Wikipedia talk:Notability/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
See also very old (2001) discussions on websites/companies notability on m:Policy discussion/Articles on commercial enterprises


Official guideline?

I took off the "guideline" tag, because I've never seen this page before, and I don't believe this particular definition has majority support. Kappa 06:07, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

This page used to redirect to Wikipedia:Importance until quite recently. Dan100 23:43, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Thing is, while notability isn't listed as a criterion for deletion under the deletion policy or WP:NOT, a lot of people believe that it should be and act accordingly at VfD. Unfortunately, there's no template for "A sizeable body of like-minded individuals believe that this may as well be policy because it should be, and act accordingly, but no consensus exists because an equally sizeable body of people are opposed to this." The guideline template and description at WP:RULES both say consensus, after all, so notability really can't be treated as a guideline. The Literate Engineer 04:08, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Problematic wording

This page opens by explaining that notability doesn't mean any of the standard real-world meanings of notability. I realize that lawyers use this kind of redefinition all the time, but in this environment it is asking for trouble. If this notability-that-isn't-notability were to become policy, it would inevitably devolve to a situation where the real-world meanings of notability would be applied. I strongly suggest dropping the word notability altogether and instead writing what is meant. --iMb~Meow 17:48, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

The third graph of the "Definition" section states that "Articles should be relevant to a reasonable number of people." Isn't that a bit vague? Who decides what a reasonable number is, and once that is determined, who captures the data that proves whether the relevance criterion has been attained? -- Schnazola 22:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Seems redundant in its current form

The current proposal talks about how non-notable subjects don't make for acceptable articles either because they're original research or because they're not verifiable. But we already have policies against those very things, I don't see how this policy is going do do anything other than add a new word for these things that's less specific because it doesn't distinguish them. Indeed, the current proposal already says that it's been argued that "there's no reason why wikipedia shouldn't include "everything" that fits in with our other criteria, such as verifiability and no original research," before going on to talk about how things that are original research or aren't verifiable shouldn't be in Wikipedia - these two positions do not appear to be incompatable at all. The only new thing seems to be to disallow blogs, zines and e-zines as valid sources, but Wikipedia:Verifiability gives explicit guidelines on how to use blogs as sources and I imagine zines would be treated pretty similar. That seems contradictory, and more something that should be debated on the Verifiability policy page in any event. Bryan 06:00, 20 May 2005 (UTC)


I deleted the insertion of "The term 'notability' has acquired a bad reputation on Wikipedia because it is often used as a proxy for 'I haven't heard of it' etc)." This, of course, is utterly ridiculous. The term has no such "bad reputation." Neutralitytalk 05:06, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)

  • I disagree. This is exactly how the term 'not-notable' is used. --noösfractal 03:21, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
I, too, disagree - it has gained the reputation for meaning 'what I like' with many users. Trollderella 17:04, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I had an article I'm working on tagged for the following apparent reasons: A) the tagger had never heard of my target person; and B) they apparently hadn't done any research to figure that out on their own and C) I had only *just started* it ! Come on... let me collect my sources and unstub it before you get all tag-happy on me. Articles should be allowed to live at least a week before getting tagged. Wjhonson 20:56, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Confusing and redundant

Wikipedia:Importance already tries to define everything which should and should not be included in wikipedia. Notability is a synonym, which is why this page used to redirect there. Notability is no more generic than importance; in any case, what is the point?

Neutrality, please address these issues instead of starting a revert war. Give one good reason why this policy is useful, and/or what it is about Wikipedia:Importance that you don’t like. ··gracefool | 07:01, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, I wouldn't call this policy or anything, but the term 'notability' (or lack thereof) comes up frequently enough that we could use a page like this to explain it. Radiant_>|< 14:14, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)
This is true. However many people have been working on such guidelines on many pages, and none have ever really been accepted. People seem to prefer an "unwritten rule". Dan100 (Talk) 14:01, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
This article itself isn't official policy or guideline per se, but there are policies and guidelines that do use the term (eg WP:MUSIC). And people on VFD use the term as a policy/guideline, for better or for worse. (Note, as a counter-argument, that this page states that notability is not necessary if verifiability is not an issue.) In addition, plenty of people new to editing wander onto VFD and see an article they wrote as "NN" and have no idea what that means.
@ Dan100: I'm glad you used the term "unwritten rule". Unwritten rules, at least IMHO, are integral to Wikipedia; WP is an organic process facilitated by trends and guidelines which would be stifled by overregulation and excessive process.
- Che Nuevara, the Democratic Revolutionary 23:35, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Radiant. --noösfractal 03:24, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I oppose the merge. This word is frequently used, and needs to be defined specifically. -- Reinyday, 14:50, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The article is concisely-worded, and captures the important minutiae of the discussion. --Interiot 14:42, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I hate to divide people up into inclusionists and deletionists, but to me this reads like a pretty inclusionist guideline. As such, it could be considered a POV fork of Wikipedia:Importance. To me it seems clear they should be merged and this should be a redirect again, as it was for a long time. Can anyone really argue that notability and importance are clearly different topics? Friday (talk) 01:34, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Categories for inclusion are bizarre - which blinkered view of the world conjured up "Biographies, Broadcasting, Corporations, Fiction, Music, Numbers, Websites"? By this criteria, we lose all the world's religions, sculptors, flora and fauna, historical events, places but retain MSNBC and slashdot. Until there's a defensible definition of notability, it's premature to start throwing the notability category on articles. SagePose, 30th December 2005

Notability should stay as an article

Notability is notable. Lots of people talk about it, therefore it should be an article. Maybe not a guideline(I don't really care), but a NPOV article that defines it for people.

Degrees of notability/importance and article length

Some speak of notability as if it's a binary parameter--either an article is notable (and thus merits inclusion), or it isn't (and thus doesn't). In many cases, notability is a relative thing.

Consider the following four individuals, all with articles on Wikipedia:

Were I to rank them in order of notability; Washington would come first (for obvious reasons), followed by Church (who made numerous contributions to math and computer science). Jennings and Foyle would rank low on the list--the former is a momentary celebrity who will not likely have any lasting impact on history (assuming that his streak on Jeopardy is his only notable achievement); the latter is a mediocre basketball player. However, the article on Jennings is considerably longer than the article on Church. Washington has a deservedly-long biography; Foyle's biographical article is a stub (and one which isn't likely to be greatly expanded).

If one is to make notability a policy; should relative notability be considered as a factor in determining appropriate article length? Should we consider slapping the Ken Jennings article with a

template, saying in effect "the importance of the article's subject does not justify the article's length; please edit it and remove superfluous detail"?

Or is this entire idea an effective reducito ad absurdum which demonstrates the folly of notability as an article inclusion criteria?

I'm still sitting on the fence on this one.

--EngineerScotty 03:06, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

I think notability is a yes/no issue. It either is or isn't notable in a particular context. Consider "useful" as a parallel. A knife is "useful" for cutting things. A hammer is not "useful" for cutting, but it is "useful" for putting in nails. A swiss army knife is even more "useful" than a regular knife, but it is not more useful in the context of hammering nails. Generally speaking, "usefulness" has to have a context. Trash is ususally NOT "useful" because there is no context under which people would really use it. In the same way, "notable" requires a context where it would make sense note it in an encyclopedia. I would argue that Ken Jennings is not notable in himself, but is notable in the context of the Jeopardy article. Geo. Washington is notable because there are a lot of events in history that link back to him. Similarly, Foyle is not notable unless he is linked to great achievements in the NBA or if he does something outlandish. MPS 21:54, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
What an excellent comment by EngineerScotty. There is certainly a spectrum associated with notability. Determination of the degree of notability on a 1-10 scale should be part of any AfD that invokes notability as a reason for deletion.
However, article length should not be restricted on the basis of notability. --noösfractal 03:41, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it illustrates the central problem. Trash is not useful. Unless you are a recycling company, who makes you living by collecting and reusing trash. Notability is in the eye of the beholder. Trollderella 23:43, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the problem isn't that Jennings is too long, but rather that Washington is too short. Personally I would much rather read fifteen paragraphs on Claudius, rather than one simply because someone decided that "No one knows or cares who he was anymore." Wjhonson 21:00, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Notability proposal

Wikipedia:Notability proposal is a proposal to explicitly make "notability" a requirement for Wikipedia articles, and to explicitly include "lack of notability" as a reason for deleting articles. Please visit Wikipedia talk:Notability proposal and express your view on the proposal. DES (talk) 23:19, 5 October 2005 (UTC)


