Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)/Archive 3

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More thoughts in an attempt to reach some sort of compromise

Okay, so we're essentially running around in circles at this point, and it would likely be beneficial if we can at least attempt to come to some compromises on these. A few thoughts to throw out there:

  • Even if not all minor league players are notable, certainly some are, perhaps many. But where do we draw the line?
    • Anyone who's played in the majors should definitely be included. I think a strong majority of us agree with this.
    • Anyone on a major league 40-man roster? These are the players who are eligible to play on the major league roster without having to clear different types of waivers and regulations. This one seems a definite to me.
    • Anyone involved in situations that gained national sports news attention. This also raises a question about this line:
      • Players who do noteworthy things (such as Bronson Arroyo's minor league perfect game, the player who threw the bat at the umpire earlier this year).
      • Players involved in noteworthy transactions (such as Aníbal Sánchez's involvement in the Josh Beckett trade).
    • Anyone who played in the World Baseball Classic. Many of the players on the national teams came from various minor league programs, and their inclusion on the team indicates that they're considered noteworthy players for that nationality. Greg Maltobano (I may have the spelling wrong, but I'm trying to make a point) of the Worcester Tornadoes, for instance, played for the Italian team this year. He's a professional ballplayer in independent ball, but still considered a top Italian player.
    • Rule V/Rule 5 draft members. These would likely qualify under the 40 man roster situation, but they're notable players for the teams who take part due to the risk (most are AA or A level players required to be on the major league roster or they revert back to their old team).
    • Top XX prospects as noted by major sports publications. Sports Illustrated, Baseball Weekly, Baseball Prospectus, etc. While minor league players are better known than some folks seem to think, a more casual fan is highly likely to know the names of prospects within their favorite teams' systems, and at the very least, the top prospects should be included here, and I'm fairly strong about top XX prospects per team.
  • I worry about any issues with this sort of standard being applied elsehwere. For instance, minor league hockey, which is, in some areas, a lower caliber than some Canadian Junior teams, and yet more notable in some areas of the states. Or pro-football: Do we include the Canadian Football League players? NFL Europe? The NBA is trotting out a developmental league, how about them? Basketball is becoming huge in Europe, too, what about their pro leagues?
  • It's worth noting, as well, that including all of a baseball team's MLB and AAA players comes out to roughly the same amount of players as an NFL team's entire roster. Furthermore, notable college baseball teams have many of their players in the minor leagues - would you have left Jonathan Papelbon off the Wiki in 2004, his draft year?
  • This is important to note: all - yes, all - minor league players get names and stats published yearly in Baseball Prospectus. Various statistical agencies make this information easily available, and that, combined with local papers, make including all of these players easy, including making them into worthwhile stubs with statistical information, places of origin, and noteworthy accomplishments. While I'm inclusive on, say, children of movie stars, I can at least admit that the inclusion will merit a stub of little information, which isn't the case here.

I'll be honest, I still don't see the point in changing the guideline, but I'm willing to help work toward a compromise if people can actually explain why it's so horrible to have them here and address some of the issues above. This seems like a conflict that can be resolved. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:06, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm a baseball fan, and I think a lot of Jeff's thoughts on the issue are reasonable. Unexceptional minor league players probably shouldn't have an article, but a player with some unusual accomplishment (winning a league MVP award, setting a record, etc.) probably deserves an article. Players on national/Olympic teams, including WBC teams, probably also belong. I don't know that I'd sign off on the "involved in a major trade" clause, since most of the significant people covered there will also likely qualify for media coverage of their prospect-dom. I'd also like to note that if we formulate a precise guideline including membership on a 40-man roster (a good idea), we need to include a note somewhere that those players not be added to List of Major League Baseball players until they've actually appeared in a game. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 15:13, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I should also note that I'm split on the question of a player who's just a minor league All-Star, and I'd like to suggest an appearance in the All-Star Futures Game as an additional qualifier. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 15:18, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Can I ask what you're split on? Minor league all-stars would at least show some ability beyond being just a minor leaguer, I'm actually disappointed I didn't think of it above. We're trying to find the line between worthwhile minor leaguers and the not-as-worthwhile, and I'd think an all-star designation clearly puts them on one side of the line, personally. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:29, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm just split because it'd open up bios of a LOT of people, and because there's a big difference between an All-Star in the Pacific Coast League and an All-Star in the Texas-Louisiana League. I guess I might be OK with it, if we restrict it to minor-league All-Stars from leagues with major league affiliations. As an unrelated further clarification, I'd like to kill the provision on Rule V draft picks. The ones taken in the major league portion already qualify by virtue of position on a 40-man roster, and the ones taken in the AA and AAA portions are generally pretty non-notable. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 15:45, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Overall, I think Jeff's proposed criteria are pretty good: MLB service: yes. 40-man-roster: yes (call-up pretty likely, and attention is paid to them). Noteworthy events: depends on the event. Involvement in a notable trade: not necessarily; a lot of junk players get thrown into multi-player trades. WBC: yes, it's a national team. I think rule 5 actually requires that you be put on the 40-man roster, so that's already covered. Top prospects from major publications should qualify. Each sport is organized differently, so I don't think you can really say the rules for one sport carry over to another. You would need to set up separate criteria appropriate to that sport's structure. Fan1967 15:01, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The proposal is ok, I just don't like the "any MLB service requirement". There has to be some sort of milestone on that (like 1000 at bats, for example). Basically, a team could call up a player and he ends up pinch hitting for an at bat, and is sent right back to the minors. And that player would be noteable enough for an article. That's absurd. --Burgwerworldz 06:19, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
We have many articles on athletes who have only played a few football games, for example. 1000 ABs is excessive: that's two years for a full-time player, so would automatically exclude a rookie of the year. Fan1967 23:49, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Fan1967 is correct: there's well-established precedent for including players with one game at the highest pro level of competition. That's actually the reasoning behind articles for Olympic contributors like Lecomte, but there are a whole bunch of examples. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 01:39, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see this "well-established precedent". Just because you can do something, doesn't mean it has to be done. Seriously, if a minor league call up goes to the major leagues, pinch hits and strikes out, by your logic, this player would get an article. How could the hypothetical article have more than the birth date/place, teams and stats? Nothing you couldn't find elsewhere. I'd rather see the articles we have now be improved, rather than just adding a bunch of unnotable players with articles that would never reach past stub status. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Burgwerworldz (talkcontribs)
OK, here are a few examples: Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Lecomte, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Albert Baumann, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christine Robinson, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mike MacDowel, and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Joe Adams (baseball). There are others out there, but those are the ones I found with a casual search. If you want to look around, I'm sure you can turn up others. In contrast, I was unsuccessful in finding even a single example of a deleted article about a sportsperson who appeared in exactly one match/game/race at the highest level of his or her field. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:44, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I just wanted to throw in the idea of draft round as a possible criteria. I don't have much to back it up with but I'm finding a few articles where the player was drafted in the fourth round and took five years to make it to AA and that's the sum total of notability assertion. That doesn't add up to a future major league career IMHO. Again, I don't have much to back up this idea and I know there are zillions of counterexamples like Mike Piazza but I think it might make it more palpable to include folks like Mike Pelfrey who is also in AA but seems clearly on the road to the majors. —Wknight94 (talk) 03:28, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I think this would need to be done on a sport-by-sport and/or league-by-league basis, since the relevant drafts differ so much. For example, the NBA draft lasts for two rounds, while the MLB draft can go as long as fifty. Someone like Pelfrey would probably already qualify under Jeff's proposed standards, since there have been a kajillion articles written about him and his status as a prospect. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:47, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Religious figures - bishops

