Wikipedia talk:Notability (books)/Archive 4

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Current Status

I have just been through the UK curriculum for . At present only about 10% of books listed in the English Lit syllabus have Wikipedia articles. Many have had articles deleted. Should these all be included under criteria 4? Unfortunately the list is fragmented by key stage but national curriculum online has them all. --BozMo talk 11:04, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Recommend amendment to criteria #3 in relation to TV & game-related novels.

The book has been made or adapted with attribution into a motion picture that was released into multiple commercial theaters, or was aired on a nationally televised network or cable station in any country.

This obviously is easily adaptable to novels based around TV shows, such as the millions of Star Trek books, but I think this needs to be amended in relation to novels (not strategy guides) based around games. Whilst mostly a rarity, a number of novels are out there that generally fulfill the same purpose as novels "made or adapted with attribution into a motion picture (or TV series)". To my knowledge, the only games with novel accompliments are internationally successful and notable games with strong stories in themselves, such as StarCraft and Halo, which could be viewed as the computer game equivalent of a major film. In the spirit of modernisation for new media outlets, I'd recommend amending this criteria to reflect major TV more coherantly and include notable game related works. -- S@bre 17:08, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but it looks like criteria #3 is about a book adapted to film or television, not the other way around. Jordansc 23:44, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I think you could be right there, I read "into" as "to", in which case I withdraw what I said. -- S@bre 10:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Other considerations - reference works

Reference works should have a section in this list. They may be academic or wide read, popular or very specialized. But they probably have different criteria to the others in that list. FT2 (Talk | email) 12:07, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

  • How would you define a reference book? And can you give examples of reference books which are improperly excluded or included by our current guideline? --Kevin Murray 16:32, 12 July 2007 (UTC)


I recently went to {{Prod}} Icelander (novel), but then had a change of heart when I read that it was on the Los Angeles Times bestseller's list. I added that information to the article and removed the deletion request. My question is, does being on a bestseller's list confer notability onto a book? --Nondistinguished 00:43, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Jacob's Ladder

Dear readers, this is Navetube, I need help with the Jacob's Ladder(Novel), It is probably low on the importance scale, but I don't know how to Grade.


I have proposed that the notability subguidelines be deprecated with the salient points being merged into the main notability guideline and the remaining subguidelines merged & deprecated to essay status. Please join the centralized discussion at Wikipedia talk:Notability#Merge proposal. Vassyana 01:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

All works by a very noted author

Question: would all published works (assuming no self-publishing, but all literally published by actual book publishers) by a given notable author be inherently notable in turn? I.e., would all published works by Piers Anthony, Stephen King, and John Crichton be considered notable for an article? I came across Letters To Jenny today, newly created, and noticed that many of Anthony's other works were red-linked, and wasn't sure if it was a function of notability (or lack of notability), or that someone simply hadn't gotten to it yet. Thanks for any guidance. • Lawrence Cohen 20:05, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed criteria

I went ahead and removed:

5. The book's author is so historically significant that any of his or her written works may be considered notable, even in the absence of secondary sources.<ref name="study">For example, a person whose life or works is a subject of common classroom study.</ref>

This is quite bluntly a nonsense criteria. How can a work with no available sources be suitable for an article? That makes no sense and runs contrary to how things work in practice. The footnote makes even less sense, considering that is the person's work is the subject of classroom study, there are almost assuredly sources available. Vassyana (talk) 07:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I've been wanting to remove that for a long time. I don't think it's nonsensical but really quite impossible to reconcile with verifiability. Wholeheartedly support.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:05, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I modified your removal. I returned the criteria (it was actually only deleted from the nutshell section, but still in the article criteria section, causing some format problems for the references). The problem really lies in the additional "even in the absence of secondary sources", which I removed. I don't think every book by an historically significant author need be the recipient of a literary award to be included in the encyclopedia since the body of works of an historically significant author is usually notable in itself and often the subject of academic study. But I do agree that non-award-winning works by historically significant authors should at least meet the threshold of being addressed in secondary sources. --MPerel 18:12, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

The restoration is fine by me. Your change address my primary concern. Cheers! Vassyana (talk) 21:23, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Bestseller status as proof of notability

I would like to propose an additional criterion for notability: being on a bestseller list. Bestseller status strongly suggests that the book has received multiple reviews that would themselves prove notability, but sometimes the reviews are hard to find. In the case of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Centurion (Scarrow novel), I found that the book Centurion by Simon Scarrow was on The Sunday Times top 10 fiction hardbacks bestseller list, but it took further digging before I could find two published reviews, from the Yorkshire Evening Post at and from the Coventry Telegraph, A few minutes after I had added the Yorkshire Evening Post review, the AfD was closed as delete. (To be fair to the closer, the AfD had run its five days.) When a reliable source such as The Sunday Times compiles a list of bestsellers, I think it is worthwhile to regard everything on the list as notable, in part because a listing will encourage more reviewers to review the book and more libraries and individuals to buy the book -- and more users to search for the book in Wikipedia to see what Wikipedia has to say about it. --Eastmain (talk) 03:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

It's not out of line with, say, the WP:ATHLETE guideline that any fully professional athlete can eventually be shown to be notable, even if sources cannot be readily found to prove that right off -- or, even more analogous, that per WP:MUSIC an album that charted should be considered notable. A presumption of notability, that goes with a certain prominance. I'd support such a criterion, especially if we restrict it to national bestseller lists. —Quasirandom (talk) 00:20, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. There are many popular works that, because of subject matter or style, are not widely reviewed or referenced within the media. By making the media and academic communities the sole source of notability we introduce a systematic bias in Wikipedia against more populist fiction. Just because a work is not influential within the intellectual community does not make it unimportant and unworthy of record. There are many details (including sales figures, authorship, membership of ongoing series and authors comments) of such works that I believe are worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia. I can see the argument for exclusion of vanity press titles (although I think this is more an issue of indexing than content). The best way to make a distinction between influential works ignored by the intelligentsia and genuinely unimportant works would be to look at sales figures and best-seller lists. - 13:34, 16 December 2008 (GMT)

"With at least some of these works serving a general audience"

I'm somewhat confused regarding this clause.

Is this criterion generally accepted or is it somewhat controversial? Is a book that is important in, say, academic or technical circles but unknown by laypeople not notable? Also, how many 'general audience' sources are needed? It says 'some', which I presume means more than one? If there are many academic but only one 'general' sources, is one not enough? Is two enough? How 'general' is general? Richard001 (talk) 11:22, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Academic book have a separate criteria set forth later in the guideline. See Wikipedia:Notability (books)#Academic books. I think you *may* not be parsing the sentence to understand what is intended by the word "works";. In the sentence "with at least some of these works serving a general audience", works refers to the reliable sources being cited, not the book which has its notability in question. So it's some of the sources discussing the book that should serve a general audience, not he book itself. I vaguely remember the discussion when that language was added, oh, okay, here you go: see Wikipedia talk:Notability (books)/Archive 2#Not a general interest encylopedia. Maybe that'll help clarify.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:46, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't suggesting that the book itself had to serve a general audience. What of academic books though? The guidelines seem less clear for them. If they meet the general criteria, is that still sufficient? It's unclear exactly what an academic book requires to meet notability standards. Richard001 (talk) 02:04, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Collections of one-act plays?

User:Kyeungha is adding a number of collections of one act plays by Tennessee Williams, all by the same publishing company. I suspect a conflict of interest, but are collections of plays notable because Williams is notable? As far as I can tell, it's the plays that should be notable, not the collections, which don't seem to have been made by Williams. --AW (talk) 20:51, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I think you've hit the nail on the had. The articles appear to me to fit advertisements masquerading as articles. Certainly, the publishing company cannot simply piggyback onto Williams' fame simply because it has a volume collecting his works. Otherwise, I can self-publish Othello and The Tempest in one volume from my desktop, and say during the deletion discussion: "but it's Shakespeare!" As far as I can see, the collections have no independent notability, though the publishing company appears quite notable. Really, it would seem a rare that similarly situated works would or ever could have independent notability. Try to think of what an article would have to contain to show that the collection itself was notable; reliable sources would have to be found addressing the collection's wonderful introduction or afterward, or the novel manner the plays are ordered, or the fine editing job done, etc, while anything addressing Williams' text itself would be irrelevant. I would nominate them at a mass AfD.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:28, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, will do. --AW (talk) 15:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Academic Books

While I agree with Richard001 that academic books have different notability indices than other books, I do not think that the nutshell has to be radically altered. I would add to the nutshell "literary or professional (or perhaps "scholarly") awards" as one of the criteria ... then I thin the general criteria for notable academic books are included within the nutshell.

But I do have some issues with the actual section on academic books:

In that case, notability should rely on the reputation of the academic press publishing it, how widely the book is cited by other academic publications or in the media, how influential the book is considered to be in its specialty area and whether it is taught or required reading in a number of reputable educational institutions.

First, I think publication by an academic press is itself one thing that makes a book academic. So I would create a new sentence "Academic books are books that are either published by academic presses or that are written by academics for use in academic settings." I personally do not think that publication by a notable press (in my field, Chicago, California, Routledge) in and of itself is sufficient to make the book notable, and would delete this element. I do think the three other criteria are good, although I note that I do not know how to measure how influential the book is considered to be in its specialty area except by looking at how often it is cited (but this is a quibble and I am not proposing a change). I do however think that notability can accur through the influence of other specialties. For example, Edward Said's Orientalism is squarely within comparative literature, yet has had a huge influence on anthropology, as well as history and cultural studies, so I think this should be acknowledged. We can also add, how widely it is reviewed in peer-reviewed journals, and whether it has won an award granted by an academic professional organization. Slrubenstein | Talk 12:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

You agree with my change? I don't (I was simply trying to convey common practice, which seems to be what guidelines are supposed to be based on (and common practice is in turn supposed to be based on guidelines... very confusing)). A book is a book is a book, whether 'academic' or not. What I was saying was that even if it met the general criteria, that was still not sufficient for an academic book. Actually, there is no clear distinction between an academic book and a non-academic book - there is a smooth continuum between the two (e.g. some are aimed at both academics and the general reader, and might be published by an academic or non-academic press). It seems to me far more like the academic books section is trying to say that a book may be notable even if it doesn't meet the nutshell criteria, not that they aren't sufficient. If it meets the nutshell criteria, that should be enough in itself. Why penalize a book for being 'academic'? Richard001 (talk) 23:25, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

"Penalize" is a strange choice of words. None of this discussion should be about a punitive action, and if you want to engage in a civil, collaborative project I suggest you be a bit more cautious about such combative rhetoric. You say a book is a book is a book. I see no obvious reason why all books should be treated the same. What makes a novel notable may not be what makes a book on constitutional law notable. In any event, I do not see what the fuss is about. The nutshell says that notability can be established by "one or more" of the following criteria. Adding more criteria does not make the standard more restrictive, it makes it less restrictive, right? Slrubenstein | Talk 09:25, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

What if we add to the nutshell summary "The book has had a significant impact in the relevant academic field."? - Eldereft (cont.) 09:54, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Its not clear how this would apply to mathematics books. Most academic textbooks, unless they are regarded as classics, would normally not merit an article on wikipedia, possibly just a mention on the BLP of the author and a citation in a related article. The output of Jean-Pierre Serre is an example. All his books have had an immense influence on mathematics but none is described separately in an article. They are listed on Serre's page and their content discussed in the relevant mathematics articles, with citations. Gravitation (book) is an example of a classic (it is very heavy); so are Whittaker and Watson, Abramowitz and Stegun and the books of the Bateman Manuscript Project - these books are much loved reference books. However there are no articles on the classics like John Milnor's Morse theory or Rene Thom's Structural stability and morphogenesis, despite their immense influence in differential topology and catastrophe theory. Mathsci (talk) 10:22, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
The book is the subject of instruction at multiple grade schools, high schools, universities or post-graduate programs in any particular country. - This criterion seems to disagree with you Mathsci. A lot of text books would qualify by that criterion (which, alone, is enough). I don't see why we shouldn't write on them; an article on a book isn't merely a summary of its content, which for a text book would be less useful that a more creative book like a novel. Richard001 (talk) 06:57, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
why not write them? how is their absence here an argument that they should continue to be absent? There's a great deal we've never gotten to in all academic subjects. The real solution is to recruit more editors. DGG (talk) 17:06, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
In normal circumstances the content of such books is already covered by articles on the relevant mathematics and by BLPs. The article on the book would merely duplicate technical material from mainspace articles. Mathematical encyclopedias rarely have separate articles on books. Writing articles on the books of Milnor or Thom or Serre would be a waste of time and would not be useful for wikipedia readers. Sorry not to have made myself more clear. Mathsci (talk) 22:05, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I'll comment on what I know best: books on medical anatomy and physiology, and their treatment at Wikipedia. I went for the listing of Medical manuals and for sure I found Gray's Anatomy (the book, not the show!!! :) ) references like the DSM-IV, the ICD, several historical books (some several hundred years old), and both veterinary and human Merck's. Other stuff that might have been in there but wasn't were some of the various books by Arthur C. Guyton on physiology (standard teaching at many universities), but I guess it's either an oversight or just my bias as a physiologist. However, assuming that notability guidelines are correctly applied in this book category, I'd say that the notable books here are generally well-known historical book, and books widely used as reference or for teaching (which also means they get cited a lot in scientific papers, quite often in the introduction :) ). I don't see that being published by an academic book press can be a deciding factor of notability (although it can certainly be a deciding factor of whether a book should be considered academic, popular science or general public). Thus I would deduce some of the criteria for inclusion to be:
  • Historical interest
  • Used for teaching higher education
  • Widely cited
  • Widely and commonly used as a reference work in the discipline
I guess that's my tuppence.--Ramdrake (talk) 11:14, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I believe the AAAS has a project to rate grade school science textbooks, and I believe there are similar projects in math. I would be curious to the guidelines and standards used in that regard. For Wikipedia, I would argue that relevance as a teaching text, historical usage, citation and reference usage, and awards would be good standards. GetAgrippa (talk) 15:01, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I also judge very heavily by book reviews, and to some extent by library holdings. The main problem about book reviews in scholarly journals is they tend to come about 1 to 3 years after publication, as there is no way to get a reviewer to send it in until he feels like it. An auxiliary problem is the standards of different journals for reviews. Choice, (for which I have reviewed about 100 books over the years, so I know their standards pretty well) does not usually publish a review unless the book is recommended, unless it is so bad the reviewer can make a case for warning people--in either case a review there is at least partial evidence that it's notable.--and length of review is irrelevant because all reviews are limited to one paragraph. In most specialized journals, a negative review is more likely to mean a book the reviewer disagrees with than a bad book, and it can be assumed that any book a review thinks is worth a multi-=page discussion is one he as an expert feels worth discussing.
As for library holdings, these days no library buys books in academic fields indiscriminately, but rather only on the recommendation of faculty and of subject specialists. The number of holdings to be significant depends upon the subject field, language, and country. I use WorldCat for this, remembering that it only covers US academic libraries completely, plus most Canadian and many UK and a few elsewhere. A French academic publication, for example, cannot be ruled insignificant for having only a few listings in worldCat, but certainly is if it has many. ("few" and "many" are, as I said, relative; if I had to justify a verdict that way, I would do it by comparing to other books on the subject).
As for whether any book published by a major scholarly press of high reputation is relevant, a case could in fact be made, for they are not nowadays published without strong agreement from at least three reviewers (more than journal articles, for the cost of publication is much higher). A book that the qualified specialists consulted thought important would meet our criteria. (personally, I regard this as presumptive at best, for they all make mistakes.) DGG (talk) 15:44, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
as for the proposed "written by academics for use in academic settings." I think that is much to broad. A great many things are written by academics that are unimportant or never used. If the authors are notable (which in the humanities means in practice they have written 2 or 3 or more academic books) they can be discussed in the articles unless they are particularly important. I think breaking out an article on every one of them is unnecessary and in practice it seems to often be a temptation to POV writing about the subject covered. DGG (talk) 17:06, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree completely. But what do you propose as criteria for establishing enough notability to justify an article? My main concerns, expressed above, is that not all books published by academic presses are notable - but also, that a book may be notable because of its reception in fields other than that of the author. Above you suggest to MathSci that he write some of those articles, but you also make it clear that not every book merits an article. I am not sure our current policy provides clear enough guidelines for telling the difference ... can you suggest an improvement? Slrubenstein | Talk 17:20, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd say that notability of academic books is based on demonstrated wide use, which can be done in terms of text books and seminar books by usage in classes, for more research oriented volumes, notability should be established by citation indices within their field. Also recognized classics of the field for instance Mauss's The Gift, are notable not so much because they are cited often anymore, and thus don't show up as huge numbers now, but because 30-50-100 years ago they were cited and dealt with in significant ways by notable authors. Thus for classics, I'd say reference by many contemporaneous and notable authors would demonstrate notability. Remember notability isn't 'notability now' just 'notability'. --Buridan (talk) 21:36, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

