Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)/Archive 4

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Present tense on political figures

The criteria list "political figures holding international, national or statewide/provincewide office or members of a national, state or provincial legislature." This seems to imply that after they are no longer holding office they lose this criteria. Is this accurate/what we want? JoshuaZ 22:00, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that this is a "historic present", so does still apply after they step down or get voted out. Still, altering to "who hold or have held" would improve clarity. Defining "province" would be a good idea. Presumably, whoever wrote it was thinking of Canada. Would it cover the Welsh Assembly, as Wales is a principality and not a province? I expect that Welsh Nationalists would argue that Wales is a nation, but it's not clear-cut.--Runcorn 21:27, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
In reference to Runcorn's point, I think there's a wider issue to be addressed here in terms of parallels between nations. I live in Peru, which is divided up into over 20 departments, each of which typically consists of five or six provinces. There relevance of articles about the President, First Minister, former Presidents and presidential candidates is clear; but I'd question whether even a departmental politician merits an article, and a provincial one certainly does not unless he is noteworthy for other reasons. Can we redefine the criterion in terms of "catchment area" measured by population or economy to provide a level platform for evaluating politicians from different countries?
Apologies if my English is poor, I hope you understand the point that I am trying to make.
This is a more general issue. Can we at least agree on the tense clarification? JoshuaZ 04:34, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

First team squad members

What does this mean:

"Articles about first team squad members who have not made a first team appearance may also be appropriate, but only if the individual is at a club of sufficient stature that most members of its squad are worthy of articles."

It doesn't make any sense to me; is this to say that if only one squad member who hasn't made any first team appearances is worthy of an article, then he isn't? At best it seems logically troublesome, in that if we consider all members of the squad to be worthy of articles, then they all are, but if we consider the converse then this too is the case. Perhaps we mean to say that articles about first team squad members who have not made a first team appearance may also be appropriate, but only if the individual is at a club of sufficient stature that most members of the first team appearing on field are worthy of articles.

Commentary on “Alternative Test”

Some one says:

  • Autobiography -- Has this been written by the subject or someone closely involved with the subject?
  • Google Test -- Does the subject get lots of distinguishable hits on Google or another well known search mechanism?
  • Check your fiction -- advice for creating biographies of fictional characters.
  • Notability (pornographic actors) -- Proposed specific criteria for adult movie performers.
  • See also Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) and the "Wikipedia is not a biographical dictionary" section of Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary.

My comments are:

1. An autobiography can only be written by its subject. "Closeness" is not necessarily a valuable quality in the author of a biography.

2. ”Google notability test” will exclude many important or interesting historical persons.

3. There cannot be a biography of a fictional character. People in novels and plays do not live.

4. Porn stars can only be of limited cultural interest – globally.

5. There is no section called "Wikipedia is not a biographical dictionary" in Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary.

6. “Notability” is, in my view, related to the probable usefulness on such notes for future biographers and editors of diaries, memoirs and historical correspondence. Without going to Sternian extremes, there are many people who are not in DNB or Who's Who who merit inclusion in WP – because someone in the future will be racking their brains on where to look for reliable info on them (e.g. Horace Pym).

I would also like someone in the Biography Project to make the instructions on using the PersonalData Template

Vernon White 20:24, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

A biographical dictionary such as the British Dictionary of National Biography is not a dictionary. It is an encyclopaedia with articles only about people. Obviously Wikipedia is not a biographical dictionary, but equally obviously it should include biographical articles about everybody who deserves (by whatever criteria are agreed) to be included.--Runcorn 21:32, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
No DNB is not an Encyclopedia. An encyclopedia covers all knowledge. It _is_ a Dictionary because it calls itself a dictionary. Other similar publications are are called "Dictionaries" not "Encyclopedias". I see someonehas changed the word used in the main article, about which I complained in my Commentary: item 1 above.

Vernon White 20:25, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Blanket notability for certain career categories

What career choices guarantee notability in Wikipedia?


  • Head of State
  • Governor
  • Congress person


  • Fortune 500 CEO

Do you know of any others?

  • Automatic: Head of Government (different from head of State in most countries); Supreme Court Judge.--Runcorn 19:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Depends what you mean by "career choice": many more people "choose" (i.e. try) to be each of those things than make it. "Unsuccessful candidate for congress" does not guarantee notability, and there are many more of those than successfull ones. If you only include success, then there are many:
    • Nobel prize winner
    • Major movie actor
    • Olympic athlete

... AnonEMouse (squeak) 13:02, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

According to this article anyone in professional sports is also automatic.--Invisifan 12:25, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Revert of Aug 5 major change

I reverted this Aug 5 change by Thivierr. His/her change of the language is not a clarification - it shifts the stance of the guideline dramatically in favour of inclusionists (from "may merit" to "generally merit"). The previous wording was more balanced. Such changes in a guideline should not be undertaken without substantial consensus Bwithh 05:16, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The main purpose of my change was to reflect AFD behaviour, and be consistant with other guidelines, like WP:MUSIC. The key point was that meeting *one* item is what generally indicates qualification. So, I put that wording back in. Your change of "generally merit" to "may merit" seemed unecessary/redundant, but is ok with me. I don't see it changing anything substantially. Since your comments centered on "may merit" vs "generally merit", I'm assuming that's the only part of my change you had issue with. --Rob 06:03, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Notability of sportspeople

I just relisted Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sam Hewson after there not being too much discussion. It wasn't at all clear to me whether this person meets WP:BIO, specifically the (currently fifth) bullet point about sportspeople. In particular, I wasn't sure of what the wording was intended to imply... is it the consensus that youth players contracted to an important team are notable enough for stubs even if they are years away from actually playing for the team? --- Deville (Talk) 23:22, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Is this a guideline?

Hi, I'm wondering if the editors of this page consider this to be a full guideline. The tag at the top is different from more accepted guidelines, and that makes me wonder. One thing i'm proposing is that you use the Template:guideline, rather than the tag you have now. Please discuss it here (i'll be posting this message on other pages that have this same tag). Thanks! Fresheneesz 20:37, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Athlete notability

I just think that the entry given for athletes is far too vague and doesn't have good control over itself. It screams of a deal of quantity over quality, which is not what WP needs. One example I have came across is Charlie Fitzberger a baseball player from the 1920s who pinch hit on 7 at bats his whole career and got 2 singles. The author of this article has written dozens of articles of baseball players of similar experience and it should be controlled. In all honesty, there is no reason for Charlie Fitzberger to have an article here. I would like to know what other people thing about this. And think about if there were no guidelines listed like this and don't say "there is a guideline, I can't do anything, so it stays." Cause something must be done or this site will become a virtual trash heap. Renosecond 03:44, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

It's been discussed before, and there's no real consensus for a change on it. The current wording is that professioanl athletes get articles, and I haven't really seen a reason to endorse changing it as of yet. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:35, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
That's just retarded, but if idiots want to fill wikipedia up with crap instead of being possibly legitimate, go ahead. Renosecond 16:23, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I think your best bet would be to pick several of the (in your opinion) worst articles on least-notable athletes, and nominate them for deletion. See how people react to that, and if there's some kind of consensus on it. If such articles tend to end up deleted, you'd have reasonable grounds to expand this guideline to cover that. >Radiant< 13:04, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
  • No he wouldn't? --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:30, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Huh? That's precisely why he could. This page represents the consensus of when it was written. If it turns out that consensus has changed to say that certain athletes are or are not notable, we amend the guideline to match current consensus. >Radiant< 13:35, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Right, if the consensus changes, we can change the guideline to match it. AfD "precedents" do not do that, but instead discussion about the actual guideline does. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Participants in notable activities

Right now, there is no criteria to allow inclusion of a participant of an activity that is itself notable, but is not necessarily an athletic sport. For example, no one would argue that an article about a chess grandmaster is not suitable for inclusion, but it would be difficult to argue it's inclusion based on bullet point #5. The subject would fail any of the other criteria tests under the current policy. I think we need to include a critera for people who acheive a certain level in an activity that in itself is notable enough for an article. This might include the already mentioned chess grandmasters, backgammon champions, CCG world champions, etc. -- Malber (talkcontribs) 19:11, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it'd be simple enough to make a slight change of "established and organized competitions" with possible a description of what qualifies that. FrozenPurpleCube 20:19, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Local reporter criteria

Has anyone made an attempt at defining notability for local reporters? The lack thereof has been fuel for all sorts of nonsense including this and this and all sorts of vandalism and vandalism-induced deletions by the Spotteddogsdotorg sock farm. I cannot find any guidelines for local reporter notability or even any discussions about creating those guidelines and I wonder if such guidelines might put this to bed (and give CFIF (talkcontribs) a decent night's sleep for once). Thoughts? Opinions? Personally I find local reporters - and just about anyone with a television job - more notable than 95% of the subjects covered by WP:PROFTEST. —Wknight94 (talk) 05:21, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Here's a guide I came up with that could work for major (Top 25? Top 50?) markets:
  • All weeknight (i.e. 5/6/10/11pm) anchors, meteorologists and sportscasters
  • Other anchors who have been at the station or in the market for at least five years
  • Reporters who have been at the station or in the market for at least ten years or are otherwise notable (made national news for being attacked or something, moderated a political debate, etc)
For smaller markets, the bar should be set a little higher, but if there's, say, someone who's an icon in the local area who's been behind the anchor desk forever, I'd say he/she is notable regardless of market size. Kirjtc2 14:56, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


What's the rule of thumb for UK councillors? JASpencer 17:18, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

After Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Abid Chohan I'm going to add on to "major local politicians", "Just being an elected local official does not guarantee notability." JASpencer 21:17, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Neutral point of view?


Why does someone need "sufficient external notice" to be able to have an article written from a neutral point of view? Is it because that way there are sufficient external, reliable, verifiable sources (see WP:RS & WP:V) to get the information from? In that case then wouldn't someone be "notable" enough if such sources existed (ie. the "notability" comes from something a little more rigorous than simply a "quantity of people" or whatever)? 07:52, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

That sounds ridiculous and idiosyncratic, yes. How does that follow from NPOV, V and NOR? I submit that it does not, and in fact causes problems for at least NPOV and NOR - David Gerard 16:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Magazine cover (and nothing else)

Sooo... over at the <Redacted> we're having a debate about how to score a model appearing on a magazine cover when they are not named on the cover and have no coverage within. Here's the cover: [1]. As I mentioned, there's no further mention, article or name, just the cover. Does that count as a feature? - Richfife 16:45, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Medium sized clean-up

I've just done a largish-looking clean up and re-order of the guideline page.

  • Only one section was removed, the "tests for inclusion that have been proposed (but haven't necessarily received consensus support)." Most items were condensed, and a lot of prose taken from around the "See also" entries.
  • Some material added to the lead sections, based on other guidelines.

brenneman {L} 11:01, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Follow ons

I'm going to do some smaller changes now, please revert any anyone disagrees with. - brenneman {L} 11:19, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

  • First one - Removed one duplicted link, changed order and indtenation of criteria. - brenneman {L} 11:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Second one - This and the next are tightening the wording on the criteria. This edit took a line out. - brenneman {L} 11:42, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
      • Third one - Combined two lines, removed one duplicted sentance, moved one sentance into "Notes" section. I'll stop for a while now. - brenneman {L} 11:45, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Reality show participants?

I noticed the deletion nomination regarding Cao Boi, and was surprised to see that reality show contestants aren't named on the page. Should they be?

