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Some Wikipedians hold that articles need to be of sufficient importance to be included in Wikipedia. This essay attempts to give an insight in what such term means in Wikipedia context. As such, it is a companion to and clarification of several policies and guidelines:
- What Wikipedia is not;
- Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial, specifically the "Space and balance" section of that guideline;
- the style guide Check your fiction;
- Criteria for inclusion of biographies;
- other guidelines in category:subject-specific notability criteria
Relative importance of "importance" criteria
Many Wikipedians do not consider importance a necessary qualification - see the poll Wikipedia talk:Fame and importance which failed to win consensus, and especially Jimbo's vote where he explains why the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy is sufficient. However, verifiable articles continue to be submitted to Articles for Deletion.
For individual examples of what some people have previously thought should be included in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Precedents.
An article is "important" enough to be included in Wikipedia if any one of the following is true:
- There is evidence that a reasonable number of people are, were or might be simultaneously interested in the subject (e.g. it is at least well known in a community).
- It is an expansion (longer than a stub) upon an established subject.
- Discussion on the article's talk page establishes its importance.
If an article is "important" according to the above then there's no reason to delete it on the basis of it being:
- of insufficient importance, fame or relevance, or
- currently small or a stub, or
- obscure. (Detailed obscure topics hurt no-one because it's hard to find them by accident, and Wikipedia isn't paper.)
Note that notwithstanding these criteria, other Wikipedia deletion policy may still apply to an article.
Possible flaws in the importance criteria
- The criteria do not explain the difference between items that are of lasting significance and items that are of fleeting interest.
- There is no discrimination between lists of trivia that an unspecified group of people may find compelling, and genuine knowledge.
- Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not
- Wikipedia:No original research
- Wikipedia:Deletion of vanity articles
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Webcomics/Notability and inclusion guidelines
- Wikipedia:Companies, corporations and economic information/Notability and inclusion guidelines
- Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles#Check your fiction (style guide)
- Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Music/Notability and Music Guidelines
- m:Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia (discussion)
- Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Numbers#How Far To Go?