citation indexes do not work for books except in special cases. The conventional citation indexes are based on the citation of books in journals, not of books in other books, and therefore in those fields of study based on books, show absolutely nothing about the notability of the book. In the sciences, except in the unusaul cases of monographs in mathematics and t he descriptive sciences, similarly books are generally in the nature of tutorials or encyclopedias, not used for citation in journal articles, which almost entirely refer to journal articles. When they are cited, it's evidence, when not, it means zilch. The exception of course is Google Scholar--but this at present deals with only a limited scope--many book publishers do not participate in this, and GS does not include those who do not choose to. Perhaps in 20 or 30 years, when the entire corpus of book literature is properly analyzed, a book to book citation index will be possible. When it is, there will b sources to support such use. at present, there are not.
textbook use as required reading has a similar google selection bias. Some professors have their syllabi on line, some do not; some colleges web sites have faculty pages searchable, a great many do not. If found, its meaningful. If not, its irrelevant. Unfortunately, except for comments in reviews and incidental descriptions in biographies, its all the evidence obtainable is for this criterion, which is therefore sometimes useful but will not cover very much of the field.
however, you are certainly right about earlier books--since the evidence for this is even less quantitative, it will remain a matter of judgment. I point out the existence however, of certain selective retrospective bibliographies, including the print editions of Books for College Libraries and the subsequent Resources for College Libraries--a case could be made that every book listed there is notable (and in similar other bibliographies). They were deliberately selective, prepared by subject qualified people, and edited. (announced bias--I've been one of the editors for several of the editions of this, and I think we did a good job of it.). Should have mentioned this criterion earlier, along with a warning to beware of unselected uncritical bibliographies listing essentially every available work. DGG (talk) 03:35, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm curious about how selective we might want to be. Looking at the general criteria, we could just tweak a few words to get useful guidelines -- "academic award" in #2 and delete "general [audience]" in #1. Sure, citations and critical reviews and awards are important, but there's no sure-fire hurdle, it's a matter of judgment. My own preference would be to see more articles about topnotch academic books and so we need to take more risks in writing up stubs/articles. Or are there some academic fields gutted with weak articles and AfDs for book articles? Thanks. HG | Talk 14:53, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I would reccomend removing the reference to "the reputation of the academic press publishing it" and the accompanying note. Firstly for the reason that an academic book can be notable even though it contains bad scholarship, is printed by a no-name press and receives unfavourable reviews by peers. Secondly because notable academic presses also spew forth swathes of non-notable books. I think we are confusing the criteria we use to judge the reliability of academic sources in articles and what makes an academic book notable enough for there to be a specific article about it. Actually I don't think that academic books need special amendments to the general notability guideline for books (other than saying "having won academic awards" instead of literary awards).·Maunus·ƛ· 19:55, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I continue to be surprised that notability criteria for the tiny percentage of articles on academic topics are interpreted so much more restrictively than the criteria for comic book characters, props in television episodes, video game easter eggs, amateur sports players, and pornographic videos. I would expect that most academic books published by a legitimate academic press would be notable by the standards used in the overwhelming majority of the rest of the encyclopedia, as well as by reasonable interpretations of the notability guideline. I also wouldn't use the notability guideline to resolve definitons of "academic" or to discuss the reliability of academic sources. Finally, academic notability is not the only possible source of notability, and many books with academic pretentions have received attention from other (e.g. "popular") sources despite their limited value in and/or attention from the academic world. A book is a cultural artifact. It can be discussed in, and its notability can occur from, a number of possible sources in the general culture, and a subject's notability is often independent of its underlying merits. I would keep notability and any concept of truth or reliability completely separate. I especially wouldn't use notability criteria to attempt to justify deletion of works which may have received popular attention merely because I might believe such attention undeserved. The question of what subjects ought to be noticed or have attention paid to them is not WP:N's concern. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 20:52, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I can certainly agree with your comment about other articles, many of which I consider to be trivial and unimportant, even though they might be popular enough to merit an article. I find the idea that a second rate Simpsons episode is more notable than (almost any) academic book rather silly. I guess it's always going to come down to popularity though, and people seem to prefer spending their time listening to Crazy Frog than reading a non-fiction book.
But what about my question of whether academic books should have to meet separate criteria, and whether they can fail to be notable even if they meet the criteria for a regular book? Surely if an academic book oddly receives considerable attention from the mass media for some reason, it should be considered notable regardless of whether or not it receives many citations. Richard001 (talk) 06:57, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with that - the regular notability criteria do fine for academic books as well, no need to impose stricter criteria.·Maunus·ƛ· 07:43, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree - my point was not that the current criteria should be made stricter, but on the contrary, that they are too strict. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:42, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that the question of notability may actually be secondary. "Having enough material to write an article" is likely to be a more important concern. If we have two or three independent sources, we probably have enough to write an article, and the issue of notability is established. As DGG said, reviews are probably evidence of notability (unless they are warnings about how bad it is). If a book has been widely cited, it's probably notable, but again, as DGG mentioned, it's a lot more difficult to establish this for books, since they are not covered by citation indices. In a case like this, issues of notability are likely to be secondary - the primary problem may be finding enough secondary sources to write an article. Guettarda (talk) 12:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

We do not need secondary sources to write articles on books. The book itself is a sufficient source for the description of its content--of course this applies to a NPOV summary of the argument, not an evaluation of it. It has been suggested that in some cases the reproduction of a short table of contents of major section heading provides such a description for non fiction--this may work in some cases with descriptive chapter titles, but might often fail at NPOV. For interpretation or evaluation, of course, reliable secondary sources are necessary. These are traditionally thought to be such sources as book reviews, but for academic books it may well be the case that every available book review has a POV of its own, and there may be great difficulty in providing balance--this sort of selection is itself subject to POV problems and questions of OR-to a certain extent the very of study in some academic fields is the evaluation of the merits of other people's books--and the academic requirement of originality requires being controversial.
The question of evaluating the importance of the books I think remains unsettled--this is a field where I think the 2RS=N rule is notably worthless in both directions, allowing the trivial but not all of what is important.DGG (talk) 19:31, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
"We do not need secondary sources to write articles on books. The book itself is a sufficient source for the description of its content--of course this applies to a NPOV summary of the argument, not an evaluation of it." You have misunderstood what NPOV means. Go to WP:NPOV and read the "in a nutshell" box. One must cite secondary sources to support any article that one claims is NPOV. If Wikipedia editors rely only on the book itself to write the Wikipedia article, then that article will necessarily feature those editors' POV. Hence such an article is original research and not NPOV. (talk) 19:19, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I also find absurd to have strict criteria for inclusion of academic books. No wonder that Wikipedia is so lacking on academic content. The inclusion criteria for articles on academic related subjects should be as loose as possible.--Sum (talk) 00:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


Criteria 3 seems to run counter to WP:NOTINHERITED and may not fit the general notability guideline: "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article." The book itself is the topic, and therefore the book itself should have received significant coverage in reliable sources. If the adaptation meets notability criteria then the adaptation is notable, but that does not imply that the book source was notable. The number of films in this cat: Category:Films whose writer won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award which are based on non-notable sources is proof that even when a film gets a major award for being based on a book, that the book itself doesn't become notable. Casablanca is one of the most notable films ever made, and the article is a FA, but the source material Everybody Comes to Rick's is not notable enough for a stand-alone article, even though it clearly meets Criteria 3. I'm removing Criteria 3 in my usual bold manner, and will stick around to discuss the matter. There may be possible amendments that can be made to the criteria that will make it fit for purpose. SilkTork *YES! 23:40, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your reasoning and the removal. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 01:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. The point of this is to supplement the GNG. I'm restoring it, and suggest you start writing articles on the missing books from the category you mention. Its an appropriate summary rule, since there will always be sources for a book which becomes rewritten or used as a basis--even a nominal one--into a notable work in another medium. For example, all the sources on the making of the film discuss Everybody Comes to Rick's , some extensively. [1] -- and see. Murray Burnett for a discussion in Wikipedia of the relationship. Now, this is the most extreme instance possible, for it was an unproduced play -- and yet there is material to show notability. Thanks for the example. :) DGG (talk) 04:36, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I didn't think there would be disagreement on this, as the criteria as it stands doesn't suggest or imply notability, it merely suggests a relationship. It's been long standing consensus, which is written into or implied in various guidelines such as WP:NOTINHERITED and WP:ONEVENT, that the topic ITSELF must be notable and meet inclusion criteria to justify a standalone article, and not slip in because it is related to an existing article. This criteria is worded purely as a relationship criteria: "The book has been made or adapted with attribution into a motion picture...." Where in that statement is the implication of notability for the book in question? It's the same as writing: "The person was the parent of someone notable...."; "The film was made into a book, game, website, song, TV series, or used for the name of band..."; "The company was bought/started by a company/person who later became notable..."; etc. The book was part of the film, and could be a very minor part. Actors who are part of films need to have had: "significant roles in multiple notable films", and the author of the book and/or film needs to have done considerably more than that. At least we have the word "significant" for actors, which is not even present in the current book into film criteria. How about: "The book has been verifiably considered by reliable sources to have made a significant contribution to a motion picture that was released into multiple commercial theaters, or was aired on a nationally televised network or cable station in any country." That is, not simply that the book's words, characters, title or plot was used as part of the idea for the script, but that people have written about the book's significance. We then have verifiable evidence for notability. We could extend that into other areas so it could read: "The book has been verifiably considered by reliable sources to have made a significant contribution to an event, political or religious movement, or an artform such as a notable motion picture. Examples include Das Kapital, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Everybody Comes to Rick's." I think that is rather more rigorous, yet is also more inclusive. SilkTork *YES! 19:24, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I've made the changes as at least this wording doesn't conflict with WP:NOTINHERITED. I'm actually happier with this wording than with completely removing the criteria. It's good to talk! SilkTork *YES! 19:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Rewording needed on Criterion 4

The current wording of criterion 4 is insufficiently clear on the distinction between being a book being a subject of study as opposed to a mere textbook. It's causing problems. Any suggestions for a reword? the skomorokh 13:53, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I think the intent may have originally been to think of it as assigned reading, which is somewhere between the two of them. Obviously a book which is a subject of serious academic study at all will be notable--but it will inevitable meet the first criterion. Textbooks are a problem. Widely used classic textbooks can be highly notable--the difficulty is showing it. My experience here has been with a similar criterion for textbooks in WP:PROF. The availability of reading lists on the web that can be searched by google is highly erratic--many schools prevent such pages from being indexed. Library records such as OCLC WorldCat are also relatively useless, as libraries traditionally try not to buy elementary textbooks. As for reviews, a great many elementary textbooks for important publishers are reviewed somewhere in professional magazines for teachers, though they may be hard to identify--the difficulty is sometimes multiple sources, as there may be only one major magazine for education in a particular subject in a country. Therefore, the likelihood of being able to find this for a book is variable, with accidental inclusion of ones that really arent worth it, and difficulty in showing many relatively major ones--especially non-current ones. I think we should specify that this does not include textbooks, and do a separate criterion for them, which will not be easy. In practice the inclusion of textbooks here is extremely variable. In that connection,I suggest a look at List of important publications in biology and the criteria given there--but note that this is intended to be a very selective list, requiring more than just notability. DGG (talk) 17:11, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Looks like it will be difficult to clarify criterion 5 until we have had a considered discussion on whether textbooks which don't satisfy WP:GNG are sufficiently notable. Mahalo, the skomorokh 22:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Easy enough answer to that: none of them. What's the article come from if not good sources? Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:42, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't need to tell you that there are plenty of classes of article that are deemed acceptable without satisfying GNG. If satisfying GNG is all that makes textbooks notable, then there's no point in talking about them here in the first place. the skomorokh 17:49, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Which is exactly my point. Either we've got substantial sourcing, and we write an article, or we don't, so we don't. Let's not make things hideously complex when simple is best anyway. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:59, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
That seems to suggest eliminating all the subject area notability guides, which, although a perspective not without its merits, perhaps ought to be voiced elsewhere. the skomorokh 11:45, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
My point was more about the many textbooks that technically do satisfy the GNG and are nonetheless not notable, which in my opinion will be most of them. Please don't think I look on this particular field as an inclusionist. It's the other way round. DGG (talk) 06:04, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

non contemporary

"whether it has been recently reprinted" does not seem to be a relevant criterion. A recent reprinting may be what has brought the book to someone's attention so they wrote the article, but if it was ever notable it remains notable. I propose to remove it. (of course, it may happen that a book that was ignored at time of first publication may become notable for the first time decades or centuries later, but that's the rare exception & common sense will take care of it. DGG (talk) 17:11, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Another issue of "inheritance" or lack thereof

It would also seem that #5 fails the test of notability not being inherited. If an author really does rise to the level of prominence stated there, his or her works will pass #1 anyway (find me anything William Shakespeare or Mark Twain wrote that can't pass the GNG). And if the author and his/her works haven't been studied extensively enough for every last thing that they did to be studied in depth, we should mirror that in our coverage, having articles on only those works which are verifiably noted in a substantial way. Yes, notability is verifiable—one needs simply to ask "Has it been significantly noted?" If yes, we have the basis for an article. If not, we lack the only basis we can use (good, reliable, substantial, independent sources), and should instead provide a brief mention in the author's article or a "List of works by ..." if available. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:50, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

the point of it is convenience, so as not to have to bother arguing each one of them. DGG (talk) 08:11, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikiprojects adding additional criteria

Even though manga is not explicitly covered by WP:BK, WP:ANIME decided that the guideline was good enough to serve as a benchmark in determining the notable of manga. However, WP:MOS-AM#Notability contains an additional criterion to the five on this guideline. Recently, many editors have been using this criterion to !vote for keep even when the subject fails all of the other criteria. I've began disputing this criterion as a valid benchmark for notability starting with Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Nuiguru Mix. Thoughts? --Farix (Talk) 21:34, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Graphic novels

On August 2008, Atlantima (talk · contribs) added graphic novels to the list of subject exclude by this guideline.[2] However, I can't find any discussion about excluding graphic novels in the archives. Since graphic novels are a form of novel, I do not see why they should be exclude from this notability guideline. Therefore, I'm proposing that graphic novels be removed from the exclusion list and added to the inclusion list for this guideline. --Farix (Talk) 18:35, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

And, certainly, WP:MANGA has long ago decided to adopt WP:BK as the base notability for manga, and we really ought to make that explicit here instead of hiding this in the project's style guidelines. I can't see a reason why we can't add that here, regardless of whether it applies to other varieties of graphic novels. —Quasirandom (talk) 18:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Add my vote on that matter and only for manga --KrebMarkt 19:02, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I support this proposal as well. I can't see why graphic novels would be excluded with other serial books are covered, and notable graphic novels should easily be able to meet the same criteria. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 19:40, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Still no answer :( --KrebMarkt 07:37, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

