Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction)/RFC1

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Are non-notable spinouts of fictional elements appropriate[edit]

There is currently strong debate over the concept of spinouts (per WP:SPINOUT) from articles on works of fiction that describe one or more fictional elements (characters, setting, etc.) without having secondary sources. This is likely a crux of the "inclusionist vs deletionist" issue that has been going on for some time, and achieving some consensus on it may help to defuse this a bit.

There are several relevant policies and guidelines, these are likely not all that apply but are key points in current discussion:

  • Article Size states that when an article grows too large, sections can be spun out per summary style.
  • Notability states that significant coverage in secondary sources should be present for a topic to be notable; however, it is not crystal clear if a spun out article is a new topic or a part of the larger topic of the work of fiction. Notability also states that notability does not limit what content can be contained within an article.
  • WP is not plot summaries states that articles that are only plot summaries are discouraged; they should have real-world coverage along with concise plot details
  • WP is not paper states that WP is not bound by usual limits of paper encyclopedias, and thus can include information that would not typically be part of print encyclopedias.
  • The first pillar states that WP is a combination of both general and specialty encyclopedias; it is understood that the latter could include the type of content in published encyclopedias for fictional works.

Now, while we can go to the policies and guidelines all day long and argue the issue back and forth, that is not getting anywhere: the current policies and guidelines are conflicting and both support and prevent the use of spinouts. Thus, it seems it is necessary to get a larger consensus on this aspect, considering what the current practices are and where the encyclopedia should go. (This latter point is admittedly a huge issue.) Even what exactly are current practices are questionable, depending on what areas of WP that an editor watches.

There is also a side argument that if spinouts are allowed, there should be restrictions on what those spinouts can contain. A complete allowance for any spinout, which could ultimately include articles for every major, minor, and one-time character, every episode and chapter, every alien species, magic spell, or plot element, is obviously not acceptable, based on the number of individual articles that are merged or deleted through AFD. However, when talking about lists of such elements, there's even questions of where the line is drawn as to being relevant to the show and being fan information that shouldn't be on WP; it is proposed a secondary guideline to WP:FICT be created to provide specific guidance on what content in spinouts of non-notable fictional elements are acceptable. It is agreed, however, that any such spinout needs to meet all other policies and guidelines (V/NOR/NPOV/UNDUE, etc.), otherwise, you have a mess of in-universe writing that needs to be removed. It should be assumed that when spinouts are mentioned, the quality of the article should be considered as meeting all WP standards, so the primary issue of concern is the appropriateness of the content.

There have been spinout lists and articles on fictional elements that have shown notability through secondary sources, as demonstrated through Featured Articles and Good Articles. However, the crux of the problem here is when no sources outside of those primary to the work can be used to support the spinouts.

So the question for this RFC is simple: Are spinouts of fictional elements that lack any real-world, secondary sources, appropriate for Wikipedia? This question should be answered considering policy and guidelines, and also considering the current processes for how such articles are deleted, and what effects may happen should we go to lax in allowing spinouts or too restrictive in preventing them. This is a !vote, but only to see if consensus can be established from a larger group of concerned editors. The result of this discussion will affect the inclusion of a section within WP:FICT regarding spinouts. --MASEM 15:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Addendum To clarify: there may be spinouts where some elements have notable coverage about them, or that the grouping itself has notability demonstrated by coverage (praised for the characters as a whole, but not individual characters); this RFC is not meant to address types of spinouts. The spinouts that are addressed here are those where both the overall summary of the article, and all individual elements, lack any notable coverage through secondary sources. --MASEM 17:44, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

User statements[edit]

Statement by User:Percy Snoodle[edit]

Are spinouts of fictional elements that lack any real-world, secondary sources, appropriate for Wikipedia? No.

WP:PAPER states that "Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia; there is no practical limit to the number of topics it can cover, or the total amount of content, other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page. However, there is an important distinction between what technically can be done, and what reasonably should be done, which is covered in the Content section below." The "Content section below" includes WP:PLOT: "Wikipedia articles on published works (such as fictional stories) should contain real-world context and sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's development and historical significance, not solely a detailed summary of that work's plot."

WP:V states that "Material challenged or likely to be challenged, and all quotations, must be attributed to a reliable, published source." WP:PSTS states that "Secondary sources are accounts at least one step removed from an event. Secondary sources may draw on primary sources and other secondary sources to create a general overview; or to make analytic or synthetic claims" - sources real-world context and analysis are therefore secondary sources.

WP:PLOT refers to articles, not topics, so the often-used and incorrect argument that a spinout article is an article on the parent topic, not the spinout topic, is irrelevant. It is also argued that consensus supports the inclusion of some spinouts that the bare notability guidelines fail to include. I do not dispute that, but I do dispute that real-world, secondary sources cannot be found for those articles. I have suggested two guidelines which use real-world, secondary sources to demonstrate that some spinout articles are acceptable. Finally, article size is not a relevant concern. If an article reaches the recommended size limit for spinouts, but none of its sections have sufficient real-world, secondary sources to justify an article, then that article has given undue weight, either to the plot details of the fictional work, or to unverifiable statements. Such an article requires cleaning up, not spinning out.

To conclude: If an article is to contain verifiable "real-world context and sourced analysis", it must logically contain real-world, secondary sources. Spinouts that lack any real-world, secondary sources, cannot contain verifiable real-world context and sourced analysis. By policy, that is not appropriate. There is no reason within those policies that we cannot meet the consensus for inclusion of fictional articles without including these inappropriate ones.

Percy, nothing that you've referenced suggests that only secondary sources are allowed. WP:V says reliable and published. WP:PSTS does say that about secondary sources, but it also (last I looked) says that primary sources are fine for some stuff. Analysis needs secondary sources is also fine. So, secondary sources are generally needed for articles on published works, but nothing suggests they are needed for articles on elements of that work. A source could be first-party (written by the original author of a book) and still give analysis of a character's motives or reasoning, and would be hard to define as primary or secondary. Actually, this all speaks to how jumbled this question is, as I note below. My own response has confused me... SamBC(talk) 17:52, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah; there's a difference between "secondary" and "independent". WP:PSTS is a little vague, TBH. Percy Snoodle (talk) 18:48, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes; a source can be third-party and primary, or first-party and secondary. An alarming number of people seem to think that third-party and secondary are synonymous. SamBC(talk) 20:17, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, ignore any of what I just said that didn't make any sense, I'll come up with a response that isn't braindead later, probably, because I think this view has missed the point; in fact, missed both the point of this RFC (as I see it) and the point that actually needs talking about. I mean no offence by that, the discussion seems to keep hitting cross-purposes and getting confusing. SamBC(talk) 18:22, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
None taken. This is my answer to the question that was asked. It's the wrong question - instead of asking whether we want to include the worst spinouts, we should be looking into how to keep the good ones. Percy Snoodle (talk) 18:56, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Further statement[edit]