As an example, Cao Boi is probably pushing the bottom of the test. He's been on one reality show, Survivor: Cook Islands, but he is mentioned in multiple news articles (all of which are about him being on Survivor, of course).[2] Does he qualify under WP:BIO? Thanks, TheronJ 20:50, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

The inclusionist in me says if the show's popular enough that multiple media coverage of each contestant exists, it warrants an article (this would probably work for Survivor, Big Brother, (insert country here) Idol, etc). The mergist in me says failing that, it should get a merge to the article about the show or season, with enough biographical info added to make the redirection worth the while. Kirjtc2 22:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I'd say they're already covered under "Notable actors and television personalities". So notability would depend on newspaper coverage, name recognition, etc.-- 15:49, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
If they're on a reality show as one of the "final" people (I.E., make a tribe in Survivor, get out of the group of X00 in Hollywood on American Idol), they should be included, period. We would never consider not including an actor from a television show, why is this different? --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:57, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Ministers, Priests, Rabbis, etc

There are daily AFD disputes over individual ministers. The argument is made that an ordinary local minister, priest, etc is not notable unless he fits into other notability criteria as, say a political leader, a civil rights leader, or an author, or unless he founded a religious movement. The danger is to only have articles on televangelists, politicians or pastors of megachurches. In any event, time could be saved if the criteria could be cited, rather than starting from scratch in each AFD.Edison 07:20, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, i don't think it's really that difficult to determine. In fact i'm not entirely sure if there really needs to be separate criteria for different kinds of people, it seems like each occupation-specific 'requirement' could fit into a broader category that applies to everybody.
Generally speaking, i think there are two primary factors in determining notability: availability of sources, and 'external notice'.
By availability of sources i mean that reliable third-party references must be available, for everything. I said this on AfD recently and i'll say it again here: Even if someone is the single most well-known person in all of human history, he still doesn't belong in Wikipedia if there are no references. Practically speaking that situation could probably never occur (because if you're well-known it stands to reason that somebody's gonna write about you), but there are cases where somebody may be of nominally high rank but still relatively unknown to the public. (For example, you would probably instinctively consider the CEO of a big corporation a notable person. But that doesn't mean there are any sources on him. Maybe he avoids the spot light. If there's no significant third-party information on him, it doesn't matter how rich or powerful or anything else he is. You need sources to write a good article.)
'External notice' is usually linked to availability of sources, but not always. For example, there may be all kinds of stuff you can find on the Internet about a person, but of course that doesn't automatically make him notable. In the case of religion, there may be all kinds of stuff about a particular local priest on the Internet -- maybe the church site, the diocese (or equivalent) site, a news letter, a small magazine, a home-town news paper article, et cetera. That doesn't constitute external notice, though.
So, to apply all of that to members of religious movements, i would say this: It doesn't matter how high (or low) a person is on the religious ladder, it doesn't matter how big their institution is, it doesn't matter how many people attend their ceremonies. None of that stuff. You apply the same rules that any 'normal' person would get. Even if you're a lowly freshman pastor in Nowheresville, Idaho, you can still have a Wikipedia article... you just have to have done something notable. Got your name in Time magazine or something. Conversely, being the leader of a movement that has 500'000 adherents doesn't guarantee you an article unless you have the same references. Get your name in something other than your own church's publications, that's your ticket to Wikipedia stardom. ~ lav-chan @ 11:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Aaron Brenneman changes

Aaron Brenneman made numerous changes, including this one. Notice, how the grouping changes the meaning substantially. Before "The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published..." is a general rule, that can apply to anybody, regardless of career. Brenneman's changes, imply its relevant only for "others". Ideally, we should be moving in the direction of generalizing rules, not grouping by profession. Also, what grouping is done, makes little sense. Why group politiicans and sportspeople? Why does one have to be an artist, to have the rule on publishing (e.g.a politicitian writes a political book, and is not an artist)? Also note, while there's only two "professional groups" (under the changed version), I wanted to remove it, so we don't encourage new "professional group" sections. I like the idea of trying to encourage generic rules that can apply to anybody/anything, based on common prinicipals. --Rob 15:24, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Aww, for goodness sake. The vast majority of the changes were pure clean-up, and everything was reverted because of a small complaint like that? How about editing instead of reverting, people. Just fix up the section you don't like. And while I'm ranting and raving, the edit summary of "please go to talk for such changes" seems to ignore the effort I made above.
    brenneman {L} 04:58, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Ideally, we should be moving in the direction of generalizing rules — Then I suggest looking at the new footnote that I've added, which explains that several of the criteria here are in fact simple special cases of the PNC — which I've also moved to pole position, to (finally!) bring this into alignment with our other notability criteria. Uncle G 23:14, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


I moved around the stuff in the intro, cuz it didn't really flow at all. Its better now but it'll need more cleanup by someone else. JeffBurdges 16:59, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Bill Gates

...*giggle* I notice with glee that per the criteria so far, Bill Gates - for one - would not be worthy of a Wikipedia --TVPR 16:48, 19 October 2006 (UTC)article.--TVPR 08:22, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Is this a troll? Just in case it isn't, what about The person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field. Or perhaps The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person. Or even maybe Published authors, ... who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work. Not to mention engineers, and other professionals whose work is widely recognized (for better or worse) and who are likely to become a part of the enduring historical record of that field. PS. WP:AAGF Regards, Ben Aveling 08:40, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
For someone who's been around less than a year shorter than me, you should know to assume good faith instead of opening with what sounds like a personal attack. In any case, point #1 - according to his critics, he never contributed anything, but rather bought out or spied up Xerox', Apple's or whomever made a real GUI first and launched Windows as his own thing. --TVPR 16:48, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Also, apart from Fortune 500 listings, how many "non-trivial published works" has he been the subject of? He certainly isn't a published author, nor is he an engineer - other professional he might be, but his fame stems from his wealth and CEO position, which was my actual point. There's nothing on the list regarding executives or businesspeople in general. --TVPR 11:15, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry I didn't check your edit history. I put that comment in to try to make clear that I was assuming good faith in deciding to respond at all to what did look to me like a troll. I guess you now see why I wasn't 100% sure that your question was serious? Had you explained what you meant in your first post, you would have made it easier for me. But even if Gates had never done anything more to be notable than be filthy rich, he'd still qualify under "The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works" as would (I suspect) anyone more than borderline notable. PS WP:AAGF please. Regards, Ben Aveling 12:24, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
When you put forth arguments like those, you can't expect people to check your edit history before wondering aloud if you might be trolling. You are mistaken on almost every count. Gates has authored at least four books, and is the subject of many others. There are literally thousands of published news stories of which he is the primary subject. And, even if by some wild stretch of logic you don't think that his contributions at Microsoft are going to have an enduring impact, his work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charitable trusts in the world with assets of $31 billion, just might qualify. Honestly, I can't even believe I'm having this discussion. If you're trying to make a legitimate point about the WP:BIO standards being biased against non-professional business executives, you really chose a poor example. --Satori Son 13:39, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
While my example seems to have been quite poor - forgive me for not reading the man's complete biography before using him as an example - my point still stands.--TVPR 14:38, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
How does your point still stand? Your entire point was that your example (Bill Gates) doesn't meet WP:BIO, but you just said that was a poor example and you didn't do enough research before making it. --W.marsh 16:04, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Right. My point still stands as great wealth or important position in company does not qualify for WP inclusion. I'd use Olav Thon as an example, as he's not famous for much - except being one of the richest people in Norway. However, he's not 'merkin, so he's not on WP.
Now, being sick of deletionists, religious fundamentalists, quasinazi administrators and who knows what else - neither am I. All I'm wondering is where all the good editors went, but I'm guessing I'll find out now. --TVPR 16:12, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
You can write an article on him, you know. If he's been written about by multiple independent publications, why not? He'd meet WP:BIO. You don't seem to have an actual complaint though, you just seem to be here to make accusations. --W.marsh 16:22, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for assuming good faith, etc. I won't write an article about him or anything else, as I'm not too fond of digging through 10 years of newspapers every time I find out something is amiss. "Hoy, something lacking from WP! I've read a lot about this subject, but since I don't know which of the past 400 issues of Dagbladet I saw it in, someone will deride it, delete it, or otherwise mark it as not notable. Yay. I guess not, then."--TVPR 16:36, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I really like how you start out by complaining that people don't assume good faith, then by the end of the paragraph you're assuming terrible faith of the community. Sheesh. --W.marsh 16:41, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I won't call it assumption, rather, I quote Uncle G at another notability talk page1; "based upon experience." --TVPR 16:48, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Yeah only you can assume bad faith I guess. Anyway I created the Olav Thon article and no Nazis have descended on it yet. --W.marsh 17:09, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
You have commendable skill and speed in your article productions. But I'm too tired of being set upon from all directions every two times I make the slightest attempt at improving this thing - so I'm out of here. The number of civil people who care for content and quality - like yourself - has dwindled, and they are now vastly outgunned by policy freaks. So I'm making a last-ditch attempt to self-destruct as I go. And thanks for all the fish =) --TVPR 17:33, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Sportspeople notability

Recently, several articles about quasi-unknown football players have been reviewed for deletion. Most of them, unsuccessfully, however: the reason is, because of the extremely large criterion for notability of sportspeople, which admit 16-years-old players with just 3 minutes of appearance in a single Serie A, or even Serie B, match to be "qualified" for Wikipedia. I don't share this view at all, since none of us can predict the future, and none of us can either say if they will ever play at least a full season in any Serie A team. In addition, professionism in football is not a good criterion at all, since even U.S. Castelnuovo Garfagnana happens to be a professional team (Serie C2 is as professional as Serie A, according to the Italian Football Federation). We should improve this criterion too.

Most of these players will probably keep going stub forever and ever. Do we want really a huge set of football players who nobody reminds of? I don't think so. Tell your opinion, guys, but please let's find a better idea of sportspeople notability as soon as possible. --Angelo 22:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

As someone interested in football history, I'm interested in finding out what happened to players who played any competitive game (for professional teams in England in my case), so I don't see a problem with it as it stands. WikiGull 17:53, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any problem, either. Stubs aren't bad things. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:58, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Stubs aren't awful, but if a subject can't have a fully fleshed article is it notable enough for inclusion? If the person hasn't made a "widely recognized contribution" in their sport, supportable by citations from non-trivial reliable sources, then the answer should be: no. This is not FootballWiki. —Malber (talk ·  contribs) 18:38, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I think that the standards are too soft, especially in terms of football. Even the 4th division in the big European countries are counted as being "professional" - so that gives about 80 teams, maybe 30 squad members, which is 2400 people in a given country are "notable" in one certain profession....which is way too much. Most of the 3-4th flight teams play in stadia with 5-10 thousand people which isn't much either...Blnguyen (bananabucket) 02:40, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
If we look at the current standards, which allow everyone who ever competed at an Olympic games, I don't think the football criteria is too soft in comparison, that is we allow players who have played in a fully professional league. So for English football we look at the fully professional leagues, which relate to the 4 major divisions which have existed for a considerable length of time. In Scottish football only the Premier league qualifies under this criteria, and so on for other European nations. Catchpole 10:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with things as they currently are. Even someone who only manages a few minutes in a game at a high level is still 99th percentile among athletes, and it's not as hard as you'd think to flesh out stubs on these people, if you're inclined to do a little research. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 01:07, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Personally I think the current statement for inclusion of "sportspeople" is ridiculous — no other group of people is assumed to be automatically included simply because they worked at a professional level in their field (and there are many fields far more notable than professional sport!). Sports is entertainment, but should every professional entertainer get included? Why sports then? Should there be articles on every person who has ever made it into the PGA tour? LPGA? Every single Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Football (American, Canadian, Australian, Soccer, Rugby, etc.) Tennis, Lacrosse, Boxer, Wrestler, Roller Derby player (male & female) in every country in the world that has a Professional Sport?? ... --Invisifan 11:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposed criteria for Notability of SportsPeople

