Wikipedia talk:Find or fix a stub

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Old talk(pre 2004)[edit]


Query - does this page serve any useful purpose now that anybody can find every stub in the wikipedia just by clicking on the menu? Doesn't this just maybe keep pages from being 'orphaned' when they otherwise would be? Maybe it's time to rewrite it and to remove the list of stubs and to just leave advice on how to extend them? KJ 05:00 Aug 2, 2002 (PDT)

List out of date[edit]

The list of stub articles is quite out of date. Over 50 of the articles there are over 300 words or so, and cannot really be described as stubs any more.

Now that we have the short articles special page, do we still need this list, or could we consider doing away with it altogether? Enchanter

I think we need it. I've been recently doing some additions and cleaning and noticed that some stubs are quite large, but should still keep their status. Short page list and stub list have similar but not same goals. AdSR

I recently came to a conclusion that many longer articles taken from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica could also be considered stubs, since they are rarely updated. AdSR






Moved from Wikipedia :

Stop the Stubs[edit]

A lot of really small articles are being created. These sub-500 bytes stubs are very poor, no encylopedia topic can be adequately covered in 500 bytes. I feel it would be better not to have them and prevent such articles being created. I propose a change to the code so that non-redirects under 500 bytes cannot be saved, preventing this rubbish from cluttering up Wikipedia. If people are prepared to write an article they should be prepared to write more than a sentence -- ²¹² 09:23, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I think, the limit of 500 bytes can easily be overcome by tricking the system. And I don't see stubs as sooo negative. see also Wikipedia:The_perfect_stub_article Fantasy 12:50, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Wasn't this discussed on the mailing list? -- Tim Starling 13:01, Aug 21, 2003 (UTC)
The question of how many bytes should constitute an article for the purposes of the article count was discussed (and then there was a vote on it and the counting system was changed a bit, I think), but I don't think anybody's suggested actually making it impossible to make sub-500-byte articles before. It doesn't seem a good idea to me. 500 bytes isn't sufficient to write about any subject adequately, of course, but it's perfectly possible to have a decent sub-500-byte start (John Tenniel, for example). --Camembert
That is exactly the problem, these "start" articles are no good. People need to be thinking in terms of creating well-crafted encyclopedia articles not "perfect" stubs. For example, on Wikipedia 1.0 most of the stubs will be ditched as not worth including on paper, so why create them just because you can on the online Wiki when you would never consider them adequate elsewhere? -- ²¹²
Who says they will be ditched on paper? I don't think they should. --Wik 20:39, Aug 21, 2003 (UTC)
It might be nice in principle, but I fear it may scare away too many new contributors. We want to welcome newcomers; it would be snobby of us, I think, to insist that they make all new articles 500 bytes or more. It just says to them "if you can't think of a paragraph to write about this subject, we don't want your help." We can just concentrate more on fixing the stubs we already have. I know there are tons, but it doesn't take that much work to turn one-sentence articles into at least a reasonably-sized paragraph. -- Wapcaplet 15:10, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
A 500[-]byte lower limit is a very moderate hurdle and one that for newcomers would be valuable—it would encourage stub creators to think more about what they add and serious contributors would be, in no way, deterred. To develop your quote I think it is reasonable to say "if you are sufficiently motivated to start an article but can't write a paragraph don't do it." -- ²¹² 15:40, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Many articles on which I have done major work started as somebody else's stub. I saw them on the "stub" page and thought "I can help that!"—whereas if the article didn't exist, I might never have thought to create it. Also, I have created a stub or two in my day because of lack of time/energy, only to see them grow into excellent articles (e.g., Orval Faubus. So I think stubs are a good way to "seed" wikipedia. -- DavidWBrooks 15:19, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Stubs may encourage article creation but if you are interested/knowledgable you will create the article anyway. My thinking is the need to change the viewpoint of contributors—from stub creation = "I can help that!" to what would someone coming to this article for information think on being confronted with a single sentence. The need is to encourage the creation of articles rather, than as new pages indicates, choking the articles under endless stubs -- ²¹² 15:40, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I find this discussion exceedingly silly. Of course everyone agrees a long article is better than a stub. But in the same way a stub is better than nothing. You ask what would someone think on being confronted with a single sentence? Well, it can't be worse than what he would think when finding no information at all! --Wik 20:39, Aug 21, 2003 (UTC)
In terms of building an encyclopedia, one 2,000 byte article is better than three 200 byte ones. However greater "reward" is given, in terms of a higher article count both personally and for the global count, for the latter. Pete 09:53, 22 Aug 2003 (UTC)
212, just out of curiosity I browsed a bit thru your user contributions and found many articles in the 500–1500 characters range (even at the first glance no article below 500 characters). So maybe someone else would say "an article below 1000 characters isn't worthy for Wikipedia", and exclude many of your contributions. On the other hand, there are really encylcopedia-worthy stubby articles—because I couldn't get a listing of articles by length, I pressed "Random page" some times and found in ten tries these four articles: Matjaz Omladic, Nesset, Melchiorre Murenu and When in Rome Do as the Vandals. Each of them seems to be rightly included in Wikipedia, even if short and sometimes (Omladic, Nesset) expandable. And even if I take a paper encyclopedia out of my shelf, I'll find next to long descriptions and simple redirects one or the other short entry. So I don't think there should be a technical hurdle to kill off articles below 500 chars. The most I'd do would be issue a warning ("You just saved an article with only xyz chars. Do you want to enlarge it?"). -- till we *) 17:43, Aug 21, 2003 (UTC)
For a term of reference, 212's original paragraph is just over 500 bytes long. I have sympathy for your view 212 and have myself recently resolved to only commit articles for the first time if they are at least 1k and preferably 2. I'd support a move to stronger wording against stubs on the appropiate Wikipedia: namespace pages. It would also be great to see a "real" article count as well as a headline article count that count articles that were, say, 2k+ bytes long and had at least 3 distinct contributors. Having said all that I think stubs are a necessary evil. Pete 20:03, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