Since other users are answering the question Masem should have asked, not the one he did, I shall too. That question is "Shouls some, all, or no spinouts be included?" I understand spinout to mean "an article created from the contents of another for reasons of size". Some spinouts should be included, many should not. We shouldn't say that they are included by default then give exceptions, since we cannot cover the undesirable articles with those exceptions without losing some desirable articles - in short, we please no-one, and harm the quality of the encyclopedia. Judging spinouts as part of the parent gives them this default inclusion. We should identify classes of spinout that are beneficial, explain why they are beneficial, and then extend notability to them; but require the others to demonstrate notability in the usual way. That way the beneficial articles are included and the harmful ones are excluded. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:08, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Randomran[edit]

I tend to be a minimalist. In Wikipedia, we spend a lot of time talking about how to build articles, but the idea of keeping the database elegant, clean, and simple is lost on a lot of people. "More is more" is the mantra. I think more information is generally good, but at a certain point it can overwhelm. You end up with articles that are simply unreadable because of an "include everything "mentality. "Water can float or capsize a boat". I think this is one area where we can and should prevent a flood.

The key is *non-notable* spin-outs. Notable spin-outs are clearly acceptable. If an independent source has written a literary criticism of the settings in Tolkien's books, then an article about Middle-earth becomes notable. If an independent source discusses the characters of Star Wars, then an article about the Characters of Star Wars becomes notable. But if these details are only mentioned briefly in articles that discuss the fictional work as a whole, then the details of that fiction are not notable. Only the fiction itself is notable.

I'd go a step further. Isolating these details for the purpose of spinning off a new article constitutes original research. Yes, it might be verifiable. But it's wholly original to make observations about a character that has appeared in one or two video games. You're the one playing the game, reading the manual, and combining all the details to paint a picture of a character that nobody else has researched before you. It ceases to be original research if someone has identified that character or setting and written about it with a more specific focus. And when the person does that, not only does it give you reliable independent research to pass the WP:OR test... you also pass the notability test. Darth Vader is a good example of someone who deserves his own article.

If someone wants to go into detail about the fiction, then they should do it somewhere else. Not Wikipedia. And if an article is getting extraordinarily big because someone decided to do original research about a non-notable setting by watching every episode ... well, it's up to the editors to prune the article into a form that is readable. Yes, that means making educated assessments about what is notable enough to warrant inclusion, and what should be cut.

Just my two cents. I'd like to see WP:FICT tightened up substantially. Some of these articles are horrendous. Randomran (talk) 22:12, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

additional comment: Some people think non-notable, unverified, or original research by watching/reading/playing primary sources can be spun out simply because an article is too long. I disagree, strongly. One of the most important side effects I'd like to see from a clarified WP:FICT policy is that people start thinking about what warrants inclusion, and what doesn't. If the article is on a game or a movie, focus on the most relevant details. And yes, that means pruning unnecessary detail, rather than spinning it out. I don't want a messy, excessive, badly written article to be an excuse for splitting into 5 messy, excessive, badly written articles. Randomran (talk) 16:09, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by User:Sambc[edit]

  • Certainly not all such spinouts should be considered acceptable. However, I content that there are probably circumstances in which some are. For example, there may be other criteria by which to judge notability; there are likely to be situations in which there is broad consensus that an article is needed on a subject or subjects that meet no criteria for notability, although I expect those cases to be rare. This question is very hard to answer, as its phrasing has the suggestion of "all-or-nothing"; I veer nearer to nothing than all, but certainly would not agree to nothing. SamBC(talk) 18:14, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Addendum I'd just like to remind people that a topic does not have to pass WP:N to be considered notable and thus merit an article; they have to pass WP:N or an applicable more specific notability guideline. That's what's written in WP:N, somewhat paraphrased perhaps. SamBC(talk) 15:19, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Another Addendum I'd also like to note that, IIRC, previous consensus in discussions, including at WT:NOR, has reached the conclusion that plot summaries based on primary sources are not necessarily OR, including synthesis. You can summarise plot information without making analytical claims. SamBC(talk) 12:04, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by User:Ned Scott[edit]

Some sub/SPINOUT/whatever articles do have real world context, but might not contain that information in the subarticle itself. This wording was once used on WP:FICT, and summarizes my own view on the matter:

Sub-articles are sometimes born for technical reasons of length or style. Even these articles need real-world information to prove their notability, but must rely on the parent article to provide some of this background material (due to said technical reasons). In these situations, the sub-article should be viewed as an extension of the parent article, and judged as if it were still a section of that article. Such sub-articles should clearly identify themselves as fictional elements of the parent work within the lead section, and editors should provide as much real-world content as possible.

We need a way to present this information in a guideline that is easy to understand and that doesn't give a free pass to anything and everything. We need examples. I do not think this is anything about "pro" or "anti" spinout articles, at least that is not the real issue here. -- Ned Scott 23:39, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by User:Erachima[edit]

In addition to solidly seconding Ned Scott's sentiments above, I would like to point out that the primary responsibility of a Wikipedia editor is to serve its readers, not its rules. Readers are not well-served when the real information about a work of fiction is lost in an avalanche of plot details, and this is exactly what spinout articles help to prevent. I invite those reading this page to take a look at the lists of WP:GA and WP:FA fiction articles, and pick one arbitrarily to read. Now ask yourself: would merging this page's subarticles (lists of episodes, lists of characters, etc.) into it, and presenting all the content on the subject in one place, be a benefit to the reader's understanding of the subject, or a detriment to the reader's understanding of the subject?