What do you think would be reasonable notability criteria for Catholic bishops? There are about 5000 recognized bishops listed here, and not all of them have articles on WP. I am wondering specifically in regard to "independent" Catholic bishops such as Merrill Adamson or Terence Fulham. I have found maybe 50 such articles on WP, and aside from name and location, most of these articles look the same to me. (Some few have decent newpaper coverage, and those are obviously notable.) Gimmetrow 23:51, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Generally (practice, not policy, I think), for the original Roman Catholic Church, there have been articles on the dioceses, with listings and brief biographies of the bishops. For the most part, only Cardinals or prominent Archbishops have independent articles. I really don't see that bishops in these small breakaway churches merit articles, but I suspect members of those churches have made a point of documenting them. Most people are barely aware that these traditionalist sects themselves exist, much less the bishops in them. Fan1967 13:17, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
That's really not a whole lot of bishops, and they're largely the local face of the Church. I don't know of anything hard and fast, but I don't really see the problem with drawing the line at the bishop level. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:20, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to rate some of them. I know that there are some of these offshoots that consist of a bishop and maybe several dozen members. In other words, you're talking about a "bishop" who ministers to fewer people than your typical pastor or rabbi, who normally don't rate articles. Fan1967 13:28, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, we're talking Roman Catholic bishops, right? Bishops that head up various dioceces? I don'tt see the issue with that. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:00, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
The original question was about "independent" Catholic (i.e. breakaway) bishops. That's where you run into problems, because some of them are very, very small groups. I have no problem with articles about heads of dioceses in major denominations, although, if the article is basically just a stub, as a lot are, it's just as well covered in the diocese article itself. I think there's an article for pretty much every Roman Catholic diocese. Fan1967 15:39, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Why are people so opposed to stubs? Anyway, if they're independent, they probably get a decent amount of press because of it, so I can't outright advocate eliminating them. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:19, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Some get some local coverage. Most do not. Gimmetrow 16:28, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
From what I can tell, many bishops who actually head a diocese (as opposed to auxiliary bishops) have articles here, even if they are not cardinals or archbishops. Almost no auxiliary bishops do, unless they are notable authors or have received significant news coverage in their own right. I think that's a reasonable practice. These other bishops are "independent" ones that, as Fan1967 says, often have followings smaller than a typical parish or synagogue. Gimmetrow 14:23, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about breakaway backyard churches, but I think bishops of regular dioceses of the Roman Catholic church are usually notable enough for an article. Same thing for bishops (or their equivalent, when one exists) in national Protestant churches, or other similar large or historic Christian traditions. I think we have articles for almost every one of the bishops of some English (currently Anglican, formerly Roman Catholic) dioceses. I can't see any harm in that. up◦land 15:28, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Again, it's the backyard churches I'm asking about. Look at the two links provided. Do they seem notable? What criteria should apply? Note that because they are not associated with a diocese, there sometimes isn't another article to merge the stub into. Although all the relevent information on Terence Fulham is already in the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement article. Gimmetrow 16:26, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
The Adamson one could use some expansion, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with the Fulham one. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:55, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
A longer version of this article was already deleted once. If I was wrong about that, I would just like to know. The subjects of these articles just seem equivalent to any pastor or rabbi, which typically do not have articles. Gimmetrow 19:10, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
At least in the Catholic faith, a pastor and a bishop aren't typically on the same level. I won't begin to get into what makes a Rabbi notable, as I don't know, but I don't believe they're analogous. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:13, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
True. But typically a bishop oversees a diocese and the average Catholic diocese is more than 100,000 catholics. A pastor oversees a much smaller number, a few hundred to a few thousand. Fulham's congregation is listed as 140 to 160 in 2002. On that measure, he is equivalent to a pastor. It is true that in Roman Catholic theology, a bishop is different than a priest regardless of how many people he may be responsible for. But does simply "being a bishop" make the subject intrinsically notable? Gimmetrow 19:22, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
I see what you're saying. Think of it this way: Monaco is a country with a population of around 35k people. Albert II, Prince of Monaco is running that country, but touches less people than the mayor of some cities in the United States who would not get articles unless they did something newsworthy. We wouldn't hesitiate, however, to put the leader of a country in. Even if a congregation is less than 200 people, he's still filling the position of someone who's in charge of a diocese. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:29, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Very good point. The difference is that, by international law/custom, the Prince of Monaco is treated equivalent to other heads of state (precedence issues aside). (He also gets a fair amount of news coverage.) Likewise, there are small dioceses in the RCC, and the bishops of those are still heads of dioceses. I don't know what the smallest diocese is, but it wouldn't surprise me if some parishes are larger. But "independent" bishops do not have a diocese, and they are not filling the position of someone in charge of a diocese. They are filling the position of someone in charge of a parish, they just happen to also be a bishop. Gimmetrow 19:47, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
So how widespread can this "problem" really be? You assert 5000 bishops in the American hierarchy, is it going to hurt us if even 5% of all bishops are these independent mavericks and still have articles? I can't really see a decent line on the amount of parishoners served or the size of the congregation, and those who are mavericks often meet other areas of WP:BIO anyway due to the relatively lopsided amount of press they get. I'mjust not sure if we're really solving anything or simply creating a problem to try to work out a solution in this case. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:07, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Those 5000 are the actual, real bishops in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church. You can verify them, as you can the bishops in other decent-sized established denominations. No one knows how may other people there may be who call themselves bishops but are not part of any hierarchy except one they invented themselves. That's where the problems occur. Some of these people are as unverifiable as the religions they claim to be bishops of. Fan1967 02:46, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to think we're working under the assumption that they can at least be verified enough to be a stub. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:47, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