A proposal[edit]

I propose deleting the contents of this page and replacing it with a link to what links here. There are lots of stub that have the stub notice but are not listed. That way, if someone de-stubifies something, it is automatically taken off the list, and it saves you having to list it here in the first place.

Any objections? Angela 00:15, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That matches Wikipedia:NPOV dispute, and seems like a good idea. Martin 01:39, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I agree, but there's gotta be some way to break the What Links Here bit up. The number of stubs that do link there have got to be mammoth. Dysprosia 00:27, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)
There is a way to break it up. The links below let you choose just to see what links to the redirects, so you can have a shorter list;

To find a stub, use the following link to see what links to this page:

If you would rather look at a shorter list, see what links to these redirect pages;

  • Now implemented. Angela 02:42, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Unstubbing a stub[edit]

When is a stub no longer a stub? And who can remove the stub note? See Irish literature for an example. I guess everyone but me knows the answers. Bmills 17:11, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Irish literature is definitely not a stub. Do the honors! There are no fixed rules. Some subjects can be dealt with in a sentence or two and such articles are not stubs. Other articles are still stubs even with three or four paragraphs.
Done and thanks. Now, if anyone feels like helping with the article, .... Bmills 17:34, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
My threshold for stub display (see preferences) is 2000 bytes. Any article that is substantially complete with less 1000 bytes is probably not on a particularly good topic and may be ripe for merger with a parent article. Of course articles with way more than 2000 bytes may be incomplete... but I wouldn't call them stubs. Pete 20:00, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I need opinions on destubbing Simone Cousteau A work in progress but I feel it is ready to be de-stubbed. Jo.G 15:50, Dec 12, 2003 (UTC)
I feel we should write a "reaper of the stub" section in the Find or fix a stub article that states some basic things about stub length and when it is not a stub anymore. A good rule of thumb might be more than half a page (or equivalent in line scheme) is no longer a stub. Nevertheless, some items are distorting, and can change how we see the text. For these we may need some baseline rules like 6 to 10 list items (such as kings) qualifies as a line, or 3 to 5 images qualifies as a line of content. Nevertheless it is highly subjective, and what I call a stub might not be what you do. I think some debate might be a good idea though, and a standard will need to be fleshed out eventually, since long articles with stub messages like Irish literature (beforehand) seem somewhat unprofessional. -- Emperorbma 09:12, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

2004 Talk[edit]

The No Stub sign is POV![edit]

Personally, I think anything which helps improve Wikipedia incrementally is acceptable, and that includes adding stubs where there previously was no entry. Hopefully, in the future, some other contributor, or the same person, would extend the stub. And besides, what's the point of discouraging people from making tiny incremental contributions? That would just slow down the growth of Wikipedia. Phys 15:33, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I think it was only meant as a joke, but you should remove it if you find it offensive. There are very mixed views on whether stubs are good or bad. See User:Angela/Stubs for a collection of quotes on the issue. :) Angela. 18:36, Jan 27, 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia namespace pages do not have to maintain a NPOV. However I agree that we are better off without the image on this page. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 21:33, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
How about a diffrent photo with Angela holding a short paragraph that she wrote? That could be a substitute, plus it's more User-friendly! --Jack Zhang 20:00, Feb 6, 2004 (UTC)
I'd vote no for that idea. :) Angela. 22:50, Feb 7, 2004 (UTC)

Full-text search for {{msg:stub}}[edit]

