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Drafts are pages in the Draft namespace (draftspace) where new articles[note 1] can be created and developed, for a limited period of time.[note 2] They allow editors to develop new articles and to receive feedback before being moved to Wikipedia's article namespace (mainspace). If you are logged in, creating a Draft version first is optional. Editors may instead choose to create draft pages in their userspace or new articles directly in mainspace after the user has become autoconfirmed or confirmed. This namespace was created, and the current process established, in December 2013.

Creating and editing drafts

Anyone, including users who are not logged in, can create and edit drafts. Drafts have "Draft:" before their normal title, and also have an associated draft talk page. Users who have VisualEditor enabled will be able to use VisualEditor just like on articles. Changing a page from a draft to an article requires an autoconfirmed account (an account with at least 10 edits and created at least 4 days ago). Doing so is done by moving the page to a title without "Draft:" in front of it. If there is a technical barrier to the move, such as when the creation of an article may be protected, seek assistance at places such as the Teahouse, the technical moves page, or the request for unprotection page.

Create a new draft

After you have created your draft page:

  • (Optionally) add the template {{Draft article}} at the top of the draft (not the talk page), along with the template's parameters |name and |subject=. A list of appropriate subject fields can be found here. If the draft name has a redirect page of the same name, you can use {{R with possibilities}}.
  • Disable any categories by inserting a colon before the word "Category", e.g. change [[Category:Living people]] to [[:Category:Living people]] , or by using the {{Draft categories}} template.
  • Non-free content cannot be included in draft articles, per Wikipedia's policy on where non-free media is allowed. Any desired non-free content should be added to the article once it has been moved to the mainspace.

Finding drafts

Drafts are not indexed by most search engines including Google,[note 3] meaning most readers will not find them. Anyone can search and view drafts on Wikipedia directly using Wikipedia's built-in search engine: simply choose "Advanced", then tick "Draft" and/or "Draft talk" on the list of options (i.e. in this manner). The list of all draft pages is at Special:AllPages or Special:PrefixIndex. You can also view recent Draft changes to the namespace, newly created drafts, visit a random draft, or see Wikipedia:AfC sorting. Some drafts are sorted by subtopic under Category:Draft articles.

As the draft namespace is a common location for incubating articles (unlike user space), users are notified through Template:New page DYM when visiting a non-existent article whose title does exist in draft space, to prevent unnecessary creation of duplicates on current events, and to help editors discover abandoned drafts to take over and save time rather than starting from scratch:

The warning is also invoked by Template:Editnotices/Namespace/Main for existing mainspace pages.

Moving drafts to mainspace

Putting the article in the main namespace (where normal articles are) requires an editor to use the page move function to move it into the Main (article) namespace. This means that anonymous editors, or registered editors who are not autoconfirmed, will need to request help with this step by inserting into their drafts the relevant template for requesting a page move. Optionally, editors can also submit drafts for review via the articles for creation process by adding the code {{subst:submit}} to the top of the draft page.

An article created in draftspace does not belong to the editor who created it, and any other user may edit, move, rename, redirect, merge, or seek deletion of any draft.[note 4]

Moving articles to draftspace

The aim of moving an article to draft is to allow time and space for the draft's improvement until it is acceptable for mainspace. It is not intended as a backdoor route to deletion.

After moving an article to draft space, you should:

  • Nominate the resulting cross-namespace redirect for deletion using {{db-r2}} (administrators and page movers can skip this by moving without leaving a redirect)
  • Notify the creator of the article (e.g. with {{uw-articletodraft}})
  • Mark its talk page with the tags of any relevant projects as a means of soliciting improvements from interested editors

The process can be automated with the MoveToDraft user script.

Reasons to move an article to draftspace

Common reasons for incubating an article to draftspace as an alternative to deletion include, but are not limited to:

  1. The article was created by an editor who appears to have a conflict of interest, but it did not go through the Articles for Creation (AfC) process[note 5]
  2. The article consists of machine-generated text, such as an unedited machine translation or the output of a large language model
  3. The article is about an upcoming event or forthcoming work that is not notable yet, but likely to become so in the near future

Reasons not to move an article to draftspace

Editors should generally avoid moving an article to draftspace in the following circumstances:

  1. The article was not created within the last 90 days.[note 6]
  2. The article is currently being discussed at articles for deletion (AfD), deletion review (DRV), or a similar venue where the move could pre-empt a formal close[note 7]
  3. The article contains outstanding copyright violations; these are not allowed in any namespace and must be addressed
  4. There is no chance that the article can be improved to the point that is suitable for mainspace; problems that can't be fixed are reasons for deletion
  5. Another editor is actively working on the article, e.g. there is an {{under construction}} notice or there have been constructive edits made within the last hour
  6. Another editor has asserted that the page belongs in mainspace, e.g. it has previously been moved there, or there is a clear statement to that effect in the edit history or on the talk page[note 8]
  7. Another editor has objected to or reversed the move[note 8]

As a result of a deletion discussion

Articles may be moved to become a draft as a result of a deletion discussion, indirectly following deletion and a request for undeletion. When performing such a move, link to the original deletion discussion and the decision to move the article into draftspace. Authors should try to understand and respond to the reason for moving to draft status, and then use the AfC submission process to have the page moved back to mainspace. The author is encouraged to ask other editors questions, or to use the {{Help me}} template.

During new page review

The community has also allowed for new articles to be moved to draft space as an alternative to deletion. Below are a set of best practices to follow when draftifying an article in these circumstances. As part of the review of new pages, an unreviewed page may be moved to draft if:

  1. the topic has some potential merit, and
  2. the article does not meet the required standard, and
  3. there is no evidence of active improvement (at least one hour since the last constructive edit), and
  4. the article does not contain copyright violations.
  5. or when the author clearly has a conflict of interest (per WP:COIEDIT).

