Wikipedia:Essays in a nutshell/Notability

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Essay.svg Nutshell.png This essays in a nutshell page summarizes the gist of user written essays on Wikipedia. Essays can also be navigated via categories, navigation templates, or Special:Search. For a listing and more information on navigating essays, see Wikipedia:Essay directory.

Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion. Essays are not Wikipedia policies.

See also Wikipedia:Essay directory#Notability
Essay In a nutshell Shortcuts Impact
Alternative outlets There are other places for potentially useful or valuable content which is not appropriate for Wikipedia. WP:OUT, WP:ALTOUT, WP:OUTLET, WP:ALTERNATIVE, WP:ALTERNATE Mid
Articles with a single source If an article is based on only one source, there may be copyright, original research, and notability concerns. WP:ONESOURCE, WP:1R Low
Bare notability Be cautious with creating articles that are borderline notable. A subject that seems to be barely notable may really not be notable at all. WP:BARE, WP:MINIMUM Low
Bombardment Don't indiscriminately add excessive references to an article in the hope that weight of numbers will prevent it from being deleted. WP:BOMBARD Mid
Every snowflake is unique Many similar items can have encyclopedic articles of their own; article's content should describe which peculiarities distinguish one item from the others, based on critical commentary found in reliable sources. Focus on quality, not quantity. WP:SNOWFLAKE Mid
Existence ≠ Notability Truth alone is not a valid criteria for inclusion. WP:E=N, WP:ENN, WP:ENEN, WP:EXISTENCE, WP:POPULARITY Low
Fancruft Avoid subjects that are trivial and of importance only to a small population of fans. WP:FAN, WP:CRUFT, WP:FANCRUFT Top
Subjective importance Some subjects may seem notable because they are perceived as being important. By without meeting Wikipedia's inclusion criteria, they are not notable. WP:FACTORS Mid
I wouldn't know him from a hole in the ground Biographies must be on subjects that are notable. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. WP:HOLE Low
Inclusion is not an indicator of notability Anyone can edit Wikipedia. Inclusion on Wikipedia has no effect on a subject's notability. Non-inclusion does not indicate a lack of notability. WP:INN, WP:ININ Low
Inherent notability Ultimately, the community decides if a subject is intrinsically notable. WP:IHN, WP:INHERENT Low
Insignificant Significance can be subjective. Inclusion on Wikipedia is based on notability, not significance. WP:INSIGNIFICANT

WP:SIGNIFICANT

Low
Masking the lack of notability Excellent prose and the sheer number of citations or external links has no effect on a subject's notability. WP:MASK Low
No amount of editing can overcome a lack of notability When notability is legitimately invoked as an issue in a deletion nomination, the problem usually cannot be solved by better editing. WP:AKON, WP:AMOUNT, WP:OVERCOME Low
No one cares about your garage band Don't start an article on your band if you don't have much of an audience yet. WP:GARAGEBAND, WP:MYSPACEBAND, WP:YAMB Mid
No one really cares Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Don't make an article on a subject so trivial or arbitrary that no one could ever conceivably care about it. However, not caring does not always mean not notable. WP:CARES, WP:NOONECARES, WP:DONTGIVEASHIT Low
Notability does not degrade over time Notability of a subject doesn't degrade over time. WP:DEGRADE Low
Notability is important Non-notable subjects cannot be allowed articles because said articles tend to cause more problems than they're worth. WP:NII
Notability is not a level playing field Notability is not "a level playing field". In some areas, notability requirements are lower than others. WP:PLAYINGFIELD Low
Notability is not a matter of opinion In a deletion discussion, arguments for keeping the article should be based on reliable sources, not opinions. WP:NMO, WP:NWYB Low
Notability is not relevance or reliability Wikipedia:Notability does not determine article content, or source reliability. It only determines whether or not we will have an entire article about a topic. WP:NREL, WP:NOTREL
Notability outranks POV disputes An article that attracts POV pushing can still be notable. This does not mean you should create a POV fork. WP:POVNOTABLE
Notability sub-pages Notability guideline sub-pages should only be created if there is a specific need to do so. They should not set an inclusion criteria less restrictive than WP:N. A guideline proposal may contain inclusion criteria that are more restrictive than WP:N, but note that there is currently no consensus regarding these type of criteria. WP:NSUBS, WP:NSP Low
Notability vs. prominence A subject is notable if there are enough reliable sources for an article or a section of an article to be devoted to it in Wikipedia. Wikipedia strives to include information about an individual idea in rough proportion to how prominent the idea is in the sum total of reliable, third-party sources. Low
Obscure does not mean not notable Just because a topic is of little interest to the general public does not mean Wikipedia should not include it. Also when writing articles about obscure topics Wikipedians do not have to consider the general audience. WP:OBSCURE Low
On Wikipedia, solutions are mixtures and nothing else Public relations slang, like "we offer solutions", is a good indication that an article is promotional and likely not notable. WP:SOLUTION
Other stuff exists That other similar articles exist is an argument to avoid in deletion discussions, content disputes, and other discussions and will typically be dismissed while still assuming good faith. When used properly, a logical rationalization of "Other Stuff Exists" may be used in a perfectly valid manner in discussions of what articles to create, delete, or retain.

