Wikipedia talk:Stand-alone lists/Archive 4

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Revert of massive changes by Goodraise, per WP:BRD

Disregard: Refactored out of WT:SAL per User:Goodraise's request; WP:SAL content issues being discussed in separate threads.

Goodraise (talk · contribs) WP:BOLDly made very severe changes that have mostly not been discussed at all, so I have reverted them per WP:BRD, which is what usually happens when major changes are made to site-wide guideline pages without them being discussed, their rationales justified, and a consensus reached about them. I'm particularly concerned with the (false in my view) PoV-pushing that outlines of topics and topical indexes are something "the community is presently divided about". I see no evidence of such controversy. While I agree that the lead section needs work, and some other restructuring wouldn't hurt, the changes axed far too much material, e.g. examples like mathematics, and so on. We need to remember that people are relying on this guideline and doing what it says. Changes should not be made willy-nilly. Discussing them first is a form of sandboxing, and insulates editors (and ultimately readers) from chaos caused by editwarring over guideline text. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 14:12, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

This is inappropriate. If you feel an editor has crossed the threshold from bold to reckless, you can point that out in edit summary or on that editor's user talk page. And throwing around terms like "PoV-pushing" isn't exactly helpful either; not every editor is as level-headed as me. (WP:POVPUSH may be worth reading.) Let's just remove this section, pretend it was never here and open new discussions focusing on the guideline content. This one is at best a seed for drama. Goodraise 15:15, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Uh, please read WP:BRD. It's totally normal, not "inappropriate", and it is generally the job of the BRD reverter to open the discussion with an explanation of why the changes were too bold and don't represent consensus. I've read WP:POVPUSH: "the aggressive presentation of a particular point of view ... to denote the undue presentation of [a] minor ... view" appears (aside from being redundantly worded) to accurately characterize use of this important guideline page as an opportunity to go after WP:OOK and the related indexes as controversial, which they are not. If you believe they are controversial, you know where AfD is for the outlines and index, and MfD for the WP:OOK project itself. Those are the proper venues for such an idea. Your turn for some reading: WP:PUSH. Flying off the handle about having WP:POINTy edits criticized and demanding a refactor because the criticism is necessarily not flattering does not sound at all "level-headed" to me. But in the interests of peace, I'm refactoring the entire thread out and moving it to your talk page (reserving the right self-revert and put it back if such edits are made again without proper consensus discussion). Let's see how that works. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 01:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay, replying more or less in order.
  • I was not referring to you starting a discussion as "inappropriate", but to the manner in which you did it. (See below.)
  • WP:BRD is neither policy nor guideline, meaning it can't assign "jobs" to anyone. Even if it could, it states that "The first person to start a discussion is the person who is best following BRD" and encourages starting discussions even before bold edits are made. Furthermore, BRD says nothing about edits that are "too bold". BRD is for content. Behavioral issues like that aren't touched by it and they certainly don't belong on article talk pages. What a BRD-following editor starting a discussion should provide is not an explanation of why the changes were too bold, but why he or she disagrees with them (which you have done for at least some of the changes you reverted).
  • Regarding my addition of the statement that "the community is presently divided about [...][the status of] outlines", you are jumping to conclusions. Not that it's of any importance to the issue at hand, but I'm in fact not on a crusade against outlines.
  • I did not request (much less demand) for this discussion to be moved here. I supposed you might be upset (a common and perfectly understandable reaction if one suspects that someone is attempting to use deceitful means to attack something one holds dear). I hoped to deescalate the situation by giving you an opportunity to calm down and back off with no harm done. Unfortunately, it appears, you're not interested: Your offer of "peace" was made "for the record"[1] and directly followed by a threat.
  • You are more than welcome to display your criticism of my editing practices more publicly. I'd advise against it however, because all I did was to make changes of which you disapprove to a guideline in a manner of which you disapprove. I did not in fact violate any policy, guideline or even essay you've cited so far. My edits were not strictly prohibited by WP:BRD, WP:BOLD (section Wikipedia namespace), WP:EP (section Editing policies and guidelines) or WP:PG (sections Content changes and its subsection Substantive changes), nor were they of a PoV-pushing (civil or otherwise), forum shopping or pointy nature, and my behavior not at all resembling that of a diva.
  • That said, I have absolutely no intention of changing my modus operandi as a reaction to this discussion in general or your threat in particular. So be my guest and go through with it, but don't stop at WT:SAL. Your original heading and opening statement to this discussion already bare a remarkable resemblance to an ANI report. Might as well bring it there.
However, I'd much rather see you taking me up on my initial offer. Remove this discussion entirely from both WT:SAL and my talk page, and return to editing and discussing the content of WP:SAL with me as though this never happened. Goodraise 05:59, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Moved it back, for it appears you don't have my talk page watchlisted. Goodraise 21:42, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Let's talk about the substantive problems with these changes. I'll start: Whether categories or lists are better in any given situation is hot button for some editors, and I consequently don't believe that addressing that issue in the lead constitutes an improvement to this page.

Would someone else like to address another change and whether it might be an improvement or not? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:13, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

As much as I appreciate the switch of focus away from the way things were done toward the guideline content, I find it highly inadvisable to discuss the changes here. They are too diverse to discuss in a single section – not if getting anywhere is the desired outcome –, particularly one loaded with allegations of PoV-pushing and other disruptive behaviors. It would be best to start new sections for each issue as I have already done for one of them below. Goodraise 02:45, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Content and style guideline

There have been several moves of this guideline from Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (stand-alone lists) and back. Discussion such as this indicates that there is awareness that the page contains both content and style advice, so some unwillingness to pin it down as one form of guideline or other. The move in January to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (stand-alone lists) without a discussion was, in the circumstances, unhelpful, though these things are likely to happen when there is such doubt, and there hasn't been a conclusive discussion on the best way forward.

Possible ways forward are:

  1. The guideline is renamed back to Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists as that doesn't put it in any particular group, and allows the guide to cover both style and content advice.
  2. The guide is rewritten to focus on either content or style, and relevant material is moved out to the most appropriate page.
  3. The page is split into something like Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists (content) and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (stand-alone lists).

There will be other possibilities.

As part of any discussion, it might be helpful to indicate that WP:SALAT, WP:LISTPEOPLE, WP:LISTCOMPANY and most of WP:LSC are not style discussions, but content inclusion; and these these sections make up the bulk of the page. SilkTork *Tea time 09:24, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Wholeheartedly support your ideas—this mess has been around for far too long. Wish I had more time to help do something about it though... Uniplex (talk) 19:52, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I think what you're saying is that there is good reason for one page to cover content and the other style, but the content part of that should not fall under the MoS umbrella? If so, I agree. As for the name suggestion, how about Wikipedia:Writing a list? —WFC— 21:19, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There is no content and notability material in Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Embedded lists, which is purely style related. The difference, though, between an embedded list and a standalone, is that the embedded list is part of an article which presumably already meets notability guidelines. The notability requirements for a standalone article/list are stiffer than for material contained within an existing article. For example, people prefer an album released by a band to be discussed within the article on the band unless the album has achieved notability for itself. The difficulty we have is that a band may have released 20 non-notable albums, and then someone splits out a list of those albums as a standalone page. At that point we need content and notability guidelines; while the list is part of the band's article such guidelines are not needed, all that is required is that the albums are sourced to have been released by the band, not that the albums either by themselves or as a body of work are notable. As such, the Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Embedded lists page does not need content advice, while Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Stand-alone lists does. I'm just thinking out loud at the moment. SilkTork ✔Tea time 12:27, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
My bad. Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(lists)#List_content does not deal with the material, but the layout of a list. SilkTork ✔Tea time 12:31, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I've now changed the name of that section to List layout. SilkTork ✔Tea time 12:35, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Misuse of MoS text

I've removed this change because of the reason I noted on this talk page back in October 2010.

When I first reverted this change, I listed two reasons:

  • "I have reverted this edit [2] by User:DCGeist from May 26, 2010 which resulted in an undiscussed change of this longstanding style guideline into a content guideline. Based on the edit summary, as well as this discussion I think this may have been an inadvertent mistake while attempting to rename this style guideline [3] with even the {{List navbox}} navigation template still linking to this page as a "style guideline"."
  • "The relabeling this "style guideline" as a "content guideline" has resulted in this style guideline being misused as a reason to remove content from articles, directly conflicting with the WP:NNC section of the Notability guideline itself."

While the initial change appeared to be a simple mistake, it resulted in text from this page (which as a "style guideline" was non-controversial) being intentionally misused in an attempt to justify removing verifiable content from lists and articles, which directly conflicts with WP:NNC and the revised WP:LISTN.

Nothing substantial has changed in this regard since October 2010, with WP:LISTNAME and WP:LSC#Common selection criteria still easily misused for gaming and POV editing in order to attempt to justify removing content from lists and articles. Further circular editing has also taken place elsewhere since this MoS page was relabeled as a "content guideline" which makes this change even more problematic.

While I fully understand SilkTork's motivation for this change with regards to lists of people and sympathize with the ongoing problem of inclusion criteria for lists of people, it isn't possible to simply relabel this style guide page as a "content guideline" without collateral damage. Because this page was originally written as a Manual of Style page, simply relabeling it as a "content guideline" is not appropriate because the text which is being misused was never intended to be considered part of a "content guideline". Any true "content guideline" text should instead be split and merged to a content guideline elsewhere after a proper discussion at the talk page of the page to be merged to. Only lists of companies and organizations explicitly states that entries in these lists are not required themselves to be "notable", but this has been repeatedly gamed in other lists and articles (including claims of "all comparison articles are really just lists WP:LISTNAME") in an attempt justify removal of verifiable content. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:06, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

For what it's worth, we had a similar problem with WP:Record charts, another guideline that mixed content and style. It ultimately got split into two separate guidelines, one that is all about style (Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Record charts) and one that is all about content (WP:Record charts).—Kww(talk) 12:27, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Right, and we already have this situation, basically. MOS:LIST is the style guideline and all style, not content, guidance in this page can easily and immediately be merged into the other. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 11:04, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Reference in List

I was thinking we should make these list have more general references mandatory. Such as if a list of playstation video games, a list of releases would help. Or a list of Comedies TV series would be referenced in by a third-party source listing them. To give these list more credit and proof that they're "human knowledge".Bread Ninja (talk) 15:17, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

The current warning for adding inappropriate entries to lists indicates that all entries must have an article. This establishes notability without need for a cite in the list. If the entry does not have an article, it is not notable and should not be included in the list. If it is not notable, it should not have an article. - PhD (talk) 21:06, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
then it's truly not stand-alone? I think we need to revise the guideline....there are a few things that don't make sense.Bread Ninja (talk) 21:14, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
The reasoning makes sense. If there is no article for the entry, the item is not notable. Lists like List of people from Florida obviously should not include every person from Florida. The criteria for inclusion is, therefore, notability. Yeah, you could provide cites showing substantial coverage in independent reliable sources. However, at that point we should have an article. Additionally, lists require frequent clean-outs ("Gee, this is a list of graduates of Hillman College. I went there. It says anyone can edit. So..."). Without a bluelink, the only way to verify that each entry belongs on the list is to read all of the cites -- an overwhelming task that will never be done. Without bluelinks, each article will need its own inclusion criteria ("Hey, this wedding announcement mentions I went to Hillman..."). The vast majority of "List of" articles are thinly edited and will never receive sufficient attention to establish such criteria. Requiring bluelinks avoids the necessity of re-inventing the wheel. Heck, with articles like List of Christmas carols we have enough of a battle deciding what counts as a Christmas carol, let alone coming up with separate cites for all of them. At least with required bluelinks we have no debates on whether or not the song little Timmy wrote (which was mentioned in his hometown newspaper when he got first prize at his school talent show) is notable or not. - SummerPhD (talk) 10:19, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Please show where is the rule that says everything in a list must have an article or remove it. Any templates which say this should be removed/corrected as they are plainly wrong. Hmains (talk) 02:23, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
The standard, consensus warning uw-badlistentry reads, "In general, a person or organization added to a list should have a pre-existing article to establish notability. If you wish to create such an article, please confirm that your subject is notable according to Wikipedia's notability policy. Thank you" - SummerPhD (talk) 10:19, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
In general, should... this is just good advice. It's not an example of a template that says list items must link to articles. —mjb (talk) 11:59, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
So does anyone here have a problem against this proposal? if an independent list article is just made up of individual entries, than being a list based on human knowledge is difficult. So a more respectable list would have a few references. For example if there was List of comedy TV series, there would need to be sources that list comedy TV series out there (again, not saying the articles need to be exclusive to these references but mandatory to have a significant or certain ammount). SO that we can differentiate categories from lists.Bread Ninja (talk) 21:00, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, WP:General references aren't always very popular, although I think that lists might be one of the better uses for them. BLP lists probably need to have WP:Inline citations, though. We could at least look at ways to encourage people to add sources.
Summer, your assertions about all entries needing to be notable are unfortunately wrong; you will find the correct advice at WP:LSC. "All entries are notable" is only the first of three common selection criteria patterns for a list. We will have to think about how to correct the misinformation in {{uw-badlistentry}} without overwhelming the users with complexity. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:14, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I think it's a medium of general and specific. references that talk about more general aspects that could be used in more "general" article than a list.Bread Ninja (talk) 23:30, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
As for if each list item must have a article, I do not agree at all, lists does list things that are not notable enough to get its own articles, see e.g. the featured lists List of awards and nominations received by Aerosmith and Abingdon Boys School discography which will not be able to have articles for each items, but they are still (IMHO) good lists. As for referencing each list item as a must, I do not agree, same rules as for general text should apply, if anyone questions a item, use the general tags and ask for references, if no ref can be found then remove the item. But to demand a ref for each item is a bit harsh. --Stefan talk 10:06, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
If you are going to make any major changes that involve BLPs that will have to be cleared at BLPN or Talk:BLP, not here. And I firmly agree with ""In general, a person or organization added to a list should have a pre-existing article to establish notability. If you wish to create such an article, please confirm that your subject is notable according to Wikipedia's notability policy. Thank you"" And you should not be adding unsourced information. Anything contentious should be sourced, and given how many lists have entries that are clearly promotional then it should be clear why we need sources. Dougweller (talk) 10:27, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Do not agree at all, this policy mean that e.g. you cannot list the players of a football team, even a world cup champion ship team, unless every single one is notable. This have been discussed before and have not gained consensus. Think there was some kind of agreement that the list must be notable, not not its individual items, and there should be able to have aref that describes such a list as notable.--Stefan talk 11:27, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Thus we have the exception (the reason it says "In general..."). An all-inclusive list (Mayors of Podunk, Wives of Henry VIII, whatever) should be all-inclusive. List of people from Florida certainly should be limited to bluelinks, as should most other lists. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:50, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