Expanding on the above:

Has some merit

1a. for example, the topic is plausibly notable (if not, it should be speedy-deleted under A7 or nominated at AfD; do not draftify junk).

Does not meet the required standard

2a. The page is obviously unready for mainspace, for example:
2a-i. is not a reasonable WP:STUB (e.g. has very little verifiable information, or is interchangeable with a short dictionary entry, but the definition is not good);
2a-ii. or it would have very little chance of survival at AfD;
2a-iii. or it meets any speedy deletion criterion.
2b. The topic appears unimportant, is possibly not worth the effort of fixing, and no great loss if deleted due to expiring in draftspace.
2c. The topic is not a new topic likely to be of interest to multiple people (such as current affairs topics).
2d. The page is a recent creation by an inexperienced editor. As a rule of thumb, articles older than 90 days should not be draftified without prior consensus at AfD or another suitable venue.[note 6]

No evidence of active improvement

3a. There is no evidence of a user actively working on it. Wait at least an hour after the last constructive edit to see if the page is likely to be expanded in the immediate future.
3b. There is no assertion that the page belongs in mainspace, such as a clear statement to that effect in the edit history, or on the talk page, or a revert of a previous draftification.

Does not contain copyright violations

4a. Articles with copyright violations must be addressed, and may not be moved to any namespace.

When the author clearly has a conflict of interest

5a. The article has some merit but is written with a promotional tone that makes it clear that the author has a conflict of interest with the topic (exclusively promotional articles should instead be tagged with G11).
5b. Whenever this is done, the draftifier must inform the author that COI editors should submit new articles through Articles for Creation (fourth bullet point of WP:COIEDIT).

Objections

Other editors, including the author of the page, but excluding editors with a conflict of interest, have a right to object to draftifying the page. If an editor raises an objection, move the page back to mainspace and, if necessary, list it at AfD.

A page may only be moved unilaterally to the draftspace a single time. If anyone objects, it is no longer an uncontroversial move, and the page needs to be handled through other processes, such as deletion, stubbing, tagging, etc.

Deleting drafts

Drafts are meant to be works in progress, and most will not meet Wikipedia's standards for quality at first. This means that drafts are not subject to the same deletion criteria as articles, such as "no context", "no indication of importance", or "not in English". Creators should be allowed time to e.g. establish context or notability, translate, and make other adjustments and improvements (though abandoned drafts will be deleted after six months).

Speedy deletion

The general section of the criteria for speedy deletion may be applied to drafts. Drafts that are copyright violations, vandalism, disparage or attack their subject, are tests, or unambiguous advertising or promotion can be speedily deleted.

Abandoned drafts

Drafts that have not been edited in six months may be deleted under criterion for speedy deletion G13. Most G13 nominations for deletion are done by bots or users using Twinkle or AFCH, processes that inform the draft creator on their talk page. Pages deleted under G13 may be restored upon request at WP:REFUND (see Wikipedia:Requests for undeletion/G13).

Drafts may be tagged with {{promising draft}} by an editor other than the original draft creator, if they feel that a draft is promising. This tag cannot be used to indefinitely prevent a G13 speedy deletion nomination,[note 9] but extra attention should be directed to determining the viability of a draft bearing this notice before seeking to delete it.

Miscellany for deletion

Drafts that do not meet any of the criteria for speedy deletion can still be nominated for deletion at miscellany for deletion (MfD). A draft will be deleted at MfD if there is a consensus that it meets one of the reasons for deletion under the deletion policy and that it is unlikely to ever be a viable article.[note 10] Failure to demonstrate that the topic meets notability guidelines is not considered sufficient reason to delete a draft,[note 11] unless it has been repeatedly declined and resubmitted at AfC without improvement.[note 10]

Redirects from drafts to the mainspace

Redirects that are a result of page moves from the draft namespace to the main namespace should be retained.[note 12] Drafts redirected to an appropriate article or a relevant section of an article are also generally preserved.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Including disambiguation pages; very rarely, new pages for non-article namespaces such as the Portal:, Template: and Wikipedia: namespaces are first incubated in the draftspace.
  2. ^ After six months have elapsed since its last substantive edit, the draft becomes eligible for deletion. See § Deletion of old drafts.
  3. ^ Search engines or mirrors that do not respect the robots.txt convention might still index drafts.
  4. ^ Wikipedia's editing policy applies to all pages, including drafts.
  5. ^ Editors with a conflict of interest are asked to use AfC in Wikipedia:Conflict of interest § COI editing and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest § Paid editing.
  6. ^ a b RFC at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Proposal to ban draftifying articles more than 90 days old without consensus.
  7. ^ Per Wikipedia:Articles for deletion § Wikietiquette, [w]hile there is no prohibition against moving an article while an AfD or deletion review discussion is in progress, editors considering doing so should realize such a move can confuse the discussion greatly, can preempt a closing decision, can make the discussion difficult to track, and can lead to inconsistencies when using semi-automated closing scripts.
  8. ^ a b Moving an article over the objections of another editor, without seeking consensus, constitutes edit warring (more specifically move warring)
  9. ^ This RfC determined through community consensus that Template:Promising draft cannot be used to indefinitely prevent a G13 speedy nomination, superseding a previous discussion.
  10. ^ a b Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 149 § RfC: Deletion of drafts
  11. ^ Wikipedia talk:Notability/Archive 58 § RfC: Does WP:N apply to drafts in userspace or draftspace?
  12. ^ It was determined that the community consensus in this RfC regarding draft namespace redirects amounted to "there is a clear consensus against deletion of draft namespace redirects. There is a rough consensus against the alternative proposal to delete draft namespace redirects after six months."

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