It grates against every fiber of my personality to say this, but creating rules that are inconsistent on the surface (in this case, allowing the existence of a limited class of non-notable articles) in order to stay true to the underlying principles is a far better alternative than the reverse. As a final note for those who are fearing this exception will be used for the resurgence of Gundam or Pokemon-style collections of hundreds and hundreds of articles, rest assured, the community is intelligent enough to tell where "this list of recurring characters would be in the main page if the series weren't 15 seasons long" stops and "let's make a separate article on everyone who appeared in one episode" begins. --erachima talk 06:08, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Eusebeus[edit]

I largely agree with User:Percy Snoodle above. However, it is currently a matter of some practical necessity to allow spin-out list articles for fictional topics to provide coverage for characters, episodes and other such in-universe aspects. Percy, Gavin and others are quite right to note that these spin-outs would normally be proscribed by the rigorous application of our notability or verifiability standards, as well as our injunction against in-universe content {WP:PLOT). But those of us who desire more exacting encyclopedic standards (sometimes called deletionists) need to recognise that this is an important compromise with those who desire individual articles on every fictional character, episode, edition, etc... (which is what currently prevails and needs to be redressed). Thus: list spinouts of some in-universe elements are fine; further spinouts, however, should be very, very strongly discouraged. Eusebeus (talk) 09:55, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by User:B. Wolterding[edit]

Wikipedia is organized in terms of articles. This applies on the levels of presentation, organization, maintenance, and process. The topic of an article should be clearly distinguished from that of other articles; further, it needs to fulfill the notability criteria, which means it has been covered in independent sources.

Applied to fiction, I do not think that this should differ. A fictional work should be covered in only one article, unless there are sufficient independent sources that discuss subaspects as separate topics, in detail. In this case, an article on that subaspect can be "spun out", giving a separate article that passes WP:N. Notability of a fictional topic is supposed to be understood as notable to the real world, not as notable within a fictional world. Non-notable subtopics should be covered (if at all) in the main article about the fictional work. This has some positive effects, since it encourages shortening the fictional content to its essentials.

Handling non-notable fictional topics in separate articles is not a technical problem (WP:NOT#PAPER), but it is actually detrimental to the organization of the encyclopedia. For example, listing these (like other articles) on disambiguation pages, etc. gives these topics undue weight, and may distract the reader. Apparently it also encourages the inclusion of unencyclopedic content (WP:NOT#PLOT).

Information that establishes notability, including independent sources, should be included directly in the article. (Given that a Wikipedia article can cover 10+ printed pages, that should always be possible in terms of size.) Further, one should remember that the article should actually be written from these independent sources, and only partially (if at all) from primary sources. It happens only too often with fictional topics that sources are listed, or for some reason assumed to exist, but not actually used (or maybe not actually useful) for the article's content. Independent sources are not supposed to be a coatrack for including fictional, in-universe information.

One can debate whether, for reasons of presentation, Wikipedia should contain a sort of "lesser class articles", between a "regular", fully notable article and just a subsection in another article. These "lesser class articles" would need to be treated and organized differently, and clearly distinguished from regular articles. (Further elaboration and rationale here.) However, this is not current practice and would be a separate proposal, outside the current discussion.

In short, I think that spinout articles about fictional topics are in most cases not warranted. --B. Wolterding (talk) 14:16, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Vassyana[edit]

Generally, if a section is so large as to reach a point where splitting is considered, it should have multiple independent reputable sources supporting it. Take an instance where the only supporting reference for such a large section is the subject itself, a reference from the subject itself or a single source. It is by far most likely that the section should be mercilessly trimmed and/or rounded out with additional sources. In almost all cases (lists are a whole other animal and we're permitted to use common sense), if a section has grown large enough to justify an article split, there should be enough independent sources to support it's existance as separate article (if basic content policy like verifiability and appropriate presentation is being followed).

Addressing the vexatious and persistent claims about a lack of fiction sources, it is (to be exceedingly mild) a horrid misconception that secondary sources do not exist for such topics. The "theory" that secondary sources don't exist for such articles is utterly false. There are a ridiculous number of periodicals that cover television episodes and events that provide episode summaries, production information, critical reviews, and so on. That does not even cover all available references, but rather just the common easily available bulk of references. Even short-lived programs that fail to catch on receive this coverage. Any series that manages to survive for even a couple of seasons tends to receive further in-depth coverage and materials of its own. Any popular series has a mountain of additional references getting into fine details and exacting analysis. This misconception is one of the most noxiously dogged falsehoods in the whole notability discussion. Do plentiful secondary sources exist? Absolutely. The main bulk of pop-culture editors may not be willing to go digging through periodical stacks to appropriately reference the information, but that's a whole issue separate from the simple availability of sources. Vassyana (talk) 14:55, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

One problem is that those source (I assume that, by periodicals, you means listings magazines and similar), while acceptable in terms of WP:V and WP:NOR, are not generally acceptable for the last-resourt criteria of WP:N; after all, almost every TV show gets coverage in them. If you mean topical magazines aimed at genre fans, then that's valid. However, that then only covers TV shows, and these arguments can be mad with varying degrees of success about books and book settings, characters, etc, or game universes or characters, etc etc. Otherwise, you make good points that should be helpful in seeing a sensible path forward. SamBC(talk) 15:15, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Genre periodicals don't just exist for TV shows. Science-fiction, in all its forms, is covered in Category:Science fiction related magazines. My impression is that this sort of genre publication does not get picked up by Google and so it is correspondingly hard to source such material, even though the sources exist. For example, taking something off a stack of magazines here, I have Heroes & Villains a Beckett spotlight on superhero gaming. This contains articles such as Captain America: Proud Facts and Google does not seem aware of it. Colonel Warden (talk) 16:50, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
  • You've hit the nail on the head. Sources exist, but they are not easy to find through simple Google searching. Finding sources may require a trip to the periodicals stack, or otherwise acquiring physical copies of magazines and other print materials. I forgot about the "bias" of Google searching when making my statement. However, it's an important point, as it is the root of claims that standard reliable sources cannot be found. Vassyana (talk) 20:51, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Of course, this does swing both ways. People shouldn't appeal to "bad" sources just because it's effort to find the good sources; however, people who don't understand the topic area should assume good faith a bit and take the word of more knowledgeable (in that area) editors for a while when they assure people that, within a given milieu, a given topic is important/prominent. That doesn't mean sources never need to be found, but they might take longer than the normal AFD period. SamBC(talk) 09:05, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
      • I'd agree. Generally, unless the current article is an unmanageable/unrecoverable mess of some sort (such as a POV fork), if the topic probably have enough available sources, then the article should be allowed time to develop. Vassyana (talk) 02:34, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by User:Hiding[edit]

