Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)/Archive 5

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I have adjusted...

gramma ...this change, made in good faith, because it gives the appearance (although not the intent) of weakening the guideline. I have kept and clarified the language that it was intended to do, but kept all the criteria on the same level as it has been historically, and continues to be cited. LEt's discuss changes like that here in the future, please. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Since this reversion has been done on at least three separate notability guidelines, I'd suggest it be discussed centrally here rather than in at least three dfferent places. -- Dragonfiend 03:53, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Your revert is a step backwards into subjectivity, giving the appearance that arguing that someone meets a subjective level of importance is just as useful as presenting non-trivial published information. I was trying to take the guidelines away from being subjective and not at all guaranteeing that verifiable information exists. I think your change makes inclusion seem much more difficult and subjective than it really needs to be. I admit I don't understand what you mean about appearances or weakening the guideline. The latter is subjective based on your stance on inclusionism, and the former seems like something I wouldn't be concerned with anyway. --W.marsh 01:51, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Because I have more respect for JzG and W.Marsh than just about anyone else here, I thought long and hard about these changes again. Because the entire thing is based at the "central" location, I'm going to make my detailed thoughts known there, but I'm reverting back to the guideline that has been discussed at length, mostly because of the confusion between "notability" and verifiability. Short answer - if an article is still verifiable, it may not be "notable." If an article is "notable," having the opportunity to find the "verifiable" information is easier, and keeps articles from disappearing too quickly. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:19, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • As Marsh says, the change Jeff made is a step backwards from the last stable version. >Radiant< 13:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    • I'm not convinced it is, anmd even if it is, the "step forward" doesn't have consensus here at the moment. Care to explain further? --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
      • You have it backwards. Since you're the one making a change from the latest stable version, you have to convince the others that your change is better, not the other way around. >Radiant< 15:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
        • No consensus was ever gathered for the change, nor was it noted here. The assumption is that no one really caught it, which is a problem. The change was controversial, and requires consensus. I don't have it backwards at all, I'm hoping you'll eventually understand the way things change. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:06, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
          • I'll note that people still aren't bothering with trying to build consensus on this change. This is a long-standing guideline that has been referenced too many times to downgrade an entire section without discussion here. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
            • Looks to me like there are more people supporting the stable version, than there are people supporting your change. Perhaps that might mean your change was ill-advised? >Radiant< 13:46, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
              • Are you making a vote count? There is no stable version, and there is significant dissent against your tendentious editing, as demonstrated in numerous places. Welcome back to the talk page, though! --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:48, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Criteria for notability for writers?

There is a history book author I would like to write an article about, but first I need to know if there are specific criteria for writer notability. I'd like to keep my good habit of drafting articles that don't get deleted. :) Thanks in advance for any leads. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 19:01, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Criterion 8 would seem most relevant. "Published authors, editors and photographers who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work." However, any of the other criteria could apply, particularly if the author him/herself has been written up as a person.
Note that the "reviews" in the book's dustjacket almost never count as "independent reviews". There are too many cases where those bits of fluff were solicited by the publisher. Actual awards for the book are much more defensible.
I'd also suggest that if the author really only has one notable work so far, it's likely that the biography would be merged-and-redirected to the page about the notable book. That's not an absolute rule but it's a very common outcome. Hope that helps. Rossami (talk) 22:11, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 03:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Disputed tag

I have added the disputed tag because of tendentious editing by some and because of a lack of demonstrated consensus for the changes by others. Consensus for anything to happen at WP:N does not introduce consensus here, and it's arguable whether there's really a consensus at WP:N to begin with. Hopefully people will actually be willing to discuss. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:48, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

It's great to see everyone reverting the tag explaining themselves. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll explain it. The tag you kept adding read, "This page's designation as a policy or guideline is disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page." Its designation is not disputed. You (and apparently only you) dispute how one section is written. Contrary to your edit summaries, nowhere do the words "as written" appear in the tag. JChap2007 02:45, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I planned on adding the proper tag later onbut I don't think my initial tag was wrong anyway - the version currently here lacks consensus in its form. --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:08, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • There's a relevant thread on the village pump that further underlines the suggestion that Jeff is pretty much alone in his views here. While of course he has the right to his opinion, "dispute" tags are meant to indicate a somewhat larger dispute than "someone doesn't like this page". >Radiant< 12:01, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't really see that indication at all. I see a discussion, at least people are talking about it, something you could help with. Their lack of discussion here is disconcerting, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:22, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Let me quote a bit, "It seems like the diff Jeff mentioned is just pointing this out; it doesn't seem like a policy change to me" - Cmummert, "I concur- this is a clarification of notability, not a change. It would only look like a change to someone who never understood notability to begin with" - Friday, "Yes; it's just the wording that has changed for clarity. The guideline's still basically the same" - ONunicorn. Yep, lots of people are disagreeing with Jeff, and he "doesn't really see that at all". Typical. >Radiant< 12:25, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Changing your tune, are we? Compare what you said first with what you said now before you decide to make up anything else. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
          • Again with the personal attacks. Do you ever actually have an argument for anything? >Radiant< 12:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
            • No personal attacks there, either. Do you plan on contributing positively to the discussion, or even the project, anytime soon? --badlydrawnjefftalk 12:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
              • Jeff-O-Meter for today... personal attacks: 4, actual arguments: 0. >Radiant< 13:09, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Without wishing to betray my enormous ignorance too much (I'm a process novice), can I suggest that both sides agree that the article is a work in progress? There are numerous problems with the policy, as can be seen all over this page, that need to be worked through and decided. It's likely that we'll always find nooks and crannies where the policy is insufficient, misleading or ambiguous as the 'pedia expands. Disputing whether it's disputed seems like a waste of energy... let's just iron out the wrinkles as we find them and accept the policy's status quo as being the best that could be at that moment in time until the next amend by consensus improves it a little. --Dweller 13:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Changes to long-standing guidelines are made by consensus. The problem is that the most recent change was not made by consensus, and has a lot of serious issues brought up at a number of different places. As Radiant instead chooses to disruptively revert to his preferred version over the consensus one, thus the tag. I'm still waiting for him to actually discuss said changes here, but I'm not holding my breath. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:12, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • i've now officially lost count as to how many times Radiant has reverted me without any real substantive demonstration of consensus here at this page. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Broken record much? You're the one proposing a change, so the burden is on you to demonstrate consensus for what you've changed. >Radiant< 13:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Actually, you're the one proposing a change from the long-established guideline to the change instituted without discussion in December. It's up to you, as the person who wants to include it, to demonstrate the consensus here for the change. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:22, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Nope. The page was stable for over a month until your edit of January 24th. That's the edit that you do not have consensus for. Do not cross 'go', do not collect $200. >Radiant< 13:29, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
          • My edit is backed up by literally years of consensus building. The December edit did not even get discussed here until I reverted back to the long-standing consensus building. You are incorrect. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:41, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
  • There's been no substantive discussion by editors about this change in nearly 10 days. If I don't hear any substantive protests, I'll be changing back to the December version on Monday evening. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:04, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
    • No, you won't. Any further disruption over this guideline and I will request the page to be fully protected. Discuss here and get a consensus before doing anything, please. Yuser31415 (Editor review two!) 21:43, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Yes, I will, if there's no substantive protest. My change is not a change, but simply a revision to the version that existed with years of consensus. If you want to discuss disruption, I can point you to the one disruptive force above. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:52, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I for one strongly object to going back to the December version. Multiple non-trivial sources is the starting point, everything else is secondary. It took a long time to come up with a good way of describing a subject which is notable at WP:N, and now we've done that it makes no sense whatsoever pretending that we can have articles without sources if they fulfil some other criteria. Guy (Help!) 22:51, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
    • This hasn't been the case for years, and you haven't done much to press your case about it here. At no time does the December version relegate WP:V to the background, so I'm not sure I see the problem. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:56, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
      • The smallest, single owner company can be verified through a check with the appropriate governmental agency. Is Wikipedia going to be clogged up with articles about each of them? Simply relying on WP:V as a sorting mechanism is going to leave us with articles on all of them. ....And the Bears just ran the kickoff back all the way. JChap2007 23:28, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Precisely. This is exactly where that text came from: WP:NOT a directory, Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, a tertiary source, a distillation of reliable secondary sources. If no reliable secondary sources exist, how can we distill them? Sure we can use primary sources for colour but if there are no reliable, independent secondary sources then we are likely to violate WP:NOR, WP:NPOV and WP:NOT] a directory. So what if it took years to come up with a proper definition of encyclopaedic notability? That's not a reason for not using it once we have. Guy (Help!) 10:25, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I would like it if the article emphasized that the central criteron is how one establishes notability of a subject and that the list below the central criterion is a list of things that indicate that a subject likely meets the central criterion, but are not replacements for it. How this list is to be applied is currently ambiguous.Sancho McCann 21:39, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Robert Trundle

Does he meet current notability requirements? -- Zanimum 16:12, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Near enough, in that there was no consensus in the recent AfD. As I see it, there wouldn't be any value in rerunning that debate until/unless some new factor(s) exist. Mereda 16:33, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Specific issue of ambiguity of guidelines for sportspeople

Quoting from the current guidelines:

"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."

This is slightly ambiguous and needs to be cleared up, regarding dead people. If the guideline applies only to the living, it needs a "yet" between "who have not" and "made a first team appearance".

Alternatively, if it's also to apply to dead people, it needs the words "or was" between "individual is" and "at a club".

I have no strong opinion either way, but clarity is needed to help decision making at AfD. Tom Staniforth is up for deletion - despite several selections as a substitute, he never actually made it onto the pitch for his utterly notable team, before his untimely death. With the guideline ambiguous, I think his article is a Keep, but it'd be good to avoid the problem in the future. --Dweller 10:51, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Not sure the problem is only for dead people. Surely we also have a problem here for the living ones who after being given a squad number don't play in the first team and disappear into non-league obscurity (which has been the grounds for the deletion of a number of players in the Football Conference recently - if being a member of the squad counts, then they would have passed WP:BIO on these terms). WikiGull 11:19, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. This could be tightened with the addition of the word "still" between "individual is" and "at a club". However, this change could only work if we'd decided to exclude dead people, which I'm increasingly inclined to think would be the right thing to do. --Dweller 11:41, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
If they died while a squad member fair enough, but otherwise I don't see why. Taking that to the extreme, do we just scan through obituaries for people who at some point were in the first team squad, but never played, and then recreate a page because they've died. I (obviously) don't fully understand why dead people are any different - unless the way they died was notable. WikiGull 11:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
As per my comments in that AfD I take that bit to refer only to players (normally youngsters) who are currently in a big club's squad and haven't yet played but may yet do so. I wouldn't take it to cover somebody who was a squad member of a big club years ago but never actually played, regardless of whether they died or simply dropped out of the sport/faded into lower-level obscurity. Dead people should be treated the same way as people who have simply retired from the sport - if they actually played then they get to stay, if their career highpoint was being an unused sub then they go.... ChrisTheDude 22:17, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Taking a specific example, Liam McMenamin is a current Sheffield Wednesday player who is in the first team squad but has never played a match. Say he didn't currently have an article and he quit the game tomorrow to become a plumber, would there be a case for creating an article on him in one or five or ten years' time on the basis of the fact that he was once a non-used squad member? I'd say no, and I'd say the same applies to Tom Staniforth regardless of the fact that his Football League career was ended by death rather than injury/quitting the game/dropping down to non-league. Hope that made sense.......... ChrisTheDude 12:54, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I can't really elaborate much, just to say my views mirror those of ChrisTheDude.HornetMike 15:37, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

"Renown/notoriety" clarification

User:Benjamin Mako Hill has already made a change trying to clarify this, going from "Persons achieving renown or notoriety for their involvement in newsworthy events, such as by being assassinated" to "renown or notoriety for playing a major role in a event receiving major news and media coverage (e.g., orchestrating and engaging a famous crime spree or a widely known heroic event)." The use of "major" is a problem for objectivity and consistency, and I think we could do better in tidying up the point. Since we've got the primary criterion (saying: primary/multiple/non-trivial/published/independent), and it's in a list of clarifications about what well-known means in different fields, what we need here is probably more like -

"Persons achieving wide recognition (either renown or notoriety) beyond a local area for their involvement in a reported event."

What do others think?? --Mereda 12:23, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I have always felt that if this is the subject's only source of notability, the topic would be much better covered in WikiNews. The revised wording, specifically the removal the the example "such as by being assassinated", weakens the boundary between Wikipedia and WikiNews. Given that only one criterion has to be met in order to qualify for a biography here and, as you say, the primary criterion already covers multiple independent non-trivial coverages, I think we could dispense with this clause altogether. I can't think of any biography that we would keep on the basis of this clause (under either the old, new or proposed wording) that we would not already keep under the primary criterion. Rossami (talk) 14:38, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, there's still no agreement that there is a "primary" criterion, but I still agree - it's superceded by things above it, and the only way we'd know if someone reached "renown" would be through the type of coverage meeting other areas. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:40, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree. It seems gratuitously speculative to describe the level of participation and kinds of events that would garner sufficient coverage by multiple non-trivial published works. The "main" criterion (or "primary" or "first mentioned" or whatever) makes such elaboration rather superfluous. -- Satori Son 15:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not completely against deleting it, but I still think there's merit in having a catch-all at the end of the list. Saying "beyond a local area" would aim to keep the bar level with the specific clauses above. Hm. Or is that a new criterion? :) Mereda 16:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
No further views so I'll go with the consensus here, and delete the item as soon the page is unprotected.Mereda 07:46, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Mereda for working on this. I'm happy with this as well. —mako (talkcontribs) 12:39, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Change now made. --Mereda 16:25, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the proposed change, "Persons achieving wide recognition (either renown or notoriety) beyond a local area for their involvement in a reported event.", is a good one. Parasite 00:24, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Why shouldn't a published autobiography be one indicator of notability?

I'm still considering a response to the Radiant!/Jeff dispute, but while reading the article, I wondered, why shouldn't a published autobiography be a partial indicator of notability?

  1. An autobiography published by a reliable source has presumably been fact and libel checked.
  2. All things considered, if you can get an actual publisher to publish and sell your autobiography, I think you're probably notable.
  3. IMHO, the current version confused self-published autobiography (MySpace pages, direct subject edits to Wikipedia, and the other stuff addressed at Wikipedia:Autobiography) with published autobiographies. IMHO, autobiographies published by major publishers are more like interviews for the purposes of this guideline. Like interviews, the original source is the article subject him or herself, but like interviews, the fact that the work was published by a major publisher and went through editing, fact and libel checking is sufficient to (1) make the publication itself one indicator of notability; and (2) to render the autobiography a sufficiently reliable source so that the autobiography may (and in many cases should) be included as a reference in the overall article.

I've made some proposed changes here and here, and am curious what people think.

Thanks! TheronJ 15:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Good question. I think that if an autobiography is published by a non-vanity press, it should probably be an indicator of "notability," even if it's not necessarily a reliable enough source for much past the author. At the very least, any autobiography published by a non-vanity press is likely to be reviewed a few places, adding to some information, and one could say they might be able to meet the first criterion anyway if there's that much interest in an autobiography. I could support a change for that, as long as it's clear as to how it should be published. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:07, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The only exceptions I can think of are relatives of famous people, who can sometimes get book deals even though no one would have written about them otherwise (Mommie Dearest comes to mind, although of course Crawford is easily notable now since the book was such a big hit). Recury 15:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
    I think that's right, but IMHO, the requirement for "multiple" non-trivial published references is probably enough to cover that. Realistically, if someone has an autobiography published by a major published as well as other non-trivial references, they're probably notable. In some cases, the "reflected notability" problem of relatives might lead editors to merge their article with their famous relative, but that's mostly a style issue at the moment rather than a notability issue. (For example, see Al Gore III, who has plenty of published references, buy will probably end up merged sooner or later). TheronJ 16:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • It must be by a reputable, non-vanity press, as Jeff says. But a caveat for any article that references an autobiography should be that any information about the subject be quoted rather than stated, as there is a reliability factor involved. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 16:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I am very uncomfortable with the removal of this clause. If we can't find multiple independent sources about a person other than the autobiography, I do not think we should have a biography on the person even if they have a "reputable" auto-biography out. The removal of the no-autobiographies clause seems to me to open us up to increased wikilawyering over "reputable", "published", "vanity press", etc. I believe that this will do us more harm than good. Rossami (talk) 16:24, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
    I think the "multiple" source requirement largely addresses that problem. To take an example, assume that there are two potential subjects for Wikipedia articles. One has two 500-word newspaper articles as possible sources. One has one 500-word newspaper article and an autobiography published by Random House. In your opinion, which of those two people are more likely to be notable? Which has more potential to have a well-sourced article?
    Alternately, if an autobiography is independently published by a non-vanity press and meets reliable source requirements, what is the policy requirement in favor of excluding it? Thanks, TheronJ 17:20, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • An autobiography, by definition, isn't the slightest bit independent of the subject, naive beliefs about book publishers fact-checking notwithstanding (short answer: they don't). --Calton | Talk 08:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
    Calton, in your opinion, who is more notable, a person with N newspaper articles about them, or a person with N-1 newspaper articles + 1 autobiography published by a major publisher? Thanks, TheronJ 11:44, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Explanation of recent changes

Pending the resolution of the discussion above, I've made a couple of more basic changes.

  • I removed the reference to Wikipedia:Autobiography, which was incorrect. Wikipedia:Autobiography is about the circumstances under which people can edit Wikipedia articles about themselves; it does not address whether a professionally published autobiography is a reliable source.
  • I removed the discussion of "media reprints of a person's autobiography", mostly because I do not believe that readers will have any idea what that term means. I don't know what it means either, so I can't suggest a more accurate term. I don't agree with former footnote 3, for the reasons stated above, but pending discussion, I moved it to current footnote 1 to preserve the current content.

Thoughts? TheronJ 17:37, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The "media reprints" clause was an attempt to adapt a clause which works quite well at WP:CORP. Over there, it is worded as a prohibition against relying on press releases as evidence of notability. Press releases can be reliable sources for some information but because of the inherent conflicts of interest, they are not at all helpful in deciding whether or not a company or product is notable enough to include in the encyclopedia. This wording was an attempt to adapt the same principle to people. If a local newspaper runs a local band's press release verbatim, they have not exercised the kind of editorial discretion or judgment that you described above in your first proposal to allow the inclusion of reputably-published autobiographies as a source. I think the clause has value and should be added back. Perhaps there is clearer wording that we could use? Rossami (talk) 00:13, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Where the "Lists of People" section came from

For the record: the "Lists of People" section was added to this article as the outcome of a discussion on a draft guideline Wikipedia:Notable alumni and its talk page. The consensus was that Wikipedia didn't need a new guideline, it just needed an addition to WP:BIO to cover "lists of people". The Notable Alumni discussion is now marked as closed. --Jdlh | Talk 05:26, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Beating a dead horse.

While many may view this as beating a dead horse, perhaps one of the reasons that we are having so much difficulty defining what the notability guideline should be is becuase notability, as a guideline, is too subjective to quantify into a simple set of guidelines that are adequate. And as most anti-notability people assert, there are plenty of other policies and guidelines on wikipedia that enable its users to submit quality, well researched, and well documented articles. DanielZimmerman 20:18, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Notability (politicians)

I've created a proposal for notability of politicians at Wikipedia:Notability (politicians), and erased the bulk of the proposal I'd placed here. I'm copying the first two comments below to Wikipedia talk:Notability (politicians), as well as leaving them here. Argyriou (talk) 23:44, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the obvious time and effort you have put into this proposal, however I feel that this proposal is too prescriptive. My belief is that if a politician or elected official can meet other notability guidleines then they should be included. My preference would be remove entirely Political figures holding or who have held international, national or statewide/provincewide office, and members and former members of a national, state or provincial legislature.
IMHO the requirements for notability of political figures is covered both in the central criteria and the very first guideline on public interest -ie. the person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field
Due to this I would like to see the guideline on politicians entirely removed. - Parasite 22:51, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Far too prescriptive. For a start, it would mean most British MPs are not inherently notable (since their constituencies are generally too small) and no members of the House of Lords (who do not represent contituencies) are inherently notable unless they are Secretaries of State or Law Lords. -- Necrothesp 23:21, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


Published books with ISBNs seem a good criterion for notability of authors IMO, I figured i'd put that out there here, for what it's worth. Just H 10:47, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Neither necessary nor sufficient. It's not hard to get an ISBN. It's the impact the book has that matters. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:05, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
In particular, vanity presses can get ISBNs, yet a vanity press published book does not indicate author notability. In fact, it almost indicated the reverse. Argyriou (talk) 15:58, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Multiple sources of notability rather than multiple references to a single source

There is an interesting debate happening right now over at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Ashley_Leitao. I think the turning point will be whether or not the multiple, independent, reliable published references about her actually "count". One argument presented was that since Canadian Idol was the only source of her apparent notability, that her meeting the notability requirements in the current guideline isn't enough. I thought that this made sense, but it's not in the guideline at the moment, so I propose:

A person is notable only after attaining multiple sources of notability, each that is the main subject of multiple, independent, reliable published sources.

By multiple sources of notability, I mean "reality show a", "news event b", etc. As an example, a town/city mayor wouldn't pass this test automatically, if their only reference in published material is due to the event of the election; they would pass this test after they made a decision (or did something else) that causes them to be again the subject of multiple, independent, reliable sources. This gives them two sources of notability (winning the election, and making decision x).

This would almost amount to requiring some amount of prolonged notability, but not necessarily, since it is foreseeable that a person gains two sources of notability on the same day or on subsequent days (like having sextuplets, and then having them seized by the government, there would be one set of publications dedicated solely to the births of the sextuplets, and another set dedicated to the seizure).

Please comment. Thanks, Sancho McCann 18:02, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with this. In that case, think of how broadly this could be interpreted - Brandon Sanderson becomes "non-notable" because he's only "notable" for writing fantasy books. Dustin Pedroia is no longer "notable" because he's only known for baseball. It's bad enough that we're forcing "multiple" down the collective throats of people here, but there's no need to expand it like this. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:06, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
But Brandon Sanderson has multiple books, and Dustin Pedroia has references because of event 1: his arrival in the majors, and event 2: the decision to place him at 2nd base. I take this proposal to allow all articles who's subject can be argued even in the slightest to have more than one source of notability.Sancho McCann 18:13, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
P.s., I didn't mean to leave out the non-trivial part in the proposed criteria, oops. References should still be non-trivial. Sancho McCann 18:16, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
So fine. A contestent has a source for a) his/her entry b) his/her exit from the program. Or the politician a) entering the race, b) losing the race. It's not really workable. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:20, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, this criteria will eliminate very, very few articles. But many contestants do not have references (meeting wikipedia's notability requirement for references) for them entering the program, only for their exit, as in the case of Ashley Leitao. By the way, what criteria currently is preventing politicians that lose the race from being included in Wikipedia? Sancho McCann 18:24, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
For "notability," sources are only one of many criteria an article can meet. Meanwhile, regarding politicians, technically nothing, except that there's a working consensus that no one's really touching in great detail that losing candidates don't normally get articles. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:30, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
If there is a working consensus that losing candidates don't get articles, than this new proposal won't overturn that consensus since the consensus stands against current guideline anyway. Also, what other criteria can one meet for notability other than "A topic is notable if it has been the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works from sources that are reliable and independent of the subject itself and of each other."? (The rest of this is an aside from the current discussion.) Is there a list of precidents, or working consensus's somewhere? Maybe that would address some of the concerns I've had over this AfD. People have been counting multiple references that occured over a span of a few days as one reference, and many seem to have been requiring that somebody that is associated with a reality TV show meet stricter notability requirements than people not associated with a reality show; I haven't been able to find reasons for this in any policy or guideline.Sancho McCann 18:42, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
The entire rundown on the front page historically judge "notability." There's been some recent fluxation resulting in the tag, but "notability" is judged by many different things for people. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:45, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I see that rundown on the front page as follow: it is a list of indicators that indicate a subject very likely meets one of the central criteria. Passing one of those indicators would be a cause to put effort into finding some way of showing that the subject meets the central criteria, but they aren't replacements for the central criteria. Is this an incorrect interpretation? Sancho McCann 18:59, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
You've essentially delved into the beginning of the dispute. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:03, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Do you mean into the beginning of our discussion today? Or did you mean that this is an ongoing dispute about what that list means? Sancho McCann 19:06, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Err, slight problem with this proposal: it's extremely recentist. Sure, a modern individual may have separate sources covering different "things" for which they're notable; but, particularly for ancient and medieval people, it's not uncommon for even the clearly notable (in the sense that they're the sort of thing that even a traditional print encyclopedia would have an article on) people to only be traceable through a single event. Consider, for example, Neferkahor; are we really going to start deleting articles on pharaohs because their only source of notability is, y'know, being the pharaoh? Kirill Lokshin 19:18, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Proposal withdrawn. This is a valid point. I withdraw my proposal. Sancho McCann 19:22, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Notability is not newsworthiness

There has been some related discussion about this at User_talk:Ohconfucius/Discussion on notability, and I will bring my argument here as well. While WP:N describes "Notability is not newsworthiness" as meaning that an individual's notability does not decline with a decline in news coverage, I believe the opposite is also true: That appearing in the news does not automatically make one notable.