Shouldn't the same standards be applied to athletes as anyone else?--Invisifan 11:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Medal winner or league champion
  • Hall of fame (recognized as outstanding by their sport)
  • representing their country in a world venue
  • Notoriety or fan favourite (enough to get articles/books about them)
  • scandal (sport related or not) such as gambling, drugs, violent death, rape/murder/etc. charges
  • notable success outside their sport
      • No. Atheletes are inherently more notable than people in some other professions, and are written about daily in papers, as well as often yearly in books. They can't be compared to "anyone else." --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:04, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
        • O_O — that's close to the most absurd thing I've ever seen here ... of course they are more notable than "people in some other professions" -- accountants, garbage collectors, etc. aren't generally too notable, but sports is entertainment and intended to be in the public eye so being inherently more notable isn't much of an argument — you need to compare them to actors, performing artists, authors or politicians ... are you suggesting every one of those (who makes a living at it - ie. is a professional) should have an entry? Most athletes are not mentioned in the news - their teams are, or their "stats" are — which are reported in a manner akin to the weather (should wikipedia report when it rained in each city each day? Should every actor who's ever been in a play or movie that was reviewed be included?). If an individual athlete gets actual personal coverage then they will fit the above criteria. If they don't fit the above criteria then an uninteresting stub is really the most there's every going to be and next to no one is ever going to find it except by accident (or care) — wikipedia is not a sports trivia site.--Invisifan 14:46, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
          • Actors, perfoming artists, authors, politicians - almost undoubtedly, they should get entries. Every actor in a Broadway/London/Boston large-scale production? Yes. Movie? Generally, yes. Stubs aren't bad things. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:21, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
  • But, you know, there must be a limit. Serie C2 is not featured in the daily national news at all ì, but it is professional league, therefore considered to be notable enough for Wikipedia. This is the issue. I would not tolerate to see all the A.C. Carpenedolo roster on Wikipedia. I say, let's tuck up our sleeves and work on a less inclusive, but more reasonable, standard. --Angelo 05:27, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Soldiers who win bravery awards

Please take a look at Are the recipients of these awards for bravery notable? Should there be specific criteria for members of the military who win awards for bravery? --TruthbringerToronto (Talk | contribs) 20:40, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering the same thing. Is winning the Medal of Honor in and of itself enough for a Wikipedia page about a person? I would say yes. What about lesser medals though? How prestigious does a medal have to be before that is by itself enough to justify an article on the person? VegaDark 20:47, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I would say that all recipients of a nation's top medal for gallantry are deserving of their own article. I have come up with some notability criteria for British gallantry medal winners. These could be applied equally to other countries with a bit of work:
-- Necrothesp 17:56, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
This has been previously discussed. The consensus at the time was clear that all winners of a highly prestigious (and usually posthumous) award like the Medal of Honor can be presumed to qualify for a biography but that winners of a more common award like the Bronze Star would not. The presumption was that winners of the highest levels of military awards have been considered sufficiently noteworthy by historians and the media that we could assume that all such biographies were sourcable even if the articles were not yet sourced. Recipients of more widely-granted awards will not necessarily draw the critical attention necessary to ensure that we will be able to find independent, reliable sources on which to base the biography. That doesn't mean that we can't include the recipient of a Bronze Star if one of the other criteria apply - just that a Bronze Star does not mean an automatic presumption of notability.
I would certainly equate the Victoria Cross with the US Medal of Honor. I am less familiar with the others listed here. Rossami (talk) 06:43, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
So this criterion would automatically include all Axis soldiers awarded Germany's, Italy's or Japan's highest hero medal in World War 2, or China, North Korea, or the Soviet Union's highest medal during the Cold War battles? How about Iraqi's given the highest bravery award by Saddam Hussein? Or secret police given the top torturer award? Edison 14:44, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's an interesting question. The rule has been that it has to be a very highly prestigious award. Some awards become devalued when they are given out too freely (which can happen for many reasons but often having to do with politics). The US Medal of Honor was established in 1862 and has been awarded a total of 3462 times but the criteria were tightened after WWI and only 852 have been awarded since (526 posthumously). By contrast, the Hero of the Soviet Union was established in 1934 and was awarded 12,745 times including (4 times to Leonid Brezhnev). I would agree with the argument that awards of the Hero of the Soviet Union and of US Civil War era Medals of Honor could be used as contributing evidence of notability but that a recipient would not necessarily merit automatic inclusion in the encyclopedia.
I couldn't find a good reference on the Chinese Medal of the Army or any of the others you suggested so I can't tell how exclusive they really are. Rossami (talk) 00:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


Please keep separate, there are special problems involvedDGG 19:56, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Notability of Lists

Hello all! I and a number of other users have expressed some concerns with the List of Egyptians. It seems that a number of names were added by anonymous users. The list is now full of red links with questionable notability. Since, a large number of articles about notable Egyptians are missing, we don't want to get involved in deleting all red links. My suggestion was to remove any name unless it has an article or a reference is provided. I've looked at similar lists e.g. List of Germans, List of Japanese people and Category:Lists of people by U.S. state, there are very few red links but no references for the names in the lists too. So i'm not sure what to do to assure notability of names added to people lists. Any suggestions? --Wedian 20:58, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

If they aren't red links, they link to articles. The articles provide the context & the references. Thne occasional comments for some names help give some guide to the browser, and are sometimes necessary for similar or confusable names--I like to use them, some do not.
If however you have a red link because nobody's written the article, then a word or two of context might help attract someone who can write the article. There are some people who think the continued existence of a red link is a reason for deletion (& there are even some who think any red link is a candidate for immediate deletion). Actual practice varies, but giving some context might help prevent deletion.
Many lists containing many red links are there because they were taken from some outside source (e.g., Hall of Fame for X Y Z") without any context, and nobody has really checked to see if information is available. DGG 06:07, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed standard for religious figures

The issue of the notability of contemporary religious figures has come up from time to time. I suggest a specific standard, as the general standard doesn't always provide a good analogy and has sometimes resulted in confusion. As a starting proposal, subject to improvement, I suggest the following:

Leaders of major religious denominations or movements, or important figures in the history of religion as evidenced by independent biographies. Local leadership or occassional media mention is not by itself sufficient for inclusion.

Best, --Shirahadasha 02:34, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

  • That is already covered by the PNC. There is no really need for criteria that simply elaborate special cases of the PNC for individual classes of people. The point of secondary notability criteria should be to fill in the gaps where we explicitly want coverage of people for whom the PNC would fail — authors about whom no biographical information has actually been written and published by other people, but who have nonetheless written notable books, or nonetheless received multiple awards, for example. Uncle G 23:27, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Reality Shows Redux

Since it's coming up more and more, I propose the following addition:

Television personalities who appear as featured contestants on a reality television show, broadcasted on a major network, cable, or satellite channel.

We're fooling ourselves if we don't think reality contestants meet the basic verifability standard: they're written about in season previews, often get local writeups. And the notability of these people are not in question - such shows are watched by hundreds of thousands, if not outright millions, of people weekly, and have a very strong dedicated viewer base. The line should stand at where they're featured contestants, as opposed to the one-off types (such as, for examples, the strong majority of American Idol types who are only on to be made fun of because of their horrid singing, or the ones that don't make the final 16 or whatever the final featured number is).

Thoughts? --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:42, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's too much specific, you know. What if some TV producer realizes a reality show with 500 contestants? Are all 500 notable to stay on Wikipedia? For these cases, I guess notability comes out only if not limited on a single TV appearance. --Angelo 01:20, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
That's a rather unsupported "what if," is it not? If a reality show comes around with 500 "finalists" that are as well nkown as the ones with 6, 12, 16 now, then yes, they should be included. --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:01, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Sporting events are reality shows with 100's of contestants. There are 100s of "finalists" in the play-offs... It's already here.--Invisifan 11:34, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Reality show contestants aren't notable. What's also required is non-trivial third party works. Coverage that these contestants receive in the teeny-bopper magazines and reality television fan show sites is trivial. -- Mikeblas 02:37, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
If anything, based on clear and ample precedent, should be modified to explicitly exclude people whose only claim to fame is being a non-winning reality game contestant, per Kari Schmidt AfD, Bre Scullark AfD, Catie Anderson AfD, Sarah Dankleman AfD, Tiffany Richardson AfD, Jayla Rubinelli AfD, Brooke Staricha AfD, and many more. I won't speculate on why Jeff might have neglected to mention these many precedents, but I will observe that he was usually the lone voice arguing for keep. I will also note that these are all from a show where the participants might be considered to be slightly above-average in notability, as they were all, well, hot young models. And yet, the clear (often overwhelming) community concensus was delete or merge in all cases (every case I've seen so far). -- Xtifr tälk 09:06, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
At wikipedia, there are no binding decisions. Thus, the so-called "precedents" don't actually exist. Because WP:BIO was misapplied then is not a reason to misapply it in the future. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:18, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
You're absolutely correct that preceding AfD's discussions and closures are not binding in and of themselves, but a clear pattern of similar decisions can be illustrative of community consensus, or at the very least a lack of consensus for the opposing view. -- Satori Son 17:33, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Or of a massive misunderstanding combined with an admittedly muddy WP:BIO regarding the subject. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:37, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Massive over-generalizations probably will do more harm than good here. Are we really going to keep every contestant from Top Chef? Are we going to delete everybody but the winner from Survivor? JChap2007 18:36, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Your own questions are generalziations, aren't they? I think it's common sense that we won't write up everyone who's been on The People's Court and Judge Joe Brown. We also won't delete someone who's been on Survivor just because they've been on the show. If they've also cured cancer, I'd be thrilled to see an article about them! User:Badlydrawnjeff has repeatedly asserted that reality show contestants are notable enough for inclusion only because of their appearances on the show. And I hope we all think that's very surely false. -- Mikeblas 19:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

What about the contestants on Pants-Off Dance-Off? -- Mikeblas 04:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Is it a reality show? --badlydrawnjeff talk 05:16, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
AfDs have usually resulted in keping only the winners and top runners up, certainly not the ones eliminated in the first week. Others who successfully converted their moment in the spotlight into an acting career, who wrote a successful book, or otherwise became notable would certainly qualify as well. Edison 14:47, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Notability of Guantanamo Bay detainees

Is every individual detained at Guantanamo bay automatically notable because of his detention? See Category:Guantanamo Bay detainees. Some may be but I do not think all are --- Skapur 05:37, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

As no one has responded, I assume they are not notable automatically. If I do not see any more discussion, I will change the main page to state this --- Skapur 05:50, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I think some detainees are notable. For example, if they are released and then are found to be involved in terrorism, that's interesting. Or, if they are scheduled for release, but not told, and they commit suicide, that is also interesting. Why write about Guantanamo at all if not to tell what goes on there?Mauralarkins 19:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
They may be, but being one of them doesn't itself confer notability. If one of them is somebody about whom in particular others are likely to seek information, he's notable for that reason. If there isn't any reason anyone would be likely to seek information on that specific person, he isn't. In contrast, even if someone doing a story on the Guantanamo prisoners as a group might want to compile info on the individual stories of a few of them, the selection of the few may be based on a random selection or a list that someone happens to give them, but not because of any notability of the ones who are chosen. On another note, the American Association of Retired Persons is notable. Does that confer notability on each of the millions of members of AARP? —Largo Plazo 20:13, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
The key would be having enough independent reliable and verifiable coverage of the individual prosoner to allow an article to be written. Being one name in a list of 400 names clearly does not furnish enough material for an individual article, even though the prisoners are collectively notable and much written and litigated about. Edison 14:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Military and police officers