I proposed WP:PLOT. The intention was that it be used as a tool to improve articles away from being plot, rather than a tool to delete articles about plot. It has nothing to do with notability, never has, never will. It has to do with article content. WP:PLOT doesn't apply to this question, even though a vast number of people seem to assert it does. That's because an article can meet WP:PLOT and still not meet some people's interpretations of notability. The child of WP:PLOT is WP:WAF, a style guide telling you how to write an article about fiction. I also proposed the sentence about if an article topic has no third party sources, then Wikipedia should not have an article on it at WP:V. That's where notability stems from, and to further explain the issues behind notability, I wrote Wikipedia:Independent sources. That's remained an essay, and isn't in common usage although I think there are people who agree with the fundamental ideas. We need secondary sourcing to be able to comprehensively cover a topic. Now, this RFC asks, Are spinouts of fictional elements that lack any real-world, secondary sources, appropriate for Wikipedia? That's a tough question, because what is appropriate for Wikipedia is something Wikipedians can only answer through consensus. It means discussion, debate and give and take. It means judging the issue in context. It means the answer is different dependent on the article under discussion. It means the solution, is, has been and always will be, WP:AFD. This isn't a question one can answer one day, one time, for all eternity. That isn't the Wikipedia way. That's not we do, and it isn't what we are supposed to do. We have enough guidance. We have enough policies. If we can write articles that meet WP:V, WP:NOR, WP:NPOV and WP:NOT, isn't that enough? Shouldn't we respect our policies and ourselves enough that if we have to debate any more issues, we do it at AFD? Do we really need to load the dice, pre-judge the debate and say that some information has no value to us? Isn't that counter to the principles upon which Wikipedia was founded? That all information and all voices should be heard through the wiki process. Are we to close the door on some set of information? Or are we prepared to be a work in progress for perpetuity? Hiding T 16:38, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Sceptre[edit]

I'm saying this as a generality: I'm okay for spinouts that are technically non-notable to have articles they can't be adequately summarised in a parent article. As far as fiction goes, I'd say around 500 words of real-world information should suffice (balance the plot/production scales). For example, this or this would be suitable spinout articles (second one added as PiC is currently just notable), this wouldn't. Sceptre (talk) 04:00, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Gavin Collins[edit]

Are spinouts of fictional elements that lack any real-world, secondary sources, appropriate for Wikipedia?
I would say no, not only for the technical reasons outlined by Percy Snoodle (above), but also because it would be a terrible disservice by the writers of this guideline to promote a dishonest and misleading opinion that says there is a category of article in Wikipedia that does not need real-world, secondary sources. New editors who refer to WP:FICT as a source of guidance to create or add content to spinout articles will be ultimately doomed to disappointment when they see that, over the long term, their work will be cut out, merged or deleted because the content of articles without real-world, secondary sources is always going to be replaced by content that does during the lifecyle of a typical article.

At the start of an article's lifecycle, it might comprise of original research, then go on to be improved somewhat to the point where primary sources are cited to create a synthesis, and lastly to be replaced with real-world, secondary sources. However, if we say that spinouts don't need real-world, secondary sources, then they will never have to reach maturity, since the guideline says they can exist in a sort of perpetual limbo pending improvement. Attempts to encourage cleanup will have no impact on spinouts as currently defined, since they are exempt from the process of review, critisism and improvement: if real-world, secondary sources aren't required, then any attempt to edit, merge or delete these articles will be prevented from taking place.

At the time of writing, WP:FICT states:

"A spinout article on a single character or element that lacks sources of real-world coverage may be appropriate when the amount of content for that element would be distracting or otherwise too long within a parent topic or spinout article, as described by summary style. It is usually inappropriate to spin out an element or elements from a spinout article that lacks real-world coverage."

In the light of my comments, this needs to be changed to a more honest statement that provides clear guidance:

A spinout article on a single character or element that lacks real-world coverage from secondary sources is not appropriate, since plot summary describing a fictional element or elements that is comprised of synthesis of primary source material is not evidence of notability. It is also inappropriate to spin out a fictional element or elements that lack real-world coverage, since articles about fiction, like all Wikipedia articles, should not rely on an in universe persepctive as their primary frame of reference".

In the past, I don't think the guidelines have been clear about this point: a lack of real-world content leads to an over reliance on in universe content. As a result, the lack of clear guidance has given rise to hundreds (if not thousands) of spinout articles lacking real-world, secondary sources, all of them doomed to substantial rewrites, merger or deletion over time. In the case of Dungeons & Dragons spinout articles, the content of these articles is written in the publishers house style, from a quasi-mythical in universe perspective, as if this was normal. Contibutors to these articles, such as Empire_of_Iuz are frustrated by and resentful of any attempt to effect cleanup, and are shocked to be told that articles based on fictional subjects should not be based on a regurgitation of the source materials, nor an over reliance on an in universe perspective for their writting style.

However, these are not the worst of the bunch. If you have a look at The 8 Most Needlessly Detailed Wikipedia Entries, you will see that many of the spinoff articles such as List of Ancient Jedi have since been merged. I see no consensus for the current draft on spinouts; on the contrary, I see editors actually trimming content, and merging or deleting articles that to not have real-world, secondary sources. --Gavin Collins (talk) 08:58, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Reply by Ursasapien[edit]

  • First, new editors never consult WP:FICT and virtually never consult any guidance before editing or creating new articles. They dive right in because that is what we encourage them to do. Some kind veteran may put a welcome template on their talkpage, but usually new editors just get bit by some "old crumudgeon" who bitterly complains, "Quit messing up my Wikipedia!" There is no organized program to educate new users or help them find projects they may be interested in.
  • Second, articles are never allowed to grow from "original research, then go on to be improved somewhat to the point where primary sources are cited to create a synthesis, and lastly to be replaced with real-world, secondary sources." These articles are usually nipped in the bud by a zealous deletionist that is boldly improving the encyclopedia.
  • Third, no matter how much guidance or how clear we make it, there will still be content disputes and the community will still have to make a decision on what we keep on a case by case basis. Editors will still create thousands of articles and "all of them doomed to substantial rewrites, merger or deletion over time." This is the Wikipedia way. We are constantly refining the encyclopedia and that is not a bad thing.
  • Finally, this discussion has gone very far afield from the original purpose of this guidance. If this is a notability guideline, all it needs to say is "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be notable." Perhaps it can go on to define significant coverage and give examples of what reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject means in the context of fiction-related topics. Then we are done. Fin! The rest of this is manual of style. By the way, the best television style guide was the old one that recommended you grow coverage of television subjects from Programme to Season to Episode, as coverage allows. This is all madness and we would get a lot further if we spent less time on guidance at this level and more time personally educating editors and improving the encyclopedia. Ursasapien (talk) 06:05, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Hobit[edit]

