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Wikipedia:Article Rescue Squadron

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See the Rescue list to view or contribute to the project's list of content for rescue consideration.

Welcome to WikiProject Article Rescue Squadron (ARS). Sometimes Wikipedia articles about notable topics exist in poor form, badly written, unsourced – but that is not sufficient in itself to remove them from the encyclopedia at Articles for Deletion. If an article is about an encyclopedic topic that has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, the article may simply need improvement.

A significant aspect of this project's focus is on articles that may be written in poor form, lack references or need improvement, yet are backed by reliable sources and are therefore likely worthy of a Wikipedia stand-alone article per Wikipedia's notability guidelines. Some writer may have worked hard on that article. Some reader can use that article. In reaching out to work with such writers and readers, the project can help to preserve worthwhile content in the encyclopedia.

The project works toward improving Wikipedia as a whole by cooperating together to improve deficient articles through editing to provide necessary sources, correcting inappropriate style or tone, cleaning up grammatical and layout problems, etcetera, with the overall goal of improving the encyclopedia.

ARS Code of Conduct
  • Note that this wikiproject is only intended to improve the encyclopedia. The project is not about casting votes or vote-stacking. Be sure to follow the guideline on canvassing. This means, in part, that you should use Template:Rescue list on the deletion discussion page when you list the discussion here.
  • Focus on improving content. For example, when working on an article listed for rescue, try to qualify topic notability by adding reliable-source references with significant coverage of the topic. Edit the content to address specific concerns raised in the AfD discussion.
  • Show the light. If you comment in an AfD discussion, try to describe points in the nomination that have been corrected. Note any remaining deficiencies (e.g. lack of organization, structural problems, lack of balance, etc.). Base comments upon Wikipedia's deletion policy. If an article has been rewritten, you may place a comment in the AfD as a courtesy to assist the closing admin in determining which article version others were referring to.

Scope Scope


Wikiproject Article rescue squadron's main focus is on Wikipedia articles that are perceived as actually being notable that are going through Articles for deletion (AfD), which may:

We also help rescue content in Wikipedia's main namespace (refer to Wikipedia: Namespace for more information) and other Daily deletion debates (XfD) processes, such as Miscellany for deletion (MfD) and Templates for discussion (TfD). See Articles & content for an overview.

ARS members may also be interested in rescuing articles listed at Wikipedia: Listing of possible copyright problems. These articles often cover notable topics. Evaluating the extent of such problems can be difficult, but thoroughly rewriting articles with problems identified as foundational has the additional benefit of helping WikiProject Copyright Cleanup.

Rescue list


A list of content for rescue consideration is located at this project's content rescue list.

How to contribute

See: Tips to help rescue articles and ARS Guide to saving articles

The Article Rescue Squadron WikiProject is about editing and improving articles. ARS is no different from any of the hundreds of Wikiprojects in that we collaborate to improve Wikipedia. If everyone who cares about preserving important topics and removing unsuitable content reads one deletion discussion per day (or even one per week), the impact will benefit all of our readers. Moreover, reading through an article nominated for deletion and adding sources and rewriting the text to remove or reword unsuitable content can help other editors decide if the article should be kept or deleted.

Does ARS want to keep everything?


No. The project is not about making policy to ensure that nothing is deleted or casting keep votes in AfD discussions. The project ensures that articles that can be written to follow Wikipedia policies do not get deleted when they can be rescued through normal editing, which per WP:AFD means that it was not a good candidate for deletion. The {{Sofixit}} and {{Solookitup}} templates are sometimes all that's required for a rescue.

Wikipedia:Articles for Deletion – why it's important to view

Wikipedia articles are based upon topic notability. Sometimes articles that are nominated for deletion simply need for the topic to be proven as notable and encyclopedic through the provision of reliable sources.

Every time an article is deleted the contributions that were made to it are lost, and then only Wikipedia administrators can access it, but they are not necessarily experts on the article's topic. After deletion, an article's content, value, and appropriateness can no longer be evaluated by the general public. In addition, the contributor who writes a poor article on a notable topic is likely to be inexperienced. If their first efforts are deleted, they may be discouraged and refrain from creating further articles, or even editing. Everyone starts somewhere, and we should encourage better writing and better articles. Good faith efforts to contribute should be met with encouragement to improve.

This makes Articles for Deletion (AfD) a very important place; one that deserves everyone's attention.