In the case of the discussion above, there is only one pharoh at any given time. There are only so many Major League Baseball players. It has been long established that being amongst the top x% of a field does establish notability. In the case of Ashley Leitao, she is not in the top x% of musicians. However, due to the immense popularity of the foo Idol series of programs, the show, and all related to it, receive an indordinate amount of press coverage. I would pose the question: is she really notable, even though several articles were written about her appearance on Canadian Idol? Consider that articles about Canadian Idol are going to be written by the Canadian Press due to the show's popularity. In the case of Leitao, she gets significant mention one week for being the contestant voted out of the show. In this context, the article is not at all about her, but an update on the show. If Leitao were to survive that week's episode, the same article would be written, but a different individual substituted in her place. Personally, I would consider this to be a trivial mention, as Leitao is not the reason an article was written. Or, in short, newsworthiness does not prove notability.

Similaraly, any violent criminal in North America will have multiple, non-trivial, independent articles written about them and their crimes. We don't consider writing articles about every run-of-the-mill murderer and rapist, despite the fact that one could argue every one passes WP:N. Wikipedia is not Wikinews, and writing articles simply because they appeared in the news for a brief time doesnt add to the encyclopedia, IMO. Unless her band takes off, nobody is likely to remember Ashley Leitao in the future. Resolute 20:25, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I am concerned that there are several criteria that editors keeps saying have "long been established", or other phrases like that, but that aren't part of the central criteria for determination of notability. Please, let's change the guideline if the criteria that are being used are different that what is in the guideline. I agree, your argument regarding the run-of-the-mill murderer argument does make sense. Anyone that would object to adding articles about murderers and rapists regardless of their meeting the central criterion of notability will have to agree to a change in the guideline. This includes me. If the only saving is that we can fall back on WP:IAR, there is something wrong. New members must have appropriate guidance so as to lessen the number of articles that are created that are in line with the guideline, but not inline with AfD precedent, or decisions that have been established, but not written down. This would benefit to the community by reducing the number of non-notable articles that are created as well benefit new editors by avoiding surprising them when their article, seeming to meet the central criteria of notability, is deleted because it doesn't meet our unwritten rules.Sancho McCann 21:19, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I added a note on WP:Notability pointing the reader to refer to precedence in addition to the primary criterion. Sancho McCann 21:31, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
First, there is some significant disagreement as to whether there's a "central" or "primary" criterion, so keep that in mind. With that said - "notability" is defined by media attention in some circles. It's thus hard/difficult/impossible to separate the two, and the arguments about what's "newsworthy" v. "notable" is not going to be fun at AfD, let me tell you. What's the need for the change? --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:36, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest that there the fact that there are arguments about "newsworthy" vs "notable" would suggest that a change is necessary. Or, at least, a better definition. Resolute 21:49, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I believe there are such guidelines for most things. i.e.: WP:BIO speficially mentions atheletes are notable if they have played at the highest level of pro, or at the American College level, or equivalent. The precident that has followed from this is that minor league atheletes and below are generally not considered notable enough for inclusion. i.e.: While I could very easily find multiple, non-trivial, indipendant sources for nearly every player on the Calgary Hitmen roster over the course of a year, the players are generally not considered notable as they fail this clause. By "long been established" I meant that these precidents have crept into the guidlines: top pro atheletes are notable, minor/junior atheletes generally are not. Elected officials in major posts are notable, failed candidates generally are not. Actors in leading roles in major films are notable, actors in minor roles/minor films generally are not. Obviously there are exceptions. In this case, I am looking at a similar concept that I feel is poorly defined at present. The criteria for inclusion is too loose, and it would behoove us to consider tightening up the definition. Resolute 21:47, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, a discussion occurred regarding minor league baseball players, and there was no consensus to NOT include minor leaguers, as long as they were professional players. I think the critierion is way too strict as is, that's one of the major problems we're having here. We're eliminating too many obviously "notable" figures. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:50, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
No, you are right, there are exceptions, which I mentioned. Appearing at the highest level is an automatic qualifier. One can still be considered notable for other reasons. However, we are also running into the problem of "verifiable =/= notable". At some point, a line has to be drawn, and from what I've seen, in the case of a minor league atheletes, simply appearing on a minor league roster will lead to deletion more often than not. If a minor leaguer has another reason for notability - high draft pick, top prospect, international success, etc. (ie: Justin Pogge), then they are still considered notable despite not being in that elite group at the highest level of their sport.
However, if we leave no controls other than the base criteria of WP:N, Wikipedia will be overrun with minor atheletes, actors, musicians, and will serve only to clutter up the encyclopedia. Wikipedia may not be paper, but the consensus is very obviously that some level of achievement is necessary for inclusion. In the specific example of this debate, I believe that only being a failed contestant on Canadian Idol is below that threshold. Resolute 22:58, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
It's important that the wording is "athletes are notable if they have done x" and not "athletes are notable if and only if...". This leaves open the question of whether there are athletes that are notable but haven't done x. Also, I take that list to be a set of indicators that helps us to tell if it is worth looking for evidence that the subject meets the primary criterion. I think there is some disagreement about this (is there?), but we should decide what the purpose of that list is supposed to be. Sancho McCann 21:57, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
You linked to WP:NOT above, saying that Wikipedia is not Wikinews. You are right in that Wikipedia is not a prmary source and we do not report on events in a journalistic manner. Yes, that is what Wikinews does. But using news items as sources is accepted guidleine on WP:Notability (people). Why can't we have an article on murderers and rapists - if they are notable, they are notable. If Ashley Leitao is reported about in multiple, independent, published sources as the primary subject that makes her notable. It is not up to Wikipedia editors to establish whether a person is notable, it is the amount of published work that refers to that person in a non-trivial way that tells us about the persons notability. And who knows, maybe someone will want to look up the 9th place getter of Canadian Idol.... -Parasite 04:03, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Grammar Cleanup


In the main criterion, once this is unlocked, could someone please change "whose source" to "the source of which"? "Whose" is the the 'personal' possessive, and should only apply to people, not things like "published works." This same change was made in WP:CORP with no opposition. Thanks! UnitedStatesian 15:08, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Please remove this aweful guideline.

Notability is subjective. Plain and simple. And the sentance from the guideline pretty much explains my stance for me "However, it is the opinion of many, but not all, Wikipedians that these criteria are a fair test of whether a person has sufficient external notice to ensure that they can be covered from a neutral point of view based on verifiable information from reliable sources, without straying into original research (all of which are formal policies)."

NPOV is a policy, verifiability is a policy, no original research is a policy. So why not just use those policies instead of making up some subjective idea that is inconsistently applied for different people. For example, someone who sells 5000 books was deemed to be notable. However, someone who gets 10,000 votes is not. Does that make sense? Not to me.

And since wikipedia is not paper, there is no harm in including people on the borderline of some people's perceived "notability". DanielZimmerman 14:57, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

No. Please read the archives to find out all the reasons why we so desperately need guidelines like this. Rossami (talk) 15:43, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I have read archives on this subject. I have discussed this subject at length. Nobody has been able to convince me that "notability" is needed, or even good for wikipedia. is not paper, and we already have policies on verifiability, Neutral Point of View, and No Original Research. And look at what happens with notability, there are different guidelines for different categories. So when a new one comes up, you have to add another set of guidelines that require more or less people to "know" about the person in question. It creats a bunch of conflicting guidelines that just confuse the matter when you could just use the policies that exist. If you feel that someone isnt "notable" you could make the argument that there are not enough verifiable sources about that person to make a worthy wikipedia article. DanielZimmerman 21:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Simply put, we need a rule to say that Wikipedia is not a place for homepages, and that not everyone and everthing deserves to be in an encyclopedia. Even if we are not paper, we are not vanity and trivia website.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

We have rules to say that Wikipedia is not a place for homepages, and those are the three policies that I mentioned above, as well as the guideline that people should not write articles about themselves or people in their immediate family. I agree that wikipedia is not a vanity or a trivia website, but that doesn't mean that "notability" should come into play either, especially because wikipedia is not paper. The mayor of my city is notable to me and to many of the people in the surrounding area. People may want to see encyclopedic content on him. However, since the city is small and part of a larger metropolitain area, someone in California may not know who in the heck he is! But if an article can be written that has verifiable information, is not original research, and has a neutral point of view... then such an article should be allowed. Just because you, or someone else, doesnt view a particular person as notable, it doesnt mean that a good encyclopedic article cannot be written about such a person. And if that good, encyclopedic, article can be written, why does it matter if certain people dont think that person is "notable enough" to them? Isn't the purpose of an encyclopedia to be able to find information about things you dont know about? DanielZimmerman 20:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Everything is interesting to someone. I'm notable to people in my immediate vicinity, too, but I'm not notable enough for an encyclopedia which is worldwide in audience and scope. Every last article we have must be vandal-patrolled, must be kept updated, must be watched for potentially libelous information (especially in bio articles!), must at some point be checked out and rated. At some point, we have a limited number of people to do that, and we must restrict articles to things important enough to devote that particular amount of time to. Yes, that means Rudy Giuliani has an article and Podunk, Minnesota's mayor does not. But right now, we've already got enough unmaintained stubs, the last thing we need to do is make more. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 20:47, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Please show me where articles have to be of worldwide importance in order to be deemed worthy of inclusion on wikipedia. You want a vandal control? Just tell the people who create articles (or who are major contributers to those articles) to patrol those articles for vandalism as well. If you want to control "unmaintained stubs" then simply state that articles that are deemed to be "stubs" have a certain time period where either more information has to be included, otherwise that article will be merged/deleted. Then you could have some sort of "stub-bot" that checks stubs and raises a flag if that stub has been a stub for too long. The point I am trying to make is that you can write a VERY good article on someone who is notable in Alaska who may otherwise not be notable anywhere else. Such an article could be useful to people who come here looking for information on that person, even though 99% of the world might not care about that person. Good articles can be written on people who are "not notable" and as long as the article is a "good article" then it should be included in the encyclopedia. And if you are complaining about the lack of people available to help patrol wikipedia, it doesn't help when people place contributions about certain topics that are then removed because that topic is "not notable" enough.... causing the person to lose interest in Wikipedia. Do we keep everything? NO! But if we follow the policies, we have no need for this silly guideline. DanielZimmerman 21:07, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree—this guideline is abominable. Other policies seem to exclude what truly qualifies as vanity pages or homepages. A politician's election—including his opponents—is relevant to many sorts of research that might be done regarding that politician. If the election's winner is by default notable, so should be its losers. WP's policy cripples it as a serious tool of research in this area. This is one example.

Recently a stub article I posted about something I am researching ("unoriginally") was flagged for speedy deletion by someone who seems to have no familiarity whatsoever with the topics I edit here or with the arguable basis of notability. He just browses the new pages listing and flags articles he doesn't consider worthy. If this article is deleted it will only result in my frustration and disillusionment with wikipedia. Next time I stay up all night doing research because WP didn't tell me what I needed to know, maybe I just won't bother to share what I end up learning here. The next guy who checks WP for what I was looking for—if I did, so will others—he will be the one to suffer. Deleting articles for notability will only discourage contribution.–Αναρχία 12:58, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The problem with a Notability guideline is that we are trying to determine what is notable enough for an encyclopedia as if we are restricted to only covering x nember of topics or x number of pages / kilobytes / whatever. However, as is discussed on Wiki is not paper at meta, the length, depth, and breadth of articles in Wikipedia is virtually infinite. If we can write a verifiable, referenced article about a topic, there is no reason need to not write it because another editor feels that s/he is not interested in the topic. I guess the heartening thing is that Notability is only a guideline and doesn't have to be adhered to, while Igonore All Rules is a policy. If only more people realised that. -Parasite 23:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely — Well said! I think the problem is that when WP was young, there was a perceived need to focus the few editors on core content, to avoid having them get distracted working around the margins. But as WP expands, so do the margins, making the old ideas about notability obsolete, and counterproductive. Anyone on the outside of AfD looking in can probably see this. As a serious content creator, I am especially sensitive to this as I find things I would like to link to in the deletion log, meaning stubs that would have been useful to me are gone, and I have to re-create them. More generally, it's discouraging to know that an obscure stub I created to link from another article could be canned by some idiot who has no idea what it is about. WP has over 1,000,000 articles now, and the average person is probably only interested a few percent of them. As WP goes past 10,000,000 articles, this will probably go below 1%, and at that point, who can really say what is Notable? Dhaluza 01:08, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem has never been server space or number of pages. The problem has always been the ratio of informed, interested, good-faith editors to the vandals. Every article, no matter how small, has to be watchlisted, patrolled and constantly protected from vandalism. The vandalism that must be warded off includes the obvious (page blanking, insertion of obscenities, etc) and the very subtle (the "update" of a few numbers in a table, etc). That protection and monitoring must continue long after the flash of interest that led you to create the article. We want our articles to be viable for many years. If you're writing about trivia that no one else cares about, who's going to protect the page when you leave the project?
Maintenance takes an incredible amount of the only scarce resource we do have - time and energy of the good editors. When we allow ourselves to be spread too thin, the project suffers. The concept of notability is about trying to find a functional balancing point - a point where we get the right mix of good articles that can realistically be maintained over the long term.
Endlessly repeating that Wikipedia is not paper without acknowledging the maintenance problems is unhelpful. Rossami (talk) 04:55, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I haven't read that in the guideline, in fact the guideline is quite clear that we have a notability guideline to ensure that the subject can be covered in a NPOV, verifiable way (these criteria are a fair test of whether a person or related group of people has sufficient external notice to ensure that they can be covered from a neutral point of view based on verifiable information from reliable sources, without straying into original research (all of which are formal policies)). If this is genuinely why we have the notability guidelines, then should we not be putting that reasoning on the project page?
It has also been my (limited) experience that the most frequently vandalised pages are high traffic subjects. Thats why we often have to edit protect topic of the day and have to constantly rvv articles about people who figure highly in popular culture. Yes, some pages have a smaller editor base and therefore appear on fewer watchlists, but they also have a lesser incidence of vadalism as well. As you say, the trick is to ensure that editors outnumber vandals, but it is my hope , prehaps naively, that this is not achieved by narrowing our scope. Parasite 03:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree — without minimizing the maintenance effort required to combat vandalism, and the thankless job it is, I don't think that is a valid reason for arbitrarily limiting scope either. The maintenance argument is probably a better argument for limiting anonymous edits then limiting obscure (but verifiable) content. The arbitrary WP:N guidelines are frequently misused on AfD, and this WP:BITEs new editors. I only have a little over 500 pages on my watchlist, but my experience is similar--it's the prominent pages that attract vandals. We shouldn't let the graffiti vandals keep us from putting up new buildings. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dhaluza (talkcontribs).
Excellent point Dhaluza! We absolutely should not stop putting up new buildings because we are afraid of graffiti! Of course that is not to say that we should just keep erecting buildings because we can. But we should be erecting buildings that we feel are important to us. And when people come in and tell new builders that the building they just built was not "good enough" to remain standing, it just pushes more builders away. People shouldn't complain about the fact that we don't have enough editors when they, by being elitist with their notability standards, are the ones pushing away potential editors because they dont feel the "content" was "notable" enough for wikipedia. DanielZimmerman 19:42, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Great metaphor. Let's use it. We should not build on swampland or flood plains, put up buildings that are so structurally unsound that they will collapse, or so ugly they deface the view. Think of WP:BIO as construction regulations. :-) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AnonEMouse (talkcontribs) 20:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC).
As I said, we shouldn't be erecting buildings just because we can. The buildings should be well built, on a solid foundation, and most likely not built by the person who is going to live in it. They should also serve some purpose for the overall community. Stepping away from the metaphor, we already have policies that require articles to be verifiable, with a neutral point of view, and that is not original research. As long as I can write an article that includes all those things, there is no need for notability! I have seen several well written, well documented, neutral toned articles that have been put up for deletion, just because someone didnt think the subject of the article was "notable enough". However, even though the article on WP:N states that notability is not subjective, it is very much so. And back to the metaphore, just because YOU believe that the building defaces the view, who is to say that others wont enjoy the building for what it provides? Nobody is suggesting to allow vandalism. Nobody is suggesting to allow poorly written articles. We are just suggesting that the policies protecting us from those things are already exist and would continue to exist if the notability guideline was nuked out of existence. DanielZimmerman 21:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia had all those policies in place before the community felt the need to implement the "notability" guidelines. The evidence was, unfortunately, very clear that those policies alone were not sufficient. Arguing to remove the concept of notability without offering something to replace it seems to be a case of ignoring the problems that led to the practice in the first place. Rossami (talk) 02:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I wish there was some example article where this thesis of "notability is needed" can be shown. I would love to be able to see an example of an article that should be removed from wikipedia where you cannot use the existing policies that are already in force. Since most of those are probably already removed, it would be hard to find such a thing. Perhaps there is something currently up in AFD that would prove your point? I feel that the community is wrong in wanting "notability" guidelines. Encyclopedias should not provide subjective information and notability is a subjective guideline. I am not ignoring the problems that took place before the guideline was suggested... perhaps you could share some of those problems and we as members of the wiki community can come up with alternatives. DanielZimmerman 19:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with well written, informative, encyclopaedic, articles about 'subject x'. I'm concerned about the number of tiny, poorly worded, unsourced, articles about 'Person x'. I sometimes move through pages looking for common spelling errors to fix. What should I do about an article about an obscure soccer player? The article will be about 100 words long, giving his name, his age, the name of the team he plays for and when he started playing for that team. There won't be any sources, there'll be some spelling errors, there won't be any pages linked to (or from) this article. And yet, a few people will have corrected some of the spellings or have wikified it or whatnot. This is editing time that could be better used. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DanBeale (talkcontribs) 22:08, 4 March 2007 (UTC).
The core policy is being a principle subject of multiple articles or other works from multiple independent sources. There are really two purposes served: one is notability, ensuring that the person is of enough interest to warrant substantial coverage. A second is verifiability, ensuring that the person has enough independent, reliably sourced coverage to ensure that a verifiable article can be written. It's not clear to me that it matters all that much which justification is thought more important as long as they end up with the same operational result. Is there any difference between the amount of coverage needed to establish notability and the amount needed to establish verifiability? Should there be? There may be a third criterion -- establishing that the coverage is not completely ephemeral and people will remain interested in the individual in a month or a year or (someone has said) 100 years plus the reason for coverage is considered "encyclopedic" -- but this seems to be a separate criterion indepenent of the other two, and something more subjective than the notability/verifiability dyad. Reality show contestants, for example, generlly have adequate independently sourced coverage. Any issues with them would really seem to involve a criterion of "encyclopedicness", not notability at all. Perhaps the appriateness of an "encyclopedicness" criterion should be debated separately. Jimbo Wales has expressed a view that not all topics are encyclopedic. Best, --Shirahadasha 22:22, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's that complicated. WP:NOT#DIR covers this pretty well, and it's policy, not a (somewhat controversial) guideline. Dhaluza 23:23, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The salient point is that the articles do not have any sources. It would be better to AfD them under the Attribution which is policy, rather than the notability guideline. Parasite 03:24, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Exactly DanielZimmerman 03:57, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Guideline for reality show contestants

It looks like some stab was taken at this previously but withdrawn. See also my parallel suggestion at the WP:FICT talk page. I'd like to see this guideline updated to mention reality show contestants. Each season for many of the more popular shows (notably but not just Survivor) we get a crop of articles for the new contestants, most of which get AfDed and deleted with some measure of rancor between the fans and non-fans. I'd like there to be something in these guidelines similar to the current guidelines for actors, but incluing something stating that such contestants should be placed in list articles similar to those for minor fictional characters.