I would argue that "non-notable" spinouts are of course reasonable of highly notable subjects. For example, we recently had a vote at AfD (and an appeal) about an article which provided the plot summary of For Better or For Worse. The consensus of the !votes was to keep it, but the closer of the appeal went against that due to WP:PLOT. The base topic is extremely notable for all sorts of reasons, and the best way to write the article was to break it into chunks. We should be trying to have the best encyclopedia we can. And that means having things well organized and complete. No book on FBoFW would ever skip a plot summary and nor should we. Neither should we insist that on notable topic be restricted in format by WP:N. Spin out articles are exactly that, a formating change for readability. Hobit (talk) 16:29, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

  • That article does provide a substantial plot summary. If you wanted to spin that out, you could combine it with the criticisms section to give an article on the history of the strip, explaining which storylines evoked which responses in the real world, and including references for that; such an article would meet WP:N and not violate WP:PLOT. That's the sort of article we need; not pure plot summaries. Percy Snoodle (talk) 17:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by sgeureka[edit]

I'll make this short: Are spinouts of fictional elements that lack any real-world, secondary sources, appropriate for Wikipedia? - Yes in the beginning of an article's life because wikipedia is a work in progress and you never know what sources exist and who will show up to put some effort into an article. But no in the long run (could be months, could be years), at which point I prefer tagging and a merge proposal with a last call for sources and/or volunteers instead of immediate AfD. When it is clear from the beginning (common sense) that no real-world sources exist at all for an element, the only type of spinout for the element is IMO as a list (basic list or aggregate list), although the new parent article must be known to have a significant amount of real-world secondary sources then. (This would stop the recursive problem of non-notability.)

As for the mentioned policies, guidelines and essays: WP:NOT#PLOT (which I interpret as referring to pure plot summaries; analysis and synthesis through plot is covered by WP:OR) is central from which the interpretation of the others follow: If a section is spun out for SIZE, it must be more than a plot summary. Significant coverage in secondary sources (1.5 sources, and independent sources==NOTABILITY) help to balance plot summarizes against real-world information (development, marketing, reception, analysis, etc.) and should be present in each article as much as possible - drawing in-depth conclusions/analysis from plot to balance summaries constitutes ORIGINAL RESEARCH and can be removed immediately. Because Wikipedia is NOT#PAPER and can cover things of specialized encyclopedias, it can contain even the most obscure kinds of information as long as the points mentioned above are reasonably met. – sgeureka tc 10:36, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by DGG[edit]

We need to concentrate of the content of the WP coverage of a subject, not on how the articles happen to be divided. The overall coverage of fiction is limited to fiction that is notable in the real world, and is shown by sources such as reviews, best-seller status, awards, and so on. The coverage should include real world aspects and fictional aspects. In general, a considerable amount of the coverage will be about the fiction itself. As an encyclopedia, we provide information that the users might want and reasonably expect to find in a 21st century comprehensive encyclopedia intended for a general world-wide English-reading audience of very wide range of education, sophistication, and interests. When people want to find information on fiction,they want to find information about the authorship, production, distribution, reception and influence certainly, but they probably primarily want to find information about the fiction itself. They want to find out the plot of the various portions, the trajectories of the characters, the environment and setting of the work. They may do so because they have no information on the work at all--as for the many video, manga, and games about which I have become informed as a result of working on Wikipedia, or about specifics to accompany their viewing, watching or playing, or to identify cultural references and quotations. A traditional purpose of an encyclopedia in acculturation, not just formal education--finding out about new cultures and civilizations. I should be able to come here and find out about the latest children's serials to discuss with a visiting 8 year old.

How we do it should depend on the amount of material and the importance of the work--always as limited by the resources available and the interests of Wikipedia editors. We should provide for people to find out what happened to specific characters without having to go through a list of episodes--and we should provide information about what happened to them all during any particular episode. There will be a good deal of duplication and alternative approaches. we're not paper. Even not being paper, we have to show some sense of discrimination--there is a difference between the running characters of a series, and the guest appearances, between the basic setting, and incidental elements. Some details belong properly in more specialized works--the distinction should be that if they are only of interest to devoted fans, they belong in a fan wiki. The detailed disputes over the of the names of the characters and places in Tolkien I expect to follow elsewhere--the general meaning and implication of all the names, a first reader of the work will expect to find here. I expect to find what the general nature of each individual monster in a game here; the details of just how to fight them, that would only concern me if I were to become a player, that can go elsewhere.

Most of the detail here is best sourced to the primary work. Some of it for major fiction will be increasingly covered in secondary sources also. There is considerable academic literature on Narnia, and an increasing amount on D&D; there will be progressively more as people to whom they are familiar become academics. The amount of true scholarship and perception in fan writing can be substantial--we ill learn to harvest it more adequately.

So in conclusion, individual section articles for notable fiction should be justified by the material they contain, and secondary sources for different details have nothing much to do with it. DGG (talk) 02:14, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Jinnai[edit]

I tend to try to walk some kind of middle ground, though I do air for inclusion over exclusion per the faith that most articles I come across might have the possibility of notability. There is a limit to this, however, and I am more inclined to merge into lists or main article stuff that doesn't meet it, but not necessarily delete everything.

The problem is that Wikipedia is designed as an encyclopedia which means it must be able to give a good level of information to a general reader, but also enough for scholarly research, as encyclopedia are used for such research, even if it is only a first stop. WP:PAPER further states that we are not limited in size like a traditional encyclopedia.

That being said, there is a limit. As mentioned, WP:PLOT states that articles should not be listings of plot summaries. And in general, I agree. There are exceptions though for particularly complex plots or long and evolving series where a concise paragraph or three that FA articles strive for in plots actually harms the encyclopedic nature Wikipedia strives for because it reduces a complex plot that someone wanting to know about the series for casual or scholarly study would find lacking, but the length of the discussion is far to long to put in the main article. These cases may have no real-world impact at all. However, I would say that every case should be done individually.じんない 04:44, 8 January 2009 (UTC) Addendum -- Articles on minor, cameo, on-time characters or weapons, locations, etc. that do not have real-world impact or a serious impact on the work of fiction itself I would are defiantly stuff that should not be in their own article. FE: Many of the Gundam titles have individual articles on most of the Gundam, regardless of whether the individual mecha was important to the series, let alone real-world connection. That kind of stuff is better done in a list, or if there are only a few, in the main article itself.じんない 04:50, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Further Addendum WP:FICT goes beyond just saying that "Some spinout titles should be kept and some shouldn't." It also addressed sources, something that I have seen largely ignored by many here. It specifically addresses what are termed semi-independant sources, sources not from the primary source itself, but from works or people related to it in a manner as a database or expert. Wikipedia's WP:GNG and WP:N were designed to not allow such sources for non-fictional related works because conflict of interest of promotion or bias. Stuff like a DVD commentary or a fact book about the universe of a particular work do not, especially the latter, do either of those in general. In addition, their usage can help enhance the encyclopedic nature of Wikipedia by filling in creation concept ideas as those who work on the project themselves are, in almost every case, the most authoritative as to what motivated them, not some removed second-party.じんない 07:50, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


Any general comments or questions not reflecting an opinion should be added here.

