  • Some lists have not been correctly categorized, so have not been counted
  • Some articles are not lists, and should not have been counted. They may have been given a correct category, but that category was incorrectly placed in a list category.
  • The categories Lists by century, Lists by country and Geography-related lists were skipped since they appeared to mostly include lists that were also included in other list categories (e.g. Nature-related lists, list of places etc.) Some lists may have been missed as a result
  • A list may be included in more than one list-type category. Thus "List of Inventors" is included in "Lists of inventions or discoveries", "Lists of people by occupation" and "Science-related lists". The analysis tried to avoid double-counting, but some double-counting is unavoidable.

Despite these problems, the results do appear to show that it may be possible to define types of list that cover most lists. Of 122,642 total lists, 107,274 were in the 10 largest list categories (List of people, sports-related lists, entertainment lists etc.) It seems likely that many of the lists in each of these list categories are similar in nature, and should conform to the same guidelines.Aymatth2 (talk) 17:28, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Category Pages
Category:Lists of lists 5,289
Category:Business-related lists 4,846
Category:Cultural lists (other than Arts, Gardening, Mass-Media) 1,091
Category:Arts-related lists 2,036
Category:Gardening lists 966
Category:Mass media lists 8,444
Category:Current lists (mostly officeholders) 77
Category:Death-related lists 90
Category:Entertainment lists (excluding subcats of cultural lists and Sports-related lists) 9,365
Category:Sports-related lists 10,068
Category:Lists of events 1,047
Category:Health-related lists 790
Category:History-related lists 2,707
Category:Nature-related lists 7,718
Category:Number-related lists 224
Category:Lists of people 43,505
Category:Philosophy-related lists 137
Category:Lists of places (excluding buildings and structures) 7,284
Category:Lists of buildings and structures 5,930
Category:Religion-related lists (excluding people and buildings) 1,252
Category:Science-related lists (excluding geography, nature etc. already included) 3,014
Category:Society-related lists (excluding people etc. lists already included) 4,825
Category:Lists of superlatives (excluding structures etc. lists already included) 157
Category:Technology-related lists (excluding science etc. lists already included) 1,749
Category:Lists of things considered unusual 16
Category:Lists of unsolved problems 12
Category:Word lists 3