In my spare time I had written a short essay with some thoughts on notability and what it means. I've put it here since the previous content of this page consisted of a legalese definition and some arguments for or against deletion, neither of which seemed very helpful. Thoughts welcome, and please bear in mind that an essay is not in any way a policy or guideline. If people vehemently disagree with this I'll userfy it, but it seems useful here. The old version is here. Radiant_>|< 10:19, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I disagree farily strongly with this change. The original was a useful summary of the various arguments allowing us not to point ot this page rather than have the same notability debate every few days. Your essay, while interesting, is highly biased towards one faction in this debate. - SimonP 13:45, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Same here. There are several WP: pages trying to advance a certain viewpoint or solution to the debate. A concise summary of all sides is better than rehashing the same thing again. --Interiot 15:23, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
  • While I appreciate the effort you put into this, I agree with Interiot and SimonP: this is not the place for an essay like this. I think the WP:xxx pages about inclusion/deletion criteria should all have the same status or intent: an explanation of the concept, and if applicable some indication of the pro and con arguments for it in the Wikipedia community. --JoanneB 18:27, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Your essay was interesting, and I encourage you to republish it, but I have restored this page as a guideline, and I have re-written it (using some of your essay content and some of the previous content). This is a hotly debated issue right now, so we need clear definitions and examples. -- Reinyday, 23:20, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I see discussion above about the guideline tag being controversial before. If this wasn't a guideline before Radiant's essay and Reinyday's subsequent rewrite, I don't see how it could so quickly be one now. I'm removing that tag for now, because this appears to be "hotly debated", as you said. Friday (talk) 01:48, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Would it be possible to fork this and restore the Oct 2 version? Some people like the words "succinct" and "summary", while others would like a more lengthy treatment of the subject. \\ Also, not to pick nits, but the issue has been debated for almost three years (or, if you don't consider the Google Test to be analogous to Notability, then it certainly has been discussed for almost two years). --Interiot 02:06, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
I for one have no objections to such an edit. I thought perhaps a revert to an earlier version was most appropriate, but I really wasn't sure so I played conservative and just removed the guideline tag. I realize this is and has been a hot topic; all the more reason for the content to make it clear that this isn't a guideline. Friday (talk) 02:21, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Okay, I have put the essay at Wikipedia:Notability/Essay. I have reverted the text to the old version. I'm afraid that I severely disagree with Reinyday's new version of the page, because he claims as fact several issues that are merely his opinion. For instance, he may say that "notability is not a synonym for verifiability", but the fact is that several people use it as such. He also says that "Lack of notability is not a general criterion for deletion", but while there is no such written rule, there is strong precedent for it. And the statement "Schools may not be deleted for being non-notable", is certainly not policy (although I would probably support it if proposed).
  • I wrote an essay on my opinion and Reiny is welcome to do the same, but I didn't word it as if it were policy or guideline, and neither should he. Radiant_>|< 12:40, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The older, long-standing version of WP:N should be restored. This version is a very poor substitute; it uses the page not for attempting an explanation of the term notability and its use on WP, but as a sort of index to other articlespace policy & talk pages. It also harbors POV statements, some of which Radiant has alluded to. If an index of sorts is desired, please start a new page—do not alter WP:N for that purpose. encephalon 13:44, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Encephalon, I didn't see your comments when I posted mine. I'm not sure I understand the first part of your comment "it uses the page not for attempting an explanation of the term notability and its use on WP". I have a whole subsection on the definition. As for the index to other policies, I'd be happy to remove that, but I thought this was a really approporiate place to compare notability requirements. -- Reinyday, 14:27, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Hi Reinyday. Thank you for your thoughts, and for putting as much time into this as you have. Your enthusiasm is refreshing! My objections to this version are twofold. Firstly, the links to other pages section is an unsuitable addition to the page, in my opinion. They make the page much larger than it has to be, and the multiple emboldened individual headers, usually for text that is each only one line long, make it rather difficult to read. More importantly, you are conflating efforts by groups of editors to develop inclusion guidelines, with the concept notability. They are not at all the same. Many of these specialized guidelines seem to me to stem from not understanding the three fundamental articlespace policies on Wikipedia. A lot of them make recommendations that are actually invalid, because they go against two of the three cardinal article policies, WP:V and WP:NOR. They also discuss a range of issues. However, the concept of notability, in what I would argue is its most useful interpretation, is distinct. It certainly deserves a sensible write up, but conflating it with all these special-interest group guidelines is not helpful, IMHO. Notability deserves a page where it is well explained, and the page for that is the one titled WP:N. If you would like to have an index of these interest-group guidelines somewhere, please feel free to create such a page. Secondly, I don't feel that the treatment of the word notability is NPOV. This is partly because the concept has been difficult for all of us, for a very long time; the previous version was not ideal either. Still, it was simpler, and its presentation under two straightforward headings made it easier to read. In addition to the POV treatment, there are some factual errors. For example, vanity text is claimed to be a "criterion for deletion"—it is not. Vanity articles that don't assert notability are speedied, and those that do are often nominated on AFD, but as the guide which you yourself refer to says, "As explained below, vanity by itself is not a basis for deletion, but lack of importance is" (incidentally, an interesting thing to say; it also used to say importance as defined by WP:Importance, but someone has edited that bit to read differently). For these reasons and more, I agree with Interiot and Radiant that the earlier version of this page is the more acceptable of the two. May I suggest a compromise for the moment? I will, at your invitation to "mercilessly edit" the page, mercifully edit (out) only the list in the bottom half—as stated above I really think the list does not belong here, and I'm glad to note that you indicate you wouldn't mind having it elsewhere. Should you wish to maintain this list on another page, it should easily be retrievable from the history (your indexing work is not wasted! :)) The remaining bit will essentially be your take on the subject of notability. I urge the usual process of editing to improve it. Best wishes encephalon 21:31, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Ouch. I worked really hard to develop a fair and clear rewrite for this page. I've been planning it for weeks. If you didn't like what I wrote, then please edit it mercilessly. But reverting all of my changes was really inappropriate. I am restoring a lot of my hard work, and leaving a lot of the previous material. I tried my best to keep my opinion out of this page. I have also read all of the arguments I could find on both sides of the issue in order to represent both sides equally and fully. If you feel I have misrepresented an argument, or left something out, please edit it. To address some of the above issues:

  1. This page is a guideline -- that's the reason it exists on Wikipedia. The guideline tag should eventually be restored. The guideline tag explains that the page is not policy and encourages people to edit it. The tag wasn't really "contested", as far as I can read; it was simply removed by someone whose argument was "because I've never seen this page before".
  2. Interiot mentions that this issue has been debated for a long time, which it has. I only mention that it is hotly debated now because of the propsal to make notability a criterion for deletion, which is currently being developed.
  3. Radiant wrote that I "may say that "notability is not a synonym for verifiability", but the fact is that several people use it as such." This is entirely true. Notability is not a synonym for verifiability and several people do use it as such. How is this my opinion? From Wikipedia:Verifiability: "Subjects which have never been written about in published sources, or which have only been written about in sources of doubtful credibility should not be included in Wikipedia." From the reverted version of Wikipedia:Notability: "A topic has notability if is known outside of a narrow interest group or constituency, or should be because of its particular importance or impact." These words are obviously not synonyms.
  4. I have added "precedence" as an argument for deleting non-notable articles, as per Radiant.
  5. I have changed the wording on schools, as per Radiant. Please feel free to change it yourself, if you feel it is inappropriate, but please first read Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments, Wikipedia:Schools and WikiProject Schools.
  6. I am a "she", not a "he". -- Reinyday, 14:19, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Comments:
  1. I appreciate the amount of work required to rewrite this as an essay. However, I personally prefer the short bullet-list, and I hope that form is available on some page, somewhere. Given that it's always been located at this URL, it might be nice if it remained here, but perhaps it can move elsewhere if necessary. Yes, content forking is looked down upon, but this is the Wikipedia: namespace, and at this point, we already have 8+ notability articles, so discussing creating one or two more shouldn't be a problem.
  2. Wikipedia:Google test previously was marked as a guideline, but had that tag removed for various reasons, and had the "proposed guideline" tag put in its place. That article has been around for 3 years, and has more consensus than this one does, so to the extent that "proposed guideline" is right for the Google article, it's also more appropriate for this article than an accepted guideline. (the google demotion discussion was based on more technicalities to some extent, but every other Notability article is also marked as "proposed" and not as an "accepted" guideline since agreement hasn't been reached)
  3. We shouldn't make the discussion personal, it should only be about the article's content. --Interiot 15:44, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think it was inappropriate. Note that I also wrote hard on my essay only to have it summarily reverted, and you don't hear me complaining. I've done some editing on your work, but I still hold that the previous version is better. In particular, I have removed some of the straw man arguments, some incorrect citations of other pages, and the several boldfaced headers that articles may not be deleted for lack of notability. The latter is a perennial debate, so a neutral guideline or definition page that this is intending to be should neither state "non-notability is not a reason for deletion", nor "non-notable articles must be deleted".
  • I'm not really surprised to learn there are several pages on this subject. Ideally they should all be merged the way we would with articles. I think we could keep it reasonably short, with a few pro- and con-arguments, and a list of related guidelines that are consensual or under discussion (e.g. WP:MUSIC). I don't think we should try to give a legalistic definition of 'notability' (or importance, significance, encyclopedicness, etc, it's all the same cup of tea). It's intuitively clear to most people what it means, as long as everybody realizes that the term is subjective. Radiant_>|< 16:35, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The article was just starting to grow on me, but I guess there are more reverts to discuss. For what it's worth, Encephalon's removal of the bottom section is something that might be okay by me. I plan on putting Category:Notability and inclusion guidelines for WikiProjects up for merge with Category:Subject-specific notability criteria soon, and the merged category should largely cover what was removed. For what it's worth, I couldn't quite figure out what the Inappropriate articles section was doing there before. How does that section fit in with the rest of that major-section that could have otherwise been classified simply as "Subject-specific Notability"? --Interiot 22:06, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd say upmerge both categories into Category:Wikipedia notability criteria, which is the most appropriate title (and small enough to carry the content). Also, if you could spare the time, merging several of the generic articles may be appropriate - in particular, the Wikipedia:Notability proposal contains a pretty good list of pro- and con-arguments. Finally, a list of handy shortcuts may be useful to all concerned; I've just added WP:NUM to point to the numbers inclusion guidelines. Radiant_>|< 09:55, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
    • I really strongly think that the two categories should be kept separate (ongoing generalized debate; subject-specific stuff), until some sort of official single-page consensus is reached that people actually adhere to (instead of creating new pages). Normally, categories wouldn't need to muddy the water with 3-year-old closed discussions, but in this case, the discussion really has been going on for 3 years straight. The subject-specific stuff seems to be less controversial, so it'd be nice to have them in a separate un-muddied category. --Interiot 19:22, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

First paragraph demonstrates the stupidity of this

"A topic has notability if is known outside of a narrow interest group or constituency, or should be because of its particular importance or impact." So something is notable if people outside of a narrow interest group know about it? So it's open season on science, math, linguistics etc? Oh, unless it should be known about? According to who?! WTF?! How are we supposed to take this seriously? Keep it if it's verifiable - we should make a policy on that, so that we don't have to decide what should be important to people. Oh - we already have that policy? Oh well, perhaps we don't need to do anything except delete this non-notable policy proposal. Trollderella 21:52, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Straw man. Science, math and linguistics all are known outside of a narrow interest group. Radiant_>|< 22:59, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Many individual topics in these fields are not. Qubit Field Theory would be one of the first to go, I would think. How many people outside of a narrow interest group know about it? Trollderella 23:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
      • If you think so, I'd suggest you propose it for deletion, and you'll find that the consensual opinion is that it's notable. Radiant_>|< 23:11, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Which brings us back to where we came it. Of course it should stay, but the first paragraph of the notability page says it should go! That's why the first paragraph demonstrates the stupidity of this! I'm glad we agree! Trollderella 23:20, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    • 162000 googles seem to indicate otherwise. Apparently qubit fields are more widely known than you imply. Radiant_>|< 00:11, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
      • LoL. ENCEPHALON 23:58, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
        • Play fair, Radiant forgot the quotations, try this link which gets 143 hits. Radiant's link only suggests that all three terms appear somewhere on a page, for example: this page, on which the term "qubit feld theory" does not appear, although the word qubit does as does the term field theory. Hiding talk 09:08, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect assertation

"The no original research rule keeps out most of what is unencyclopedic. Notability is not needed as long as the verifiability rules are strictly applied."

This is incorrect. Verifiability and NOR does not mean either that the material is encyclopaedic, or that it is represented in a non-selective (POV) manner. (This is being discussed and a draft solution proposed elsewhere). It is verifiable from a datestamped video recording I took, that I had yoghurt for breakfast, but not notable.

This was one definition of "notable" that I've been playing with:

"A view is generally considered notable if it is potentially information of value or interest in some way to a significant number of people, or to some perspective, or its omission would leave a significant gap in historical human knowledge of a subject. Even minority, controversial and discredited views are often notable. Often it is valuable to see how people thought, or competing views of the time. By contrast many fringe views are not notable by this definition, because they are not sufficiently significant or had little or minor impact in their field as a whole. Notability is a subjective decision formed by consensus of editors when they try to characterize in a balanced manner, human knowledge and history of a field."