If there are no objections after another day or two, I'm inclined to say remove as boldly as it was added. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:57, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Meanwhile, I've notified the Comics project of this discussion. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 05:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I think excluding graphic novels is wise. A large number of graphic novels collect previously serialized issues of comics. Subsuming them into this guideline, to my mind, risks establishing a standard whereby reviews of component parts of the graphic novel do not contribute to the notability of the whole, as they are not reviews of the graphic novel but merely of issues of it. This is undesirable. The guideline could be clarified or footnoted to deal with that, but why? WP:N seems to me sufficient to adequately cover graphic novels, and does not introduce a potential ambiguity. I'd prefer to leave graphic novels, therefore, under WP:N instead of this guideline - at least until we get a general comics notability guideline, which we really should one of these days. Phil Sandifer (talk) 06:40, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I agree with Phil. And given the ill-defined nature of the graphic novel, and any differences it may or may not have compared to a comic book, I think it's going to cause many semantic arguments to have comic books excluded, which they rightly should be, and yet graphic novels included. They should both be excluded, since we can say for sure that they are all stories told using the comics form, yet we can't always enunciate the difference. WP:N will suffice for the time being. I'd also be wary of describing a graphic novel as a form of novel. A novel is pretty much widely regarded as fictive, whilst a graphic novel can have a far wider scope. Sacco's reportage, Campbell's auto-biography as art, Satrapi's memoirs, Brown's biography, McCloud's text-books... But once again we can see the arguments such distinctions can cause. Hiding T 11:20, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a sign that they should all be included, not excluded. All graphic novels might not be novels, but they are certainly all books. Doceirias (talk) 03:55, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, again, we have a problem, because no they aren't. Some of them are stories published serially in magazines which have never been collected in book form. Which is why they should be excluded, because you have an apples and oranges situation. Like I say, it is these sorts of distinctions which will cause arguments which simply are not needed when we have WP:N to cover areas where clarity is hard to achieve. If there were no WP:N I would understand the view that graphic novels should be included, but since we have WP:N I am not seeing any insurmountable issues which changing the current situation would solve. Hiding T 08:14, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
All graphic novels ARE books. If they have been serialized and never collected, they aren't graphic novels. They are comics, manga, manhua, etc, but they are not graphic novels. Graphic novels are specifically serialized or non-serialized comics (etc) published in a book form, either in a single or multiple volumes. Those serialized works that have never been published would default to WP:N. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:51, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
  • No, sorry, not all graphic novels ARE books, and I can cite sources to support that view. A given story published in the comics form and of a serious depth and maturity is regarded a graphic novel regardless of the method of publication. This is one of the arguments which is easily avoided by simply using WP:N as it is intended. There is no need to have this argument, and there is no need to impose one point of view over another. Hiding T 13:48, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that such graphic novels often share titles with the serialized plot arcs they collect. Hence it is not clear, for instance, whether notability for The Sandman: Brief Lives is best considered via reviews of the collected volume, or whether by-issue reviews help, or what. This leads to a confusion of focus. Indeed, it's far from universally agreed upon that such a collection is even best called a graphic novel. The term doesn't have a universally agreed upon definition. Furthermore, the contents of Brief Lives have been collected separately in a larger volume - Volume 3, I believe, of The Absolute Sandman. So what is the appropriate article for that plot arc? One on the serialized plot arc, the collected volume, or the larger collected volume? Is it notable, in fact, as all three, separately, and best treated as a new book each time?
This is a messy can of worms, to my mind, that doesn't need to be opened if we simply use WP:N for comics of all forms. And I see no benefit to using this guideline in place of WP:N. Phil Sandifer (talk) 16:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
A series of novels/graphic novels is generally covered in a single article unless each individual book has separate notability (same as any other novel series, and same as we do with manga already and I'd hope comics does). I really have yet to see how WP:BK can not be applied to a manga or comic series that have been collected and published in graphic novel form, though maybe comics are treated much differently. In which case, maybe just change it to specifically include manga, which are almost always published in tankōbon volumes at the minimum (and those that aren't, generally aren't notable except in beyond rare cases. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:19, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Japanese comic books (manga) are no different from Western or Eastern Asian comic books. I don't understand why Quasirandom, KrebMarkt and AnmaFinotera are calling for this guideline to include Japanese comic books while excluding the rest. That's an unnecessary double standard. We "need" a notability guideline for all comic books and graphic novels, not just some.--Nohansen (talk) 18:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Umm...I'm not calling for this to only include manga. However, it seems those familiar with American comics are saying they don't want it and it doesn't fit that media, where as its pretty obvious from its use by the anime/manga project for at least the last two years as a notability guideline that it does work just fine for manga. Personally, I think it SHOULD include all graphic novels, but some don't agree and pointed specifically to American comic examples as a reason why not. I don't see why WP:BK doesn't work for them when it has worked for other serialized works (Stephen King's Green Mile anyone?), but some seem to think it won't (even though it is already being used as such). ~shrug~ Are you suggesting a new notability guideline specifically for comic/serialized works? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 19:59, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I think both Hiding and I have been pretty clear that we're suggesting that WP:N is a better fit for comics than this guideline. So no, not suggesting a new guideline - in fact, suggesting an old guideline. :) Phil Sandifer (talk) 21:17, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
We're talking about the notability guideline, though - and the novels project's notability section simply refers back to this one. That suggests these guidelines were meant to cover all books, and this is the proper place to cover it. Doceirias (talk) 21:26, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
It just doesn't seem to me that this guideline adds anything for graphic novels. So it seems preferable to not fold them in. Phil Sandifer (talk) 22:58, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Regardless the result of the debate concerning the graphic novels. Manga had to included to WP:BK as the WP:anime was referring to it for a long time so ir was just the matter to make it official. --KrebMarkt 23:31, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Unless comics from every other country are included, I don't think including Japanese comic books is a good idea. I don't like the idea of "guidelines by country". Comics are comics, regardless of their country of origin.--Nohansen (talk) 23:59, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
There are huge cultural differences between comics in Japan and in the US, and huge differences in the nature of serialization (comics in Japan do come out in a serialized form before book collection, but in the form of bulk magazines of multiple comics that are disposed of, as opposed to the individual collectors item issue of US comics). So it's entirely possible that the two would differ in how to judge inclusion. If WikiProject Manga and Anime has decided this guideline works for them, more power to them. It does not seem to me to work well for comics overall. Phil Sandifer (talk) 00:05, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer for the guideline to cover all comics or no comics; not "some comics". Like WP:BIO, which covers all people (not Americans and Europeans only). Or WP:FICT, which doesn't have special guidelines for Russian literature.--Nohansen (talk) 00:24, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry that cultural differences in the status of various media renders your preferred view of guidelines untenable. Phil Sandifer (talk) 00:47, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
But what about WP:MOVIE? WP:MOVIE doesn't set different standards of notability for French cinema or Asian cinema. The same way WP:MUSIC doesn't set different standards of notability for foreign-speaking artists. Cultural differences don't seem to come into play when dealing with "notability".--Nohansen (talk) 01:13, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not really convinced that the same sort of cultural differences are in play there. The Japanese and American comics industries share very, very little in common. The French and American movie industries do. Phil Sandifer (talk) 02:50, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
@Nohansen There is conscensus among the notable participants of WP:anime to stick with the WP:BK that prevailed for more than one year (probably even more). If for xyz reasons manga isn't included in WP:BK then we would have within the WP:anime to create a WP:anime-notability which will be mostly a copy paste from WP:BK with the discussed possibility of a 6th criteria related to the number of language a manga is translated outside Japan.
I did not take any position about whatever graphic novel should be included because i simply don't know enough about it. With things, we don't we can either abstain or get informed but in no case we must make position without getting the full picture. I'm not doing it with graphic novels, i hope other editors would do the same concerning WP:Anime.--KrebMarkt 09:23, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I would personally oppose any Wikiproject from setting up its own notability criteria separate from the notability guidelines. It sets a really bad president because if a small group of inclusionist authors dislikes the current guidelines, all they have to do is create a WikiProject and state anything they create is notable under their "criteria". For example, the Pokemon WikiProject can set up a criteria that all Pokemon, characters, and fictional places are automatically notable. Granted, few outside the WikiProject will take the project's criteria seriously, but it will still a huge stinkbug in the discussion which may result in some inappropriate keep results.
In all honesty. I fail to see why both graphic novels and comic series are excluded from this criteria. Phil, can you give an example of a comic series that would pass WP:BK but shouldn't be given allowed it's own article. It's understandable that you don't want to cover individual comic issues, and perhaps that should be made clear in the guideline. But the guidelines should be useful benchmark for determining a notable comic series. --Farix (Talk) 13:18, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
We already have a useful benchmark at WP:N. And given that magazines are exempt from this guideline, why would comic magazines not be similarly exempt? And then we develop an argument over whether a US comic book is a book or a magazine, and also the question of European comics, which most definitely are magazines. The comics form encompasses so many publication formats that it seems counter-productive to attempt to impose arbitrary standards needlessly. Why is WP:N not guidance enough? Hiding T 13:48, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Nobody is suggesting creating a separate "comics" notability guideline. We are saying that WP:N serves comics better than this guideline. Phil Sandifer (talk) 15:24, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Fine for you then but let manga to be included to WP:BK --KrebMarkt 07:59, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
That's fine - I'm certainly not going to step on WikiProject Anime and Manga's toes - if they think WP:BK serves manga well, I trust them. I have no problem believing that manga and Western comics are better served by different guidelines. Phil Sandifer (talk) 15:26, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

No more participation ? I guess that everyone has given the full picture of his/her position on the matter.
Summary (correct me if i'm wrong) :
WP:Anime is to have manga to stick WP:BK (consensus & long term practice within WP:Anime)
Graphic novels and Comics is to stay with WP:N (established practice in Comics & Graphic novels project)
If no one bring valid strong opposing arguments within the next few days, i think we should consider this discussion done --KrebMarkt 10:15, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Okay, it looks like we have agreement by silence. Next step: how do we document the result in the guideline? Can we come up with an acceptable wording that indicates that it applies to manga but not Western comics and graphic novels? —Quasirandom (talk) 04:09, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Good question: Who has the legitimacy to modify the WP:BK to include Manga in its scope ? KrebMarkt 09:00, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Anyone can make the edit if we can reach consensus on the wording. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 14:52, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Criterion three query

I've been directed here from The Tales of Beedle the Bard discussion page.

Exploring Beedle the Bard, a book of literary criticism on The Tales of Beedle the Bard, was published by a commercial publisher eight days after J K Rowling's book. The publication of a book of criticism so soon after the original is a remarkable fact - it is hard to find a comparable example of book-length critical response out so quickly. Would "Exploring Beedle the Bard" be seen as notable under criterion three in view of its remarkable speed of publication? Graemedavis (talk) 19:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I was the one who directed this user to this page. Full disclosure: Graeme Davis is the author of the book in question. Discussion of this is available here. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 06:50, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Whenever there is a media event, they rush quickly to put out a book about the person or event. Its a very common event. I don't think the speed it was published at is valid, unless it is perhaps the fastest published work ever. Dream Focus (talk) 14:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
HelloAnnyong: the above is a signed post! I suppose the signature Graemedavis isn't identical to Graeme Davis, but I thought Wikipedia readers would work this out.Graemedavis (talk) 21:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Did any established media write about "Exploring Beedle the Bard"? I couldn't find anything on the net except stuff that confirmed the book exists. -Mgm|(talk) 09:41, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Sales figures are not listed as a case for notability

If something sells very well, should it not be listed as notable, even if no reviews were made of it? If a handful of reviewers gave praise to a very poor selling series, that makes it notable, while something that sold 20 times as many copies, but hasn't gotten mentioned anywhere, is not notable. I find that rather odd. Shouldn't there bit a rule added? There is a mention on the Notability(books) project page about Amazon sales rating, but not everything is sold through Amazon. What about elsewhere? And can we agree upon a number? Dream Focus (talk) 14:53, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Sales alone are not capable of demonstrating notability because you don't know where those sales came from. An author could quite easily publish something then inflate its sales numbers by buying all of its copies itself. Also, if it "sold well", how would anyone know that anything sold well if it is has not actually received any significant coverage in reliable third party sources. Note the significant and the reliable there. A publisher just saying "hey, this sold this" is neither significant coverage nor third party. If a title has been in the top sales charts for its genre/area multiple times, like the NY Times, it is usually considered to WP:BK. However, yes, there are many many books which "sold well" but never receive significant coverage in reliable third party sources and are, therefore, not notable, same as films, television series, etc. The Clique series had articles for its individual books, but other than the first and second, the rest were barely noted beyond "it was released" by reliable sources, so while they appear to sell well to the teen market, they do not meet WP:BK so instead the series is covered as a whole with only the first book having individual notability for existance. Most of those little Harlequin romance novels "sell well" but they certainly are not notable, nor are they top sellers, with few receiving any notice at all, and a ton of their sales coming from automatic shipments. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:22, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
They receive notice from their fans, who notice themselves buying them, and talking about them with their friends. Why do science fiction books count, while romance novels, especially those aimed at teenage girls, don't? Who gets to decide what is notable and what is not? We need a rule of law, not passing whim of whoever is around at the moment. I am complaining about the policy, hoping to get an open discussion going about it, and see who agrees it should be changed, or can give a decent reason to keep it this way. The opinions of a few, should not make something notable, while the opinions of the many are ignored. And you can find honest sales list at some places. I don't think a company can legally lie to its stockholders, and claim it sold more copies of something than it did. Dream Focus (talk) 16:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Since most publishers are not publicly traded, yes, they can play with, fudge, enhance the numbers all they want. And notice from fans and talking about friends is meaningless. If third party reliable sources do not cover something, it isn't notable, not matter how many people yap about it in their personal lives. And no one said ALL romance novels were excluded, nor are all science fiction books included. Both have articles on notable books in their genre, and many more that are removed. The opinions of "the many" are not ignored. This notability guideline, same as the rest, have the consensus of the community at large, as is shown in its regularly being upheld in AfDs and merge discussions. Yes, I know, you discount all of those because you feel they don't have "enough" participants, but it is how Wikipedia works and believe me, if people strenuously disagree they do speak up. See the lengthy discussions on WP:FICT. Things do not become notability guidelines on a whim, you know, nor are policies just the creation of a handful of people. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Magazines and newspapers only review things that their customers will care about, or which they have a financial incentive to talk about, that company buying a lot of advertisement space from them. And if a large portion of people don't buy magazines or newspapers, but like a certain book, then its unfair it doesn't get the same treatment as lesser selling books that just happen to be featured somewhere you consider notable. Its reminds me of the debate about black victims not getting the same media coverage as white victims in the media, since they know what the majority of their viewers/readers want to hear about. And while some publishers might be able to fudge the numbers, surely there are some sources out there which can be considered safe, such as the New York Times bestsellers list. And if an agreed upon accurate list could be found for comics/manga, I believe it should be used as a reference to prove notability as well. If all doubt can be removed that a book has sold at least a set number of copies, then should that book be considered notable? Dream Focus (talk) 16:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
In short, no. Just because a book sold X number of copies, it does not make it notable, and that number would be purely subjective. Again, if its notable, it will have the coverage, otherwise it is not notable. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 17:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
What if it only has coverage, because the publishing company buys a lot of ads at the three magazines or newspapers that give it reviews? Or what if the type of people they hire to write the reviews, only like a certain type of book? If there are a lot more magazines out there which will review anything with Star Wars in the title, making them notable by current wikipedia policy, then will review other types of novels(romance, sports, history, etc) then is that fair to the other books? Just because someone in the news media likes something, shouldn't make it notable. That sounds like elistism to me. Dream Focus (talk) 17:10, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Ads are not coverage, and just because a magazine has ads from a publisher doesn't make them any less reliable (and really, most of that seems more like a conspiracy theory ranting about the power of the media). And sorry if you don't like it, but maybe if I say it enough times you will get the point: Wikipedia's guidelines for notability ALL demand significant coverage in reliable, third party sources. Period. That doesn't mean just news media, FYI...there are these things called non-fiction books as well. It isn't elitism, it is Wikipedia guidelines. We don't just let every little topic in here, and as Wikipedia is not the place to publish original research and personal opinions in articles, coverage in reliable sources is required or, guess what, no article beyond a plot summary (which is beyond pointless on its own). And, FYI, re your edit summary, thanks, but no one does my thinking for me but me. But Wikipedia isn't about MY thinking, its about the sites guidelines and policies, those things you continue to dismiss. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 17:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
"Wikipedia's guidelines for notability ALL demand significant coverage in reliable, third party sources. Period" As I have said, I wish to discuss a change in that policy. And I didn't say anything about allowing original research, or just any little thing. But if sales figures can be determined without any reasonable doubt, then I believe the policy should be changed to allow that to be used to determine notability. Dream Focus (talk) 18:54, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. I look forward to getting more input, and seeing what everyone thinks about changing the policy to allow verifiable sales figures to be used to determine if something is notable. Dream Focus (talk) 18:54, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I consider sales figures one indication of notability, just as market share is with companies. The question of just what figures to use as a boundary is a little tricky though, because it depends very much on the type of book. Various figures have been given from time to time, and I could give my own, but the number does vary from time to time and subfield to subfield. Even in the area where I have expertise, academic monographs, it differences from subfield to subfield, and also according to the nature of the book & the intended audience. The best way of using t hem would be in comparison with other books--what amount s to a slightly different criterion, status as a best-seller. The key problem here is how narrow to take the field: e.g. the 10 best selling academic books on English literature in 2007 probably are all notable, but not the 10 best selling academic books published on DH Lawrence in 2007--though perhaps the best selling book on him for that year is, and certainly the best selling book on him ever would be. This problem of just what to compare holds with popular works also. The best selling cookbooks of the 1990s are notable. The "best selling book on fish cookery by an Oklahoma author for 1995" is another matter.