well everything won't always be sourced. But, what i'm trying to do is separate list articles from categories. I"m saying list shouldn't be made up of only individual entries that are loosely associated to 1 or 2 aspects unless there are sources covering multiple entries at once. For example list of World Cup championship team would need to have sources relating to "Championship teams in history" or something like that, and the source it self would have to give in certain entries. Also, i'm not saying every entry has to be "notable" but every entry has to be "noted".Bread Ninja (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I was considering starting a small, separate section on the issue of sourcing, in which we could recommend general references for many purposes and inline citations for contentious BLP issues. It might also be worth saying that (as I've been told) the reason many old lists are unref'd is because back in the day, lists weren't supposed to have refs.
But then it occurred to me that this is supposedly a "style" page (although really a hybrid that deals with far more than style), so I wanted to know what you all thought. Would it be helpful to provide a little information along those lines? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:39, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
List articles without sources would defeat the purpose of "categories" so list have to be notable, unlike "categories". Categories can exist without sources, just depends on the number of articles that relate is significant enough to exist. Still, this article is about "stand-alone" lists (not sister lists that are spun out of a main article.Bread Ninja (talk) 19:19, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The part of this guideline that states: "Every entry meets the notability criteria for its own non-redirect article in the English Wikipedia. Red-linked entries are acceptable if the entry is verifiably a member of the listed group, and it is reasonable to expect an article could be forthcoming in the future" is all that is needed. Any changes to this guideline, which has been the basis of thousands and thousands of lists would, just mean that the lists' content will be destroyed by the deletion zealots who will go off and delete every red link they find in lists. Hmains (talk) 20:45, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
  • proposal is to help justify the list itself, not the entries within the list.Bread Ninja (talk) 21:29, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
    • It is not 'regardless'. Anything that changes what can be in the lists will only serve the purposes of the deletion zealots, who already waste enough of all our time. Hmains (talk) 02:28, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Hey, that's a good thing. It will send the keep everything zealots off on a campaign to create articles so that we can peacefully delete articles about Timmy's garage band and Jenny's favorite gym teacher. I tend to agree that we need some kind of evidence that a list topic is notable. Otherwise, we end up with "List of vegetables that are sometimes purple" or "List of fictional modes of transportation". As for what belongs in the list, I generally have no problem with bluelinks and find that, when pressed, editors wishing to include a redlink will either provide enough sourcing that I can create an article, create the article themselves or, when they can't find sources, realize that there item isn't really notable. Those rejecting WP:N as the criterion for inclusion will have to deal with the List of people from Florida article without a clear cut guideline. - SummerPhD (talk) 03:24, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
See [4] for a previous RFC on this topic. --Stefan talk 06:10, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
the deletion zealots value quality over quantity. I'm not in favor of deleting valuable articles or articles with potential value (until it is proven it is not), but lately the deletions happening have been more and more reasonable. But that's not my point. Anything "in favor" of anyone doesn't matter in this discussion. the idea is to justify stand alone list articles by making them reference the list itself. For example if there was hypothetically a List of Zombies characters in Television but the references only support the individual entries and sources about History of Zombies in Television, how would that justify the list? there would need to be sources relating to "list of" or a source listing multiple of that subject more accurately to make it more of a reasonable list that is practical, useful, and a common search. The also helps separate the categories from becoming list articles themselves without proper citation.
here are the main problems i see within the guideline:
  • The potential for creating lists is infinite. The number of possible lists is limited only by our collective imagination.
  • Every entry in the list fails the notability criteria. These lists are created explicitly because most or all of the listed items do not warrant independent articles: for example, List of minor characters in Dilbert or List of paracetamol brand names.
First problem i have with the first one is that if we imagine it, the list is possible. Which means we are in control of how many list there are. I highly suggest we remove that. As for the second part, it just needs more clarification and better examples. The first one isn't a stand-alone list anymore and the other barely has any sources at all.
Now this could also help "merge" certain parts of a list that are useful or create a main article sometimes...I'm not saying all will. List have to be practical use. Again, I'm not saying that the list should contain exclusive to these sources but use sources like these to justify the list itself. For example, here's an article that already exist: List of fictional elements, materials, isotopes and atomic particles.
Even if every entry was cited with a reliable source, what would make this list practical? What separates category from Stand alone list article?Bread Ninja (talk) 12:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I will point out that relatively recently we added WP:LISTN to WP:N, which discusses what type of notability we look at for the grouping of the list. --MASEM (t) 12:58, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

What I'm looking for is a more specific form. there saying if the topic is notable, than a list of the topic is justified. Which is a bit at odds with.Bread Ninja (talk) 13:07, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
that's too general,and not always applicable. What is meant, if a type of person, thing, or organization is notable in general, and if specific things, people, or organization of that type are individually notable, then a list of the ones that Wikipedia has articles on is justified (as well as a category). The two are complementary as aids to navigation. If there are no notable individual articles here, there's nothing to navigate. If the overall concept isn't notable, then no individual exemplifying the concept will have an article because of that, it will just be incidental, and there is usually n reason for someone to navigate to find other instances of the same unimportant characteristic. List have the advantages of categories in navigation in giving some idea of context; categories have the advantage of lists, of being self-maintaining. Wikipedia is written not primarily for the benefit of those who write it, but for those who read it, and anything that helps them find information whether for a directed purpose or for browsing is a good idea.
The other type of list, is the list article when individual instances are not notable enough for an article, or there is not enough information for an article, but a sentence or too about each is reasonable coverage. There is no sharp cutoff here: it's a way of dealing with borderline notability--or, in some cases, with technical notability but not enough information to support full articles. There is a way of including individual sections of articles in categories, but we don't usually do that. We can make redirects, though, and include them in categories, if we think it worth the trouble. Again, it's a matter of judgment in individual situations about how much to say. DGG ( talk ) 20:45, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

How is it too general? I think we need to figure out what needs to be categorization and what can be both category and list article. Treat list articles in similar fashion as main articles.22:48, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

This is already covered in the Notability policy. WP:LISTN states: "Because the group or set is notable, the individual items in the list do not need to be independently notable, although editors may, at their discretion, choose to limit large lists by only including entries for independently notable items or those with Wikipedia articles." And if they don't have to be notable, they don't need to have an article (because they're not eligible for one anyways). The Transhumanist 23:07, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

List of people from East St. Louis, Illinois

I'm pretty sure one notable person was left out. His name is Alvin Randolph, who played Pro Football with the San Francisco Forty- Niners. (Wide Receiver) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:03, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Confusing guidelines for list titles

Current text at WP:LISTNAME: "The name or title of the list should simply be List of ___ (for example list of Xs). A list of lists of X could be at lists of X or list of X: e.g., lists of people, list of sovereign states."

Things I find puzzling about these two sentences:

  1. First sentence says that the title of the list--which I read to mean "any list"--should be "List of X", and then the second sentence says something different for how to title a list of lists, without reconciling the contradiction. I suggest either changing the first sentence to say "generally" instead of "simply", or changing the second sentence to specify that lists of lists are an exception to that rule.
  2. The second sentence gives two formats for how to title a list of lists, and two examples; the first example illustrates the first format, but the second example a) doesn't illustrate the second format, b) doesn't illustrate the first format, and c) is not a list of lists at all. I don't know if perhaps List of sovereign states used to be a list of lists of sovereign states, but it doesn't appear to be such now. I suggest replacing that link with one that does use the format "List of X" for a list of lists of X. Theoldsparkle (talk) 14:33, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Fix it. I would prefer that "Lists of" and "List of x lists" be phased out and the titles cleaned up. Lists are subject to expansion (WP:SPLIT) and can include as many pages as required. Note that Wikipedia:Naming conventions (long lists) includes within its scope lists that are split subtopically. Oddly, it doesn't provide any guidance or examples of subtopically split lists.
How big is this problem? Entering (Lists|[ ]lists) into Grep produces the following list (without the numbering - using WikEd's REGEX feature I replaced \n\n with ]]\n# [[ to add link brackets and numbered bullets):
List of lists
  1. Cast lists for Love, Loss, and What I Wore
  2. Cell lists
  3. Chronological lists of classical composers
  4. Chronological lists of classical composers by nationality
  5. Council Tax (New Valuation Lists for England) Act 2006
  6. County Lists for Environment and Solidarity
  7. County lists for the Norwegian parliamentary election, 2001
  8. Green Lists
  9. Hill lists in the British Isles
  10. Historical lists of Privy Counsellors
  11. Isotope lists
  12. Isotope lists, 0-24
  13. Isotope lists, 25-48
  14. Isotope lists, 49-72
  15. Isotope lists, 73-96
  16. Isotope lists, 97+
  17. List of Sri Lanka Cricket lists
  18. List of United States congressional lists
  19. List of ancient king lists
  20. List of extreme points lists
  21. List of lists about Omaha
  22. List of lists of Empire ships
  23. List of lists of cathedrals in the United Kingdom
  24. List of lists of films
  25. List of lists of islands of the European Union
  26. List of lists of lists
  27. List of lists of national institutions and symbols
  28. List of lists of settlements in the United States
  29. List of lists of tennis records and statistics
  30. List of metalloid lists
  31. Lists about renewable energy
  32. Lists by country
  33. Lists of A&M Records artists
  34. Lists of ABC shows
  35. Lists of African Americans
  36. Lists of African Union members
  37. Lists of American films
  38. Lists of American football players
  39. Lists of American television episodes with LGBT themes
  40. Lists of American writers
  41. Lists of Americans
  42. Lists of Argentine films
  43. Lists of Australian rules football leagues
  44. Lists of Australians
  45. Lists of Austrian films
  46. Lists of Azerbaijani films
  47. Lists of Battlestar Galactica locations
  48. Lists of Bible stories
  49. Lists of Brazilian films
  50. Lists of British inventions
  51. Lists of British people by ethnic or national origin
  52. Lists of Britons
  53. Lists of Bulgarian military aircraft
  54. Lists of CSI characters
  55. Lists of CSI episodes
  56. Lists of Canadian senators
  57. Lists of Canadian television series
  58. Lists of Category 5 hurricanes
  59. Lists of Catholicoi
  60. Lists of Celts
  61. Lists of Christian Scientists
  62. Lists of Christians
  63. Lists of Christmas number one singles
  64. Lists of College Football Hall of Fame inductees
  65. Lists of Commissioners' churches in southern England, the Midlands and Wales
  66. Lists of Coronation Street characters
  67. Lists of Crayola colors
  68. Lists of Czechoslovakian films
  69. Lists of Danish football transfers 2008–09
  70. Lists of Danish football transfers 2009–10
  71. Lists of Danzig officials
  72. Lists of Dominican newspapers
  73. Lists of Dominicans
  74. Lists of Dungeons & Dragons monsters
  75. Lists of EastEnders characters
  76. Lists of East Asian surnames
  77. Lists of Egyptian films
  78. Lists of Emmerdale characters
  79. Lists of Emmy winners
  80. Lists of English loanwords by country or language of origin
  81. Lists of English words
  82. Lists of English words of Celtic origin
  83. Lists of English words of Scottish origin
  84. Lists of Exosquad characters
  85. Lists of Game Boy games
  86. Lists of Gedanian natives
  87. Lists of Gladiators events
  88. Lists of Governors of Punjab
  89. Lists of Hispanic Academy Award winners and nominees by country
  90. Lists of Hollyoaks characters
  91. Lists of ISO 639 codes
  92. Lists of IUCN Red List Critically Endangered species
  93. Lists of IUCN Red List data deficient species
  94. Lists of IUCN Red List endangered species
  95. Lists of IUCN Red List near threatened species
  96. Lists of IUCN Red List vulnerable species
  97. Lists of Indian films
  98. Lists of Indigenous Australians
  99. Lists of Israeli artists
  100. Lists of Italian football transfers 2007–08
  101. Lists of Japanese Governors-General
  102. Lists of Jews
  103. Lists of Knight Rider episodes
  104. Lists of Korean birds
  105. Lists of Korean films
  106. Lists of LGBT figures in fiction and myth
  107. Lists of Latin American countries by GDP
  108. Lists of Linyphiidae species
  109. Lists of Los Angeles topics
  110. Lists of MPs for Welsh constituencies
  111. Lists of Maccabiah medalists
  112. Lists of Macedonians
  113. Lists of Massachusetts Institute of Technology people
  114. Lists of Melrose Place episodes
  115. Lists of Michigan Wolverines football statistical leaders
  116. Lists of Middle-earth articles
  117. Lists of Muslim scientists and scholars
  118. Lists of Muslims
  119. Lists of NFL starting quarterbacks
  120. Lists of NRL records
  121. Lists of National Treasures of Japan
  122. Lists of New Jersey Transit bus routes
  123. Lists of New York City topics
  124. Lists of New Zealand religious leaders
  125. Lists of New Zealanders
  126. Lists of Nintendo characters
  127. Lists of Nintendo games
  128. Lists of North American area codes
  129. Lists of North American place name etymologies
  130. Lists of Olympic medalists
  131. Lists of Oregon-related topics
  132. Lists of Pakistan Supreme Court cases
  133. Lists of Pakistani films
  134. Lists of Paralympic medalists
  135. Lists of Polish politicians
  136. Lists of Presidents of the United States by place of birth
  137. Lists of Registered Historic Places in Clinton County
  138. Lists of Roman Catholics
  139. Lists of San Francisco topics
  140. Lists of Scottish counties by population
  141. Lists of Sega games
  142. Lists of Slovak authors
  143. Lists of Spanish provinces
  144. Lists of Star Trek Planets
  145. Lists of Star Trek ships
  146. Lists of Stargate characters
  147. Lists of Stargate episodes
  148. Lists of Stargate topics
  149. Lists of Statutes of New Zealand
  150. Lists of Statutory Instruments
  151. Lists of Statutory Instruments of Scotland
  152. Lists of Super Nintendo Entertainment System games
  153. Lists of Supreme Court Justices
  154. Lists of Swedish Swimming Championships champions
  155. Lists of Taiwanese counties and cities
  156. Lists of The Office episodes
  157. Lists of The Simpsons publications
  158. Lists of This American Life episodes
  159. Lists of Turkish field marshals
  160. Lists of U.S. cities with large ethnic identity populations
  161. Lists of U.S. cities with non-white majority populations
  162. Lists of U.S. county name etymologies
  163. Lists of UK Compilation Chart number-one albums
  164. Lists of UK locations with large ethnic minority populations
  165. Lists of United States Supreme Court cases
  166. Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume
  167. Lists of United States state insignia
  168. Lists of United States tornadoes in 2009
  169. Lists of V episodes
  170. Lists of Victoria Cross recipients
  171. Lists of Washington initiatives
  172. Lists of Witchblade episodes
  173. Lists of World War II topics
  174. Lists of World War I topics
  175. Lists of Zambia-related topics
  176. Lists of abbreviations
  177. Lists of academic journals
  178. Lists of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft
  179. Lists of active separatist movements
  180. Lists of actors
  181. Lists of actors by television series
  182. Lists of advertising characters
  183. Lists of albums
  184. Lists of allied military operations of the Vietnam War
  185. Lists of amphibians by region
  186. Lists of anarchism topics
  187. Lists of ancient doctors
  188. Lists of animals
  189. Lists of aquarium fish
  190. Lists of armoured fighting vehicles
  191. Lists of association football players
  192. Lists of astronauts
  193. Lists of astronomical objects
  194. Lists of automobiles
  195. Lists of banks
  196. Lists of baseball parks
  197. Lists of biologists by author abbreviation
  198. Lists of birds by region
  199. Lists of bisexual people
  200. Lists of blues musicians by genre
  201. Lists of books
  202. Lists of bookstores
  203. Lists of box office number-one films
  204. Lists of bus routes in New York City
  205. Lists of canals
  206. Lists of capitals
  207. Lists of case law
  208. Lists of cathedrals
  209. Lists of cats
  210. Lists of cemeteries
  211. Lists of centenarians
  212. Lists of characters from The Office
  213. Lists of characters in a fictional work
  214. Lists of characters in the Suikoden series
  215. Lists of cities
  216. Lists of cities by country
  217. Lists of cities in Serbia and Montenegro
  218. Lists of collective nouns
  219. Lists of comets
  220. Lists of comics
  221. Lists of communes of France
  222. Lists of composers
  223. Lists of computers
  224. Lists of copper mines in the United States
  225. Lists of corporate assets
  226. Lists of corporate headquarters by city
  227. Lists of counties
  228. Lists of countries and territories
  229. Lists of countries by GDP
  230. Lists of countries by GDP per capita
  231. Lists of countries by GNI per capita
  232. Lists of countries by debt
  233. Lists of country-related topics
  234. Lists of country codes
  235. Lists of county governors of Norway
  236. Lists of crossings of the East River
  237. Lists of crossings of the Hudson River
  238. Lists of crossings of the Mississippi River
  239. Lists of curling clubs
  240. Lists of current members of the Privy Council
  241. Lists of custodes rotulorum
  242. Lists of dictionaries
  243. Lists of diplomatic missions
  244. Lists of disasters
  245. Lists of diseases
  246. Lists of disparaging terms for people
  247. Lists of earthquakes
  248. Lists of ecoregions
  249. Lists of ecoregions by country
  250. Lists of ecoregions in the United States
  251. Lists of educational institutions in Pakistan
  252. Lists of emperors
  253. Lists of endangered languages
  254. Lists of engineers
  255. Lists of environmental publications
  256. Lists of environmental topics
  257. Lists of ethnic groups
  258. Lists of etymologies
  259. Lists of extinct animals
  260. Lists of extinct animals of the British Isles
  261. Lists of fictional species
  262. Lists of films based on location
  263. Lists of flags
  264. Lists of former Guantanamo Bay detainees alleged to have returned to terrorism
  265. Lists of former Soviet Republics
  266. Lists of former Soviet Republics by GDP (PPP)
  267. Lists of former Soviet Republics by GDP (PPP) per capita
  268. Lists of games
  269. Lists of golfers
  270. Lists of gun cartridges
  271. Lists of habeas petitions filed on behalf of War on Terror detainees
  272. Lists of highest-grossing films
  273. Lists of highest points
  274. Lists of holidays
  275. Lists of horses
  276. Lists of hospitals
  277. Lists of hospitals in Africa
  278. Lists of hospitals in Asia
  279. Lists of hospitals in Europe
  280. Lists of hospitals in North America
  281. Lists of hospitals in Oceania
  282. Lists of hospitals in South America
  283. Lists of important publications in science
  284. Lists of insects of Great Britain
  285. Lists of institutions of higher education by endowment
  286. Lists of integrals
  287. Lists of international rugby football teams
  288. Lists of invasive species
  289. Lists of islands of the Americas
  290. Lists of lakes
  291. Lists of landmark court decisions
  292. Lists of languages
  293. Lists of law schools
  294. Lists of lord lieutenancies
  295. Lists of magazines
  296. Lists of mammals by region
  297. Lists of mathematics topics
  298. Lists of mayors by country
  299. Lists of members of the British Royal Family through history
  300. Lists of microcomputers
  301. Lists of military aircraft by nation
  302. Lists of military installations
  303. Lists of monarchs in the British Isles
  304. Lists of mosques
  305. Lists of most common surnames
  306. Lists of most expensive items
  307. Lists of mountains
  308. Lists of municipalities
  309. Lists of music inspired by literature
  310. Lists of musicals
  311. Lists of musicians
  312. Lists of named passenger trains
  313. Lists of neighborhoods by city
  314. Lists of newspapers
  315. Lists of nicknames in association football
  316. Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents
  317. Lists of office-holders
  318. Lists of offshore wind farms by country
  319. Lists of offshore wind farms by water area
  320. Lists of operas
  321. Lists of painters
  322. Lists of pairs
  323. Lists of patriarchs
  324. Lists of patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops
  325. Lists of people
  326. Lists of people by African Union state
  327. Lists of people by belief
  328. Lists of people by cause of death
  329. Lists of people by nationality
  330. Lists of people by occupation
  331. Lists of people executed in Texas
  332. Lists of people from Camden
  333. Lists of people from India by state
  334. Lists of people from Quebec by region
  335. Lists of people on the cover of Time magazine
  336. Lists of pianists
  337. Lists of places
  338. Lists of places by eponym
  339. Lists of places in Kansas
  340. Lists of plant diseases
  341. Lists of presidents
  342. Lists of programming languages
  343. Lists of promoters of the Rosary
  344. Lists of radio stations in Europe
  345. Lists of radio stations in North America
  346. Lists of radio stations in Oceania
  347. Lists of rail accidents
  348. Lists of reptiles by region
  349. Lists of reptiles of the United States
  350. Lists of reservoirs and dams
  351. Lists of rivers
  352. Lists of roads in the United Kingdom
  353. Lists of role-playing games
  354. Lists of rulers of Djibouti
  355. Lists of rulers of Ethiopia
  356. Lists of rulers of Germany
  357. Lists of rulers of Ghana
  358. Lists of rulers of Greece
  359. Lists of rulers of India
  360. Lists of rulers of Ireland
  361. Lists of rulers of Italy
  362. Lists of rulers of Kenya
  363. Lists of rulers of Madagascar
  364. Lists of rulers of Spain
  365. Lists of school districts in the United States
  366. Lists of schools in Australia
  367. Lists of schools in New Zealand
  368. Lists of scientists
  369. Lists of ships
  370. Lists of ships of the Turkish Navy
  371. Lists of small Solar System bodies
  372. Lists of software
  373. Lists of solar eclipses
  374. Lists of sovereign states and dependent territories
  375. Lists of sovereign states by year
  376. Lists of species
  377. Lists of sports venues
  378. Lists of stars
  379. Lists of stars by constellation
  380. Lists of state leaders
  381. Lists of state leaders by year
  382. Lists of statistics topics
  383. Lists of television channels
  384. Lists of television programs
  385. Lists of television programs with LGBT characters
  386. Lists of television stations in North America
  387. Lists of tennis players
  388. Lists of the Arab League
  389. Lists of things named after places
  390. Lists of thinking-related topics
  391. Lists of time zones
  392. Lists of tourist attractions
  393. Lists of tourist attractions in England
  394. Lists of townlands of County Cork
  395. Lists of towns in Ireland
  396. Lists of tropical cyclone names
  397. Lists of twin towns and sister cities
  398. Lists of universities and colleges
  399. Lists of university leaders
  400. Lists of vampires
  401. Lists of video games
  402. Lists of villages in Norway
  403. Lists of violinists
  404. Lists of volcanoes
  405. Lists of wars
  406. Lists of waterways
  407. Lists of weapons
  408. Lists of websites
  409. Lists of wind farms by country
  410. Lists of works by Sharpe, Paley and Austin
  411. Lists of writers
  412. Microscopy Listserver
  413. My Year in Lists
  414. NFL season ticket waiting lists
  415. National Football League team season lists
  416. Party lists in the New Zealand general election, 2005
  417. Party lists in the New Zealand general election, 2008
  418. Party lists in the New Zealand general election, 2011
  419. Peppa Pig: Episode & DVD lists
  420. Phone hacking scandal reference lists
  421. Political lists
  422. Publishers Weekly lists of bestselling novels in the United States
  423. Ranked lists of Belgian provinces
  424. Ranked lists of Chilean regions
  425. Salt lists
  426. Ser:Tomruen/Project solar and lunar eclipses/SESetLists
  427. Shrek the Musical cast lists
  428. Special Honours Lists (Australia)
  429. Status lists of players in professional sports
  430. Sustainable seafood advisory lists and certification
  431. The Book of Lists
  432. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cast lists
  433. The Infinity of Lists
  434. UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists
  435. Word lists by frequency
  436. Xenosaga lists
The Transhumanist 22:58, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not an absolute rule. There are times when "list" doesn't appear at all in the title, despite the page obviously being a list when you look at it. I've clarified the wording. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:56, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

List of dogs vs. List of birds

It should stipulate that these guidelines should not be literally followed if doing so leaves the title insufficient to know what it's a list of. Compare List of pigs vs. List of birds. It's not clear from the title if "list of dogs" is going to be a la "Snoopy, Pluto, Astro"; "Raccoon dog, Dingo, African Wild dog" or what it actually is. Titles should say what they have to in order to clearly state what the list is, and if these guidelines interfere with that, everyone should be reasonable and not strictly apply them. It should be "List of famous dogs" and "list of bird species". Chrisrus (talk) 17:36, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, standardization is needed, but not just on the stand-alone list level, as Wikipedia supports section links. Naming of sections containing such lists need to be covered as well. We need a naming standard for all lists, wherever they may be. See:
There's a relevant essay: Wikipedia:Ambiguous words. Perhaps it can be expanded into a guideline, and then a link provided on the list guidelines.
But even more important than a standard, we need volunteers to clean up this mess. There are probably hundreds of ambiguously titled lists. The Transhumanist 22:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Adding essay to list

I attempted to add WP:Viability of lists to this list and was reverted. The list was created originally with the intention of an accompaning essay for WP:LISTN. I only recently finished it (having forgotten about it for some time). I wanted to go ahead and add it here as well since it deals with stand alone lists. If you feel something is amiss, please feel free to change it.Jinnai 17:15, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

The Queen's thingums

I know that it may sound trivial, but some editors get an itch in their pants over the smallest things, and I'd like to avoid embarrassment for all parties. Especially me. So I come seeking the wisdom of the mages found here.

List of titles and honours of Queen Elizabeth II has a section devoted to things named after the Queen; this is divided up into monuments, hospitals, roads and so on. Once upon a time, a diligent and hard-working editor pulled out all the things located in Canada and inserted them into a list of things named after various royal people in Canada, helpfully named Royal eponyms in Canada. Another editor, two years later, found the list and added a government building in Regina to the list, as it was named after the Queen, it was a building, and it slotted neatly in between a sports centre in Queensland and a quay in Sierra Leone. The sixteen-story building was promptly demolished by the diligent and hard-working editor on the grounds that it was a bad edit because the building was listed elsewhere - in the Canadian-only list.

I've stepped in, but I find that the diligent and hard-working editor is now throwing monkey faeces back at me, and I find this most uncomfortable. Could I enlist some wise eyes to review things here, please? --19:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Try to be neutral when making requests like this; passive aggressive attacks like "throwing monkey faeces" aren't at all necessary. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 21:00, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
It is an accurate statement of my feelings in this matter and why I am moved to seek the oversight of those who are not bespattered. --Pete (talk) 21:09, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
There's no general principle that gives you the One True™ Answer. Specifically, there is no rule that any article can't be included in a hundred lists, and there's equally no rule that anything has to be present in more than one list.
This is all about the list selection criteria. The list selection criteria are supposed to be described at the top of the list. (If nobody's done that yet, then fix it.) You should be able to look at the top of that list and see exactly what's supposed to be included in that list. The description at List #1 tells you what you're allowed to put in list #1. List #1 has no right to declare that List #2 is not permitted to include anything that is already listed at List #1, and List #2 has no right to tell List #1 what to include. Unless the "Titles and honours" list actually says that Canadian items are not permitted in the "Titles and honours" list, then the fact that it's a Canadian building is irrelevant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:04, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. We'll work on appropriate list selection criteria. As I see it, "things" is not specific enough to exclude immaterial items such as prizes or awards or scholarships - we're listing material items such as bridges and hospitals. And there's no reason to exclude Canadian hospitals. --Pete (talk) 09:56, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
This is a simple matter of organisation. Nothing says there can't be two identical lists or one list that's partly comprised of a whole list that exists elsewhere; but, does it always make sense to do that? Is that the only thing that can be done? These are the questions being asked to the editor proposing duplication and to which no answers are forthcoming. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 21:18, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
If List #1 decides that they want to partly or completely duplicate List #2, then it is not up to the editors at List #2 to tell them to stop. The editors at List #2 do not WP:OWN the content.
If you want to persuade the folks at List #1 that your approach is better, then you need to focus on winning friends and influencing people rather than on trying to find a rule that says you're right and they're wrong and so they have to do it your way.
I also point out that if you take this through dispute resolution, the most likely outcome is that List #2 (the Canadian-specific list) will simply be merged out of existence, and then it will all be in List #1. So if you're wishing for a non-voluntary resolution, I advise you to be careful what you wish for. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:52, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood what I wrote. I didn't refer to any rules; in fact, I said there were no rules. What I said was: this is a matter of organisation; what's the most logical way to organise the information, specifically. Doubling the info (and the work) up doesn't seem to fit that end. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:05, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure, repeating the information in two places could double the work (from "almost nothing" to "a little bit"). But a perfectly sensible, logical method of reducing that duplication of effort is to eliminate the Canadian-specific list. Is that what you want? Creating one complete list is at least as logical as demanding that the other folks create an incomplete list so that they don't voluntarily spend their time duplicating your efforts.
The bottom line is still consensus, and it is still difficult to convince people that your idea is a better than theirs when you are taking an adversarial role. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:34, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I have a different opinion of my tone, and a different experience in this matter (plus others with Pete/Skyring) than yours.
Regardless, of course consensus is the desired result. If that means merging a section of one list into another, so be it. Eliminating the section of the Canadian-specific list isn't necessarily the right way to do so, though. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:56, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Consensus is required when another editor tries to do something one doesn't want, but not when one is trying to sneak something past others who may object. Miesanical, you seem to be painting yourself into a corner. Things can exist as entries in multiple lists, and you may leave Royal eponyms in Canada alone or add to it if you can find further items for inclusion - though I do think you should find a more accessible title for your article. List of things named after Queen Elizabeth II is (or will be) a different list entirely, even if there is a small overlap with several other lists, such as List of hospitals in Canada. There is no requirement to merge two quite different lists merely because a few items appear on both lists. --Pete (talk) 21:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
It still seems you don't understand consensus; what you say about it above makes no sense; not in this context, anyway. As for the rest: if you want duplication, so be it. And, in that case, I hope you'll keep the two lists consistent as one or the other is added to; it would be odd, and thus confusing, for one list to have entries the other doesn't. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:41, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Minimum number of items on a list