FT2 10:55, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Requested moves

All of these guidelines (some proposed) appear to fall under the umbrella that addresses notability or inclusion or importance, yet they are named in wildly different ways. I propose these be renamed under a central naming scheme. The Wikipedia:Manual of Style seems to be a good model, with something like Wikipedia:Notability (music), Wikipedia:Notability (numbers), etc. as one possibility. (Note, I'm not actually requesting that Wikipedia:Notability be renamed, it seems fine, but am using this as the place to centralize discussion).—jiy (talk) 01:48, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


Discuss this request

Sounds good to me. So this would give us (obviously just my ideas based on Jiy's above, comment if you have a better idea)--

This should also make it easier to expand in the future. If you get enough consensus, I'd be bold and make the changes yourself. =) —Locke Cole 02:04, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I support this, as long as we only stick with the subject-specific stuff (template, category) (as has been discussed) and don't branch out into renaming things that are less supported, particularly the general notability pages like Wikipedia:Importance or Wikipedia:Notability proposal. --Interiot 03:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Side note: the WP:MUSIC page has been criticized for applying only to bands, not classical musicians, music theory topics, folk or indigenous musicians, etc. Something to take into consideration while renaming. —Wahoofive (talk) 02:57, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support as well. Don't really care what the formatting of the title is, but it should be standard. Tuf-Kat 22:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I have moved the pages now. I moved the music one to Wikipedia:Notability (music) for now, if it's really a problem it can always be moved later or serve as a hub page for more specific music notability guidelines. Bios was moved to Wikipedia:Notability (people) and the business one to Wikipedia:Notability (companies and corporations). I used my own judgement on some of these so if there is a problem they can always be moved again...—jiy (talk) 01:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I dont see those listed on the "See also" section (as "subject-specific notability criteria"), nor are the pages listed above added to category:Wikipedia notability criteria yet. Fix? FT2 21:56, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Just a bad idea

This can only ever be vague. It does not useful that WP:NOT doesn't do. All it can provide is a another page for people to quote at others - who won't be impressed if they are disinclined to agreed. Just abandon it. Bhoeble 12:52, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

More subjects need to have 'notability' guidelines

It's strange that there are so few subjects that have suggested 'neccessary criteria'. Topics like movies, designers, artists, and other pop culture media should have guidelines. I would write a page that would include criteria for movies if I really cared, but I don't. I think anything slightly notable should be given an article, and deletions of my articles has led me to suggest more available guidelines to follow. Either have enough guidelines to cover every topic, or abandon any guidelines all together as Bheoble suggest above. Daviddec 08:59, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

No Wikipedia:Notability (movies) does strike me as very surprising. Movies are added frequently enough, and put on AfD enough that it would help to have a policy to point to - the absence of one makes things difficult. Esquizombi 18:56, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Oppose this idea

Just to add another voice to the opposition of inclusion guidelines. It's a step in the wrong direction, in that pretty soon they would becomne de facto standards and not long after actual policy and before you know it, the raison d'etre of wikipedia, at least as I saw it, to disseminate information as freely as possible to as many people as possible, would be lost, sold out to elitist opinions of which subject matter was worthy enough of inclusion. Let's try and strive for the common ground, eh, and let afd, no matter how flawed, work on a case by case basis, where discussion, passion, thought and common sense can allow us to develop an encyclopedia that is constantly being improved. Wikipedia isn't going to be finished. Ever. Let's remember that and remember that information can be lost forever. Noting the library at Alexandria, let's try and keep as much information as possible, and present it in the best way possible, and let's allow others to improve the quality and presentation of that information. Hiding talk 17:26, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

As I see it now, Notability guidelines aren't replacing AfD. While there are a few people speedying articles based on notaiblity, usually things like WP:MUSIC and such are being used within the AfD process itself, at the discretion of people taking part in the discussion. Also, I really don't think Wikipedia's role is to store everything anybody anywhere said. If that's what you're interested in, you may want to donate to or work at Google instead. As others have stated, we're not entering data off of people's tax returns here [1], we're not entering articles for numbers like 99999999999999999999999999999999999 here [2]. There has to be some limit, even if it's an extremely low limit. We could expand Category:Breakfast cereals to include every single product trademark. We could expand Category:Star Trek episode lists so that every TV episode ever aired has a separate article of its own. We could expand Category:California state highways to include every single road everywhere. While these things aren't altogether bad, it's still an infinitely deep abyss. --Interiot 21:14, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
You aren't really arguing with my points, you're arguing across them. I already state that inclusion should be determined case by case, with which you seem to agree, and I oppose this proposal because it is instruction creep and is a slippery slope upon which to slope. There are already editors who believe that simply by invoking any of these guidelines it means an article must be deleted, regardless of how well sourced and written such an article is. As to any abyss, Wikipedia ain't ever going to be finished, thus making it a bottomless abyss. I'm not going to dictate to what we should and shouldn't include, and I'm merely asking other people to do the same. Hiding talk 23:07, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I semi-oppose this idea. I recently voted on a few "non-notable" pages as keep. in My opinion, I don't think these pages compromise the site's integrety. -- Eddie 11:17, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Vehement opposition to this proposed policy

Why does something have to be notable to be included on Wikipedia?

I understand all of the existing requirements (those set into stone), and even though I'm simultaneously having a little debate over the "No original research" policy, I understand the need for and the reasons behind such a policy.

However, I truly believe that no facts, no matter how trivial, should be considered unsuitable for inclusion. Facts are still facts. No fact is more important than another simply because it is of greater interest to more people. Everything little fact that is verifiable and might be of interest even to a single person other than the author who visits this website should be allowed recognition on Wikipedia.

I don't understand why something should be weeded out of Wikipedia simply because not many people would like to know about it. I, for one, am a "collector of trivialities", and I love knowing everything from the number of gates in each airport to the road names of all A routes in London. I trust that I'm not the only one such person, and I'm sure that all of us would love to have a one-stop destination on the web where we can satisfy our hunger for trivial facts.

Shouldn't factualness, verifiability, and neutrality be sufficient parameters for inclusion on Wikipedia? Why should we throw in an extremely subjective and easily offendable test of what is notable and what is not? I'm sure there are people who'd like to know about every television documentary ever aired, every penguin living in a zoo, etc.

Here are some examples of deletions for insignificance, and my reactions:

Generalised Comment: "DELETE. 'Any Street' is the most minor of roads on the planet! If such a street is allowed to have an article to itself, then every single road on the planet could be in Wikipedia! My response: Why not? Why can't every single road, street, and lane on this planet be mentioned here? As long as you can prove the existence of your street by citing a map or screenshotting an accepted online one, go ahead and mention it on Wikipedia! This is not to say that every road should have an individual article: it would be nice to merge minor articles into larger articles, but no entry should be completely removed from Wikipedia because it is "not notable." Wikipedia is a vast, unlimited resource, constrained by neither space nor time nor number of contributors. And if you call it a bottomless abyss, I call it a wonderful treasury of information.

Generalised Comment: "DELETE. Not remotely encyclopedic." My response: The people on Wikipedia against whom I take most offence are the encyclopaedia-thumpers. First, I do not agree that something with an article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica should be considered more essential to Wikipedia than an entry on something that's not included in the Britannica. There might not be an article on Penguin Bloggs in the Britannica but that's because the Britannica is limited to 32 volumes! Don't forget: there is no limit to the quantity of information Wikipedia can take. Of course, everything posted on Wikipedia still has to be factual, verifiable, NPOV, etc., but Wikipedia can certainly expand beyond the scope, range, and comfort zone of typical encyclopaedias.

My vision for Wikipedia: The ultimate encyclopaedia, the ultimate website, the ultimate data bank, a one-stop destination for almost all serious, verifiable information that anyone might ever possibly want to know at any point of his or her life. --Lapin rossignol 10:10, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

All knowledge is notable

Arguments for deletion based on non-notability are frequently used on AfD. IMHO this is a dangerous game being played by zealous deletion advocates, who would like to tell you that unless a referenced site has Alexa stats, the topic is non-notable and should be deleted. If we base our judgements on Alexa stats, then the dead sea scrolls would have been non-notable during the period they were entombed. Yet they are notable today. How can we say that any topic whatsoever isn't worthy for inclusion in an encyclopedia, which is supposed to be a comprehensive repository of human knowledge? The risk of allowing only popular knowledge into wikipedia is staggering. Non-notability must not be made a criterion for deletion. -- Marvin147 18:43, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Bravo. I second this.--Lapin rossignol 08:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Disagree. Telephone numbers of fast food restaurants in Manila is non-notable knowledge. We do not need 365 new articles a year about the weather in London. Such trivia is a clog in the pipes of information. Durova 09:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I also disagree that all knowledge is notable. However, a good point is that the Alexa rank should not be used to assess the importance of a piece of knowlege. In fact, the Alexa rank is not used any more in WP:WEB. I would also remove any mention to it and to Google in this page. - Liberatore(T) 12:06, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Alexa is, at most, an indicator, but plenty of things are non-notable. For example, we do not want to bog down an article about a well-known play with the cast-list for every high school production. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:11, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
All verifiable knowledge, sure. I tend to think we should argue verifiability, not notability... and I've made an effort to think and talk that way for some time now. Notability is subjective and lends itself to various biases... asking "Has this been documented by good sources?" is much less subjective, but has a similar effect of weeding out vanity, hoaxes and original research that pose various problems to an encyclopedia. As has been notied, WP:WEB now reflects this. --W.marsh 18:07, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Notability sub-field proposal

Hi all. In response to some recent AFD/DRV debates about whether certain "scientific/pseudoscientific theories" should be included in Wikipedia, I've tried to put together a set of proposals which might help to figure this out logically and with consensus. Your input is desired. Right now it is at WP:FRINGE, for lack of a better name. --Fastfission 17:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


I've changed one word near the beginning of the article. "Notoriety," originally in quotations, is now prominence.

A topic has notability if is known outside of a narrow interest group or constituency, or should be because of its particular importance or impact. It is an extension of the notion of prominence for biographical articles.

The earlier version implied that notoriety is synonymous with fame, which it is not. Serial killer Ted Bundy is notorious. Pope Benedict XVI is famous. The earlier version also implied that Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies had defined a specific meaning for notorious. The other article had not. Not all notable people are famous, so I substituted prominence. Durova 18:33, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

my random thoughts

Comments on Arguments for deleting non-notable articles

Obscure topics do not belong

  • Rather than trying to define "notability", why not strengthen "verifiable" and "NPOV"?

Obscure topics do not attract editors

  • This is in effect indirectly arguing that the information has not been sufficiently verified.

Obscure topics clutter categories

  • Categorizations are editable.
  • anyone care to cite recent examples of categories flooded with articles on non-notable subjects, to the point of uselessness?

There is a precedent

  • May this not be a case of systemic bias? After all, if a topic is non-notable, there are likely less people who would write about it, decreasing the probability of its existence, thereby creating the impression that only notable topics are accepted here. In that case this "precedent" would be mere tautology.

Subjectivity is not a problem

All I can say is, I cringed at the idea of Wikipedia topics being subjected to popularity contests. At the same time, I understand the view that not every single person on the planet should end up with an entry here (although, I see the latter more in terms of autobiographical, vanity material violating NPOV, rather than notability).

more random thoughts

"Obvious Cases"

This seems like a better starting point for this proposed policy. Does the obvious cases (and other analogous cases) cover enough of the stuff people want to delete? If so, let's be concrete and start with those instead. Notability can be a bit of a slippery slope to build a policy from.

Notability of authors/books

I'm not sure which is the best WP talk page to address this. I'm not putting it on the fiction page, since it doesn't address solely fiction, but non-fiction too, and not on the notability people page, since it also addresses books. I have in mind what I think should be a policy, though it's not stated here by me in a very concise policy form:

(1) If an author has only authored one book, and is known only because of that book, then there should only be an article for the book, with the information about the author forming a section or sections of that article. (2) If an author has written more than one book, then there should only be an article for the author and books should form subsections of that article. (3) When the length of the subsection for the author or book becomes too long to be a subsection, then it should be expanded to a second article for that author or book. (4) Articles could skip this growth process and automatically have separate pages for author and books if they were made with the intention of expanding them both to long article form (32kb or more) more or less immediately. (5) If the intention is made but is not carried out within a reasonable amount of time, they should be merged.