What are people's thoughts about notability of these people based on rank alone? My feeling is that any officer who has reached the rank of Major-General or Rear-Admiral or equivalent in the armed forces is worthy of an article. They are at least as notable as minor members of legislatures, who are all entitled to an article under WP:BIO. Police officers are a little more complex, as their ranks and status vary from place to place, but my feeling is that any chief of police of a force at least several hundred strong is worthy of an article, as are the deputy and assistant chiefs of forces over a thousand strong. And obviously more junior officers in both armed forces and police may be notable for other reasons. Thoughts? -- Necrothesp 18:08, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Disagree. Members of legislatures generally have slews of articles written about them due to coverage of their campaign. Officers are often appointed, rather than elected, so often won't have any coverage if they aren't notable for other reasons. AnonEMouse (squeak) 17:10, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't see the relevance of that to Wikipedia. We're not just here to write articles about people who are covered by the media, particularly since Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia not just a dictionary of current biography. We're here to write about people who are or were notable in their field, and generals and admirals are usually by definition notable in their fields or they wouldn't have reached that rank (more so today possibly than in the past, when rank could go to people for time served or favour of those in power, but still generally true). And I disagree with this attitude, which I've seen before, that people who are elected are more notable than people who are appointed. It's not true at all. In fact the opposite is often true - people who have climbed the ladder through hard work are frequently more notable than those who have climbed it through charisma, money, luck and/or dodgy dealing. In addition, most generals and admirals are notable simply for their rank. If Field Marshal Montgomery hadn't reached general officer rank and been given command of the Eighth Army because of that rank, would he have been "notable" in the sense of having done something out of the ordinary? No, of course not. He didn't just appear out of nowhere and win the Battle of El Alamein - he reached a rank that gave him command. -- Necrothesp 17:27, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
The MILHIST view on the topic might also be of interest here. :-) Kirill Lokshin 18:07, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
It is, but it isn't really very specific. I would have thought anyone except the most rabid deletionist would consider that army commanders and chiefs of the general staff etc would be notable. It's the people below that status, but still of general, flag or air rank, that I'm more interested in. -- Necrothesp 19:11, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
As a general rule, combat commanders have a lower threshhold than peacetime commanders ("significant part of an army" generally covers everything down to the division level for modern armies); aside from that, having "non-trivial mention in one or more published secondary works" seems to have been a workable threshhold in practice. The easy availability of official bios for current officers may be what's causing the problem here; equivalent people from a century ago would have passed entirely unnoticed by outside sources. Kirill Lokshin 19:20, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Flag officers almost by definition are notable. Come one guys, there are ballplayers who played one professional game that have an article! A person who commands hundreds, if not thousands of soldiers (Even in peacetime) definitely has an influence on human history and so not only deserves an article, but an article about such a person is a basic requirement for any comprehensive encylopedia! --- Skapur 05:56, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
That's certainly my opinion. -- Necrothesp 17:19, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
My point is that we don't just write about people we think deserve articles. We write about people who already have articles written about them from other sources. Politicians usually do. Peacetime military generals often don't. AnonEMouse (squeak) 16:33, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
They do often have Obituaries in reputable sources. British Military and Police Officers who have died and received Obituaries in The Times, The Daily Telegraph,The Independent,The Guardian and The Financial Times emerge from the shadows and are notably celebrated. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography consolidates this temporary celebration into a more permanent form. Who's Who may list these people whilst they are living but its criteria for selection may not be in line with WP sense of "notability". Are there not similar reliable sources in other countries?=== Vernon White (talk) 18:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
People who earn non-trivial obituaries in multiple newspapers of that stature meet WP:BIO per the fact they have them, whether or not they have peacetime general or police chief ranks. What I am strongly against is adding "peace time general" as a criteria meeting WP:BIO, then having a dozen stub articles crop up for people who don't have such obituaries. Or more than a dozen - a hundred! How many generals are there in the armies of Latin America, or Africa, or the former Soviet Union? "Sixteen soldiers commanded by nine generals" has described the armed forces of more than one small country. AnonEMouse (squeak) 18:30, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
How about any flag officer who has commanded at least a thousand soldiers? --- Skapur 02:23, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Only with articles otherwise meeting WP:BIO. A peacetime general is merely an administrator of a large group of people, and not even the ultimate person in charge. It's the actions those people take that make them, and their commander, notable. If the actions they took under his command were mainly to train and exercise, well, that's not too interesting. You'll notice I disagree with your comments on Montgomery, someone who commands an army into battle without the formal rank can be even more notable. AnonEMouse (squeak) 15:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
What about a ballplayer who plays one professional game and is eligible for an article? He has much less impact than a general commanding a thousand troops in peace time even though you may not know about it. A politician who gets elected to a small city council is MUCH less notable as they are merely administrators of at most a few dozen city employees and have much smaller budgets. A military general even in peace time has enormous impact which may not be obviously visible. He easily has more legislative power over his troops than a city councilman and controls all the municipal functions up to and including punishment for crimes in his command area. In the United States, a general can send a soldier under his command to a stockade for a month without any appeal as administrative discipline for minor offenses, I do not think a city councilman has any where close to that much power. I do agree that the source of information has to be reputable. --- Skapur 03:12, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I recently suggested having inclusion in Who's Who as a notability criterion. (Once they're dead, they move to Who was Who.) The trouble is that while the original Who's Who is very reliable and incorruptible, some equivalent publications in other countries are less scrupulous and may admit anyone who agrees for example to buy a copy of the publication.--Runcorn 23:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The "automatic" notability of military personnel has been previously discussed. The consensus at that time was split on the usefulness of rank alone as an indicator of appropriateness for an encyclopedia article. The general recommendation was that we should focus more on the person's accomplishments and whether we have reliable, independent sources on which to base the biography than on mere attainment of rank.
To Skapur's suggestion, I can personally think of a fair number of peacetime officers that I served under who commanded more than 1000 soldiers. While most of them were professional and quite good at their jobs, none of them were any more noteworthy than my plumber (who is also a professional and quite good at his job).
The comparison to other professions is, unfortunately, irrelevant. The issue is not some measure of worth to society or theoretical power - it's sourcability. The media cover ballplayers and politicians more than they cover the military these days. Personally, I do not think that our culture of celebrity is healthy but it is what it is and it shapes what we can find to use as sources for encyclopedia articles. Rossami (talk) 06:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Writers and reviews

The criteria is, "Published authors, editors and photographers who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work." Shouldn't it be multiple non-trivial independent reviews? As it's written, an author whose book received six reviews by different people on would qualify. --Charlene 21:37, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

In addition, this criterion, as presently worded, can also lead to some confusion because (in contrast to all the other criteria for notability) the subject of the multiple reviews is not the author but their work. Thus, the author herself or himself may have never been the subject of any publication. Does having their work the subject of the reviews make them notable? If so, this should be emphasized as an important exception to the general rule about notability that the topic of the page (the author) must be the subject of the multiple independent publications. Another problem with the criterion is that the "work" receiving the multiple reviews is ambiguous: is it the collection of the author's life work, which may include dozens of book and articles, or is it a single book or article that must have received multiple independent reviews? 07:39, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Noticeability instead

Thread moved to Wikipedia talk:Notability. -- Rick Block (talk) 19:42, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there a notable terrorist?

Notalbe excludes things that are very bad. For example, people don't say "a notable terrorist". In that sense, the policy contradicts with the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Maybe Worthiness to write, Significance, Importance etc. should be used to replace notable or notability. Miaers 16:45, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

This comment is a continuation of the thread at Wikipedia talk:Notability. Please make further comments about this there and not here, so as to not splinter the thread into multiple places. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:25, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
where? --- Skapur 17:34, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:Notability#Noticeability instead. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Is there a good guide to determining the notability of mayors of cities? For example, I think an easy argument can be made that mayors of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are notable because it's a major city of historical significance and a population of >300K. In that case, it would be reasonable to have succession boxes and we'd want all mayors. But, how about Compton, California. It's mostly known as a suburb of Los Angeles and a population of <100K. (Though it does have its own rich history, I'm not disparaging that.) In that case, perhaps we have only the independently notable mayors. C. A. Dickison, whose only notability would be as mayor, doesn't seem to pass WP:BIO, but Douglas Dollarhide would be as the first African American mayor. I propose amending the text such that: (under the first stanza on politicians)

Mayors (or similarly elected sole city leader) of cities and towns with populations greater than 100K.

Thoughts? This would essentially make all of the mayors of the top 200 US cities notable, though a different bar could be set. Perhaps the bar should be that "top 200", instead. JRP 08:06, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Any mayor of a major city that size should pass 'The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person' easily enough via the medium of local press. Not sure we need an explicit guideline. Catchpole 08:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that they should pass, but not necessarily that they do. What I'm looking for here is a completeness rule, think of it as much of a guide for making lists as anything else. It is sensible to make a list of list of wikilinks of all mayors of "Pittsburgh", for example, and expect that all of the articles should exist. (There are probably relatively uninteresting mayors in there, or far enough back that the interesting bits are hard to immediately find.) In contrast, I would suggest that such a list would not be useful for Compton (though it could be provided, just not linked or "requested articled"). JRP 14:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Bloody hell, the current mayor of Pittsburgh is younger than I am. If you force me to stick a finger in the air I'd say cities with a population over 200K. The top 200 guideline wouldn't be much use for cities outside the USA. Catchpole 14:47, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
That would eliminate cities like Cheyenne, Wyoming, which is a state capital and has a population under 60k. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:50, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
True. Perhaps it could be amended to population, or political or historical significance, such as state capitals. It is a fine line, which is why I think I'm trying to sketch where it is. JRP 15:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Here's a question - do we really need a line? Is there a problem with simple inclusion of mayors? --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, mayors currently don't meet the standards of WP:BIO, unless they are separately notable. Saying all mayors sounds extremely inclusive since there are tens of thousands of unimportant mayors of small towns. I was suggesting "important and influential" cities. JRP 15:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Technically, most, if not all, mayors actually would meet WP:BIO, as they are involved in newsworthy events and are typically the subjects of multiple, non-trivial media attention. If we're going to draw a line, we have to figure out where based not on sources but on a worthwhile, objective-as-possible standard. As the chances of such "unimportant mayors" being created en masse is low, I think we can get by on the current WP:BIO standard. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
media attention for an city official within their own city is trivial, it's only if it is notable enough to be more widely reported that it is non-trivial media attention; and reports of electoral success/defeat in media of nearby locations is also trivial… if they don't do more than exist as far as anyone outside their own demesnes is concerned then they aren't notable.--Invisifan 16:10, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, that's way outside the letter or spirit of our sourcing. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:11, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
The point is whether verifiable sources exist. A blanket rule based on city size will almost certainly guarantee adequate source material exists for recent mayors, but for mayors from 50 or 100 or 300 years ago this becomes less and less likely, pretty much regardless of the city's size. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:22, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
That's going to be the case with any historical figure. Sourcing issues are a given, they don't help us draw any lines. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm suggesting that including a criteria for mayors based solely on any city size does not draw a line in the right place. Since this guideline already includes all people (which, presumably, includes mayors) who are the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works and major local political figures who receive (or received) significant press coverage (which would seem to include mayors who aren't even people), I don't think anything further has to be said. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:40, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I trust your press coverage argument. There are many people that receive, briefly at least, national press coverage that aren't notable by WP:BIO. The point that I'm trying to get at is that one can *know* that a mayor of a large-size city is notable, without knowing anything about the person. One can create a red-link from that knowledge, confident that there could be a good argument on the other end. Compare to national politicians, ambassadors, etc. You could add a list of Mayors of Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, or Chenne, Wyoming to a "Missing articles" subpage and have it stick. JRP 13:43, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
No, I don't think you can. A complete list of New York's mayors will include people from the 1700s and 1800s for whom there may very well not be any source material (without an extreme amount of effort). My point is that notability, by itself, is not sufficient. Current notability almost always implies the existence of numerous sources. Historic notability does not. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Suggested downgrade of first bullet point

The first bullet point currently reads:

The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person.

While I think this criteria is important, I think it should be subordinate to the criteria that follows it. Just because someone gets written about shouldn't instantly make them notable enough for an article. There were multiple non-trivial published works about Brian Peppers but according to Jimbo we don't need an article about him. —Malber (talk contribs) 09:27, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the adjective "reliable" should be added after non-trivial to clarify. Not everything one reads about on the Internet is reliable. The intention is that the "non-trivial published works" meet the "reliable sources" criterion. Moreover, existence (as distinct from existence of a hoax) couldn't be reliably established per WP:BIO, and the story was highly defamatory and hence required extra scrutiny (if he was a real person) under WP:BIO as well. All seperate issues from notability. --Shirahadasha 11:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
My point is, this criteria lowers the bar enough that anyone who gets a minor mention in any non-trivial is suitable for inclusion of a bio article. For example, if I witness a building on fire in my home town and call it in to 911, and then later I'm interviewed by the local paper that happens to have the 3rd largest circulation in the region, suddenly I could be the subject of a biographical article whether I want one or not. This criteria would enable us to bring back the Phil Sandifer article! —Malber (talk contribs) 19:45, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Primary subject appears to prevent this example. In your example, the primary subject is clearly the fire, not the witness. Best, --Shirahadasha 23:05, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I have seen AfDs where a person was interviewed or discussed in a national news magazine, but the reference was disallowed because he was not the "primary subject." If he is "a" subject of an article even though not "the" subject, that should count toward notability. Consider if there are 2 paragraphs consisting of 50 words about an inventor, CEO, minister, or software developer in a 600 words New York Times review of trends in that area. Such coverage has been disparaged as a "passing reference." It should not be disallowed as counting for notability. Edison 14:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Current bio notability guidelines adding to systematic bias?

