Wikipedia:Did you know/Lore

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How a DYK suggestion makes its way to the Main Page[edit]

A DYK suggestion goes through five steps from nomination through appearing in the Did you know section on the Main Page to removal from the Main Page.

  1. First, an editor nominates an article by creating the appropriate subpage and transcluding it on Template talk:Did you know. Discussions about individual suggestions also appear on the subpage, such as suggested improvements of the proposed DYK text (the hook), or comments about the eligibility of the article under the requirements (see WP:Did you know/Article).
  2. If the suggested DYK meets the requirements, any uninvolved editor may add the suggestion to a DYK preparation page and close the nomination subpage. In practice, to ensure that all suggestions are given fair consideration, the oldest suggestions listed on the suggestions page are selected first, to ensure that they don't go stale before they are chosen. DYK entries listed on a preparation area are not final, and may be edited or rejected by any other editor. If they are rejected, the nomination subpage discussion is reopened.
  3. When there are about eight hooks (the prescribed number may change every few weeks) at a preparation area, an administrator moves the page on to one of the protected queues. The administrator moving the suggestions to the queue may edit or reject any DYK entries at their discretion.
  4. Approximately every 24 hours (other frequencies may be specified), WP:DYKADMINBOT moves a page from one of the queue files onto the Main Page. So DYK entries appear on the Main Page for about twenty-four hours, with about one update per day. DYK entries listed on the Main Page are not final. Non-admins may report errors to the Main Page errors page so they can be dealt with. Admins can amend, edit, replace, and remove entries in the DYK template while it appears on the Main Page. Wheel warring prohibits one admin from undoing one another's administrative actions. In particular, wheel warring prohibits one admin from reinserting a DYK hook onto the Main Page that was removed by another admin. In one example, aggressive wheel warring over a Main Page DYK hook led to desysopping by Jimbo Wales.
  5. The bot archives old DYK entries that are removed from the Main Page, and gives credits (notices on nominators' talk pages).


Notification of DYK errors regarding what is currently on the main page may be posted at the Errors in the current Did you know... section of WP:ERRORS. DYK errors on the main page may be addressed by an admin through changes to the DYK template.

  • If a factual error is reported when the hooks are on the front page, try to replace the hook with another fact from the article, rather than just removing it.
  • In the case it has to be removed, try to replace it with another hook from the suggestions page.
  • If it is the first hook and hence has an associated picture, you must replace it with another hook with a picture.

Debatable rules[edit]

  • Does the first word always have to be "that"?
  • Can there be multiple sentences in a hook?
  • Is IMDb a reliable source? Previous discussion here.
  • Occasionally someone objects to linking an unfamiliar word to Wiktionary on the front page, but such objections have always been overruled.
  • Do the 11 characters in " (pictured)" or the 27 characters in " (specific object pictured)" (i.e. including an introductory space) count towards the 200 character limit?

Overlooked rules[edit]

These rules are listed elsewhere, but they are often overlooked at Did You Know:

Instruction creep[edit]

Did You Know can be criticized for instruction creep. But it is important to distinguish instruction creep from documentation of that instruction creep. Instruction creep is bad because it takes longer and longer to understand all those instructions before you can actually do anything. But documentation of instruction creep eases the process of trying to learn all the unwritten rules before you can do anything. A ten-pound law book is bad, but a thousand-pound library of precedents one needs in order to guess what the unwritten laws are, would be worse. Did You Know nominations are approved by different reviewers, and there isn't an easy way to get them all to behave predictably.

For instance, when determining if a Did You Know article is long enough or expanded enough, we don't count the whole article. "Did You Know defines 'prose' to exclude infoboxes, categories, references, lists, tables, block quotes, headers, images and captions, the "See also" section if any, Table of Contents, edit buttons, "Citation needed" and similar superscripted text, and reference link numbers like [6]." Wouldn't it be easier to just count the whole article, and use the length Wikipedia provides on each page's history page? That would allow shorter articles, so let's say the 1,500 character limit is raised to about 2,500, or to whatever number would eliminate lowering the bar as a reason to count characters the hard way. That simplification hasn't been done, because it has been argued that a short article can be padded to reach the minimum, just by adding categories and such. But prose can also be padded (example), and poetic justice for anyone who disagrees would be to fill his user talk page with 100 different ways to tediously repeat that point. So it's unclear that complicated character counting rules are worth all the extra effort of computing and debating them.

But imagine how much worse that computing and debating effort was before the process was documented. If this simplification is desirable, it will happen when everyone can agree to follow a new, simpler rule, not by ignoring the existing rules so that no one but regulars can know what they are, or requiring weeks of studying the suggestions page to get any idea if a submission would be accepted or not.

These rules aren't intended to cover everything, and we even have a rule than says so: R6.