I do have an example in mind: Muhammad: The Messenger of God (book) and Betty Kelen. In this case, the author has authored several books, and both articles are barely WP:STUBs; they should be merged. If there's already a policy along these lines that I'm overlooking, I'd be grateful to have it pointed out for me, thanks. Esquizombi 06:44, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Activity percentile and notability

I think that a good way to estimate notability is to calculate within Wikipedia itself. We need to define an activity percentile of a page, as Sourceforge does for instance. This number will take into account the number of times a page has been visited, the number of edits, the laps between those edits or visits, etc. it will be a good way to achieve Notability criteria by WP means. The rationale of this is that WP reflects the interest of its comunity, if a subject is important or intersting for enough people, then it's worth being included here, if it doesn't then it must be deleted.--Khalid hassani 18:32, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Users would artificially inflate activity in order to keep vanity articles present. — ciphergoth 20:03, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

This is not a guideline, or about to be a guideline

I disagree with "this is a guideline; consensus is achieved through editing". This would mean that any page could be deemed to be a guideline, because nobody edited out that which they disagree with. Lots of *opinions* are left in non-guideline pages (like this) in "Wikipedia"-name space. The fact they exist, doesn't mean there's consenus support for them. --Rob 21:56, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. A guideline is "used to provide guidance." That's what this page does. It was tagged as a guideline in May 2005. This page tries to offer multiple perspectives, so it does in fact reflect the opinions of many. -- Reinyday, 01:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

You just mean the odd editor in the past (like recently) has *tried* in the past to bypass consensus, and pretended this is a guideline or policy, through unilteral edits/tagging, only to be opposed, and reversed. This is an essay. That's it. That's all. Go get a consensus, and then call this a guideline. --Rob 02:11, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Notability of buildings

This may sound a little weird, but what do people think about a notability guideline for buildings? We seem to have an increasing number of people creating articles on individual buildings, quite often university dormitories. Previously they've often been deleted or redirected, (in which case there's no need for a notability guideline), but there seem to be a lot of "if it exists, we need an article on it" people showing up at Afd. The attitude toward buildings that I've heard expressed most often (and agree with myself) is that things like post offices, apartment buildings, shopping malls, and dormitories, although often verifiable, should not have individual articles if all they've done is their job. Certain ones may be historically significant, of course, in which case an article on them makes perfect sense. Anyway, I don't see where this has been discussed before, so I though I'd ask here. Also, if we're talking about buildings, would it make sense to talk about other structures along with that? Bridges, roads, that sort of thing? Friday (talk) 14:54, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you're lumping in organizations with buildings. Buildings are mainly not worth articles (unles their historic). However, organiations should simple go by WP:CORP, which is adequate for things like shopping malls. Things like dorms will usually be merge/redirected to relevant institution. So, I think there's already fairly good guidelines and precedent for handling this. --Rob 15:08, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, to me, an apartment and a mall are quite similiar. They're often owned by some property company that may or may not meet WP:CORP, but the property itself is not the company, it's just one of many things owned by the company. Now, to me, by simple common sense, if the company doesn't rate an article, there's no way an individual property of theirs automatically rates an article. But this isn't how Afd is working. An example of the sort of thing that's kept at Afd these days is Wilton Mall. Maybe this is an isolated example of one bad Afd result and we don't need some building guide, but it seems like individual buildings are becoming more and more deletion-proof at Afd, simply by existing. Friday (talk) 15:27, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Malls are almost uniformily identical. There is nothing that seems to make them notable at all. JoshuaZ 15:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I would guess that most reasonable editors would agree with you. However, there's a lot of malls currently on Afd, and we've got people making more and more articles like List of malls in some particular locale. As silly as it seems, maybe it's time for a notability guideline for buildings. Friday (talk) 15:17, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Okay, here are some ideas of what might make a building (or mall) notable:
--it was the scene of some important historical event (e.g. the Texas Book Depository)
--it is a landmark known far beyond the local community (e.g. the New York Stock Exchange)
--it is a record holder or close to it, such as one of the largest or tallest
(these could be local, national, or international records, but a minimum standard should exist for local records)
--it was designed by a renowned architect (e.g., by Mies van der Rohe, I.M.Pei, etc)
Slowmover 15:44, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I would also suggest age as a criterion. As a prelim, this look good to me. JoshuaZ 15:49, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I think getting a consensus to apply WP:CORP to malls would be more productive, than yet-another-guideline. Look how long WP:MUSIC trying to come up with a criteria for every type of musician. WP:CORP is simple and clear (note Wilton Mall fails the test at the moment). Also, we Wikipedians need to stop injecting our own personal opinions of what's notable, and start basing it on what others have found to be notable. WP:CORP is good in this regard. I think the suggested criteria above would produce poor results. We could delete excellent articles (of malls with ample independent non-trivial coverage, from multiple sources), while keeping one-line substub that report a single "notable" fact that meets the test "Mall X is a mall in Place Y that won Award Z" or "Mall X is a Y-year-old mall in Place Z". --Rob 16:09, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
This seems reasonable to me as well. I have no strong preference for either solution for malls, WP:CORP seems highly reasonable to apply to them. However, a set of guidelines for buildings may still be in order, independent of malls. Suggestion: for now why don't we just try to reach a conensus about malls. JoshuaZ 16:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I'll buy that. Altho a mall is typically a property of a corporation, not the corporation itself, it still seems reasonable to apply WP:CORP. This won't address dormitories, but it could be used for malls. Friday (talk) 17:18, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
WP:CORP is quite generic and could be used for many things. I still like the idea of some specific objective criteria independent of the external coverage bias (not for inclusion, but as a filter for excluding things that get coverage but may not be good encyclopedia material), but malls are basically commercial enterprises, so WP:CORP seems to fit. Slowmover 19:54, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

United States Senate Candidates

What do people think about writing articles on candidates for the United States Senate? In Ohio, our senate race features incumbent Mike DeWine and a congressman, Sherrod Brown. DeWine is being challenged by David R. Smith and William G. Pierce, while Brown faces Merrill Keiser. All of these people have pages of their own except Smith, who was deleted last year after his unsuccessful bid for Congress. Does a statewide candidacy confer "notablity"? I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts on this. PedanticallySpeaking 17:03, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd have said a candidate for a major party, or who retains their deposit (do you have that?) or who attracts significant media attention (more than one independent article in the national press solely about that candidate, say) would be sufficient. — ciphergoth 17:16, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
No, we don't have the deposits like with the British parliament. Keiser did have to gather 1,000 names to make the primary ballot, however. PedanticallySpeaking 17:16, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we need a rule for candidates, specifically. Some candidates will already have been covered in multiple reputable sources and could have an encyclopedia article written about them. Some candidates are unknown and won't be covered in reliable sources and thus can't have an properly sourced article written about them. If the only thing we know about someone is that they're running for an office, I wouldn't go making an article about them based just on that.
Friday (talk) 17:20, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
_ _ There's no effort apparent here to distinguish among five groups (which i name in rough order of notability of their candidates):
  1. Incumbents running for re-election
  2. Nominees of a major party
  3. Candidates for the nomination of a major party
  4. Candidates starting without a party (or with one that has not previously fielded candidates)
  5. Nominees of a minor party
_ _ The article Ned Lamont began Jan 8 when the notability claimed was
... rumored by multiple sources at influential political blog Daily Kos to be mulling a primary challenge ...
He has an apparently self-made fortune, and no history of holding or running for public office. Since the rumors he has added
raising money,
a campaign organization,
meeting with supporters,
soliciting delegate support for the nominating convention, and
inducing a public statement of willingness to consider leaving the party, from his opponent for the nomination, who is
  • the incumbent,
  • a 35-year Dem office-holder including 3 terms in the US Senate, and
  • a former Dem VP nominee.
But his ability to even force a primary (in August, IIRC) is unknown, e.g. his delegate count is utterly unverifiable and he is not allowed to collect a single petition signature for almost two weeks.
_ _ IMO it is significant to this discussion that:
  1. A check of the history shows no deletion tags, and nothing else that could be remotely be construed as criticism of its existence except
    1. two vandalistic edits and
    2. a series of successively more precise stub tags.
  2. Yet he cannot conceivably progress, from candidate for the nomination to candidate for the Senate, for another 5.5 weeks.
I suspect his case is evidence that part of the answer to the question posed in this section is that some subjectivity is necessary.
--Jerzyt 19:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

New proposal

I created Wikipedia:Significance as a proposal which isn't garnering much support. It's been suggested to me that I repropose it as a notability proposal. Therefore I am moving it to be a subpage of this page, Wikipedia:Notability/Proposal, and ask all interested parties to help evolve the proposal to a stage where it has achieved community consensus. Hiding talk 07:36, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Requesting assistance

I'm requesting assistance of editors experienced with the concepts and standards of notability to participate with comments on Martial arts notability. --Marcus 09:13, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

new notability policy proposed

Please help build policy at: Wikipedia:Notability (memes). Thank you, --Urthogie 15:29, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Notability (movies)?

A number of movies, both documentaries and works of fiction, appear on AFD with notability mentioned as a reason for deletion (or keeping). I find it hard to decide what to recommend in such AFDs in the absence of a guideline or policy on movies. Some seem to think if a movie is listed on IMDb it is enough, while others seem to think something more than that is required. Does anyone have any thoughts on notability criteria for movies? Шизомби 01:30, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

IMDb is not enough by itself. Its arguably easier get a movie listed there than it is to get a general article here. A lack of a IMDb entry should be considered a major strike against a movie. Its presence should not be considered a reason to keep a movie. That said, here are some suggested criteria(basically what I use for judging movies on AfD).: 1) has at least two (actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers) that satisfy WP:BIO or 2) Has been reviewed or discussed by at least two newspapers/ review services. Thoughts? JoshuaZ 01:48, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
For reference, IMDb's eligibility rules can be found here:[3] although they must have some behind-the-scenes rules as well. Your criteria sound fairly reasonable, although what about a case where the people are all newcomers? For example, I don't think the people involved with The Blair Witch Project either prior to at its release would have met WP:BIO, but the movie certainly met criteria 2. Regarding "review services," should that include/not include printed fanzines, movie review websites, etc.? Would one judge the notability of a porno by these same criteria? Шизомби 02:28, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Note that there is the word "or" between criterion 1 and criterion 2. (In fact, Blair Witch was one of the movies that caused me to put the word there). By review services I was actually thinking of something like Knight Ridder. A movie review website that met WP:WEB would presumably be acceptable. As for porn, (ooh, I'm going to regret saying this) it may need its own criteria, although if we find it reasonable to apply WP:BIO to porn stars, then there shouldn't be an issue with using criteria 1 (and similarly, if it is reviewed on a major enough porn website that the website meets WP:WEB that would be fine also). JoshuaZ 02:42, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
By the way, the webpage for their eligibility rules requires an account. Could you post for us here what it say? JoshuaZ 03:19, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, sorry. Not sure if there'd be an copyright issue reproducing their rules here? Here's another link that doesn't require a signin: Шизомби 03:25, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks that makes it sound stricter than what empirically seems to end up there. JoshuaZ 03:28, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I remember reading the guidelines a while ago (last year, somewhen), and I think (but am not sure) they were much less strict then they are now. I recall that basic litmus test for non-theatrical releases, was merely you needed a physical product available for public sale, which explains a lot of imdb content. I think criteria that is close to imdb's current wording (but specifically for full length films) would probably be the way to go for us, as it would produce results similiar to what's already happening in AFD. --Rob 06:13, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Here's IMDb's rules in 2000, they seem to be about the same[4]. Шизомби 06:24, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I was wrong. In that case, I can't explain why they let in so much of what they have, when it clearly breaks these rules. --Rob 07:53, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Have you come across movies on IMDb that were hoaxes, or that you think just don't meet those criteria? They do remove entries sometimes. Anyway, as an example of one movie on AFD that's gotten several delete recommendations: Death Tunnel (movie). I haven't seen it; in all likelihood not a great movie. None of the people involved with it ring any bells, but it has gotten reviews from a number of longstanding movie review sites: [5]. If I thought of WP as an encyclopedia in the sense of a general encyclopedia like Britannica, then certainly it would not belong. But since WP isn't paper it can incorporate being a film encyclopedia or even a horror encyclopedia, and I suppose a horror encyclopedia (like the Overlook Horror Encyclopedia) would have DT if it were up-to-date. But I suppose there are limits to coverage of subgenres, in that WP is not e.g. a Star Trek encyclopedia. Шизомби 06:19, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
IMDB certainly helps verifiability; WP:V, but it is not always the best guide for the elusive notabilty characteristic. I agree with Joshua's comments - independent reviews and possibly notable actors are important. Kuru talk 03:13, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I'd overlooked the "or." Other types of movies to consider are short films and online films. Шизомби 03:17, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Twilight Serenade might be an interesting case for consideration here. Arniep 11:45, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Only so far as any set of criteria we construct should not allow that film to be kept. JoshuaZ 03:42, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Agreed on that point. In fact, I wonder how it met IMDb's criteria, since there seems to be a lack of general interest and availability for it. I think they add pages on the basis of notices in Variety so it could be that. Шизомби 17:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
A couple more Travoltas on afd: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Annie Travolta, who only has extremely minor roles mainly in movies starring her brother John Travolta and a similar story with brother Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sam Travolta. Arniep 02:03, 18 April 2006 (UTC)