The stub info is verifiable by a personal blog, but he doesn't match any of the guidelines on this page yet. Not the 100 year test, not the Google test. Lack of 3rd party references limits expandability to material from his site. That's why I had the bio deleted a while ago. Was I wrong? Gimmetrow 13:49, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you were wrong, although it's not what I would have done. I'm less opposed to stubs than other folks, though. The 100 year/Google tests aren't really applicable here due to the unique nature, however, and they aren't widely accepted anyway. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
The thing is, these people aren't that unique. When I first started looking into this topic I thought there were maybe a few dozen such people worldwide. Then I realized there were hundreds of these independent bishops (quite possibly thousands), and they didn't seem so unique anymore. Gimmetrow 14:09, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
If I can offer my own opinion, I think that like members of the military, title alone is generally a poor indicator of appropriateness for the encyclopedia. Other factors can and should matter much more in deciding whether it is possible to write a neutral, verifiable article that will ever be expanded beyond the sub-stub level. Rossami (talk) 17:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree, title alone is not a good indicator. A number of cardinals do not even have articles yet, and I see an article was deleted recently on an abbot who had even run his entire order (nearly 100 monasteries) for a while. That is a lot more notable than most (not all) of these independent bishops. Gimmetrow 20:46, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with the whole concept of notability as proposed

For me, the guiding principles are: Wikipedia is not paper, and verifiability, no obvious point of view, not original research, and not copyrighted. Notability is a criterion that is merely a consequence of the absence of space in paper publications, and the absence of space is an economic consequence. I do not agree with the concept of `article-worthy' because I see no worth in having an article in Wikipedia. The worth comes not from the existence of the article but from the number of links to it, reads of it, maybe even good ranking of the article... worth does not come from mere existence but from use. Deletion is way too blunt an instrument to weed out the thicket of information... way better would be rankings, to let the deletophiles harness their desires to judge and rank in some positive manner. Since I've taken this position, some people have given the example of a page on their big toe, or their cat's vaccination... I frankly have no problem with that information being on Wikipedia. No one is forced to read it afterall, and it would sit in some unread sector of a disk at infinitesimal cost.

Why am I so tolerant? One reason is the infinitesimal cost of an article here (it is not paper). Another is that BS is weeded out by the verifiability, no obvious POV, not original research arguments. Yet another reason is that neither I nor anyone else knows what will be of significant interest in the future... an article on obscure Viennese painter named Adolf Hitler, written in 1910, would have surely been rejected by the deletophiles here on Wikipedia. Those who are delete-happy using criteria of the present are actually incredibly sloppy, meaning that existing criteria are applied in an error-filled manner: better to just let everything verifiable, with no obvious POV, and not original research in. I could go on.