Hi. Could anyone point me in the direction to the guideline on what is the minimum number of entries a list can have. Thanks. Lugnuts (talk) 09:25, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't think we have such a guideline. We are not even clear on what constitutes a list - see Wikipedia talk:Featured list criteria. The FL people apparently regard a list as anything that the FA people reject. The closest anyone there could come to a definition is Goodraise who said: "to qualify as a stand-alone list, an article needs to have what I'd call a 'list character'". WP:List says: "List articles are encyclopedia pages consisting of a lead section followed by a list (which may or may not be divided by headings)." And this guideline for stand alone lists says: "Stand-alone lists are articles that primarily consist of lists of links, data or information."
As a list is a number of items, the minimum could be understood as at least two items. Would you be able to make a standalone article out of just two items? Probably. We have an article with just three items - U.S. state bats. And there may be articles with just two items. SilkTork ✔Tea time 16:42, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Someone had brought up a list with 4 items on it at FL some time ago and was rejected as too short (the list page still exists though). They used to have a minimum of 10 items, but they dropped that requirement some time ago as they were constantly making exceptions for 8 or so and on occasion as low as 6 or 7. However, I'd say that those latter ones with 6-7 had to have a good reason they couldn't be incorporated as they've also rejected similarly short lists. I got one of those shorter lists (7 items) FL status. They've also more rarely rejected ones with higher numbers though, so there is no hard-and-fast rule, but I'd day if its <5, it probably isn't enough.Jinnai 19:43, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Jinnai's account, while not exactly incorrect, is somewhat out of date. There was an informal consensus that particularly short lists should not be awarded featured status. In the absence of such a criterion in WP:WIAFL, many reviewers arbitrarily picked a number and opposed nominations with less items than that. While this kept short lists out, it wasn't a good solution in the long run. We Wikipedians don't seem to like arbitrarily chosen thresholds. Also, we wanted every list that should exist to be eligible for featured status. Our trouble was that the community hadn't provided us with a means of determining which lists should exist. While stand-alone lists were considered articles back then as well as now, WP:N did not yet discuss them. It does now, but it still does not explain what "stand-alone" means or doesn't mean. Practice shows that some lists are not expected to comply with the GNG. One might argue that a "List of Some Series episodes" is an article, but not a "stand-alone" one, that it somehow inherits, not notability, but some sort of justification of its existence from its parent article. To make due with what little community-wide consensus we had, we came up with criterion 3b. In essence, we grabbed for the nearest straw to pull us out of the mud. That straw was WP:CFORK. But to answer the original question, there is no minimum number. If your list meets the GNG, you're on the safe side. If it doesn't meet the GNG, but isn't a CFORK either, you need not fear coming to FLC. However, as the featured list criteria are right now, relying on CFORK, rather than something like WP:N, it is not unheard of for featured lists to show up at AfD. As for two-item "lists", I don't think any list with two items will ever pass FLC. Two items just isn't enough to give an article "list character". At FLC, I'd point the nominator of such an article to FAC. Goodraise 00:19, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
While WP:N doesn't talk too much about lists, there is WP:Viability of lists which was created as an accompanying essay to WP:LISTN.Jinnai 22:07, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back to me. Lugnuts (talk) 09:16, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

List of local chapters/branches/outlets

I understand the thinking behind the recent edit introducing the notion that "Lists of sub-chapters of notable organizations are problematic"; however, having just explored the nature of such lists with the Fraternities WikiProject, and seen a good example of such a list, and not having seen a consensus view that such lists should be discouraged, I'm not certain that the wording is helpful. Nor am I certain that this is the place to be dealing with such specifics - it may be that WP:CLUB would be a better place. SilkTork ✔Tea time 09:02, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I could go either way with that: it's probably going to be dull content, but it might be the result of a WP:SPLIT that dramatically improves the main article. I wonder whether it would might make more sense to address it at WP:ORG than here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:30, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I have moved it to WP:ORG, and reworded slightly to incorporate ideas from above. SilkTork ✔Tea time 10:08, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Items in a list should be cited

Resolved: Stand-alone lists are Wikipedia articles; so are subject to Wikipedia's content policies, such as verifiability

This MOS is missing an important point: To include an item in a stand-alone-list, it should be cited. Not having this requirement (pushing the citation to the linked target article) allows folks to bypass WP:V by a wide margin. Toddst1 (talk) 21:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I think you may misunderstand WP:V, which is about the possibility of finding a reliable source (that is, has any reliable source ever published this before?), not about whether someone has already typed a citation onto the page. A completely unreferenced list can be 100% compliant with WP:V (unless it contains a direct quotation). Please read the summary at WP:MINREF and think about the difference between content that is verifiable and content that is verified. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:34, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out the flaw in the policy by citing it. Example: Add George Washington to List of convicted war criminals. That's why we need to require citations on lists. See Disadvantages of lists, the first part of #5. The second bullet in WP:LISTPEOPLE also applies here, but I see no reason it would be limited to people. Toddst1 (talk) 23:46, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The problem you give is not specific to lists. You could just as easily add "George Washington was convicted of war crimes" as a sentence in an article. It isn't possible to verify that statement, and so it should be removed from articles and lists—but (since Washington is dead) it's not actually required by any policy to have an inline citation up until the moment that someone (you?) WP:CHALLENGEs the claim. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:48, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Right, that's when you would tag something with {{cn}} or {{unreferenced}} - but as it is now, we have folks that think it's ok to have unreferenced lists [5] [6] and lists about living people where folks believe they're not BLPs.[7] (There are many more examples. Apologies for picking on these editors) That's why I brought up that lists need to be verifiable - without following the links - just like articles themselves and should have citations. Toddst1 (talk) 04:01, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
"Stand-alone lists are Wikipedia articles; so are subject to Wikipedia's content policies, such as verifiability". I don't think it needs to be said any clearer than that. Goodraise 15:37, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok. Thx. Toddst1 (talk) 16:22, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
GoodDay is obviously correct, but you seem to have either misunderstood or ignored WhatamIdoing's point. There is nothing wrong with tagging an unreferenced list as {{unreferenced}} (indeed, this should be done agressively). But a completely unreferenced list can nonetheless meet WP:V. Taking List of investment banks as an example, the existence of bluelinks is evidence enough that the content is verifiable (and thus that it shouldn't be deleted on WP:V grounds). It is of course not acceptable to leave it at that, hence the existence of tags such as {{unreferenced}}. —WFC— 18:06, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes: The rules are the same for (non-navigational) "lists" as for "articles". And the rules do not say that any page (whether in list form or not) is required to cite any references at all (unless it contains a direct quotation or contentious matter about a BLP)—up until the moment that someone challenges the content on the page (not, by the way, merely notes that there are currently no citations on the page; unref is sometimes a useful cleanup tag to add, but "Hey, this page is WP:NOTDONE!" does not actually constitute a challenge to the content).
Toddst, I think the problem is that you still don't understand exactly what "verifiable" means. If someone could go to his local library or his favorite web search engine and find a reliable source that supports the information on the page, then that page is already verifiable, even though it contains zero citations. What you're talking about is your desire for the page to be verified, which is not actually required by any policy (except when the four narrow situations at WP:MINREF apply). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:16, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, not quite. Part of our verifiability policy is that we've at least identified a source; it should be added in due time to an article to support the fact, but not including it at all is not correct. We can't just add info, have no source, and say "Oh, just look in your local library for it" because the reader has no idea where to go.
When it comes back to this specific question, I think the need to source every element (assuming there is no single source that already does this en masse) depends on the degree of contentious of the fact being claims. A list of people (all notable with their own articles) from a specific city likely doesn't need a source for each element as long as the information is clear from the individual articles. On the other hand, lists of people that evoke a religious, political, or other social trait (ala LBGT) probably need to have a cite for each entry since this information may be buried within the article in the question even if sourced. WP:V still applies to all, but its taking into consideration of the contentious nature of the topic (eg : what was added to the policy page is certainly not wrong, but now its more the finer details of using it). --MASEM (t) 18:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Masem, you know that I support the inclusion of sources, but the fact is that the WP:V policy does not actually say that we need to have identified a source. If I happen to type "the human hand normally contains four fingers and one thumb"—a statement that does not fall afoul of any of the four WP:MINREF items—then I don't need to have identified a source for that material to comply with WP:V.
Once there has been a challenge to the material—once someone actually asks for a source for that particular material—then "Oh, just look in your local library for it" is inappropriate (per BURDEN), but unless and until someone actually asks for a source for that material, then that material is fully compliant with WP:V's actual requirements. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:27, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Yea, I agree with that; I'm just concerned that when we're talking anything but trivial facts, "verifiability" is not simply pointing the reader to find it themselves; sources are important, more and more as the fact can be considered contentious. To this discussion, we can point readers to the individual articles that are listed on the list, but the more contested the fact, the more likely we should have that source on the list as well. --MASEM (t) 20:09, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, So just to be clear, {{Prod blp/dated}} applies to stand-alone lists. Toddst1 (talk) 22:24, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I would support that, because lists of or about living people have the same potential issues as the articles about the people themselves. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:16, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd support that too for lists which focus on a BLP (such as List of awards and nominations received by Stephen Lang), but the place to make that decision is Wikipedia talk:Proposed deletion of biographies of living people. —WFC— 21:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I see the addition, but not sure I agree on the language (the intent's right).
Take the addition's example of a "List of fruit". Of course we wouldn't source that an apple is a fruit, but we may have something obscure like vanilla which I just learned now is a fruit (but not that I was begging to know that, just trying to find an example). However, is the fact that vanilla is a fruit something contentious? Not really.
Where I'm going with this is the idea of consistency. As soon as you say "ok, I need to source this element on this list", then every element should be sourced, even if that is obvious. Consensus can choose to source nothing (though if there are non-blue-link terms, I would source those if the rest are unsourced, if they're to be sourced on a item by item basis). But it should not be a mix where , in a list with all blue-links, where some terms are sourced, and some are not.
So how to define when to source then? My rule of thumb would be, if for any spot check element on the list, I can hit up its article and within the lead paragraphs and/or infobox, and always hit that piece of information, it does not need a source on a list page. So back to List of Fruit, since all fruits appear to be identified as fruits in the lead of their respective articles, there's no need to source any of them. On the other hand, I would figure that with contentious topics that each and every entry should be sourced, as while the contentious fact may be in the lead for some elements, it likely won't be there for them all. --MASEM (t) 22:31, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't work. We don't use Wikipedia as a source. Of course you don't need to cite obvious things but with the unsourced BLP rule, each article about a living person (and a list is an article) it must have at least one source. Using citations in the linked article is using Wikipedia as a source and that article may or may not have that information sourced. Toddst1 (talk) 22:37, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Let's ignore BLP because that's a special case where erring on the "source each entry" side is the right approach.
Instead I would argue that if one is trying to determine if a fact is contentious for all elements of a list, to spot check the leads; yes, a fact in the lead may not be appropriately sourced in the body, but on the larger scale, if a good random sample shows that that fact (X is a fruit, for example) appears in every lead checked, its probably a non-contentious fact - but completely as a rule of thumb. --MASEM (t) 22:42, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
No let's not ignore the case that proves the necessity. Toddst1 (talk) 06:25, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Masem's point is that for BLP related statements, adequate sourcing is already a necessity, regardless of the outcome of this discussion. —WFC— 06:30, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

"Wikipedia has many list of lists articles."

The guideline currently states that "Wikipedia has many list of lists articles." I propose we stop treating those pages as articles and more like disambiguation pages. A new guideline for those pages should be created at Wikipedia:Lists of lists. Goodraise 16:20, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Not all Lists of Lists are disambiguation pages. They may be outline-type pages, they may be a means of providing an index to a list spread out over several pages, etc. --MASEM (t) 16:33, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't consider outlines lists. They're more like portals. I think we should differentiate between pages dealing with Wikipedia pages and pages dealing with everything else. If a list of lists is nothing but an index of a list spread out over several pages, then it's incomplete. Give it a lead, summarize the linked lists, add references, and you'll have a real article, not some navigational half-breed. Goodraise 18:32, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Citing sources

I've just boldly created a summary of the above discussions at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Stand-alone lists#Citing_sources. This isn't exactly typical content for a MoS page, but there's yet another question about this at the other MoS list, and so it seems that we need to get back to the proposal from last August to have a brief section.