I would like to express a couple of thoughts about this guideline. Obscure topics do not attract editors, yes this is true, and there may be more people who know about obscure topics but they do not contribute to wikipedia. But other editors simply ignore this and vote delete for articles which they do not seem notable. Very bad, and for an article whose size is maybe 10 kB, yet they have User pages adorned with userboxes? About Obscure topics clutter categories. Ok people wakeup, categories are already cluttered! Death2 12:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I hate it too. Wikipedia is not some popularity contest. "Obscure topics do not attract editors". We are not trying to attract users. We are building a limitless, non-paper encyclopedia. More arguments to come. -- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 05:38, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The power of WP

I recently came across a bunch of articles under Category:Ayyavazhi which I think is an obscure religious sect in South India. Let me preface my comments by declaring that I am an agnostic and do not have any particular animosity towards any religion or its followers. My concerns are purely to do with the reliability WP as a source of information and its possible misuse.

The articles under the cat Category:Ayyavazhi have been created by one user or by a cluster of IP addresses possibly associated with the author ([6], [7]) The same user has also created numerous stubs on other language versions of WP, including Afrikaans and Latin. These numerous pages and stubs in WP have spawned into the various syndicated online encyclopaedia sites such as,,, etc. The same user has also created entries in Simple Wikipedia ([8]), Theo Wiki ([9]), Wiki Quote ([10]), Wiki Books ([11]), Wiki News ([12]), Wikitionary ([13]), and the list goes on. A quick google search excluding the English WP gives us a lot of hits, almost all connected with WP. It is very hard to find a source that is not in some way associated with this original user.

There are no valid references or citations on a lot of these pages. IMHO no WP:NN, WP:NOR and WP:V tests were done during the early stages of these pages. They still fail in this regard. WP:Notability states that to be notable "A topic has notability if it is known outside a narrow interest group or constituency, or should be because of its particular importance or impact. " IMO and in the opinion of many users who live in the area in Tamil Nadu, the faith Ayyavazhi does not seem to have many followers, [14] certainly not > 1 mil claimed by the user. ([15] ). Even the user agrees that this is not well known outside a select group ([16]).

The above example shows that if someone is determined enough, they can create numerous articles on WP on an otherwise obscure topic, and by the nature of the lack of any systematic review in WP, and by the spread of WP material on the Net, can over a period of time create a self-sustaining notability and authenticity.

My question to the community is this: how do we prevent such apparent misuse so that we can enhance the reputation of WP as a dependable source?

- Parthi 04:52, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but... how is that bad? Obscure topics do not make an encyclopedia less accurate. Sure, they're not cited, but the user is (probably) working on it. If not, Wikipedia should imporve the article rather than have its users bitch about how it doesn't follow some essay and delete it.-- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 05:35, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
You seem to have missed my point. I am currently editing these pages to try and make them less POV and less original research. I have also started a discussion with the original author regarding these pages. My question to the WP community was more philosophical. With relatively little effort this user has managed IMO to make a very obscure topic which is totally unreferenced available on a vast number of sites. It is not as if these pages were created yesterday or last week. They have been there for over six months. Not many have noticed them. As there is no systematic review of the content that goes into WP, anyone can create anything and by the nature of the distribution of WP content, can make their pages look notable. - Parthi 05:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
So you're verifying, citing, and NPOVing the pages? That's good. I'm just saying that I think verifiability is enough to weed out "non-notable" articles. Sorry. -- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 13:11, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Notability for books

I can't find workable criteria for books. The section in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Note on notability criteria is rather unusable. It states: Usually, books with an ISBN-number and/or availability in a couple dozen of libraries and/or a Project Gutenberg type website, and with a notability above that of an average cookbook or programmers manual would qualify. The ISBN thing is stupid; basically every book has an ISBN. How many "Project Gutenberg type" websites are there? Among the hundreds of thousands of libraries in this world there may well be a "couple dozen" that have the book, but how to check that? How do we know if a book is "more notable" than "an average cookbook or programmers manual"? How notable are these? Is What Girls Learn by Karin Cook notable, to mention a concrete example? ( Sales Rank: #481,432 in Books) Is Mediterranean Light : Delicious Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine by Martha R. Shulman an "average cookbook"? ( Sales Rank: #82,815 in Books)

Another criterion is given in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Precedents#Literature, another spot you're not likely to look: Books are notable if well-known. I know whether I know a book, but how do I know whether it is "well known"? Is The Trial of Socrates by I. F. Stone well known? Who shall say?

I'd like to steer away from (a) criteria that cannot reasonably be checked, and (b) purely numerical criteria.

I propose instead a criterion obtained by extending this criterion for authors (see Wikipedia:Notability (people)#People still alive): Published authors [...] who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work. This can be extended to books as follows: If an author is to be deemed notable by dint of a book they have written, then so is the book. Using the present text, that amounts to: Books are notable if they have received multiple independent reviews or awards.

This can be elaborated upon – the reviews have to be in "reputable" sources, but other things than reviews and awards qualify as well for establishing notability: published essays and such about a book would also qualify, or being the subject of a (notable) film, documentary, etc. Reactions please. --LambiamTalk 02:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, many self-published books and vanity-press books don't have ISBN numbers (not that they couldn't have, it's just that they generally don't).
I agree that Amazon's sales rankings aren't useful (and in any case limit the figures to one supplier in one medium).
Many notable books might not meet the reviews criterion, though. For a book to be reviewed, its publisher must think that reviews will help its sales; a hugely selling, extremely influential book in the field, for example, of TEFL for specific markets might be reviewed, if at all, in only one trade magazine — and would be unlikely to be the subject of a documentary, etc.
My worry is that this approach would limit articles to books that aren't merely notable, but are extremely successful and popular, and published in fields that attract critical attention. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:14, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
If you can give examples of notable books that would be excluded, it might help in formulating better criteria. I'd think, if a book is extremely successful and popular, and published in a field that attracts critical attention, then surely someone is going to write about it in a citable source. The ISBN thing was more in reverse: it was suggested that anything with an ISBN more notable than your average cookbook is notable enough for inclusion. I think that would then include way too much. Perhaps the person who wrote this knows only rather notable cookbooks. And while having an ISBN criterion helps to exclude non-notable self-published books, this then also excludes notable self-published books. --LambiamTalk 00:19, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
You shouldn't actually be able to write an article about a book that hasn't received press attention somewhere reliable, given that's the basis of the verifiability policy. How would someone source the article? No article should rely on a primary source for its existence. Hiding Talk 19:16, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Does this mean any of the following: (A) You support my suggestion; (B) You think we need no notability criterion for books; (C) You have a better suggestion; (D) You refuse to answer the question on the grounds that the answer might tend to incriminate you? --LambiamTalk 23:32, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Some articles do rely on primary sources for their existence, I think. Stubs about movies or books may make reference to nothing other than that movie or book, having only observations that any viewer or reader could make. Wikipedia talk:No original research/archive4#My interpretation. Such an article would not be able to assert its own notability, though, so taking that into consideration perhaps an article can't rely solely upon its subject (a Template:Notability tag could be added). ...Unless the subject matter of a book could make the book notable somehow (not sure about that), or the author's notability is already established? Шизомби 07:30, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Try... "can I go to a bookstore and find it" or "does it exist"? -- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 00:23, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Is this a reply to any of the contributions above? I could find it. Moreover, it exists. So what? Is it now notable? --LambiamTalk 01:26, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes it can now be included in the encyclopedia. Now find sources and you're good to go. -- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 14:37, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Note Wikipedia:Notability (books), a proposal started less than 24h ago. --Francis Schonken 15:42, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Institutions are notable?

I have been thinking about this a while. I can't decide whether an article about a hospital is per se notable. Example is Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital although there are many many more out there. Should these be included? Should these be deleted? I'm new here and I really don't know, and can't seem to find any precedent. Sometimes, what looks like (to me) non-notable stuff has an article, sometimes I see them being prod-ed. Is this the right place to discuss this? If so, what are your opinions? If not, where should I move this to? :) Thanks! JByrd 20:56, 1 June 2006 (UTC) I don't care anymore. JByrd 01:42, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I am a proponent of keeping verifiable but non-notable articles. However, unless Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital is famous for something, then its definately not notable. Theres plenty of precedent for deleting non-notables, and also for keeping them. If you're new here, I would wait a while before you start proposing article deletions. Fresheneesz 02:42, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Notability and deletion

I have seen a good number of articles go on death row for being "non-notable". Many people, like JByrd (comment in the above header) seem to think that non-notability *is* sole criteria for deletion - not only that, mistake it for official policy (simply because articles in the Wikipedia namespace always look officialish). I think that articles are far too often deleted based on non-notability alone, and much too often use non-notability as heavy leverage for the articles deletion.

Maybe its just me, but I'm *very* unclear as to what the significant downside of keeping non-notable articles. The downsides are (as far as I can tell):

  1. Cluttering categories
  2. Inability to keep non-notable aricles up to quality standards
  3. It takes up space on servers

And here are some remedies/arguemnts:

  1. Easy fix: separate categories into "notable" and "non-notable" sections, with the "notable" section more prominant.
  2. Label the article as "non-notable" or with the {{cleanup}} template.
  3. Wikipedia isn't paper, and the servers are huge - not an issue. Not to mention non-notibles would take up *much* less space than a notable topic.

Also, this page is misleading - I'm sure many many people have seen the "Non-notable topics do not belong" header and thought "well I guess thats policy then".