Hi all

One of the things that attracted me to Wikipededia was that the most obscure subjects are given a say. This is in contrast to paper and even most electronic encyclopaedias.

For example, there are entries on every detail of pop sci fi franchises (less so serious SF). I'll pick a page at random: List of Star Wars comic books. Every comic book and every author listed. Now, I think this very cool, and one could give heaps similar examples from other comic and sci-fi franchises etc.

This is the sort of stuff one never finds in ordinary encyclopedias.

Anyway, I have been inspired to write biographies and other entries on people and subjects that are likewise notable to me, but obviously of very intrest to anyone outside these specialised fields.

Now, suddenly, I find that a number of bios I have written have been deleted. These include Geoffrey D. Falk, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Matthew Dallman (just today), and even a stubby bio page on David Grimaldi, co-author of Evolution of the Insects, an important textbook and definitive popular review of Paleoentomology (At some point this page seems to have disappeared - it has been suggested that he was confused with another David Grimaldi who was considered non notable, so all the pages were deleted).

Now, were this some across the board policy, in that WP was being limited in scope, like a paper Encyclopedia, i could understand. But it seems toa[ppply only to biographies, and the same restriuctive attitude is not applied to all the other very specialised geek interests on WP

My impression is that this reflects an unavoidable bias among Wikipedians, every one of whom has the very best of intentions.

Surely paleontological authors like Grimaldi, on Integral artists like Dallman, and on Integral theory critics and sceptics like Geoff Falk, are at least just as notable, if not more, than as an obscure planet or character in the Star Trek or Doctor Who franchises, say. Please note, I am not dissing any of these shows and franchises, I'm just trying to make a point. I could draw similar examples from anywhere in Wikipedia.

How does one define notability? Who sets the standards? And how do we avoid these standards simply perpetuated the already established bias and over-emphasis in certain (albeit very worthy) subjects and perspectives, to the detriment of other (equally worthy) subjects and perspectives?

By becoming unnecessarily strict and exclusive in one area (biographies) yet remaining laudably inclusive in various fields of geekish interest that correspond to the demographics of the average wikipedian, currently Wikipedia policy on notability of biographies seems to me to be adding to, not helping to counter, systematic bias. For this reason, I argue that these biographical restrictions should be relaxed, to allow a larger and more specialised inclusiveness. This should be so even in people whose achievements don't match the interests or (and hence do not seem notable to) or the beliefs of many editors. M Alan Kazlev 01:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

  • You are correct, but remember that you can take deleted bographical articles to deletion review. --TruthbringerToronto (Talk | contribs) 01:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes but that doesn't address the problem of having a more restrictive policy towards biographies M Alan Kazlev 10:20, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Are the deletionist geeks concerned about practical limits on the ultimate size of WP or are they just enjoying an exercise of power, for instance, deleting articles on senior police officers? There does seem to be an extreme focus on what many would regard as trivial topics, a bias towards the youth culture of North American in all its detail. Wish they could put some of their articles in everyday English, rather than wielding the machete against good biographical articles.=== Vernon White (talk) 15:51, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I find it very odd that there are full-length articles on the most minor characters appearing in TV shows and the like, but biographies of people who are important public figures in their communities get deleted. There seems to be a severe confusion between notoriety and notability. --Shirahadasha 16:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that there is a major disconnect here. I would put a strong vote for seriously relaxing the notability guidelines for people and make multiple reliable sources the main requirement provided the person has been the main subject of the stories. The criteria should be that the person is the main subject of the stories. If the person is just mentioned in the story but is not the main subject, it should not count. If there are more than one main subject or there is a list of people mentioned, that story should not count. All other criterias for wikipedia article deletion should be secondary and optional --- Skapur 16:30, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
But that is what the guidelines say now. Wikipedia:Notability (people) states a person is notable enough to warrant their own article if "The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person." If an article where the subject meets that criteria has been deleted, it probably means the article did not provide the required references. And if that is the case, TruthbringerToronto is right: you should submit it to Deletion Review, but make sure you provide links to the references in your submission. -- Satori Son 20:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

In other words, we're back to square one. Nothing is solved, and TV characters, the characters mind you, not even the actors, but the characters of American TV shows, or the characters in comic books or computer games (again, not the artists or writers or designers, but the characters) are considered more important and notable than real life people who play an important role in their local community, or who make contributions to society in other ways.

As I see it, there are three possible courses of action here:

  • Leave Wikipedia as it is, a biased, absurd encyclopeadia whose role it is to reflect the interests of its majority demographic, late teens and 20-something white middle class American geekish male (sorry, I don't mean to sound harsh or derogatory in this assesment; I share many of these geek interest myself, and consider myself (among other things) a geek too, but we're talking about a universal encyclopedia here, not a geek encyclopedia. A geek encyclopaedia (what Wikipedia is becoming now) might be fun, but it in no way can be considered an all-round encyclopeadia)
  • BRUTALLY purge all other subjects in the same way that biographical entries are currently being purged, and I mean all those geek interests that are represented in such detail on WP. Is it really necessary to have a page on every version of computer chip? Or every ship in the American navy? Or every single episode of Friends? Or every fictional planet in the Star Wars universe? So scrap all that, and more! Only keep what is considered rigorously notable to the mainstream demographic (and I don't mean by this the majority wikipedia demographic! Wikipedia should be just a vanity project for geek interests). Encyclopaedia Britannica might be a good guide here, because they would certainly be better at giving a more representative cross-section of subjects. And as this is the approach that biographies are currently given on WP, by purging all these other non-notable (to anyone outside those areas of interest) entries some balance will be attained.
Dare to dream! Someone above asked what makes the deletionist tick: is it worries about the ultimate size of wikipedia or merely throwing one's weight around? I can't speak for every deletionist, but for me it is neither. The proliferation of pages on non-notable topics makes editorial monitoring exceedingly difficult. Vandals can alter articles knowing that given the sheer number of articles (and the fact that significantly fewer readers are visiting non-notable topics), policing their transgressions will be impaired.
Vandalism isn't the only worry however. Wikipedia is a collaborative effort; and our operating principle is that through the combined efforts of many editors, the truth will out. Allowing the proliferation of pages that attract the interest of too few editors stunts this process and leads to poorly-written articles with dubious assertions. This poses a special danger when dealing with biographies and the concomitant worry about legal liability; thus stricter notability requirements for biographies are not ill-advised. But even more importantly, and with more relevance to the notability standard itself, each bad article hurts the wikipedia as a whole and taints even our best articles, at least in the minds of our critics.
Pop Secret 06:04, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Relax restrictions on biographies, so that biographies even of people as obscure and un-notable as any minor TV or comic book character that has so far been considered worthy of inclusion in WP is also included. This is my preferred option, obviously! After all, Wikipedia isn't a paper encyclopedia. Why should it have to act like one? As a beginning list of biographical standards in this regard, I would suggets that at least one of the following is require dif a bio is to be allowed on WP:
  • Is a major figure in their local community (mayor, police chief, fire chief, medical, clergy, etc).
  • Is the author of at least one published or self-published book, cd, etc, with a production run of at least a thousand
  • Is an artist whose works have shown in at least one public exhibition
  • Is the author or co-author of paper that has appeared in any academic periodical or journal (Sciences, Arts, etc)
  • Is a journalist, columnist, editor, or has some other important position on any major newspaper
  • Is a photographer whose work has appeared in a newspaper, magazine, etc with a circulation of more than 1000
  • Is a local, state, or national athlete
  • Is or has been the CEO of a company
  • Is or has been the director of a company or an NGO
  • Is an architect who has designed at least one building that has actually been built
  • Is mentioned in the credits of any distributed movie or TV show (this includes everyone with a listing (no matter how minor) on the Internet Movie Data Base, and more)
  • Publishes a zine or ezine with a subscription list of at least a hundred (the ezine also would require a mention)
  • Is a webmaster, web-author, or blogger, who receives at least 1000 hits on a current google search (excluding Wikipedia and Wiki-mirror pages).
  • Matches current notability guidelines, even if they don't match any of the above

Note that the above is in no way intended as an exhaustive list of criteria! It is just to get the above discussion going. I am sure that many additional criteria could be added. Also it goes without saying that the above would apply to subjects for biography anywhere in the world.

By introducing these guidelines it would be possible to redress the current serious imbalance in Wikipedia.

Also, all biographies that have been deleted (this includes a few I have written) should be restored, and the above standards applied. If the biography fails to meet the guidelines it can be redeleted. If it meets them but is considered a vanity piece it can be rewritten, or all the vanity material removed. M Alan Kazlev 03:53, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

David Grimaldi was deleted on the grounds of "patent nonsense" which it clearly isn't so I've undeleted that one. It seems it was judged on the basis of a vandalised version rather than being reverted. Angela. 12:10, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
The main criteria is non-trivial coverage by published, independent sources. Being a local athelete for example doesn't really guarantee we'll have any reliable information to use in an article. Also it would seem that a lot of Kazlef's argument sprung from wanting to keep the article on Matthew Dallman, which was deleted at AfD precisely because there were no such sources. --W.marsh 15:10, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
But characters from TV shows? (not actors mind you, actors would be notable. But fictional characters????) My concern here is about what sort of information resource Wikipedia can and should become. A digital super-Brittannica, or a sort of super- "TV Week" and "PC Gamer" almanac? Because what I see it becoming is the latter.
Dallman is mentioned in IMDB. To me that makes him a lot more notable than a fictional planet or character in, say, the Star Wars universe which, although interesting enough to Star Wars geeks, really has no relevance outside that very specialised demographic and sub-culture. And why does every episode of and every fictional character in Friends deserves a detailed write-up? Are those subjects deemed non-trvial? If they are, then how can you say that Dallman, or Geoffrey D. Falk, author of both a published book and a popular anti-guru ebook, or Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, who has had about half a dozen books published, are considered trivial? I'm not a fan of Norelli-Bachelet, in no way am I, but I still say she is notable.
And it's not just the biographies I've written that are being cut; if it was I'd just accept it, okay, that's how it goes. But Vernon White mentions that articles on senior police officers are being deleted. It is inevitable (and no-ones fault) that the majority wikipedian demographic of teen to early twenty white English-speaking IT-savvy, comic-book reading secular Western male would not consider biographies (i.e. entries about real people) of people as important as stories about the subjects they are interested in. Unfortunately the WP community - if allowed to proceed in this manner without correction - will inevitably provide a highly slanted and biased view of the world. Like I said, it's no-one's fault, it's just the way it works. Look, I love geekish things too, and consider myself a geek (well, sort of). But I love other things as well, and I think that Wikipedia deserves to include these other things, in addition to the current excellent coverage of geekish subjects.
In short, my concern is that Wikipedia is fast moving towards irrelevance as far as overall knowledge goes. As a Geek Encyclopedia it is wonderful! Rrally, it is!!! As a competitor to Brittanica (which many in the WP community seem to see it, including myself at one time) it is highly disappointing. M Alan Kazlev 01:44, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Is Dallman noted in Brittanica? No. Why? Because he is not notable. --Backface 12:16, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

How huge do I have to make the word "sources" with respect to Dallman? Does Wikipedia support 1,000-point fonts? Even then I wonder if it would sink in. No one's published anything about meaningful about him, as far as I could ever tell. He self-published a book from what I recall, but then again so have a remarkable number of people. So saying Wikipedia is biased really misses the point. People have enough published reliable information about episodes of Friends for us to write articles on that information. The same can't be said of Dallman, apparently. That people publishing and broadcasting information arguably have misplaced priorities isn't really Wikipedia's fault. --W.marsh 02:47, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Kazlev is mixing up two different things here and confuses the issue. There is no reason in the world why every minor character in Friends should be listed here and these should all be removed. That these should be in WP is ludicrous but it has nothing to do with the listing of people with no verifiable references. WP needs to be absolutely reliable, so that our users trust it rather than looking elsewhere. That is why the rs, verifiability and notability policies exist. We are in danger of forgetting our customer in this discussion, which is a very dangerous thing to do in any walk of life. --

If Kazlev is going to start a discussion and campaign for removing all of what he calls the 'geekish things' then I am on board. Where do I sign up? If he wants to add a whole load of unsourced drivel about people whose blogs he likes then I'm not so enthusiastic. These are simply not the same question.