A common axiom is that "AFD is not cleanup". Wikipedia is a work in progress, and articles should not be deleted because no one has felt like cleaning them up yet. Remember, Wikipedia has no deadline. If there's good, sourceable content in the article, it should be preserved, developed and improved, not deleted. The Wikipedia policy of trying to correct problems in articles through editing improvements, expansion and adding reliable sources, located at Try to fix problems, is often more appropriate than the entire deletion of articles.

The question on whether a poor but improvable article ought to be deleted is a major point of contention, and has given rise to the wiki-philosophies immediatism and eventualism. The Article Rescue Squadron was highlighted in a July 2007 Wikipedia Signpost, and has grown with many processes to tag, track, and list tagged articles.

Articles proposed for deletion (prod)


Sometimes articles are proposed for deletion (prod, prodded) without being sent to AfD, some of which are notable per Wikipedia's General notability guideline.

Rescuing drafts


Many new articles come to Wikipedia via the Articles for creation (AfC) process. Reviewers assess these contributions and either accept, decline or reject them. Declined drafts on notable subjects may be improved by the authors and resubmitted. In many cases, however, this does not happen and the drafts are essentially abandoned. Abandoned drafts are subject to deletion under WP:G13 after 6 months of inactivity. Since all this occurs in Draft: space and typically involves new editors, these deletions are largely invisible to the editing community.

You can help by reviewing drafts that will soon become eligible for deletion and improving them and submitting them for rereview at AfC.

Tips to help rescue articles

See also: ARS Guide to saving articles

Source searches


In addition to below, placing {{Talk header}} at the top of a Talk page now includes the "Find Sources".

Pen & Earth
Pen & Earth

Article Rescue checklist


Here's a quick checklist of 10 steps anyone can take for articles that need rescue:

  1. Find and add reliable sources – It is most important that sources demonstrating the notability of a subject are added to articles when they are found. Do it properly, using the correct citation templates.
  2. Add WikiProjects – View article talk pages to see if appropriate WikiProject banners have been added (this list of banners maybe be easier to browse). WikiProject banners help draw attention to articles from editors who are interested in the subject, especially if the project subscribes to Article Alerts. You don't need anyone's permission to add relevant WikiProject banners to article talk pages.
  3. Solicit WikiProject input – Many articles needing rescue merely need attention from an expert on the subject. A short note on a WikiProject talk page seeking expert attention can bring remarkable results fast.
  4. Take the time to strengthen the Lead section – The lead sets the tone for the rest of an article. Take the time to rewrite or improve the lead so that an article's title and its contents are in sync. Nothing detracts more from an otherwise notable subject than a lead that inadequately conveys what an article is about.
  5. Clean-up articles – If an article about an otherwise notable subject has a bunch of unorganized content on the page, it is best to clean it up on the spot and bring it up to par with the Manual of Style guidelines. Some examples of clean-up include copy editing, wikifying (adding internal links, interwiki links and external links), correcting spelling, grammar and typographical errors, converting poorly formatted references with proper citation templates and adding relevant sections.
  6. Add Infoboxes, Navigation Templates and sidebars – If they are not present in articles and their addition is appropriate, do so and complete their fields as much as possible.
  7. De-orphan articles – Link and cross-reference articles with other articles, lists and categories. Make sure articles have internal links that link to other appropriate, highly related articles, which helps to clarify and expound upon information. If it is difficult to incorporate links within the text of an article, the See also section is an appropriate place to list links for related articles. Look for sources and content in related articles that might enhance orphaned articles. Utilizing the "What links here" feature in the Toolbox pull-down menu in the left column of Wikipedia pages provides a list of pages that link to an article.
  8. Eliminate the junk – If there is unsourced or irrelevant content, copyright violations, or other "junk" in articles, eliminate it ruthlessly. If there is a question about the validity of content, start a discussion on the talk page and tag questionable content with template messages as necessary. Don't just ignore the "junk" if its there. Conversely, it's very important to preserve appropriate content – as long as any of the facts or ideas added to an article would belong in a "finished" article. For more information, please refer to Try to fix problems.
  9. Treat articles as if they were your best achievements – Make changes to articles that will turn them into articles that you would be proud of personally. We know how to do it, we just need to do it.
  10. Positively engage new editors – When you find that an article has been created by a new editor (maybe their first one) or by inexperienced editors, engage them in a positive, mentoring way. Help them learn how to create and contribute better content. Engage them on their talk pages, encourage them, and most importantly make them feel welcome. If there are policy or guideline issues on the table, don't just refer them to a policy link; engage them in a discussion to ensure they better understand how to make quality contributions. Make sure the editor knows that merging and userfication are alternatives to deletion. Even if an article is ultimately lost, this positive engagement will help us all by encouraging new contributors to make useful, productive edits.