I would also like to open up a discussion on whether winning a reality show automatically confers notability. There seems to be at least a custom of allowing or retaining articles on winners; perhaps there should be something more formalized stating that winning a show either does or doesn't confer such notability. Otto4711 16:38, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

  • The problem is that they shouldn't be deleted to begin with. The issue is changing the climate here where people erroneously believe that reality show contestants are game show contestants. Right now, the guideline serves it fine. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:56, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I guess I'm confused as to why otherwise non-notable contestants should have separate articles. Otto4711 17:19, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, the first problem is that they're not "non-notable." They're quite "notable." --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Clearly there is a great deal of disagreement over that notion. I would not consider every single contestant of every single reality show to be automatically notable absent something else contributing to notability, any more than I would consider everyone of any other television-related grouping automatically notable just because they were on TV. I think the notion of creating season-by-season listings, similar to those created for fictional characters who would otherwise not be notable enough for a separate article, would allow for mention of all contestants along with brief information, and should one or more of them become separately notable independent of the show (thus eliminating the "s/he was only on "Survivor" or whatever show argument) they can then be spun off into a separate article. No muss, no fuss, no rancorous round of AFDs every season. Otto4711 17:33, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Why exactly are reality show contestants not game show contestants? Reality shows are invariably game shows, since the people involved in them are invariably trying to win something. What's the difference? -- Necrothesp 18:57, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, take American Idol versus, say, Name That Tune. The former is a competition where contestents are chosen and have multiple shows dedicated to them as they slowly get removed from one show to another until one remains. The latter is a competition where contestents are chosen to be on one show (in most cases) and then are forgotten. In the former, large fanbases appear for each finalist, in the latter, it's rare that anyone cares about even the three time champ, let alone the winner or loser. In the former, large articles are written about each contestent locally, and about the season nationally. In the latter, you might see an article in one of the very small local papers who ran one too many stories about ice harvesting this winter. Idol, Survivor, Next Top Model, these are all shows where you know the people who get bounced even if you don't watch the shows. How many Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune contestants can you name? They're not even close to the same thing. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The fact they may have a following doesn't mean they're not game show contestants! Reality TV shows are essentially game shows, whether their afficionados like to call them that or not. -- Necrothesp 21:46, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The fact that they have a following is the number one reason why they are different. We're talking "notability," right? I mean, can you think of any traditional game show that follows the same type of format in terms of media attention and fan obsession? --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Whether or not reality shows are "game shows" is beside the point. I don't think, if reality contestants were declared "game show contestants" by fiat that it would open the door for articles on anyone who'd ever been a contestant on The Match Game. Otto4711 22:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • To quote you, "people erroneously believe that reality show contestants are game show contestants". I was merely stating that they are indeed game show contestants and the belief is not erroneous in the slightest. -- Necrothesp 00:14, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually it was badlydrawnjeff who said what you've attributed to me. Otto4711 00:22, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I didn't attribute it to you. Look at the indentation again! My post was an answer to his comment, not yours. -- Necrothesp 01:02, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Otto: The fact that you have to ask if a reallity show confers "notability" shows the whole problem with notability to begin with. The people who watch the show would probably say that yes, winning a reality show like survivor makes you "notable". Others, who dont watch the show, would probably argue otherwise. It is all subjective, notability is relative, and it need not be a guideline. I doubt that if someone wins survivor and does absolutely nothing else, that there would be enough verifiable information out there to form an article, such a winner would probably belong on the page discussing the season of the show that was won. But such a winner would still be "notable". Other winners might do other things that make them have more verifiable sources that legitimize their own page on wikipedia.DanielZimmerman 21:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I like the idea of creating a page for "Survivor: Fiji Contestants" or something like that, for every season of the shows. Each contestant could have their own section of the page, with a spinoff page only if they've done notable things completely seperate from the show (ie: Amazing Race contestants that were also "Miss America" contestants, people like Rob and Amber that've become self-notable based on the sheer number of reality shows that they've been on (something like 6 now, including their televised wedding special), etc). But having a single page for the contestants would give the fans a place to list all their favourite (notable and verifiable!) factoids about the contestants without requiring each of them to have their own page as soon as the season starts. --Maelwys 13:35, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Definition of people

This policy should specify that it applies to individuals, as well as small groups of closely related people such as siblings, spouses, nuclear families and famous groups whose notability is closely tied together (e.g. The Wright Brothers, Abbott & Costello and The Osmonds). Notability of unrelated groups of people is covered by Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies). Dhaluza 12:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

The guideline above has been improved through editing at Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies) and now reads:
  • This guideline does not cover small groups of closely related people such as families, entertainment groups, co-authors, and co-inventors. Such groups are covered by other guidelines such as WP:Notability (people).
I suggest the converse be included here as well. Dhaluza 09:49, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notabilty (artists)

After some recent discussions at WP:AFD, and my growing participation in AFDing articles (thanks to the User:AlexNewArtBot), I am finding that we have a lot of artist-related articles, and no specific notability guidelines to deal with them. While the general notability rules for people are useful, I think we need something more specific to prevent - as one of the commentators on AFD put it - turning Wikipedia into an artist webdirectory. Personally I have the biggest problems with (modern, young) painters who (or whose fans) claim that they notable sinse they sold some paintings, had them displayed in exhibitions, auctions and/or online galleries, thus is Wikipedia:Notability (artists) sounds too challenging, I'd be happy to settle for Wikipedia:Notabilty (painters). Some related policies to consider: Wikipedia:Notability (music) (for musicians), Wikipedia:Notability (pornographic actors) (umm, why don't we have Wikipedia:Notability (actors)]]?). Some examples of (not?) notable painters I am dealing with: Catherine Karina Chmiel (currently on afd), Magdalena Trzebiatowska (I am considering afd this one). Those are only a tip of an iceberg in Polish painters category, and we probably have hundreds of articles like this Wiki-wide.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:43, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm in total agreement. I've been involved with a few AfD situations for the same reasons. I think it should be Wikipedia:Notability (artists) rather than specifically painters. I think some sort of international profile, references in major art publications and some bieniale exposure should be considered (although I do realize this may leave out those national artists who are significant in their own country, but not so well known internationally--and I don't have an answer for that at the moment). But a discussion should begin. Freshacconci 23:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
A national (non-English) reliable independent profile/references should be enough, I believe (by the same logic WP:RS allows non-English references).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  02:15, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I completely disagree. Special rules for inclusion are always redundant to the primary notability criterion of having significant verifiable source material. Without those you can't write an article without failing the verifiability guidelines. See WP:CREEP, which discusses the dangers of too many rules. Most of the rule bloat mentioned above is creating more harm than good. BIO is among the worst. --Kevin Murray 23:32, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Kevin Murray. If people try to direct the discussion toward sales or anything else, keep asking "Do significant secondary sources exist?" If the answer is no, the person's non-notable, whatever they may have sold or anything else. I really don't see how this is anything but WP:CREEP. Incidentally, I'd say the same thing of WP:PORNBIO, and would be very close to saying it on WP:BIO. It seems people are already confusing WP:BIO as an exemption to the primary criterion-if some sports player is pro, then even if there's no secondary coverage whatsoever, well then, he passes! Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 00:28, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Which is exactly why we need a specific policy for such cases - as apparently the general WP:N, WP:BIO and related policies fail to prevent such articles from being created and kept. Now that you brought that up, short entries of sportsman (particulary footballers) are another category that needs prunning - it seems that if somebody is highered by a team he will soon be Category:Football (soccer) players...-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  02:19, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Firstly any policy should certainly cover (visual) artists not just painters. International exhibitions and works bought for public collections are key criteria - normally if these exist the artist's dealer PR will be quick to highlight them. Press/magazine references can be hard to assess at a distance. Street art will be tough to assess - you just have to stick to references. Johnbod 17:27, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I admit that I'm already guilty of adding a sentence to WP:BIO. That was repeating the point that 1-line facts are no substitute for depth of content in published sources. So I think I appreciate Piotrus's concerns in the Polish AFD debates he's started. In one of those I've already said: 1-line exhibition references [can have] a useful role in AFD debates, particularly in identifying articles that should be given time to develop, but IMO they are not a permanent substitute for published sources that have depth of content. Mereda 16:09, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
There is a general problem with establishing notabilty of artists because there is hardly an objective criterion. If we say it could be expositions then we have the problem that not every exposition in a reputed venue is notable. If we want to use published sources... not every noted artist has been cited in anything but his exposition catalog's. We could use the revenue ... but then we come to those artists that are just pushed by some galerist or art expert for speculation reasons ... besides where do we put the cut-off? If you say $6000 a day that would include totally non-notables like me (even though I consider myself a laborer not an artist) and exclude most of the notable African artists (who get pennies while their art is sold for big bucks). There are some things that are obvious though, like getting a renowned prize or being selected for a event like the Documenta. Then again .... nobody will dispute van Gogh's notability but he never was selected for a major exposition nor did he sell more than one picture in his life. So my vote would be that as first criterion we use the invitationals. Whoever gets there is notable else he would not be. The second should be if public permanent expositions have bought any art from a person (i.e. Tate modern and so on). No doubt about them either. All the rest is a rubber band definition... it can be extended or shrunk depending on the whim of an AfD Alf photoman 00:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

After thinking about it fo a longer period than I should I came up with the following:

Proposal for a guideline to establish notability of artists (fine arts)

1. Fine art is defined as : art (as painting, sculpting, photography and other graphics) that requires more than the average artisan knowledge to be created.(i.e. inspiration, craftsmanship etc.)

2. Artist is defined as : craftsman who uses more than the average craftsmanship required to created artistic expressions.

3. The notability as an artist is defined by the notability of his/her art.

4. Notable art is:

  • a.) Pieces that have been selected for international awards or expositions(i.e. Documenta)
  • b.) Pieces that have been purchased by renown expositions (i.e. Tate, MOMA, Gugenheim).
  • c.) Pieces acquired by municipalities or governments and put on public display other than the vanity image/sculpture of politicians.
  • d) Pieces that have received critical acclaim from accredited sources such as art critics of major newspapers and/or magazines .
  • e.) Pieces sold to purchasers independent from the artist at record value.
  • f.) Pieces that have achieved the highest price for a given year if the purchaser is independent of the artist/agent/gallerist.
  • g.) Pieces featured in publications independent of the artist.
  • h.) Pieces featured in art books not published by vanity publishers or those published by vanity publisher having achieved sale figures similar to comparable books by standard publishers ( as determined by sale figures of Borders, Amazon, Bü and so on).

5. All new artist(fine art) entries not citing reliable sources asserting any of the items 4a to 4h will be speedily deleted within one week after a warning is placed on the article requiring sources. This warning should be placed within 24 hours of creation of the article.

Let me know what you think Alf photoman 14:10, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I think this is along the right lines. My thoughts:
  • 1 & 2) - do we need to define here? Is there another definition we can refer to?
  • 3) yes
  • 4) a & b - ok with rewording "acquired for major public collections" maybe?
  • c - f) - too loose and vague I think. Dealer/gallery sales prices are not generally public info (& often made-up if they are publicised). Not every town square sculpture/portrait of the major or minister makes the artist notable. d) is important, but needs rewording - is same as g) really.
  • g) yes but needs expanding, defining
  • h) yes although sales figures criterion hard to apply & not right for academic etc books. The sales figures will in practice be mostly very small, which is not necessarily a problem. Johnbod 14:29, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Maybe 1 and 2 are redundant, but I want to make a clear separation between artists and artisans. If the difference is not clear, a craftsman copying Michelangelo's David may do the same physical work as Michelangelo did, but certainly not the creative work. That is the difference. And yews rewording would be OK with me. Alf photoman 01:15, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Understood, but I was hoping somewhere else in WP the job had already been done - artist is no use, Fine art might be. In practice there should not be too many craftsmen who would meet the other criteria anyway. Johnbod 01:23, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Looks good, but I'd like us to define what makes a notable exhibition/gallery/museum. Also, d g and h seems like they can be combined (and we need to define what is a reliable publication that is sufficient for making an artist notable). I'd like to avoid claims that having one's works exhibited in some local village museum, on a homepage or just sold commercially through some commerical webpage makes one notable.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:30, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree totally, the problem is with publications. There are very few art-related ones that do anything but the actual trend so we are back to the Sunday supplement. As to museums, there are important local ones such as the one on Andros Island, Greece. Everybody who is somebody had at least one picture shown there, yet rarely is it ever mentioned in the press. That is because the island is base for several very rich ship-owners who don't care about publicity and do all possible to discourage press coverage. On the other side, if not much evidence is found that these not a small minority we could dismiss them as casuistic Alf photoman 12:47, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
One question for drafting a guideline is structure. I'd suggest thinking about three chunks and then seeing what it looks like:
A- standard introduction like other guidelines
B- positive indicators (probably shorter than Alf photoman's first draft)
C- negative indicators (probably based on Piotrus's points)
And, by the way, though the discussion started with a focus on contemporary artists, IMO it would help editors if we can cover previous generations too. --Mereda 15:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand the game with positive/negative indicators, does that mean we should have a score list with one for keep and one for delete and tally at the end? How are we going to handle people with only one famous picture? Not take them because the negative would overweigh the positive? In that case we could delete Juan Bautista de Espinosa, there is only one picture by him yet according to art historians it is important because it is the only one documenting the transition from the Flemish to the Spanish style. I could go on citing extremes but I don't want to bore anybody. Alf photoman 22:18, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
It should of course cover artists from all periods (unless called Notability (contemporary artists) but these in pactice are much easier, as the usual criteria based on publications about them will apply. In earlier periods there are many clearly notable, even quite important, artists with no article, and I can't think of many that do have articles whose notability could seriously be questioned. So that is much less of a preoblem, but it should be covered. Johnbod 16:06, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I have copied Alf's proposal to Wikipedia:Notabilty (artists), I strongly encourage everyone to edit it and/or propose other variants for discussion there.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:18, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

This talk section has also been copied to Wikipedia:Notability (artists).--Mereda 07:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Remove {{disputedtag}}

{{editprotected}} Request completed. This tag is not intended to mean that one or a couple people dispute the content, but rather that general consensus does not support it. If there is a consensus to replace this tag, make a separate request. —Doug Bell talk 03:56, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

As it seems that there has been little or no discussion on the topic, I suggest that the "dispute" is little more than a stick in the mud causing a storm in a tea cup, and strongly urge that we get back to the business of just writing the damn encyclopedia. Also urge that next time someone insists that we have consensus before saying the world is not flat that they be reverted on sight. Chris cheese whine 04:21, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Well the topic does tend to repeat itself. People always making the same argument as to why notability is needed and others making the same arguments as to why notability should not be a factor. Notability is subjective.... except to those who believe it isn't. And until a large group of wikipedia users come around, we will have to deal with elitist delitionists who insist that certain things be "notable" in order to be included, even though those notability standards are not consistent. DanielZimmerman 20:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
It should be unprotected, but a removal of the tag should occur with a reversion to the December version, as the version currently there lacks consensus, thus the tag. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:58, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I've requested unprotection. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:02, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Jeff, if you're just going to go back to reverting to old versions, I really doubt your request will be granted. I know you don't like WP:N going in as a central guideline (though I can't fathom why, that makes notability genuinely unsubjective), but it really does appear consensus is that it in fact is. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 21:11, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
If it's not going to be granted, it's not going to be granted. That's not my decision to make. However, there's no consensus here for any sort of "central guideline," and the "central guideline" doesn't help with subjectivity anyway, as I've noted there ad nauseum. Consensus is ultimately the most important piece of the puzzle. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:16, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Jeff-please, please, look back at the discussions at the top of this page. You on one side, and everyone else on the other, is a consensus. It's not the consensus you like or wish to see, but it's a clear consensus. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 21:20, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I've paid plenty of attention, thanks. It's not any sort of clear consensus - in reality, there's been very little discussion for the change at all. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:22, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I guess I'd like to ask, then-what would satisfy you that consensus had formed, and that it had formed against you? Certainly consensus need not be unanimous? Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 21:26, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Demonstrated discussion on the talk page? Evidence that doesn't stem from a page fewer people watch? Keep in mind - the change was never discussed to begin with, so there was never any consensus to do it to begin with. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:31, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
WP:BRD is a perfectly valid approach-we encourage people to make them changes if they feel it's appropriate and then stop to discuss them if someone disagrees or reverts. The fact that the discussion occurred after the initial change does not invalidate it-indeed, it to some degree legitimizes it, as in that case people knew exactly what it was they were arguing for or against. And once again, we're back to the point that consensus went against you, overwhelmingly. It sucks when that happens, I've been there. But sometimes, you just have to accept it. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 22:01, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
So why was I reverted again when I questioned the "bold" change, hm? I mean, if it's legitimate, then we need to start by gaining consensus for the initial change, not a reversion back to a long-standing guideline. Now, if consensus is indeed against me, then discussion at the talk page will actually vindicate that - there hasn't been any. It sucks when that doesn't happen, but consensus needs to be more than a few editors fighting someone who's protecting a long-standing consensus - the condescending attitude need not be included in that. So, again, where's the consensus? --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

(indent reset) If that text at the top of the page, and that you were directed to read at the village pump, and all of that, is not discussion, what might you call it? Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 22:07, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Irrelevant to here? Still a lack of demonstration of consensus for the change here? And this doesn't even get into the relative stupidity of the change - Ern Westmore is no longer "notable" due to the contrived criteria, for instance. Of course, no one could have argued that here, because the discussion for the change never turned up. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:12, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
How so? He's featured in a full book, as well as Encyclopedia Britannica. The primary guideline is easily satisfied there, that's a great amount of non-trivial coverage. As to irrelevant to here-you're stating that discussion regarding this specific change is irrelevant to it? I don't see it at all... Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 22:17, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
No he isn't, his family is, and his information in particular is actually much lower than the rest. He has not been "the subject" (or barely "a subject") of much of anything specific, thus not meeting the criteria anymore, although he did before. That's simply one example of which many more certainly exist. Meanwhile, there has been little discussion here to establish consensus. That's the point, that's how policies and guidelines are made. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:23, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
  • For what it's worth, I don't think the "notability as central criterion" has ever been fully defined, much less achieved consensus. If the criterion means "we don't delete articles about chief executives of Fortune 500 companies because there almost certainly are sufficient sources to satisfy the central criterion, even if no one can find them now," then I don't have a personal objection. If the criterion means "Otherwise verifiable articles about chief executives of Fortune 500 companies will be deleted unless someone can find multiple non trivial independent sources within a date certain", then I strongly disagree that it represents existing practice or a consensus. TheronJ 22:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
    • It's a major change with implications simply not discussed in areas where it affects things the most. WP:N points here. You can't then make it say the same thing, especially when it's not shared amongst all "notability" guidelines. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:47, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Then since, that I've seen, the vast majority are in favor of making that change, let's do make sure all the notability guidelines say the same thing! Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 08:55, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Impossible and somewhat dumb, honestly. Hell, the vast majority at the individual guidelines I've been involved with haven't even been spoken to abouit the change, it was just made, so you'd better have a better argument than that. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:23, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Seraphim, thanks for your response. A few thoughts: (1) Majority =/= consensus, especially before an issue has been fully discussed. (2) Who are this "vast majority", and how do we know they exceed the number of people who want to keep alternate standards not subordinate to the central criterion. For example, how many editors were involved in the consensus reached at WP:EPISODE, and how does that concensus relate to your vast majority. (3) Of the two possible interpretations I suggest above, which of the interpretations is supported by the vast majority? Maybe we can clarify the language and resolve this issue. Thanks again, TheronJ 15:15, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that we legitimise the notion that we include subjects which fail WP:V? Since that is effectively what saying that things which don't meet what was formerly criterion 1 does. Chris cheese whine 17:14, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
No it doesn't. Things consistently meet WP:V without being "the subject of multiple, non-trivial independent works." Ern Westmore is my favorite example currently - plenty of books and sources which mention him, but not as the subject and not in a way that meets the current wording, but he's undoubtedly "notable" and "encyclopedic." --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:37, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd think you could sort of argue this had him as a "subject". Id would take some serious process-wonkery to suggest that Mr. Westmore didn't meet that criterion. Chris cheese whine 18:19, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Let's not forget that they can also be the author of a reliable source, and this can provide WP:V content as well. Dhaluza 23:38, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The "Glamour Show" had him as the host, not really a subject, and it's not "independent," either. 'Tis the problem. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:45, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

What defines "trivial"? (Branch off from the previous discussion)

I was reading the above discussion and someone has to have verifiability from "non trivial sources". Isn't this something else that is subjective? One person's trivial source may be another persons solid source. DanielZimmerman 17:56, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Mostly the solidity of the media in which the source was collected. If you can verifiably cite the Brittanica as source there will be hardly a doubt ... if your source is the (German) Bild-Zeitung, the (British) Sun or the (American) National Enquirer, people might not consider them solid and therefore trivial Alf photoman 01:38, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Before I forget it... non-trivial sources are also those that are not ordinary mentions... such as the local registry column of the local newspaper where birth, engagements, weddings or deaths. Everybody will be, sooner or later, mentioned there. Same goes for the drunk driving report or disorderly conduct column of the police report in the newspaper, being an ass does not make one notable, unless it is a notable ass to start with. Ah yes, according to Webster's Dictionary the word Trivial means found everywhere or commonplace Alf photoman 13:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
But in that case, if it is common knowledge, doesn't that mean it doesn't need a source? Someone should define "trivial source" better. ~ PHDrillSergeant...§ 16:11, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I dont think you can define "trivial" better because again, it is just subjective. My local newspaper may be considered a "trivial" source to one person but not to another. To me, as long as the information follows wp:v then triviality shouldnt even play a part. DanielZimmerman 16:17, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
It should not be, and the mention of one person or another by the same media does not need to be equal, as I said before it is one thing to be mentioned as having invented the pollution free car and the other because he/she got engaged to somebody in the neighborhood in the same paper/magazine/TV show. Alf photoman 16:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Before I forget it again. To Sarge's question: It is irrelevant if something is common knowledge now, it must not be 25 years down the line and it may be common knowledge in the US but not in Kenya therefore we need a source where the reader can verify our claims. Alf photoman 17:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Porn Actors guideline or proposal

At thsi page the porn actor page is referecned as a proposal, while the porn page describes itself as a guideline and is listed in the list of guidelines. I'm no fan of that page, but either it should be downgraded (perfered) or described as a guideline here. --Kevin Murray 23:22, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

It's a guideline per consensus, so I think we just failed to update this page. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:34, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Reordering & cleanup

It looks like the text has been the victim of mutliple compromise edits and some poor writing by overly wordy editors. I added some headers to be more consistent with other notability pages and tried to write some direct sentences in the section introductions, without making changes to the actual guidelines. --Kevin Murray 23:22, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Dhaluza, for the most part I agree with your modifications, but we might collaborate on trimming some wording. Shorter instructions re more likely to be read and followed. True? --Kevin Murray 23:31, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, shorter is better. Sorry to revert one of your changes, but it went in a whole new direction, and I'm not sure if that was intentional or an inadvertent mistake. WP guidelines should not contain absolute language because they are only guidelines, and WP:IAR is a policy. Dhaluza 23:35, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm "very" happy about your lastest changes. I may be too drastic in my goal of "less is more." It's good to have a sharp eye on my scissor hand. Cheers! --Kevin Murray 23:45, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Rossami, please pardon my error. I misperceived the purpose of that section. I thought that items which had been "approved" by consensus were in the upper section and that the lowere section were all proposals. Thats why I suggested that the introductory sentence had weasle words. --Kevin Murray 23:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I propose that we make two clear sections (1) guidelines agreed to by demosntrable consensus, and (2) proposed guidelines. --Kevin Murray 23:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
    • They're not so much "proposed" as "historical" (and still sometimes used). Remember that this page came before all the notability guidelines and long pre-dates the new "primary criterion" now used as the common thread on most of the notability guidelines. I can see the need for restructuring to support new readers who do not remember the original discussions. I also like the idea of a somewhat open discussion of "alternative tests" without a strict filter for consensus. For example, the google test is deeply flawed as a measure of notability - yet still can be useful if it is applied in the correct circumstances. The google test is neither approved nor rejected - merely limited. When used properly, it is given credibility. When used poorly, it is shouted down. Having an openended discussion block seems to be more conducive to that kind of nuanced discussion. Rossami (talk) 14:48, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
      • We should stop considering the "primary" criterion as overbearing, because it's only really used on three (and that's controversial on two of them, at that) "notability" guidelines, not to mention WP:N points here. There's nothing to indicate a massive downgrade is legitimate at this stage. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:50, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
        • It's not so much a downgrade as giving that somewhat important criterion (to which I don't see the massive opposition that the disputed tag suggests) a much-needed upgrade. Chris cheese whine 15:07, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
          • There's no consensus to indicate that it's more important than anything else on the list. Yet. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:10, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
      • I agree with listing alternative tests, and leaving it to the collective judgement of the editors when to apply them, and when to develop new ones. I've seen more than a few AfD discussions that just slavishly mis-applied the arbitrary guidelines, without considering whether they were a valid test for the specific case. Dhaluza 15:01, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Centrality of WP:N

As this still seems to be an issue, please discuss it here. Hopefully, we can get to consensus one way or the other this way. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 07:15, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you mean discuss it Wikipedia_talk:Notability#Revisiting_the_discussion_above here - Johnbod 17:38, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Third time's a charm :-). It's Wikipedia_talk:Notability#Centrality re-revisited Sancho McCann 17:45, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Looking ahead

So a lot has changed the last few weeks, and most notabliy (heh) the "primary" criterion has changed over at WP:N. As this is arguably the most important subject-specific guideline we have, I think it's worth covering this:

  • The "primary" criterion has changed to the "common" criteron to reduce confusion over the word "primary," and reflect that the criterion is simply shared amongst many guidelines.
  • The wording has changed from "multiple, independent, non-trivial" to a more concise and descriptive definition: "A topic is notable if it has sufficient, independent works that are reliable and can act as the basis for an encyclopedic article."