This problem occurs in other fields than books--the number of records for a classical music recording to be notable is very different from other genres. And, do we count the best selling recording of a particular composition as notable, and is it different for compositions of different importance?

The basic reason for accepting this criterion is that it can be a good deal easier to demonstrate than the search for reviews. (I do not think reliability of statistics is a factor for major publishers, & for less reliable ones, for certain types of books, I accept the relative rank at Amazon and similar retailers. for appropriate works, I do acI prefer it on other grounds also--I have my strong doubts about the actual significance of many review sources as evidence of notability. Certainly I totally reject the significance of local reviews for local authors & if I had to give a reason within the accepted guidelines, I would say because they are indiscriminate. Basically, I think we can accept such arguments based on sales, but need to use judgement. Perhaps in some fields we can establish a set number which does establish notability, but i think it would be impossible to establish a set number below which it is not. DGG (talk) 23:39, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment Raw sales figures may not mean much, but a national ranking in a country that sells lots of books does. Wikipedia:Notability (music) says musicians and ensembles are notable if they have "had a charted hit on any national music chart" and albums and songs are notable if they "have been ranked on national or significant music charts." So, a book that hits a nationally recognized best-seller list, whether or not the list is based on volume or by the list-editor's choice, is notable as is its author. At least, that's the way it would be if Notability (books) paralleled Notability (music). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Some nations have small populations though. I would think the worldwide confirmable sales would have to be the way to set it. Books of different types, comics/manga/graphic novels, and whatever else there is, need their own numbers, of course. And textbooks shouldn't count. They'd be bestsellers if some nations bought the same ones for all the schools. Religious pamplets required by some religions to purchase I don't think should count either. If someone is requiring you to buy it, then are you going to read and care about it? Or perhaps being required literature for a religion, school, or whatnot, makes it notable enough. That one might require consideration on a case by case basis, and not be included in the suggested policy change. To get a driver's license in America, you often buy the manual to study before hand, and with so many tens of millions of people driving, that is sure to be a best seller. Got to watch out for anything required to own, as oppose to free choice by the individuals. Dream Focus (talk) 02:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

If sales figures were everything, we would have a lot more articles on works by Yomiuri Shimbun. Physchim62 (talk) 02:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Where do you intend to find sales figures? I would love to have access to that source. Publishers are notorious for keeping # books published and # books sold confidential. Best-seller lists are the only (reliable) metric I've seen. maclean 06:23, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Best-seller lists have their own issues. I remember an article where New York Times editors admitted to having blackballed R.L. Stine from the list because Goosebumps titles would have occupied the top ten spots in paperback. Similarly, Ginsberg's Howl was left off a twenty highest selling trade paperback list, even though by sales it would have been second. On the other hand, if we consider charted records from basically every country on Earth to pass notability, I can see some justification for doing the same for books. Problem being, how do we define which lists we accept?Horrorshowj (talk) 09:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I oppose the idea that Sales figures can be used as evidence of notability for many reasons (e.g. good sales is not the same as being notable), but maily because becuase the sales listings don't provide useful content from which articles can be written, as they often provide only flap copy. As [[WP:BK] says, more than just trivial content is need to provide evidence of notability, and these listings don't offer much in the way of coverage that would provide useful real-world content for an article compared with an in-depth review. For instance, there is an ongoing debate about the notability of certain novels such as Annihilation, which fails WP:NOT#PLOT, but the book itself did sell well. If this article (and the other books in the series) are an indicator, sales figures are not always an indicator of notability, as it seems that there will always be bestselling books that critics and commentators will ignore. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Blackballed from the NYT Best-seller list because the author is too good? That sounds like a very strong indication of notability to me. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 03:25, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Note: [[Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics, Wikipedia:WikiProject Religious texts, Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Books have been notified of this discussion. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 05:25, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I think appearing on a national best seller list should demonstrate notability. It's hard to find reliable sources for sales in most countries, I would guess, which would keep things reasonable. We would need something like Wikipedia:Record charts. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 20:21, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Any notability guideline that purports to say that book sales are a valid criteria for assessing notability needs to be carefully written so the lack of sales data does not automatically indicate non-notability. As more and more of our 15th-early 20th century books get put into the public domain and available online, many of them will turn into WP articles. I suspect that sales data on an 18th century book might be quite difficult obtain, let alone interpret, if you could get it. Additionally, it would be very difficult to create this guideline and apply it to only to a contemporary era where data is readily available.--Mike Cline (talk) 11:58, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

  • In my first draft of the guideline I included sales figures. After much discussion, we ultimately removed it as an additional criterion. You might want to trawl the archives a bit for those previous discussions so that previous concerns and research are not repeated.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:45, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Also, there is a nasty tendency of publishers to count sales to bookstores without actually counting the books that get send back for destruction. Unless it can be unambiguously established sales were to actual customers (the ones reading the books) it's not a reliable marker. - Mgm|(talk) 09:35, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Revised approach: Sales figures as measured by reknown bestseller lists

Based on this recent AFD, does it make sense to consider an inclusion criterion based on a book appearing on a reknown bestseller list (something like the NYTimes lists)? This would be as closely comparable to WP:MUSIC's "certified gold", a sales measure that has a well-defined meaning by a reliable source. The AFD in question clearly seems to have a lot of people that think appearance on these lists is a defacto notability factor, and from the standpoint of if more sources can be found, I would think this would be a typical case. This is different from straight-up sales figures. --MASEM (t) 01:38, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

How are you going to limit it to where editors can't use just any "best seller" list. I'm specifically concerned about lists with very narrow focuses. --Farix (Talk) 02:03, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
The best option to avoid "abuses" would be to spell out exactly what lists are appropriate. Again, going to the music game, there's only a handful of agencies that certify the sales. Heck, if it's only limited to one national bestseller list, that's still a good way to put it in place. --MASEM (t) 02:16, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
As I stated in that debate, the previous problems The New York Times had years ago with publishing companies able to cheat their system, has long been eliminated. They are too many thousands of stores and outlets they gather information from, for them to be manipulated by any publishing company. So there is no reason not to rely on it. And this includes their children's list as well, since it includes several series, such as Harry Potter, which it simply moved there to make room for other things, people complaining about seeing those books dominating the top ten spots for months, with no end in sight. Dream Focus 02:28, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I would support adding appearance on the New York Times Best Seller list as a criterion for notability based on that AfD. DHowell (talk) 01:29, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, sales figures are not a measure of notability. Using only the NYT Best seller list displays favoritism to a controversial list that does not even cover the bulk of books released. The New York Times is not the only publisher of regular best seller lists, nor is it always the best. No reason at all to give it preferential treatment. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 01:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Why would selling large numbers of books, not make something notable? Why is the opinion of some guy reviewing for a newspaper or magazine considered notable, while millions of fans buying something is not? The opinion of the confirmable and overwhelming many, who consider it notable enough to buy it, is far greater than that of the few who just review whatever they personally like or their publishers tell them to review. And if you know of other list that are notable, then mention them, so that they can be considered as well. Dream Focus 03:19, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
NYTimes list doesn't have to be the only one, but it does sound like reading the arguments is that any notability allowance under this header would need to fully qualify what lists are acceptable by name. NYTimes could be one, I'm sure there are others. --MASEM (t) 03:28, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I support either approach, I think Masem's idea is a great comprimise. Nice job masem. Ikip (talk) 20:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Most seem in favor of this, so I have added that any bestsellers list deemed credible can be used to establish notability. Dream Focus 02:14, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Removed. No, most are not in favor of this. There was no consensus. Stop making up your own guidelines. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 04:19, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Translations = Notability

In the Anime and manga MoS, WP:BK was pointed to as the primary indicator of notability, with a sixth criteria added to the MoS itself stating "Has been licensed by at least two publishers outside of Japan.". This was recently challenged as being invalid as a MoS cannot determine notability and a project should not add extra notability criteria for its work outside of the main notability guidelines. Following a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Anime and manga#WP:MOS-AM and Notability the criteria has been removed. However, that still leaves the question in limbo. Even if a book does not have significant coverage in reliable sources, and does not meet the five criteria of WP:BK, should it be considered notable if it has been published outside of its home country in other languages (2 or some other number). If so, should this sixth criteria be added to WP:BK? In reading the 1st and 2nd archives detailing the formation of WP:BK in 2006, it seems this once was proposed with 4 languages and 10 languages as suggested requirements, but it was apparently rejected. At this point, it seems discussion is needed again to determine if the same views are held. So...thoughts? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:16, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Well summarized.
My thoughts are ambivalent about the numbers of languages :
One is about the implied systemic bias of Wikipedia, meaning that it is way more difficult to prove WP:BK criterion #1 to #5 if it isn't something published in english. Knowing the low proportion of translated works published every years in english speaking countries, it is something to make people interested on developing articles on non-english published works to cringe. A criterion on numbers of language might help them.
Another is the difficulty to maintain and develop those articles what are the prospect of development of those articles difficult & always contestable from the sources to the references. Relying of on few to one sole contributors with limited possibility to cross-check isn't a good prospect either.
My last thought is that criterion #1 can cover non-english published works with the reserve that reliable sources mostly non-english are provided. The statut of reliable source of those non-english references will be contested more often, sometime with bad faith. So criterion #1 might not enough to cover non-english published works --KrebMarkt 17:29, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
The discussion most affected by this is Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rockin' Heaven where most of the keep !votes are insisting that it is common sense to presume the work is notable because it has been published in four other countries by two different publishers outside of Japan. --Farix (Talk) 23:07, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment The number raised to 4 by the end of the Afd discussion --[[User:KrebMarkt|KrebMarkt]] 07:07, 22 January 2009 (UTC)Never mind i should read more carefully what other wrote, my apologize. --KrebMarkt 09:53, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Full disclosure: I'm an inclusionist, and I voted keep on the above article.
By the going standards of WP:BK, I think translations only is a lax standard. On the other hand, ignoring that a book has reached an international audience is harsh; just as harsh as ignoring excellent sales. Would it exceed the scope of this discussion to propose a list of lesser requirements -- foreign translations, a somewhat notable author, adaptation to other mediums, publication by high-tier publisher, unusually high sales, etc -- that would indicate potential notability, and clear notability with several? Estemi (talk) 01:56, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Note: I have alerted both WP:WikiProject Inclusion and WP:WikiProject Deletion in hopes of getting broader participaton. Estemi (talk) 05:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
It would be good if the various book related projects were also notified of both this one, and the sales discussion above. Will work on doing that...and done. Notified [[Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics, Wikipedia:WikiProject Religious texts, Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Books. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 05:25, 22 January 2009 (UTC) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 05:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Probably not. Given the discussion above, given common sense, and given there are many reasons besides notability why a book might be translated, I would say that translations or other-country publications may be an indication of notability but are not necessarily one. I can think of at least 3 broad classes that are probably not notable even though they are published in multiple languages in multiple countries.
  • Minor religious books, particularly minor works by worldwide church publishing houses like The Vatican/Roman Catholic, The Mormon Church, and The Salvation Army churches which routinely publish some minor works in multiple languages and in multiple countries.
  • Minor government publications in countries that are officially multi-lingual or which are targeted at audiences abroad, such as many minor publications of the United States's CIA and the United Kingdom's BBC. Common sense dictates that these publications are not notable merely because they were published in n languages or n countries.
  • Books published in small countries may be routinely translated for publication in neighboring countries. Where routine, such publication is not an indication of notability.
davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 03:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
for an anime, which is where we started, translation outside of Japan probably is good indictor of importance. Otherwise, I agree with davidwr: For most books, its an indication, but not decisive. an academic work, publication in other languages is fairly rate. for other books, it varies. As well as religious books, many books published to promote a POV or published by a cult or similar are translated in multiple languages as a matter of course, and reflect the motivation of the publisher not the importance of the book. And I'm not sure of his last point--in many circumstances I'd sy just the opposite; for a novel, say, in a minor language to be translated and published in English (or French, or some other internationally known language), this usually is quite exceptional, and does indicate notability beyond other books of that sort from that country. DGG (talk) 05:22, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Our issue started with an Afd on a manga published in Germany, Italy & France and is scheduled for release in Spain but no english release in near future.
Some users supported that something published in 2-4 non-Japanese languages is enough for notability and those others stipulating that there no such rule in WP:N or WP:BK and published in 2-4 language doesn't prove notability. It ended with keep. But frankly i wish we could avoid in the future a such pitted battle and common sense can only with people of good faith which won't be always the case. --KrebMarkt 07:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I think this side of things is why the additional criterion was ever on the MoS; translations may not be a sign of notability for all books, but they (nearly) always are for the types of books the Anime and Manga project covers. Doceirias (talk) 03:52, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
By what evidence? Its something that seems to have been presumed for years, but no clear discussion shows that this is the case, only what was always perceived to be something specifically for manga. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:56, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Does anyone have any evidence that a book/manga licensed for publication in more countries is more likely to have reliable third party sources covering the book/manga? --Farix (Talk) 15:13, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest that a translation by a different publisher goes part of the way of meeting criterion 1. Why should we suggest that an independent editor (not to mention the translator) is worth less than a newspaper book reviewer? A newspaper review makes it easier to write a good article, but the existence of translations also means that reviews are more likely to be available in languages spoken by enwiki editors. In the current world of publishing, it is often difficult to know who is really "independent" from whom, even for professionals: I would apply the criterion that, if they look independent, let's assume that they are until argued otherwise. If a book is still scraping the bottom of the notability criteria even after that, it's probably not notable. Physchim62 (talk) 01:17, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