Does whatever article [that] has {{msg:stub}} automatically link to Template:stub? In such a case, the line about full-text search is redundant and should be removed. Also, full-text search is almost always disabled, so it is hardly useful. -- Paddu 14:40, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

There are, or at least were, issues over the dynamic linking of {{msg:...}} transclusions. There is also a limit to the number of pages reachable through What Links Here. Both of these can be overcome using the full-text search mechanism. When the &$£*!@%^& is switched on. HTH HAND --Phil 15:18, Feb 25, 2004 (UTC)
As far as I know, the what links here for msg: works now, but it does only show 500 pages. Subst will work as well, but only if there is a self link to the MediaWiki page included in it. Angela. 21:44, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)

Topic-specific Stubs[edit]

A few days ago, I started indexing Pokémon Stubs. I decided to add a link to that page here and noticed that there's also Tolkien Stubs. Should there be more list of topic-specific stubs?
--Fern 18:41, Apr 9, 2004 (UTC)

  • I think that is a good idea. However, I am still struggling with the idea of substubs since this still seems very subjective and depending on the type of topic, you sometimes reach the end after only a couple of paragraphs. What has been your experience with using the substub tag?--Jpittman 04:19, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Origin of "stub"?[edit]

Where does the word "stub" come from? Who used it first? 22:14, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Do you mean at Wikipedia? Otherwise, "stub" is a valid english word.

NOTICE, new type of stub[edit]

A new type of stub has been created: it's called a substub. Substubs are like regular stubs, only even smaller. You can read more about the difference between stubs and substubs here, or view examples of stubs vs. substubs. There is also a new substub template message; the new message is meant to replace the normal stub message, but only where, of course, an article is a substub instead of a stub. The new message looks like

The original author's transclusion here of Template:substub (his markup reading


has now been disabled by me) is removed since (surely contrary to his intent) it has become misleading, and also since it was falsely labeling this page as a substub. The content that his transclusion originally produced was

This article is a substub. A substub is even smaller than a normal stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

(indentation but not italics added by Jerzy (t)); he may or not have realized that, due to an edit 40 minutes earlier, he was putting this talk page into Category:Substubs. At any future time, the then current result of using the markup he refers to may be seen at Template:substub. At this writing, that result reads

This article is a substub, the first step on the way to becoming a full article. You can help by expanding it.

and includes a graphic of a jigsaw-puzzle piece bearing a "W". --Jerzy (t) 17:23, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)

You can use this new message by either replacing {{stub}} with {{substub}} in cases when a stub is more accurately described as a substub, or simply inserting {{substub}} at the bottom of an article. Many substubs are automatically listed on Wikipedia:Shortpages. You can discuss this new type of stub here, on the template message's talk page, or, preferably, on the substub talk page itself. -- Mike Storm 19:56, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC) The immediately preceding contribution has been modified by me, as explained within the modified text. I have consequently struck thru the original contributor's signature, to avoid my creating a forged contribution. My insertion is a single italicized and signed block of text. --Jerzy (t) 17:23, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)

Stub disambig blurb[edit]

I've placed a blurb at the top of the Find or fix a stub article directing readers to Stub (disambiguation) for... well, you know. I did this mainly because some people are trying to link to stub in different contexts (for example, in Computer network—which needs work, BTW!), presumably thinking that it will be a general-purpose article about stubs or a disambig page. Of course, those links are redirected to this "project page" on stub articles. I've changed the stub links on the a few regular articles (not including Talk and User pages). See also Talk:Stub (disambiguation) for a similar message from me, and Wikipedia:List of stubs without msg to find other pages that need fixes related to "stub" linking. - dcljr 06:27, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

New stubs[edit]

Does anyone object to the fact that I added whole bunch of new stub categories? Do you think it's a bad idea? User:Anthony DiPierro has told me that it is against the Wikipedia:Avoid self-references policy... but wouldn't this mean so is bio-stub and substub? -- AllyUnion (talk) 06:14, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It seems good to me. I don't know why it would have anything to do with self-references; can you ore anthony give some details (for my curiosity only)? JesseW 21:05, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Position of template[edit]

I see someone has added an instruction to put the stub message "before the See also and the External links sections". I'm not entirely sure I agree with this, because that means it will fall right in the middle of the article (given that a stub will, by definition, not have very much before this point). Personally, I prefer the stub message to be right at the bottom, well away from the article text; but maybe their has been a discussion elsewhere on this...? - IMSoP 15:25, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No, sorry, I added this with no discussion, I assumed it wouldn't cause any disagreement. So let me state the reasons:
  • Links do not count in the "stubness" of an article—a short article with many links is still a stub—so putting the stub notice there makes it clearer.
  • The stub notice simply looks bad after a bulleted list, in terms of spacing.
Gadykozma 16:31, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'd second Gadykozma on this. Stub, AFIAK refers to the text of the article, so it should be directly after the text. JesseW