As there is a desire to have the common criterion expand across, in the interests of this and in the interests of gaining consensus, do we want to change our initial wording as well to reflect the "sufficient, independent works" wording? --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:37, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I prefer the "sufficient" wording. Trebor 00:05, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree — prescriptive guidelines are misapplied too often. Trying to make guidelines idiot-proof does not impede the idiots. We have to let people use good collective judgment. Dhaluza 00:28, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal Wikipedia:Notability (politicians)

There is a “merge from” proposal for a guideline currently under development at Wikipedia:Notability (politicians). I feel that this proposed guideline is too prescriptive, and it is my belief is that if a politician or elected official can meet the current notability guidelines then they should be included in Wikipedia. The requirements for notability of political figures are covered both in the central criteria and the very first guideline on public interest -ie. the person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field. The proposed guideline is very prescriptive, for example it is proposed that a national legislator is notable when representing more than 200,000 people (note the actual number is irrelevant, whether it is 10 or 1 million, it is still a prescriptive requirement to achieve notability). Why is a politician representing 200,000 people more notable than the politician who represents 100,000? The other problem as I see it is that if we relax the notability guidelines, the articles that are would be permitted under the proposed Notability (politicians) guidelines are still likely to be un-referenced and will fail verifiability, especially since we do not allow original research. I do not believe that we need this new guideline and can rely on the guidelines already in place, and I do not believe that the Notability (politicians) should be merged into Wikipedia:Notability (people). -Parasite 23:37, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Agree — as above, prescriptive guidelines are not helpful. In particular, any number that makes sense now when WP has ~1,000,000 articles will make no sense when it has 10,000,000 in the not too distant future. As a practical matter, anyone elected to a non-trivial office will have both "multiple" and "sufficient" WP:ATT information to base an encyclopedic article on (e.g. Campaign speeches, advertisements, endorsements, criticism, election results, acceptance speech, official announcement, etc.). For that matter, any non-trivial losing candidate will have enough info as well. Dhaluza 00:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree, especially if we talk about mini-countries such as San Marino, Lichtenstein etc, there 100.000 people could be 50% of the population. We should make a habit of deleting unreferenced articles after giving a one week warning, no matter if politician or not. Alf photoman 01:07, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Parasite does not seem to grasp the intent of the Notability (politicians) proposal - in no sense were any of the minima intended to exclude people who otherwise qualify under WP:N/WP:ATT but don't meet the minima. The guidelines were intended to allow a politician's notability to be established essentially merely for existing, even if finding sources to establish notability were difficult. However, my proposal seems to have not gained anything resembling consensus. I'd opppose merging the proposal; instead, it should be retained as a historical record of a failed proposal. Αργυριου (talk) 21:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
So what you are saying is that the guideline would over-ride the policy we have on verifiability and the need for sources? I think I understand your intent in creating the guideline, I just don't agree with it. BTW, I agree that the guideline should be kept for historical purposes, as long as it is tagged accordinglyParasite 23:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I was intending that the guideline would set a lower bar for reliable sources and verifiability. For example, an article on Allen Henry Vigneron still needs to have a source which shows that he is actually the Bishop of Oakland (to mix in the discussion below), but, a simple reference to either the Diocese of Oakland website, or to the notice of his appointment in the Vatican website should be sufficient to establish that Vigneron is the Bishop of Oakland, and has been since 1 October 2003, and the fact of his holding the title (assuming that "Bishop of the Catholic Church" automatically confers notability) is sufficient to prove that he's notable enough for an article, even if it's a stub. Αργυριου (talk) 00:19, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Notability People (religious)

Please might this be addressed. I think all Archbishops and Dalai Lamas should be automatically notable. - Kittybrewster 11:44, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I totally agree for THE Dalai Lama, there is only one. With archbishops I could agree but not with bishops. Let me put it to you as an example: there is one pope, about 100 cardinals and several thousand archbishops, each of the archbishops supervises up to ten bishops... somewhere we have to say stop. Besides that, if a bishop does nothing but supervise his diocese all he did is his job... being one of several thousand that does his job is certainly not notable. Alf photoman 23:32, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
If they are an Archbishop of the Roman Catholic or an Orthodox Catholic, or the Episcopal/Anglican church, or other major denominations, then there will without doubt be numerous magazine and newspaper articles about them if current, or sections in history books if of a bygone era, so that they meent all requirements of WP:N. Incidentally, many churches have a head who is called "President" rather than Archbishop or Supreme Pontiff (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, for instance, in the U.S.) and others are headed by a Bishop rather than an archbishop or pontiff (Evangelical Church in America, for instance). But there are (in the U.S. at least,) storefront churches headed by a Bishop with a congregation and denomination of his family and a few others, and no priests or ministers subordinate to him. There are several churches where Bishop is a very common title, and I say this because there may be socalled Archbishops who are from a self-proclaimed church or denomination which is itself non-notable. I would like to see some qualifier to prevent the head or a high ranking official of such a non-notable denomination from gaining himself a guaranteed Wikipedia article by naming himself an Archbishop, Supreme Guru, or some such. How can we limit such an automatic recognition of notability to legitimate high officials of churches? Edison 23:41, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Archbishops of Canterbury and York and Westminster and Liverpool and the head of the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches and all Cardinals and all C of E bishops should be automatically notable. But not self-proclaimed bishops. What about Methodists? - Kittybrewster 23:55, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Any reason the Archbishops of Southwark and Birmingham should not also be notable? -- Necrothesp 12:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
As with military people (who have been discussed several times in the archives), I consider rank alone to be a poor indicator of notability. Some bishops are notable, many are not. Some archbishops are notable, some are not. Rules set for one denomination may or may not be trustworthy guides for another denomination. If we have multiple, independent, non-trivial sources, we can write a quality article. If not, it doesn't much matter what rank they hold. I don't see a need for a special criterion for religious persons. Rossami (talk) 01:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd think being a bishop makes one notable, just like in military achieving a rank of general. Reasoning: current WP:BIO rule that gives notability to Political figures holding or who have held international, national or statewide/provincewide office (remove the word 'polical' and bishops (or generals) seem to fit.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:04, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Christian bishops, who are appointed by higher authorities, are notable, even if there are over 4000 subject to Rome, and probably over 1000 Orthodox Christian bishops. Protestant bishops fall into three categories: those appointed by higher authorities, like Anglican/Episcopal bishops, elected bishops which supervise other clergy, like the Lutheran and Methodist bishops, and other bishops, including Mormon bishops (who are essentially priests) and various self-appointed bishops of storefront churches in American cities. The first two sorts of Protestant bishop I'd consider notable, the third would only be notable if the particular person is notable for their other accomplishments or notice, not merely for the fact of being a bishop.
However, (even though I proposed a guideline completely contrary to this spirit) any worthwhile bishop will have "multiple non-trivial independent" sources of information, depending how one counts "independent". Αργυριου (talk) 21:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Good point. Concepts of "automatic notability" are flawed (note that notability is only a guideline to begin with), as there need to be independent, verifiable sources of information about the subject of the article. Without these, there should not be an article. - Parasite 23:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think saying tht it is "only a guideline" is a little off. Yes, it is a guideline and not a policy. However, when I look at AFD, a large percentage of them are not removed because they violate a policy, they are removed because they violate a guideline. DanielZimmerman 19:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: "15 minutes of fame" test

I would like to propose another alternative notability criteria:

  • 15 minutes of fame test — if all the reliable sources for the notability of a person are from a small time period (of a few days), and after that the person is not mentioned anymore on reliable sources, it means the person only had their 15 minutes of fame, and is not notable enough for inclusion in Wikipedia.

--cesarb 21:53, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Interesting. But then do we need a fifteen minutes of fame page for those very people (i.e. famous for being famous for a short period of time)? On the surface I like it--but maybe I'm not thinking too clearly. Any obvious problems with this that I'm missing (other than getting an actual consensus)? Freshacconci 22:00, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like what is being discussed at Wikipedia:Notability (news). The essence of news is things of immediate topical interest, but those evanescently famous people, events, "water cooler stories," cute animals, etc. do not necessarily belong in an encyclopedia. Edison 22:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem is, if the creator of the phrase, Andy Warhol, is right, every person of the world will soon havehis 15 minutes of fame... and then everybody is in Alf photoman 23:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
It may need some more thought, but I like the basic idea of distinguishing the ephemerally famous from encyclopedic content. Perhaps these folks belong in a separate Wikifan or Fanopedia along with various other fan content? Best, --Shirahadasha 06:51, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
15 minutes of fame is typically not literal.... it tends to be as subjective as notability is itself. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DanielZimmerman (talkcontribs) 08:34, 25 February 2007 (UTC).

Proposed courtesy deletion for persons of borderline notability

A recurring concept in the Daniel Brandt deletion debate is that if the notability of a biographical article's subject is "borderline", other factors such as the subject's wishes should allow for deletion. An argument in favour of this concept is that Wikipedia will not be missing much if it excludes bios of people who have been noticed by almost nobody anyway. Basically we would be treating almost-private people as if they were private people.

Editors have defined "borderline notability" in different ways, and we would have to articulate an unambiguous definition. I suggest we start with a definition of "fewer than ten nontrivial published works whose primary subject is the person." The number should include autobiographical works. This is a very conservative definition of "borderline," with "ten" being not much more than "multiple." We could revise it upwards later.

Courtesy deletions based on borderline notability would go through the normal AfD process, not speedy deletion. We may want to consider also having categories of people who are not eligible for courtesy deletion, e.g. active politicians. Thoughts? Kla'quot 07:10, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Not in a million years. --- RockMFR 08:05, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
If we start taking the subject's wishes into account we are censoring ourselves. The only reason we should remove anything following a complaint from the subject is if the law says we have to (which is pretty much only when we can't be sure enough that it's true, in which case we would remove it as soon as we find out anyway under WP:BLP). Censoring ourselves for the sake of a quiet life is really not worth it. --Tango 13:03, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely not. If someone's article has POV problems, or there's false or unsourced information, we fix it posthaste. If it's a pure attack article, we G10 it. But if it's just "Well, you know, all that's true, and it's verifiable, but it's really unflattering", well, that's really too bad. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 13:39, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Never, it will only lead to that we have to get approved scripts from the press spokesperson of the people in wiki Alf photoman 14:04, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
The one case where I think we should consider deletion is where the person has limited coverage in WP:RS and the few available sources are biased (not simply unflattering). We already disallow puff-pieces based on self-published PR, and the converse should also be true. Where someone has been attacked by people with media access, and that person does not have sufficient media access to properly defend against the attack, it would violate WP:NPOV to only report the side of the story in "reliable" sources, while rejecting the other side as self-published. But in this case, deleting would not be a courtesy, it would be a reasonable interpretation of policy. Dhaluza 15:16, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
WP:CSD#G10 seems to work just fine towards that. What we're talking here is when the information is reliable. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 15:37, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
WP:CSD#G10 is specific to attack pages, where the page author is biased. This goes a bit deeper, to where the "reliable" sources are biased. For example, say one side in a legal dispute launches a preemptive media blitz, making its case in the press, and the judge slaps a gag-order on both sides before the other side can respond. In this case, we know the reliable sources are biased, and we probably should not put the biased content in an article until a balanced view is re-established at the end of the trial.Dhaluza 16:08, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Eh. Unless the content is in dispute as false or libelous, I'd be more inclined to include the information (with a caveat that a gag order was imposed at such and such a date and Y didn't have a chance to respond to X's allegations before it was imposed, we can source that too!). That's up to the media to sort out, not us, and it'd also be a pretty rare case. We just have to be very careful in such cases to ensure we don't state allegations as fact. Alternatively, in such a case, we could stick to simple facts-what's the lawsuit allege and why? "X's suit states that Y is a complete imbecile, however, Y has filed a counterclaim which asserts that X started it." BLP is important, but it's also a very powerful privilege (immune to 3RR even), and we must be exceptionally careful of scope creep. I don't think letting people say "I don't like my article, please delete it" is a good idea at all, unless it really is an unsourced attack article (which brings us back to G10 anyway). Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 16:19, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that deleting a WP:NPOV complaint article that is unflattering to an individual at their request is a bad idea — you must sleep in the bed you make. But I do see a narrow exception where notability is marginal, and the few available sources are too biased to create a good article. In this case, we should delete it for insufficient sources, even if we have at least two sources independent of the subject. Dhaluza 16:36, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Everyone is making good points, but I see two reasons not to pursue this issue: (1) the frequency of occurance does not warrant more WP:CREEP, and (2) evaluating the special cases is inherently subjective, which conflicts with WP's objectives. Our best course is to provide as much balance as is available with verifiable sources. --Kevin Murray 16:57, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I diagree with Dhaluza above. That argument seems to say that a person cannot defend themselves against multiple, media accusations by issuing self-published material. The way a person properly defends themselves is with a libel or slander lawsuit. If they are not doing that, you have to ask why? Perhaps the media accusations are well-founded. The media has no slant to go after people without cause since that opens them to lawsuits. It seems that Dhaluza's argument would remove negative information, for example in David Barton simply because he or his staff doesn't like it. On the seperate issue of the *number* of sources and their slant. I would agree tenatively that *two* sources, one pro, one con, may not be enough to make a neutral article. I would not necessarily agree that we should speedy it for that reason however. Rather I would suggest that it be put on the please-help-us-find-more-sources list. If someone has really taken the time to write an reliable source hagiography then I'm sure there will be several book reviews at the very least that could be cited as well. That is, we shouldn't delete simply because some editors are too lazy to look up more sources. Wjhonson 17:57, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

My biggest issue with what Dhaluza is proposing is that we should delete "when the sources are biased". That is absolutely not for us to decide. If the source is a mainstream, editorially-controlled, respected source of information, it is not for us to say "Well they're biased this time." (If it's a marginal or unknown source, that's different, but we've already got ways in place to deal with that, including BLP's "poorly sourced" and the standard cautions against controversial claims from partisan sources). But if the NYT says something about a person they dislike, that's for them to take up with the NYT-not with us. If the NYT publishes a correction, we cite that and correct too. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 18:07, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm simply saying that if the record is obviously incomplete, we should remain silent until a more complete record is available to cite. So if someone of marginal notability has not received enough notice to give sufficient sources to write a WP:NPOV article, we should not have such an article. Dhaluza 18:56, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but that's already required, not only for biographies. -Amarkov moo! 19:03, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, and we shouldn't ignore that if the subject is bringing it to our attention. Dhaluza 19:45, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

The main objection being raised, and I think it's a perfectly valid one, is the potential for coercion and censorship by the subject. In previous similar discussions, one thing that surprised me is the people who have asked to have their bios deleted included several people whose bios were entirely nice. Seth Finkelstein and Angela Beesley are good examples. Finkelstein summed it up as, "You've achieved a few things over the years, and as a reward, here's your very own troll magnet to monitor and defend for the rest of your life." It bothers me that we have not managed to find a way to grant the wishes of Finkelstein and Beesley. However, the censorship problem is a sticking point. I'm not sure how to solve that problem, but I don't think the current situation is great either. How about if we restricted courtesy deletions to articles which are, on the whole, positive? Kla'quot 20:02, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

  • This is still censorship and who will determine what is positive? I can't see anything but a mess coming of this proposal. --Kevin Murray 20:08, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Reading through this discussion thread, I can't help but see similarities with the goals and rationale of WP:NOTNEWS. The example above of the imbalance created by a judicial gag order seems to be a situation where we shouldn't have been putting the content in the encyclopedia yet in the first place. If NOTNEWS is adopted, I suspect that we would have far lower need for this kind of solution - and without the concerns of prior restraint. Rossami (talk) 02:41, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

What concern me most are articles where there is little of encyclopedic value and the most significant impact of the article is to show up in Google searches on the person's name with embarrassing or damaging information. See generally discussion at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Doc glasgow#Outside view by Newyorkbrad and the other statements on that page for examples of this scenario. I have such an article nominated for deletion right now and the discussion to date indicates that some editors are not sensitive to all the relevant considerations. Newyorkbrad 17:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia rules already state that unsourced and libelous content about living persons is to be removed immediately, and if the article is just used to attack a person it can be speedied. For those cases we surely do not need another rule Alf photoman 17:48, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed that we may not need a new rule on this, but I do think we need increased sensitivity to this and related aspects of the issue. Verifiability and sourcing is one aspect of the BLP and notability policies but not the only one. Another is that there is certain information that should not be included in biographies of dubiously notable individuals even if true. Newyorkbrad 17:58, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
"dubiously notable" is an amazingly fuzzy line. Any article can be nominated for AFD, implying that someone doubts its notability, does that make it "dubiously notable"? Several of our Wikipedia: Featured articles have been nominated for lack of notability. We need a definition of borderline, but surely not "less than ten published works", ten is an awful lot to find. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 18:05, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
no, what we really need is apply in a more speedier fashion WP:V with attributions to living persons that are either doubtful or blatantly false. And we have to remember that many articles are nominated for deletion not due to lack of notability but do to lack of knowledge of the nominator.Maybe having some kind of a living person's article change patrol that enforces WP:V Alf photoman 18:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

There are multiple editors that have used the wishes of the subject as a factor, as opposed to the factor, in deciding whether to delete or not. I've seen this in multiple AFDs I think this is reasonable, but wouldn't support anything stronger - no bright line tests. If someone wanted to create an essay about this, that might be a good idea. GRBerry 19:18, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm glad to hear some other reasonable voices weigh in. I tried to bring some balance to a discussion that started off with comments like "Not in a million years" and "Absolutely not" by pointing out that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes. The bottom line is that if someone asks to have their bio deleted, we should not refuse to consider their case out of what...spite? Each case needs to be weighed on it's own merits. And we don't need any new policy, we just need to apply all the policies we have with some common sense.
As far as censorship, WP:N is censorship. Dhaluza 03:15, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
With a slight difference.. it is censorship from within, that is editors in wikipedia reach a consensus about what goes and what does not. What we don't need is additionally to the self-determined auto-censorship an exo-censorship. The auto censorship is then necessary when the content of an encyclopedia goes below the line of significance, veracity and relevance. As long as something is significant, true or relevant no external request should force us to remove it AlfPhotoman 15:04, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks everyone. Let me try to summarize the discussion so far and interweave my own opionions:

  • There is no support expressed here yet for the concept of automatically granting deletions, upon request, to people who are minimally-notable.
  • There is some support for the idea of taking the wishes of the subject into account in a deletion debate.
  • There is little support for expansion of policy or guidelines. I beg to differ on this one because I keep seeing experienced, dedicated Wikipedians, in good faith, each follow their own "common sense" and end up bitterly at odds over biography deletions. If guidelines are not explicit, people make up their own rules and this can easily result in more deletions of worthwhile articles than would have taken place under explicit guidelines. I've seen people argue that a person was "borderline notable" when the number of published works on the person numbered in the hundreds. This is the kind of thing I want to prevent.
  • I think we might have in mind at least two kinds of scenarios which could require different approaches.
    • The first is cases where the article is obviously embarassing to a person who is only notable for having done something stupid once, with no lasting historical significance. We can probably address most of these with WP:NOTNEWS, which I've already cited in the AfD for Amir Massoud Tofangsazan.
    • The second scenario is where the article is about someone who is notable for something of real significance. In many cases, the subject would appreciate a purely positive-POV article, but asks for deletion after failing to get that. And then there are a few cases such as Brandt's, in which the subject Just Wants it Gone for reasons that may be hard for others to understand. The community, if not the people on this Talk page, is in a stalemate about the Brandt case.

My general feeling is that we should do our best to accomodate the person's wishes, without removing the information pertinent to what made the person notable. In practical terms, I think this can usually be accomodated by either a) retitling the article to focus on the event that made the person notable, or b) merging into the relevant article(s) about what the person has been involved in, with a brief description of the person instead of a hyperlinked name. If we can make the result of the rename or merge no more flattering than the original article, censorship should be a non-issue. We'd usually lose some biographical details, such as photos and hobbies. If that kind of information is of real encyclopedic value, then it's perhaps a sign that the bio should be kept. If it's not of encyclopedic value and we remove it, then the subject's right to privacy will have rightly prevailed. Kla'quot 09:04, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

An interesting point has been raised on the Talk:Daniel Brandt#Thoughts on "bio" articles that aren't really "biographies" thread on how to deal with people who have both a public and private life. This may dovetail with your suggestion to move such content to an article about the thing or event, rather than the person. I don't think this is applicable in the Brandt case, because he has done enough different things that are associated primarily with him. But it could apply to the borderline cases we are discussing here.
Regarding the Daniel Brandt saga, it will be re-listed for AfD in 5 days now. Dhaluza 12:05, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


I have added this tag to the section containing the "100 year test". People are currently citing it as Wikipedia policy at AFD because it appears on this policy page. The tag I added will strengthen the concept: that while the information appears on a policy page, it is NOT Wikipedia policy. If you think it would be better as an "essay" tag please change it. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 15:34, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

  • It is pretty silly when people think an item labeled "proposed, no consensus" overrides the stuff that actually is part of the guideline. Although since the main part of WP:BIO is currently disputed, it's a bit harder to take that part of it (WP:N) seriously. I say perhaps list the "100 year test" and others as criteria that conflict with actual inclusion criteria, and should be avoided as standalone arguments for deletion. --W.marsh 15:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Richard: If someone says that notability is a "policy" then they should be corrected. It is a "guideline" and not an official policy (even though many elitist deletists treat it as such). I would also say that the 100 year test violates the idea that Wikipedia is not a crystal ball (which is an official policy). I would suggest that we remove any mention of a 100 year test because of that. DanielZimmerman 16:36, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • The section including that "guideline" says "other proposed", so these are not adopted. If they are only proposed, I think they should be taken off the page until there is consensus to approve them. Without objection, I will post them to an essay page in the interim. --Kevin Murray 19:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Those alternative tests have been on the page almost since it's first version. I think that they are very helpful in some circumstances and should remain on the page. They have not been adopted as policy or even as guideline because they are not necessarily helpful in other circumstances. The paragraph at the top of that section already has the necessary qualifier that these tests are to be used with care and that arguments based on them may not be accepted by the community. The {{Disputedpolicy-section}} tag is overkill. Rossami (talk) 22:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • If they've been there for a long while and have not been approved, what chance do they have? It seems that they need to be adopted or erased! --Kevin Murray 22:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

100 year test

User:DanielZimmerman suggests above that the 100 year test violates the idea that Wikipedia is not a crystal ball and advocated for it's removal. That completely misses the point of the clause in WP:NOT. We exclude future-cruft because we have no way of knowing whether or not something will someday become notable and in the meantime our readers are better off with no coverage here than the unverifiable and biased coverage that such currently-trivial subjects invariably gather. That is the very essence of the 100-year test - don't accept garbage into the project unless you have some actual evidence supporting the claim that the subject matters and is properly covered.

Many editors (myself among them) think that the 100-year test is a goal to which Wikipedia should aspire. The short-term view that "what's covered today will always be notable" is not, in my opinion, a sustainable position for a wiki that allows pseudonymous editing. Articles written today must still be verifiable 10, 20 or even 100 years from now. To be blunt, we don't have the slightest idea how to do that yet for current-interest topics.

The 100-year test is not implementable as a stand-alone "inclusion criterion". It's too vague to provide bright-line rules. But it is still a valid sentiment and statement of position. Whether you agree or disagree with this position, removing the clause from the page won't make it any less relevant as a statement of opinion about the goals or capabilities of the project. Rossami (talk) 22:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Why don't you put this in an essay. This page is clearly described as a "policy page." --Kevin Murray 22:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The 100 year test does violate not a crystal ball, at least the spirit of it, if not the letter. We are not fortune tellers. We cannot determine whether something or someone will be notable 100 years from now. So to use that as a criteria assumes that we have some sort of psychic powers. If you remove the 100 year test, you have the policies of wp:a and wp:npov as well as the other policeis to make sure that so called "garbage" doesnt make it into the project. The 100 year test is pure conjecture, plain and simple. We should not base guidelines (in part or in whole) on conjecture.
We should not be excluding articles that are "notable" today just because some people question whether they will be "notable" in the future. If the article is well sourced and well written there should be a place for it on wikipedia. The goal of this project should be to create a well formed encyclopedia that contains quality information in every article. That can be done without this supposed 100 year test. Hell, it can be done without the notability guideline as well! DanielZimmerman 22:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I also think that the 100 year test should not be the only criterion, but I advocate that articles are written in such a fashion that they are still verifiable in 100 years if someone checks Wikipedia then for some footnote in history. I think the idea of the 100 year test is much more: can somebody in 100 years make sense of what you have written today by just reading the article? AlfPhotoman 00:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I would agree that articles should be written so they can be verified at any point in the future. But that would put the "100 year test" in wp:a (a policy) and not in wp:bio (a flawed guideline). DanielZimmerman 00:58, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I could not agree more AlfPhotoman 01:33, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I think a 100-year approach is too high a bar, given how rapidly our society is evolving, and how poor our ability to predict the future importance of today's ideas, people, and events. Perhaps we would better off setting a much lower, more limited bar that could be more clearly understood and more easily enforced -- focus simply on excluding obviously ephemeral phenomena, which would still exclude quite a bit. Aristotle wrote that "The perfect is the enemy of the good." Setting too high a bar could make things worse. Best, --Shirahadasha 02:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Case in point, the Radarange would probably not have passed a 100 year test in 1947? Yet its successors are now so ubiquitous that we do indeed have an article. Parasite 03:42, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Nobody on this website has any idea what information will be available 100 years from now nor even the means of information transmission. It doesn't even take into account of possible future (and current) censorship, changing of opinions, perspectives and values as to what information is "valued".
Currently in China, there is very heavy censorship of internet information [1], let alone newspaper, book, radio and television media. That is to say some of the most basic information we might take for granted isn't even currently "verifiable" in some countries. There is nobody that can claim that all countries are immune to that in the future.
When Stalin took power in the Soviet Union, within a few years, far less than 100, extremely popular military leader Leon Trotsky was completely erased from history books there. He was even airbrushed out of official photographs.[2]
This "I don't think anywone will care in a few years" clause is an extremely dangerous proposal and I strongly oppose such a guideline or policy. --Oakshade 01:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

It has often been pointed out how amazed the biographer of Henry George Liddell would be to know that 100 years after his death, by far the most famous of Liddell's colleagues would be someone not mentioned in that biography, namely Lewis Carroll.--Runcorn 14:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I thought that WP was intended or use in this century. Archived copies will undoubtedly be useful, but they will be useful in preserving the record of what people care about today, what issues concern them, and what information they find relevant. The future will makes its own encyclopedias; we have used some small parts of work done in the past, and so will they.