I think the enormity of the data storable in petabyte or exabyte data servers has not sunk into everyone yet, just as the enormity of time available for natural selection and organism evolution takes a long time to sink into human consciousness. Humans love to judge and love to register their approval and disapproval, especially when little work is involved. So, in Wikipedia, some people are constrained by old thinking and human judgemental habits and merely replicating a slightly modified version of the past encyclopedia. I'd rather open up the boundaries to produce something remarkably different. snug 21:26, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not paper, but Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and that does mean that not everything qualifies for inclusion, regardless of space limitations or lack thereof. Furthermore, our role is to cover topics which are not only encyclopedic but also notable and verifiable. If that means that we aren't the first to cover a topic, that's actually probably a good thing - one shouldn't have to question the value of inclusion of the content, ideally. I believe that the wiki concept was meant not only to be able to do everything that a paper encyclopedia does but also expand on it, sure. That being said, there are always going to be parameters, and I think that the main reason why we're going for Wikipedia 1.0 now is because it's become largely apparent that we've spent (mostly) enough energy on breadth, perhaps at the expense of depth within the articles which are clearly the core topics. Let's worry about the borders when there's less to do on the basics, I say. That's not a deletionist or inclusionist attitude, as far as I'm concerned; it's an essentialist one. Girolamo Savonarola 02:29, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia's credibility suffers if it is loaded with absolute fluff on wannabe celebrities. If we keep articles on musicians who have an MP3 available on Myspace, or actors/filmmakers who have a video on Youtube, how long before we're absolutely inundated with them? There are easily tens of thousands of them, if not more, and anyone who can go to the trouble of putting their performance on one of these sites can easily put a self-promotion here if they think it won't get deleted. Do we really want to go there? Fan1967 21:18, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Sure, not everything qualifies for inclusion, but the number of things that qualify should be vastly larger than for a paper encyclopedia. I think the level of notability can and should be way, way lower for Wikipedia than for a paper encyclopedia, but, of course, verifiability, NPOV, not original research, and no copyright should all apply. I think depth will continue to come as more and more people contribute, but I don't really see a tradeoff between depth and breadth. The debates I've seen in the APD discussions actually don't seem to me to hinge upon careful evaluations, but are really quick, nearly mindless reactions... and so I think we'd be better served if we just let a lot of stuff in, and let time sort things out. As for credibility, and think wannabe celebrities will just sit, unlinked and unread, and no harm done. But one of them might go on to be very important in the long run, which to me is a good reason to let their short (text based) articles be present. I don't think Wikipedia loses credibility by having a bunch of small articles rarely read.. the credibility comes from having truly important articles be excellent. I don't think tens of thousands or even millions of 10 kilobyte articles inundate anything... 10 million 10 kilobyte articles add up to 100 Gigabytes, which is pretty minor and soon will be infinitesimal. snug 07:41, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
The level of notability already is way lower. Paper encyclopedias don't have many articles about actors, porn stars, or published college professors. If a person becomes notable, their article can be added easily when they do become notable. The article on the Viennese painter would be rightly deleted in 1910, and then 20 years later would have been added; what is the problem with this? You seem to think that people delete out of some strange psychological complex rather than applying the simple principle that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. If anything could be added, this would not be the case, these articles would languor with short, inaccurate information that is made even more inaccurate as prankish or misinformed edits continue without being corrected. If there is not enforced a certain minimum level of quality inherent in a subject being notable and editors being interested in it, the site would be filled with not simply inaccurate information but inaccurate information that will never be corrected, in which few to no people are interested, and which multiplies beyond any of the encyclopedic articles. Are you going to sit and watch all of these articles to make sure someone doesn't come along and add "Bill Johnson is the premier expert on philosophy in North America", because if you don't the article is not going to be harmless if someone reads it, they will get false information under the guise of authoritative information. In terms of space, everyone adding things about their big toe will add up to more than you think, and further if their article is appropriate, then images of their big toe are appropriate as well, which take up far more space. Or are we going to have a "crap" article section where we put the articles that are not important enough to have images. Along with the other effects of your proposal, we ultimately have a class of articles that are misleading, and getting falser and falser, and that no one cares about. If you want to do that, why don't you just create your own website where anyone can add anything to it? All of the software is available. Please also read WP:NOTABILITY#Arguments_for_deleting_non-notable_articles. —Centrxtalk 09:04, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
But one of them might go on to be very important in the long run, which to me is a good reason to let their short (text based) articles be present. Once again, our role is not to be first - quite the opposite. We have plenty of articles about actors and actresses who have done several notable films but have not become major actors in their own right; to open this up to all aspiring actors is pointless. The 100 Year Test is an important (and all too often forgotten) litmus test - will these people, based on what information we have at the moment, be worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia 100 years from now? If you can't in good faith say yes without speculation into their future, then it's a good bet that they are not yet worthy of inclusion. We have enough problems with trust from the outside community as it stands - to lower the notability standards to the level you suggest is an invitation to further erode our credibility at the small benefit of catching an article on someone famous before they become famous. How is this a virtue? Girolamo Savonarola 10:44, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
The 100 year test is just a bad idea. We have no way of knowing what people 100 years in the future will consider notable, or even any way of making an educated guess. For example, many of what are considered the greatest artists in history were obscure during their own lifetimes. No one could reasonably argue now that Vincent van Gogh is anything but notable, for example, but if Wikipedia had existed in the 1800s most people probably would've thought he'd fail the 100 year test. 06:50, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