I oppose this. It is contrary to the overwhelming practice, which puts the stubnote at the end, which is logical as it refers to the entire article, and the links are part of the article proper, whereas a stubnote is a kind of meta-message. The spacing problem is something for the developers to fix. Gzornenplatz 05:34, Jan 9, 2005 (UTC)

As for what is overwhelming practice, driving without a seatbelt was once overwhelming practice in North America, too. It took a generation for buckling-up to be seen as "normal", but it would never have been seen as normal without the rule being introduced. What the overwhelming practice is has no intrinsic bearing on what the rule should be. Now, if you'd like to discuss why it is the overwhelming practice, that is relevant.
As for what is and isn't part of the article: adding a Category, properly, puts it at the end of the page. External links and See also are not part of the article's text, but merely pointers to further information. I see little difference between Categories and those. Note too, that the External links and See also are almost never "incomplete" as their contents are necessarily a function of the article body's text. I favour putting stub messages after the article body and before all that infrastructure.  — Saxifrage |  08:54, Jan 10, 2005 (UTC)

After article text[edit]

I agree that the stub notice should be at the end of the article content (which is the part that needs expanding; the reason for the stubbiness) and before the external links and such, so that new visitors actually see it. Putting it after everything kind of hides it in the muck and makes it less noticeable. We want someone visiting for the first time to know that this very short article is not representative of the majority of articles, not to think the stub notice is just a minor footnote. - Omegatron 22:37, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

After everything[edit]

I would agree with the people who say that "See also" is part of the article proper, and that the stub mention should be after those.

So, is there going to be a decision at all about where the stub must be? Oleg Alexandrov 23:02, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I think it should go to the end of the page, unless it's a "section stub". Thus I'd place it after external links, with the category and interlanguage links. -- User:Docu

What is the difference between this page and Wikipedia:Requests_for_expansion?[edit]

This page is described as "A stub is a very short article, generally of one paragraph or less. Most stubs fail to cover all but the most trivial subjects completely. However, this does not mean the stub is not a legitimate article—it just needs to be expanded."

Requests for expansion is described as "Almost every article in Wikipedia could do with some expansion. This page is for listing those stubs, substubs and other articles that have decent information, but that you find embarrassingly short or insufficient for an encyclopedia of the stature to which Wikipedia aspires."

It appears that these two pages are doing the same job. They should be merged, yes? (Also posted to Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_expansion)JesseW 22:39, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Question: What about articles that don't really need to say very much?[edit]

For example: I was looking at the article for Ben & Jerry's, which referred me to the article on Jerry Greenfield. That article is only a couple of sentences, and is marked as a stub. Is there any reason to expand it? There is a bio on the companies website that tells where he grew up, etc. but, there is really nothing noteworthy about him, except that he was a co-founder of the ice cream company.

So my question is: Should this be just a regular article, (that is very short)? Is there any reason to have it marked "stub"?

Alternative responses could be that the article should be deleted, or that all bio's should tell where the person grew up, and what college he or she attended, etc.

Mpearl 03:16, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)


As a creator of many stubs, and an expander/fixer of many others, I would like some guidelines. Is a biographic stub about a 19th century historical figure a history stub or a biography stub? Same question with musicians and sports figures – are bio-stubs about them bio-stubs, or music and sports stubs? Rlquall 14:01, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why not include both (or more generally: several) stubs on a single article like we do for categories?--Will2k 15:26, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)

2005 Talk[edit]

Multiple stubs?[edit]

Are multiple stubs ok? I'm stubbing Saint Sergius twice. -- Sy / (talk) 01:35, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Long article stubs[edit]

What if I start writing a long article, divide it into sections, and each section is just a stub of what it should be? I think the article should be considered a stub. -Lev 06:42, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Move to Wiktionary[edit]

I think this stub discussion should mention the possiblity of marking "move to Wiktionary" I reckon the root cause of 20% of stubs is that they are definitions not articles--BozMo|talk 16:06, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Stub legnth[edit]

What is really the threshold for a stub article? Two paragraphs, three, or is it really just the amount of content and the possibility of serious expansion? E=MC^2 T@lk 16:37, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Documenting repair of this page[edit]

At Wikipedia talk:Find or fix a stub/Work those concerned my find my certification and analysis, aimed at verifying that my repair of the "doubling" of this page caused no loss of contributions.

List of stub help like {{tv-stub}} for television.[edit]

What happened to the help page for stubs? It listed how to put a certain stub on that certain page. If anyone knows how to get the page back please let me know. --Contrib 18:07, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)