I did not come here to work on a holy book to be preserved unaltered forever, and used as the guide in all future circumstances. If someone wishes to propose 100 days, not 100 years, now that would be worth considering. That is what is meant by WP is not a newspaper. DGG' 22:51, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

The "100 year test" doesn't work for countless articles that get deleted by Wikipedians for reasons that seem arbitrary, even when the talk page is equivocal.

As an example, the article about the Baker's Dozen a cappella singing group at Yale was deleted as part of a purge deleting articles about almost every collegiate a cappella singing group. The Baker's Dozen is 60 years old so there will certainly be people forty years from now who care about them. In addition, the group has been in the news a lot lately (google them, if you disagree).

But, really, unless the articles are obviously vanity posts, why delete them? Why not flag them as potentially insignificant? It's depressing to attempt to contribute to what's supposed to be an encyclopedia of everything only to have someone delete articles that are obviously not vanity pieces. Mileage 04:18, 14 March 2007 (UTC)mileage

The hundred year test breaks down if you apply the telescope the other way round. Look at the guidelines for athletes, politicians, journalists (proposed) & ask if all the people who met these criteria in 1907 are really notable now. Of course not - only one in a hundred. And nobody much is bothered to write articles on the other 99, so the issue rarely arises at AfD. Every senior writer on a major newspaper, every professional sportsman (as they all were then) .... If we really applied that test, most of the biography articles on WP would go. Johnbod 05:23, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
How does the 100-year test violate the crystal ball clause? By my reckoning, it rather reinforces it. We can't predict what they're going to do, and AfD debates are usually without prejudice, so it seems sensible to stop and think "If this person died today, would anyone care in 100 years' time?" The test deliberately excludes from consideration what they might go on to achieve, on the basis that we won't be writing about it anyway. Chris cheese whine 06:26, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
That is the very definition of crystal balling. Would anyone care about person X in 100 years time? How should I know? We can't know! The 100 years test is 100% subjective. The issue of "future accomplishments" of individuals is already handled (i.e., excluded from consideration) by requiring multiple secondary sources about a person at the time of writing. -- Black Falcon 08:13, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe WP:NOT extends quite that far. WP:CRYSTAL applies to article content. Chris cheese whine 08:25, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (academics)

The proponents of Wikipedia:Notability (academics) are trying to claim that this has been accepted as a guideline. Please join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Notability (academics). I think that the primary criterion is sufficient, but if further "rules" are needed, they could be condensed and included at People. There is little new and less which is valid. --Kevin Murray 19:38, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


I have a question on notability of actors. If an actor has a long career in filming (see here) would she be notable enaugh for inclusion? Are there any borderline guidelines for actors? The problem there is obviously that the movies and series are German and not English and therefore not known to the majorities of enWiki readers. Agathoclea 23:01, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is distinguished by language, not national origin. If an actor is well-known in their native country then they're entitled to an article here, whether that country is English-speaking or not. -- Necrothesp 23:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
thanks. Agathoclea 23:09, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Mostly what is important is that you have secondary reliable sources. Known newspapers, such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine, even though in German, are considered good sources. In your particular case my concern would be with the fact that most of the roles were supporting or guest roles ... that could be a problem for some editors. AlfPhotoman 23:13, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Finding FAZ sources from here is a little difficult. The German article mentions that she became known as one of the maincast in de:Die Hausmeisterin, Which looking at the imdb list appears to be her most notable contribution. Then again there are other more famous members of that cast missing on enWiki. Agathoclea 11:23, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I remember that series, I was living in Germany at the time. I just mentioned FAZ because it is well known to most people in the world, but it is not in any way the only reliable German source. And as far as the other cast members .... the thing where wikipedia is similar to a sanatorium is that : Not all who are are in, and not all who are in are .... AlfPhotoman 14:53, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Anyway, I have the article in userspace now. I'll see what I can do with it. Agathoclea 14:57, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


I tried to cleanup, reorganize, and condense the special case guidelines for a more uniform presentation and keeping like items together. For example I moved approved guidelines out of the proposal section. And grouped other established WP reference materials into a "see also" section. I pulled special cases for politicians and entertainers together with sub-bullet points. I think there is more that could be done, but I wanted to limit this to reorganizing the current themes rather than rewriting without more discussion. This is meant to be a first step, please give me some feedback. --Kevin Murray 17:47, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Expanding Creative professions to include academics and scientists

Creative professionals & academics: professors, scientists, authors, editors, journalists, filmakers, photographers, artists, architects, engineers, and other creative professionals.

  1. The person has received a notable award or honor, or has been often nominated for them.
  2. The person is regarded as an important figure or significant expert by peers.
  3. The person is known for originating an important significant new concept, theory or idea.
  4. The person has created a significant or well-known work, or collective body of work, which has been subject of multiple independent works, reviews, or documentaries.
  5. The person or work has been widely cited by authors, or is the basis for respected curriculum.
  6. The person's work is likely to become a part of the enduring historical record of that field.
  7. The person's work is prominently displayed in notable exhibitions or in monuments.
I would like to receive suport for this before making this change. I think the spirit of the guidelines are the same, while broadening the application and condensing the text. --Kevin Murray 19:28, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I would not say important theory, many people (especially historical) had noted theories that were not important and the likely to be in the historical record is slightly WP:CRYSTAL AlfPhotoman 19:42, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Alf, I agree, but wanted to bring together the existing texts from here and proposed permutations, and then weed-out the problems. There are several places at BIO where WP:CRYSTAL pops-up, and there are those who are advocating the continued inclusion; I'd prefer not to have that battle at this time, but support your concerns. I also object to using the word "important" as this is in conflict with the explicit definition of "notability" in the lead paragraphs at WP:N. --Kevin Murray 20:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Oppose. The combination of "journalist" and "The display of the person's work is prominent" means that everyone who writes an article for the front page of a major newspaper deserves an encyclopedia article. In fact, I want to strike "The display of the person's work is prominent" entirely, or any vandal who graffitis a major landmark suddenly deserves an article. Strong oppose for removing "important" from "originating an important new concept, theory or idea" or every PhD would qualify - getting a doctorate in most fields requires just that. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 21:01, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm assuming that your oppose is conditional on being able to address your specific concerns.
  • I changed from bullets to numbering to make referencing easier.
  • # 7 was included to address an issue brought up at the artist proposal, but I see your point. I'm not that the harm outweighs the good. How might we make this better? --Kevin Murray 21:23, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, of course. How to make better, I am not sure. This is one of the times when a criterion that would be clear for a subset becomes unclear when trying to apply to all people. Presumably "prominent display" for painters or sculptors would mean a big museum spent a lot of money to acquire their work, that might seem notable, I don't know. However, major newspapers publish daily, and there are a lot of them, and while having one of your articles get 2 inches on the front page of a major paper isn't negligible, neither is it particularly rare - yet surely more people read the New York Times than visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I am not sure, frankly, hos to rephrase, but out of a choice to have it as is or not at all, I'd be for not at all. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 21:37, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • AEM, please see new changes. --Kevin Murray 22:33, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks, that helps for 7 ("in monuments"? but that's grammar nitpicking, the idea is clear). Still need an importance qualifier for "new concept" for 3 though, since every PhD dissertation is supposed to be a new concept that contributes to the field. Maybe "notable new concept", to deal with Alf's criticism, above? The idea is that if X came up with an idea that caused a lot of excitement, made people work on it, but was later disproven, that might not be "important" in the field any more, but was "notable". Martin Fleischmann, for example, his work on Cold fusion isn't really "important" any more, but it was certainly "notable".--AnonEMouse (squeak) 16:16, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm going to float this out onto the page with the modifications suggested by Alf and Anon. Anon, I used significant instead of notable as a minor hairsplit so we aren't using notable to define what is notable. Although using synonyms is questionable. --Kevin Murray 16:48, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Logistics In adding the text to the page, I removed another "notable" replacing it with "significant" for consistency; I left "enduring historical record " since that was in the exisiting text and didn't want to delete yet; and I removed the reference to academics as for now it is a separate guideline, whic I hope can be later merged here. This is a good start; maybe we can fine tune. Thanks! --Kevin Murray 16:59, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

There is no way to word it exactly and briefly so it applies fairly to all professions. But the hope of multiple criteria is that one or another will apply, and I think I could find one of them as worded to defend any notable person's article. However, I could certainly argue over the meaning of all the qualitative judgement terms in an argument to delete such an article. I suspect that the difficulty is not wording, but of true lack of basic agreement about how inclusive we should be. DGG 20:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


Well well, this page has changed quite a bit since I last looked. Not for the worse, I'd add. Still, I'm not happy about:

The person's work is or has been displayed in notable museums or exhibitions, or as a recognised monument.

I have no beef with the bit about a monument. As for the first, part, the always troublesome "notability" criterion has merely moved from the person to the museum or exhibition.

Quite a lot of art galleries (of the kind that show rather than attempt to sell) that could reasonably be described as notable have one or more events every year in which, through one unusually permissive selection procedure or other, many people can each exhibit one, two, or possibly more works. A minority of these works are wonderful and their creators will go on to recognition, fame, and possibly even riches. But only a minority. A rather different minority of the creators are depressingly likely to seize on these "fifteen minutes of fame" (seven days of emergence from total obscurity) to pump up their claims to vanity articles here within WP.

How about something like this:

The person's work has been displayed in a solo exhibition that attracted more than merely local attention, is represented within the permanent collection of a major art gallery or museum, or is or has been displayed as a recognized monument.

But that's only a first draft and probably could be improved. -- Hoary 23:51, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

sounds good, but we have to see if we can narrow it down slightly to avoid the 15-minuters AlfPhotoman 00:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
That's just what I had attempted to do. Perhaps I didn't succeed. What follows is tighter, but only provisional as it's awkwardly written.
The person's work has been displayed in a solo exhibition or has been displayed as a recognized monument, each (exhibition or monument) winning critical attention that has been more than merely local, or is represented within the permanent collection of a major art gallery or museum.
I'm not happy with "more than merely local". The intention is that an exhibition in Podunk, Okla. is fine but that critical attention from the Podunk Plain Dealer will not be enough; it will have to impress people in Tulsa or Oklahoma City or wherever. The problem is of what to do with, say, an exhibition in Rīga, for which critical commentary could reasonably be all in Latvian and (thanks to the centralism of Latvia) all published in Rīga, a very big city by Baltic standards but one that's less populous than, say, Detroit. To me, critical recognition in Rīga but not Vilnius is a lot more significant than critical recognition in Oklahoma City that hasn't spread to Tulsa. -- Hoary 04:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Any text here needs to be equally fair for authors, editors, journalists, architects, engineers, etc. etc. Even for artists, it looks like "solo exhibition" or "permanent collection" would drift away from significant temporary exhibitions where artists have been selected as part of a small group, which often occurs internationally. Let's stack up what's here: place (big/small); event (solo/group/open; permanent/not); coverage. I feel it would be neater to draft anything about coverage/criticism into one of the other bullet points. So can we put both place and event into a neat(er) sentence that's sufficient for all the professional groups? Taking a different angle on it, is it pushing too far to think that the essential point is that it's a show that's likely to be part of the permanent record in the field?? Mereda 08:38, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
maybe it is because we are attributing local papers only local distribution. The Oklahoman, to keep with the example above, is not only distributed in Oklahoma City so the impact in a paper of that type would not be local. Maybe there should be an adjective subsentence like : ... with more than local distribution ... AlfPhotoman 17:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure that this is the place to do it though. Shouldn't we have a consistent central policy about local papers etc at one of the core guidelines? --Kevin Murray 17:13, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
probably .... now where is that discussion? AlfPhotoman 17:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

--Kevin Murray 17:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC):::::* Why don't you propose a succinct text for inclusion and we could discuss at our talk pages (if you want my colaboration), then you or we could find a good place to start the discussion. I think that attribution or notable, but more likely the former. --Kevin Murray 17:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I'll think about a watertight formulation AlfPhotoman 19:54, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
sorry that I did not follow through... but with all the excitement 'round here I plain forgot AlfPhotoman 01:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

How about this simplification for re-starters:

The person's work either (a) has been displayed in a solo exhibition or as a monument, winning critical attention that has been more than merely local, or (b) is represented within the permanent collection of a major art gallery or museum.

For (b), the gallery or museum would at the least merit a fairly substantial article in WP. And I don't think that possession by one museum/gallery or one or two works is enough: either (i) a number of these places should each own one, two or more, or (ii) one such place should own a small collection of them (or of course some compromise between (i) and (ii)). -- Hoary 00:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I guess that is strict enough to discourage the self-projectors. AlfPhotoman 00:51, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
The WP article on Art gallery covers both museums and commercial galleries. I think to avoid confusion you need something like:(b) is represented within the permanent collection of a major publicly owned collection of art art gallery or museum. That excludes a few like the Saatchi Gallery, but not enough to cause a problem, I think. Johnbod 01:04, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, no. The private ownership of the Saatchi Gallery is conspicuous, thanks to the name and the forays into politics, etc., of its owners. Only slightly less conspicuous: the Getty. But back to London: Certainly the Estorick Collection isn't publicly owned. The Courtauld Institute is part of the University of London, and thus isn't. The Gilbert Collection can't be public. Etc etc. -- Hoary 01:32, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
That's completely wrong, i'm afraid. All of those, except Saatchi and possibly Estorick, are public collections, as they are owned by charitable foundations with aims/Charters etc directed at the public good (unlike say the Chatsworth Settlement) - actually they are exactly the same as the Metropolitan NY etc etc and not disimiliar to the British Museum/ National Gallery etc. Only in Europe and Washington DC do you get museums owned by national Governments in the West (ok some Canada Australia I expect & maybe some other places), though many cities own them. As the Estorick has received Lottery money, it is almost certainly a public collection too. Johnbod 03:09, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
"Public collections" in that sense, yes; publicly owned, no. As one hesitant and probably defective step, how about changing "publicly owned" in your suggestion above (timestamped 01:04) to "publicly financed"? -- Hoary 03:49, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Um, it occurs to me that a huge number of galleries and museums will get at least some public moneys. So perhaps my latest suggestion is even worse than I realized when I made it just a few minutes ago. -- Hoary 04:03, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Here's another go at it:

The person's work either (a) has been displayed in a solo exhibition or as a monument and won considerable critical attention, or (b) is represented within the permanent collection of a major art gallery or museum of more than local significance.

Howzat? -- Hoary 08:56, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

zat Ok, but if we go straw picking we could say that there are museums with local significance that hold significant art, for example The Hora Art Museum on Andros Island, Greece. Among others Picasso, Mattisse and and and. If it weren't for some rich ship-owners that museum could not pay the electric bill from their revenues, and similarly it is known in the rest of the world AlfPhotoman 17:53, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
But but but there's nothing wrong with "local significance", with remoteness, etc. If this museum is known in the rest of the world, it's fine. -- Hoary 00:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Watered down

"The person has been the subject of at least one substantial..." dilutes this guildeline pretty badly. Having one substantial writeup about a person doesn't in any way establish notability. At this point it almost seems we are moving towards this being an obsolete concept as a guideline and just relying on whether or not a subject meets WP:ATT.--Isotope23 21:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I've restored the earlier wording. One is not enough. Uncle G 23:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
    • It seems that the subordinate criteria should echo the primary criterion at WP:N, where this has been thoroughly discussed and supported. I have asked Uncle G to revert his change out of respect, but the inconsistency is not appropriate between WP:BIO and WP:N. I'd hate to have to see this page protected like other criteria are presently, and see the mahem at WP:N spill over to here. --Kevin Murray 23:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

More stringent criterion for living people?

Is it a good idea to have a more stringent notability criterion for living people? Say, a living person has to have a biography published by a good source to have an article in Wikipedia. This will wipe out a lot of WP:BLP issues (and Daniel Brandt) but doesn't hurt our comprehensiveness too much. Borisblue 22:53, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Principally yes, we need more stringent rules for WP:BIO. Now, if this comes in the wake of Daniel Brandt we should discuss it when the wave died down. Right now it would just be a battlefield between the Keep and Delete partisans of the aforesaid article and nothing constructive will come of it. AlfPhotoman 23:05, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • This would be an interesting reversal, but not one that, I suspect, would gain widespread support. It is a reversal because, historically, these criteria have had more stringent criteria for dead people than for living people, rather than the other way around. See this version, for example, where deceased people are in effect subject solely to the PNC, and people still alive have several exceptions (e.g. "name recognition") that they can qualify under if they don't qualify under the PNC.

    You are proposing limiting the scope of the PNC for living people to published works that are specifically biographies. Whilst this does adhere quite strictly to the principle that information should not be presented in ways in Wikipedia that it is not presented outside of Wikipedia (i.e. if someone hasn't had a biography published outside of Wikipedia, information about them should not be presented as a biographical article inside Wikipedia), it may encounter problems with several classes of people. Politicians are the first class that come to mind. Not every living politician who has been documented in multiple non-trivial published works has necessarily been so documented by a formal biography, per se. Uncle G 23:24, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

been thinking a little about this, maybe the error is conceptual, that is we should not define articles as biographies (that would entail original research anyway) but as biographical notes, much in the way newspapers do it in the personalities section AlfPhotoman 23:34, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
explain? I'm not clear on how newspapers handle biographies. Borisblue 01:19, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
as I said , it is treated as information about a person, not as his/her life-story (which biography entails). It may sound semantic but it reduces the pressure about getting every aspect of a persons life. Relevant in such a case is only what can be printed without getting into conflict with libel laws AlfPhotoman 01:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Ahh, interesting. So for instance a "biographical note" on Brandt would just talk about his work on Google Watch, and not discuss his personal issues at all? I like this idea. Borisblue 01:30, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
as example, yes AlfPhotoman 01:32, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

(unindenting) I appreciate that you're trying to resolve the Brandt dispute through re-examination of guidelines. However, I disagree with a general raising of the notability bar. Many of the articles affected by such a change would be biographies of lesser-known artists and writers who have been covered enough to allow for WP:NPOV and WP:ATT to be met, but who don't have big publicity machines behind them. These people, and their fans, usually appreciate having articles about them on Wikipedia. Kla'quot 06:13, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I would say not just them and their fans, but anyone who is interested in finding out about the subject. I think wiki can provide a great service by collating information that exists (with verifiable sources that support notability) but is not necessarily easy to get hold of or to find in one handy form. That's the purpose of an encyclopedia - a one stop knowledge shop. Take Hoxton/Shoreditch for example. It is an area with a worldwide reputation for "cutting edge" art. If it's doing its job properly, wiki should be able to give anyone interested in it a comprehensive insight into its activities, galleries, artists, shows etc. It may be harder to find information on some of e.g. the people involved, than it might be for a bog standard professional gallery artist, yet they are actually of more note in terms of historic interest. Editorial judgement has a part to play in this, and any guidelines must allow some flexibility. Rigid rules can sometimes produce the opposite outcome to that which they were implemented to achieve. This was pointed out above in relation to the suggested requirement for someone to have an existing biography about them. Some lesser people have these; some more important people don't.
I think Alf photoman has a good idea there. We don't have to have a biography of a person: we can simply have an article about them.
Tyrenius 06:40, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Alf's idea

Alf's idea of "biographical notes" seems to be gathering some support. I think it merits further discussion (maybe promotion into guideline/policy?) I'll quote what he says: [biographical articles] are treated as information about a person, not as his/her life-story (which biography entails). It may sound semantic but it reduces the pressure about getting every aspect of a persons life. Relevant in such a case is only what can be printed without getting into conflict with libel laws- this is a radical departure on what a wikibiography currently is, but I do think that this kind of article will serve the purposes of the encyclopedia better, at very least for living persons. Borisblue 12:50, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I am afraid that the subtlety is lost on me. What could NOT do into an article that WOULD go into a biography? David Spart 13:04, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
nothing, but we would not have to include everything irrelevant without someone screaming expand, we put it in if it is notable AlfPhotoman 13:12, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

We should indicate to readers as well as writers that this is not a rounded biography and therefore do not jump to conclusions about ommissions. Let me quote from Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons/Archive 5#"Biographies of living persons for deletion" (BLPfD) policy proposal:

"BLPfd Comments section 2 I don't have enough history with, interest in, or support for this project to lend any credibility to a vote I might make here, but I can share a comment. My comment relates more to the narrative task of writing bios than to the administrative obligations related to publishing biographies, but evidence of insufficient substance to produce useful narrative might be relevant to a policy discussion. Looking at the complete message, my comment is a bit of an essay, but I hope it is useful. In short, some of the "BLPs" on little known figures aren't bios at all; they are collections of facts that have strayed into the public arena. Wikipedia follows two standards that make production of bios on little-known living persons exceptionally difficult, if not impossible. One is the rejection of "original research". The other is similar; it requires citations from reputable publications. A biography is not simply an account of a person's public life. A biography is a well-rounded account of a person’s life that hopefully lends some insight into the influences behind a person's public activities, or reveals profound meanings from their personal activities. A news story about Ted Bundy, for example, (fair subject because he's a public figure and deceased) might start with his murders and end with his execution. A biography of Bundy would tell us what childhood influences might relate to his adult activities, or at least reveal a stark contrast.In the absence of interviews with the subject, or with acquaintances of a subject, we can never produce well-rounded bios. Public figures have usually been the subject of numerous biographical interviews. Less "notable" private persons, who might be quasi-public figures in specific news topics, often or usually have not been exposed in personal interviews. The result, as I stated in my premise, is not a biography, but a collection of published facts.Wikipedia doesn't systematically call these articles biographies. The articles seem to become "BLPs" in discussion, but in the main space, they are just articles. Their content sometimes tends to expand from a collection of published facts into what appears to be a biography. The result is a false impression about that person's life -- an apparent biography that is instead a collection of summarized news clips under a heading that seems to indicate a bio. The difference in that and the actual news clippings is the clippings are archived in a context that indicates they were the news of the time, but not that they are the predominate facts of a person's life. If a person searches "John Doe" in an online news archive, they can know all the results with old dates are old news, not in the context of either current events and usually not in the context of the person's entire life history. We can discern from the narrative of the articles whether they were intended to explain particular events or whether they were composed as a personality profile. In the original context, discernment is possible. Compiled out of context, a collection of summarized news clips can appear to be a biography.From the numerous biographical articles of little-known persons I've read in this collection, I've found no compelling reason (aside from general, widespread and overwhelming concerns about the efficacy of such exceptionally loose editorial management as Wikipedia seems to advocate) to reject publication of these articles except that the no-original-research bans exactly what any responsible biographer, nay, any responsible writer would do. Contrary to ethical guidelines of most biographical publishers, subjects of Wikipedia articles aren't routinely contacted about contents of articles that claim to describe their activities. I find nothing in Wikipedia guidelines or policies that prohibits such contact, but a general arms-length attitude toward subjects and sources implied by no-original-research suggests a Wikipedia bio need not be believable to its subject if it can be documented with other published sources. That doesn't fly with me, but that's not my point. If people want to write poor narrative and no one says they are personally hurt, our critique would usually be toward the general quality of the narrative, and not about the negative impact on the subject. My point, in the context of responding to the above proposal, is that when subjects of biographical articles contact Wikipedia to complain about a bio, they might not be prepared to expose the differences between an actual biography and a user-generated collection of news accounts, but they can be negatively impacted all the same. Their ire might or might not be well articulated.The least Wikipedia can do is to recognize that these collections of news items about little known persons are not biographies. As such the introductory sentence "John Doe is..." often has little comprehensive meaning and can easily misinform people who John Doe is. John Doe might in fact be the man who streaked naked through a televised college football game, but that one fact about John doesn't tell us much. It's certainly not the story of his life. If John contacts someone from Wikipedia and says "look, off the record, I was recently divorced and running with some old buddies from my alma mater, but that was 15 years ago. Now I'm the candidate for CFO at a major firm. Could you please at least remove that fact from an article under my name and place it in an article about "streaking" or "Streaking at College Football Games"?There is no reason other than stubbornness I can imagine to deny John's request. There might or might not be legal reasons to honor his request. The reasons offered in the policy trial balloon above primarily consider the impact on the subject of the bio, but the impact on public appreciation of narrative is also worth considering. If as some suggest, Wikipedia can serve as an alternative text book, degradation of standards in Wikipedia could have a cumulative effect if collections of news items became widely considered tantamount to biographies written by professionals trained to expose the psychological, social and cultural influences that shaped a person. It seems the core question is whether Wikipedia wants to campaign for a cause, which would be the right or privilege to publish anything that can be remotely construed as factual regardless its value to any meaningful narrative, or whether Wikipedia wants to produce meaningful narrative. In summary, there are humane reasons to heed the advice of little-known subjects when publishing biographies, there might be legal reasons not to misrepresent narrow slices of their lives as comprehensive accounts and there are definitely reasons related to the integrity of knowledge.Jill Hemphill 21:38, 27 December 2006 (UTC)" - - - - - WAS 4.250 14:27, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Suggested revisions for "Creative professionals"



  • The person is known for originating a significant new concept, theory or idea.