What I've added is a plain-language summary of the sourcing policy (with a link to the minimum requirements) and a direct statement that it's the same rules as any regular article. I'm waffling about whether we should call out the BLP provision, since I'm not entirely sure that people will always click through to discover that one, and it's pretty important for certain kinds of BLP-related lists. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:21, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

"Non-navigational lists are treated the same as any other article". Tell me please, what, in your mind, distinguishes a navigational list from a non-navigational list? Until we have consensus on which is what, setting different standards for the two kinds will only lead to chaos. Goodraise 23:08, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Once you move beyond the obvious pages, like dab pages and navboxes, there's no easy answer and IMO no practical help from a description. Editors are going to have to use their judgment, case by case, every single time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:31, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
A piece of guideline text requiring editors "to use their judgment, case by case, every single time" is superfluous. Guidelines should provide guidance. This just gives another tool to Wikilawyers. Goodraise 23:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm curious how you think a wikilawyer will abuse this text. It seems pretty clear to me. Can you give me a hypothetical example of what you're worried about? Someone declaring that their claim that Joe Smith is gay is just as obvious as saying that an apple is a fruit, maybe? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The lack of clarity begins with the first word, "Non-navigational lists". What is that? My worries are not specific. I merely oppose unnecessary expansion of guidelines. What's the point of this section? Why do we need it? As far as I can tell, it serves no purpose. Goodraise 23:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Let us deal with the second question first: This section is needed because people keep asking for exactly this information over and over and over and over and over again, as proven by three separate requests just on this page in the last few months and other requests on other pages. Generally, when people voluntarily request advice repeatedly, it's a sign that we need to be providing that advice.
A disambiguation page is one example of a page that is widely acknowledged to be a navigational list. A disambiguation page is not permitted to contain citations per Wikipedia:Disambiguation#References: "Do not include references in disambiguation pages". I am not interested in writing this guideline so that it appears to directly conflict with another, long-established guideline. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:00, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Please don't take this the wrong way, but whenever someone uses phrases like "... is widely acknowledged", I get the feeling they're trying to get me to accept as true something they can't substantiate. I'm not saying that disambiguation pages are not widely acknowledged to be navigational lists, just that this is the first I've heard of it and that I doubt it. Anyway, disambiguation pages, unlike stand-alone lists, are not articles,MOS:DAB meaning this guideline doesn't, or rather shouldn't, cover them. I will acknowledge that we need to make some sort of change somewhere. However, I think this new section is a step in the wrong direction. Only pages intended to be articles should be referred to as stand-alone lists. These pages, like all other articles, should have to comply fully with WP:V. All other pages with list character, like disambiguation pages, outlines and the elusive "navigational list" pages should be discussed elsewhere. Alternatively, and I'm warming up to the idea as I'm writing this, we could redefine stand-alone lists to be any page (article or not) with list character and create a page called Wikipedia:Manual of Style/List articles, discussing stand-alone lists that are also articles. The problem we will have to solve eventually is defining which is what. That, unlike regurgitating policy on style guideline pages using ill-defined terms, would be a step in the right direction. Goodraise 03:09, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
"Non-navigational lists" == "pages with list character intended to be articles". This guideline doesn't apply to those any other kind of page, and the point of this phrase is to indicate that all this stuff about providing citations to list-articles doesn't apply to list-shaped-non-articles, either. We do not want someone to cite this guideline as advice on what to do for a dab page or outline.
I honestly do not expect any good-faith experienced editor to have much trouble figuring out whether a particular list is navigational in nature. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:29, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, then we can simply state explicitly that disambiguation pages and outlines are not covered by this guideline. First half of the problem solved. Leaves only the navigational natured non-article list pages. Perhaps you could give an example of such a page. I haven't come across any of those yet. Goodraise 04:09, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Other guidelines, and other parts of this guideline, make reference to the existence of lists that are primarily intended to be navigational rather than informational, and I see no reason to pretend that they don't exist merely because you've never seen a list that you personally would classify that way. If you'd like an example, I have no idea how most editors would choose to classify Acute leukemia. Is that a list at all? A surprisingly information-free informational list? A very functional navigational list? Additionally, some editors feel that this page ought to apply to navboxes, which have a list character and obviously have a primary function of navigation. Rather than naming each and every possible permutation of a navigational list, I think it better to merely state that if the page's purpose is, in your best judgment, primarily navigational, then this section does not apply. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:23, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
"Other guidelines"? Name them please, so I can read them for myself. I'll assume (correct me if I'm wrong) with "other parts of this guideline" you mean the sentence "These should only be created if a complete list is reasonably short (less than 32K) and could be useful (e.g., for navigation) or interesting to readers." This is not a reference to navigational natured non-article lists, but to a particular kind of stand-alone list (aka. list article). Most editors (including me) would classify Acute leukemia as a set index article. It even links there itself, using {{SIA}}. Goodraise 05:20, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
  • This conversation started at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Lists#Should_every_single_item_on_a_list_have_a_reference.3F. We just need to clearly state you don't need a reference for every single item on a list. And that you shouldn't remove items just because there isn't a reference, but instead because you looked at them, and honestly don't believe they belong there. Dream Focus 00:04, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
    Perhaps a discussion about when to challenge material would be appropriate. What do you think of something with this sort of basic meaning:
    "As with other articles, you may WP:CHALLENGE material that you believe is inaccurate or unverifiable by {{fact}}-tagging it, discussing it on the talk page, removing it, etc. As with other articles, you should not, however, challenge material that you are reasonably convinced is accurate and possible to verify in reliable sources merely because the page is WP:NOTDONE/the citations have not been typed in. In those instances, you should follow the WP:Editing policy's instructions on how to WP:PRESERVE information and collaborate with others to improve the list. This is particularly important for older lists, because the community's policies once prohibited the addition of sources to lists."
    That last sentence, BTW, is something I remember running across once, but I don't know where it was or how accurate it is (e.g., if I saw it in an old policy or if I saw someone [possibly erroneously] claiming this). So while I believe it to be true, if we add it, it should probably be followed by a link to an old version of a policy that actually says that. I don't want to accidentally start a false rumor. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
    I will say that consistency is important. Either no items on the list are cited (either due to being assumed common knowledge, can be determined by click-thru to the linked article, or by the presences of a few references that spell out the contents of the entire list and thus in the lead into the list) or every item on the list is cited. The only case where I can see partial citation being appropriate is if the list, based on assumed common knowledge, is made up of a combination of topics with their own article (blue-linked) and unlinked/redlinked ones. In such cases, every unlinked/redlinked topic absolutely needs a cite even if the fact is presumed common knowledge, since there's no article for the reader to confirm against. --MASEM (t) 22:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
    Why is consistency important? I thought that it was the hobgoblin of little minds. Citations exist to communicate necessary information. They are not decorative elements. Whether it looks funny to have some provided with inline citations and others left uncited is unimportant. If List of fruits wants to include a citation for Honeysuckle, which most people associate with flowers, and not for Apple, then I have no objection to their choice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:00, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
    It avoids the issue of people landmining {{cn}} tags across a list when the intent of the list is meant to be common knowledge, and acknowledging that when we are linking to an article, we are implicitly providing a way for people to find the sources to support that fact if its common sense. For example, in a List of fruit, as most are obvious either as common sense or from a simple gloss over the sources, it doesn't matter that the fact about the honeysuckle is not well know, but most of the rest of the list is, so it's not necessary. It probably becomes more important in the controversial lists. Say there was a "List of LBGT musicians". It's "common knowledge" that someone like Elton John and k.d. lang are on there, but most of the rest aren't, nor is it a type of fact immediately obvious or necessary to summarize quickly when talking about an artist. So in such a list, most of the other artists will have a source, but it then makes no sense to leave the "obvious" ones bare to be gamed by editors with a chip on their shoulder demanding proof. Yes, easy to add, but a properly-formed list on such a non-common knowledge should have this from the start. --MASEM (t) 00:19, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
    Removing the citation from the Honeysuckle entry is not going to stop tagbombers; if anything, it's going to encourage people to remove the accurate entry, in perfectly good faith and due entirely to their own ignorance that the "flower" produces berries. Removing citations to non-common knowledge does not improve the list, and it does risk damage to the list. And if you need a citation on Honeysuckle—say, because that particular entry was challenged and therefore the policy now requires it to perpetually bear an inline citation—then it would be beyond silly to lard the entire rest of the list with citations merely to make it "consistent". WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:23, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
You're both right about a lot of this and just talking past one another. While I agree with the observation that going for GA or FL status is likely going to require that every item on a list be reliably sourced (which does not necessarily mean one source per entry, by the way; a list published reliably off-wiki could be cited once, and would be a reliable source for every entry it had in common with our list), in the interim, we do have the problem that a) people add all sorts of crap to list articles, which need to be cleaned up, and b) other people keep deleting good stuff by accident, by misinterpretation, or to push an agenda. There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting a citation on one or three or twelve entries in a list that is otherwise devoid of citations. I'm a huge fan of consistency – that's why I spend so much time working on MOS – but the notions that either a citation has to be removed because citing isn't consistent, or every entry must be sourced right now or deleted, are both argumentum ad absurdum exaggerations of consistency that would grossly defy common sense. It would be beyond WP:POINTy to pursue either. Anyway, if some jackass is deleting an entry in a list that obviously belongs there just because it has no citation, and some other, even worse, jackass is deleting the citation because it's not "consistent", the obvious solution is to post a challenge of the entry's veracity on the talk page yourself, demanding a citation. Then, by policy, a citation must be provided and must remain in place, meanwhile it would provide reliable sourcing and prevent deletion of the list entry. If you have to sometimes do almost pointy things yourself to get around other people being twits, so be it. I have zero patience for WP:LAWYERly nitpicking that harms encyclopedic content and wastes the time of good editors to just make a point or over-enforce some rule (or usually a misinterpretation of a rule). Just work around such nonsense and ignore it as much as possible to prevent rewarding disruptive editors with the attention they're begging for. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 08:29, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Is the sky really blue?

Follow-up of [8] and [9].

From where do you take that number ("99% of editors")? WP:BLUE and WP:NOTBLUE are essays, not guidelines or policy. If we really need a section dealing with how to reference stand-alone lists (and I'm still saying we don't), then we should at least stick to summarizing what relevant guidelines and policies have to say about it, not cherry-picked essays. Here's what WP:CITE has to say about it: "editors are always encouraged to add or improve citations for any information contained in an article" (emphasis mine). Goodraise 12:16, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

That recently added, undiscussed bold draft overstates matters significantly, and noticeably exceeds the actual standards even for FAs. If you demand a source for a perfectly obvious statement like "An apple is a kind of fruit" or "The human hand normally has four fingers and one thumb", it's going to be considered disruptive behavior. Spamming in citations just because we can is not helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:03, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
For some reason I can't quite comprehend you seem to have something against citing sources. As far as articles are concerned, I'm under the impression, correct me if I'm wrong, that you find them aesthetically displeasing. That much I can understand, if not agree with it. What I find really annoying is how you consistently keep your edit summaries and talk page messages free of references to authoritative sources. You simply state your personal opinion and claim it to be widely held consensus. Questions as to what makes you believe that your opinion is the consensus opinion, you simply ignore. Likewise, I'm still waiting for links to those "other guidelines" you didn't name.[10][11] At best you point to essay pages – essays! – to which you rank among the top contributors.[12][13][14]

WP:CITE is not an essay I link to because it agrees with me. It's a guideline. The "recent" addition, as you call it, happened on September 9, 2011. Discussed or not, it's in there. A statement resembling this one on the other hand is not. Now what might be the reason for that? For me it would be pointy to do so, but if you really believe that your depreciation of citation "lard"[15] is shared by consensus, then why not hop over to CITE or WP:V and make an addition along that line? Goodraise 00:41, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't have anything against citations. I do oppose claiming that citations are required when they definitely are not.
For the "other guidelines", I direct you to WP:Notability, which refers, e.g., to "pages whose primary purpose is navigation (i.e., all disambiguation pages and some lists)." WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:03, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying your stance. Anyway, it appears (since you have not addressed my arguments) we are in agreement that this passage does not have guideline level consensus. Would you do the honors of removing it? Goodraise 03:04, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
No, we're not in agreement. IMO an objection from a single editor does not invalidate the "guideline-level consensus" for the statement. Editors do not expect or require that common knowledge, like whether an apple is a kind of fruit or the number of fingers on the typical human hand, be supported by inline citations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:38, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Of course "an objection from a single editor does not invalidate the 'guideline-level consensus' for the statement". The point you're ignoring is that the statement never had guideline-level consensus to begin with. It's not in WP:V and it's not in WP:CITE. You inserted it here and I removed it again. That means there is no consensus for or against the statement on this page. If I were in the habit of making pointy edits, I'd insert a statement to the contrary in the same section, linking it to WP:NOTBLUE and claiming that were the opinion "99% of editors" hold. That statement would have just as much justification to be in this guideline as the one you inserted, i.e. none whatsoever. Anyway, it doesn't seem like we're getting anywhere on our own. I suggest we advertise this discussion at WT:CITE. Agreed? Goodraise 13:53, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Idea: Prefer to source notable entries in lists in their own articles instead

This issue has been touched on (in a broader, weirder discussion) at Wikipedia_talk:No_original_research#Comments. My own comment, anchored here may be of particular interest. I suggest that the proposal over there (which is doomed) would throw the baby out with the bath water, but that policy could be clarified to recommend that list articles that contain notable entries might not need reliable secondary sources in the list article, just a link to the main article on the notable entry, which would have such sources (or be an AfD target). Absent a case of a notable list entry being controversial and someone demanding a source (or the case of including one being helpful in reducing editwarring), it would be far less tedious for editors and indeed readers to not include redundant piles of citations in list and index articles. I've basically been doing this quite explicitly, with <small>''(see [[List entry's article name here|main article]] for sources)''</small> for several years at Albinism in popular culture as an experiment, and it's rarely raised any concern at all. The multi-section list that article mostly consists of cites no sources itself, except for: a) entries that do not have their own articles; b) entries where editors have challenged or might be likely to challenge the entry's membership in the list; or c) the entry's own article doesn't touch on the subject of the list entry (e.g. because the particular portrayal by the actor wasn't career-important enough to be covered in the actor's own bio article). This has been stable for something like 4 years, and I suggest therefore that this is a good model. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 03:34, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

