Wikipedia:Notability

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article.

Information on Wikipedia must be

indiscriminate inclusion
of topics. Article and list topics must be notable, or "worthy of notice". Determining notability does not necessarily depend on things such as fame, importance, or popularity—although those may enhance the acceptability of a subject that meets the guidelines explained below.

A topic is presumed to merit an article if:

  1. It meets either the general notability guideline (GNG) below, or the criteria outlined in a subject-specific notability guideline (SNG); and
  2. It is not excluded under the What Wikipedia is not policy.

This is not a guarantee that a topic will necessarily be handled as a separate, stand-alone page. Editors may use their discretion to

for listing out a school's alumni). For Wikipedia's policies regarding content, see Neutral point of view, Verifiability, No original research, What Wikipedia is not, and Biographies of living persons
.

General notability guideline

A topic is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list when it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject.

  • "Presumed" means that significant coverage in
    Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information.[1]
  • "Significant coverage" addresses the topic directly and in detail, so that no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than a trivial mention, but it does not need to be the main topic of the source material.
  • "Reliable" means that sources need editorial integrity to allow
    in any language
    . Availability of secondary sources covering the subject is a good test for notability.
  • "Sources"
    written in English
    . Multiple publications from the same author or organization are usually regarded as a single source for the purposes of establishing notability.
  • "Independent of the subject" excludes works produced by the article's subject or someone affiliated with it. For example, advertising, press releases, autobiographies, and the subject's website are not considered independent.[5]

If a topic does not meet these criteria but still has some verifiable facts, it might be useful to discuss it within another article.

Subject-specific notability guidelines

In some topic areas, subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs) have been written to help clarify when a standalone article can or should be written. The currently accepted subject guidelines are listed in the box at the top of this page and at Category:Wikipedia notability guidelines. Wikipedia articles are generally written based on in-depth, independent, reliable sourcing with some subject-specific exceptions. The subject-specific notability guidelines generally include verifiable criteria about a topic which show that appropriate sourcing likely exists for that topic. Therefore, topics which pass an SNG are presumed to merit an article, though articles which pass an SNG or the GNG may still be deleted or merged into another article, especially if adequate sourcing or significant coverage cannot be found, or if the topic is not suitable for an encyclopedia.

SNGs also serve additional and varying purposes depending on the topic. Some SNGs, for example the ones in the topic areas of

politicians, provide topic-related guidance when articles should not be created. SNGs can also provide examples of sources and types of coverage considered significant for the purposes of determining notability, such as the treatment of book reviews for our literature guidelines and the strict significant coverage requirements spelled out in the SNG for organizations and companies. Some SNGs have specialized functions: for example, the SNG for academics and professors and the SNG for geographic features
operate according to principles that differ from the GNG.

Some WikiProjects have provided additional guidance on notability of topics within their field. Editors are cautioned that these WikiProject notability guidance pages should be treated as essays and do not establish new notability standards, lacking the weight of broad consensus of the general and subject-specific notability guidelines in various discussions (such as at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion).

Notability guidelines do not apply to content within articles or lists

The criteria applied to the creation or retention of an article are not the same as those applied to the content inside it. The notability guideline does not apply to the contents of articles. It also does not apply to the contents of

List selection criteria
.

Article content does not determine notability

Notability is a property of a subject and not of a Wikipedia article. If the subject has not been covered outside of Wikipedia,

source material exists
, even very poor writing and referencing within a Wikipedia article will not decrease the subject's notability.

Notability requires verifiable evidence

The common theme in the notability guidelines is that there must be verifiable, objective evidence that the subject has received significant attention from independent sources to support a claim of notability.

No subject is automatically or inherently notable merely because it exists: the evidence must show the topic has gained significant independent coverage or recognition, and that this was not a mere

any other reason
. Sources of evidence include recognized peer-reviewed publications, credible and authoritative books, reputable media sources, and other reliable sources generally.

