Wikipedia:Notability is not a level playing field
This is an essay on notability.
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.
|This page in a nutshell: Notability is not "a level playing field". In some areas, notability requirements are lower than others.|
Notability is not a level playing field. This means that in certain areas, the inclusion requirements are lower than in others. This is related to the argument WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS - to the extent that an article within field (a) is included while a similar article in field (b) is deleted.
Reasons for this
Several possible reasons for this:
- Wikis should generally be constructed in a hierarchical, top down manner, more notable subjects first. This combined with the fact that people write about what they're interested in, which might be unimportant, rather than what is assessed as important in a "professional" committee-written encyclopedia, means that Wikipedia is more complete in some areas than others.
- Sources and research: Reliable sources are available to cover some areas more than others. Some areas have been researched and had that research published, others haven't.
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items.
- Politicians - moderate.
- Species: Many of which we can't know about because they're extinct and have left no fossil record or genetic heritage.
- Sports biographies - low see WP:NFOOTY and WP:NCRICKET
What to do about it
What should we do about it? Some suggestions:
- Try to balance the playing field by lowering the notability requirements in some areas and raising them in others.
- Note that doing this creates problems of what to do with existing content that previously met requirements but doesn't any more.
- Carry on as before as you don't think this is a problem.
- Write about what's important, not what you're interested in.
Other things notability is not
Notability is also said not to be entirely objective; necessarily permanent; judged in isolation; nor based on merit; these points are covered in detail at the essay WP:What notability is not. It is also held that notability is not a matter of opinion. From a policy standpoint, notability is also neither relevance nor reliability.