"Originating" + "new" = tautology.
Tyrenius 02:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Repeated definition


  • The person is known for originating a significant new concept, theory or idea.
  • The person has created a significant or well-known work, or collective body of work, which has been the subject of multiple independent works, reviews, or documentaries.

The first clause is redundant as it is contained within the meaning of the second, so it should be deleted.
Tyrenius 02:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

There's a different issue here too. It should include engineers etc but the wording is aimed towards the theoretical. Tidying that might help make the two parts distinct: a one-off "invention" by the subject (used in work by others); and substantial work produced by the subject. How about:
  • The person created a significant concept, theory, application or process that has been widely adopted.
  • The person created a significant or well-known work, or collective body of work, which has been the subject of multiple independent works, reviews, or documentaries. --Mereda 08:03, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Person as part of a school

A person can often be notable because they are part of a significant group or development, the study of which would be incomplete without them, although they are not themselves the leading light or originator. Their status is boosted by association. They may not be the subject of multiple dedicated works, but they are mentioned multiple times in surveys of the group or development. One might say minor or lesser notability, but notability nonetheless. I suggest adding a clause:

  • The person has an integral and recognised position within a significant group or school of work.

Tyrenius 02:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Asking for trouble! Even a lot of 1-line mentions doesn't make a decent article. I'd leave it instead to a case-by-case look at whether there are any sources in sufficient depth. Mereda 08:08, 7 March 2007 (UTC)



  • The person has received a notable award or honor, or has been often nominated for them.

If the award is significant enough, then merely one nomination can bestow notability (e.g. the Turner Prize). I suggest:

  • The person has received a notable award or honour, or has achieved a high level of prominence through nomination, shortlisting or being placed.

Tyrenius 02:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

No need for any more supposed "exemptions". People (or anything) are notable or not for one reason and one alone-there's enough secondary source material on them, or there's not. No awards, group membership, or anything else matters. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 02:21, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
You seem to be suggesting that the whole of the "Special cases" section should be deleted. My suggestions do not significantly add to that section (1 clause deleted, 1 added = net gain 0). There is a desire to have this section accommodate what is currently being proposd under Wikipedia:Notability (artists). I believe the tweaks will help to accomplish that. You are mistaken if you think that the clauses in this section are "exemptions". It states clearly at the top of the section that they are useful pointers and that the main notability criteria still apply. If we are going to have a "Special cases" section (and there has always been something that fulfils this) then it should be as useful as possible. Tyrenius 03:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest shortening this to "The person has received a notable award or honor." The other cases would get through under other guidelines on multiple references/nominations, especially if nominated by their peers. Mereda 08:11, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Change "their" field to "a" field?

Currently the page states: The person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field. A person doesn't necessarily have to be involved in a specific field of pursuit to contribute a historical record in it. As an example, I'll cite a notable event in baseball. I should warn you I don't follow baseball, so I may have the team/cities mixed up. A few years ago a fan caught a baseball which could have been caught by a player in an important game. I think it was in Chicago and had the fan allowed the player to catch the ball it would have been an out for the Cubs. Because the fan caught it, the hit became a home run instead and the Cubs went on to lose. I apologize if I mangled the specific baseball data, but the point is the fan wasn't in the field of professional baseball, but he affected the history of it. Since it is possible for an outsider to affect historical events, I propose changing the guideline to read: The person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in a specific field. Anynobody 07:38, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for deleting BLPs

FYI for those here who haven't seen it yet: Wikipedia:BLP courtesy deletion was posted recently (not by me) as a proposed policy or guideline. Your comments are appreciated. I know some of you have commented on similar proposals already and I hope those commets are taken in consideration in deciding whether the proposal is approved. Kla'quot 19:42, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Including alleged Nobel Peace Prize nominations in bios

Discussion moved to here from Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive. Doug Bell talk 22:22, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Relocated to Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)/nobel - there is too much to dump into this talk page, in the middle of other issues. --Kevin Murray 23:40, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


Any thoughts on notability criteria for diplomats? For example, List of Ambassadors to Canada currently links to every ambassador by name. Are they all notable, and if not, how do we pick out the ones who are? Jpatokal 17:16, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

simple, those whose notability is confirmed by several non-trivial second person references. Right now we have members of governments being automatically notable, not ambassadors. So the references of notability would not be that they are an ambassador but that they are ambassadors who are notable for something besides doing their jobs, or for doing a job above and beyond their duties (i.e. saying publicly that their government is fabricating evidence against another state) AlfPhotoman 17:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Articles on Wikipedians

I added the following just now:

Articles on Wikipedians

Some Wikipedians have articles on them, as seen on Wikipedians with articles. Their status as Wikipedians in and of itself has neither a positive or negative affect on their notability, regardless of whether they were Wikipedians before or after their articles were created (note: WP:COI and WP:VAIN still have bearing on their editing their own articles). If a Wikipedian meets other normal standards for inclusion, such as WP:BIO above, WP:ATT, WP:RS, and WP:V, their status as former, current, or future Wikipedians (editors, administrators, etc.) shall have no bearing on the inclusion nor the deletion of the article in and of itself; all articles, even these to avoid internal Wikipedia conflict of interests, will be judged solely by the applicable policies of notability and inclusion.

Please review... thanks. I think this simple statement that the status "as a Wikipedian has no bearing" on anything would help to eliminate a whole mess of problems. - Denny 19:24, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I second that, but I would add that the fact that they are Wikipedians should only be added in the article if it has any bearing on the notability of the person. If it is irrelevant information it should be omitted AlfPhotoman 19:27, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
If RS mention it, and it's V and ATTable, why exclude it arbitrarly? just curious. - Denny 19:28, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Then it is part of the notability of the person and is not in excluded, note the part about irrelevant information AlfPhotoman 19:42, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, it can be case by case, no legitimate reason to blanket exclude it. The main point is that the Essjay thing seems that many want it (the article) gone to protect a Wikipedian... I can 100% get behind that, but doing it feels wrong still. Why should we get special protections against our own actions being documented if they're notable (for better or worse)? If John Howard James Smith, who edits/admins on WP, becomes US President... cool. The fact he edits gives him no special bearing on the ultimate outcome of the article. If John Howard James Smith, who edits/admins on WP, becomes revealed as a notable serial killer... the fact he edits gives him no special bearing on the ultimate outcome of the article. Ditto for if he gains fame/notability BECAUSE he edits on WP. Circular, sure... but so what? Wikipedia is notable, it makes sense that notability flows both ways. Sanger and Wales are only notable initially because of WP, same as the others like Angela. My point is to just make it that being a user here doesn't give us any special rights/benefits vs. non-users. If Essjay were an editor on another huge encyclopedia, there wouldn't be nearly as much outcry, of if he were a journalist, say... - Denny 19:51, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
The question is more : Is it relevant? If John Howard James Smith became president due to his editing Wikipedia it is. If not it is not. And if John Howard James Smith becomes a serial killer it is only relevant if he went on a rampage due to editing Wikipedia. I think lot of the buzz of Wikipedia not being reliable is that we have articles with too much irrelevant information. And much of that irrelevant information is not even attributable AlfPhotoman 20:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Is this really needed in the general notability guideline for people (it's a very very specific case)? It's essentially saying the obvious: that we try still to judge objectively on the notability issues pertaining to Wikipedia. If people think that that's not true, then challenge their comments, but this is giving undue weight in the guideline to something which is almost never an issue. Trebor 19:54, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I can merge it into another section, but given that any person with a biography can register an account in 5 seconds and begin editing, it's probably overdue. what if someone is unhappy with their article, and registers? It's a safety measure that doesn't hurt to have there and protects against and hopefully limits abuses like seen in the Essjay mess (which will happen again surely as the project groups right?). - Denny 19:58, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
How often does this issue come up? Compared to the number of deletion debates that reference this guideline, the number to do with Wikipedians is minute. Although the current situation makes discussion of articles on Wikpiedians seem important, I'm not sure that there's much of a problem with this in general. Trebor 20:39, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

"Multiple non-trivial publications" and priority of criteria

I would like to suggest that the "Multiple non-trivial publications" criteria not necessarily be taken as the be all and end all of what constitutes notability. I think having RS in multiple non-trivial publications which are indept of the subject, etc, definitely needs to be a prerequisite, but is not really sufficient. I think the more specific criteria such as the sports criteria, WP:MUSIC, WP:PROF should take priority, as they measure notability in "skill" and "achievement" more accurately than simple media coverage.

  • Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Keeley Dorsey
    • Does not meet the criteria for a sportsman, but becomes notable because he died due to a heart attack. Many people cited WP:BIO and caused the article to be kept because of the heart attack, and not the sport guideline.

This generates a conundrum where a person who is "lucky" can get newspaper articles because of something that the newspaper deems to be "interesting", whereas a person who is verifiably more decorated (in terms of sporting statistics, may not be noticed and not get an article).

  • A guy who plays in the C-grade of suburban cricket in South Australia made the newspapers because he took two hat tricks in one match. Basically, this guy now meets the "multiple non trivial publications" criteria because he was involved in a piece of trivia at a social level of cricket. In contrast, a player who is on a contract with Southern Redbacks, and is three tiers of competition above C-grade, is not.
  • Similarly, at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Keeley Dorsey, when I pointed out that the given clause would give me a right to an article as well, for having won some science competition at high school and getting in the papers, User:W.marsh contended that it "passes", although I do not come remotely close to passing the Professor Test. In effect, kids who win get in the newspapers for winning competitions or getting "perfect scores" in high school exams, will pass WP:BIO because they were covered in juicy and interesting "human interest" stories, whereas university researchers who have published 10 papers but do not meet the professor test, will not meet WP:BIO because the tabloids do not find their complicated work, eg Yang-Baxter equation to be accessible to the public or conducive to a "human interest story".
  • to be frank about the human interest issue, in my case, the newspaper guy decided to use a stupid pun for his headline, so he took the word Test - not in the context of an academic exam but in the context of Test cricket and proceeded to ask me even sillier questions about how I stopped playing competitive cricket after primary school and focused on studying instead, so that he could make a silly "human interest" story. He even asked me who my favourite cricketer was. Now seeing as this counts as a valid source, I would technically be eligible for an article under....
  • Blnguyen (born ....) is an Australian university student who won Science Olympiad competitions while in high school. He is also a former cricketer, who represented his primary school at U-13 level.......his favourite player is Mark Waugh.....
  • This is why I feel that WP:BIO needs to be changed so that proper quantitative yardsticks of merit and notability take precedence over simply having media coverage. Otherwise, people like Keeley Dorsey, YellowMonkey, random kids who got top marks in senior high school exams, car crash victims, sportspeople who did flukes in social sport, etc............will be judged as more deserving of an article than people who are on the cusp of sporting merit, or people who have been doing research for 20+ years and actually contributed new knowledge to the world, but didn't get picked up by a tabloid because it is too complicated for a sensationalist human interest story. Otherwise WP will end up as a random hodgepodge of useless newspaper articles about nothing serious and useless people. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 05:38, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, and it goes in both directions. Web-related things or events or people that we all recognize as N are being deleted on the grounds that they dont have references that fit into the mold. There is such a thing as notable encyclopedia-worthy, and this is the main factor. Having decided that it is worth an article, we then need to look in the cooperative--not antagonistic--process of a wiki to find the sources. . We just need enough of a source to show that it is likely to be worth the trouble. I recognize this is exactly the opposite of the present trend in this discussion, but the present trend will take us to being an encyclopedia of whatever has the most ghits. DGG 06:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but we need sources....are you saying we should include things which don't have proper sources because there is a *buzz* about them at the ground level of the internet? I don't really understand. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:08, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
There are lots of sources around if something is notable and not all on the net. Has someone ever considered moving his bulk to the next public library? We should remember that: not everything on the net IS, and not everything that IS is on the net AlfPhotoman 12:18, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
As in in "the professor test" sports guidelines should take precedent over merely having newspaper articles which are sometimes no more that 15 minutes of fame or infamy as it were.--– Dakota 06:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The guidelines should clarify that 15 minutes of fame , i.e. the one time event that was neither intended that way, or happened by coincidence, does not establish notability even if the event is notable. AlfPhotoman 12:14, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
WP:NOTNEWS would, if accepted by the community, sort out most of the situations where the only source of "notability" is based on a few news articles and the average person's 15 minutes of fame. Rossami (talk) 23:58, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
This is already covered in Primary Criterion:
The depth of coverage of the subject by the source must be considered. If the depth of coverage is not substantial, then multiple independent sources should be cited to establish notability.
It can be tweaked, but the less words and the less rules to cover the greatest ground, the better.
Tyrenius 04:27, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Irrelevant content

The more I look at all these discussion the more I am convinced that one of the problems lies in having too much irrelevant content in articles.

If we agree that the articles should be based on notability then we should also say that we should not include irrelevancies. The guidelines should specify that content not relevant to the subjects notability should be removed.

Just put on my helmet...

AlfPhotoman 17:53, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't work. When a subject is notable, then other aspects of their life become of relevance, and the greater the notability, the more aspects come under the spotlight. But I do think there's a sliding scale here. Tyrenius 02:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Then let me ask you this, we have a person notable for singing, why is it necessary to go into the details of her dress that she wore while breaking her toenail while jogging? This stuff is irrelevant and wont even make a footnote in two years time. We are trying to make something by which people can inform themselves, which is the original idea of an encyclopedia. Overinformation leads to the same as disinformation at the end of the day AlfPhotoman 14:30, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Common sense

I detect a desire for rules, but we're not making rules: we're giving guidelines, and guidelines can only work through the common sense of those using them. We have to have trust in that common sense. Some things are always going to slip through, which perhaps shouldn't, but that's the nature of a project like this. My observations of AfDs, in particular those which have been listed on Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Visual arts of late, is that things are working reasonably well, in fact on the Visual arts AfDs very well. Can anyone point to major bad trends which need to be corrected, as opposed to isolated examples or ways that terminology can be interpreted in worst case scenarios? Tyrenius 02:42, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Religious folk are often hard to keep, for lack of reliable sources that people will accept. Victor Shepherd(Afd) and Leo A. Soriano(Afd) were two cases that I had problems demonstrating notability for. John Vandenberg 07:06, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Those cases were a little different--Dr. Shepherd was also a professor of religion, and there was a tendency to ignore that; Dr. Soriano was a church administrator, and there was in that case a clear lack of standards. (Unless one were to adopt the extreme position that all bishops are notable--I say extreme because some denominations use the title very expansively as compared to others). But they both reflect a current tendency to show a certain amount of prejudice against academic in general, especially those not in the sciences-- as well as the tendency not to consider religious folk quite as seriously as football players.
The discussion was cast partially in terms of the validity of the sources involved. There is apparently a movement to disregard the customary standards of N and recast them as merely standards of RS(sorry, I mean ATT) but in practice in comes to the same thing.
There are also problems in some scientific fields. A prominent academic mathematician observed the other day that he considered very few of the UK full professors of mathematics to be notable, including himself. This is a considerably higher bar than used elsewhere.
Another real problem area is businessmen. Unless one judges in terms of the money they've made, there do not seem to be be objective criteria. This has not been very prominent only because most such bios are rejected as self-advertising) DGG 08:18, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
IMO businessmen should be roughly equated with military personnel; high ranks in important companies make a person notable, and careful BLP stubs should be fine. John Vandenberg 09:32, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Can anyone point to major bad trends which need to be corrected -- Yes, (more or less discreet) vanity and self-promotion, or "conflict of interest" as they're euphemistically termed these days. The perps claim that they're article-worthy and that the articles aren't vanity or promotional as they're not worded like adverts; however, the mere fact that these obscurities are pumped up to be worthy of encyclopedia articles strikes some people as advertising, as does the brandishing of humdrum "awards" and feeble (but verifiable!) "references". Of course some people who indubitably deserve articles end up writing them themselves (e.g. Bill Owens, but they're rare. -- Hoary 09:05, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Amen to that. I dont think that people need to write articles on themselves, ever. If the person thinks they meet our criteria, I would prefer they sorted out the sources at WP:RA and let someone else write the article. Richard Shaw Brown is one of the worst cases I have seen recently. The edit history (275 edits since it was created on 19 December 2006) is almost entirely written by the subject or IPs; the article is constantly appearing on my radar but the contributor is using sources I cant prove or disprove. John Vandenberg 09:32, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Like, wow, cosmic and astral, baby! That's quite some article. It has a certain comedy value (presumably unintended). Or then again it might all be a hoax; somehow, like you, I lack the energy to check. Yes, nobody should write an article on him- or herself. But the sad fact is that even now a lot of people are genuinely notable (as opposed to some bogus, Paris Hilton sort of celebrity). Eugene Richards fer chrissakes: Eugene Richards, red link (as of now). Any one of his books is worth infinitely more than the entire, assiduously written up, oeuvre of -- uh-oh, I mustn't breach "NPA". -- Hoary 10:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to switch the theme slightly, but I think that the concept of automatic notability is slightly flawed. The other day we had an AfD about a Norwegian government minister about whom the maximum of sources available is that he in fact sat for two years on a minister's chair. As the article itself consisted of two lines I decided to get some information and found searching that the article had already exhausted all available information. I Skype a friend in Oslo, who has access to a large newspaper's archives, and he finds an article about the swearing-in ceremony and besides that nothing, not even - as he put it - a one-incher that the guy inaugurated a public pissoir during his tenure. We still want to keep him because he is automatically notable... does that make sense? (Footnote of irony: the Norwegian Wikipedia does not have an article about him) AlfPhotoman 14:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Can you point me to the Afd ? John Vandenberg 23:19, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Aasulv Olsen Bryggesaa AlfPhotoman 23:30, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
While that's absurd, automatic notability isn't the problem. The problem is people who treat notability as the sole criteria for inclusion, which it is not. -Amarkov moo! 14:50, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
(without seeing the case you mention Alf ... I'll blunder on) IMO, a placeholder article for a person should be kept if the position they hold is usually notable. In this case, my magic line in the sand for automatic inclusion would be if the minister had a portfolio. This should be acceptable even if there is only one source. The reason is this: one person may only have one source, but another person may only have a different source; the result of this is that neither can start the article even though collaboratively they would have two sources. Also, for positions that are normally notable, we usually have succession boxes that can be placed on the article to "build the web" and let the reader follow the path. More information on ministers can usually be obtained by way of FOI requests. John Vandenberg 23:19, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Exhibitions again

(a continuation of "Exhibitions", above)

Let's consider photographers, which doesn't just happen to be my main area of interest here but is also a particularly worrisome category of person, as just about anybody can point an auto-everything camera at something, press a button, and have technically competent prints made -- even on occasion pleasing prints. You can't say anything remotely analogous for unschooled/unpractised skills in, say, architecture, pole-vaulting, journalism, or philosophy.

22 February:

Published authors, editors and photographers who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work.

Note that there's no insistence on public display. The independent reviews could be of book publication.

7 March, probably the most pertinent criteria:

The person has created a significant or well-known work, or collective body of work, which has been the subject of multiple independent works, reviews, or documentaries.
The person's work is or has been displayed in notable museums or exhibitions, or as a recognised monument.

For the latter, what's "notable"?

8 March, the former criterion is unchanged and the latter becomes:

The person's work either (a) has been displayed in a solo exhibition or as a monument and won considerable critical attention, or (b) is represented within the permanent collection of a major art gallery or museum of more than local significance.

Later on 8 March, this criterion becomes:

The person's work either (a) has been displayed in a significant exhibition or as a monument (b) has won significant critical attention, or (c) is represented within the permanent collection of a significant gallery or museum of more than local significance.

First, I must say that this seems hurriedly and (at a stylistic level) poorly rewritten. But I don't want to dwell on that; rather, I have various beefs with what (I think) it says.

The substantive changes have been explained to me amicably on my own talk page, and I am neither happy with the version that preceded it nor in a mood for an edit war, so I don't relish saying that I don't like it. But I don't like it.

1. To go from a solo exhibition to display within any exhibition is a major dilution. Huge numbers of people can and do get exhibited within joint exhibitions.

2. If I get my photos of "Old Podunk" displayed in the Podunk Historical Museum, then that's a significant exhibition in what is a significant venue for Podunk. It's most unlikely to be significant to people elsewhere. But it could be: my photos may be as revealing about Podunk as "Wisconsin Death Trip" was for Wisconsin or Inha's work was for east Karelia. Fine, then where's the significant critical attention to prove it? (There's a reason why what are now (a) and (b) were previously joined.)

