Wikipedia:Disambiguations are cheap
This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
A disambiguation page is a non-article navigation page in the article space, whose purpose is to distinguish between topics that share titles that are identical, or are similar enough that there may be some confusion between them. A disambiguation page can be titled with the ambiguous title followed by "(disambiguation)", or if none of the topics bearing that title is the primary topic, the plain title is used for the disambiguation page.
When to include a disambiguation page
A disambiguation page may be created and included on Wikipedia when there are multiple topics that could be titled with the same name. This means:
- Three or more topics that might otherwise bear the same title, when one of those topics is the primary topic
- Two or more topics that might otherwise bear the same title, when there is no primary topic
Before creating a disambiguation page, consider whether a disambiguation hatnote would be sufficient. Short hatnotes are often less intrusive than disambiguation pages. They take up less space and allow the reader to navigate directly from one article to another without going through a third page. See WP:TWODABS for more information.
When not to include a disambiguation page
When there are just two topics with a given title, and one of those is a primary topic, there is no need to have a disambiguation page. A hatnote on the top of the primary topic's page will do the trick. Don't worry about the part which says "if at all possible, limit hatnotes to just one at the top of the page."
When in doubt, ask
When there is doubt about whether to include a disambiguation page, it is better to ask first. Changing an existing article into a disambiguation page may have unintended consequences. For one thing, if there is no consensus for the change, a move often cannot be reversed without administrator assistance. There may also be incoming wikilinks that will now point to the disambiguation page rather than to the correct article unless they are updated. (There are no similar problems with disambiguation hatnotes, which can be easily changed when necessary by any editor.)
Conversely, when changing a disambiguation page at a plain title into an article without administrative assistance, consider whether or not the overall consensus would be in favor of this, and discuss it in advance if necessary.
A good place to ask is on the talk page of the article(s) that you think may require disambiguation. You can also use the more formal mechanism described at Wikipedia:Requested moves. Or you can ask at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation.