Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects

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"WP:CATREDIRECT" redirects here. For how to redirect one category to another, see Template:Category redirect.

This is a Wikipedia guideline for placing redirect pages into categories. It is intended to document current practice and suggest best practice in other areas and indicate where categorization of redirects can be misleading.

When to categorize a redirect[edit]

Most redirects should not be placed in article categories. There are, however, maintenance categories specifically for redirects, and most should be in one of those. There are some situations where placing a redirect in an article category is acceptable and can be helpful to users browsing through categories. The following are examples of some of these situations:

Categories just for redirects[edit]

There are a series of categories that are used only for redirects. Redirects are placed in categories by templates. These categories explain why the redirect exists, for example {{R from merge}} means it was created by a merge or {{R from alternative name}} means that the redirect is an alternative name for the main title.

These categories are only intended to contain redirects, and are helpful in keeping track of redirects and further subcategorizing them as needed. They include both redirects within main namespace and in other namespaces. They are often applied using templates, though such categories can also be created and populated directly. This categorization is intended for Wikipedia editors, not readers.

For tables of redirect category templates, grouped both alphanumerically and by function, see Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages. For the categorical list of such templates, see Category:Redirect templates. All the redirect categories are subcategories of Category:Wikipedia redirects, which is not meant to contain any redirects directly and is purposely kept empty except for subcategories.

Redirects whose target title is incompatible with the category[edit]

Alternative names should not look out of place on a category page. This is often a way to satisfy disagreements over renaming an article when more than one name seems equally valid. The alternative name(s) becomes a redirect and gets categorized the same way as its target. Another example is when a single article covers things known by multiple names, such as a person who is known in multiple fields of endeavour under different names, a merged article about three different newspapers, or a sketch comedy television show whose name exists on Wikipedia as a redirect to the comedy troupe that created it. In such a case, consideration needs to be given to which title should be reflected in an individual category.

Note that placing such a category on the target article, with the alternative title in pipetext, does not accomplish the desired purpose, as pipetext in a category link only affects how a title is ordered alphabetically, not how it actually appears.

  • Examples:

Alternative names for articles[edit]

The primary function of the category system is to allow readers to browse through articles. The category system is often used like an alphabetical index. It is sometimes helpful for redirects from common alternative names to appear in the index list. Editors should consider whether alternative names should be mixed in with other names, or not. Sometimes an entirely new category is more appropriate (see Categorization of multiple taxonomies below).

  • Examples:

Subtopic categorization[edit]

Some subtopics of articles have well-known names and, over time, may expand to become separate articles. Many articles cover several topics that have been combined. This can happen following a merge of several related articles. Often there are redirects pointing to these subtopics. These redirects can be categorized. In some cases, the categories for the redirects that point to the subtopics will be different than the categories for the entire article.

  • Example of similar categorization:
  • Examples of different categorization:

Categorization of multiple taxonomies[edit]

Some articles can be organized by more than one taxonomy. An example of this is the organization of animal and plant articles by common names and binomial name taxonomy. This is possible by categorizing the article one way and categorizing the redirect a different way. In this case, the alternative categorization of the redirect will not appear in the article unless it is manually added.

  • Examples:

Categorization of list entries[edit]

Some well-organized lists have redirects pointing at their subsections. In such cases, categorization of the redirects can be an alternative way of browsing entries in a long list. It can also provide an alphabetical listing for lists that are not organised alphabetically, for example, lists organised in a chronological order. Redirects to sections of minor character lists should generally only be categorized within that fictional setting, and not in the wider fictional categories.

  • Examples:

How to categorize a redirect[edit]

A redirect may be categorized in the same way as for any other page; however, when it is possible to use redirect category templates (rcats), then these should be used. For clarity, all category links should be added at the end of the page on their own lines, after the redirect target link and rcat(s). Use of a blank line between the redirect target link and all rcats and category links promotes readability of the code. The {{DEFAULTSORT:}} magic word can also be placed on redirects, for example, to ensure that a redirect title that begins with a person's given name will be sorted to their surname:

{{DEFAULTSORT:Sprat, Jack}}

The {{Redirect category shell}} (Rcat shell) and {{This is a redirect}} (Redr) templates are used to improve the appearance of text on redirects as well as to easily tag a redirect with one or more rcats. They both function to help inexperienced users categorize redirects and they both automatically sense protection levels. See their documentation pages and the This is a redirect/Comparison page for more information.

The redirect will appear in the specified categories in a style format that is different than non-redirects (by default, redirects appear in italics type, while non-redirects do not – see Technical note below).

Example 1
– a redirect that targets page Xxy Yzz, which uses the {{R from former name}} and {{R printworthy}} rcats, and which is also sorted to article content categories Aaa and Bbb, may appear as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]]

{{Rcat shell|
{{R from former name}}
{{R printworthy}}
}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Yzz, Xxy}}
[[Category:Aaa]]
[[Category:Bbb]]
When the title being redirected is a person's proper name, consensus is to modify the sort key from its default action, (usually sorted by {{PAGENAME}}, the redirect title in this case), to instead sort it by surname. The {{DEFAULTSORT:}} behaviour switch is used for this; for example, on the edit page of the George Walker Bush redirect, use {{DEFAULTSORT:Bush, George Walker}}, so that the page will appear alphabetized in the B's and not the G's of the various categories. Similarly, for titles beginning with a definite or indefinite article, such as "the" or "a" - for example in redirect The President of the United States, use {{DEFAULTSORT:President of the United States, The}}, so that the page will appear alphabetically in the P's (see Wikipedia:Categorization of people#Ordering names in a category for more information). As with non-redirect pages, it should be positioned immediately before the article content categories:
For the Bruce Jenner redirect:
#REDIRECT [[Caitlyn Jenner]]

{{Rcat shell|
{{R from birth name}}
{{R printworthy}}
}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Jenner, Bruce}}
[[Category:Athletes (track and field) at the 1975 Pan American Games]]
[[Category:Athletes (track and field) at the 1976 Summer Olympics]]
Category:Redirects from birth names is a subcategory of Category:Redirects from former names. Normally, the most specific subcategory is used on redirects rather than their parent categories.
When the This is a redirect template is used, it is applied as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]]

{{This is a redirect|from former name|printworthy}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Yzz, Xxy}}
[[Category:Aaa]]
[[Category:Bbb]]
Note that the leading "R" in rcat names may be omitted. Aliases/shortcuts may also be used:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]]

{{Redr|from former name|pw}}

[[Category:Aaa]]
[[Category:Bbb]]
Redr is an alias for "This is a redirect", and R pw stands in for "R printworthy".
Note that the leading "R" in rcat names can either be used, as in {{Redr|R from former name|R pw}}, or it may be omitted (only) in the This is a redirect template (that leading "R" cannot be omitted in the Rcat shell or when rcats individually tag redirects).
Example 2
– a redirect to an article subsection titled "Header":
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]]

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R to section}}
{{R printworthy}}
}}
also, when the above shell template is used, all its contents can be entered on one line as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]]

{{Redirect category shell|{{R to section}}{{R printworthy}}}}
When This is a redirect is used, it is applied as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]]

{{Redr|to section|printworthy}}
There are often very good reasons to choose to use Rcat shell rather than Redr or using rcats by themselves; these reasons are detailed on their documentation pages.
Example 3
– a redirect to an article that has an anchor titled "Anchor this" (see templates {{Anchor}} and {{subst:Anchor comment}}):
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Anchor this]]

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R to anchor}}
{{R unprintworthy}}
}}
When This is a redirect is used, it may be applied as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Anchor this]]

{{Redr|to anchor|unprintworthy}}
Example 4
– one common redirect need to a geology page titled Xxy Yzz, which uses the R to section rcat to point to the article and section where the common term is defined, and which should be in categories Aaa, Bbb, Ccc and Ddd (the parent article may be sorted to a few more, such as Eee, Fff, etc.), all of which are categories usually found in the parent article. Here is how this example would appear:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Section header]] 

{{Rcat shell|
{{R to section}}
{{R to related topic}}
{{R printworthy}}
}}

[[Category:Aaa|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
[[Category:Bbb|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
[[Category:Ccc|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
[[Category:Ddd|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
Notes
1. The #REDIRECT [[Article title]] must come first, on the top line, and must start from the left margin. [[Category:...]]-type links may be placed on their own lines after the redirect target link. Redirect category (rcat) templates, {{R from...}}, {{R to ...}}, etc., the {{Redirect category shell}} (Rcat shell) and the {{This is a redirect}} (Redr) templates may be placed anywhere after the redirect on another line or lines. Those are usually placed before (above) content categories and empty lines are left between the types for readability.
Crucial note: If the Redirect category shell (Rcat shell) or the This is a redirect (Redr) templates are placed on the first line, the same line as the redirect target, there are usually unexpected results. HTML Tidy may interfere with the templates and cause them to appear in abnormal and unexpected ways when saved. Just be careful to put these templates on the third line beginning at the far left margin of the edit screen.
2. {{PAGENAME}} is one of several "magic words" (magic words are different from templates) in wikimarkup language. It fills in the pagename (without the namespace) of the redirect unless the pagename of the target page (without namespace) is entered as its first parameter. The first category parameter represented by |{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}} (note that the colon ( : ) is used to pass parameters in magic words rather than the pipe ( | ) symbol that is used in templates) above is in fact the sort key used to group pages together in a category list.
3. When the This is a redirect (Redr) template is used, it will allow rcat parameters as described in its documentation. It takes up to 14 unnamed (numbered) rcat parameters, 2 for each rcat: "p1" through "p7" and "n1" through "n7". (The numbers 1 thru 7 represent the position an rcat holds in the template.) When the Redirect category shell (Rcat shell) template is used, each rcat can pass its own parameters, whether named or numbered, in the normal manner, and without concern for what position the rcat holds within the shell template.
4. As shown above, printworthiness is an important type of sort. We are told in the style guide, "The ultimate goal of the guide is to have every redirect categorised in a standard format, as well as to have every main-namespace redirect categorised as either printworthy or unprintworthy." It is important to note that this only applies to main article namespace redirects and not to redirects in any other namespace.
5. For more detailed information about how to categorize redirects please see the documentation for individual rcats, for the Redirect category shell and for the This is a redirect template.
 General information note
ALL the {{R from...}}, {{R to...}}, etc., templates have as their main purpose to populate a redirect subcategory (see Category:Wikipedia redirects) to aid in maintenance. A second goal is to help editors with concise explanations for such sortings. Generally speaking, one such template categorizes redirect pages to the subcategory, though that template may be "aliased" by use of several alternative phrasings, themselves redirects to the template. Common alias choices are: other vs. alternative, capitalization vs. capitalisation and other such spelling/phrasing variants like "R to singular" vs. "R from plural" and "R from singular" vs. "R to plural".

Technical note[edit]

The appearance of a redirect link on category pages and in search results is determined by the CSS class "redirect-in-category" and the specification for that class in MediaWiki:Common.css. By default, this class is set to "italics", although this may be changed by the user. In the past, no distinction was made for users, which fueled the controversies over how to categorize redirects. By displaying them in italics, redirects are easy to pick out. Perfectly good (and in many cases better known) terminology implemented as redirects for technical reasons can now be categorized for the readers to browse, and for editors to know and use as needed.

See also[edit]