Wikipedia has, unintentionally, set a precedent for inclusion or exclusion when notability is contested (for example, high schools or geographic features), and in these situations this type of argument may be worth introducing.

WP:OSE Low
Pokémon test The Pokémon test was originally used prior to the merger of most Pokémon into the list of Pokémon, but is analogous to situations where several less-than-notable topics of a common subject matter are merged together. This essay describes the historical context of this test. WP:POKEMON, WP:PTEST, WP:KIT, WP:KAREN Mid
Red flags of non-notability There are obvious indicators that a subject is unambiguously not notable. WP:RFNN, WP:REDFLAGSOFNONNOTABILITY Low
Run-of-the-mill There are some items that are very commonplace for which sources verifying their accuracy do exist. But there are so many of these that can be verified given the same sources, there cannot possibly be an article on each one, and only those with additional sources deserve articles. WP:MILL

WP:ROTM WP:COOKIE

Mid
Schoolcruft Avoid trivia that is of importance only to a small population of students. WP:SCFT, WP:SCHOOLCRUFT Low
Semi-notability Topics that fall short of meeting Wikipedia's notability guidelines but have some coverage are eligible for coverage within an article to the extent they can be verified. WP:SEMI-N Low
Sources must be out-of-universe Because of the nature of writing a fictional universe non-notable concepts can appear to have many, many sources. In reality these sources are all inappropriate because they are not only primary sources, but are not independent of the topic being discussed. Notability should be based on real-life impact. WP:OOUOnly, WP:NSB
Too soon Sometimes it's simply just too soon for some topics to have an article. WP:TOOSOON, WP:NOTJUSTYET
Trivial mentions Notability requires significant coverage by reliable sources. Trivial mentions are not enough. WP:TRIVIALMENTION, WP:ONESENTENCE
Two prongs of notability Notability implies two things, that a subject is worthy of note, and that we have the ability to write an encyclopedia article about it in a verifiable manner WP:TWOPRONGS
Up and coming next big thing Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Future fame has no effect on present notability. WP:UPANDCOMING, WP:NEXTBIGTHING, WP:RISING, WP:SHOWSPOTENTIAL Low
Vanispamcruftisement Vanispamcruftisement is a portmanteau comprising several editorial faults which some Wikipedians see as cardinal sins: vanity (i.e., conflict of interest), spam, cruft, and advertisement. WP:VSCA, WP:VANISPAM Low
What isn't grounds for article deletion: An article should only be deleted if the topic is not appropriate for Wikipedia. If the article is not well-written and doesn't conform to Wikipedia guidelines, it should be revised, not deleted. WP:WIGAD, WP:NOGROUNDS Low
What notability is not Notability is not objective, permanent, judged in isolation, nor a meritocracy. WP:WNIN, WP:NOPE
Who is a low profile individual A low-profile individual is a person, usually notable for only one event, who has not sought or desired the attention. WP:LOWPROFILE, WP:WIALPI Low
Why can't I advertise my company or product on Wikipedia? Wikipedia is not a site for advertising. Entries must meet the encyclopedia's notability guidelines. Low
Why should I care? Assume that others will not improve your article for you. Make sure an article meets Wikipedia's notability, reliable sources, and verification guidelines before creating it. WP:WTH, WP:WSIC Low
Wikipedia doesn't care how many friends you have The number of fans or followers a subject has is irrelevant in a deletion discussion. Notability determines if an article is kept. WP:NFRIENDS, WP:NOFRIENDS, WP:NUMFRIENDS
Wikipedia is not Google Wikipedia is not a search engine. It's an encyclopedia, not an indiscriminate collection of information. WP:WING, WP:NSE, WP:NG Low
Wikipedia is not here to tell the world about your noble cause It is secondary coverage in reliable sources which determines if a topic should be covered by Wikipedia, not how well-intentioned it is. WP:NOBLECAUSE, WP:NOBLE, WP:NOBILITY, WP:WORTHYCAUSE Low
Wikipuffery Don't use unsubstantiated adjectives to exaggerate the notability of an article to prevent deletion. WP:PUFF, WP:LARD Low
Your alma mater is not your ticket to Wikipedia Do not add a name to the "notable alumni" section of that person's alma mater unless that person is actually notable. WP:ALMA, WP:ALMAMATER