I'd welcome reconsideration by the rewriter (I'm avoiding names here as I really don't want to make this any more "personal" than is necessary) and/or by third parties. -- Hoary 04:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

    • There's no mystery here. I'm the villain and poor writer. It seems that the salient concerns are over: (1) "solo" and (2) vagaries caused by my pruning. I think that item 2 would benefit from some rewrite work, as neither of us we’re yet on target. My concern with "solo" was that it was overly simplistic not considering cumulative notability from inclusion in important collections etc. I sincerely think that we are honing in on something really good collectively and I do not see an edit war so much as productive collaboration. Cheers! --Kevin Murray 14:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

How about this:

"The person's work has been a prominent feature in an: exhibition, permanent collection, or monument which has received significant critical attention." --Kevin Murray 14:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Hm. What matters is significant secondary attention. That comes first - and it doesn't need repeating again in this bullet. The point here is that there are special issues about evidence of secondary attention (like record sales for musicians) that aren't in a conventional published form. For visual artists (famously self-promoting as they are) evidence of secondary attention includes selection for a significant non-commercial collection or exhibition. That matters, partly as immediate evidence of a critical judgement of their work, and partly because it makes them part of the enduring record inviting future publications about them. So I'd suggest refocusing this particular bullet as -
"The person's work has been selected as a prominent or permanent element of a significant exhibition that is likely to be part of the enduring historical record in their specific field."
That means, er, that Podunk's favourite documentary photographer could be eligible; just like a lot of other artists around the world who are well-recognised in a specific field. But it should make it harder for self-promoting artists whose work is undistinguished and unreviewed. Mereda 17:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
and before it gets out of hand: we tried to get the guidelines so that not every artist at the lower fringe of notability would get in on a piece of self-projecting AlfPhotoman 17:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't like that; "notable" etc beg enough questions without bringing in "prominent ... element". What is a "permanent element of a significant exhibition"? we are using exhibition in the normal sense, yes? I do like the enduring... bit, but on the whole I think Kevin M's is better. On this, as I have said elsewhere, remember the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition shows work by about 500 living artists every year. Of course many are prominently displayed & many not at all, but how on earth do you decide which is which. Each year the exhibition receives considerable critical attention, but most works don't. Every exhibition has hits and misses. It would I think be better to switch the critical attention criterion from the exhibition to the actual work(s). For well publicised shows (in big English-speaking cities) one can reasonably just Google the reviews, but this won't work well for English WP in other places. But at least we won't have to work out how prominent they were, back in Bucharest in 1996. Johnbod 02:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the RA summer exhibition is an extreme example of the kind of thing I was worrying about. I strongly suggest rewording this criterion in such a way as to render even the most noteworthy participation in something like that as not sufficient reason for an article. I'll accept that this year's exhibition may turn up somebody who will receive loads of praise and be pointed to as the next Hockney (or Brueghel or Kiefer or [groan] Basquiat or Koons). Fine, and the praise may well be justified. But if this is more than merely the most transitory hype, this person will pretty soon get a solo exhibition or a book or similar, and the WP article can wait until that happens. Meanwhile: that is likely to be part of the enduring historical record in their specific field -- I agree with the sentiment behind that, but it immediately raises various questions, among them that of how one can judge the likeliness that work will "be part of the enduring historical record". One way in which work will be part of this record is for book-length collections of it to be published by the kind of publishers (and this excludes vanity presses) whose publications are bought, shelved and (in principle) retained by major libraries. If I may move back to photographers, I think that just about every photographer since half a century ago who's worth WP's attention has got at least one book to him/herself or (very likely because of a particularly strong news photograph) is very obviously notable in some other way. Mere participation in a [temporary] exhibition doesn't hack it. This will eliminate a lot of hopefuls in their twenties, some of whom deserve the book publications (etc.) that they haven't yet got. Well, tough: WP isn't MySpace or a PR agency. -- Hoary 05:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm still thinking that selection for some kinds of temporary exhibition is an important indicator. My example would be national representation, when 4 artists were selected to represent Wales at the Venice Biennale in 2003[3]. Of the 4, Paul Seawright, Bethan Huws and Cerith Wyn Evans currently have articles in 2007. I'm aware that Simon Pope has since had a reviewed 2006 solo exhibition of an empty room [4] and [5]. If we pretend the clock stopped before 2006 (being morbid, say Simon Pope's plane crashed coming back from Venice) what's the answer and why?? Similarly for other artists around the world selected to represent their country. I'd say an artist like that is likely to be a (small) part of the enduring historical record of their country's art. Mereda 08:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I chose one of those three blue-linked artists at random and clicked on his/her link. It told me that the artist clearly qualified, quite independently of the Venice Biennale. I don't want to talk about those people; and yes, this fictionalizing of Pope isn't so pleasant. Let's suppose, then, that a fifth Welsh artist went there and died on the flight home. And let's suppose that her work got good mentions within newspaper articles about the Biennale. If that's the extent of it, I'd say: No article. If a major art magazine later puts out a ten-page article on the all-too-brief life and career of this artist, I perk up: I'm not automatically in favor of an article but I'm very willing to consider it. And if a book later emerges -- a book from a non-vanity publisher -- then fine, let her in. Ditto if she wins space in a book with moderately broad coverage: not A Thousand Welsh Artists at the Turn of the Millennium but Forty Artists under Forty. Participation in the Biennale might help; by itself, it's not sufficient. ¶ Most young artists don't die. They keep on working, they gain more recognition -- and then of course they can get an article. But WP doesn't have to note anything and everything that gets mentioned in newspapers' art pages. For that, you have the newspapers, and the considerable publicity efforts of the artists themselves, efforts that I regret to see aimed at Wikipedia (it gets mirrored all over the place! it's free!) -- Hoary 08:54, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Hoary's argument here seems to be that only the primary criterion matters and that no special cases should be allowed, whether for musicians, athletes or artists. I disagree. My own approach is focusing on special cases for artists and others that make a subject likely, in rough parity with athletes etc etc. Being selected for the "national team" looks to me like an example of parity. What do others think? Mereda 10:25, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd generally agree with Mereda, but the "Royal Academy problem" if I may call it that, is how to define the exhibitions that count. The "dead Welsh artist" would probably get in in fact, since they would be so much press coverage about the tragic tale of talent nipped in the bud. I was looking at some YBA articles to see what light they shed on the chronology of breakthrough (with hindsight of course). Actually not much - few books are cited at all. My general impression is that the lag between achieving notability & getting an actual book written about you (or partly about you) may be too long. Magazines are of course much quicker, but then again we are back at how to decide what coverage where is significant. Johnbod 13:12, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Two points. First, what is under discussion is to create guidelines that account for the majority of cases that are likely to arise. There will, of course, be exceptions - people who don't easily fit into the framework that we establish - by their very nature, exceptions cannot be accounted for in the general guidelines but must instead be dealt with case by case. Second, I think the main issue isn't the venue of the production of a person, but the nature of the critical response that work receives. It seems that most of the comments here are hovering above this issue without firmly setting down on it (so to speak). A person is notable if their work has received in-depth, analytical and serious critical attention. Such might be found in a magazine article, a web page, a scholarly reference work, a newspaper article, etc. The work may have appeared in a solo or group exhibition, it may be part of a public or private collection, it may have been published (in a book, on the web, etc.), or it may have been buried under the scree of the lower slopes of Mt. Logan. There's a loose correlation between the site of a review and the seriousness of a review, so it is very unlikely that the sort of "arts round-up" coverage that appears on local news shows at 6pm will provide enough valuable critical response to support a person's inclusion in Wikipedia... but it isn't impossible. Also, there are occasions when a person's work is only important because of the circumstances of its creation (e.g. Abraham Zapruder's amateur filmography), and critical response is irrelevant. But I don't think there's any way to elaborate guidelines for such exceptions except to say that a person is notable if they have made a mark on history... Pretty vague, but again, how can it be more definitive. No one would have cared about Zapruder's home movies if he hadn't had a camera in downtown Dallas on 22 November 1963. A different example is Pierre Rossier, a 19th century photographer whose images are virtually impossible to find and have never been critically appraised in anything but a passing manner, but whose notability derives from his importance as the first professional photographer in China and Japan and as the first competent instructor of photography in Japan. To distill, would it be fair to say that notability depends on a person's activities receiving in-depth, serious and analytical critical attention and/or who has a historical importance beyond that of their cultural (or other) production? Pinkville 15:01, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Editing clash. What I'd written before I saw Pinkville's comment: No, I don't think that only the primary criterion matters, I don't say that no special cases should be allowed, and I'm not talking about musicians or athletes. I'm talking about artists, and more particularly photographers. I vaguely remember that the very widely reproduced Vietnam war photo of the kids running down a road towards the photographer, the central figure being a naked girl hit by napalm, is the work of a highly competent but otherwise unremarkable photographer (no solo exhibitions, no books). If I'm right here, that photo alone is reason for his inclusion. As for books, yes, fifty years ago it was hard to have a book of your photos published unless they were photos of something. (Thus rather than a book about a photographer's work on architecture and other things, you'd have a book about Cistercian architecture all photographed by one person.) Now it's pretty routine. Older photographers can be shown to be notable by virtue of having pages or articles devoted to them in such works as 20th Century Photography (Taschen) or The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (OUP). It's harder for photojournalists, as the market seems to encourage titillation, gimmickry and self-indulgence rather than no-nonsense reporting; still, a photojournalist can be shown to have contributed a lot of photos to various magazines through this or that agency. ¶ If I may turn to (non-photographic) art, and British artists, there are books about Grayson Perry, the Chapman brothers, Banksy, etc etc; other artists who aren't so "high concept" may have to wait a bit longer, but surely they win substantial articles, even book chapters -- a lot more than a handful of mentions in newspaper articles of their use of half of one wall within this or that exhibition somewhere. ¶ I like much of what Pinkville says. It might need a little tweaking though. [N]otability depends on a person's activities receiving in-depth, serious and analytical critical attention: OK, fine. [A]nd/or who has a historical importance beyond that of their cultural (or other) production. I don't quite follow this. Is it a catch-all for people like Rossier? But Rossier needs no catch-all/loophole: he would be notable as a teacher; the fact that he also took photos is a kind of bonus. -- Hoary 15:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
[Curiously, until I thought of Zapruder I had in mind Eddie Adams, photographer of the summary execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém... Our minds turn to the War on Vietnam...]. The catch-all was for people like Zapruder, not Rossier. But it's a very fledgling catch-all (to badly mix a metaphor). Pinkville 16:38, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
But if we want to include a catch-all we might leave everything as is... on the other hand both Zapruder and Rossier would get through WP:N without a hitch without the need of an artist's clause AlfPhotoman 16:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, skip the catch-all completely. Notability depends on a person's activities receiving in-depth, serious and analytical critical attention covers the issues/examples above, including Rossier. And Zapruder, as you suggest, is notable for "non-artistic" reasons. Pinkville 16:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Pinkville's formula is in effect already covered by WP:BIO. It may be this is the right way to go. I & many here clearly feel artists notability has special aspects, but the defining of them in ways that are relatively easily applicable by Wikipedians without much knowledge of the area is clearly tricky - maybe impossible without huge lists or complicated definitions. Johnbod 16:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's already covered by WP:BIO, but this also covers much else. WP:BIO still says that a person deserves an article if (not IFF) his or her work has been displayed in a significant exhibition, without even saying what a "significant exhibition" is. I submit that the (London) Royal Academy summer exhibition (mentioned above) is arguably significant, if only because every year various London newspapers take the trouble to point out what a stunning display of mediocrity it is. Of course, the WP article on it doesn't say this and instead treats this annual society event (and money-spinner for the RA) with the respect that it doesn't deserve. The article does imply that about a thousand people have their opuscules displayed in it every year: this seems likely to enable very large scale insertion of vanity conflict-of-interest articles. ¶ So would it be OK just to remove what's written about exhibitions? -- Hoary 23:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't realize how much of this stuff was in the currect draft of WP:BIO - I meant the old general formula of "multiple, independend publications" or whatever it was (as it was until ?2 weeks ago). I'm reluctant to say yes take it out, but I & others have been discussing this here & on the Notability (artists) page for a while & I'm coming to think the press notices of the exhibitions may be enough - ie the original general forula is ok. But what do others think? Johnbod 00:06, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it is enough. Almost every exhibition receives at least the one-incher in the Sunday supplement -- no matter how little notable. Then there are the exhibitions referenced in the social columns, mostly gossiping about who was there and what they wore. Only very few actually get a full treatment by a knowledgeable art critic, and then not even all those are notable. I hardly know an artist (no matter how little notable) that ever had expositions that could not bring a whole binder of press references. AlfPhotoman 00:46, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree absolutely - but the draft as it is now makes the criterion whether the exhibition was "significant". If we just went back to the old formula, it would require that the actual works of the artist in an exhibition notice had been discussed at a reasonable length, which would cut out all the fluff you mention. Johnbod 02:03, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Johnbod, I'm sorry but you've lost me. You say: I'm coming to think the press notices of the exhibitions may be enough - ie the original general [formula] is ok. But what do others think? By "press notices", I suppose you mean mentions in the press. If you're saying that one or two sentences about artist X in joint exhibition Y in publication Z -- even when Y and Z are respected -- are enough to establish article-worthiness, I strongly disagree. Also, which old formula is the one that you think is OK? If it's Published authors, editors and photographers who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work then that's fine with me in principle, though I'd reword it slightly: Published authors, editors, photographers and artists who have received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work. -- Hoary 05:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Add critical before reviews and that could work AlfPhotoman 12:06, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and made edits. Because they're not limited to exhibitions (whose criterion I've scrapped, as pretty much agreed to here), it seems better not to discuss them in this section. I therefore explained my edits in a new section below, "Creative professionals". Please look at that and warmly agree with -- uh sorry I mean critically evaluate and discuss my edits there. Thanks! Hoary 03:30, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


  • Since this is N(people) the first paragraphs should be worded to say "person" instead of "subject". If there are no objections I'll make the change.DGG 15:41, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
For my part do it, I find it Ok to say person subject of but hardly to say subject instead of person AlfPhotoman 15:46, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

"Independent of each other"

I have removed the phrase that sources must be "independent of each other". I agree that of course they should be independent of the subject of the article, but independent of each other ...? How do we even judge the independence of sources from each other? Are two books by separate authors published by the same publisher independent? Are two news outlets who share an individual on their board of directors independent? Are separate ministries/departments of a government independent? How close are we to Kevin Bacon? The "independent of the subject" criterion already (and rightly so) requires that biographical articles be sourced with information others have written about the person. I cannot see what benefit the "independent of each other" part brings. -- Black Falcon 22:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I have restored the clause. The independence under question is not financial or other forms of organizational independence (such as the shared board of directors example). This merely requires that the sources actually be distinct sources of information. It precludes the double-counting of an AP Wire story just because the story was printed in multiple papers. It precludes the double-counting of a primary source and a purely derivative work. In both those cases, the actual information traces back to a single source. They can not be used as confirmation of each other. Rossami (talk) 01:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. I most definitely support that meaning, but am changing "independent" to "distinct" in that case. Given the similarity with "independent of the subject", I feel it could lead to misunderstanding. Feel free to revert me if you think I'm wrong or to provide a better replacement to "distinct". -- Black Falcon 06:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I understand your concern. I had to revert that wording, though. "Distinct" will lead to greater misunderstandings. A purely derivative work is "distinct" from its parent. The contents are not identical. Yet the derivative work still adds nothing to the confirmation process. Intellectual "independence" is the only word I know to describe the principle we want. I'll keep thinking about it. Maybe there's a third word that could work better - or maybe your footnote would work but as a footnote confirming which degree of independence we mean... Rossami (talk) 14:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
As the issue is to avoid sources that simply reproduce the content of another source, how about replacing "independent of each other" with "distinct in content" and adding a footnote to clarify? So, it would read:

A topic is notable if it has been the subject of secondary sources that are reliable, independent of the subject and distinct in content.

The footnote would then further explain what is acceptable and what is not. -- Black Falcon 19:00, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
For me, "distinct in content" still carries the connotation that it's merely sufficient that the words be different in each version, not that the sources be intellectually independent of each other. If we're going to clarify in the footnote, I'd prefer to explain the current wording.
Before we do, let's get some other opinions. Anyone else out there? Which wording will minimize the chances of misunderstanding? Rossami (talk) 00:40, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I entirely understand. Could you give an example of a "purely derivative work" that is not "intellectually independent" from its parent, yet is also not identical in content? -- Black Falcon 05:11, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Certainly. Any encyclopedia article would work as an example. Encyclopedia articles are purely derivative of the source(s) from which they were written. They restate and summarize the writings of others. They bring no new knowledge to the conversation. If you have already cited the underlying work, citing the encyclopedia article does nothing to confirm (or refute) the claims made in that underlying work.
Another common example of a lack of independence would be a news story that begins "CNN reported today that ..." It is a derivative work of the CNN story even if it has been completely reworded. Likewise, two reporters writing stories based on the same press conference are still only writing based on one set of facts - one source of information. Rossami (talk) 22:27, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, that helps. Though I could in principle agree with the classification of the encyclopedia and CNN examples (however, only if the news story simply reiterates/summarises what was said in the CNN story), I most definitely do not agree with the third example. Two reporters writing stories on the same press conferences could write entirely different reports, where one lauds whoever is giving the conference as a saviour of humanity (with supporting arguments) and the other claims to have discovered the most recent incarnation of the span of the Devil. Same source of information; completely different intellectual works. As long as the reporters do not write based on each other, these are intellectually different works. In any case, the "independent of each other" wording should be changed as it's highly misleading and implies the same kind of independence as required by WP:SPS and WP:COI. I will attempt to devise an alternate phrasing that reflects the "independence" to which you refer. -- Black Falcon 02:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know why I hadn't noticed before, but you seem to have provided the perfect phrase: "intellectual independence". I have changed the wording to this and also added a detailed footnote explaining the concept (I tried to keep it concise, but informative). What do you think? -- Black Falcon 06:42, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

"Creative professionals"

In this edit, I've made this stuff more concise and slightly tightened it. I'll explain. (I recommend opening that diff in a separate window, and flipping between that and this.)

  • Nominations for certain awards are meaningful; for many awards, they're meaningless.
  • "A notable award or honor", singular, sounded weak, at least as long as "notable" isn't defined. Take the PSJ awards, for example. Its newcomer-of-the-year award is not unnotable; it's certainly a contributory reason for providing an article. But it's hardly a sufficient reason. (However, either of PSJ's two main awards of the year certainly is sufficient.)
  • "Significant expert" sounded odd in the context of creative professionals. (Perhaps the writer was thinking of something like watch repairers: thousands are experts, but few are significant experts.)
  • Peers to me suggests contemporaneity (though it doesn't mandate it). I thought "or successors" would help.
  • "Idea" sounded unnecessarily close to "concept". (I may have zapped the wrong one.) Adding "technique" seemed good for recognizing achievement as well as aspiration.
  • "Works" seemed to include "documentaries" and, at a bit of a stretch, "reviews" as well. I'm unimpressed by ten-minute "documentaries".
  • I've no idea what "the basis for respected curriculum" means, but suspect that its meaning is subsumed by one or more alternative criteria. The matter of citation has been moved up.
  • Exhibitions are problematic. See the discussion not far above on this talk page, in which it's pointed out that significant exhibitions will anyway generate reviews, which are dealt with in another criterion.

Hoary 03:26, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Notability : Separation of criteria for living and dead persons

From several deletion debates it appears that the criteria for dead people seems to be more robust. The problem with living persons is that many of the debated people articles are about people who seem to have a need for getting themselves listed as "notable" on wikipedia. These articles are typically about people who have their name in magazines and other publicity materials including vanity publications and websites. The incorporation of these articles about living person would only help in establishing "notability". There should be better guidelines especially for living persons. These articles by virtue of the living person biography guidelines further makes it tend towards hagiography. A vicious circle ! Shyamal 04:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

There currently exists a separate set of criteria fro WP:Biographies of living persons, the WP:BLP criteria. What do you think should be changed about them? Best, --Shirahadasha 04:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Because of libel laws and the resulting WP:BLB, the articles on living persons tend to be more hagiographic. And in numerous cases, this primarily serves to make people more notable than they are. This is especially true of people who have articles on wikipedia by virtue of being bloggers, company owners, software authors, vanity book authors or others in need of publicity. The notabilty criteria should make note that notable living persons should not have a need for "publicity". If such a need is perceived - then it should be considered as an explicit criterion for deletion (even if there is apparent proof of notability in the form of numerous Google hits). This can be relaxed for people who are retired or dead though. Shyamal 05:25, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean by a need for publicity? The current criteria seem to comparatively objective in character -- one either has appropriate reliable sources or not. How does one tell whether an individual needs publicity or not? Is there an objective way to tell this? Best, --Shirahadasha 06:42, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I was prompted to point this due to this Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rajan_Sankaran debate. I noticed that all the links were mostly self promotion. The books written are mostly vanity publications and none by noted publishers. The person apparently run clinics and is essentially in a livelihood that needs publicity. Many of the supporters of the article say that the person is notable. No-one seems to note that the person is in need of publicity and is therefore found on a large number of google links. I am not sure if there can ever be an objective criterion for notability, but think it has to be tightened and especially so for living persons. I also note that because of the many guidelines, administrators do not seem to have any consistent checklist of guidelines to follow. Sometimes this seems to be leading to the delivery of keeps for articles with commercial and self interests. Shyamal 06:58, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
To stress my point. Had this person been dead, I might consider a keep. So just as there are article guideline differences for living and dead, there should be notability guideline distinctions for living and dead people. Shyamal 07:04, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Could you provide an example of a living person who doesn't need publicity? Best, --Shirahadasha 07:32, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
What an extraordinary question. Do you need publicity? I certainly don't. But then either (a) I am not famous, or (b) I am famous but I don't want to blow my cover; and anyway you have no reason to believe what I say about myself. So let's take people who are famous (famous by my standards, not Fox News standards). The first one that pops into my head is, for some reason, Elliott Erwitt. He doesn't need publicity. -- Hoary 07:47, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. And here is a person who needs publicity - [6]. Obviously the administrators are lost and there should be a clear guideline when it comes to such articles as Rajan Sankaran Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rajan_Sankaran. Shyamal 01:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The primary criterion: Topics or people

The primary criterion currently begins as: "A topic is notable if it has been the subject of ...". Given that this is a notability guideline for people specifically, should it not read: "A person is notable if he or she has been the subject of ..."? I wanted to change this myself, but thought it best to see if there was a particular reason for writing "topic". -- Black Falcon 06:36, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Addition to Entertainers criterion

I'm unclear as to why this is restricted to people who have appeared in movies or on TV and not stage actors. I would like to add stage productions to this criterion unless there is some objection. Otto4711 03:50, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Politicians: Losing congressional candidates automatically notable?

Referring to the current deletion debate on Roy C. Strickland. A couple of editors have expressed the opinion that being a major party candidates for U.S. Congress should be sufficient for WP:N, win or lose. This sentiment is not currently reflected in the politician section of WP:BIO, however. Should the politician section WP:BIO be changed to allow for this? I see in the archives that the issue has been mentioned a few times before, and each time the sentiment expressed was that no, that should not be sufficient for notability. However, each time that sentiment was expressed by just an editor or two without any significant debate or input from a wide array of editors. So I'm wondering what people really think about the idea? Should WP:BIO be changed in that regard? What do other editors think?