I would advocate changing this page to influency common practice and policy toward *not* deleting articles based on non-notability issues. I would appreciate any comments or suggestestions - especially if you have unfixable reason as to what harm non-notable articles do. Fresheneesz 03:05, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

  • The main issue is of verifiability, and a lot of people use the notability term as shorthand for the fact that said article is not verifiable in third party sources. Since it's policy on wikipedia that an article topic be verifiable in third party sources, that should be the be all and end all of the debate. However, some guidelines for notability in specific areas have been created, which do offer consensually defined concepts of notability within those fields, and as such notability as a concept exists within those fields and a failing of those guidelines can be deemed at afd as a reason to delete. Hiding Talk 12:05, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm definately not talking about verifiability, that isn't an issue for me. Could you point me to some of those places where notability is considered policy? Fresheneesz 21:40, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Category:Wikipedia notability criteria is the best place to start. Hiding Talk 21:57, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Notability isn't currently policy because there's a vocal minority who don't think it's the best term to use (the counterarguments have been hashed over quite a bit; there's a summary on this page). Nevertheless, others believe that it is essential, so there are a number of guidelines (note the difference ala WP:RULES) that use notability as a criterion for deletion. As AfD is supposed to be a discussion to reach consensus those notability criteria are intended as a short-hand for existing consensus rather than a rule to be slavishly followed (WP:NOT a battleground for Wikilaywers). I'm personally part of the vocal minority against 'notability' and 'nn' (see my draft essay on the subject at User:Ziggurat/Notability), but a lot of people find the terms useful. Ziggurat 23:16, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I definately agree that notability is a useful term, but I have heavy doubts about the usefulness of phrases like "delete as non-notable". Despite the fact that certain things are "guidlines" and certain things are "rules", I would imagine that these terms are often overlapped - making for shifty general policy (not to mean official policy..). I think a good idea would be to invoke a more official policy of full *merging* non-notable material - with a redirect from the search term. Fresheneesz 07:54, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
That is a good idea, probably most people on Wikipedia tend to be mergists at heart, and merges can be performed under current policies, but there's nothing to stop editors who are emotionally invested in the subject from reverting. LUEshi was actually closed as a merge after an afd discussion, but it's never been made to stick. I certainly agree that people who simply state a position at afd have damaged it, and when I have concerns on an article topic's worth and take it to afd I always attempt to explain why I don't believe it to be a topic worth having an article on. You might want to stop by Wikipedia:WikiProject Integration If you haven't already. Hiding Talk 13:01, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

What it ultimately boils down to is that there are things which are verifiable, not original research, and capable of NPOV description, which nevertheless do not belong in Wikipedia, because Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. For example, every single wedding that takes place in the British Isles is trivially verifiable from public records, and descriptions of the proceedings can often be supported by citations from local newspapers, and it's easy to make them NPOV. But I think even among extremist inclusionists, there are very few who would say that we should have an article on every single wedding that meets those criteria. Why? Because while weddings as such are notable, most individual examples are not notable. It's a useful concept. 14:46, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

The thing is, you're stereotyping. Not all non-notable have any issue with verifiability, NPOV, or NOR. In fact, many pages people might consider non-notable, have a decent amount of editors for the page size. This isn't about other policies - those are already in place. Once again, i'm talking about using *notability* as *sole reason* to delete - which I find against the goals of wikipedia. Fresheneesz 19:56, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
The problem is, a topic having notability isn't against the goals of wikipedia. Unless you are suggesting I am allowed to have an article on myself? The goals of wikipedia are defined by the community, and current consensus has it that I am not a suitable topic for inclusion. Therefore notability exists, and does bear on the goals of wikipedia, expressed as it is in WP:NOT. Sadly, the term notability stirs such strong feeling that we are unable to engage with it and develop it as a concept of worth. Fortunately, we have already declared what Wikipedia is not, and some people prefer to point to that when defining notability. Most of the time, whenever someone utilises the term notable the argument descends into one of semantics rather than a discussion on the merits of the article's topic and it's suitability in the Wikipedia. Hiding Talk 20:20, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Bringing up things like vanity pages on.. me or you for example, is sort of like the debate on criminal justice. Do we want to increase the statistical probability that criminals are caught, or do we want to increase the probability that innocents aren't harmed? I vote for the ladder. I hardly think you could defend an article on yourself with any good reason. But articles are being deleted (not merged, deleted) that have a significant presence in our world.
Your point that "whenever someone utilises the term notable the argument descends into one of semantics" is a perfect reason to discuss this in depth with a large group of people - and actually create policy on it. The debate has wasted a large amount of our time, and (as is obvious from our current dicussion) still is. what Wikipedia is not is not a clear cut policy, and is in many cases violated. Those guidelines are general rules, and not representative of all of wikipedia. Not only that, it only establishes the idea of notability for *specific* items: "News reports", Biographies, and links. Thats all NOT has to imply about notability.
If we want to avoid semantics, long arguments, and wasted time, we need to address the issue of notability. I think that disallowing that non-notability can be considered a problem would help save our time, and help not scare people away from wikipedia. Vanity pages in most cases can be dismissed based on verifiabilty, or NPOV, or OR for that matter. OTHER policies are already in place to deal with junky articles - notability is simply not a neccessary policy, guideline, or classification.
If anyone's interested, for other discussion about this, see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) under the header with the same title. Fresheneesz 07:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
"articles are being deleted (not merged, deleted) that have a significant presence in our world". Care to offer examples? I also find myself wondering why you think any notability policy wouldn't be as disregarded as all the rest. And if we move that notability isn't an allowable concept, you'd move the debate to significance, fame or importance, both of which have been established in policies and guidelines elsewhere. Whilst Wikipedia isn't paper, it's hard to maintain a database of a million entries, let alone what the database would be if we had all teh entries which have been deleted on notability concerns. Still, I take your point. My attempt at putting notability to death died recently, it might be of interest to you, see Wikipedia:Notability/Proposal. Hiding Talk 13:30, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
"Care to offer examples?" - Sure. The Center for CosMedic Rejuvenation and Wellness, The Sentinel (song), The Paly Voice, Lizzie Olsen, Finaghy Primary School, UniModal, FORscene, Men's Fasion Freedom. These have all been proposed for deletion on the basis of notability almost exclusively. Instead of improving the articles, tagging them for improvment, or merging - they have been proposed for deletion. One article that was proposed for deletiong and found a consensus to merge instead, is Yoshi's Story tech demo - but is in the extreme minority in that respect.
Most of the articles I listed above could merge their information into a main band/album page, school page, sister's page, etc. But right now, many of us opt for deletion of information rather than appropriate placement. I argue that its *not* hard to maintain a database of a million entries - not any harder than that same million with a few non-notable articles. I say a few, because I attest that there are few non-notables that have verifiability, and conform to NOR and NPOV. Even if there were many, it seems to have been agreed upon that the data base is not a problem - especially for small articles with small histories. Deleting them puts a larger strain on the database, because it adds bulk data to the database in connection with what might be a very sparsely edited article. A deleted article still puts strain on the database, as all that information is saved.
Of the articles I listed up there, I believe 3 have been decidedly kept. I find it disturbing that notability is taking such a forfront for deletion, that even clear policies are taking a back seat to it. Its really equatable to a witch hunt, where science, established facts, and rules are disregarded in favor of exclusionist and predjudice thinking. Fresheneesz 21:44, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
As for why I think policy for notability wouldn't be disregarded, I don't think current policy is disregarded. People use policy and guidelines to support their line of thinking, and notability is one guideline that can be tailored to almost anyones way of thinking. To some its notable, to some its not. By making policy, you limit the arguments one can make for the deletion or creation of a page. As for importance and fame, Jimbo Wales himself thinks those aren't good reasons to delete an article [17]. Fresheneesz 21:51, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to be ranting, but this is something that current Chief Technical Officer Brion Vibber said concerning "server load" : [18]
You don't need to quote Jimbo at me, I tend to quote that statement quite a bit and drafted a proposal based upon it, which I suggested you might like to read earlier in this discussion. The prod, or proposed deletion is not a tool for deleting items based on notability concerns, it's a tool for proposing deletion, and can be removed by any other editor and the issue ends there. If you believe the articles which are currently prodded should be redirected, go ahead and do it. The problem is that Wikipedia is currenbtly not scaling, people don't have the time to do the research on each article and work out the best place to redirect to, or in the case of The Sentinel (song), it isn't perhaps a search term that thus needs a redirect.
However, I asked for articles which had been deleted, and since they';re all blue links they don't quite fit that definition. Whilst I tend to agree with you on most points, I think you're wrong in believeing the issue can be resolved. Some people simply believe Wikipedia should have standards, and see deletion as a way of ensuring such standards are adhered to. AFD has long been held to be broken, it is meant to be a discussion, not a simple vote counting exercise, and admins are supposed to close discussions more with an eye on the three key policies than the votes cast.
I don't get your argument that a wikipedia with a million articles is no harder to maintain than one with articles that meet the three key policies, given that if we only went by the three key policies almost everyone in the world could have an article, having been mentioned at some point in a reliable source. It's not a choiced between a million or a million and three, it's a choice between a million or everything. It's easy to say an article on me wouldn't exist, but I can cite reliable sources to the difference. It's not an issue of server load, it's an issue of wikipedian load.
As to the fact that you don't think this issue will move anywhere, I suggest you take a look at Wikipedia Talk:Reliable sources. That's where the discussion will move to. People will always find a method of elucidating their exclusion criteria through policy, even if they have to form it. There's consensus that we have exclusion criteria, whether you call it vanity or notability. Hiding Talk 23:36, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I quote jimbo for anyone to read, I'm not discussing solely with you, you know. They're all blue links, tho one is linked to its deletion page because the article was deleted. Most of those blue links will turn red soon, as I only took examples from one day of deltions. Also, UniModal and FORscene *have* been deleted (based on non-notability), and have also been reinstated.
Wikipedia may not be scaling because new editors are discouraged from editing. I'll leave it up to imagination how that would happen. Pages on people like you would most likely violate a policy or two, say NOR. Also, what wikipedian load would there be if people simply ignored your page? I'm going to guess little to none, depending if people cared to add categories to your page. That brings us back to the downside of simply tagging non-notable sites as.. {{notability}}. Fresheneesz 00:53, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I give. These arguments always end up in this semantical trap. I apologise for wasting your time on this, although FWIW an article on myself would not fall foul of WP:NOR, unless sourcing anything in newspapers is WP:NOR. I'm off to do something constructive. Hiding Talk 13:25, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Why can't most "non-notable" things conform to NPOV? 22:21, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Related essay on inclusion and notability

I started an essay to shorthand the perennial response at AfD that "inclusion of some articles isn't an indicator of notability of related articles". It is at WP:INCL and I welcome edits and comments.--Chaser T 06:16, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

non-notability guidline

Me and another user started a guideline proposal at WP:NNOT to encourage the use of official policy and established guidelines rather than the neccessarily subjective concept of notability. Anyones comments, edits, or constructive critiscism is welcome. Fresheneesz 08:21, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm trying to do the same thing on Wikipedia:Notability (fiction) this version contains the guidelines. BTW if anyone would like to comment either in favor or opposed please go to the notability page and help get the discussion going jbolden1517Talk 11:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Criticism: It's not your essay that's flawed. It's the whole concept that we have to limit the amount of information in an encyclopedia to what a user already knows that is flawed. -- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 12:38, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Note: that applies to Wikipedia:Notability too. --DavidHOzAu 04:14, 3 August 2006 (UTC) Actually, I think that only applies to Wikipedia:Notability; In contrast, The new proposal is well thought out with far less systemic bias throughout the article when compared to this one. --DavidHOzAu 04:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Notability and protecting Wikipedia from spam