  • This is another of those times when I have to answer mu. The question is ambiguous if you have been following the debate, and somewhat misleading if you haven't. This question is only useful to answer if we can answer in isolation and without details, to see if there's broad agreement that some spinouts are okay sometimes, without attempting to find agreement of when. Plus, I seem to discern a growing sense that WP:FICT shouldn't address spinouts directly, but simply act the same as all of the other subject-specific notability guidelines. A seperate "spinouts of fictional elements" guideline clarifying WP:SPINOUT in this specific case would be a sensible step, but a separate one occuring independently of, but with reference to the result of, the resolution of WP:FICT. SamBC(talk) 17:27, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
    • The point is not to figure out what non-notable spinouts are appropriate, but that if any non-notable spinouts are appropriate. If it is clear they aren't, that clause is stricken from FICT. If they all are, we leave FICT as is. If its clear that it's not a cut-and-dried issue, depending on the type of spinout, then a new guideline looks to be necessary for describing what spinouts are appropriate, and FICT is modified to point to that. Basically, figuring out if the question to that is "yes", "no" or "maybe" helps to resolve the issue of notability for fictional topics, with the possibility of a new guideline for more specific guidance for certain articles. --MASEM 17:33, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
      • Given that something can be notable without meeting WP:N (if they meet a subject-specific guideline), there are two alternative and clearer questions:
        1. Are fictional elements ever notable without meeting the catch-all criteria of WP:N?
        2. Is it acceptable to have articles on unquestionably non-notable subjects, if those articles are spinouts?
      • I would prefer to approach each of those questions separately, rather than one question which, as written, seems to assume that the answer to the first question is "no". Or how about asking "Does notability equate to a) receiving substantial coverage in secondary sources independent of the subject; b) meriting an article on wikipedia; c) those two are the same thing; or d) something else?" SamBC(talk) 17:48, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
        • I see where you're coming from, and while I agree it's an alternate way of stating the question building it up from policy/guidelines, this specific question is the heart of the inclusionist/deletionist debate, and thus is a direct question to get a direct answer. If it is apparent that the above questions come into play, we'll work that in, but this question is pretty much cut and dried and straight forward. --MASEM 18:00, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
          • My point is that it isn't; it's full of assumptions, and it's hard to reconcile what everyone means by their answers without knowing how they've interpreted the question. It's asking a number of questions at once and expecting only one answer. SamBC(talk) 18:07, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
            • Well, the question being "Are spinouts without real-world secondary sources appropriate?", to me, seems straight-forward; while this is about "notability", that's a term that does cause confusion, and could mislead people. "secondary sources" is pretty straight forward, and thus this is a pretty direct question. How it will affect FICT and NOTE and other areas, we'll figure that out once there's some consensus. --MASEM 18:19, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
              • The lack of a clear way to say "sometimes" or "maybe" is probably the biggest problem, then. I've rectified that. Seriously, the question is somewhat akin to "are articles about people appropriate?" – sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. SamBC(talk) 18:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
                • Though the question is not black or white, there is a threshold that is: either no such spinouts are appropriate, meaning we strike that from FICT, or some (including, possibly, all) are, meaning we keep it in FICT, and possible write a new guideline to discuss other ways that may result from this (eg, like your suggestion of maybe primary commentary being sufficient for fictional elements). But the key is first is to find if consensus is on one side or the other of that line. If it's on the "no spinouts at all" side, the other questions that may be asked are null and void, discussion is over. If it isn't, we can ask those, with the establishment that the consensus is towards favoriting spinouts (as such not to retread the issue in this RFC again). --MASEM 18:37, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
                  • Unfortunately, that's not what this RFC asks. It doesn't say "should some, none or all spinouts be included", it says "should articles without real-world secondary coverage be included?" - That's a very different question. Also, the section should be removed if the answer is "some", since at the moment it includes them all. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:11, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
                    • The only way it includes all of them is by ridiculous wikilawyering that goes completely against the intent of the page, and anyone who argued in earnest that their individual articles on cameo characters were justified under fict by being spinouts would be firmly WP:TROUTed. --erachima talk 10:42, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
                      • It's against the intent, certainly. That intent, however, is not expressed by the guidelines. Whatever guidelines we make will be wikilawyered to death in AFDs - so we need to make sure that what we say is what we mean to say. At the moment, what we mean to say is "good spinouts should be included" and what we do say is "all spinouts should be included, but some people will complain". Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:46, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
                        • "In an article about a notable subject, if the inclusion of succinctly written in-universe content causes it to become unreadably long, and the in-universe content cannot be further trimmed without sacrificing accuracy or making it difficult for non-fans to be able to understand the article's subject, then sub-articles to contain this content may be split off even if their subjects lack notability in the traditional sense."
                          Is that closer to what you were wanting? --erachima talk 11:18, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
                          • That's much better, but unnecessary. If sources say that a subtopic is necessary "for non-fans to be able to understand the article's subject" then to my mind article is notable; that's why I wrote the "necessary topics" section. If sources don't exist to say that the topic is necessary, then it's just an editor's opinion that the subtopic is necessary, and an article on that subtopic would be a POV fork, and we shouldn't include it. "Necessary articles" are one of the classes of spinout we should include, but we still need a sourced demonstration that they are necessary. Percy Snoodle (talk) 11:28, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
                            • POV fork? What? I'm not sure that word means what you think it means... [break]
                              • I suppose it doesn't quite mean what I'm using it to mean. Officially, a content fork is "another article on the same subject", which I've argued spinouts aren't, and a POV fork is a content fork created to avoid the NPOV rules. A spinout created to avoid the verifiability and IIFNO rules is just as bad, and for much the same reasons. Percy Snoodle (talk) 09:19, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
                            • Also, as far as I can tell, your suggestion is equivalent to the soundly rejected idea of sourcing plot summaries to reviews rather than the original material, which was decided against both because of how inaccurate reviews can often be, and that primary sourcing of plot summaries is not original research since the series canon is a reliable record of the (non-existent) events. Either that or you're suggesting we prove it on the talk page, in which case, while that could be a helpful method of resolving disputes over what was necessary information, won't be needed in most cases, since both splitting out article sections and what qualifies as an important detail are questions routinely determined by consensus in all subjects. Or I may be completely misreading you. That post is a bit confusing. --erachima talk 11:45, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