That's part of the problem though. Some feel that if its translated, its notable, period, even if the book received no significant coverage in ANY of its languages (i.e. no reviews, nothing). Also, translators and editors are not independent of the work, since in translating it they are basically making a derivative adaptation. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 01:23, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm certainly one of the people who think importance is intrinsic, and does not depend on what happens to get cited in the prescribed way in the prescribed type of media, in material accessible to Wpedians, as long as there is some sort of verifiable basis for an article. The reason translations are relevant to notability is: Translations cost money, and are not done unless there's an expected demand. a first publication of a book can be speculative, and always is if not an established author--the publisher's very business rationale is taking the financial risk of publishing, in the hope that a few of its books will become notable and sell enough to pay for the others. Only those with a mission (discussed above) would take the risk of a second publication, with the additional cost of paying for the translation, without the preliminary evidence that it at least sold a reasonable amount in its home country--nobody will pas to translate a failure. This isn't proof of notability by itself, but its strong evidence. This would apply even more to media even more expensive to produce than printed books. DGG (talk) 02:01, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

To summarize, number of translated languages can't be a criteria for WP:BK for reasons mentioned above. However in some segments of the book market/world the number of translated languages can be a strong evidence of notability but final decision to keep or not is left to editors common good sense.--KrebMarkt 10:24, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

multiple review do not mean notability

Many non-notable books get reviewed many times. Without some way of noting the ongoing notability of a book, the reviews that initially occur are at best proxies for the author or topic's notability. I think the first standard is being used to basically allow advertising copy into wikipedia. Any book can get reviewed, believe me I've reviewed several, and unless a review actually posits the books notability and merit or demerits, it should not even count. I think the first criteria needs changed to say, non-trivial and establish notability over time' This way books that are notable by review are such because many people over several years have said they are notable in some way, and the book just wasn't farmed out to 10 media people who support its topic so as to get advertising copy in wikipedia. --Buridan (talk) 13:01, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

The general concept is "trivial coverage." Just as it is "trivial" for a Little League team in a small town to get a full article every week, it's also trivial for some publications to review all books in the genre they cover or all publications of authors with previous works in that genre. It's also trivial that a newspaper would print a review if there is a local connection, such as the author's hometown or a local stop on a book tour. Such reviews are indications of notability but not definitive indications. In other words, a book may be notable only on the basis of time-of-publication reviews even if none of the reviews specifically mention the importance or notability of the book, but it's just a "maybe." Making the judgment call requires discussion on the talk page.
To put it succinctly: An article about a book whose only indications of notability are two or more reviews should not be speedy-deleted, it should not be prodded or AFDd without at least starting a discussion regarding notability on the talk page, notifying the principal authors if they are still around, and waiting a few days. However, such an article can be tagged with notability tags, and it should not be exempt from AFD "merely" because it has at least one review. How to embody this in the guideline is something worth thinking about. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 13:30, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
to put it more clearly, reviews are actually not related to notability unless there are reviews that continue over time and remark on the books notability in some way. for instance, a book up for afd now that i nominated. It is not notable, but it has 7 'reviews' including nyt, la times, and the guardian. Most of the reviews say it is pretty bad, two that map onto its ideology say it is pretty good, none indicate that it is notable, and there is no indication of continued notability past these few reviews, it has 5 citations and is held by few libraries, won no awards, etc. etc Its sole claim to notability are these reviews and the supporters just claim it as passing the bar. So I would argue that unless the reviews are sustained over time and indicate notability, that reviews don't really count much at all. Tons of junk books get reviewed because of their author, that's what happened with the book in question I suspect, author was an insider to magazine and newspapers, friend of a friend, etc.. however, that is just an example, there are quite a few books in wikipedia with 4-7 reviews that are not notable and are basically advertising copy. --Buridan (talk) 15:07, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I must disagree because there is the novelty factor to take account as people tends to review what is new and not things that were published months or years ago. That trend is reinforced by the ever increasing number of publications while the number of reliable reviewers is stagnant at best but more likely decreasing as many journals and magazines are dying and not replaced by RS websites. With your approach we are good for scuttling a big chuck of the book articles. KrebMarkt 15:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
IMHO such reviews should count enough to prevent speedy deletion but should be evaluated on a case by case basis, holistically with other information about the book, for AFD or merger discussions. I don't think non-notable books are speediable today anyways, but that could change in the future. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 15:56, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with this last comment. Although we need to be vigilant it is far too demoralising for editors to have their work binned out of hand (speedily) with no debate. Should be done on a case by case basis - as suggested above. Reviews are quite rightly doubtful however their presence should at least give cause for thought and due consideration. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:04, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree that reviews establish something, but... they don't necessary establish notability alone. They need to occur with some sense of growing actual use. As for many books being deleted from wikipedia, that might not be a bad thing if those books are nothing more than advertising, minimal descriptions of the books content, or a listing of the reviews. Reviews alone do not establish notability, they just do establish novelty. --Buridan (talk) 16:34, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
At your pace only things reviewed by scholars can placate you. The quantity of information is increasing exponentially while our capability to assert and review information can't keep up. You are drawing a standard that can't be sanely meet and you know it. How many 3-5 years olds books can provide a fresh 3 months old RS review ? That the kind of Always lose game you are proposing us to join in. KrebMarkt 17:09, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I think you are drawing my standard too high, what i am trying to draw is that there is 'flash in the pan' without continuing notability. You can find notability in many ways, but reviews within a few month's of publication are only evidence of novelty. All I want is to change qualification 1 to add a phrase like, 'provided there is evidence of continued notability'. We do not give people notability if they have a ton of announcements that they are born to wealthy parents, why should we say books are notable because they are reviewed because of their authors?. If you are in the first, year, then your evidence of continuing notability is reviewed, after the first year, there needs to either be more reviews or other citations and really a huge growth of something that shows notability. --Buridan (talk) 17:32, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Long term notability or lasting notability rather than continued notability as it makes you feel that you have to feed the beast ad-eternam KrebMarkt 17:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Just notability really, which as we've defined it is not supposed to be single event. I think book reviews, especially those clustered in the first year are just single events, they don't really indicate any continued notability of the book. However, notability books have reviews written after 3 years, 10 years, are cited, etc. etc. Notability may fade, this is true, and some notable books from the 1700's and 1800's should only be on the authors pages, but notable books tend to have continuing evidence as their reputation continues to grow through 5, 10, etc. years. the way it works now, if your book gets a bunch of reviews in 1978 and is never touched again, it is notable by our standards, but I don't think we really think it would be notable, it is just a glitch in the guidelines that allows anyone to then say, 5 reviews in 1978 when it was published, with one in the nyt, therefore it is notable. --Buridan (talk) 18:20, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with the suggestion completely. The guideline already adequately notes that reviews must be non-trivial. Just because the book is "farmed" out doesn't mean it will get reviewed, nor that do advertising only reviews count as actual reviews. By your guidelines, almost all book articles should be deleted because most are primarily a small plot synopsis and reviews. It would also mean deleting and not allowing any book article on books published within the last 5-10 years because, by your view, we must wait to see if anyone still cares years later. Expanding your logic, almost all film articles should also be deleted, for the same reason. It also directly conflicts with WP:N, which clearly states: "If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic..." Notability is not temporary. If it was reviewed by 5-10 people today, its notable today, tomorrow, 10 years from now. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 18:58, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, a few hundred to a few thousand books a year reach notability through other means, such as earning prestigious awards, being commented on as exceptional books e.g. the New York Times Best Seller list, or through sheer numbers of sales, e.g. most best-seller lists. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 19:51, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Providing continuously reviews or others proofs of notability years after release to prove notability is suicide game. You can delete nearly every book tagged with low importance. KrebMarkt 20:01, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Except sales alone do not meet WP:BK, and even one award isn't enough either. And considering how many books are published yearly versus how many awards are available, that's still a small minority of otherwise notable books, particularly non-mainstream media. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 20:13, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying continuous review, i'm just saying that reviews are not evidence of notability alone. Flash in the pan books are not notable, i think everyone can agree, getting reviewed doesn't make a book notable anywhere other than wikipedia. It is an extremely low bar to notability and it is not based on notability at all, it is based on things like authors reputation. The problem is that the notability of reviews is 'temporary' it is fleeting, and has little meaning. Film reviews serve a different purpose than book reviews. Film reviews are usually archived in several ways and sold as compediums. This doesn't happen with book reviews anymore (though it once did). My logic is that for books recently printed, initial reviews are fine, but if nothing or nothing significant happens after that you do not have a notable book. You never had a notable book, you had a book that had promise. Wikipedia has a ton of books with promise, are they consistent with the general notability guideline that notability should not go away? no, they aren't, because they are no longer notable, and in fact, their reviews did not make them notable in the first place. --Buridan (talk) 20:21, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Exactly what is wrong with the current criteria of multiple reviews by multiple sources? Let us not get hung up on what is "notable", as notability is often a fool's game. Instead, we should focus on inclusion and consider why we suddenly want to exclude thousands of books that have passed WP:BK's benchmarks in the past. By excluding these reviews, you are effectively making this guideline more restrictive then WP:NOTE. It's my opinion that any subject that passes WP:NOTE should pass any of the other notability guidelines. And finally, I don't think that excluding these reviews is all that defensible in deletion discussions at WP:AFD. It is not descriptive of deletion outcomes. Guidelines are, after all, suppose to be descriptive instead of proscriptive. Eliminating these reviews from the criteria seems rather proscriptive. --Farix (Talk) 21:22, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
it is that these books aren't important or notable books by any reason, some are, some are. Having reviews is not enough, it is a start, it might even if the reviews clearly state in some manner that the book will or has changed something make the book notable. However, most reviews do nothing of the sort, they don't establish any sense of quality or notability. If you have great reviews backed up by something else of continuing value, then you might be notable. But most books that are reviewed are pedestrian and the book review is actually not saying anything beyond what wikipedia general guidelines say is not notable, and that is 'single event'. The book was published, and after that, reviewers reviewed it. That is a single event, we need more for notability. --Buridan (talk) 21:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
In terms of Note. I would say that most book reviews are not 'significant' coverage, they frequently lack the detail necessary to establish notability. I think we make the make that reviews guarantee notability, whereas we should be clear that they only presume, and that they alone do not establish notability. plenty of reviewed books are not notable in any way today, we can show that by looking at historical book reviews. --Buridan (talk) 21:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Frankly, I think you are confusing notability with recentism. As AnmaFinotera pointed out above, once an article's notability is established, that notability is permanent, barring a change in the notability guidelines. I believe your real problem here is the use of reviews to establish notability when those reviews are nothing special - for instance, if a reviewer writes a review of every book released within a given genre. In this case, I would agree with you that these do not establish notability, or even the potential for notability for the most part. They are valid reception information, but that's neither here nor there. However, in your example above about the article at AfD, you mention that it has been reviewed by the New York Times and the LA Times, but the tone of your message suggests a dismissive attitude towards these. Why? It's my understanding that a book being reviewed by (at least) the NYT is a Really Big Deal in terms of notability, even though more reviews are still necessary. Someone else wrote above that this should be decided on a case-by-case basis, and I'd have to agree for the most part, but in the case of certain reviewers such as the NYT, reviews should automatically help to establish notability. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 21:58, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Being reviewed by the NYT can be a big deal, unless they only give you 50 words, or dismiss your work as a crap, a review does not establish notability even if it is a nyt review. London review or new york review of books, that's a different story. The problem is that it is not decided on a case by case basis, generally if you have 2-3 reviews with one in a general audience publication, the book stays, even if it is not notable. The 'guideline' does not advise people that these reviews 'may' establish notability if you read them and they do, they just say having some non-trivial reviews establishes notability. the problem is that frequently books that are reviewed aren't notable in any way other than being reviewed. --Buridan (talk) 22:17, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Even if the NYT does dismiss a book as total crap, the fact is, they still focused on it long enough to do so. And out of all the books published yearly, how many of them get even that 50-word mention from the NYT (ignoring the fact that passing mentions do not establish notability anyways)? ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 22:42, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
WP:N says "If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic" -- that would seem to pretty clearly indicate that you DON'T need to show continued reviews. Once notable (with the multiple non-trivial reviews) = always notable. —Quasirandom (talk) 22:20, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Assuming the reviews are non-trivial, it's always an indicator of notability per WP:NOTE. Trying to say that it's not an indicator of notability is patently false and is trying to make this guideline incredibly restrictive. — sephiroth bcr (converse) 22:56, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Ultimately, I think that's what Buridan was trying to say - He's got a problem with trivial reviews being used to "establish" notability - he just didn't clearly say it, and his proposed method for fixing it isn't very good. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 23:03, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Multiple reviews do indeed equal notable for a paperless encyclopedia. Best, --A NobodyMy talk 23:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, that's what we are trying to decide: Is there a community consensus that multiple reviews means notability? Please restate your position with reasons why others should adopt your position, rather than just declaring it to be true. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 00:04, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
My position is to rename this page as something other than "notability" (as it is an iherently subjective and eltist term) and to include on the Wikipedia:Inclusion guideline (books) that any book for which we have at least two reliable source reviews is worthy of inclusion on Wikipedia. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 19:01, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
You'd need to start at the top for a change like that. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 20:29, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • This sounds familiar. I started a previous debate on why the opinions of just two reviewers made something notable, while the reviews of a hundred thousand people on blogs and forums did not. If you are notable for being reviewed in a magazine that has 50 thousand subscribers, then why aren't you notable for being featured regularly in a magazine that has several times that many subscribers? Why is being published in Jump comics not make you notable, but being reviewed in a magazine of far lesser sales figures does? Horrible system really. I believe someone did mention how companies could do Google bombing, to get more search results with their products name. But they could just as easily buy ad space in any news source, and insure they get a good mention, that happening quite often. If something is published by a company that also owns newspapers and magazines, chances are, it will get mentioned. That's why confirmable sales figures are so important. Although honestly now, if more articles got created that might not be as notable as people think, it wouldn't harm anything. You wouldn't even notice it, unless you went looking for it. Better to include, then it is to delete. Dream Focus (talk) 23:58, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  • It depends.It depends on where the reviews are. It depends on who the reviewers are. It depends on how extensive the reviews are. And it depends on what the reviews say. One review can be enough, if it's a front page review in the NYT. Any number of interviews with the author in local newspapers done as a courtesy to a local figure do not count, if no major source picks it up. DGG (talk) 00:37, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Endorse - very well put. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:07, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Endorse that works for my concerns. --Buridan (talk) 02:36, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose the entire page You know what gets me so frustrated with these god damn notability arguments:
  1. Everyone knows these books exist. Imagine if we just allowed editors to add all books, not only would donations rise, because wikipedia would have so many more hits, the number of editors would rise too. Imagine if wikipedia had the same database of books as Amazon? But this will never happen, because editors on these notability talk pages are so god damn short sighted.
  2. Editors here are making decisions that will effect all of wikipedia, hundreds of editors, tens of thousands contributions, and no one seems to ever bother to ask: "Hey, what is the end result of my opinion?" No one ever asks on these pages the effect that these policies are having on the long-term viability of wikipedia, in lost editors, and anger towards wikipedia. Whether it be editors leaving quietly in disgust and frustration, editors creating nasty sites against wikipedia, or journalist universality lambasting wikipedia's notability and deletion policies.
    A famous historian said that he doesn't go onto mainstream television much because his views seem so alien to the audience, an audience that has been fed mainstream propaganda their entire lives. My views now probably seem extreme for similar reasons, we have had these terrible guidelines for so long, we no longer can see beyond them, to the damage they are causing, and the potential we are missing. Ikip (talk) 02:36, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually... thought about that, thanks. Been an editor since 2004, was with gnupedia before that, though you probably don't remember those heady days.... I actually think about the effects quite a bit, part of my job really, even have around 3 old versions of wp that i use for research. Good on you though, someone has to make a stand against my ignorance ;) I'm actually an inclusionist, but alas, i want verifiable notable material, not verifiable with more verifiable crap, and i tend to think crap in wikipedia drives people off in droves, and we know from our research that crap tends to lower trust, and lowering trust lowers commits. It sort of sux that way. The 'ownership' issue is something wikipedia is generally against, as are conflict of interest usually tied to ownership. --Buridan (talk) 02:51, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
"Imagine if we just allowed editors to add all books" - I'm imagining, and it's scary as hell. You have any idea how many articles on self-published crap we would end up with? The important, worthwhile articles would drown in a sea of irrelevancy. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 18:41, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Since you seldom come upon any article you aren't searching for, you wouldn't notice the rest at all, so wouldn't have reason to complain. And you already have a rating system for articles based on quality. Simply make it so you search only through the quality ones, if you don't like the rest. Dream Focus 02:42, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Dubious DGG idea is right but i am not sure that we will find the right wording at all resulting and that we just changing one point of contention during Afd discussion for another :( One thing is sure, any revision of the guideline implying to provide any kind of Notability Unkeep has my fullest opposition. KrebMarkt 08:01, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Endorse does a very good job of summing up what I've been trying to say. ダイノガイ?!」(Dinoguy1000) 18:41, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

The total number of books ever written is of the order of 100,000,000. Peter jackson (talk) 09:07, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Correction: I should have said published, not written. Peter jackson (talk) 15:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

The book has won a major literary award.

