User talk:Aymatth2/Common types of list
Analysis of category:list
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)