WP:NOTBUREAUCRACY says "Written rules do not themselves set accepted practice, but rather document already existing community consensus ... "

In conclusion, the only thing worse than a million written rules, is a million unwritten rules.

Daily headings on the suggestions page[edit]

T:TDYK has daily headings like "Articles created/expanded on February 18", with nominations as subheadings. We don't have an automated system to maintain the daily headings yet. So as Universal Time midnight approaches, someone should add a heading for the next day, near the top. T:TDYK#Older nominations should be moved down a day, so it will always be seven days old. And if it's below the "Older nominations" header, the last daily heading near the bottom of the page can be removed when it contains no more nominations, except for nominations with unsatisfied objections.


The article, article's creator(s), and the DYK nominator may be recognized as contributing to DYK through the credit templates posted by DYK on user talk pages. When an article is first nominated for DYK, the hook may be followed by (i) 'article by XXX; nom by YYY' or (ii) 'self-nom.' These help DYK determine which user talk pages to post credits. For instructions on providing recognition, see DYK credits.

The following templates are used to credit the article creator and the article nominator as well as give notice on the article talk page that the article appeared on the Main Page:

  • Article creator's talk page: ({{UpdatedDYK}}) {{subst:UpdatedDYK|25 March|2018|Article name}} --~~~~
  • Nominator's talk page: ({{UpdatedDYKNom}}) {{subst:UpdatedDYKNom|25 March|2018|Article name}} --~~~~
  • Article talk page: ({{dyktalk}}) {{dyktalk|25 March|2018}} (check if small style templates in use, if so add small=yes parm)

These awards may be given to recognize a user's contributions:

Wikipedians are listed by top number of DYKs, at Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of DYKs. Also, successful submission of a Did you know? piece is one part of Wikipedia's triple crown, an award for outstanding editing contributions within a set time; and Wikipedia's Four Award, a non-timed recognition of article creation and guidance in which the article creator shepherds it all the way to featured article status.

DYK credits, medals, etc. may be recognized on a userpage through the following userboxes:

  1. -- {{User DYK}} -- Userbox, user has authored/created x articles featured on DYK.
  2. -- {{User Did You Know}} -- Userbox, highlights an individual DYK article created by a user.
  3. -- {{User Did You Know2}} -- Userbox, user has been a significant contributor to X articles on DYK; the total number of DYK article's created + DYK article's nominated.
  4. -- {{User Did You Know3}} -- Userbox, user has successfully nominated x articles created by others to be featured on DYK.

History of Did You Know[edit]

DYK made its first Main Page appearance on February 22, 2004. The article, pencil sharpener, was developed by Raul654 who had been an editor with Wikipedia for about six months at that time and now is a bureaucrat. An April 2004 screen shot shows DYK located in the space now occupied by In the News. Credit recognition for article creators started on November 24, 2004, DYK began placing DYK notifications on article talk pages on January 13, 2006, and nominators started receiving credit on May 13, 2006.

Other Did You Know pages[edit]

These Did You Know rules pages are listed at Category:Wikipedia Did you know rules. Besides those, the DYK process is divided over many pages:

  1. DYK template (Did you know) - T:DYK - the template that appears on the Main Page
  2. DYK template talk (Suggestions) - T:TDYK - where new DYK suggestions are proposed and discussed
  3. DYK preparation areas (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), where hooks are held waiting for a promotion by an admin to the queues
  4. DYK preparation area clear (blank preparation area) - T:DYK/C - a copy of a DYK preparation area page that lacks hooks, which can be copied over a preparation area page to restore it to a pristine, empty state, ready for new candidates
  5. DYK queues (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), where hooks are promoted by an admin and wait there turn to be automatically updated to the main DYK template
  6. DYK archive (Archive) - WP:DYKA - where old DYKs are archived
  7. DYK archive navigation template - Template:DYK archive nav
  8. DYK archive header - Template:DYK archive header
  9. DYK navigation box - Template:DYKbox
  10. DYK project talk (Discussion) - WT:DYK - where general discussion takes place
  11. DYK project guide - WP:DYK/G - general guidance
  12. DYK Admins - WP:DYK/A - List of admins with significant interest in DYK
  13. DYK Non-admin participants - WP:DYK/NAP - List of non-admins who are actively involved in one or more aspects of DYK.
  14. Category:Wikipedia Did you know contributors
  15. DYK Hall of Fame - WP:DYK/HoF - Wikipedia's online museum established to recognize and honor individuals for noteworthy contributions to the advancement the Did You Know (DYK) project.
  16. DYK Hall of Fame talk page - WT:DYK/HoF - talk page for the DYK Hall of Fame.
  17. Main Page/Errors in Did you know... - WP:ERRORS - to report DYK errors on the Main Page
  18. Wikipedia:Did you know/Halloween 2008 - Speciality DYK project

See also[edit]