You seem obsessed with storage requirements. The notability standards are not a way to save disk space, and storage is not the issue. The issue is that, if Wikipedia is filled with entries for some 14-year-old who distributes her karaoke renditions on myspace, Wikipedia ends up being viewed as worth no more than myspace. In order to be respected as a source, there must be standards for what is included. Fan1967 13:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Sure, the level of notability is already way lower, but it should (IMO) be way lower still. Perhaps we agree... the storage is available these days... if a super-low threshold is confined to text-based info. Deleting the 1910 Viennese painter would have been unfortunate because information is usually better when it is fresh, and further, knowledgeable people in 1910 could have contributed way better additional information then in reaction to the article then 35 years later. There is certainly a quality of being encyclopedic, but I don't think that quality need be strongly tied to the threshold for inclusion... NPOV, not original, verifiable... these I think are largely sufficient. And I think good adherence to those criteria will prevent cases like the image of the big toe (which is original research). A slow deterioration of information quality would also be stopped by good adherence to NPOV, not original, verifiable, I think. As to whether I should form my own website, I think that is out of bounds: Wikipedia has invited the sort of discussion we are having now, and I earnestly seek to improve Wikipedia. I do not seek for Wikipedia to every be `first,' that would be original research. But I see virtue in being early, when information might still fresh and easier to verify than in the distant future. I don't think it is possible to accurately project 100 years into the future, all such projections will be dominated by errors far larger than the size of the apparent projected notability. As for problems with trust, I think trust comes from the quality of the Mega-important or Giga-important articles, and not the existence of lots of tiny text-based articles. Also, if such articles are NPOV, verifiable, and not original, I think they will be trustable. Indeed, there is a problem of trust with overdeletion... the standard of notability is applied with a great deal of carelessness already. I don't always trust myself or others to fairly and trustably argue for deletion on notability, at least for humans and their organizations. The example of the 14-year old Karaoke would fail because it is original research, and I also think only text-based articles should have an extremely low threshold. snug 17:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
"Originality test"? I'm sorry. I don't understand what you mean by that. Certainly such an article doesn't qualify as original research. It's just about a performer nobody cares about, nor is likely to. As for the Viennese painter, should we create articles on the thousands of Viennese painters, just in case one of them becomes a mass murdering dictator decades later? Fan1967 17:10, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
As others have said above, our critical resource is not hardware. Storage is cheap (though not free). The real constraint we have and which drives this whole concept is our continuing shortage of the dedicated, informed editors who volunteer their time to keep articles free from vandalism and in compliance with all our other policies. When we set inclusion standards too low, we spread those resources (that is, ourselves) too thinly and we fail to keep the vandals at bay. And, yes, I do see real and serious problems with allowing incorrect, vandalized or unverified information to sit in the encyclopedia. We tolerate it for short periods because we have faith that the wiki system works in the long run. But it's working for Wikipedia (and has failed in many other wikis) only because we keep a very close focus on our original mission - to be the best possible encyclopedia. When we lose sight of that goal or when we allow that mission to expand too quickly, we put the entire project at risk. You might want to read up on some of Carl Shirkey's writings on Social software and the success criteria behind them. I particularly like this article. Wikipedia:replies also has some insights. Rossami (talk) 17:33, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
An article consisting of original karaoke would be original research, IMO. And would not merit inclusion. Why shouldn't we have articles on thousands of Viennese painters, as long as they are NPOV, not original, and verifiable? The storage resources are available. I see the point that low inclusion standards can lead to lots of articles that violate NPOV, are original, and are not verifiable, because human resources can be spread thin. What I have observed in the delete discussions is not this effect, however... I have seen many more examples of NPOV, non-original, verifiable information being proposed for deletion simply because some feel the information does not exceed some very ill-defined and error-prone notability criteria. If there were less focus on the deletion issue, people could spend more time establishing NPOV, non-originality, and verifiability. However, verifying those things is way more onerous and way less fun than simply casting a vote for deletion. But good research (within the limits of NPOV, not original, and verifiable) is, IMO, way more important for the success of the encyclopedic venture than are deletions. I'll have to look into the references you suggest, thanks. snug 17:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
It is actually not unreasonable that fresh information might in fact be more likely to be inaccurate, being in the heat of the moment and not multiply verified by historical research. Also, the information about the painter is not lost, it remains in the Internet archive, or in published works, and more information will be researched afterh information is actually notable. Furthermore, the fact is that the information about the painter is likely not the reason for notability. Again, Hitler is not noted for his painting, and the early article about his painting would in fact be sliced up considerably after he became notable for other activities.
Regarding, NPOV and original research, the fact is that having all of these articles means that it is far more difficult to enforce NPOV and original research. If no one cares about the article, and there are millions of these worthless articles, policy is not going to be well enforced on them. The articles would not be neutral and would be original research.