We've got two standards. The first, articles have to meet so they won't be deleted. The second, articles have to meet to be considered good. This page, being part of the MOS, should deal with the latter. I have no problem with list articles relying on such a mechanism to avoid deletion, but in the long run I want them to cite their sources properly. References should be cited where claims are made. Pointing readers in a general direction where they might find what they're looking for is just unprofessional. Goodraise 06:17, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Apparently I didn't express myself clearly enough. So, I'll try to clarify. I'm not talking about specific policies here. Rather, I'm talking about two lines the community draws in practice, dividing Wikipedia's content in three groups: a) articles that should be deleted or improved, b) flawed but tolerated articles, and c) articles considered to be of high quality. Goodraise 15:25, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll land pretty close to Goodraise on this topic. Each and every article, including lists, should be be completely self-sufficient in terms of citations. Every entry should have a citation supporting its inclusion.—Kww(talk) 16:13, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
There are problems with that idea, though. For one thing, a single work, such as a paper-published list, might actually be a reliable source for most or all of a WP list's entries. It would be utterly absurd to add the same ref. citation to all 748 or whatever entries. We also have a general principle that we don't include citations for everything that could possibly be cited, only things that are not blindingly obvious. No one's ever going to cite a reliable source for the fact that grass is a plant or that eyes perceive light or whatever. No citation is needed to include, say, Sarah Blackwood on a List of female singers from England. Adding citations for things that are blindingly obvious basic facts is not only an insane waste of dwindling editor time, it's really, really annoying to readers, who get a sea of blue in their face for no useful reason. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 08:43, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Lists of blindingly obvious things are of marginal utility, and one shouldn't warp the policies about how to handle useful lists to cover the trivial ones. There's a reason that we have categories, and List of female singers from England is a perfect example of a list that should actually be a category. Strangely enough, Category:English female singers seems to function perfectly in that regard.—Kww(talk) 11:15, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
That's irrelevant, and picking on a poor example doesn't invalidate the thesis. There are any number of lists that could be categories and categories that could be lists, or are already both. E.g., the vast majority of things, like List of anti-war songs, in Category:Music-related lists could be re-done as categories with trivial ease (I'm having a hard time finding one that couldn't and which isn't also an AfD prospect), and a large number of them overlap categories. There is no WP-wide consensus to delete them as lists, and the "lists vs. categories" debate is perennial and unresolvable. Your personal opinion about the utility of such lists is orthogonal to the discussion (and probably matches mine, honestly).
So, to get back to that discussion, I repeat: A single work, such as a paper-published list, might actually be a reliable source for most or all of a WP list's entries. It would be utterly absurd to add the same ref. citation to all 748 or whatever entries. We also have a general principle that we don't include citations for everything that could possibly be cited, only things that are not blindingly obvious. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 12:49, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I think your "poor example" was an excellent one. Any list I can think of that your "obviousness" argument applies to would be better served as a category. Your argument about completely reproducing a list from another source would generally be copyright violation. Citations are good things. They don't irritate readers. The little number at the end of a list entry is easily ignored, and the list of references at the bottom of a list article in no way interferes with the readability of a list. While there are editors that aren't sufficiently thorough and careful with their work to provide citations, we shouldn't endorse such behaviour in a guideline.—Kww(talk) 12:55, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you are flat-out mistaken about copyright law. Bare lists of facts are not copyrightable. Anyway, I reiterate (and please don't play WP:IDHT games): There is no WP-wide consensus to convert lists that could be categories into categories and delete them as lists, and the "lists vs. categories" debate is perennial and unresolvable. Your personal opinion about whether we should do so doesn't really have anything to do with this discussion; it's something you should take up at WP:VPP as a proposal if you feel strongly about it. Here's a perfect example of a list that can be cited entirely to one source: List of Core Collection albums in The Penguin Guide to Jazz. There are many lists based on primary sources like this. I'll even quote you quoting policy below: "Material not supplied by an inline citation may be supported with WP:General references". Inline citations are emphatically not required in such cases. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 23:50, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

(outdent) I see no contribution later than -03-02 here or in the related discussion at WP:LIST talk, which is hatnoted in this section. Is it somewhere under discussion as we say ( WP:STANDALONE#Citing sources)? -P64 ...

Concrete example

(not standalone but quite to the points, I believe)

Kate Greenaway Medal#Shortlists is not standalone but it makes a good exhibit for several points of discussion here. I revised the article heavily a fortnight ago --pushing this list further down the page while barely touching it. Last hour I returned and provided references for the "2012" and "2011" sublists, linked to one superscript for each.

Current state of affairs pertinent to verification: list comprises 17 annual award shortlists headed by dates YYYY.

  1. The first two 2012/11 and last four 1998/95 have six distinct references, each linked once by superscript at the annual date.
  2. Eleven 2010 to 2000 are unreferenced here and in the entire article.
  3. The entire list is tagged {{citation needed}}, obscurely by yours truly, displayed tight up against {{incomplete section}} in a hatnote.

I solicit comment on those three matters.

Now suppose another editor finds a print source (2007, 50-year celebration of this award), and transcribes from that source all of the missing annual shortlists, 1999 and 1994 to 1955. How should that editor adapt, extend, or replace the current referencing and tagging? --P64 (talk) 22:04, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm confused by the fact tag. Do you mean {{refimprove|section}}, or do you mean that the assertion that the list is incomplete needs a citation?
I think this whole discussion is a perfect example why there shouldn't be a guideline. Each list should be taken on a list by list case. In the example provided above (Kate Greenaway Medal#Shortlists), I find nothing wrong with the way it is cited. Each citation is clearly set to sections and the citation placement is consistent within the list. Now, if another editor found individual citations for each entry from 2010, where there is currently no citation, than that older citations should be moved to the individual item level, for consistency, so as not to confuse the reader. Dkriegls (talk) 05:50, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Images in list of people

There is discussion here, regarding the deletion of images from a list of people, that might interest readers of this page.--Epeefleche (talk) 23:31, 19 January 2012 (UTC)


When is it okay to mix fictional list entries with real ones? Like if there's a list of a certain kind of people, is it okay to add fictional characters in there? — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 08:19, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Probably almost never, or called out in a different section to be clear that one set is real, one set is fictional. --MASEM (t) 13:31, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm guessing that means Gregory House shouldn't be on List of Johns Hopkins University people, at least not between real people. An editor objected to me removing him from the list. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 15:42, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely. That's really really bad OR or synthesis to put a fictional character on that list. One consideration is to consider if there are notable uses of John Hopkins in fiction in general (one being that Dr. House is stated to be there), and have that as a subsection of the main university article, or "John Hopkins University in fiction" or something like that. But definitely not the mix-match you suggest. --MASEM (t) 16:30, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Masem. That's ridiculously non-encyclopedic. See Hustling and it's subtopics for how to do this properly. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 02:45, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

How to state the notability selection criterion?

The section on selection criteria says that "Most of the best lists on Wikipedia" require that "Every entry meets the notability criteria for its own non-redirect article in the English Wikipedia." However, I have yet to find such a list that explicitly states such a requirement, and I don't see how it can be done without violating WP:ASR. Can someone provide a solution and an example list? RockMagnetist (talk) 17:40, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The point that that statement makes is that editors when editing the page can set that requirement and describe it on the talk page, but it is not going to be explicitly statement on the main page. Take List of people from New York. Everyone is a blue link there,and the article starts with "This list... includes:", thus asserting that the list is not attempting to cataloging everyone from the state. We don't have to assert that the list is limited to only those with blue-links to the reader, just as long as we are clear this is not a complete list. --MASEM (t) 18:51, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It wouldn't even have to be a blue link. Red links to pages that need to be created, but which you're confident meet the notability criteria, would also be acceptable under that approach, since it's about "qualifying for", not "already having" an article. However, most of the "List of people..." actually require blue links. I believe that similar restrictions are typical for many software and website-related lists. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:09, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Obvious solution: If not requiring bluelinks, use the same criteria used at MOS:DAB#Red links for adding redlinks to disambiguation pages. It would probably be helpful for MOS:SAL to explicitly say this, or incorporate a variant of those criteria in its own wording. I have to agree with RockMagnetists's apparent implication that redlinks all over the place in SALs is a real problem. I'd call it a rampant one. Having MOS:SAL address the issue explicitly would probably be helpful, and wouldn't be an ASR issue, and would likely reduce talk page flaming about how whether or not there "really" is consensus at this or that SAL article to impose a bluelinks-only rule, etc., etc. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 03:00, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
See, for example, the section Notability on the List of people from South Carolina talk page. A warning comment can also be added to the main list page that is only visible when an editor goes to edit it. See List of people from South Carolina just below the TOC, in edit mode. --Bejnar (talk) 07:01, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
For those disinclined to go look, what's said at that talk page could be revised to be generalizable principles, into something like the following:
Only list entries that qualify as notable under Wikipedia criteria. In general, either the would-be entry is notable if one or more of the following is true:
  1. It is already the subject of its own Wikipedia article (link to it from its name as an entry in the list; if its connection to the topic of the list is not mentioned in its own article, include a reliable source citation that shows why the entry is relevantly classified on the list)
  2. It is prominently named in an extant article, e.g. as a constituent part or subsection of that more general topic (use a piped link to that article and section from its name in the list; again, include a reliable source citation that demonstrates relevance if the entry's connection to the list topic is unclear in the other article)
  3. You are drafting a Wikipedia article on the entry for mainspace publication within the next week, with multiple, independent reliable sources (cite at least one such source in the list entry to demonstrate notability relevance; mentioning your draft and linking to it in your userspace in the edit summary is recommended)
  4. It is red-linked from multiple mainspace articles and so will likely have an article before long (include a reliable source citation to demonstrate notability and relevance).
These are pretty good talking points, in conjunction with MOS:DAB#Red links, to develop something proposal-worthy for adding to the guideline. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 14:02, 27 February 2012 (UTC) 
This seems like a decent summary of when to make an entry red-linked, but I'm concerned that emphasizing this will have the unfortunate side effect of making editors believe that only items eligible for a link may be included in lists. Some lists are supposed to have non-notable entries (which shouldn't be redlinked, of course). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:07, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
That is why this type of notice belongs on appropriate talk pages, and made specific to the list in question. See example given above. Remember the original question was not about changing the guidelines, but about how such restrictions could be stated "without violating WP:ASR". Anything else you might read into SMcCandlish's comment is dicta. --Bejnar (talk) 06:04, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Three different list purposes

Having no guidance on this is clearly problematic, as reader-editors cannot be expected to remember which list uses which criteria or where they've bothered to "advertise" the criteria if they ever have, which is "not usually". We need to be able to distinguish between three purposes of lists and the kinds of lists they result in, then offer some baseline guidance about them where applicable. It's important to note that these three list-purpose varieties occur as stand-alone and embedded lists, and all the specialized list formats mentioned under "Types of list articles" at MOS:LIST, like outlines, glossaries, etc., will also fall within one of these three, so maybe this discussion should be at WT:MOSLIST instead, or eventually.

  1. Enumeration – complete or intended to be complete [as possible, within reason], e.g. List of Core Collection albums in The Penguin Guide to Jazz, List of Ford vehicles, List of Harry Potter characters, all TV series episode lists, List of awards and nominations received by Danny Elfman. Such lists can frequently be compiled from a small number of reliable sources (sometimes even one) and thus entries may not need individual source citations for their inclusion in the list, but still require citations for facts alleged about them that come from other sources. There are no inclusion criteria for these lists other than membership in the set covered by the topic; i.e. consensus for inclusion is essentially automatic. That's mostly all WP:V/WP:RS and WP:NOR matters, but not adding a zillion redundant citations is clearly a MOS:SAL issue (if one or a few cites sources clearly reliably source all entries that don't have individual citations, WP:V is satisfied, and MOS:LIST/MOS:SAL can legitimately say not to "visually spam" the readers with pointless superscripted numbers.
  2. Browsing – can never be complete and exist only to facilitate navigation, browsing, and discovery of correlation, e.g. List of people from North Carolina, List of snooker players, List of artists with a title track. Such lists should only include entries that fulfill the general notability guideline and either have an article, or fit the other criteria outlined above based on the WP:DAB inclusion rules for "okay" redlinking. Whether each entry's membership in the set must be demonstrated with a reliable source even if not challenged is an open question. Each entry must cite reliable sources for any facts alleged about that entry, even if they are already sourced in the main article on that entry. The inclusion criteria are simply an intersection of notability and membership in the set; i.e. consensus for inclusion is essentially automatic (and for those with extant articles usually corresponds to their presence in a category that matches the list, or such list may be created by listification of a category). MOS:LIST/MOS:SAL have little to say here.
  3. Exemplification – intended to encyclopedically annotate noteworthy examples of the topic, e.g. List of books related to Buddhism, the lists in Albinism in popular culture, List of songs about alcoholism, the lists in "year in topic" composite list articles like 2006 in film. Such lists need individual entries to be sourced as to both their membership in the set covered by the topic and any facts alleged about them. Exemplification lists are most easily distinguishable from browsing lists by lack of a category for the members of the set. Such lists are not intended to be complete and usually never can be. Consensus for inclusion on the list is not automatic, and can be contentious. What general criteria or types of criteria there should be is an open question, and some non-general criteria are very context-specific. Providing advice that helps reduce confusion and strife should be one of MOS:LIST/MOS:SAL's goals here, without wandering into content-guideline territory. What kind of "notice" should there be of inclusion criteria, and where?

SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 12:24, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