If we take book to have a wide meaning, then shouldn't the award in this criterion also be wide open. Magazines tend not to get literary awards if they're not for fiction, but nevertheless such magazines can be notable by this criterion. I'd suggest we change the word book to publication in this guideline and change this particular line to read: "The publication has won a major award in its field." - Mgm|(talk) 09:32, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I would support that. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:21, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. Support Thinking about Hugo award have categories for Fanzine & Semiprozine. --KrebMarkt 18:45, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't see the word change as problematic but please note the exclusions, which includes magazines. Maybe that should be revisited.---Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 19:39, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Magazines aren't included here, so not sure what change is needed? Or are you wanting to have magazines included? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 23:50, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I see no previous discussion in the archives about the exclusion of magazines. But based on the guideline's name, I can see why magazines would be excluded. I guess the question is, is WP:NOTE enough for magazine notability? Why or why not? --Farix (Talk) 00:19, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I oppose this change, as a major award in a field is not the same as a major award outside of the field. I think this guideline is intended to establish what makes a book notable to the entire world and not just the world of books. The criteria you're trying to change is a supplement to the generic "nontrivial coverage" statement that all of our notability guidelines contain. I think this additional supplement is intended as a measuring device for greater-world notability for certain types of books that slip under the radars of "significant coverage". A book can still be notable if it hasn't won a major award as it could be covered significantly by reliable sources. As to the magazine question, I think an individual issue falls under this category, but a magazine series as a whole doesnt. Thus, the famous "Is God Dead?" issue of Time would fall under this guideline, but Time Magazine itself wouldn't. ThemFromSpace 02:52, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I suggest we'd do better not to broaden this , we have enough difficulties already with books, as many of the comments above are in significant disagreement with each other. As for Space's point, I think that notability in the world of books equals notability for a book. Otherwise, it's redefining notability to mean famous. analogously, notable football players are those notable to those interested in football, not the world in general, which only knows about a half-dozen or so. DGG (talk) 19:49, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Short story?

Hi, there's an RFC over the notability of a short story at Talk:Harvey's Dream. Sources exist which cover the book (Just After Sunset) and discuss the story. I notice also that there are several stories from that book that have their own article, very few of which have any info beyond the plot. Do we need a section to address short stories? NJGW (talk) 22:55, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Looking into this a bit further, I see that there are quite a lot of Steven King short stories with articles that only give a plot and no sources. Start at Short fiction by Stephen King to see it all. NJGW (talk) 23:01, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I've posted a link to this discussion in several relevant locations, and also found that this was discussed once in 2003: Wikipedia:Village pump/November 2003 archive 3#Short stories NJGW (talk) 23:40, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
(Disclaimer: I added some sourcing to the above mentioned article, in the hope of proving the story is notable.) I agree that guidelines need to be figured out for the issue of notability of short stories. My take on it is that you can't really expect in-depth discussions of a short story that may be in the single digits as far as page length, so when you do find reviews in reliable sources that make any attempt at reviewing the story (as in the cases I referenced; I didn't just pick sources that said the story existed, these were reviews in which some attempt at being critical about the story was made), it should be considered enough for notability. Or to put it another way, consider the quality of the review, as opposed to the quantity of words in it. Raven1977Talk to meMy edits 00:09, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
all or almost all short stories by major authors are in fact discussed in the secondary literature, as I found for Kipling. Whether it is sensible to do individual rather than combination articles is another matter. The important thing,as always, is for us to have the content. DGG (talk) 23:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. This seems to me a case of "are there enough sources to write a non-stub article about the work that is not primarily plot summary?" If yes, write an article. If no, do not write an article. Phil Sandifer (talk) 23:30, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Derivative articles

I removed the following:

What this means is that while a book may be notable, it is not normally advisable to have a separate article on a character or thing from the book, and it is often the case that despite the book being manifestly notable, a derivative article from it is not. Exceptions do, of course, exist—see Wikipedia:Notability (fiction).

WP:FICT has been put up for nomination as a guideline, and it has failed as a guideline three times.

So, the idea that "general consensus is that...while a book may be notable, it is not normally advisable to have a separate article on a character or thing from the book, and it is often the case that despite the book being manifestly notable, a derivative article from it is not" is simply not the case.

Is it true that the author of this guideline in his very first edit, made this a guideline?[3] The community has spoken loudly three times at WP:FICT that the above is NOT "general consensus".

Despite the incorrect "general consensus" statment, if this paragraph is reverted back, maybe the:

" Exceptions do, of course, exist—see Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)."

...sentence should be removed. WP:FICT is in a constant state of flux now. Ikip (talk) 20:24, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

The wording is may need alteration perhaps, but the principal is sound. As you know, it is general consensus that notability is not inherited, so despite the book being manifestly notable, a derivative article from it is not. There are exceptions, the most obvious one being where a character or thing derived from a book is the subject of sufficient coverage to demonstrate notability.
Removal of this section is not justified, but if you wish to discuss amendment, I am sure a discussion about improving the worlding would be welcomed. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 13:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Based on this discussion I have simply changed this section of the guideline back to the basic form it was in for a long time, and which was changed without discussion to "simplify" (diff). Specifically, while now it says "—see Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)", for a long time it said "—especially in the case of very famous books. For example few would argue that Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange does not warrant a 'subarticle' on its protagonist, Alex DeLarge." I have changed it to an even more clear example I think , using A Christmas Carol and Ebenezer Scrooge (the former was my example as well). This gets rid of any problem with pointing to WP:FICT and gives a concrete example for people to sink their teeth into, which I think was superior to a link to another guideline, even if WP:FICT was never unstable.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:19, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Significant or Non-Trivial?

Footnote 2 refers to non-trivial coverage, where as WP:GNG refers to significant coverage.

Per Footnote 2:

"Non-trivial" excludes personal websites, blogs, bulletin boards, Usenet posts, wikis and other media that are not themselves reliable. An analysis of the manner of treatment is crucial as well; for example is reliable, but postings to that site by members of the public on a subject do not share the site's imprimatur. Be careful to check that the author, publisher, agent, vendor. etc. of a particular book are in no way interested in any third party source.

Per WP:GNG on the same issue:

"Significant coverage" means that sources address the subject directly in detail, and no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than a trivial mention but it need not be the main topic of the source material

Which term is better and should both guidelines use the same term? --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 09:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

sales figures, best seller lists as a notability criteria in an AfD

I'm wondering if those with more familiarity with novels and notability might have an opinion on an AfD. I nominated a book first as a PROD, then to AfD when the PROD was declined. Maybe I'm reading the guidelines wrong, but there is a near WP:SNOW happening here as people seem to be convinced that even if WP:BK (and the talk page section above) seems to be decidedly against using sales figures and bestseller lists, it is OK to use such figures to establish notability via general notability guidelines. Thoughts? Tarc (talk) 13:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

The idea was rejected above and they continue to not be valid notability criteria, but unfortunately a handful of people seems to refuse to accept that and continue to claim its notable, while adding unrelaiable sources that do nothing but show the book exists yet pretend it meets WP:N. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 14:39, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anything rejected. All I see is a dead, mostly neutral discussion no one really cared about that contained a few thousand words of opposition from you. - Norse Am Legend (talk) 23:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I've been in many AFD where the book was a bestseller, and it got a snow keep, despite the nominator trying to convince us otherwise. See [4] as a perfect example of that. Dream Focus 14:43, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
    I would think that a better argument to make in that AfD would have been point #5, "The book's author is so historically significant...". Weiss and Hickman are certainly recognized as preeminent authors within the fantasy genre, which would've made the best-seller angle moot. Here, Dick Morris is more known as a politician and political TV talking head, not as an author. Tarc (talk) 14:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Academic articles

It came up in an AfD (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics) that research papers might occasionally be notable. The closest I could find in WP policy on that is the section Academic books in this article. Could the scope of this section be expanded to include articles or should the guidelines be different?--RDBury (talk) 12:06, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

nah, I think it falls under general notability. Either the argument can be made that the article is notable or not, we don't need any guidelines. Some articles, have launched or re-launched whole fields, and the argument can be clearly and cogently made, most have not, and having guidelines won't help in either case. they just promote wikilawyering --Buridan (talk) 15:18, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
To me, the GNG defines a relatively low standard and I would think that the standard required for an article should at least be that of a book. Plus there are some subtleties, such as whether it's content of the article or the article itself that's notable (which came up in the AfD), that make GNG hard to interpret. Goodness knows there are already enough special cases to the notability guidelines (Desperate Housewives related articles seem to have one of their own), but I was thinking some additional clarification in this case would be helpful.--RDBury (talk) 23:33, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Author is not notable but the book is

There's an AFD in progress where it's looking like the author of a book is not notable (pretty much zero coverage) but one of his books is notable. I proposed a merge of the author info into the book article. I can't find a discussion where this has come up before other than in the middle of Wikipedia talk:Notability (books)/Archive 3#A quote with "If the author is not notable enough for a separate Wikipedia article ... then too bad: the book is not notable, Wikipedia is not a directory."

Diary of a Tired Black Man is an example of a film where its producer/director article was recently deleted meaning it shows red links. In a sense it's a WP:ONEVENT but can get sticky should the author another book and yet still not be notable himself.

I'm thinking an About the author section in the book article would do with the author's article being a redirect to the section but wanted to see what thoughts people have. --Marc Kupper|talk 07:03, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea. GrandMattster 20:42, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I think furthermore, we should consider the text of WP:BK... The book itself is not glaringly notable, it only barely passes the notability guidelines because it has received a handful of reviews... This is not the first book article I have come across that is in this same situation. Hypothetically, an unknown author's first book, that is not famous, didn't sell many copies at all, was never talked about by anyone, but did recieve a couple reviews on a couple websites, suddenly passes notability concerns... that does not seem very accurate to me... Maybe the wording of this policy should be double-checked... - Adolphus79 (talk) 14:56, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think consistency between WP:BK and WP:PEOPLE is necessarily needed. Book reviews for new authors generally (at least the ones I've seen) just talk about the book and give little, if any, information about the author other than the name. So the book could be notable even though there is not enough information about the author to create an article. An "About the author" section could be useful for authors with a single notable work, especially as an intermediate stage before creating a separate article. Such a section would still have to meet BLP requirements though.--RDBury (talk) 21:43, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback on about the author sections. If the AFD ends with a merge into the book's article then I'll hat the article-talk page with {{BLP}} along with a note explaining why.
What I was first puzzling out what to do about the author not notable situation I thought about if WP:BK is weaker than WP:PEOPLE. I decided it's not because it's the book that received coverage in this case. Even with a more established author it's common for a book review to contain trivial coverage or less of the author.
It's a topic drift but a reason this barely notable book received WP:RS coverage at all is that it's a young adult book. There's likely 100,000 school librarians in the USA meaning any English YA title is likely to get reviewed by a few librarians and published in journals such as School Library Journal and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. These journals are formatted so that the individual reviews show up in citation databases such as Cengage as either magazines or academic journals. An adult title tends to get reviewed by regional newspapers and the blogophere and so do not get that national RS coverage the YA titles can get. --Marc Kupper|talk 10:07, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I forgot to add - the library journal reviews tend to be good because the librarians are critiquing the book in terms of suitability for their audience (the students). They are also bringing up themes such as race and gender equality. Adult reviews tend to be story summaries with little, if any criticism and commentary about the story. --Marc Kupper|talk 10:17, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
My general feeling about the original question, is that an author can always write more books--and after a notable book almost always does do just that-- while an article on a book has rarely any real possibility for expansion. I would therefore generally favor the author, except in the cases where there is no clear single author., DGG ( talk ) 23:48, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

What is a "general audience"?

"The book has been the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works whose sources are independent of the book itself, with at least some of these works serving a general audience."