Other current deletion debates which could be affected would include Doug Roulstone and Richard Wright. Mwelch 06:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Still no for all the reasons you found in the archives. Rossami (talk) 13:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Indeed, no. >Radiant< 13:45, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • No, unless there is something else causing notability. I even tend to say that even those who actually got into office, but did not achieve anything besides that are not automatically notable. Sitting on a chair popping gum is surely not. AlfPhotoman 15:21, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • If the individual has been the subject of multiple secondary sources then yes, they are notable. If not, I would argue that they are not notable. The same applies to elected candidates, although there are certain to be multiple secondary sources about them. -- Black Falcon 18:02, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
One worry I have about notability for politicians is that their local press will give them coverage out of proportion to their notability in the rest of the world, and then people will use those articles to establish notability. I'd suggest that press within the constituency of the politician shouldn't count for notability, as quite often being not truly independent. Additionally, there is a trade press for politicians - mostly aimed at lobbyists and bureaucrats - such papers don't really count for establishing notability, either. So if a losing candidate got lots of press outside their district, then I'd contend they're notable, but if the only papers which covered the candidate were the ones sold to the voters in that district, then I'd argue that the candidate is not notable. Αργυριου (talk) 18:15, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that tends to show they are notable. Why is out of district coverage required? DGG 06:05, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Argyriou, I strongly oppose such a criterion. It would require that public figures like politicians be subjected to a requirement that is much stricter than that for regular people. It stretches the definition of "independence" significantly beyond its normal and acceptable levels. Are US-based sources not "independent" of George Bush? Are sources from any of the countries in the so-called "Coalition of the Willing" not independent of the War in Iraq? What about the UN and its 192 member states? Unless a politician owns a newspaper, coverage from that source is independent. And, moreover, the existence of a "trade press for politicians" seems to be an indicator that they are considered "worthy of notice" in the real world. So politicians receive a lot of local coverage ... I cannot see why that should be reason to exclude them. -- Black Falcon 07:23, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with Black Falcon, I think, on that point. I'll admit that I'm not familiar enough with the political scene to know exactly what is being referred to by "trade press for politicians", so I'll withhold judgment on whether they should count. But just as far as regular local newspapers, I would count them so long as they are reputable enough that we would consider them WP:ATT-acceptable for other kinds of articles also. Mwelch 07:39, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Strictly for purposes of establishing notability, I think politicians ought to be judged by whether anyone outside their district/constituency cares about them. Does every candidate for city council in some metropolitan suburb of under 10,000 people deserve an article? How about the unsuccessful ones from 1980? 1960? They all will have multiple nontrivial articles in newspapers which they don't own. That's because local newspapers consider it their duty (at least in the U.S., though I suspect the same in most other countries with a free press) to cover all major candidates for every single political office. But five years down the road, if they didn't get elected, they don't matter.
So, in effect, I'm saying that for at least local politicians, local coverage is in effect, trivial. If a politician gets coverage outside their constituency, then they're notable. Notice that pretty much every head of state will be covered in multiple foreign sources, and many candidates for top national office will also get that sort of coverage, even for small, non-English-speaking countries.
Trade press for politicians: Things like Capitol Hill Blue, which are insider journals for the political class. If you aren't interested in the minutiae of politics, you can get all the political news you like from a paper which reprints the wire services. Αργυριου (talk) 22:16, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • 'My comment in an AfD was the one that started this discussion. I thought that I was non-controversially referring to the results of various AfDs that have been held over the last 3 or 4 months. (But I do not think there is any easy way of recovering them, as I didn't take notes. ) Coming new into these discussions, what appeared to me to be the principle was that the candidates of the US or Canadian or UK main parties for legislative seats were always held notable at the end, and that candidates from other parties (notably the "Greens"), sometimes were, depending often on their share of the vote. And it was always held that those who merely ran for a party's nomination and did not get it were not on that account notable. (Obviously this criterion is not applicable to multi-party systems or systems of proportionate representation). I thought it a convenient shorthand, for there were invariably newspaper and video accounts, of the election and almost always of their previous activities. An arbitrary simple rule of this sort can obviate many arguments. But of course we're not bound by that. If we think it better to debate each one independently, we certainly can choose to do so.
  • So they question then is whether the rule makes sense, and here is my argument that it does. For most groups of people, there is the general underlying idea that the top percentage group are notable, and the variation is in percentage by what criterion, and what is to be the level. (This is certainly the case in the much maligned PROF, where the standard--not always followed--is to be more notable than the average professor in the field.)
    To get to details, I would say that the top 10% of almost any group would be considered notable by everyone, or possible the top quartile--25%. or even 50%, like professors, if there weren't too many. Not as an axiom--as a rule of thumb--numerical guesstimates of this sort sometimes clarify things. In the US, how many professional politicians are there: certainly the legislators in each state, and mayors of even small cities, and similar people who devote most of their time to politics, though generally holding another profession as well. That's somewhere on the order of 10,000. (I suppose we could think of them as the fully professional leagues.) The number of people in the US congress at any one time are 440. Together with their opponents, this makes 880 people. That's just under 10%., and is a conservative selection. We will still need sources, of course--this isn't an excuse for lazy article-writing. Just my opinion--I'm not a fanatic about it. DGG 08:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Notability is supposed to reduce junk, not constrain scope. Multiple reliable non-trivial sources surely exist for the runner-up in any major election. Dhaluza 10:23, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Today, I suppose. But are we sure multiple, non-trivial secondary sources exist for a candidate who lost a non-urban area congressional election that was, despite their being a "major party" nomineee, practically uncontested because of how the district was drawn, back in 1972? Even with all the keep votes that the Roy C. Strickland article has gotten, no one has yet produced more than one such source (the BusinessWeek article, which has nothing to do with his congressional campaign) for him. As of now, everything in that article about his congressional campaign (ostensibly the main thing making him notable) is primary source and/or original research. Even if we can come up with some for Strickland in 1972, how about a similar campaigin in 1932? 1902? If all we're talking about is sources that adequately confirm that there was a person listed on the ballot under such-and-such a name, then perhaps yes, even that far back, we're still OK. But if we're talking about having a Wikipedia biography of the person, are we sure the sources needed for that are really going to be there? I'd expect that in cases like that, there will still be an issue with the sources not really being available. So for those cases, if no other, the question of whether having been a losing major party congressional nominee should be automatically (i.e in the absence of those sources--if the sources are there and cited, I don't think anyone is arguing it) satisfactory for WP:N still seems a relevent one. Mwelch 22:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
The runner-up in a local election is not generally notable unless they were unseated (in which case they are certainly notable in view of their prior position), or are notable in defeat. Of course, some senatorial candidates will be notable for some other reason. Chris cheese whine 10:51, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
    • DGG may have brought to light the fundamental disagreement about notability and biographies. On the surface, a 10% rule seems very plausible. And as was pointed out, the "average professor test" encourages that kind of thinking. But let's actually take that analysis to it's logical conclusion. Since everyone exists in one group or another, the top 10% of people would encourage some 600 million biographies just for people alive today. Wikipedia is not paper but every one of those articles has to be watchlisted, maintained and protected from subtle vandalism. Every one of those articles has to be researched for sources, verified and kept up to date. We don't and never will have the editorial resources to support that kind of rule. A rule about the top 1% is seriously pushing our capabilities - a top 0.1% might be more realistic.
      Making matters worse, everyone exists in multiple classes simultaneously (profession, hobby, gender, ethnicity, location, etc.). If you parse it far enough, everyone is in the top 10% of something. When applied universally, a top-10% rule becomes meaningless and provides no discrimination at all. Rossami (talk) 12:22, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
      • You are right. We will never be able to field articles on that many persons. However, I believe the issue to be a different one. How do we judge who's in the top 10% or the top 0.001%? The only way to do so semi-objectively and without delving into original research is to defer to what others have published. If that's just 6000 people, I think that's fine. If it's 60 million, that's also fine with me. We won't have to worry about the millions of biographies you note, because no one will ever create most of them. An X% rule can be useful for someone when deciding whether to create a biographical article. However, I do not think such a rule should be used in other settings (i.e., AFD) as everyone will have a different way of gauging in what percentile a person belongs. For instance, Chris in his comment above writes that the "runner-up is ... not generally notable". I disagree. Which of us is right? The only non-subjective way to know is to look at whether others outside of Wikipedia find these people to be worthy of note. -- Black Falcon 17:26, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

So . . . opposite change to politician section of WP:BIO?

Well, there don't seem to be any new views forthcoming. As I said, I would still need to be convinced of the argument that there are certain to be many non-trivial sources available for congressional election losers, particularly with regard to past elections. So I believe the question of whether such a person should be considered WP:N in the absence of multiple such coverage is a valid one. The sentiment above on that question seems to be very much be "no". However, DGG points out that when the issue is coming up in actual debates, some editors seem to be under the impression that the policy is "yes". So should the politician section of WP:BIO be amended to make the above consensus more clear? You could argue that by the fact that congressional losers are not included in the first two bullets, the policy is already outlined by their omission. However, local elected officials are also omitted from the first two bullets, yet a third bullet was still added to clarify the point. How about adding the above consensus to that third bullet, or adding a fourth bullet for it? Mwelch 04:01, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I do not think it is necessary or desirable. It is not necessary because the notability criterion of "multiple secondary sources" still applies regardless of anything. It is not desirable because it may create the impression that non-elected officials are inherently not notable regardless of the availability of sources. -- Black Falcon 04:07, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Significant feature article

Can one significant feature article establish notability? For example does a Playboy playmate of the month feature establish notability? I would say that it does establish notability, almost like an award, although I would question the accuracy or independence of the biographical material. --Kevin Murray 23:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion, no. I say that because I think that most interpretations of the phrase "feature article" would be "any multi-page article in my local paper's Sunday Supplement". I would not consider a Playboy spread to be a "feature article" (although I'll admit that I don't know what I would call it). Rossami (talk) 23:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I suspect that our variance is based on semantics. --Kevin Murray 23:57, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely, in terms of a national or very important publication. --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:05, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I would say yes. Being a Playboy playmate of the month is, as you noted, analogous to receiving the highest award in the genre of softcore pornography. I think the concern about a local paper can be easily solved by specifying that the feature article must be in a major regional or national/international newspaper. I include major regional papers for the following reasons: regional newspapers can be more important than national ones for countries characterised by: (1) a poor and illiterate rural population, and (2) a concentration of industry and government in one or more select urban areas. -- Black Falcon 00:52, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

High School Athletes

This guideline is too strict for amateur athletes. There are amateurs, including high school athletes, who have received mountains of national press, are known by millions of people, yet who cannot be included in Wikipedia. This is ridiculous and limits Wikipedia unnecessarily. -- TexasDawg 22:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Could you please clarify what you mean? The existence of "mountains of national press" would seem to meet the requirement of "secondary sources that are reliable, intellectually independent, and independent of the subject" unless all the press coverage consists of reprints of the same report. I may be missing something here ... -- Black Falcon 00:05, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Regarding notability of Football (soccer) players

Hi, I would like to re-ignite this topic as I have recently been involved in a couple of AfD discussions. E.g.[7] [8] From the subsequent voting pattern and the final outcome it is pretty clear that the vast majority considered these players as notable (including myself). What concerns me though is the fact that articles like these were even up for nomination plus the fact that some users (and especially the nominator, User:KRBN) were actually unable to clearly see notability. As such, and after having looked into the basis of football player notability it is obvious that there is a serious lack of clear guidelines (that deal specifically for notability of football players). This deficiency if left as is will continue to spark inter user conflict and a lot of wasted time on AfD discussions that could be put to more constructive use elsewhere.

So as is stands, WP:BIO ‘s description of what constitutes a notable football player could be interpreted as one who:

  1. has played in a fully professional league
  2. has competed at the highest level.
  3. is first team squad member who has not made a first team appearance (but only if the individual is at a club of sufficient stature that most members of its squad are worthy of articles)

Regarding Point 1

The nominator’s argument in the aforementioned AfD discussion[9] revolved around the issue of this player not playing in a fully professional league (the Cypriot league is semi-professional). That to me is pretty well defined and leaves little room for ambiguity. However, we must keep in mind that if one takes this argument in a purist sense there are players such as Lev Yashin who although many consider him the best goalkeeper to grace football, has never actually played in a professional league (as communist countries by law, ran amateur leagues – and as such their top players could compete in Olympic games – see history of Olympic football). I am sure that nobody would dare doubt Yashin’s notability!

Regarding point 2

Carrying on from Lev Yiashin above one can argue that his notability rests on him meeting the highest level criterion as he fails point 1. But, the highest level needs to be clearly defined, because its interpretation differs a lot from editor to editor.

Finally, another serious gap in the definition of notability here is the complete absence of any mention of international achievements for national squads. It seems to only concern club level football (unless one assumes that international football is within the scope of point 2)

Hence, for footballers at least, I would like to propose that a 4th point be added to clarify that players who have competed competitively (to exclude friendly games) with the national team of a FIFA member country are by definition notable. In my opinion this alteration would make the situation black and white (at least for these players) and save time wasted on repeated discussions.

Phew… any thoughts/comments?StephP 17:08, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Generally speaking, Point 3 already covers this. Yes, "at the highest level" is vague, but common sense should dictate that, regardless if the sport is primarily amateur or professional, competing internationally at the senior level qualifies. I don't think separate notability criteria are needed for footballers. Instead, maybe WP:BIO should be more specific about how "at the highest level" is defined. Caknuck 17:55, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I think point two already covers the proposed addition - playing for one's national team at senior level is the highest level. (some previous discussion on similar topics - Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football/Notability and Wikipedia talk:Notability (athletes)) Oldelpaso 18:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with both of the above, in that footballers capped by FIFA national teams constitutes the highest level and falls within point 2. Despite this however, users such as User:KRBN and User:Tellyaddict don’t seem to see that, as evidenced by their previous contributions, and more notably by KRBN’s repeated nominations for the deletion of such articles. As such I think it would be of use to spell it out in black and white.
Also, I have to disagree on the point made by User:Caknuck I don't think separate notability criteria are needed for footballers I think footballers warrant a special more precise definition of notability. Why? Well apart from the above, being by far the most popular sport in the world, articles on footballers far outnumber articles on athletes of other sports. StephP 18:32, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for informing me of this discussion, StephP. I'm afraid I'll have to agree with Oldelpaso; it seems like you could simply add ", such as an international tournament," to point #2. Xiner (talk, email) 18:28, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I have to go with the emerging consensus here - if a player has played international football for any FIFA recognised country (I would say including friendlies since caps are given for them) then they are notable. As for professionalism or otherwise, I think personally that there are far too many minor sportsmen - especially from the States - on Wikipedia, but that's another matter entirely. StuartDouglas 18:36, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I am going to comment from a point of ignorance. My ignorance coming from my lack of knowledge about football. I was invited to this discussion like due to [10]. I would argue that point 2 absolutely covers cases such as this. Broad guidelines combined with common sense should be sufficient. A large set of rules and guidelines will become unwieldy, and encourage even more wikilawyering over what is and isn't covered by the guidelines. The guidelines for athletes right now are applicable to any sport. It makes them compact and easy to follow. Exceptions and byzantine rules will make it more difficult rather than easier. -- Whpq 18:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you in that complicated rules are unnecessary but it remains my opinion that the vagueness of the current framework results in unnecessary lost time discussing these issues over and again on Afd pages. I think at least a note along the lines of this one [11] relating to the notability of cars would be helpful. (Note 1 at the bottom of the page reads: "All cars that have had Haynes Manuals written about them satisfy this criterion.") StephP 19:10, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
First of all I congratulate user:StephP for making this proposal. I think it was something necessary since the WP:BIO was not so clear and was wasting our time especially this "highest level". Efforts, not only for players, and many other purposes such as football clubs, leagues etc. had no results unfortunatelly. I hope this time there will be someting more specific. I personally believe that articles such as Lev Yashin are already covered since the phrase "highest level" covers olympic games and world cup. And for that we all agree. What we disagree is if highest level means to play just for national team. Personally, I understand it that it covers, and that in my opinion must be, world cup, continental championship, champions league, etc.. And for what I understand it, highest level can be the qualification tournaments. I personally think that it must be for what I understand it. In my opinion making some appearances with Malta national team in qualification round does not mean for me anything. At least if Maltese international footballers are notable, why they don't achieve to qualify to World Cup? May be we can make it like that "The (10 may be) most capped players section for each national team". However it is just a subjective opinion. But at least if it means having international appearances, it must abolutelly be written in WP:BIO, to not have misunderstanding. I disagree with User:Whpq that it is clear since we all agree that we can argue on it. And as you see because I personally don't understand it I purpose them for deletion and I will continue to do so. I odn't support of course writting so many rules, but international caps are important to be written if are accepted. KRBN 10:28, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Looking at previous deletion discussions, I can find no example where a nomination involving a senior international ended in no consensus or delete; the consensus that such players are notable seems clear. Incidentally, you use the example of Malta - only yesterday they played the reigning European champions in a competitive fixture [12]. That they have the right to do so as equals to me establishes "highest level" credentials. Oldelpaso 19:56, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Good proposal StephP - Thanks, adds clarity imo, and will help reduce the number of snowball nominations. Springnuts 20:57, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't mean that plays against European champions means notability. Higest level would have been if they were playing in euro final phase. It is natural that a national team will play against other national teams like Greece or France. KRBN 00:40, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
To help us compare different sports, about how many people would be included? DGG 21:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Sorry DGG, who is the question directed to and which of the questions/proposals raised do you refer to? StephP 21:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I would like to raise a point regarding playing "at the highest level". This covers amateur sports, in other words Olympic sports like rowing and amateur boxing, not contemporary soccer. For mainly professional sports like soccer we already have the professionalism criterion. In my interpretion this guideline refers to the highest level of the sport, globally, and hence can not be used to claim notability for local sportspeople. Thus, playing for a national team does not in itself constitute notability, and playing in the highest league of a country does not in itself constitute notability either. Look, I am very concerned about WP:CSB, but just face it: A national team player of a country like São Tomé e Príncipe is not notable for his footballing merits. Any exceptions are handled by the primary criterion of WP:BIO, namely that the player has been subject to multiple, non-trivial, independent, reliable sources. Punkmorten 22:16, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) I've been asked to chime in here with my take on the whole affair, so here I am. =^_^= The problem I'm seeing is simple - a lot of AFDs for football teams have been for basically what I call "barbecue league" teams - basically, a bunch of friends getting together to play. Fine and all, but not per WP:N at the very least. Easily speediable. But then we're left with a problem: what is notable? Clearly, concensus has been reached in this to an extent, but I figure this: is a baseball player notable? Certainly, if he's playing for, say, the Los Angeles Dodgers, then the answer is a resounding "YES" - but if he's on their farm team, or hasn't played for MLB, then WP:BIO should still be applied. Accordingly, the same standards are for the sports teams - simply apply WP:N. Third, we have an issue of "inherited" notability - that's a fine line if even that. The Dodgers' bench warmers probably won't get a spot here on WP. As such, I'd suggest we make some guideline - is it at least a semi-professional league? (Yes, I said "semi". Back in the early days of American baseball, the players were essentially doing this as a summer job.) If the answer is "yes", that can be notable - apply WP:BIO and WP:N as appropriate for further conditions. --Dennisthe2 22:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

This discussion is nonsense; we can't codify every possibility for every sport, profession, etc. We just need to use common sense and apply the primary criterion of having substantial source material to imply notablility. So what if you have a rule for every instance, you can't have a WP article without verifiable information from independent sources. Much talk about a moot point! --Kevin Murray 22:22, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

You say that, but making a decision here, will avoid countless AfD discussions. Unless of course you're happy to go on debating the same point over and over again every time a player gets nominated on these grounds! StephP 22:27, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Consider an entry at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes which is a list of precedents from active AfD topics. --Kevin Murray 22:31, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Kevin, I am very doubtful if an entry in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes will clarify this issue. Firstly users who nominate articles for deletion don't bother looking there. Secondly the page itself states: "This page is not policy. This page is for quick, easy-to-follow tips. Detailed rules, guidelines, and suggestions should go on the various notability policy pages instead.". All that page does is refer you back to this page. Rather than go round in circles I think we should try sorting out the issue here. StephP 23:30, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Kevin, my point is that we can take my baseball example and just replace it with any sport. We don't need one for baseball, football, soccer, golf, etc., etc., ad nauseam, we just need a standard. It's just easier to illustrate the proposal with an example. --Dennisthe2 22:40, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks,StephP , for raising the issue. We had an AfD not long ago where the player survived because he'd played in a game (one at the time!) for a League of Ireland side. I really don't know if that's enough - but a Premiership player will certainly pass, and so (I'd guess) would one from Red Star Belgrade. Let's open a can or worms - are all players with appearances for English Football League teams notable thereby? I'm beginning to doubt it! Otherwise we have to start asking "how many divisions in Country X give notability?" [Off the football topic but possibly relevant - I've seen arguments that baseball players for AAA teams - a step below the majors - are notable. I disagreed, and I don't recall the resolution of that AfD.] -- BPMullins | Talk 23:13, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing up this topic. Most of the time I don't get very technical with notability guidelines, I believe articles can speak for themselves. However, I would agree that the current definition of notability parameters is vague and could use further explanation or at least examples. I do agree that the highest level is competing for any national team because there is no higher honor than to represent your country, even if at a football match. I strongly disagree with the opinion that someone from a "weak" footballing country cannot qualify as notable, because in the eyes of an encyclopedia Malta matters just as much as Poland, they can compete against each other, and they are two of a kind within their confederation. I also think clear guidelines need to be set up in regards to which competition is considered "the highest level" and which isn't; which I am not sure is easy to do, since (again) one can say that defending your country against another is the highest honor, even if at a friendly international match. Another point you could make is that just because someone is not recognized outside of a certain region, doesn't mean that they cannot be notable within their country. This is also a POV issue which affects the "worldwide view" criterium. On another note, I do believe that deletion proposals are harmless and the involved editors usually get the outcome right, and can help improve the quality of the article in question. --ChaChaFut 23:42, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
My view - A Wikipeida notable football player is one for which there exists enough source material to write a verifiable, encyclopedia article about the topic. Since Wikipeida notability is not synonymous with "fame" or "importance", it is irrelevant that he/she has played in a fully professional league, has competed at the highest level, and/or is a first team squad member who has not made a first team appearance. If he/she (1) has played in a fully professional league, (2) has competed at the highest level, and (3) is a first team squad member who has not made a first team appearance, but there does not exist enough source material to write a verifiable, encyclopedia article about the topic, how would it possible to include such an article in Wikipedia under Wikipedia's inclusion criteria? If I can put together a verifiable, encyclopedia article on a football player through reliable sources, I'm voting Keep at AfD even if they only played semi-professional football or are amateurs. -- Jreferee 01:14, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Doesnt that run afoul of WP: INDISCRIMINATE? -- what WP wopuld be like if this applied to everything? Or is it football specifically that you have in mind? DGG 01:30, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Which of the eight WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE might it run afoul of? -- Jreferee 01:42, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
The basic concept, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of items of information, the items listed are just examples; you are proposing to make an indiscriminate list of all football players about whom there is information. DGG 02:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
My view indicated that the article needed to be encyclopedic by meeting WP:NOT (please click on the encyclopedia link in my post above). The eight examples at WP:NOT are 1. Lists of Frequently Asked Questions, 2. Travel guides, 3. Memorials, 4. Instruction manuals, 5. Internet guides, 6. Textbooks and annotated texts, 7. Plot summaries, 8. Lyrics databases. I do not see "9. Biography of certain football players" as being part of this WP:NOT list or added to this WP:NOT list of eight anytime soon. I also do not think that Wikipedia:Verifiability football biography articles meeting WP:NOT and composed of WP:RS is 'an indiscriminate list of all football players about whom there is information' merely because their fame or importance does not rise to a certain level. Original research includes editors' personal views of published material that appears to advance a position. Isn't the idea that only football players who have achieved a certain level of importance or fame should be in Wikipedia merely a personal view of published material to advance a keep/delete content position? Using WP:RS in determining what stays and what goes from Wikipedia is an objective approach. Using perceived importance or fame to determine what stays and what goes from Wikipedia is a subjective approach. I do not see a subjective approach as being workable since each Wikipedian has a different, personal view of what is famous or what is important. -- Jreferee 15:39, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
On the notability of football players I think a reasonable criteria would be to include national team representatives at the various levels (U21, U23 and full national level) and players who have played for full professional teams (this would include players down to the League Two in England or Serie C in Italy) and players who have played at the highest domestic level in any given country even if it isn't fully pro.--Hack 01:22, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment: Having been in the brangle before (and in more than one sport, yet), I'm sympathetic to the effort. Yet ultimately it's doomed. As long as we have the weight of WP:BIO's insanely loose athletic standards, such as so much as playing a single game for a low-minor league squad or for (say) Bhutan's national team in the last Asian Cup, upon us, nothing really can be done to tighten things up. Beyond that, I get the impression that folks are hoping to get a consensus which will insulate otherwise qualifying articles from AfDs. That won't happen either; as long as people are offended that articles exist which don't meet their POVs on notability, they'll file AfDs on them, and tighten up though you may, it's the way it is. Good luck. RGTraynor 03:53, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Using my "nation" as example, the footballer just earn HK$10,000 on average, just near to the mean of Hon Konger average. They forced to do part time job, so you can say they were semi-professional, but the do plaing international football of the "national team". I think people playing in top level of the nation league system is notabable enough, playing for many seasons and for the national team is more notable, semi-professional or not is not a reason. amateur football is different from semi-professional. Matthew_hk tc 06:40, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

To play for the national team of your country considers notability or not? KRBN (talk) 13:27, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment I agree mostly with the proposal. My view is: If the player is or has ever been part of the squad of a professional team (even if has never played). Or has been a part of the squad of a national team. Note the player can still be notable if when playing at the club it was professional, but the club no longer is. I believe this to be fair. The only other reason for having other footballers on would be if they had become famous after a good FA cup run. This would then give them notability. Asics talk Editor review! 12:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Comment To User:KRBN, please stop putting (ex-)national team players to AFD, as you did on Lino Galea Reuben Gauci, and Etienne Barbara. And please using regular procedure (i.e. named in AFD page) for Christopher McKay (football) and Anthony Vassallo. Matthew_hk tc 16:51, 30 March 2007 (UTC)