Backface 11:48, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Marsh, here's an interesting experiment. Apply exactly the same standards that are used to assess notability of real people, to fictional characters from TV shows, comic books, etc that are mentioned in Wikipedia. If the fictional characters pass, then by all means keep the entry! If they don't, that indicates bias. To reiterate, I am not saying that these entries on TV and comic book characters should be deleted, not at all! (And I would strongly oppose such a policy). What I am saying is that the same standards that are used to include them should be extended to biographies on flesh and blood people. Surely that would be a reasonable policy?
btw, on my user page I have shown that Backface is a pov vandal and an apparent follower of Ken Wilber, regarding whom I have written several critiquing essays on (see the Integral World website). Therefore it is not impossible (although who knows, I may be wrong, but check out his user contributions page and decide for yourself!) that Backface may have an agenda here that has nothing to do with improving the quality of Wikipedia, despite his slavish citing of Wikipedia policy guidelines on my user page and elsewhere. Interestingly, mainstream academia would likewise consider Ken Wilber to be "drivel" (ok, they use a more polite term, "irrelevant"). I myself have always felt differently., And it has been Wikipedia's strength up until now that it hasn't had to follow only what the mainstream says. It would be a shame to lose that. M Alan Kazlev 22:36, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

You have "shown" no such thing, nor is it true. Your use of terms like "vandal", "slavish" etc. is offensive. Your personal attacks do you no credit and seem to be designed to avoid the debate rather than to take it forward. I do not intend to respond in kind. Please assume my good faith as I assume yours. The important thing here is WP policy regarding information that has no RS and is not notable or verifiable, regardless of whether it supports a particular point of view or not. I agree with you that a strength of Wikipedia is it does not only follow the crowd. It would also be a shame to lose its focus on providing information that is demonstrably reliable and that is properly sourced. --Backface 12:23, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Backface I checked the policy page on Vandal and you are correct, it doesn't apply to POV violations. You have my apology. I won't use that term on Wikipedia to refer to you again. However, your actions could certainly be described as POV violation and Wikilawyering/Pettyfogging (perhaps you may find those latter terms more acceptable than "slavish"). For the rest, I have already commented on my user talk page, where this discussion can best be continued if need be. M Alan Kazlev 02:34, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Alan, these terms are just as spurious. I suggest that they are also retracted and that you focus on the actual content of the discussion. --Backface 03:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Primary subject?

Some person or organization may have received favorable reviews in reliable and independent sources, but I see those rejected as attestations of notability because they were not the "primary subject" of the article, which may be a collection of commentary about cultural events. UncleG's essay on notability says "the fact that something has been noted demonstrates that it is notable." So if a choral group receives favorable mention in the New York Times and Fortune, how does it make sense to dismiss those as sources for notability, as in the deletion debate on The Baker's Dozen? If something or someone is "noted" in more than a passing mention or a directory listing, I feel that should count towards notability. There should not be a requirement that the entity in question is the only or promary thing discussed in the article. Edison 18:01, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. "Primary subject" should be changed to just "subject". The term "primary subject" is not used in any of the guidelines (WP:N, WP:RS) or policies WP:NOT, WP:V) that are supposed to stand behind this present guideline (WP:BIO), and its use here does not seem to be warranted by any of them. The same is true even of the essay you refer to (which, as an essay, is not authoritative). The term "primary subject" can only be justified if it is understood in a very weak sense — not the robust, straightforward meaning it would most naturally be given by someone who did not inquire into its background or justification.
And I, too, have encountered the citation of the term "primary subject" in WP:BIO as a last-ditch attempt to justify deletion of an article in the face of multiple citations of published sources, as in the current AfD on Daniel Avila and AfD on Curtis Warren. When I began editing Wikipedia, deletion debates over articles on game show contestants would have been the last thing I thought I would ever get involved in; I care little about game shows, and I thought too much was made of Ken Jennings in the popular press. I only stumbled across the articles in question by a series of fortuitous associations. But I don't like to see information removed from Wikipedia on the basis of fallacious reasoning, however little interest it may hold for me personally.
Another thing: preliminary investigations into the archives of this talk page and the history of WP:BIO have led me to doubt whether it should be a guideline at all, and whether it has ever achieved anything worth calling "consensus". But that's another story. —Neuromath 08:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
While the term "primary subject" is unclear and apparently unjustifiable, there may be a point to its use that can be expressed in more precise language and linked more logically to the policies and guidelines that are supposed to be behind WP:BIO. In the section Suggested downgrade of first bullet point above, an example is given of an individual who is featured in a newspaper article because he was a witness to a major fire. This article might be counted toward notability of the fire, but not of the person who was featured in it solely because of what he had to say about the fire, even if he was mentioned repeatedly. Perhaps it could somehow be indicated that someone doesn't really count as the "subject" of a publication if they were only mentioned as a means to an end; there must be some indication that saying something about the person was one purpose of the article (not necessarily the sole purpose). This is a different matter from whether the coverage of the person is extensive, or whether the publication also had other, more prominent purposes. If Curtis Warren is included in a list of "" "eight other notable masters of miscellany from over the past half century" and given a one-paragraph capsule biography in an article inThe Atlantic Monthly entitle entitled "Trivial pursuits",[3] then he is one of the subjects of the article, even though considerably less space might be devoted to him than to the hypothetical witness to the fire. —Neuromath 10:40, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
The word "primary" was added to address problems just like the ones you describe in your fire example. While "primary" can be misinterpreted in an overly strict manner, without that word we had too many people saying that "I found his name in the newspaper therefore that counts as a source" without any regard for the context or content of the article. I recently was covered by our local paper in an article on beekeeping. The reporter interviewed my entire family, took pictures of the beeyard, etc. I'm not at all special - I just happened to be the only beekeeper the reporter knew. Any other beekeeper could have been interviewed instead with no loss to the point of the article. Those are the kind of "citations" we need to exclude from deletion discussions. They verify the existence of the subject but nothing else. They do not establish that the subject is appropriate for inclusion in the encyclopedia.
Personally, I like the current wording. While any wording will be misinterpreted by someone, this seems to be striking the right balance most of the time. But if you have suggested replacement wording, this is the right place to propose it. Rossami (talk) 14:59, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
But to loosen it would allow for some discussion regarding the context. Even a change from "the primary subject" to "a primary subject" would be a useful and clear change of pace, allowing for a subject to have multiple, contextual mentions and be included for their "notability" (i.e., game show contestants) without forcing us to include the people who witness a fire. I'd imagine that's closer to the intent of the guideline, as well. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:13, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Rossami, I'm very glad to see you agreeing that the "overly strict" interpretation of "primary subject" (as something like "the sole central focus of the article") is a misinterpretation, especially since my preliminary research indicates that it was you who first added the "primary subject" language to WP:BIO on 19 May 2006. And I agree entirely that some concept of notability is needed, along with the kind of idea expressed by what I've called "a very weak sense" of "primary subject", to rule out Wikipedia articles based on the kinds of incidental mentions of individuals illustrated by your beekeeping example and the fire example (not mine, actually, but that of Malber in the section Suggested downgrade of first bullet point above).
But I cannot agree that the "primary subject" language "seems to be striking the right balance most of the time". If you haven't done so already, I would strongly suggest that you read in full the current AfD on Daniel Avila and AfD on Curtis Warren mentioned above, for some vivid examples of how the "primary subject" language is likely to be used in practice. And as strongly as I may disagree with Strothra about whether the articles in question should be deleted, I have to agree with him that the "overly strict" interpretation of "primary subject" is a very natural one—indeed, at first glance it is by far the most natural interpretation (even though it appears not to be the one you intended, and it does not make sense in the context of WP:BIO and WP:N taken as wholes).
As to fixing the problem: although badlydrawnjeff's suggestion of replacing "the primary subject" with "a primary subject" (emphasis added) would be a step in the right direction, the term "primary" is so suggestive of uniqueness, centrality, and, well, primacy, that it is bound to be misinterpreted very frequently. Also, the points we're discussing are sufficiently complex that I think it is hopeless to try to convey them through any brief phrase, however thoughtfully crafted. Instead, paragraph-length exposition and more examples are needed. The examples we have been discussing here (at least beekeeping, fire, and the article "Trivial pursuits" in The Atlantic Monthly[4]), should be incorporated into WP:BIO itself, along with expositions of the points they make. The term "the primary subject of" should be replaced immediately with just "a topic of", and a separate explanation should be added to the effect that an individual mentioned (even extensively) as a generic instance (as in the beekeeping example) or a purely instrumental conduit of information (as in the fire example) is not a topic of a publication, while an individual mentioned (even briefly) as an exceptional instance (as in the Atlantic Monthly example) is a topic of a publication.
Please don't underestimate the seriousness of the problem of well-intentioned but misguided use of WP:BIO and other notability criteria, in their present forms, as engines of destruction against worthwhile articles. I have little doubt that if I had not happened to notice the AfD's mentioned above, the articles in question would have been deleted with little or no discussion. My background reading on the AfD's has led me to the essay User:Ziggurat/Notability, and I have learned first-hand what he's talking about. Fixing the "primary" problem will be a step in the right direction.—Neuromath 08:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Please don't misinterpret me. I believe that "primary" can be misinterpreted, not that it always is misinterpreted. In my experience, the wording is correctly interpreted in the vast majority of cases. We need to design our rules and guidelines for the most common situations, recognizing that no wording is perfect and that we are not slaves to the rules. A few examples of misinterpretation does not convince me that we should be changing the wording for all cases.
I understand your point about an individual briefly mentioned as an exceptional instance in an Atlantic Monthly article but I have to say that it doesn't completely convince me. If that one Atlantic Monthly listing was the only source that anyone could find about the subject, the community would be justified in questioning the article's author's judgment. It might be sufficient, it might not. Those are decisions which have to be weighed on a case-by-case basis.
I would strongly oppose the replacement of a simple guideline with a paragraph length exposition. We already have serious problems with instruction creep. Wikipedia relies instead on cultural controls - good editors who've been around a while who understand the nuance and discussion that went into the crafting of the rule and who can politely correct and guide the new users to a more full understanding of our standards.
By the way, you are correct that I'm the person who implemented the edit to the wording on this page but it was the result of a series of discussions across several pages that led to a fairly clear consensus that the old wording was being interpreted more liberally than was good for the encyclopedia. You ask us not to underestimate the seriousness of the problem you see. I would ask you not to underestimate the seriousness of the problem which led to the addition of these criteria in the first place. Rossami (talk) 00:30, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

(Unindent) Initially, I agreed that it would be detrimental to Wikipedia to allow the indiscriminate creation of articles based on any and every mention of any person in a reliable publication; that was why I conceded up front that some concept of notability is needed, along with some expression of the idea behind the phrase "primary subject" as you have used it. Now I'm at least suspending judgment on that position until I have a chance to read and evaluate what the meta:Association of Inclusionist Wikipedians has to say on the matter; their opposition to notability criteria appears to go deeper than I had realized from my earlier glances at their main page, and tends to strengthen my doubts as to the existence of any consensus behind the notability guidelines.

As to our specific topic here—the "primary subject" criterion, and its misinterpretation and misguided use against legitimate articles—I don't think it was a coincidence that I encountered it so early in my experience as a registered Wikipedia user. When I looked to this talk page, I didn't need to create a section to discuss this topic; I found that Edison had already raised the issue, less than a month ago. And just how much attention gets paid to most AfD's, anyway? I wouldn't have known about the two mentioned above if it hadn't been for a series of fortuitous events that included a single spelling correction I made to the article on Melissa Skirboll, the third game-show contestant involved in a set of AfD's, shortly before her article was tagged with the AfD; the transposition of two characters made the difference. A lot of unfortunate deletions could occur without ever attracting close scrutiny. I suspect that my experience with the "primary subject" criterion was only the tip of a very large iceberg.