                              • Perhaps you are. The spinout in question would state in its lead section that it was essential to understanding the parent topic; that would be sourced from a review or other analysis of the work. The rest of the article, which would contain a concise plot summary of the essential element, would be sourced from the original material. Clearer? Percy Snoodle (talk) 12:14, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't agree with the idea of "necessary topics", which is a concept based on Percy opinion of what or what is not "necessary" notable (which is what the creator of every POV fork claims), rather than built on reliable secondary sources. I also don't agree with the idea that plot summaries should not be based on reliable secondary sources to demonstrate notability. Most plot summaries I have seen are based on a synthesis of primary materials (if they are not original research), and adding one or two reliable sources to a large mass of synthesis is an attempt to dress up a weak topic with a fig leaf of real-world content.--Gavin Collins (talk) 21:55, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Gavin, I don't think you read Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)#Some topics are necessary to understand others. It says "if reliable secondary sources describe a fictional element as necessary or critical for the understanding of a notable topic..." so the reliable secondary sources you're asking for would be there. Percy Snoodle (talk) 09:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Everything (not just plot summaries) written at WP is "synthesis" from reliable sources; to use the actual text of sources, outside fair use considerations for quoting, would be inappropriate so it is editors' jobs to distill and reword information. It is to the degree of how much synthesis is engaged that needs to be limited, and for plot summaries, this is strongly aided by keeping them concise and using out-of-universe style approaches. There is no way otherwise to write plot summaries that would be appropriate parts of notable articles. --MASEM 22:03, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I am not making myself clear. My understanding of what Percy describes to be a "necessary topic" is where notablity of a fictional topic is asserted in the overarching article, but the spinoff article may not have real-world content from reliable secondary sources. I understand that a synthesis of sources created to summarise real-world content drawn from reliable secondary sources is needed to write a good article, but a synthesis of primary sources used to construct a plot summary is a rehash of regurgitation of the original fictional content. An example is Star Fleet Universe, an spinoff article about a fictional universe. The overarching article Star Fleet Battles provides real-world content from reliable secondary sources about a role-playing game, where as the spinoff is comprised only of plot-summary derived from a synthesis from the game's modules which are used to play the game. If I understand correctly, Percy is proposing that spinoff article for Star Fleet Universe is justifiable, but I say no because the article fails WP:NOT#PLOT, a guideline which WP:FICT in its current form conflicts with. --Gavin Collins (talk) 14:31, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • That's only true if reliable, secondary sources state understanding the Star Fleet Universe is essential/necessary/crucial to understanding Star Fleet Battles and that the Star Fleet Universe cannot be concisely summarised in the main article. Do they? Can it? The answers would seem to be "no" and "yes". The 'necessary articles' section is intended as a partial replacement for Masem's well-intentioned but potentially-disastrous spinouts section; instead of including absolutely every possible bit of cruft just to get the good spinouts, it tries to establish what the good spinouts are. It doesn't exempt them from WP:PLOT or WP:SYN. Percy Snoodle (talk) 14:39, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, that article is a good example of another category of potentially acceptable fictional-element spinout; it describes a setting that is common to a number of games etc, and to include any or all of the material in every one of those games' articles would be redundant. I would also say, as a potential additional-to-catch-all-criteria criterion, that might be a good criterion in general for WP:FICT – something like "an element is notable if it is a major factor in several (at least 3) notable products, where products include games, books/book series, TV series/franchises, etc". SamBC(talk) 15:06, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The problem I have with this approach is that, if these categories of article ("necessary topics" and "major factors" type articles which need not have real-world content cited from reliable secondary sources) where to be endorsed by WP:FICT, we will be creating a category of article that is exempt from cleanup, bold editing, merger or deletion. This process of improvement is key to the functioning of Wikipedia, and if we stall it, I feel this runs against the consensus that improvement is more than just adding content.--Gavin Collins (talk) 15:19, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • That's why we should appeal to reliable, secondary sources rather than editors' opinions to decide what is and isn't "necessary" or a "major factor". If such a source has described a fictional element in that way, then that's sourced information; as long as the source describes the importance in terms of a reader's understanding rather than importance to a character, then it's real-world information. That distinction may be an important one to make when defining "major". An element can be important to some characters without actually being important to understanding a story - that's poor writing, but it happens, and we shouldn't include things because they're important from a solely in-universe perspective. Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • That's why I tried to outline cases of groupings/aspects where spinouts are appropriate in the spinout guideline, and which ones generally aren't. But again, as a guideline, we cannot outright say "Spinouts organized as such-an-such are unacceptable"; we can warn that certain cases are minefield and most of the time go to the bit bucket, but someone may be able to come along with a case that meets that type of organization, but that that everyone recognizes as an acceptable case. [break]
  • The trouble with that list was that it looked at the type of topic and ignored the importance of the topic. Different fictional works require different levels of coverage; it's not enough to say that episodes of a notable, episodic work are generally acceptable, or that they're generally not, because neither is the case. If a work is very notable then they are, and if the work is only just notable then they aren't; and the best measure of what depth of coverage is required is whether there's coverage of the subtopics. That's how we need to phrase the guidelines: not "characters are generally acceptable" but "characters are acceptable if...". Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:55, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I know this would be great, but, once you take out "coverage in secondary sources" as a possibility for what is after that "if" above, you're left with almost no objective terms; though, however, I suggest, maybe back at WT:FICT, writing out possible cases, again noting that any indication of notability already qualifies and need not be included. At some point, we have to assume good faith that people that want these spinouts will limit spinouts to the most significant aspects of the work, and that we do have review processes (whether at AFD or earlier) that can track poor spinouts. --MASEM 16:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I still think that we should use a special template to "bless" spinouts (not as free passes, just that they've been recognized as meeting a standard for the spinouts, it doesn't protect them from future challenges) which would also allow review of such spinouts in the future.