PS: If WP:SAL were to (see top of this talk page) be cleaned up so that it contained only content advice, and all the style advice were moved to MOS:LIST with this page moving back to WP:Stand-alone lists with a content guideline tag, it might well have quite a bit more to say about all three of the above sorts of list. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 12:59, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Each entry must cite reliable sources for any facts alleged about that entry is wrong. Sources must be cited if and only if that information would have to be cited if it were present on a non-list page. We don't really have special rules for citing lists: if you need to cite it in a prose article (e.g., "John Doe was convicted of murder"), then you need to cite it in a list article. If you don't need to cite it in a prose article (e.g., "An apple is a kind of fruit"), then you don't need to cite it in a list article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:53, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Every statement must be sourced, however, even if it does not include an in-line citation. The very paragraph you cite continues with "Material not supplied by an inline citation may be supported with WP:General references or sources named as inline citations for other material." There's nothing at all about it being acceptable to omit sources entirely. You are right that there are no specific policies for lists, meaning that every single list item has to be sourced in some fashion, and, since blue-linking is the equivalent of using Wikipedia as a source, it isn't permissible to simply point at a blue link as a source.—Kww(talk) 23:36, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Nope. Every statement must be verifiABLE, not verifiED. That is, it must be possible to source the statement, but it is not necessary to actually source it unless and until it falls into one of those four categories. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I have to assume that you didn't actually read the guideline. There is no guideline which says it is acceptable to include unsourced material in articles (although there are some that say that deleting articles simply for lack of sourcing isn't kosher). The section you are quoting deals only with inline citations (note that it is titled When you must use inline citations), and says nothing about only those four classes of items needing to be sourced. There's many ways to include sources in articles that are not inline citations. Don't expand the meaning of a statement beyond its context.—Kww(talk) 01:11, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Three points:
  • Certainly I have read the section being quoted. In fact, I originally wrote it.
  • MINREF is part of an essay, not a guideline.
  • What matters is the policies that MINREF names as creating the requirements, not MINREF itself. MINREF only exists to summarize the policies, not to create requirements. Relevantly, WP:V begins "It must be possible to attribute all information in Wikipedia to reliable, published sources that are appropriate for the content in question. However, in practice it is only necessary to provide inline citations for quotations and for any information that has been challenged or that is likely to be challenged." WP:BLP and WP:V require inline citations for four types of material. If the material in question doesn't fall into one of those four categories (e.g., "An apple is a type of fruit"), then none of our sourcing policies require any type of citation for it.
    You don't have to like this state of things: a sizable minority of editors would like to require that all information be provided with a citation immediately upon being added. But the fact remains that no such citations are currently required by any policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:42, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
(ec) WhatamIdoing, we're talking past each other. In an exemplification list, every fact would be the kind of fact that would have to be sourced elsewhere. I'm not making up a rule, but clarifying the applicability of existing rules to a specific type of list. If you don't like the wording, let's work on that to get the point across better. PS: At Apple, why would you not need to cite that an apple is a fruit? — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 23:40, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Because the fact that an apple is a fruit rather than an animal, vegetable, or mineral is not a direct quotation, not WP:CHALLENGED, not WP:LIKELY to be challenged, and not about a WP:BLP. Those are the only four circumstances in which you need to cite the material. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:18, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Those are the circumstances in which an inline citation is required. That's not entirely the same thing as the requirement that facts be sourced. [Sorry, I just realized Kww said the same thing above; count this as Kww and I finally agreeing on something >;-] I'm arguing forcefully for the idea, elsewhere on this page, that a general citation for the bulk of some lists' content is sufficient, because so many of them have one or a handful of comprehensive sources, and obviates the need for an a per-entry inline citation (the material is verifiable with the citation[s] already provided). But when it comes to lists made up of very disparate facts with no monolithic general single-source citation for the entries, there's little choice but to do inline citations. Another way of looking at it is that an entry missing a citation isn't going to get the page AfD'd, but it is likely to get the entry deleted-or-sourced on demand (i.e. upon being challenged), and will prevent GA/FL status (because reviewers will, in essence, issue a challenge for everything that isn't sourced). Similarly, the article on apples has a reliable source cited for it being a fruit (more accurately, it has reliable sources as to its taxonomy, which places it in a fruit tree order). — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 10:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, those are the (only) circumstances in which an inline citation is required.
If a policy requires a citation of any kind, it always requires an inline citation.
Therefore, no policy (currently) requires any citations (inline or general) unless the material fits one of those four categories.
NB that I'm not saying this is a good thing, because I don't actually have an opinion one way or the other on that point. I'm only telling you that this is what the current policies actually say: we require inline citations in the articles for four things, and for all other "non-four" material, we do not require that anyone ever type a citation into the page to support it. For "non-four" material, we require only that some published reliable source, somewhere in the world, in some language, has published this information. In fact, we don't even require that any editor know that the source even exists. If you add something that you believe is purely unverifiable trivia (say, the number of trees planted in front of your Kindergarten classroom door), but it later turns out that a source had been published to support that statement, then your addition (unintentionally) complies with our sourcing policies.
Also, with respect to FL issues, it doesn't much matter: What's generally considered best practice or at least the least-hassle-later practice (which is to cite anything and everything while you have the source in hand) is not what's required by our sourcing policies. We should acknowledge the difference between usually valuable and actually required. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:37, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I think you're over-analyzing, and at this point, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make with regard to the larger discussion. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 11:38, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
My point is very simple, and was made in the first sentence of my reply on 02 March: Your statement that "Each entry must cite reliable sources for any facts alleged about that entry" is wrong. It might be good/desirable/helpful/the choice of all loyal citizens to cite sources for any and all facts about the entry, but there is no "must" about it. It is not actually required (unless it's one of the four). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:04, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
How about if that sentence read, Each entry must have citable reliable sources for any facts alleged about that entry. That combined with: Any entry, or fact in an entry, that does not have a citation to a reliable source is subject to deletion. Put those two together and you get quite close. --Bejnar (talk) 17:18, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Most of the best lists...

I support removing the sentence "Most of the best lists on Wikipedia...". I've just seen it used to suggest changing a list from the second selection criteria (non-notable items) to the first one (only notable items). The wording seems to imply that the first criterion is preferred over the others, but that doesn't make sense in a situation where that change would cause the list to be empty. Diego (talk) 07:36, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

You've misread this MOS in the AfD you're currently involved in. The second criterion requires to all entries to fail WP:N, not just the ones you want to include in the list to add spice and character. If you want to have a list of all female video game characters (the topic of the AfD) irrespective of notability you'd have to argue for CSC#3, but that's clearly not a workable solution since there's no way such a list could be considered "short" or "complete". -Thibbs (talk) 14:25, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
A list of mixed notable-non notable can still be supported by the general list selection criteria; this is how all lists of fictional characters, and most navigational lists are justified. My concern is with the "Most of the best lists...", an extraordinary claim that was included by one editor as part of a larger inclusion and was not directly discussed, which IMHO makes it at best not a strong consensus and at worst misleading about the real proportion of different types of lists. You may be interested in the recent discussion about navigational lists that is ongoing here. Diego (talk) 15:22, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
WP:EXCEPTIONAL is an article content policy, not a Wikipedia-wide policy. There is no need to prove the rather extraordinary claim that "notability is not temporary," for instance. But regardless, the proof is linked from the words "best lists on Wikipedia". The featured articles are nearly all replete with reliable sources covering each individual list member significantly. The only difference between raw verifiability and notability is the degree of coverage. To be notable a subject must enjoy significant coverage in the sources used to satisfy WP:V. Featured lists have a high standard of quality that must be met, and meeting these standards typically requires the inclusion of numerous high-quality sources that actually cover the list members significantly. In other words it requires that Common List Selection Criterion #1 be adopted. There are exceptions of course (FLA-lists covering only non-notable items, etc.), but these exceptions tend to reduce the reliance on RSes and minimize the number of sources needed to meet WP:V. Look at the examples listed next to list selection criterion #2 (List of minor characters in Dilbert and List of paracetamol brand names). In practical terms, both of these things (reduced importance of RSes and reduced numbers of RSes) work against the upgrading of the list to FLA status. -Thibbs (talk) 05:20, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I'd recommend keeping the "Most of the best lists on Wikipedia..." line. It's a bit of a tautological expression, it's true, but I think it helps focus discussions regarding inclusion criteria in lists of fictional things which are currently in a bad state of disrepair on Wikipedia. The fact of the matter is that notability is defined by coverage in the reliable sources. And the use of reliable sources allow lists to meet WP:V which is a pre-requisite for their becoming "featured lists". It's a circular claim that all of the best (i.e. featured) lists use notability as the inclusion criterion, but it's a true one as far as I can see. -Thibbs (talk) 14:25, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm not against the claim of the "best lists on Wikipedia", but about the "Most", because it's untrue. See for instance featured lists accolades received by Sense and Sensibility, World Heritage Sites in Spain or Meerkat Manor meerkats, which are all examples of WP:CSC#3; and I didn't have to try hard to find them.
There isn't an article for each element in those lists; the biodiversity and culture of Ibiza and Dinosaur Ichnite Sites of the Iberian Peninsula, or the fact that Emma Thompson won Best Screenplay at the LAFCA may not necessarily be independently notable, but we have featured lists on them. A claim that most of these lists are about Wikipedia-notable items should be supported by statistical analysis (I know WP:EXCEPTIONAL is about content, I linked it to explain the standard I hold for an assertion like that in a Wikipedia policy, not to imply that it applies here; sorry for the WP:ARGH! moment).
I would prefer the link to featured lists to talk about verifiability of their items, instead of their notability, because it's possibly to have very good lists with any of the three criteria. (Ok, #2 is the most difficult, but I'm sure it's still doable). It would also be good to add a note reminding that these three are not exhaustive and that there can be other reasons to have lists. Diego (talk) 13:39, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Well the term "common selection criteria" implies that there are uncommon criteria as well, but I don't think it's a good idea to suggest that Wikipedia encourages the development of novel selection criteria on an article-by-article basis and I also think it's not a good idea to suggest that it's common to achieve FLA status without rigorous sourcing. The notability standard is harder to meet than bare verifiability and so lists that are capable of meeting it are statistically more likely to be of higher quality. As I said earlier, the statement that "most of the best lists on Wikipedia reflect this type of editorial judgment" is kind of a tautological truism, but I think it's helpful in guiding editorial practice. There is plenty of wiggle room in my opinion for editors who decide to adopt a different CSC or even an uncommon SC should the particular list require it. But to remove or ignore the suggestion that more rigorous sourcing leads to better lists leads (in my experience) to the abandonment of high quality sources, the weakening of the article's adherence to WP:RS, and even to nonsense arguments that sources are not required for lists. Merely being verifiable does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. -Thibbs (talk) 15:35, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
If you want a statistical analysis, then why don't you go do one? Or if that's too much work, then just stop by WT:FL and ask for opinions? I'm confident that either approach will prove that the sentence is true. Many categories of Featured Lists are things that are obviously notable, including practically every entry in (just to start at the top) Listed buildings, National treasures of Japan, World Heritage sites, Academy Awards, Filmographies, Grammys, Charts, Roads, Railways, National Football League, College football, Association football... WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:21, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Could we then change the word Most to Many in the guideline until after such analysis is done? Diego (talk) 09:36, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Conversely, the third criterion is used for most of the lists in categories Cast members and Episodes, and many lists in awards, band members, songs and concerts, weather and author timelines, company acquisitions, and some roads. These categories include a mixture of notable and non-notable items for completeness, and the notability of each item is not important. The sentence implies that only the first criterion should be used and recommended, which is highly misleading. Diego (talk) 13:45, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

The first criterion is more demanding in terms of sources. Higher quality and greater numbers of sources lead to higher quality list articles. There are of course featured lists that use "lack of notability" (CSC#2) or "short completeness" (CSC#3) as their inclusion criteria, but as far as I can see these FLAs appear to be in the minority compared to those that use "notability" (CSC#1) as their criterion. I don't think it is misleading to suggest that greater sourcing requirements generally lead to better list articles in the majority of cases. And I don't think the suggestion that "higher sourcing standards is common for FLAs" implies that low-sourcing-requirement inclusion criteria (common or otherwise) are barred. As I said earlier, I think there is plenty of wiggle room for articles that require a lesser standard even if it means that they may never reach FLA status. I do think there are distinct dangers if we mislead editors regarding the desirability of sourcing by casting all selection criteria as equally likely to lead to FLA status, though.
Discussion over the CSC really only comes up in the context of cleanup efforts for unmanageably large lists that need trimming. You don't see much or any call to switch to CSC #1 for "short, complete lists" for instance. In practice this tends to come up when dealing with lists like "list of fictional cats" or "list of fictional lands in childrens books" or "list of fictional military personnel" etc. The typical scenario is that the person seeking to improve the massive list article's quality finds no inclusion criteria listed in the article and argues that CSC #1 should be adopted so that only notable fictional cats or only notable military personnel etc. should appear in the list. Then those who favor the low-quality, usually unsourced status quo argue in favor of CSC #3 and/or suggest that this is a special case because an especially large number of readers are probably interested in a catalog of all fictional cats/etc than they would be in only the notable ones. If there's nothing at CSC to distinguish which kind of editorial judgment generally leads to better results, then it's a toss-up between the one editor who wants to improve the article and the several who prefer the low quality version because it happens to include their favorite example of fictional trivia. This has been my experience at several dire articles I've attempted to improve in the past. -Thibbs (talk) 03:40, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Categories vs. lists

Let's talk about the substantive problems with [User:Goodraise's recent] changes. I'll start: Whether categories or lists are better in any given situation is hot button for some editors, and I consequently don't believe that addressing that issue in the lead constitutes an improvement to this page.

Would someone else like to address another change and whether it might be an improvement or not? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:13, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Agreed; I think it's likely to engender more heat than light. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 08:08, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, if the status quo is to your liking. I for one much prefer lots of heat with a bit of light over darkness. Not upsetting anyone has never been my priority. Anyway, moving this bit up into the lead, isn't something I'm married to. Goodraise 22:59, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
It's clearly not your priority, and it's rarely mine either. >;-) I think both I and WhatamIdoing are trying to get across is that this is the page about stand-alone lists, not about the debate over whether lists are better than categories. It's just not all that topical to go into that debate in the lead of this page. Here's the proposed text, so this discussion doesn't exist in a vacuum:
Lead addition

Part of the purpose of many stand-alone lists is to organize Wikipedia's content. However, as useful as lists can be in that regard, certain lists may get out of date quickly; for these types of subjects, a category may be a more appropriate method of organization. See Wikipedia:Categorization and Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates for more information on the appropriate times to use lists versus categories.

This is based in part on:
The original "Categories, lists and navigation templates" section wording

As useful as lists are, certain lists may get out of date quickly; for these types of subjects, a category may be a more appropriate method of organization. See Wikipedia:Categorization and Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates for more information on the appropriate times to use lists versus categories.

I've never seen anyone suggest that the first sentence of the proposed wording is true before: "Part of the purpose of many stand-alone lists is to organize Wikipedia's content." I would argue with them if they did. Browsing lists as I defined them above are certainly a form of navigation, but that's not quite the same thing. The rest of the proposed lead wording is essentially the same as what was in the cat/list/template section. I'm trying to think of a comparable example, some other guideline with a lead that boils down to "This is the guideline about how to do X. But you might not want to do it." It seems more normal simply to document the topic, in another page document an alternative, and make sure each references the other at an appropriate point. Also, it's important that the original section wasn't about a binary choice between lists and categories, but three-way one, with navboxes as a option. If we were to put this stuff in the lead, it would make sense to have something like this in the lead of all three pages, or it will be essentially singling lists out for denigration. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 23:35, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe instead of "more appropriate" it should read "another appropriate" to show indifference in the guideline for one or the other, and to allow for the fact that both may be appropriate, as in Notable people lists & categories. Dkriegls (talk) 05:56, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

"A very useful Wikipedia feature is ..."