Notability is based on the existence of suitable sources, not on the state of sourcing in an article

The absence of sources or citations in an article (as distinct from the non-existence of independent, published reliable sources in libraries, bookstores, and the internet) does not indicate that a subject is not notable. Notability requires only that suitable independent, reliable sources

find sources
for the subject in question and consider the possibility that sources may still exist even if their search failed to uncover any.

Wikipedia articles are

not a final draft
, and an article's subject can be notable if such sources exist, even if they have not been named yet. If it is likely that significant coverage in independent sources can be found for a topic, deletion due to lack of notability is inappropriate. However, once an article's notability has been challenged, merely asserting that unspecified sources exist is seldom persuasive, especially if time passes and actual proof does not surface.

The current state of the article does not determine notability
Current state of the article Sources
available in the real world
Result
No or few suitable sources cited ☒N No or few suitable sources that could be cited ☒N Likely not notable
Multiple suitable sources cited checkY Multiple suitable sources that could be cited checkY Likely notable
No or few suitable sources cited checkY Multiple suitable sources that could be cited checkY Likely notable

Notability is not temporary

Notability is not temporary; once a topic has been the subject of "significant coverage" in accordance with the general notability guideline, it does not need to have ongoing coverage.

While notability itself is not temporary, from time to time a reassessment of the evidence of notability or suitability of existing articles may be requested by any user via a deletion discussion, or new evidence may arise for articles previously deemed unsuitable. Thus, an article may be proposed for deletion months or even years after its creation, or recreated whenever new evidence supports its existence as a standalone article.

Notable topics have attracted attention over a sufficiently significant period of time

Wikipedia is a lagging indicator of notability. Just as a

WP:NOTPROMOTION
.

If reliable sources cover a person only in the context of a single event, and if that person otherwise remains, and is likely to remain, a low-profile individual,

we should generally avoid having a biographical article on that individual
.

Whether to create standalone pages

When creating new content about a notable topic, editors should consider how best to help readers understand it. Often, understanding is best achieved by presenting the topic on a dedicated standalone page, but it is not required that we do so; at times it is better to cover a notable topic as part of a larger page about a broader topic, with more context (and doing so in no way disparages the importance of the topic). Editorial judgment goes into each decision about whether or not to create a separate page, but the decision should always be based upon specific considerations about how to make the topic understandable, and not merely upon personal

digital encyclopedia
, and so the amount of content and details should not be limited by concerns about space availability.

disambiguation can be used to direct readers searching for such topics to the appropriate articles and sections within them (see also Wikipedia:Redirects are cheap
).

Why we have these requirements

Editors apply notability standards to all subjects to determine whether the English language Wikipedia should have a separate, stand-alone article on that subject. The primary purpose of these standards is to ensure that editors create articles that comply with major content policies.

Because these requirements are based on major content policies, they apply to all articles, not solely articles justified under the

some lists
).

Common circumstances

Self-promotion and publicity

Publication in a reliable source is not always good evidence of notability.

paid material are not valid routes to an encyclopedia article. The barometer of notability is whether people independent of the topic itself (or of its manufacturer, creator, author, inventor, or vendor) have actually considered the topic worth writing and publishing non-trivial works of their own that focus upon it—without incentive
, promotion, or other influence by people connected to the topic matter.

Independent sources are also needed to guarantee a

neutral article
can be written. Even non-promotional self-published sources, like technical manuals that accompany a product, are still not evidence of notability as they are not a measure of the attention a subject has received.

Events

Wikipedia is not a news source: it takes more than just routine news reports about a single event or topic to constitute significant coverage. For example, routine news coverage such as press releases, public announcements, sports coverage, and tabloid journalism is not significant coverage. Even a large number of news reports that provide no critical analysis of the event is not considered significant coverage. The Wikimedia project Wikinews
may cover topics of present news coverage. In some cases, notability of a controversial entity (such as a book) could arise either because the entity itself was notable, or because the controversy was notable as an event—both need considering.