And the criterion is not simple. Short, yes; simple, no. Complexity is not a monotonic function of text length. Wikipedia does have a lot of guidance documents to read, and they're not always understood perfectly even on the first complete reading; but I don't see that it improves matters to rely on "cultural controls" that would have to be conveyed through individual conversations or experiences. From your own point of view, you should also consider whether this criterion, as presently stated, is serving as an instrument for the transmutation of Wikipedia newbies into confirmed radical inclusionists, and might warrant change on that ground alone.

Pragmatically, if consensus for incorporation of detailed explanations and examples into WP:BIO is not likely to be achieved, it would be best to adopt immediately badlydrawnjeff's suggestion of replacing "the primary subject" with "a primary subject", and add that "Whether a person is a primary subject of a published work is to be judged by the connection of the work's coverage of the person to the purpose of the work, and not in terms of the extent of that coverage." I propose this change without prejudice to the overall legitimacy of the notability guidelines; I've expressed my growing skepticism, but as long as they're here, they may as well be as clear as possible. —Neuromath 04:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Coda: This last proposal is also without prejudice to the desirability of more radical changes short of rejecting the concept of notability completely—such as my original proposal to change "primary subject" to just "subject", dropping the word "primary" altogether. I'm merely trying to find a compromise that can be adopted at once, so as to get rid of the worst effects of the current "primary subject" criterion. —Neuromath 07:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree that "primary subject" may require too much, but I believe we'd need some clarification of what's required and that simply dropping the word "primary" could lead to confusion. I believe that, at a minimum, the source has to say something substantial about the subject (not just a sentence and not just in passing), enough to support verification of an article of some substance. For this reason, the source would need to go into some depth and put some focus on the subject. However, I would agree the source doesn't have to be exclusively about the subject. --Shirahadasha 00:33, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Criterion discussion: "...enduring historical record ... in ... specific field"

From WP:BIO: "The person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field."

I am interested in the views of other editors regarding the semantics and intent of this inclusion criterion. A lot of the contentious AFD discussions focus around people and ideas from niche genres and subcultures. Although my curiosity in this matter is in regards to an AFD for a furry fandom personality, it really applies to any field that does not receive mainstream news coverage. The subject of this article is without question well-documented in his field; he is been a featured participant on multiple occasions at pretty much every genre convention that I can find reliable documentation for, at least one general-purpose science fiction convention, and at least one publicized genre-sponsored charity drive. That leaves a substantial web footprint, as well as a strong record in the print-format advertising and orientation material created by those conventions. A defensible argument could be made that such material constitutes the "enduring historical record" of the furry fandom. The article's subject is also, as best as I can determine, completely undocumented in anything resembling a traditional media source.

As I see it, there are several editorial questions to examine:

  • First and foremost, does this inclusion criterion suit the consensus intent of WP:BIO and the encyclopedia's needs as written?
  • If it does,
    • What is a "specific field" for the purposes of this criterion?
    • What constitutes the "enduring historical record" (if any) for a "specific field" not adequately covered by traditional media sources?

Although the article at AFD now deals with a furry fandom entertainer, I feel the criterion may have wider impact. It does not seem unreasonable to expect that there are other people, from other "fields", whose notability determination might be similarly affected. Proponents of unconvential religious sects come to mind as a likely unrelated example. As for a solution, I'm not certain, personally. I think that if the criterion is to be maintained in its current wording, then the focus needs to be on determining the scope of "specific field" in order to draw some bright-line distinction, whereever that line is drawn.

Full disclosure: I've been involved in quite a few AFDs and article cleanup efforts on furry fandom material lately. I don't identify as a fandom member (indeed, sourcing this stuff has been ... educational), but there seemed to be a lot of these articles, and they badly need the help. In my mind, that's what being an editor is about.

--Serpent's Choice 06:24, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


Should the sentence

See also Wikipedia:Importance, which attempts to be a generic, all inclusive definition of criteria for inclusion.

be there, considering that that page is inactive and kept for historical interest? Neonumbers 03:13, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I had it in mind to raise this too, I see no reason for a link to be included. Since you posted this, someone has removed it anyway. Trebor 08:59, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Point system for notability

Please look at my User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Point system for notability and leave comments there. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 05:38, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Minor League Sportspeople

There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Chase Headley (continued from DRV) as to whether professional sportspeople in minor leagues meet WP:BIO ipso fact. A centralized discussion (here for instance) might be useful to decide what the limits, if any, should be and to clarify the wording of the guideline. My own view is that only competitors at the highest level should be considered automatically notable and minor leaguers should have to clearly show non-trivial coverage. Eluchil404 10:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)


Recently the issue of notability of electronic game-players (video gamers, computer gamers) who have reached the top ranks of verifiable, competitive leagues has come into question. I would argue that e-gaming is a sport; for example, a computer game player who has earned significant cash prizes, contracts or ranked at the top-tier of a notable computer game is at least as notable as any other notable sport. Can we get some agreement or clarification on this subject? Tarinth 17:57, 27 December 2006 (UTC)


Would Victor Luchits be considered notable?

  • Based on how the article is currently written, no, but that doesn't mean he isn't. If there are secondary sources that discuss either him or his inventions, then the answer would be an easy yes. Since this article is just a stub, it's hard to say about him in particular. Tarinth 14:44, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Notability standards for military personnel:

Notability standards for military personnel:

  • Has attained the rank of General, Admiral, or above, or a rank of equivalent stature by another name, in a notable military force. However, there should be some description of the career without a specific standard of notability to the career, and a reference sufficient to document the person and rank to prevent hoaxes.
  • Has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (US), Victoria’s Cross (UK), or another recognition of high courage with similar standards and stature, with at minimum a description of the action for which the honor was bestowed including a description of the conflict, the opposing forces, and the approximate date, and a reference sufficient to document the person and award to prevent hoaxes.
  • Has had a notable effect on a conflict, the service, military technology or is otherwise notable per any other WP criteria.

NOTE: This is only a start of potential criteria. It could be stand alone or as part of criteria for Historic Figures

--Kevin Murray 18:57, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Since we don't require credentials to participate in AfD, the establishment of objective criteria is critical. It seems that there is a risk of having too many special categories for notability, but it is difficult at the Article for Deletion (AfD) level to establish notability on a case by case basis because obscure but notable historic figures do not receive high Google-hits, are not featured in periodicals etc. I think that Wikipedia is at risk for being a high school level history textbook without meaningful criteria for non-historian editors to consult during AfD.

--Kevin Murray 18:57, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

It's worthwhile pointing out the existing Military history WikiProject notability guideline here, I suppose. Kirill Lokshin 20:05, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I have a feeling that most editors making decisions at AfD are unaware of this standard --Kevin Murray 02:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

The following is an excerpt from:existing Military history WikiProject notability guideline

"The following types of military figures are always notable:

  • Recipients of a country's highest military decoration.
  • People who commanded an army or a significant part of an army in combat.
  • Holders of top-level command positions (e.g. Chief of the General Staff).
  • People who are the primary topic of one or more published secondary works.
  • If a military figure does not meet any of the above, but has non-trivial mention in one or more published secondary works (family history and genealogies excluded), they are probably notable.
  • Any person that that is only mentioned in genealogical records or family histories, or is traceable only through primary documents, is probably not notable."

--Kevin Murray 02:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

It seems a bit tied to land forces excluding air forces and navies. We may want to explore placing this here or referencing to the History Project. --Kevin Murray 02:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

May I assume that the three crietria mentiooned above are "OR", not "AND"? TeunSpaans 20:15, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

YES --Kevin Murray 02:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Delete army, insert armed forces. Now it contains land, sea, air and space. Wandalstouring 10:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

NOTE: There was a prior discussion above at Military and police officers --Kevin Murray 10:16, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Per the prior discussions, I think that the second bulleted list is more workable. I disagree with the presumption in the first bulleted list that any general or admiral is automatically notable. Many are peacetime professionals who do their jobs well but quietly and for whom there are no independent sources. The second list focuses more on accomplishments which will be covered and about which we are more likely to be able to find reliable sources. Rossami (talk) 17:30, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
As I have said previously, I consider that any officer who has reached the rank of Major-General, Rear-Admiral or Air Vice-Marshal or equivalent should qualify for inclusion. They may have only "done their jobs" but I consider that to get to that rank they've done their jobs well enough to be notable. It is not true that there are no independent sources for them - British officers of that rank, for instance, are always included in Who's Who and usually have obituaries in The Times when they die. -- Necrothesp 11:02, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
That might be true for the British military but it's definitely not the case for US officers and I would not trust it to be a useful guideline for most other countries. Rossami (talk) 20:20, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
As in the previous discussion; I seem to not only agree with Rossami, but go beyond him in skepticism. I can't guarantee that people piloting a desk to high peace time office are necessarily interesting or notable; and I can't guarantee that any given rank translates equivalently across the militaries of all countries. "A notable military force" is, unfortunately, almost meaningless, since a very small military force can be quite notable, see the Vatican guard for example. That article lists 33 "Holders of top-level command positions" for that country - do each of them really deserve an individual article? I doubt it. AnonEMouse (squeak) 21:28, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me rather strange that it is considered that minor soap actors and pop stars are notable, whereas senior military officers who have spent a lifetime serving their country and reaching high rank are not. Our priorities seem a little skewed. This is also confusing "notability" with "exposure" and "media attention" - they are not the same thing. Frankly, I would consider the statement that these people are "piloting a desk to high peace time office" to show no more than a complete lack of understanding of the military world. Very few officers spend their lives "piloting a desk" - most of them have spent most of their lives in very active roles.
As for the Swiss Guard, if you actually look at the article you will find that none of them hold a rank senior to Colonel and nobody in such a small ceremonial force could really be considered to hold a "top-level command position". They therefore do not meet the criteria in any case. -- Necrothesp 22:55, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
In my view this guideline is not really about "notability" per se, but guidelines defining a set of people for whom sufficient reliable sources may be assumed to exist to satisfy WP:V. High ranking military officers are certainly more "notable" than minor soap actors and pop stars. However, they aren't as certain to be covered in multiple reliable sources. I'm not sure what "us" you're referring to with "our priorities seem a little skewed", Wikipedia's or society's in general, but I don't think you'd get much argument about society's priorities being skewed. -- Rick Block (talk) 01:58, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
About the Swiss guards. Stop dissing them. Their colorful uniforms have always attracted scepticism of their professionalism, OK. The article on them really lacks information on their modern training and equipment. Their standards make them an elite force and such units are always small with a flat hierarchy. Usually their main body serves as trained bodyguards with state of the art equipment and more decent dressing, while some of them still stand around in their fancy dress to keep the show running.
Basically most officers are servants of the state and we don't list every servant of a state on wikipedia as long as there aren't sufficient reasons provided that people want to be informed about him. For example we don't list every Harvard graduate, assistant, professor, etc. Wandalstouring 22:46, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I honestly don't think anyone was "dissing" the Swiss Guard. I certainly wasn't and I can't see any evidence that anyone else was either. The statement was merely that they were a small unit, which they undeniably are. As to servants of the state, we list them if they're senior or significant enough to be listed. Plenty have articles here already, many based on seniority alone. And more should have. Who's to say who finds whom interesting? Personally, I don't find soap actors and minor pop "stars" particularly interesting, even if it sometimes seems like heresy to say so in our minor celebrity-obsessed world. -- Necrothesp 21:57, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