I think there would be room in the essay for the argument that having a deletion policy against non-notable subjects is an important tool to protect against spam. Wikipedia is a fantastic tool for Google bombing and there is a benefit for companies to create stubs about themselves and about their products (even if those stubs are pretty close to NPOV). Pascal.Tesson 22:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

High Schools

Is there a Notability criteria for High Schools? There are a ton of people adding high schools that really aren't all that notable but can't be deleted because high schools are "inherently notable". And I was wondering if there was a way to get rid of them. BJK 00:07, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Unfortunately, there is a vocal minority of people who have banded together to support all articles about high schools and even lower schools recently. They are not in the majority, but AfD's on these articles rarely result in deletion because of the high burden placed on needed a supermajority for deletion. See WP:SCHOOLS. Johntex\talk 01:23, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
    • When Jimbo said "...if someone wants to write an article about their high school, we should relax and accomodate them..."[19] he was in the minority. Now, he's in the majority. --Rob 02:34, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I think you are mistaken on the facts and also on your interpretation of what Jimbo was saying. The fact is that school AfD often get a majority of votes for deletion, but rarely the super-majority needed. The "across-the-board-keepers" are not in the majority, but there are usually enough of them to prevent deletion consensus from forming.
Also, reading Jimbo's quote in the context of the discussion, he was not supporting writing an article about every high school. I believe he was saying something more like "It's not the end of the world - we don't have to stop everything to go delete one single article." In fact, he goes on to say "if someone really starts to abuse wikipedia with thousands and thousands of trivial articles do not prove that we ought to delete any and every article that's too trivial today." The situation we have now is people adding hundreds if not thousands of trivial articles on high schools. We are far far away from allowing one or two articles on non-notable high schoold to avoid deletion.
We don't have an article on every restaurant or dry cleaners yet, but we will someday if the "keep-all-schools" mentality is allowed to continue. There is no fundamental difference between the two. I for one think it will be bad for the project, but who knows, maybe an article on every pet care center will be a benefit, not a burden. We'll see. Johntex\talk 15:05, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Just in case anyone thinks things will never get so bad we are including articles on non-notable restaurants and dry cleaners, please have a look at Wikipedia:Non-notability, which is an attempt to ensrine into policy the idea that "Notability should not be used to argue for or against inclusion of information inside an article..." This is bad for the project. Johntex\talk 15:36, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
I just happened to see this quote by Jimbo today: "...but as a general rule, I think that almost any argument, on any topic, which has premises beginning with 'Jimbo said...' is a pretty weak argument. Surely the merits of the proposal should be primary, not what I happen to think.--Jimbo Wales 17:00, 8 July 2006 (UTC)"[20] - Johntex\talk 16:25, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
The argument about dry-cleaners is specious. High schools are notable in that, people associate themselves, part of their life and career with particular schools. They don't have a "John's Dry Cleaners" reunion every five or ten years, and there's no "Bob's restaturant yearbook" published. "Susie's Hot Dog Stand" doesn't have a football team, and "Mary's Bakery" doesn't have graduation ceremonies. There are a lot of details involved in each High School, that simply are not part of a general institution or company. Wjhonson 01:37, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Customers of those establishements certainly care a lot about them. Employees care about them. They may have company picnics, etc. The restaurant may very well host a softball team. They may have graduation events to promote dishwashers to cooks. How do you know what they do until we are writing articles on them all? Look at it the other way, assume all high schools have reuninions. So what, that means none of them stand out against the others by doing so. You actualy help me prove my point, most high schools are so similar to each other that there is no point in seperately documenting them. The high schools that stand out for some reason (good scores, fatal mass shooting, whatever) should have articles. The rest should not. Johntex\talk 02:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Then those establishments that have this kind of extended social impact, are notable. But the vast majority of dry cleaners do not. However every high school does. Any institution where a thousand people spend 40 hours a week for 4 years, is notable. That could be a high school, a college, a mental institution, or a government building. They are all notable institutions. Every business however, is not notable. High schools don't have to differ from each other to be particularly notable. They have to differ from mundance existence. High schools are notable compared to dry cleaners. That's what makes them notable. Wjhonson 04:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how it can be said that high schools are more notable than dry cleaners. They each perform their respective functions and they are each important to the people who patronize them. A movie theatre serves thousands of people a day - perhaps they should all be included as well? Johntex\talk 11:28, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I did explain how they are more notable. You just aren't listening :) The President is more notable than your mailman, even though they both do they're jobs. So the arguments, "they're just doing their function" doesn't work. Wjhonson 20:55, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Historical persons of note

I have added a special-case argument on historical persons of note. This would be for example, a person who appears in Who Was Who but for which there is no existing current online biography. The criteria of the Search Engine test should not be used for historial persons as many thousands if not millions of them, cannot be found in a Search Engine and paper biographies must be checked. Wjhonson 23:27, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Should there be no limits to notability?

If I'm not mistaken, isn't Wikipaedia supposed to be "a repository of human knowledge"? I'm sure I've seen that phrase somewhere around here. What some people may deem as being irrelevant may hold important meaning to the society sometime in the future. Just because something may not serve an immediate purpose doesn't mean it should be rebuffed as being trivial. Stovetopcookies 09:33, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

That statement has been used that we are gathering the "sum total of all human knowledge", but its just a marketing slogan. You can't put any more faith in than any other marketing slogan, such as "we make the internet not suck". Its a catchy phrase, and it helps motivate people, but that's it. If Wikipedia was truly the reposoitory of all human knowledge then we would be accepting recipes and wikinews items and foreign language articles. We would never have formed policies and guidelines like WP:BAND and WP:BIO. We would never delete an article like Brian Peppers or, which have both been deleted on the premise that the subjects were not notable. We would be accepting entire phonebooks and out-of-copyright novels. We are not gathering the "sum total of all human knowledge". We are building an encyclopedia, and we should be considering notability in that process. Johntex\talk 15:21, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
I have to disagree with both sides here. First, despite Johntex's critical comments, the Foundation is not a bunch of lying businessmen who say anything to get customers. Wikipedia makes no money off readers, and has no reason say things it knows are untrue, just to to "motivate" us. I'm perplexed why you have such a negative view of the Foundation. Second, when Wales said "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing" he used the word "sum" (as in summary) not "copy" (as in duplicate). Hence we don't have whole copies of out-of-copyright novels, but (hopefully) concise articles, summarizing what's signficant about them. Also, Wales, had the humility (unlike Britanica who first used the phrase "sum of human knowledge"), to say we were building it, not that we've built it. So, clearly the phrase means we are very inclusive, but it doesn't mean we're the internet archive. --Rob 12:10, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
You seem to have an issue with marketing, thinking it is the realm of lying businessmen, but that is not the case. Plenty of non-profit groups engage in markeing, Wikipedia is one of those. Jimbo even used whe phrase specifically in a fundraising campaign - that is marketing!
My comments were not meant to be critical at all. I have the utmost respect for the value of marketing. But marketing has to be seen for what it is.
As to the meaning of Jimbo's words, Jimbo is not hte only person to ever use the phrase "sum of all human knowledge". It does not mean "summary" it means "sumation" as in addition or total. It is not literally true in application to Wikipedia. Hence, it is a marketing slogan. That is not a bad thing, but it is what it is. Johntex\talk 14:50, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I think the notabilty clause (does that mean being famous?) is anti-democratic, anti-consitutional and anti-Human rights, and fascistic. The Human Rights Declaration states that:"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". Wikipedia does the most sever discrimination between famous people that are 1st class, and second class Users. Take Kevin Mitnick for instance. He is famous as he got "caught" and the media hyped him. I know a person that does a great job as penetration tester and he denounced anonymously a security hole to a bank company that he found by hazard. He doesn't even get a Wikipedia entry, as he can't brag about it. Instead of Wikipedia notability fascim, Wikipedia had better to define "notability" as in other terms, covering skills, personality, and values too. The argument that there are only 25 persons is poor. Those people might perform on a higher level (much higher) than you and me, and it doesn't bother me the slightest whether their cut-off is 1 out of 250,000 or one out of a million. I saw people above 3 or 4 standard deviations do things you and I couldn't accomplish in a life time. It's more like quantitative matters, it's qualitative. If you saw notability not only as a stupid "fame" thing, but as a value system, you and the other administrators on Wikipedia would re-think the whole topic. There are people that mean alot to others, yet they are inside "niche" and known from a small group only. But those people might be leading scientist, or incredibly influence society, or being perceives the guy from the next-door and be a guy doing AI programming, or saving other peoples lives. It is unfair to exclude any Wikipedia entries on personal names. I would myself see my name... A German saying says that 'Still waters go deep'. If you only stay on the surface, that you neglect the true intriseque value of people.

talk, 20th July 2006

This is an encyclopedia, not a "make everyone feel good" project. (Making people feel good is, after all, what beer is for.) Human rights has nothing at all to do with our content. As for discriminating against unheard-of people, this is by design- we cannot have verifiability and still include people for whom there are no proper sources of information. Friday (talk) 14:24, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Unheard-of is an opinion. If a person has a source, and there is no repuation that it's unreliable, than the mere opinion of another editor, without basis, that it's unreliable doesn't hold sway. Assume Good Faith that people are properly using their sources, otherwise present some evidence that a source isn't reliable. An editor's opinion, is insufficient. Wjhonson 05:24, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Johntex wrote: "If Wikipedia was truly the reposoitory of all human knowledge then we would be accepting recipes and wikinews items and foreign language articles... We would never delete an article like Brian Peppers or, which have both been deleted on the premise that the subjects were not notable. We would be accepting entire phonebooks and out-of-copyright novels." Now, my question is: WHY NOT? Why not accept recipes and out-of-copyright novels? Why not include an article for Brian Peppers? WHY NOT??--Lapin rossignol 02:55, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

New additions

Regarding the following:

Don't delete historical persons based on modern tests
Persons who were of note in their time and place are marked based on the modern test of "I can't find information about them online". Most historical persons of note, in their time, do not have information online, because Google is not the repository of all knowledge. An online search, for historial persons of note, is biased toward modern persons, therefore should not be the criteria for determination of notability.

An editor seems to have added this info after an article they started was nominated on AfD for Notablility and other issues. So the motivation to change this page in response to the AfD seems suspicious, but I was curious if other editors agreed with this recent change or not. --Andrew c 21:42, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

The point Andrew is that hundreds if not tens of thousands of persons who appear in standard biographical reference works have no entry on wikipedia. I and other biographers on wikipedia work to uncover those obscure people who were famous at one time, but now have nothing useful online, and sometimes nothing whatsoever. To mark articles with AfD simply because you cannot find them in google is biased. The vast majority of historical newspapers have never been OCR'd and yet they contain mountains of data on people now forgotten. Surely you cannot disagree with this. Wjhonson 23:04, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Well if they are "now forgotten", are they really notable then? I don't particularly want to argue this here and now, I was just curious what other editors thought regarding this. If a discussion starts, then I'll weigh inb more. Cheers!--Andrew c 23:29, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd say yes. The general, and sometimes sole, reason why they may not be found say in the Encyclopaedia of American Biography, but can be in say Who Was Who is determined by space concerns. Not everyone is SO notable to make it into a 500 page book. But if the book could be 5,000 pages or 50,000 pages, then they might make it in. With 1.2 Million pages in wikipedia now, it seems fairly clear that we can resurrect many people of the past who did something interesting and write about them. Wjhonson 00:07, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
All this conflict has done nothing but encourage me to start a new project to battle the foes of *slightly* notable people Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wikipedians_for_local_history. If you want to discuss notability issues about people or history, come join me here. Wjhonson 06:02, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

How do I deal with articles which are not notable?