Books Articles and content

Note: To ensure the most recent listings in the pull-down menus below are displayed, click here: Purge



Articles currently tagged for deletion


Articles currently proposed for deletion


Biographies of living persons


Many articles have been deleted as Biographies that had been flagged for years as unsourced. The administrators who deleted them have stated that the restoration of these articles is acceptable, provided that any restored articles are then properly sourced and made fully compliant with WP:BLP (Biographies of living persons). For some background information, see here. BLP articles that are properly sourced will simply be restored, along with their talk pages.

To volunteer to reference one or more of the articles that have recently been deleted as unreferenced BLPs, see ARS BLP volunteers.

Article restoration

Further information: Viewing and restoring deleted pages
Article userfication
See also: Userfication essay
  • Requests for undeletion – If an article has already been deleted but you intend to improve it, you can request that it be moved into your user namespace at Requests for undeletion. Another option is to ask any of the administrators on this list who will userfy articles for editors.

Articles with topics of unclear notability




Files for discussion

  • Files for discussion – Files for discussion (FfD) is for the discussion of images and other media files (such as audio and video files) that are being considered for deletion. Files that have been listed at FfD for more than 7 days are eligible for deletion if either a consensus to do so has been reached or no objections to deletion have been raised.

Categories for discussion

  • Categories for discussion – Categories for discussion (Cfd) is where deletion, merging, and renaming of categories is discussed. Categories that have been listed for more than seven days are eligible for deletion, renaming or merging when a rough consensus to do so has been reached or no objections to the nomination have been raised.

Templates for discussion


Redirects for discussion


Miscellany for deletion


Search all deletion discussions


Article alerts


Selected previous rescues




2 people Participants


To join, simply add your name to our membership list; feel free to add your ideas to the project discussion page as well.

User boxes


Rescued articles


ARS user page boxes:

This user rescues articles for the Article Rescue Squadron.

 – There's an automatically-generated list of members using this banner here.

This user rescues articles for the
Article Rescue Squadron.

 – There's an automatically-generated list of members using this banner here.

Once you've rescued an article or two, show your Rescue Squadron pride with

  • {{User:Jclemens/Rescues|n}}

(where n is the number of articles you've helped rescue)

This user has rescued n articles by improving them in the face of pending deletion.

 – There's an automatically-generated list of members using this banner here.

  • {{WikiProject Article Rescue Squadron/Userbox|n}}
This user has helped to rescue n articles by improving them in the face of pending deletion.

There's an automatically-generated list of members using this banner here.

Rescued article — then to FA or GA


Have you helped take an article from Articles for deletion to Featured Article or Good Article quality ?

show your Rescue Squadron pride with

  • {{User AFD to FA|n}}

(where n is the number of articles you've helped rescue and take to Featured Article quality)

This user has successfully taken n articles from deletion discussion at Articles for Deletion — to Featured Article quality.

 – There's an automatically-generated list of members using this banner here.

  • {{User AFD to GA|n}}

(where n is the number of articles you've helped rescue and take to Good Article quality)

This user has successfully taken n articles from deletion discussion at Articles for Deletion — to Good Article quality.

 – There's an automatically-generated list of members using this banner here.

WikiProject Invitation

To invite someone:

To invite someone to join the Article Rescue Squadron, you can use our handy invite by pasting {{subst:Article Rescue Squadron invite}} to their userpage.



There are five specific Rescue Barnstars for anyone who has made significant contributions to rescuing articles; it is up to those awarding them to choose which one to use:

Hall of fame:



See Wikipedia: Article Rescue Squadron – Templates for ARS templates.

Frequently asked questions


Reasons to retain content

  • It can be discouraging for an editor to have their article deleted, especially for new and first-time contributors. An alternative is Userfication, in which articles for deletion can be placed into a user's namespace, providing an option to improve an article to meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines.
  • Instead of deleting articles altogether, sometimes they can be merged with other articles (see Mergism).
  • It can be frustrating for a reader to come to Wikipedia for information and inside find that the relevant article existed at one point but has been deleted. This may discourage both Wikipedia readership and authorship.
  • Deleting a well-written, well-sourced article on the basis of what Wikipedia is not can reduce the total information of Wikipedia.

See also


Essays, etc.




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