Is this synonymous with "non-technical" (or "non-specialist") or does it have a narrower meaning. Would something in a womens magazine, or a liberal newspaper, be considered "general audience", even though they are aimed at a specific subpopulation? Richard001 (talk) 23:25, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I think that caveat could be struck altogether - a book could very well be notable only by virtue of having a large body of specialist academic literature written about it even though the book is not generally known to non-specialists.·Maunus·ƛ· 19:57, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I would recommend against a general audience caveat. Wikipedia covers subjects which are only notable to people within a field or specialty all the time, whether that specialty happens to be quantum physics, Klingon language grammatical forms, or Silmarillion subplots. (Many of the popular culture articles are actually highly esoteric, specialized, and technical!) Wikipedia is set up as a comprehensive reference, hopefully of value to specialists as well as to a general audience. I believe academic subjects should not be treated differently. Requiring that "notable" topics be notable only to a general audience (with all that audience's biases) would represent a major techtonic shift in Wikipedia's focus implicating more than a million articles. It would also hurt the efforts of supporters of academic approaches to try and educate the public and bring scientific thought out of a rarified circle into a more general understanding. (So long as done within the limits of Wikipedia's policy, "promoting" includable ideas by attempting to present them in greater depth and clarity is a presumptively legitimate activity.) If such a change is to be made it should come through policy, not tucked into a guideline. That said, I believe articles should endeavor to explain their subjects to a wide audience, but this is a matter of article language and style, not a notability criterion. --Shirahadasha (talk) 21:02, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
So you both want to remove the general audience clause altogether? How much support is there for keeping it? Richard001 (talk) 06:32, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be fine to strike it. It seems to equate popularism with notability, but that's not quite what we're driving at here. Possibly it was originally inserted to guard against some sort of WP:UNDUE scenario, but I can't really discern what that may have been.--cjllw ʘ TALK 01:09, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Strike it. But it is necessary to find some way to rule out such publications interviews in the authors hometown newspaper as showing notability. I think it might say "independent of the book or the author" . Alternatively "appropriate audience"DGG (talk)
That makes it very inclusive though. All a book needs is two reviews (or something similar) by any reliable source that isn't directly affiliated with the author. Books like that often get deleted. Richard001 (talk) 23:11, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Has there been an AfD where the "general audience" clause has been used? maclean 15:30, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm very unfamiliar with book AfDs, but the only recent one I know of involved that as one of the arguments. It was never clear to me what a 'general audience' source was. Richard001 (talk) 09:22, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
General audience, to me, has always mean readers as a whole, not just the readers the book is specifically targeted at. As noted in a current AfD on the individual books in the "The Clique" series, reviews on a bunch of teen websites is not coverage in a general audience. If the clause is struck, that pretty much opens the way to every last mass market (and often assembly line) paperback romance, teen book, etc can have an article, because most of special audience sites geared towards those readers will attempt to review most books published. Do we really want to weaken this notability guideline to the point that every Harlequin romance every published has an article? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
(First of all, hello, yes, if you haven't clicked the link to the above mentioned AfD, I am one of the people currently involved in it. Just to point out.)
I've always found the "general audience" phrase too vague to have formed my own clear opinion of it, but I have to say that I would never have interpreted it to mean that sources aimed at teens (or sources not aimed at teens but primarily about things aimed at teens, such as School Library Journal, a well respected source) were disallowed in some fashion. I guess I thought it was more about things such as those academic journals with very small print runs... I don't know. If kept, it definitely needs to be clarified.
I have to question what its original purpose was. What was it supposed to refer to? Technical publications? Regional publications? Both? I can understand the value of requiring at least one of the sources to be from a national publication (although personally I wouldn't be against allowing sources to be all regional ones - as long as they were good quality ones). But, as Maunus says, you could easily have a book that had multiple non-trivial sources from well-respected academic journals but which had no coverage that was intended for a "general audience" (especially if the book itself was on an academic subject). And I agree with Shirahadasha's point about academic subjects' coverage on Wikipedia. I would be in favour of removing the clause.
As a reply specifically to AnmaFinotera - these sources would still have to be reliable, multiple and non-trivial. Even School Library Journal, which covers most of the children's books published each year, does not give all of them proper reviews. Many of the less notable ones receive only a single line synopsis; those are trivial and could not be used to support a keep argument in an AfD (or indeed build an article on). And SLJ presents itself as the "world's largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for children and teens"! If they don't cover "every last mass market book" then I doubt that, even taken together, the rest of the reliable sources for the genre could provide one non-trivial review for each of them - let alone multiple ones. So I don't think we would be opening the floodgates by removing this clause.
(As a side-note is there really any source that is aimed at a "general audience"? Every source has some sort of niche, even if that niche is quite large - e.g. newspapers have political biases, magazines have social biases such as age, gender, race, class... Can any of you think of any sources that are universally read by everyone? Because I can't.)
-- KittyRainbow (talk) 14:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
No one said they have to be read by all, but that they are aimed at general audiences. Political bias in news source is far beyond the scope of this guideline (or Wikipedia in general, really). Most may have an age target, but it needs to be one that covers more than just the target of the book. The age issue is primarily in books targeted at kids and teens, as beyond that you generally have "adults", though I could see the same issue in a book aimed at the elderly if its only ever covered by AARP. Gender and race specific stuff is a far broader area, even with those focuses, and they are still usually covered by something more "mainstream" if it is actually notable. And for the technical stuff above, I disgree. If the only people who care about the book are people in that field, and it can't meet any of the qualifications of BK without relying exclusively on other heavily technical sources in the same field, it isn't notable here. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 14:56, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
But the idea of "aimed at a general audience" is way too restrictive. Probably no book aimed at a general audience has ever mentioned The Hopi Dictionary - but academic reviewers have praised it as one of the best dictionaries in the world, which of course makes it instantly notable, and a number of academic articles aimed at linguists and lexicographers describing its compilation and publishing have been published. ·Maunus·ƛ· 15:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
True, however that is why Academic Books are exempt from that criteria anyway, per their own special section of this guideline, which that one would fall under (at least to me) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I recognise that others may disagree with me about highly technical subjects and obviously I will follow consensus, whatever that turns out to be. But I don't see how highly technical subjects can be classified in the same way as young adult fiction. According to Demographics of the United States, 27% of the population is under 20 years of age. Assuming that 50% of those are between the ages of 10 and 20 (not unlikely, if this image is to be believed) that means that 13.5% of the population is part of the potential audience. I don't really see how that makes it an incredibly niche subject. By comparison, if a magazine aimed at women under 40 reviewed a chick lit book, its potential audience - again going by this image - would be about the same size. That seems pretty general to me. Again, going back to my point at the beginning: how is 13.5% of the population of the US on the same level as a potential audience of less than 1000 people? I think you are drawing the line of what a "general" audience is way too high up the scale. -- KittyRainbow (talk) 15:46, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, let's get away from all these terms and go for the basic questions. Should every children's book be considered notable and have an article if it has received two or more reviews but those reviews are solely from children's websites/magazines? Should every teenage/young adult book be considered notable and have an article if it has received two or more reviews but again, solely from websites and magazines for teenagers? Same question for romance novels? If the only reviews are from romance novel sites, should those novels still be considered to meet the book notability guidelines? And, again, ditto on subject-specific non-fiction books (sans Academic stuff or stuff covered in other exemptions of the guideline). For example, all those little dog breed books we've all seen in pet stores. Are they all notable if two RS sites for those dog breeds review the books? Then, taking it further, if we say yes to those, then which websites/magazines can be used? Any that meet basic RS guidelines, or must they also be notable enough websites/magazines to have their own articles? Must they be major sites for those focused areas, or can they be any little known site that can meet the basic boundaries of RS, but still not be much to speak of? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:54, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
To answer the first part: I think that any book that has two or more reviews can have an article even if those reviews are from genre-specific websites, as long as those websites are reliable sources. To answer the second part: I think if those websites meet RS guidelines, they're reliable sources. The question then becomes: do they meet the RS guidelines? The vast, vast majority of sites that are "not much to speak of" do not. They are small operations with no editorial control, no fact-checking, and therefore cannot be guaranteed to be accurate or reliable. The number of genre-specific websites that do meet the RS guidelines is, at least in my experience of the children's literature ones, very small. We're not talking huge numbers of sites here... and therefore we're not talking about huge numbers of books. -- KittyRainbow (talk) 16:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
PS: Not being a regular visitor to pet stores, I haven't seen those books. But I can imagine them, and I suspect that they're all much of a muchness. And if that is the case - why would one website bother to review them, let alone two? ;)
Same reason romance sites will review every Harlequin novel out there, even if most folks consider them "trash" :P Those breed books are all published by the same handful of companies, and usually follow a set format with the same sorts of info. But they still get reviewed by some breed specific sites. For the rest, RS != notable, to me. There are plenty of RS sites that are not notable websites. That was my question...if a site is RS, but not notable, can it still be used to establish notability in a niche/genre area.-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, okay, I don't think I worded my previous reply well enough. What I was trying to say is that I think any reliable source can be used to determine notability of other works, without necessarily being notable itself. After all, a website could have editors and be reliable, without having multiple other reliable sources covering it. (And inversely, a notable source is not necessarily reliable, as with IMDb.) WP:RS does not make any mention of the source needing to be notable itself... And WP:N, unlike WP:BK, does not have any kind of "general audience" clause.
Now, I don't know much about the romance genre, but I have to question whether it wouldn't be like the standard of SLJ reviews I was talking about upthread - every Harlequin novel might get reviewed, but most of those reviews will be very trivial ones. (This standard doesn't only apply to SLJ: I can't think of a source I use for children's literature that doesn't follow this pattern, so I don't see why it shouldn't be true for other genres.) As one of the sources I linked to in that Clique AfD was the Romantic Times, I did go and see if I could verify this, but while their website has a search feature I couldn't find any way to sample their reviews without knowing specific titles. :/
-- KittyRainbow (talk) 17:56, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
SLJ gives the reviews precisely because so many libraries typically buy every book in those series, because of the public demand, and this amounts to notability. Series of this sort that are not widely read, they normally do not buy if they can hep it, and SLJ normally does not review them. As far as Wikipedia is concerned the literary merit of a work is not relevant to notability. DGG (talk) 11:11, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


based on the above discussion, I propose the elimination of "with at least some of these works serving a general audience." The is no reason why a genera l audience should be expected to be interested in a more on some special field, such as model railroading, and even the most notable books among them will be discussed in only magazines in that field. In such a field, the only books expected to be found reviewed or discussed in works aimed at a general audience might be coffee-table books for holiday presents, or very elementary books for children. This also holds in more academic subjects. The most important scholarly astronomical book that is published, will still only be discussed in astronomy journals. DGG (talk) 14:31, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Support. Fascinating that this proposal has been sitting here unbothered for a year and a half. In any event, I think striking that language is an excellent idea. The "general audience" clause is yet another backdoor for WP:IDONTCARE, facilitating editors claiming that a subject isn't notable because the works covering it are written for "too niche" an audience, in their subjective estimation. I say strike it. —chaos5023 (talk) 00:47, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
It sat a year and a half because no one has felt it needed support and, for some odd reason, it wasn't archived. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Oppose if no alternative limitation is not proposed that is acceptable. A book is not notable if the only people who know about it are a few special interest magazines, which generally have far lower readership than a general one. I see no reason why a book on model railroading is somehow notable if the only people to find it noteworthy are model railroaders. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm concerned that this is considerably more restrictive than the GNG (which does not discriminate against reliable sources based on their circulation or specialization), and in a way that opens up the door to a great deal of subjectivity and, not to put too fine a point to it, snobbery. I'm not really sure that it would actually be a detriment to Wikipedia to have articles on books on model railroading solely on the basis that they are covered by multiple independent reliable sources, as the GNG prescribes — WP:NOTPAPER after all — but even if preventing that is desirable, and WP:NOT fails to cover it sufficiently, is it worth providing ammunition for WP:IDONTCARE arguments? —chaos5023 (talk) 15:26, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
We don't consider people notable if the only coverage is in local media, so why should a book be considered notable if the only coverage is in its own niche area. I don't think it has anything to do with snobbery, rather ensuring that topics are actually encyclopedic and point to what is and is not considered "independent". Model railroading has a large community, so of course it does have some large media outlets. But what about something more obscure, like say collecting fuzzy dice (very random). If such writes a book about such a niche topic, and then its mentioned in the two magazines for such folks, now the book is notable? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding your first question, I would say because people whose significance is limited by geographic locality are not the same thing as topics whose significance is limited by conceptual/cultural nichedom, and Wikipedia may have considerably better reasons to cover the latter than the former. The model railroading vs. fuzzy dice collecting thing illustrates my point about where this logic winds up, though; the presumed reduction to absurdity is always a topic that the writer cannot imagine anyone thinking belongs in an encyclopedia, i.e. it's fundamentally driven by subjective evaluations of what one does and does not care about. The thing about the GNG that makes it a breath of fresh air is that it's largely objective, taking personal feelings about what's notable out of the equation and replacing it with determinations about sourcing. So, in your example, yeah, perhaps then that book is notable (though it's worth mentioning that those two fuzzy-dice-collector magazines need to be independent and reliable sources, and WP:NOT is still in force, so it's not like there's no bar to meet). Is that so wrong? Does it do harm? Honestly, I think it's worth some niche articles (that someone still has to care about enough to write before they'll exist) for the benefit of pushing such a large measure of subjectivity out of AfD debates. —chaos5023 (talk) 16:01, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Incidentally, another thing that bothers me about the "general audience" clause is that, given it, literally no amount of scholarly notice, published in reliable and even notable-in-themselves sources that serve the academic community, suffices to establish notability. This seems wrong on the face of it, to me. —chaos5023 (talk) 16:27, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Being not very familiar with deletion processes and what constitutes a sufficient reasons for deletion, I would like to ask if 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance has any raison d'etre on Wikipedia? The book is pseudohistory at its best, and a spin-off of the main thesis of Chinese fleets exploring the whole world which is already dealt with at an equally nonsensical 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. The writer of the bogus theory, Gavin Menzies, also has a seperate article. Assuming that the article is judged nonetheless notable, does that mean that a another article on Menzies' third book, 1421: The Year China Discovered America, would also be notable enough to be created? In other words: Is there a chance of merging the two book articles? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 15:30, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

If the second book meets WP:BK in that it has received significant coverage in reliable, third-party sources and it has been the subject of multiple, full-length reviews, then yes, it is notable enough for inclusion here regardless of whether you agree with the author's research. The same applies to 1421: The Year China Discovered America and all other books. If such notability cannot be demonstrating, then redirecting or merging the second to the first or redirecting both to the author's page should be discussed. Just be sure any such actions are done more neutrally than your question was posed. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:35, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
"Full-length reviews" where? Somewhere in the depths of the net or in established scholarly journals? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 15:40, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Book critics, journals, etc. This can include reviews from any reliable source, and is not limited only to established scholarly journals. If reliable, third-party sources have given it significant coverage (which includes full reviews), not just scholarly journals, the book is notable. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:49, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Notability in Wikipedia does not imply anything about the merit of the book. I think Gun Powder Ma is trying to make a case that the book isn't notable because it's full of pseudohistorical misinformation. My understanding is that Wikipedia does not make that kind of determination and really can't because there would be no way to arrive at a consensus. Some books of this type might meet the criteria but maybe it's better to include it along with the critical response (positive and negative) than to not have it and leave the public unwarned.--RDBury (talk) 20:13, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Right about quality of the book. But it does mater to some extent on the length of the review and what the review might say about the importance of the book. A review whose full content is "another piece on junk" doesn't indicate notability. A review explaining at some length why this is so, demonstrates that the reviewer thinks the book worth the trouble of refuting. DGG ( talk ) 18:29, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

textbooks are all notable?

4. The book is the subject of instruction at multiple grade schools, high schools, universities or post-graduate programs in any particular country.[5]

Is this intentional? In Wikipedia, high schools and universities are deemed almost automatically notable. Also textbooks? Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 16:22, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

The way it is worded, basically any textbook used at multiple schools is indeed considered notable. Strongly disagree in practice, however, if all that can be said about the book is it is used at institute x, y, z, with no other content, reviews, etc that are required of all other books. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:28, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi guys, Please review footnote 5:

This criterion does not include textbooks or reference books written specifically for study in educational programs, but only independent works deemed sufficiently significant to be the subject of study themselves, such as major works in philosophy, literature, or science.

--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 17:06, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
It might be good to move that up to the guideline itself, rather than having it footnoted. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 17:32, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

It would be useful to have a guideline spelling out when textbooks ARE notable.--345Kai (talk) 05:28, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The crucial language here is "subject of instruction". Textbooks aren't subjects of instruction, they're tools of instruction. That is, Biology 101 isn't about the book Introduction to Biology, 7th ed., it's about elementary biology. What the guideline is talking about is books like Moby Dick and Dune that have classes taught where the book is the subject matter. —chaos5023 (talk) 00:43, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Subject of instruction

We have had a debate at WT:FICT about evidence of notability coming from from the fact that a book is taught at university ("The book is the subject of instruction at multiple grade schools, high schools, universities or post-graduate programs in any particular country"). While this might sound a good idea in theory, actually finding evidence that a book is being used as a teaching aid is actually a very roundabout way of providing evidence that a book is notable in reality. I think this inclusion criteria should be removed, because it is such a long shot as to be entirely lacking in any practical application. I don't think any examples actually exist. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 00:21, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree, for mostly the same reasons. Any book that is notable enough to actually be taught in school is unlikely to even need such a notability criteria as it would, presumably, have significant coverage as they have to be teaching about it from something. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 00:54, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Can you think of a single instance where this "atrribute" of notability has actually been applied? It seems to me that to show that "The book is the subject of instruction at multiple grade schools, high schools, universities or post-graduate programs in any particular country", the following evidence would have to be presented:
  1. Identify the educational institutions in which the book is used; and
  2. Identify that the book is actually being used for "instruction", rather than just being present in the institutions' libraries.
Even if all of these facts have been established (unlikely, since finding sources for multiple institutions sounds like being an overly onerous requirement), what does this tell you about the book? Actually nothing: the fact that book is being taught tells you nothing about the book itself if the sources are not accompanied by significant coverage that actually discuss it in some depth. I don't think anyone has thought this inclusion criteria over, as it seems to me that while is sounds good in principle, it has no practical application. I suggest it is removed, as it is both defective and unworkable. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 08:44, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I have like a vague recollection of it being applied in an AfD, but my brain refuses to remember which one now. It was months ago, and as I recall the book in question had other elements of notability. I do remember it was an older manga work, and that it was demonstrated that it was used via course websites at various universities. I'll see if I can find it (and completely agree it told nothing about the book, but as I recall, the AfD ended in keep).-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:39, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Non-literary authors

There are a couple of places where the guideline could do with a little modification, as it appears to overlook books that may be notable in fields other than literature.


the author's life and body of work would be a common study subject in literature classes

should perhaps be changed to:

the author's life and body of work would be a common subject of academic study


"its place in the history of literature"


"its place in history"

My thinking here is that any book by, say, Karl Marx or Charles Darwin is probably per se notable, but may well be not taught or regarded as literature.