If this is not a policy, but an essay, how should I deal with articles such as Anuragam, which conflicts with this principle:

A topic has notability if it is known outside a narrow interest group or constituency, or should be because of its particular importance or impact.

Advice appreciated. --Singkong2005 tc 08:34, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

To enroll and retain [in school] all the children in the 40 villages ... sounds pretty notable to me! But if you think you can argue a case for non-notability, see WP:AFD. -- JimR 11:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

How do you "deal with" them? Simple. Keep them. They aren't harming anyone, and technically, the article can't only be deleted because you haven't heard of it. -- Chris Ccool2ax contrib. 04:29, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm with Chris. Just let it be. It's notable to the person who created it. — Reinyday, 06:40, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Notability of English football clubs

This is an issue for us because of the very large number of small clubs putting articles on Wikipedia. This is presently being discussed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football#When is a club notable?. I invite anyone who is interested to join in the discussion. Our intention is to bring the conclusion of this review back to this talk page with a request that it be included in the guidelines on the project page. BlueValour 23:35, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Effect of removing notability standard

I added a section to "Arguements for deleting non-notable articles". I believe this is one of the substantial problems people have with removing notability standards. Here's the text I posted for this section, does this sound reasonable? "Removing the notability standard altogether would result in the creation of literally millions of articles on verifiable, yet utterly non-notable topics. Telephone books would be used to create articles on every fast food restaurant in the world, military records would be used to create individual articles for each of the millions of soldiers who died in World War II, and so on. The effect of flooding Wikipedia with millions of these articles could be disastrous". --Xyzzyplugh 10:49, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Alright, in rereading my paragraph, I see I've used the word "millions" three times within three sentences. That's clumsy writing... --Xyzzyplugh 10:52, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
But there is no "notability standard" at present, and there has never been one. (The suggestion of this essay seems to be to add one.) This seems to me to negate your prediction of disaster. So far the millions of non-notable articles you fear haven't been a problem, and Wikipedia has been able to scale up successfully as the number of articles and revisions increases. There must be some upper bound to this, but we're not likely to reach it in practice. -- JimR 11:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
There clearly are notability standards, although none of course are official. There's the general definition of notability in Wikipedia:Notability, and the more specific pages like WP:BIO, WP:WEB, WP:CORP, WP:MUSIC, etc. These are mentioned in AfD discussions all the time. The millions of non-notable articles haven't been a problem, because those that are created get deleted constantly, and this deletion discourages new ones from being created.
We don't actually have to delete millions of articles to keep millions from being created, we just have to delete those thousands which are created, and this lets everyone else know there is no point in them creating an article on their garage band/themself/their grandfather. Much the same that we don't have to have a police officer at every intersection in every city in the world to stop people from running stop signs and red lights. The relatively small number of people each day who get traffic tickets keep the other millions from breaking traffic laws themselves. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Xyzzyplugh (talkcontribs) 31 Jul 2006.
Wikipedia:Notability is not a "notability standard" or a "general definition of notability"; it is a controversial essay, that conflicts with another essay on the same topic and with this proposal draft. The very topical and specific notability guidelines on certain topics are just that - they are not generally instructive as to what what is, isn't, should be, can't be, etc., "notable" in any context other than the ones they are addressing. So, no, that ranting interpolation of a new section, rife with hyperbole, exaggeration, wild theorizing that no only has no support but is contradicted by the evidence before us (where's the "millions" of bad articles?), and outright Nostradamus style prediction, does not "sound reasonable." Wikipedia is not a soapbox, nor is it a crystal ball. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 17:51, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I believe you're missing a number of things here. First of all, this article is in the Wikipedia: space, so WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a crystal ball and Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a soapbox don't apply. Articles in the Wikipedia: space, whether essays or policies, obviously can't follow all wikipedia policies themselves, because they're all original research and unsourced.
Secondly, my proposed paragraph is intended for the "Arguements for deleting non-notable articles" section. As we have both this section and an "Arguments against deleting articles for non-notability", obviously each section is meant to contain arguements which one side or the other on this issue would find reasonable. Do you disagree with me that people who are in favor of notability standards believe that the removal of all notability standards would result in the creation of vast numbers of non-notable articles? (Note that I'm not asking if you agree that this WOULD be the result of the removal of notability standards) --Xyzzyplugh 23:33, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what people in favour of notability standards believe; but I would be surprised if many of them agreed with you that the present limited notability guidelines on specific topics are preventing "telephone books" or "military records" being used to create "millions" of articles. No one would individually create "millions" of articles. Even if they did, it's not clear that the Wikipedia infrastructure couldn't cope over time; and if smaller number of not widely interesting articles are created as a labour of love by people who do personally find the topics notable, where is the harm? Just don't read them :-) -- JimR 11:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
"No one would individually create "millions" of articles". No they wouldn't, but bots would. Considering that censuses, the Yellow Pages and similar directories are being put on the Internet all the time, if we dropped notability requirements then it's entirely conceivable that bots would be used to generate millions of such articles from them, just as Rambot has generated thousands of articles on American towns and counties. Your last sentence says it all: if no-one reads articles, then no-one is checking for neutrality and verifiability. If people want to post information about non-notable people and business, they have the entire rest of the Internet to do it on. --Sam Blanning(talk) 00:08, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


I request Towns,Cities and Villages notability —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DINOMAN (talkcontribs) 3 August 2006.

I think pretty much all towns, cities and villages are considered notable, so long as their existence can be verified. If a village has been deleted for 'existing, but being too small', I've not heard of it. --Sam Blanning(talk) 00:12, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


I have no idea how to approach something like this, but I believe we need some criteria for the notability of publications; Wikipedia has become home to vanity articles for lots of zines and student publications, many of which show no real suggestion of notability. Which college newspapers, poem anthologies, yearbooks, or humor magazines should have articles? Which zines? Which community papers? Should circulation/readership be a factor?

I have no experience working on the subject of notability for Wikipedia, but I am very interested in working on this with someone else.

 Chris Griswold | talk | contribs  02:30, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

AfD of note

I have listed the article named Notability for deletion (this wikipedia namespace page/essay is not listed for deletion, please be very clear about that). The discussion is at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Notability, I am posting here because like I say in the AfD I want to get a clear consensus about what to do with the article namespace entry. Thanks. --W.marsh 16:41, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


Are schools - primary, kindergarten, etc. - inherently notable? Rama's arrow 22:15, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools. — Reinyday, 06:08, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • No. Nothing is inherently notable. --Sam Blanning(talk) 12:56, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Basically, if it has the word "School" in the title, 50 people will show up and protest the deletion of it. Inhernetly notable? No. Notability is just a reflection of how much has been published about a topic, and that I call something a school doesn't inherently mean people are going to write about it. But there are other factors at play. --W.marsh 12:58, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Just curious

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing."
(Jimbo Wales)

My question is, what part of "the sum of all human knowledge" has anything to do with "notability"? Rfrisbietalk 03:42, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Not to be trite, but it all hinges on what "human knowledge" is. Surely not the sum of every person's thoughts! I have a pretty good idea of the contents of my refrigerator, but my guesses are hardly known to humanity in general. Rather, the body of human knowledge consists of repeated communication. Our policies reflect this view by guaranteeing that any knowledge represented here has several speakers (WP:NOR, WP:RS, WP:NPOV) and many more listeners (WP:V). The cutoffs are arbitrary but necessary. When a topic is so obscure that it lacks enough participants to meet these policies -- to truly enter the knowledge of humanity -- we call it non-notable.
Of course, this theory is not how it works in practice: we actually follow our intuitions and lock horns over guidelines, and often we cry non-notability for less lofty goals, such as fighting vanity and ads. But I think a serious look at "human knowledge" leads to notability quite naturally. Melchoir 06:02, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
How does something need enough people participating to be able to conform to NPOV? One can write from a neutral point of view about _anything_, regardless of how many people support it. 22:21, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
My problem is that Wikipedia seems to be leaning over backwards to avoid crank contributions to such an extent that it makes it very difficult for a living expert on a topic to write a Wikipedia article about it. Apparently they would prefer for someone else (perhaps not as knowledgeable) to write about the topic, and/or for the inventor to be dead! This may be valid if the subject is, say, Shakespeare, but in the computer field some inventors are still with us! I also ran into a situation a few months ago, where I knew an interesting fact about a "notable" person, but the fact was disallowed because it wasn't documented elsewhere! I fear we run the risk of losing important bits of knowledge if this policy is followed too strictly. Jpaulm 19:20, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
That is not an issue with notability, it is an issue with verifiability and original research. —Centrxtalk • 21:09, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you're right - should I put this question elsewhere, or do you think people will find it and comment on it here? Jpaulm 23:58, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I have just copied it to the Verifiability section - hope that's OK. Jpaulm 15:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


I placed this originally on the WP:verifiablity article, it was removed and later a wikipedian suggested I may have better luck placing it in here. I added the following statement in response to my concern that the black project template may be improperly used to keep obscure or little known articles here. My comment reads as follows:

Articles dealing with urban myths, black projects, open secrets and otherwise obscure topics are not exempt from verifiablity requirements. In general, articles of this nature should not exist here unless they are well known, culturally signifigant, or can meet the criteria for notability (examples of which include the Jersey Devil, the Aurora aircraft, and the Israeli nuclear weapons program). Articles that deal with topics of this nature general have few, if any, reliable sources, leaving them open to claims of original research or speculation, niether of which are permitted on wikipedia.

Thoughts on adding this here, or should I take it elsewhere? TomStar81 (Talk) 09:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Note on verifiability

Some editors keep trying to add the following:

, but bear in mind that the only requirement for material to be included in Wikipedia is that it is verifiable.

Of course, this is totally misleading and incorrectly interprets the first line of WP:V. For instance, WP:NOT lists dozens of cases where verifiable content is not suitable. This includes for instance notes on small local companies and the policy page explicitly refers to WP:CORP. The speedy deletion policy also discriminates between "remarkable" and "unremarkable" people/groups. The AfD precedents, although they are not policy, are overwhelming and de facto constitute standards. Adding the above line is an attempt to make a point that is in clear opposition to the working consensus and as such should be deleted. The last attempt of reinsertion was augmented with an even more confusing

and it does not break WP:NOT.

Please, do not re-insert before consulting extensively. Pascal.Tesson 16:02, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I had entered the following remark under Notability, but User:Centrx has suggested that it is more relevant to verifiability and original research. Apologies for the duplication! Feedback would be appreciated. --> My problem is that Wikipedia seems to be leaning over backwards to avoid crank contributions to such an extent that it makes it very difficult for a living expert on a topic to write a Wikipedia article about it. Apparently they would prefer for someone else (perhaps not as knowledgeable) to write about the topic, and/or for the inventor to be dead! This may be valid if the subject is, say, Shakespeare, but in the computer field some inventors are still with us! I also ran into a situation a few months ago, where I knew an interesting fact about a "notable" person, but the fact was disallowed because it wasn't documented elsewhere! I fear we run the risk of losing important bits of knowledge if this policy is followed too strictly. Jpaulm 15:09, 27 September 2006 (UTC)