By subject[edit]

Essay In a nutshell Shortcuts Impact
Academic journals Subjects of articles on academic journals are required to be notable; that is significant, interesting, or unusual enough to be worthy of notice, as evidenced by being the subject of significant coverage in independent reliable secondary sources. Many academic journals are notably influential in the world of ideas without being the subject of secondary sources. WP:NJOURNALS
Aircraft Aircraft types will almost always be notable. Aircraft subtypes and variants may be notable. Aircraft types currently or once under development may be notable. Individual aircraft will very seldom be notable.
Breeds, writing about A crash course (mostly for new editors) in how to write encyclopedically about animal breeds and related topics – notability, neutrality, sourcing, style. WP:BREEDTIPS
Breweries Breweries are organisations and beer is their product; as such, the main guidance for notability for breweries can be found at WP:ORG, while main guidance for individual beer brands can be found at WP:Product. WP:BREWERIES
Fiction Fictional elements are expected to follow the same notability guidelines as any other topic. WP:FICT, WP:FICTION, WP:NFICT High
High schools High schools/secondary schools are generally considered to be notable, but they must be able to meet the relevant guidelines for notability. WP:NHS Low
Highways National highways are generally notable. However, all articles on highways must meet the general notability guidelines.
Media A media outlet is notable if there is significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject. WP:NME, WP:NMEDIA
Games A game is appropriate for an article if it has been the subject of significant commentary or analysis in published sources that are independent of the game creator. WP:NGAME
Periodicals Articles about periodicals (magazines, newspapers, academic journals, and similar) are required to meet notability criteria by citing significant commentary in independent reliable secondary sources. Many periodicals are notably influential without being the subject of secondary sources. WP:PERIODICAL, WP:NMAG, WP:NNEWSPAPER, WP:NMAGAZINE
Places of local interest An article about a local place or person may be created if there is enough referenced information to make it encyclopedic. Otherwise, include the information in the nearest appropriate parent article. WP:LOCAL
Planned films Through consideration of policy, sometimes even a "planned film" might have enough persistent critical commentary over an extended period of time so that the topic of the planned film might itself be determined as worthy of note. WP:FFILM
Poker players Articles on poker players should generally meet the notability guidelines for athletes.
Publishing A publisher arguably may derive notability from its publications WP:PUBLISHER
Railway lines and stations An article about a railway station or railway line could be created if there's enough referenced information to make it encyclopedic. Otherwise, include the station or line in a parent article. WP:STATION Low
Software Software articles should avoid promotional wording and establish significance. Consider the circumstances surrounding an article in relation to the type of sources used. Before nominating an unsourced article for deletion, make sure to verify that it is non-notable, not just missing citations WP:NSOFT
Vehicles Broad types of vehicles will almost always be notable. Subtypes and variants may be notable. Vehicles currently or once under development may be notable. Individual vehicles, other than large ships, will very seldom be notable.
Video games A video game release is appropriate for a stand-alone article if it has been the subject of significant commentary in multiple published sources which are independent of the video game developer. Avoid creating new articles about re-releases or expansions if they will be short or redundant, and cover smaller releases at the article about the original game.