I'd change this myself, but I don't know on editing policies! Barnabypage (talk) 20:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi Barnaby. The reason we have it expressly pointing to literature classes, is because other written works of writers esteemed enough to be the subject of common study in a literature class are presumed to be notable. This does not translate well to any old profession. For an example off the top of my head, Phineas Gage, a common subject of study in physiology/neurology/psychology etc. classes for having survived a railroad spike being driven through his brain, thus causing a natural lobotomy, might well have written a novel when he was twenty that went nowhere. I would not presume that book to be notable. Would you? Such examples are legion. As to the second point, I donlt think the change would cause any great damage but the use of "literature" there is rather generic—it doesn't really mean anything more, in context, than "history of the written word", which is a description any book can be tagged with.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:43, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I see your point - but surely the key phrase here is and body of work. Phineas Gage's body of work (if any) is presumably not a common subject of study, therefore a book by him would not be automatically notable. Barnabypage (talk) 13:56, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not 'body of work', 'it's body of written work'. The person's notability for other writings is tied to their being notable for writing activities. Maybe Phineas Gage was a bad example because he has no body of work. Let me try another, better suited to the distinction I'm drawing. First let me say that when you go into the rarified airs of your Charles Darwins and your Karl Marxs, of course books they've written are notable; we don't need this guideline to tell us that and that's not what this guideline is needed for. Okay, take (rather randomly) Frank Guarrera. He has a body of work. He can probably be said to be a common study in academic classes on history of music and so on. Maybe he was a science fiction fan and tried to write some Robert Heinlein type space opera in his spare time but it never went anywhere. I don't think some book he wrote should be flagged as being notable simply because he is a common subject of study. Of course, if it meets other criterion, especially the GNG, it should have an article. But this last criterion should be kept for a special case. Truthfully, I'm not sure we should have it at all. I'm trying to imagine a scenario where we could use it where it would not be redundant to other criterion and failing, but it should not exist as a backdoor to any book by anyone who is widely studied for non-writing activities to have any book they published not need to meet a more direct notability criterion.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 05:42, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
We could try If the author's body of written work, as a whole, is a common subject of academic study in a particular field, any book forming part of that body of work and relevant to the field in question is also individually notable. Though I'll be the first to admit it sounds terribly legalistic. Barnabypage (talk) 16:56, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

For the record and just because I'm in a prissy mood: Phineas Gage (mentioned above) did not survive a "railroad spike" being driven through his head, nor was what happened to him anything like a lobotomy (see Phineas Gage). And he did leave a body of written work, though admittedly a very, very small one. EEng (talk) 06:31, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Funny, numerous reliable sources call what Gage suffered an "accidental lobotomy" [5], an "accidental frontal lobotomy"[6] and so on. From Introduction to Psychology: "Phineas had suffered a crude and massive form of frontal lobotomy". In The Mind Manipulators: "Phineas Gage was the first person to survive a lobotomy". Even medical anatomy texts, such as Atlas of Functional Neuroanatomy, describe the actual damage to the brain he suffered as "much like the surgical procedure described above... his personality changes... concur with those described following a frontal lobotomy."[7], and in The human nervous system: structure and function: "...was blown through [Gage's] head, producing a prefrontal lobotomy"[8]. Searching "Phineas Gage" and lobotomy will find hundreds of other examples. But yes, indeed, it was a tamping iron and not a railroad spike. Shameful of me, working from memory, to have gotten that wrong when it was so germane to the discussion.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 07:25, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Instead of Googlebooks previews of paragraph-length mentions of Gage in nonspecialist works, why not consult Wikipedia's very own article on Phineas Gage, (to which you yourself linked, strangely enough) for authoratative references on this point? And shame on you indeed for suggesting it's OK to enliven your argument with dubious "facts," under the excuse that the mistaken details are (not) "so germane" -- attitudes like that are what got the Gage story into such a mangled state in the first place. In any event, please don't let me distract you from your most entertaining debate on whatever it is you're debating; I only dropped in to set the record straight about Gage. EEng (talk) 15:13, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

To be fair to Fuhghettaboutit , the conversation here wasn't about Gage, and any errors he may have made about Gage don't invalidate his point. (He could just as easily have used an entirely made-up character to illustrate the point.) Barnabypage (talk) 17:31, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

My point exactly: why introduce vaguely remembered unverified trivia which (we are now told) neither supports the argument by its presence nor impairs it by its absence, and whose persuasive role could be fulfilled equally well by an unimpeachable hypothetical? Doing so merely creates the risk that some offended Gage expert will butt in to scold you. Carry on as before. EEng (talk) 19:46, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

And yet, you're still wrong. I love it. You "scold me", imply you're an expert on a subject and attack me about a supposed fundamental error on something I was using only as a side note, wholly sidetracking this discussion with this obnoxious diatribe, but wave off the reliable sources I found in moments that actually sustain my memory, dismissing them as some type of web Google search when they are quotes from books, and then point to Wikipedia's tertiary source article as the authoritative reference, which makes me think you know very little about how to gauge what a reliable source is. If you are on expert on Gage, I'm glad I don't need your professional advice. I need a shower after reading this discussion again. --Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:36, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

The word "Literature" is problematical. The dictionary definition is any written work, which makes Wikipedia itself Literature. The definitions used in Academia and other specialized groups will often be different. When discussing a word which has more than one definition you need to specify which definition you are using, so you don't confuse us ;) UrbanTerrorist (talk) 22:05, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I know this discussion is now quite old, but it strikes me that the problematic phrase is 'literature class'. People who are highly notable as writers might not be the subject of literature classes if they weren't writers of fiction or anything else literary. Of course, this is a conceptual problem rather than a concrete one for me, being unable to think of an example where it would really make a difference. Mostly the cognitive dissonance comes from the fact it seems to indicate that a book is automatically literary, or even fiction. SamBC(talk) 14:46, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Ridiculous policy

This policy is ridiculous. Any published book should be able to have an article on Wikipedia. Ereuthalion (talk) 22:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Why? Is there a particular book you have in mind? Barnabypage (talk) 00:10, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Ereuthalion, the overall guideline is Wikipedia:Notability (WP:N). Guidelines have then been developed for various subject areas to help people interpret and understand WP:N better for that subject. That said, you are free to see if you can develop consensus that "Any published book should be able to have an article on Wikipedia." You might start out by defining what you mean by "Any published book." --Marc Kupper|talk 01:30, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

To say that "Any published book should be able to have an article on Wikipedia" would overlook how many books have been published in history - as the Good Book says, "Of making many books there is no end" (I think that comes from Ecclesiastes). There are religious texts which certainly should have articles in Wikipedia, such as the Bible or the Koran, and there are specific works which were by famous authors and became so famous in their own right as to have entries in the Encyclopaedia Britannica - the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau comes to mind there. However, I really cannot ever see the day coming when any published book gets a Wikipedia article! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:01, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Possibly the answer is to remove books from Wikipedia into a separate wiki which is for books only. Storage is no longer an issue. I can remember the bad old days when a 10 megabyte hard drive cost nearly $5000.00, and now it's impossible to get storage devices that small.

The current Notability:Books doesn't make sense. I'm not sure that either of those suggestions make any more sense. To a large extent I think most of us are still thinking in the 20th Century, and we are not in the 21st Century. The rules are different now. UrbanTerrorist (talk) 22:21, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

(@ Ereuthalion) The idea that every published book should get an article is one of the more ridiculous notions I've heard. Just so you know, according to a few sources I just checked, about 760,000 books are published every year in just the U.S. and of those, about 290,000 are through "traditional" publishing houses. Most of them are not notable in any way, and so no one writes about them and so there is no source from which a verifiable article could be written even if someone wanted to. You want a dumping ground. I want a tertiary source.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:29, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia has no shortage of space so no reason not to list everything in existence. That's how it was in the early days. Now we can't even agree that being on the bestseller's list makes a book automatically notable. Wikipedia foundation runs Wikisource, which already allows a full copy of anything published before a set date, and thus out of copyright, no matter how insignificant it was. Anyway, you can find a side wiki like which allows any book, poetry, or whatnot ever published to have an article about it. The more popular novel series have their own wikis though. Dream Focus 01:10, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes there's a very good reason to not list everything is existence. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It is therefore a tertiary source that properly synthesizes information that has already been the topic of publication by (reliable) secondary sources. It is not for announcing new things. It is not an indiscriminate collection of information. It is not a directory. There's so many policies and guidelines involved against that idea, that I didn't bother linking any rather than inundating you. You might see as just a taste WP:V, WP:NOT, WP:N, WP:NOR, WP:ENC...---Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:21, 20 July 2011 (UTC)


The section "Threshold standards" currently includes the statement "Books should have at a minimum an ISBN number (for books published after 1966), be available at a dozen or more libraries and be catalogued by its country of origin's official or de facto national library." But the ISBN was by no means universally adopted before the early 1970s -- indeed the ISBN standard itself was only published in 1970, and many significant publishers didn't adopt them until 1975 or so. (The UK used the SBN until 1974.) Specialist books sold largely by mail order didn't routinely use ISBNs until later, and some still don't. Moreover, there are cases of small press books that have no ISBNs but are notable, although these are rare. Specialist books sold largely by mail order didn't routinely use ISBNs until later, and some still don't. At the least the wording should be changed to make the date 1975. DES (talk) 00:10, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm inclined to wonder why having an ISBN matters matters one way or another for notability? Self-publishing places like CreateSpace let you get our own ISBN (they are relatively cheap), so having one doesn't mean much. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 00:20, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree, but the absence of an ISBN on a work of fiction later than 1976 generally means a small-press that sells only by subscription, or a chapbook. On non-fiction from 1976 thru roughly 2000 many small press books did not carry ISBNs, now almost all do, except the very most cheaply self-published. I ran into this a good deal at the ISFDB, where we found that small limited editions often do not carry an ISBN. Some of those would be notable. DES (talk) 00:25, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
That may be true for books release in North America, but in Japan ISBNs didn't start regularly appearing on books until the mid 1980s. Even then, they weren't always on there. I have several volumes of manga which were assigned an ISBN in later printings, so the first few printings didn't have an ISBN on the cover or inside the volume. These are works published by major publishers in Japan. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:20, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
As a publisher, I'm wondering if you realize that every variation on a book requires it's own ISBN? A printed book will have a different ISBN than an Audio Book, which will have a different ISBN than an EBook. If the author changes publishers, and the book is republished the ISBN will change. An ISBN is not therefore like a fingerprint, a book may have many different ISBNs over it's life time. It may be necessary therefore to list ten or fifteen different ISBNs for a single book in some cases. Does having ten ISBNs make a book more notable? You might want to think this through. UrbanTerrorist (talk) 16:15, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Criterion 3

So this guideline states that the subject is notable if it "has been considered by reliable sources to have made a significant contribution to a notable motion picture , or other art form...". An editor at B Gata H Kei stated that because the work has been made into an animated series, that it meets this requirement.

Now from a plain reading of this, I get the sense that notable (in this context) means well-known or well represented in reliable sources. But I can also see how one can read this as establishing notability for works that have been adapted even if that adaptation only meets the bare minimum for notability.

In this particular case it seems circular since neither the original work nor the adaptation have reliable sources demonstrating notability. But I'm more concerned with the overall principal. I find it hard to believe that a work can be notable simply by being adapted, its very common for manga to be adapted into anime. --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 02:53, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Nationally broadcasted series are generally considered notable. Perhaps that is in error. But before we declair not coverage for this series. Have you checked out Newtype, Animage, or Japanese manga magazines to see what kind of coverage it has received? —Farix (t | c) 03:04, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I used news search and the custom RS search. I didn't come up with anything on the manga or anime. --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 07:48, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The custom RS search won't catch articles in Newtype, Animage or other Japanese anime magazines. These are "dead-tree" publications which are not indexed by Google. —Farix (t | c) 14:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't read Japanese very well or have access to their magazines, if its online I can use a translation site. Is there somewhere online to look for these? On a side note, my library apparently just threw out all of 2006 Newtype USA. -_- --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 15:25, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Well I wouldn't call an anime TV series non-notable until after these sources are checked out. There is a better than even chance that they have received coverage by one more more of these magazines. The real question is, to what depth? —Farix (t | c) 16:03, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, in this case, it's being broadcast on at least 10 different stations around Japan as part of the UHF anime network. I think if a manga is adapted into a television series or theatrical film (whether live or animated), that should establish it as notable due to the resources required to adapt it and the generally wide release those formats would receive. OVAs and ONAs are not necessarily in the same category, though, unless they are done by a major studio, since almost anyone can slap together an OVA and release it for far less than a television series or film release. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:15, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I've always thought that criterion 3 meant the book was adapted into a work with enough sources to pass the notability guidelines, and not that the adaptation must be especially notable beyond what is required for an article. For manga/anime articles, since both the original work and the adaptation are usually covered in a single article, WP:BK#3 isn't really necessary, as the sources that make the anime notable would be relevant to the article directly as the article will be on both the anime and manga (i.e. WP:BK#3 seems to just be for justifying a separate article on a book from its adaptation). In the case of B Gata H Kei, I think the person who removed the notability tag considered the anime to have enough coverage to pass the notability guidelines, and he probably should have stated that as the reason for removing the tag, rather than WP:BK#3. In this case the anime clearly has significant coverage from Anime News Network, and I think it can be assumed that any recent TV anime has significant coverage in some Japanese magazines. I think removing the notability tag was entirely appropriate in this case, given that the person who removed the tag added citations to several reviews (all from ANN) and it would be very unlikely that the series doesn't have other coverage. Calathan (talk) 05:03, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
This is actually a good point. The issue at hand is still the coverage and since its within the same article criteria 3 is not necessarily relevant. I don't doubt they had good reasons for removing the tag, I'm just trying to sort of the rationale. There actually wasn't any substantial coverage at ANN, all three relevant articles were just passing mentions of the show being streamed online along with several other shows. Anyway, this specific discussion can continue at the article's talkpage.
Here's how I think this works, tell me if I'm wrong: A book may be notable if it has been adapted into a motion picture or other significant art form. Those assertions must be backed up with reliable sources. Do these need to be independent sources, or does meeting WP:BK with reliable primary sources allow for a stand-alone article? --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 07:48, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
If a work, such as a movie, claims in the credits that it was based on/adapted from another work, such as a book or manga, then that should be sufficient. Especially when the another work's author is credited with the original story. —Quasirandom (talk) 14:12, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is the Deadly combo WP:BK #3 and WP:OUTCOMES#Broadcast media.

The best would be third party coverage which would along the way make this article pass the GNG. However we are also facing a reality which is the odds to get a nationally broadcast TV show article Deleted in AFD. --KrebMarkt 08:18, 5 April 2010 (UTC)