  • If the blessing isn't a free pass, it's not necessary. We can avoid the overhead by making the standard for spinouts a standard for an article. Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:55, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The other possibility, and this is a significant departure from status quo, is that we strongly push editors to employ other wikis (including Wikia, despite the assertions of COI issues), make sure that meta keyworks work so that intra-wikilinking can be done cleanly, and basic completely say no to any non-notable spinout or even certain notable spinouts (the ones that are weakly notable); instead, if that type of info is going to be spun out, spin it out to the wiki, and freely link to it. I point out that this is a departure for two reasons: first, obviously, is that the inclusionists will completely dislike this, though I think making sure that interwikilinking is as freely done as possible will help soothe that aspect, but the second reason is that interwikilinking as there are people that think that wiki links fail external linking guidelines. However, I strongly assert that if this is even close to the direction that we need to go, there needs to be recognition of external wikis as being nearly equivalent for purposes of "building the web" as WikiDictionary or WikiQuote, particularly those that are GFDL (allowing for cross-content transfers if necessary). --MASEM 15:45, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I would be willing to support that. In addition it would also help sooth a lot of complaints from editors who are told to move the stuff to an external wikia already, but don't dare link back to Wikipedia. Considering Wikipedia is the primary source many people start looking for information, including fiction (2007 seen anime searches almost to the same level as general reseach queries, let alone other fictional related items). This would go a long way to solving the contentious issues.じんない 08:14, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • To me, it sounds like a good idea. It may not even be limited to products; there might be an important item to a few characters (like Light Sabers are to three of the characters in Star Wars, say) or other sort of fictional element that deserves coverage because it is important to multiple other notable topics. Since we should appeal to sources rather than editors' opinions to decide what is and isn't a "major factor", it's very similar to the "necessary articles" criterion; perhaps there's a more general principle we can express there? Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:21, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't think it is a good idea to create these categories of articles because in answer to SamBC's earlier question, I don't think it is acceptable to have articles on unquestionably non-notable subjects, if those articles are spinouts. I think what Percy is saying is that there are articles where there may be many editors asserting the notability of a particular topic is a given, where in fact the notability of the topic is debateable or contraversial. I agree that a topic's notability may unproven, but I don't think that means we have to cater for that category of article in WP:FICT. [break]
  • We're not saying that non-notable topics should be included; we're saying that some topics are notable because they're major factors in other notable topics. Notability is not the same as coverage. Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:38, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Notability is not the same as coverage, agreed, but it is really good evidence in support of an arguement that it is. Here lies the crux of the debate: if you can come up with some other form of evidence other than real-world coverage from reliable secondary sources is evidence of notabilty, that is good, but without it, I think you are presuming that a strong or well argued opinion is, and I disagree with that viewpoint.--Gavin Collins (talk) 16:05, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm having trouble parsing "Notability is not the same as coverage, agreed, but it is really good evidence in support of an arguement that it is" – taking it literally, it ends up almost like "A does not imply B, but A does imply B", which is a contradiction, so I'm sure that's not what you meant. SamBC(talk) 17:48, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
    • A lot of criteria for a lot of things require some subjective judgement on the part of editors. So a criterion saying "significant component or aspect of several notable whatevers" isn't really problematic. People can disagree under WP:N as to whether coverage is sufficient, and people could disagree under that as well. I may suggest this back at the main talk page shortly... SamBC(talk) 17:48, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • For example, The Terminator may be a notable film, but is The Terminator a notable character per se? In my view, The Teminator is just one of many intersting characters in the notable film The Terminator and its sequels, rather than being a notable character per se. The spinoff article Terminator (character concept) implicitly asserts that this fictional character is notable, but it does not cite real-world content from reliable secondary sources to demonstrate the notability in accordance with WP:FICT. I am not so sure the Terminator is notable on his own, as without the success of the film, it is arguable that he is just a stock character based on Gort or some other bad-ass cyborg. However, until reliable secondary sources and real-world content is added to Terminator (character concept), I think notability is unproven, but I don't think WP:FICT should be making that decision without evidence. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The Terminator article you point to is an interesting example of an aggregate article; in theory it claims notability across its various components, though I'm not sure it has quite achieved it. Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:38, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • It hasn't achieved it, and nor should we pre-empt what will happen with this article in future by saying it is acceptable in its current form. Who knows, maybe critics and academics of the future will come to the view that it is Sara Connors that is notable, and that the The Terminator is just a stock character? In anycase, I don't think WP:FICT should endorse the article: let editors bring real-world content to the article, or merge it with a more notable article if none can be found. As WP:FICT stands now, we are pre-empting those discussions by assuming every spinoff article is justified, when in fact is may or may not. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, I agree - that's why the spinouts section has to go. As long as it's there, every article is notable. Not just the Terminator, but The Man Standing Behind The Terminator For A Few Seconds. Percy Snoodle (talk) 15:58, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • That's a total strawman and you know it. Get a clue. --Pixelface (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Hello again, Pixel. Still not got the hang of WP:CIVIL, I see. It's not a straw man - I'm not saying that Masem wants that to happen. I'm pointing out an unintended consequence of his spinout guidance. Percy Snoodle (talk) 06:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
  • What is the criteria for inclusion under inherited notability? Is there a fair, objective test that can be applied? --Phirazo 17:55, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Inhertied notability in relation to fictional topics is highly subjective. Since fictional topics do not have real-world existence, it is impossible to provide proof of inhertited notability without making that claim on the basis of personal opinion, as fictional elements don't have contections to each other the real-world (except through reliable secondary sources). For example, a sportsman or woman is deemed to inhertit notability from their sport if they participate at professional level in accordance with the guideline WP:BIO. However, there is no fictional equivalent method of establishing a connection between fictional elements, say Jedi and Dark Nest, because there is no physical connection between the two; only by making aasertions based on opinion could Dark Nest be deemed to be notable. As a result, the article Jedi has become a coatrack for lots of fictional elements with unproven notability. Alas, this guideline as it is currently written encourages this type of article.--Gavin Collins (talk) 09:59, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
  • There's no single criterion for inherited notability. Some of the specific notability guidelines, for example WP:BK and WP:PROF, give instances in which a topic can inherit notability; but otherwise the presumption is usually that notability is not inherited. Percy Snoodle (talk) 11:34, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I would eliminate any links to essays that use the word "cruft" per Verdatum and DGG and also must note that myself and many others dispute the notion that notability is not inherited. In the case of sub or spinoff articles that are still verfiable and relevant in the context of a paperless specialized encyclopedia on fiction, notability can indeed be inherited. Best, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 22:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)