Stand-alone lists

Notability guidelines also apply to the creation of stand-alone lists and tables. Notability of lists (whether titled as "List of Xs" or "Xs") is based on the group. One accepted reason why a list topic is considered notable is if it has been discussed as a group or set by independent reliable sources, per the above guidelines; notable list topics are appropriate for a

choose to limit large lists by only including entries for independently notable items
or those with Wikipedia articles.

There is no present consensus for how to assess the notability of more complex and cross-categorization lists (such as "Lists of X of Y") or what other criteria may justify the notability of stand-alone lists, although

recognized informational, navigation, or development purposes
often are kept regardless of any demonstrated notability. Editors are still urged to demonstrate list notability via the grouping itself before creating stand-alone lists.

Fringe topics

In Wikipedia parlance, the term

reliable sources
must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner.

There are numerous reasons for these requirements. Wikipedia is not and must not become the validating source for non-significant subjects, and it is not a forum for

secondary sources
of reasonable reliability and quality.

The governing policies regarding fringe theories are the three core content policies

reliable source
, and that all majority and significant-minority views published in reliable sources should be represented fairly and proportionately. Should any inconsistency arise between this guideline and the content policies, the policies take precedence.

Fringe theories and related articles have been the subject of several

.

Articles not satisfying the notability guidelines

Topics that do not meet this criterion are not retained as separate articles. Non-notable topics with closely related notable articles or lists are often merged into those pages, while non-notable topics without such merge targets are generally deleted.

If an article fails to cite sufficient sources to demonstrate the notability of its subject, look for sources yourself, or:

  • Ask the article's creator or an expert on the subject[8] for advice on where to look for sources.
  • Place a {{notability}} tag on the article to alert other editors.
  • If the article is about a specialized field, use the {{
    expert-subject}} tag with a specific WikiProject to attract editors knowledgeable about that field, who may have access to reliable sources
    not available online.

If appropriate sources cannot be found after a good-faith search for them, consider merging the article's verifiable content into a broader article providing context.[9] Otherwise, if deleting:[10]

For articles on subjects that are clearly not notable, then deletion is usually the most appropriate response, although other options may help the community to

follow several recommended steps prior to nomination
.

See also

Notes

  1. reliable sources
    .
  2. ^ Martin Walker (1992-01-06). "Tough love child of Kennedy". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Including but not limited to newspapers, books and e-books, magazines, television and radio documentaries, reports by government agencies, and academic journals. In the absence of multiple sources, it must be possible to verify that the source reflects a neutral point of view, is credible and provides sufficient detail for a comprehensive article.
  4. ^ Lack of multiple sources suggests that the topic may be more suitable for inclusion in an article on a broader topic. It is common for multiple newspapers or journals to publish the same story, sometimes with minor alterations or different headlines, but one story does not constitute multiple works. Several journals simultaneously publishing different articles does not always constitute multiple works, especially when the authors are relying on the same sources, and merely restating the same information. Similarly, a series of publications by the same author or in the same periodical is normally counted as one source.
  5. ^ Works produced by the subject, or those with a strong connection to them, are unlikely to be strong evidence of notability. See also: Wikipedia:Verifiability § Questionable sources for handling of such situations.
  6. ^ See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, in particular Wikipedia:Neutral point of view § Due and undue weight.
  7. Synthesis of published material that advances a position
    ".
  8. ^ Sometimes contacting the subject of a biography or the representative of a subject organization will yield independent source material. Of course we have to be careful to observe and evaluate independence. You might also see if there is an active WikiProject related to the topic, and ask for help there.
  9. characters in a work of fiction
    may be merged into a "list of minor characters in ..."; articles on schools may be merged into articles on the towns or regions where schools are located; relatives of a famous person may be merged into the article on the person; articles on persons only notable for being associated with a certain group or event may be merged into the main article on that group or event.
  10. ^ Wikipedia editors have been known to reject nominations for deletion that have been inadequately researched. Research should include attempts to find sources which might demonstrate notability, and/or information which would demonstrate notability in another manner.