I recently removed the text "A very useful Wikipedia feature is to use the 'Related changes' link when on a list page. This will show you all the changes made to the links contained in the list. If the page has a link to itself, this feature will also show you the changes made to the list itself." As edit summary I provided: "This is a style guideline. Editing advice like this should be given in editing guidelines. WP:AOAL sort of does so already." Seeing as the change has been reverted, I look forward to hearing arguments in favor of keeping this passage. Goodraise 21:45, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

That seems like nit-picking and trying to follow the letter rather than the spirit of the guidelines. There is no point in taking something concise, topical and helpful here and burying it AOAL, which virtually no one ever reads, just because of a scope technicality. That said, this is one of the less controversial of your changes. But that said, I' still don't see what your justification for deletion is. It's not distracting. It's not bad advice. It's not conflicting with advice anywhere else. It's not off-topic (i.e., it's still about SALs, not about images or navboxes), and it's unlikely anyone will every say "WTF? Why is this here dammit!?!" I can't see any net gain, only a net loss, in utility coming from it removal. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 08:32, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, see top thread on this page. This page really needs to actually be a content guideline, and much of it is one. It's actually pointless for it to contain any style information at all, other than in summary form, citing MOS:LIST, which is where all of WP:SAL's style advice should go, and this page should move back to WP:Stand-alone lists with a content guideline tag. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 13:09, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, nobody's all knowing. I've seen this page moved around quite a bit, but payed little attention to it. (For the most part, I try to avoid editing anything with a guideline tag.) I simply assumed (especially in light of this so far not reverted edit) that the community had made up its mind and decided that this should be a style guideline (perhaps not an unreasonable assumption, considering the page name and tag on the top). Many of my recent edits were made under that assumption. Had the tag said "content guideline" I still would have changed things, just in a different direction. For what it's worth, I agree that this should be content guideline. Anyway, regarding the removed text that's subject of this section, I think we're in agreement on two points: a) it's worthwhile advice and b) it's editing advice, rather than content advice or style advice. On one point, however, I do have to disagree with you. I think it is off-topic and it is distracting, not much in itself, but it contributes. The longer we make our guidelines and the more we let them stray from their central topic, the fewer editors will take the time to read them. (Reading this probably bores you as much as me writing it, because it feels like I've had this argument thousands of times.) Perhaps the best way froward would be to split off editing related sections ("Chronological ordering", "Citing sources", "Lists and the 'Related changes' link") of this guideline and creating a new one, called Wikipedia:Editing stand-alone lists or something. Goodraise 22:45, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
I understand you. I have a strong feeling this will sort itself out when we clean up this page's style/content confusion. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 10:03, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Peer-review for "List of people from.."

I'm trying to create some consensus on what a "List of people from..." page should look like. The List of people from Park Ridge, Illinois has had the most editor input and is the only such list of a US city which is fully cited. It was previously nominated for featured list, but the conclusion was to bring it to Wikipedia:Peer review instead.

The current peer review can be found here, and all are encouraged to say their piece, as a successful featured list is likely to be used as a standard reference for such lists. --Dkriegls (talk to me!) 23:30, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

should not... vs. are not normally

I changed the line

  • "Words like notable, famous, noted, prominent, etc. should not be included in the title of a list article"


  • "Words like notable, famous, noted, prominent, etc. are not normally included in the title of a list article (an exception is made when omission would cause ambiguity).

This change was reverted by UnitedStatesian, who thinks my edit needs further discussion. OK, let's discuss.

I completely agree that such words are usually not included... because they are not necessary. For example, It should be obvious that our article "List of Freemasons" is not going to list every Freemason that ever walked the earth. Of course the list is limited to only the notable ones. I would completely agree that there is no need to clarify by adding the word "notable" in that article.

However, I don't think it is accurate to say that such words "should not be included" (which can be misunderstood to mean "should never be included"). In fact, there are situations where a qualifying word like "notable" or "famous" actually should be included. As an example: List of dogs came up for discussion recently at WT:AT... and it was agreed that this unadorned title was abiguous... From the title, we don't know if the list is a list of famous dogs (Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Rex the Wonder dog) or a list of dog breeds (Collie, Poodle, Pit Bull) ... or a list of dog types (Hunting dog, Lap dog, Working dog). The unadorned title is ambiguous. Now, it happens that the list is about the first of these possibilities... it is a list of famous dogs. The addition of the word "famous" clears up that ambiguity. Blueboar (talk) 15:08, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

See searches for intitle:notable (most results) and intitle:famous (very few actual results, but eg List of haplogroups of historical and famous figures) and intitle:noted (1 result) and intitle:prominent (some non-mountain results). I agree that we don't forbid these words in article-titles, and the clarification blueboar made to this MoS page is true and useful. (However, some of the articles in those searches will/should be renamed, over the course of time.) —Quiddity (talk) 20:26, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Could we perhaps compromise on "should not normally be included"? I think that we want to discourage this, and it wouldn't solve the List of dogs problem. "List of notable dogs" doesn't signal the contents nearly as well as List of individual dogs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:53, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I think the very, very few exceptions to the rule as it reads are more a symptom of the occasional ignore all rules that of any needed change to this rule. Agree 100% that List of individual dogs is far, far preferable a solution to this non-problem. In sum: I would keep the rule as it is. UnitedStatesian (talk) 00:59, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
The most important thing is that an article's title clearly state its nature and scope and distinguish it from all others. This guideline has been a serious problem by blocking article title clarification, leading to articles like List of famous trees and many others to be changed to simply "List of trees", just to give one example of many. It is good to discourage adding words like "famous", when, as with List of diamonds, it goes without saying given the context of an encyclopedia. However, as with List of gemstones, it's needed to clarify that it's a list of particular famous gemstones, and not a list like "Ruby, diamond, emerald, ..." Such adjectives should be used when they are needed to clarify the nature and scope of each list and to distinguish it from other lists. List of notable asteroids would not be clearly titled without the word "notable" and it is necessary to distinguish it from List of minor planets, which aims to be a list of all astroids known to man. This guideline should simply state that such adjectives should be used when they are necessary, and not when they are not necessary to clarify the nature and scope of the list and to distinguish it from all others. I might have worded it differently but that wording does the job and should be kept. If we keep it the way it is, users such as UnitedStatesian will not be stopped from disallowing such words on "ignore all rules" grounds, as he was not when he changed "list of famous dogs" back to "list of dogs", citing this guideline. We need this guideline to clarify and distinguish quite a few article titles, such as List of birds and many more. In each case, the standard should be whether the title clarifies the nature and scope of each list and helps to distinguish it from others better with or without the adjective. That is all. Chrisrus (talk) 02:30, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
The key issue here is the potential for ambiguity... and we are inconsistent in how we deal with it... (note: both ambiguity and consistency are core concepts when it comes to entitling articles).
Let's examine two unadorned titles: List of birds and List of cats. I find both of these titles ambiguous. Looking at just the title, I don't know what these lists are listing (ie I can't figure out the topic of the article from looking at the title). The first is a list various orders and families of birds. The second is a list of famous cats. Both titles can refer to more than one topic... List of birds could refer to famous birds (which is at List of historical and fictional birds) while List of cats could refer to cat breeds (which is at List of cat breeds). I would resolve the ambiguity by renaming both of the unadorned titles List of birds to List of bird orders and families and List of cats to List of famous cats. This would resolve the ambiguity and introduce some consistency.
In short, if we are going to have a "rule" explicitly disallowing (or strongly discouraging) words like "famous" or "notable" ... we need to note that there are exceptions to that "rule" ... by explicitly allowing (and mildly encouraging) words like "famous" or "notable" in cases where omitting such a word would result in ambiguity and confusion. Blueboar (talk) 14:34, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I Agree with Blueboar on the above. And I don't think List of individual dogs would be a good solution to the problem of ambiguity, particularly as it relates to List of trees (which includes some notable forests). —Quiddity (talk) 19:43, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Jeezum!... If the wikilawyers are using this guideline to prevent us from moving that to: List of notable trees and forests (a much more informative and sensible title) then something is seriously wrong and we really need to rethink. Blueboar (talk) 20:29, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Exactly that happened 10 days ago, and 5 years ago. —Quiddity (talk) 20:57, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Trying to ignore being called a wikilawyer, which seems not to assume good faith on my part, I would be happy with this change provided this: Could someone, anyone, tell me what "famous," and especially what "notable," actually mean? It is why I believe adding one of those words actually makes the title less, not more informative. Isn't the List of individual dogs title a better alternative, since everyone knows what the word "individual" means? UnitedStatesian (talk) 00:55, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

"List of individual dogs" is clearer than "list of dogs" because you can tell it's not a list of dog breeds or types, but just individual dogs. It doesn't get across the fact that, in order to be included on the list, the dog has to be famous. For example, we revert contributions of dogs of dogs in someone's self-published e-books about his or her personal dog. Chrisrus (talk) 01:14, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
But isn't that second part also true of List of Princeton University people, List of United States companies, List of social networking websites, and basically every stand-alone list in Wikipedia? And famous according to whom? I would think we would need a reliable source stating that the dog is famous, correct? (note that both "notable" and "famous" are listed at WP:PEACOCK) UnitedStatesian (talk) 01:33, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't believe that the title of any page needs to be a complete statement of its scope. In particular, for stand-alone lists, a complete statement of the list selection criteria is explicitly supposed to be in the lead. Otherwise, we'd need to have very long titles like [[List of software for which Wikipedia currently has an article]] (to deal with bluelink-only lists). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:59, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Whatareyoudoing, the function of an article title is to summarize what the article is about and to distinguish it from all others. If you don't agree with that, please do be WP:BOLD and edit WP:ARTICLETITLE so that it doesn't say exactly that upfront. Chrisrus (talk) 03:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm Ms WhatamIdoing, but you're not thinking this through. We have List of people from New York, not List of people verifiably born in or strongly associated with the State of New York and for which the English Wikipedia already has an article. We don't actually want a complete statement of the scope, because it would sound stupid. "List of dogs" does summarize the subject. It also distinguishes it from other subjects, like the List of cats and the List of fruits. It's ambiguous, which is undesirable, but vagueness is okay. We now have List of individual dogs, which is a significant improvement. A full statement of the scope, though, would produce a stupid title like List of individual dogs, but probably not including yours, no matter how much you love little snoogums, unless you can prove that two newspaper articles written by people unrelated to you have been published. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:53, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
UnitedStatesian, List of Princeton University people and List of diamonds don't need such adjectives in their titles for the user to know what the list is about or to distinguish them from others. We know just from the title that they are lists of notable ones without the adjectives. Other titles, however, such as "List of trees" and "List of gemstones" the user doesn't know that they are not lists like "baobab, maple, larch, ...." or "diamond, emerald, ruby, ...". "List of asteroids" without an adjective isn't even clear if it is a list of all asteroids known to man, as List of minor planets aims to be, or a list of notable asteroids. List of dogs is a list of famous dogs, like Uggie and Hachiko, but not necessarily a list of WP:NOTABLE ones. That's what it is. We routinely edit out individuals that cannot prove fame and use its talk page to discuss whether each dog meets the standard of famousness or not. When we add, for example, the yellow dog of Lao Pan, we assert that we have checked and he is indeed famous. We do not also implicitly claim that he deserves a stand-alone article, as all WP:NOTABLE things do. So please go back and undo your move of the article from List of famous dogs to List of dogs because insodoing you unintentionally harmed the project. Chrisrus (talk) 03:33, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Again... the issue isn't the scope of the list... the issue is the ambiguity of the TITLE. Because there are multiple articles that could take the title "John Doe" we need to disambiguate ("John E. Doe", "John R. Doe", "John Doe (Axe-murderer)", "John Doe (Physicist)" etc.) The unadorned title "John Doe" is usually made into a dab page. What I am talking about are situations where similar ambiguity exists with the TITLES of lists... there are multiple lists that could take the title "List of dogs"... so we need to disambiguate... "List of dog breeds", "List of dog types", "List of notable dogs", etc. Since there a multiple lists that could take the title "List of Birds" we need to disambiguate... List of bird orders and families, List of historical and fictional birds" etc. The unadorned List of dogs and List of birds should (in my opinion) be navigational dab pages pointing to these articles. (Well... actually... since the resulting dab pages would be a "list of lists", I would suggest calling the dab pages Index of lists of dogs and Index of lists of birds... and have the completely unadorned titles as redirects to those indexes... but that is a secondary issue) Blueboar (talk) 14:19, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
You are right, distinguishing is one issue, but describing is an issue also. The title should say what the article is and it should distinguish it from others. Both are important, not just one. Chrisrus (talk) 15:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It sounds to me like consensus is emerging... but we are getting bogged down with nit-picking around the edges. Shall we explore suggestions on language to see if we can move past the nit-picks? I'll start with:

  • Words like notable, famous, noted, prominent, etc. should not be included in the title of a list article - except when omission would result in ambiguity.

(followed by some examples, to show what we mean) Blueboar (talk) 19:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

You're right. Here, the point is what this guideline should say. It should say to use such adjectives when they clarify the nature and scope and to distinguish them from others, (List of famous gemstones), and not used when they they are not necessary (List of diamonds) because, given the context of an encyclopedia, the adjectives ("List of famous individual diamonds") go without saying. Chrisrus (talk) 01:51, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I think that List of famous gemstones could be accurately re-named to List of named gemstones with no loss of information and a valuable reduction in WP:PEACOCK terms. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:56, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
  • My conclusion is that we do not need to change the guidance. There is more than one way to avoid ambiguity, as WhatamIdoing and others pointed out with List of individual dogs, which would equally apply to List of individual diamonds. You can have the "List of large asteroids" where the lead tells the reader (and potential editors) that large means greater than X. You have have "List of European Alps" where the lead indicates that a certain prominence (mountain) was needed for inclusion. If you can spell it out in the lead, you don't need those adjectives in the title. The fact remains that all of those adjectives are highly subjective, and that makes them less useful for discrimination, in the title, in the lead or elsewhere. --Bejnar (talk) 00:58, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Bejnar, how would you disambiguate titles like List of cats or List of birds? Blueboar (talk) 12:24, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
"Taxonomic list of bird families" would work; or if one wishes to have it start with list "List of taxonomic families: birds" and it could be one of many such entitled lists, like "List of taxonomic families: mammals". "List of individual cats" is about all it deserves. Is there a problem with that choice? One could take a different approach to the classification and match it with the existing List of fictional cats and other felines as "List of true cat tales", and "List of writer's cats". However, that would not cover the cats of celebrities section, but that second half would go with the existing List of United States Presidential pets, so "List of entertainer's pets" "List of scientist's pets" "List of accountant's pets". as needed. "List of writer's cats" could also be a subsection of "List of true cat tales", rather than a standalone. --Bejnar (talk) 15:06, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I should re-emphasize that while the title does the major grouping, the lead fills in the technical details. --Bejnar (talk) 15:11, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I think that we should always keep in mind the various reasons for which a reader might be consulting a certain list. Questions like: How can we best aid them in their search? What classification, not provided in the category system, would be most helpful? should be at the top of our thinking when dealing with naming and classification. --Bejnar (talk) 15:20, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

List of Dutch Hip hop Musicians

Hi. I think List_of_Dutch_hip_hop_musicians would be better as a category. Or do you think there are reasons it should stay a List Article? Thanks, 1292simon (talk) 22:41, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Why not present the information as both a category and a list? Blueboar (talk) 13:49, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
  • There is never a reason to destroy one simply because you prefer another. Both are fine. A list allows more information, and is thus far more useful than a category anyway. Dream Focus 08:10, 9 January 2013 (UTC)