About my big toe, if the article be valid, then so be the image. An article about it is incomplete without a picture of it, and some historical pictures as well, of my big toe as a child, and when it stubbed it and it became blue. These are important historical matters in the life of my big toe. Please consider your ideas a little more carefully—and concisely—before commenting about them. —Centrxtalk 18:09, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, fresh information can be inaccurate, and so can mature information. But the heart of the matter is accuracy, which is distinct from notability. Secondary information disappears for sure: hundreds if not thousands of alternative newspapers from the 1960's, for example, have been destroyed and are simply now unavailable, so one could not reconstruct (from secondary sources) certain events now. Not all information makes it to the internet, not even secondary information like press articles. I think all information about Hitler is notable, because I cannot judge aforehand what bit of information is crucial to deciding why he ended up the way he did. His painting or something that transpired related to his painting might be crucial, but if you don't have the information, you cannot ever make that judgement. As I said, lack of NPOV etc are not the most frequent justification I see for delete votes. In principal people are frequently voting to delete info that has a NPOV etc. People just don't want to see, say, a low government bureaucrat or real estate dealer with a Wikipedia article, even if the info is all within policy (but maybe not guideline). Whether or not a low threshold actually leads to massive violations of NPOV etc, is unproven, particularly when one extrapolates into the future, when many more people will most likely edit Wikipedia, and more ane more secondary sources get online, making verifiability easier. I disagree... images are big enough that I am concerned about technical space requirements. Text is OK. But for your toe, what secondary source are you saying would have those images? If you take them yourself, they are original research, and an article on them would not be consistent with policy. If the New York Times did a feature article on your big toe, fine, make an article out of it. My responses get long in part because I do try to take other people's comments to heart and respond to them, which is an important element of discussion, IMO. snug 19:31, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
What I still fail to see is the value of 10,000,000 articles about irrelevant people. And we truly could have that many. Just pick up any trade-journal. Write an article about every contributor. There you go, 30 1-line articles all with verifiable secondary sources. 29 of them will never do anything of note... and even if that 30th becomes a world-famous stage-hypnotist, what have we gained for having a nearly empty article sitting around for 14 years? How many letters-to-the-editor authors should we include in wikipedia?
Secondarily, what about people who are no longer alive. I could get verifiable secondary sources regarding my grandfather... but outside of my family, who is going to care? If no one cares about the article then no one will read it. And if no one reads it, it has no-value as an article. ---J.S (t|c) 20:04, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you've destroyed your own argument, snug. The information we receive on the Viennese painter would have to be published information - most of what we have now was only dug up after the war by historians doing background on the man. The point is that, since he was so unknown even to the art world when he was active, there would be nothing but original research to go on - no one was reviewing gallery shows with Hitler's art in 1920. You wouldn't have been able to write the article until the late 40's or early 50's as a result. Does some information get lost in the midst of things? Always, with every subject yet known to man. Our goal is not to save the world's information, but to write about what is to be regarded as worthy of inclusion in a general reference source. If you have a proposal for how we can discriminate between notable and non-notable articles in a different way, then by all means offer it. But don't say that we should ignore it entirely and hope that the editors can work things out later. The very glut of non-notable articles might even be enough to drive editors and admins away if they think that the project is unmaintainable to decent standards. We can't be everything to everyone, unfortunately. Better to do one thing well than many things badly. Girolamo Savonarola 20:20, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, good point Girolamo. But there might have been a few odd little newsletters or newspapers in Vienna in 1910. There certainly are many from the 1960's (although reproduction technology was vastly cheaper by the 1960's). You are verifying that the `no original research' is actually a significant threshold to notability, and that is what I'd propose to use (well, I didn't propose it, I found it on the policy pages and thought, OK, that is the line between acceptable and non-acceptable). I think the editors should focus on the Mega-important articles and above... articles that are within two orders of magnitude in notability of the old Encyclopedia Britannica or so, and then let the articles of marginal importance be managed on appeal based solely on the NPOV, not original, and verifiability. I think Wikipedia is already losing a lot of esteem because the current deletion scheme is poorly administered, allowing poorly documented and argued deletions. It would be very easy in the current environment for one faction to successfully argue for deletion of another faction. And this addresses J. Smith too... that is, there is loss of perceived fairness and value to Wikipedia when deletions are cavalier... erring on the side of inclusion seems to me to help Wikipedia's value. Also, why waste time worrying about the specific number of letters to the editor... just put the info in, as long as there are good references and it meets the NPOV etc. criteria. I don't think I or you or anyone can accurately predict the value of the information... so many times in my research career I've been so happy some other diligent soul decided to document some incredibly obscure issue. snug 20:49, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
What do you think our role is? We're not an indiscrimate collection of information. You seem to think we're an archive. We're not, nor has it ever been our intention. Girolamo Savonarola 22:25, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I think our role is to assemble an encyclopedia that is unfettered by the limitations of paper. The most prominent limitation that Wikipedia need not respect is size of the encyclopedia. To me, that means the threshold for what topics to cover can be infinitesimal, as long as secondary sources are available. I think the `indiscriminant collection of information' criteria means that the information should not be in random lists of text, but in well organized, brief articles, so as to aid rapid assimilation of the information. We are not an archive because in part we do not salt away original sources, but we always work from secondary sources. However, a well-written article on a very obscure topic from secondary sources might be very valuable for archival reasons; that is a secondary but important benefit of a low threshold.
One little exercise I just did: looked up the Encyclopedia Britannica's definition of encyclopedia. The micropedia's definition never mentions notability as a threshold for inclusion. The macropedia's long article on encyclopedias doesn't mention the criteria for inclusion prominently, but does mention, 'Whatever the compiler did decide to include had a far-reaching influence,' and cites Plinys unfortunate inclusion of 'Old Wive's Tales'. I think the condition of verifiability helps address this problem, albeit imperfectly. Otherwise, I think the more prominent length issue discussed by EB was the problem of making sure articles do not contradict one another. Notability really does not seem to be prominent in the EB's discussion, from which I surmise that had EB had many more resources, they would have pushed the threshold as low as they could have. snug 13:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Local politicians