(Unindenting.) "It seems to me rather strange that it is considered that minor soap actors and pop stars are notable, whereas senior military officers who have spent a lifetime serving their country and reaching high rank are not. Our priorities seem a little skewed." - This seem to be assuming two things: first, that notability is necessarily a good thing; and second, that we are judging the "value" of the people we choose to have articles about. Neither is true. For the first, hundreds if not thousands of notable people, "public figures", wish greatly they weren't, being known by the world has completely ruined their lives. The world's worst dictators and mass murderers are quite notable, while hard working unassuming diligent parents, teachers, nurses, and clergy aren't. For the second, we don't decide who the world writes about, we merely reflect that. If General Brown is dedicated, brilliant, flawless, and a model to his peers, but no one outside his chain of command has ever heard of him besides as a name on a list - he's not notable. Meanwhile, if dishonorably discharged former Private Second Class Green is stupid, incompetent, cowardly, and even traitorous, but multiple independent reliable popular sources have written non-trivial articles about him - he is. That's notability for you, it's not an award for quality, it's just a mirror of the world. AnonEMouse (squeak) 15:29, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I suggest that the criteria listed above from the Military History Project be adopted as the general Wikipedia standard for notability for military personnel. I haven't seen anything in the discussion so far to dissuade me from this opinion. Cla68 05:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. The primary concern seems to be that some generals, admirals, etc. will not have accomplished anything sufficient to have them references in verifiable, reliable, third-party sources. While this is likely true, WP:V as greater "weight" than any WP:N subset. These notability guidelines are supposed to tell us who might be included, not who must be. Serpent's Choice 08:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with the MILHIST standard as well. As I discovered very quickly while doing genealogical research, the person who lived an honest, upstanding life rarely had any documentation left behind about them, but the person who beat his wife, robbed banks, etc. left an easily found trail of documents, making research easier. Sometimes there are plenty of people who are notable in their own right (or field) without having "made the headlines". wbfergus 20:41, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I find the assumption/assertion that nothing verifiable has been written about most senior military officers to be rather strange. It's completely untrue. Is it really only major newspapers in Britain which publish obituaries of generals etc? I find that hard to believe. But even if it is, I would consider anyone who has had an obituary in The Times (or comparable foreign newspaper) to be completely worthy of an article on Wikipedia. As is anybody who has been knighted or received another high honour. That would cover almost all British "three- or four-star" officers for starters, plus a goodly proportion of "two-stars". -- Necrothesp 21:51, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
The number of career officers who are promoted to "flag" rank (general or admiral) is less than 1% in most militaries (U.S.- [5] and Turkey- [6] are just two examples I found in a quick Google search). Is being in the "top" 1% of your nation's military forces enough in itself to satisfy the notability requirement? Cla68 06:27, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Certainly not. 1% is way too low a boundary. Think about it, that means 22,000 articles on Chinese peacetime officers, 11,000 articles on North Korean peacetime officers... - just look at List of countries by number of active troops, no way all of those have enough written about them in verifiable reliable sources to make for articles. AnonEMouse (squeak) 13:22, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You're making a fundamental error here. Less than 1% of career officers are promoted to flag/general rank, not members of the armed forces in general. Officers make up a fairly small percentage of the armed forces (less than 20% in the British Armed Forces, and far less than that in the British Army, for instance[7]), career officers an even smaller percentage. Also note that if that percentage is correct, then a fair percentage will be "one-star" officers (half of all flag officers in the United States according to the cited article). I would advocate, as I have already said, the bar for automatic notability being "two-star" officers. That's far fewer people. In the current British Armed Forces there are only 138 officers of "two-star" rank or above[8]. That's about 0.07% of the total strength of the armed forces! -- Necrothesp 15:56, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Your numbers elude me, I bow deeply. Meanwhile, let's bell this cat - what is your proposal to handle the many articles on basically non-notable Chinese, North Korean, Iranian, Iraqi, etc., flag officers that your proposed criteria will admit? What will you say to someone who somehow gets a Chinese army staff directory - presumably there are such things - and proposes to make hundreds or thousands of articles forever doomed to be stubs? AnonEMouse (squeak) 16:17, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
The only issue here is notability, not possible numbers of articles. Are two-star officers and above notable by virtue of their rank? I say they are and that if there is enough information to write an article on one then one should be able to be written without it being descended on by hordes of deletionists claiming the officer in question is non-notable. That is the purpose of notability criteria. In any case, I dispute your allegation that any article about a general or flag officer is "forever doomed" to be a stub, since you have no basis whatsoever for making it. And do you know of many fellow Wikipedians who are waiting in the wings on tenterhooks for this policy to be added so that they can rush out and create thousands of stubs on obscure generals and admirals? No, thought not. Your whole opposition seems to be based on what people might do. Based on our current notability guidelines, people might write articles on thousands of people who are far more obscure than generals and admirals (e.g. obscure politicians who've never done anything useful in their entire careers, but are still considered worthy of an article by virtue of their status as members of a legislature - think of all those 2,979 members of the Chinese National People's Congress, for instance! All they do is rubber stamp government policy, but they still meet our notability criteria.) -- Necrothesp 16:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Necrothesp's math (two comments up) is relevant only to the UK military. According to the links provided, the number of flag officers in the US military is currently running at approximately 0.5% of all members of the armed forces. Every military is different but almost all the NATO countries have similar rates and most non-NATO forces are considerably higher. The link he/she provided to the UK staffing levels is interesting but so far out of line with the measures reported for other militaries that I have to wonder if there is something that has been omitted from the comparison.
Nevertheless, I remain opposed to the addition of a rank-based criterion for inclusion of biographies. If the officer in question is notable enough for us to write an article about him or her, that notability will be easily demonstrated through accomplishments and the availability of sources. Rank alone is unnecessary and creates risk (yes, that's being concerned about something that people might do) that the clause will be abused. There is no "horde of deletionists" waiting to delete good articles and even if there were, the fact that a line is not on this page does nothing to change that. Our criteria for inclusion of biographies are non-exclusive. You only have to meet one criterion to be included - and if you can't meet the criterion about "multiple non-trivial coverages by independent sources", then the article will be deleted as unverifiable anyway. Rossami (talk) 21:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No, the example provided for the US Armed Forces above quite clearly says about 0.5% of commissioned officers, not all members of the armed forces. That's 0.06% of the armed forces, with about 0.03% being in two-star ranks or above, actually half the percentage in the British Armed Forces (as one would expect for a much larger force). I can't believe anyone thinks that 1 in 200 service personnel is a general or an admiral - that would be plain ridiculous! Just think about it for a second!
I'm afraid that your point about notability being "easily demonstrated through accomplishments and the availability of sources" is verging on cloud cuckoo land. I have seen many articles about people whose accomplishments are clearly notable (to my mind) and which are decently sourced being proposed for deletion. The sad fact is that there are just far too many people on Wikipedia now who would prefer to delete rather than create, and who point to these notability guidelines and say "well, this class of people isn't specifically covered here and aren't droned on about endlessly by the [minor celebrity-obsessed] western media so they can't be notable". Media exposure does not equal notability, although many people seem to think it does. -- Necrothesp 22:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok. I think we've discussed the matter fairly exhaustively. I believe the Military History Project criteria should still be adopted as the general notability guidelines. How do we close this discussion and go to a vote? Cla68 01:42, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Notability of people outside the English-speaking world

I am truly disappointed. User:Pilotguy has placed a notability template on Emre Altug, a Turkish actor. I have wrote to him at least three times requesing the removing of the template and gave my reasons backed by verifiable information see Talk:Emre Altuğ#Notability I posted the same at his userpage as well. I haven't received an answer since 6th January. (and he has answered others since that time) My question is: why do admisintrators feel that if someone is not coming from an English-speaking country then cannot be notable? Isn't that prejudice and being highly selective? Emre Altug has played main roles in many Turkish feature films, television series and has four musical albums released by major Turkish labels. he has an independent biography, and appears in major Turkish newspapers and magazines. All of the above information is referenced on the page, including his IMDb pge. He meets every single criteria listed on the policy page. So why isn't he notable? Where can I get help if I have a dispute with an admisintrator (who doesn't even care to answer)? I'd appreciate your help. --Teemeah Gül Bahçesi 21:17, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The notability tag is simply there to demonstrate that someone isn't sure whether it meets standards. Pilotguy is generally good about this sort of thing, so he was probably just looking for more eyes toward it. I've removed the tag for now, but won't stop someone putting it back on, it seems to meet what we;re looking for. Don't let a singular instance drag you down. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. I didn't want to remove the template so that it wouldn't be bias :) --Teemeah Gül Bahçesi 21:37, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Google test

The idea of basing notability on a Google search is deeply flawed.

Both my first and last names are unusual and the combination is almost certainly unique. Google returns over 32,000 hits for me. Yet I swear to you I am not remotely famous. Why so many hits? In my case the hits are mostly from my Usenet participation over the last 12 years. There are other reasons why a person who isn't notable might have his or her name on thousands of web pages that are indexed by Google.

Some people's names are very common. If someone tried to show that his best friend Sarah Smith was notable, he could try to support his claim with the 495,000 hits returned by Google. However, those could all be about 500 other Sarah Smiths, with none of them referring to his friend. Some of them may not even be about anyone named Sarah Smith. They could have lists of names in last-name-first order:

Jones, Jane; Peterson, Sarah; Smith, Steven.

No Sarah Smith in that list, but Google will show a hit. Other pages will have something like:

That was the last he saw of Sarah. Smith consoled him as well as he could.

"Sarah," Smith began, "will you come over here, please?"

No Sarah Smith in those samples, but Google will return them for a search on "Sarah Smith". —Largo Plazo 05:28, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Jennifer Strange

So, what about people like Jennifer here, who's circumstances of death were newsworthy, but are otherwise non-notable. Heck, Even the circumstances of this death have brought very little press, but probably enough to qualify under point one of the criteria. Should we have an article about her? --Measure 00:20, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The Notability Paradox

Would being the first person about whom an article was written for Wikipedia and then deleted for lack of notability suffice to confer notability on that person? —Largo Plazo 15:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

No. AnonEMouse (squeak) 17:29, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
However, we do have an article on the person who argued vehemently that the page about somebody else should be removed at that person's request, and this article was not removed at the person's request. >Radiant< 17:36, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Who's that? Trebor 18:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Persons achieving renown or notoriety for their involvement in newsworthy events, such as by being assassinated.

I think we can probably come up with an example that is both a little less morbid and a little more easily generalizable. Please change it if you think of it before me. --mako (talkcontribs) 05:51, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Usually the word "assassination" is reserved for the killing of people who would already be considered notable. Otherwise we just say "murder". —Largo Plazo 11:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Primary subject of reliable sources?

This criterion strikes me as not specific enough: "The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person." We wouldn't think anyone were more notable if they just wrote about themselves on their blog a lot, would we? WP:RS covers this a lot better (for instance, excluding self-published sources and sources not independent of the subject), so how about: "The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial works published by reliable sources"? Or some variant thereof. Recury 21:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the "multiple" makes this a poor guideline in this case. BLogs generally aren't considered "non-trivial published works" anyway, so I don't think there's a problem. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
"Non-trivial" here refers to non-trivial coverage, so if its a 10-page blog post then it is. And blogs, like any website, are published. Recury 21:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Things named after people

I know it feels obvious to me, but there's some confusion about whether a non-notable thing named after an otherwise non-notable person helps meet WP:BIO. The latest example I've seen is in a recent AfD where a university chair was named after a trustee or donor. Of course, I'm not arguing about commemoration of independently notable people, living or dead, including Mahatma Gandhi University or even Gaines High School in Ohio (see this and Peter H. Clark). Any commemoration can be a pointer for the open-minded to keep looking for proper sources; and a person's name on any notable thing is probably worth at least a redirect. But a name on a nn thing is trivia for WP:BIO, like other 1-line entries. Anyone disagree? --Mereda 10:53, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Completely agree. University chairs, especially at American universities where the practice is particularly widespread, are often named after rich but not particularly notable donors. The fact that the chair (or anything else) is named after them does not make them notable by association; of course, the reason for their wealth may make them notable, but not the simple fact they're wealthy. -- Necrothesp 11:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Well said. Rossami (talk)
So I'm tempted to add a line at the end of Note 4:
"The existence of a memorial (e.g., a named chair at a university) is not a substitute for depth of content in published work."
Would that cover the wider general point?? Alternatives welcome! --Mereda 17:36, 24 January 2007 (UTC)