Major local political figures who receive significant press coverage is poorly worded. What is a "major" local political figure? Does the coverage have to be ongoing, related to office? It allows entries for everybody from Gavin Newsom to Gareth Ward. ~ trialsanderrors 02:15, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

People notable only in relation to another event

I have come across in Houston McCoy an example of the kind of person who is only notable because he was (one of many people) involved with an actually notable event. He was a police officer responding to a scene, who may or may not have shot and killed a murderous sniper. He, however, his life and accomplishments, are not notable in themselves and are tangent to the main event of his moment of marginal fame. One half of the article is merely a duplication, in some parts identical, to the main notable event described in Charles Whitman, and the other half is basically a list of legal suits and supposed medical diagnosis, which happened long after, related entirely to the original event. Is there an explicit policy about this, or should one be formulated? Please see also comments at Talk:Charles Whitman#Merge from Houston McCoy. 03:34, 19 June 2006 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Centrx (talkcontribs) .

The last two criteria seem to be the relevant ones for such a case.
  1. Persons achieving renown or notoriety for their involvement in newsworthy events
  2. The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person. (Multiple similar stories describing a single day's news event only count as one coverage.) [emphasis added]
The first requires renown or notoriety. Initially test whether they became so well known that later news stories (at least one week later) about the event felt a need to say who they were - if they do, the source didn't consider them to have renown or notoriety. Later test whether they became so well known that the first round of secondary sources on the event (ie, those within 1 generation or ~20-30 years) usually needed to say who they were. If they are still being mentioned after more than one generation, they have renown or notoriety (they are more than half way to passing the 100 year test).
In the second, I emphasized primary subject. People who fit your description will normally not be the primary subject. GRBerry 23:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Your opinion of Houston McCoy doesn't remotely reflect the content of the article at the moment, which makes clear he is notable. If you challenge the content of an article, to such a massive extent, I suggest you take up the matter on the page. If the content is accurate (I have no reason to doubt it), than he's a slam dunk keep. Also, I note the article is already a "combined" article, as it appears to be equally about the two cops who, each, may have been the closing shooter. Those two cops (according to the article), played a decisive role, in an event, that would change significantly how cops across the U.S. would respond to future similiar events. Also, I think waiting 20-30 years to evaulate something, doesn't fly on a wiki. Anyway, if you want to use an article as an example basis for changing guidelines, you really need one, where there's no dispute about the facts. --Rob 00:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Rob' I suspect that you missed part of my test. The 20-30 year sentence starts with "Later". The "Initial" test I do suggest waiting a weak on. This is Wikipedia, not Wikinews. Wikinews should try to be breaking news, we should try to be an encyclopedia, and current events is not what an encyclopedia is about. Also since the prior user put an extra tilde in his signature block, their username was left off. I've added the unsigned template to clarify who said what. GRBerry 01:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought everything had been written by you, which caused me to seriously misunderstand. --Rob 01:46, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
First, I have already brought this up in the merge proposal for which Houston McCoy is tagged, see Talk:Charles Whitman#Merge from Houston McCoy. What in my comment above does not reflect the content of the article? The first half of the article, which asserts notability, is an identical duplicate of text on Charles Whitman. The second half is not notable, the most notable source is a college newspaper and the other sources are two personal websites and one film review on a non-notable site. Any several police officers could have been the ones to shoot Whitman, it is only chance that Houston McCoy was involved. —Centrxtalk 03:57, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

New intro

I'd like to redo the intro to better clarify what the page is for (or, at least, what I think it's for):

Notability is a subjective term for a subject that is famous or important. It is a concept used to help determine whether, for a given subject, an article can be created that will meet the standards of Wikipedia. Notability is not, in and of itself, a standard. Instead, it is a tool that can be used to see whether an article can meet standards such as verifiability, accuracy and neutrality.

Because Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, subjects must be of interest to many people and not just to a small clique. However, being "interesting" and being "notable" are not the same thing. Wikipedia editors generally use the term "notable" to refer to someone who has, or is likely to have, a substantial impact in a given field.

In the case of a stub article or one that lacks a solid body of independent, verifiable information, editors may ask whether the subject is "notable" to help determine if enough verifiable information will be found to make a good, complete article.

If an article on a topic of widespread interest already has a substantial amount of verifiable information from quality sources, it does not matter whether it is "notable" or not. Similarly, if a subject is not notable, but enough quality information on the subject is likely to be found, notability need not matter.

For example, Albert Einstein's son Eduard could be considered "non-notable" because he spent almost his entire adult life in a mental hospital and did not make a significant impact on society. But because of the great deal of public interest in anything related to his father, it is likely that a great deal of verifiable information from quality sources is available on Eduard. Therefore, an article on Eduard Einstein is appropriate for Wikipedia despite Eduard's lack of notability.

Mwalcoff 23:51, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with this. While this particular page may not be Wikipedia policy, notability or importance or encyclopedic relevance is the standard. It also could be misleading to see it is a tool for seeing whether an article "can meet standards", the wording "has sufficient external notice to ensure that they can be covered" is better. The rest of this is an even more drastic change. I will review it again more carefully later. —Centrxtalk • 07:04, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Is this an official guideline?

Is it? This seems like its based off the essay, which isn't even a guideline. Whats the status of this page when compared to other guidelines like WP:BB or Wikipedia:Autobiography? Fresheneesz 00:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

This page predates WP:NN by almost two years. It used to be called Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies. The page pre-dates our decision to tag such pages as "policy" or "guideline". When it was categorized in late 2004, it was tagged as "semi-policy" - a class which mostly evolved into "guideline". While widely accepted and, in the opinion of many users, an essential control for the project, it is remains controversial. In that regard, I would say it is much like WP:AUTO. Rossami (talk) 03:19, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

In reference works

I suggest that good evidence of notability is inclusion in a standard reference work. It seems obvious that we would accept anyone in any edition of say Encyclopaedia Britannica. In Britain, I would suggest that the following are among those books that can be accepted as reliable for this purpose:

Not all "Who's Who" type publications are equally reliable; some will put in anyone prepared to buy a copy of the book.

Runcorn 20:07, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Who's Who is too broad and should not be included. Rjensen 20:12, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed and some editions (I don't know about the UK one but the French version certainly) have questionnable independance. Pascal.Tesson 21:31, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I am not familiar with the French version, but it has a different publisher and, as I say, not all "Who's Who" type publications are equally reliable. --Runcorn 21:36, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

And I am happy to believe that some are reliable. But if you accept UK who's who then of course people will claim that not accepting the french one is systemic bias or something like that. Pascal.Tesson 22:28, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

OK, drop Who's Who. However, I propose an addition: obituary in a major newspaper. In Britain, this would include The Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Economist.--Runcorn 19:33, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Droppin Who's Who type works is good. In at least the United States, many papers (including the Boston Globe, my local example which is normally a major paper) will run any obituary that the family is willing to pay for. I'd suggest that we require obituaries in multiple major newspapers that are either 1) not identical or 2) attributed to a wire-service or the paper's staff. Of course, obituaries are also evidence that can establish notability under some other test. GRBerry 22:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Things are clearly very different in the US from Britain. None of the papers I list would run a paid obituary. Obits here are often written by distinguished people in the same profession as the deceased, e.g. a judge by another judge. I'm happy to accept GRBerry's advice on American obits. --Runcorn 22:06, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

MAJOR disagreement with inclusiveness of sportspeople

The guideline says we may include:

Sportspeople/athletes who have played in a fully professional league, or a competition of equivalent standing in a non-league sport such as swimming, or at the highest level in mainly amateur sports, including college sports in the United States. 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 addition opens the door for hundreds of thousands of articles to be made on college athletes in all sports. It doesn't even specify they have to be NCAA sports, or even first-team members. It also doesn't go in to detail of what can be considered the "highest level". Does this mean only 1-A teams? 1-AA is the "highest level" for schools of a certain size. Written as-is, this guideline could justify an article on a 4th string 1-AA college football punter that never makes an appearance in a game and then goes on to be a mechanic. There are 36 NCAA sports alone, and apparently this guideline says that writing an article on every person (even walk ons) who ever was on a team (didn't even ever have to play) on every team in the history of college sports in the US is OK for inclusion on Wikipedia. Anyone care to guess how many articles that would be? According to there are 360,000 CURRENT student athletes alone. That means we would be looking well into the millions if Wikipedia allowed articles on any college athlete. This part desperately needs to be re-written or we are going to start seeing these types of articles popping up more and more, being backed up by this guideline. My personal MINIMUM standards are 1-A players who have earned first team All-American honors in their sport or won an award for being the best in the nation at their position (those 2 usually go hand in hand, but not always), or have done something otherwise notable. Simply put, playing a college sport alone does not make one notable. I bring this up because I am a part of Wikipedia:WikiProject College football and some people over there seem to think making an article on every current player of a college football team is acceptable as long as the article is well written, and that if they end up not making it to the NFL (the vast majority don't), THEN we can delete the page (in a few years). I don't think we should be making articles on people based on the probability of future notability, and I think this needs to be seriously looked at and dealt with before people start making pages on each member of a college's volleyball team, or worse. I also saw the discussion above about Minor League Baseball and that is just about in the same situation. There is no way Wikipedia should have every single person who ever played in the minor leagues. which this guideline supports. VegaDark 07:26, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

This has been in for a while now, and hasn't caused much problem. I think highest means, well, highest (e.g. not second tier). Each country/sport has it's own terms, and we shouldn't specify them. Also, this is just a guideline, which is subordinate to WP:V. If there's no independent coverage, policy already requires deletion. If we have to change this guideline, we should be moving in the direction of being more generic (e.g. focussing on independent substantial coverage) and not specific (e.g. 1-A vs 1-AA, "All-American honors", etc...). --Rob 08:27, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
And why is it a bad thing to include them? --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:39, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
We have rules like WP:BIO. If we allowed bios of anyone indiscriminately, then of course these people would be as entitled to their articles as anyone. But if we reject bios of middle-ranking civil servants or junior professors, why should we allow these people to have bios?--Runcorn 14:02, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Because middle ranking civil servants or junior professors aren't as well known as these folks. If a middle ranking civil servant gets covered in a variety of news publications and in multiple books every year, would you still oppose their inclusion? --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:37, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Any college athlete who gets covered in a variety of news publications and in multiple books every year for say six or seven years has a good claim to notability.--Runcorn 15:58, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with VegaDark to some extent. I don't think a lacrosse player at East Carolina would make a good article. I do think that considering the popularity of college football and basketball in the US, Division I starters are notable. The problem is that if we remove college athletes from WP:BIO, people will try to delete legitimate articles on grounds that they "fail WP:BIO." -- Mwalcoff 15:31, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Why not add the usual disclaimer that they must have received multiple non-trivial mentions in reliable sources? That should cover the top college ball players without letting the pitcher from Mudhole Flats High through. It is, after all, what we are looking for: a rough guide to who is going to atract sufficient attention form reliable secondary sources to allow a verifiably neutral portrayal. Just zis Guy you know? 16:29, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree that there shouldn't be an article on every college athlete. The standard should include some additional proof of non-local notability, such as winning a national award or having major press coverage from other locations (not just local area papers). --Elonka 16:31, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Would it be reasonable to add a requirement for an award and write up in a national publication only for anyone who is not in a professional league? School players can receive mention in several local and state papers, even if they are not notable outside of the local school so the award and national media requirement would serve as a filter to eliminate the less encylopedic ones. Also we need to keep in mind that the guideslines don't eliminate articles. There will always be exceptions. Vegaswikian 18:16, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
If you're going to require national papers, then you're now imposing unreasonable requirements, which exceed what we have for non-sportspeople. If somebody who meets the current guidelines has susbstantial coverage from multiple local/state reliable media sources, then they should be covered by us. What counts is there's adequate feeder material to make a good article, not whether one of the sources is national (which is a dubious term, because it can be harder getting in a major local physical newspaper than a "national/international" web-only source). --Rob 19:38, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I think one of the main questions we should be asking ourselves is if the subject of the article being made ends up as a dud player, never makes an apperance, doesn't become a professional, etc., will we still find them to be notable in 5 years? I would guess the answer to many articles would be no, and we would be looking at lots of AfD's. VegaDark 00:10, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

We're not supposed to be crystal ball gazers. The question is whether they're notable now, not whether they may or may not be in five years' time.--Runcorn 22:03, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
That's exactly my point - I would submit that the vast majority of all college athletes are not notable unless they make to to the pro's. VegaDark 00:42, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Notability is more than just a matter of popularity, it is also a matter of importance and avoiding a vanity appearance. Many third tier sports people are more widely known than most first tier academics during their career - but in the long run (decades later), the academics are more likely to still be known and important. A test I ought to think about would be "if they retire without playing in another game, how long would they still be notable?" Completely unworkable as an operating test, but worth thinking about. A requirement that their be press coverage that is primarily about them (ie, an article on them, not an article on a game that mentions that they got a homerun/goal) would go a long way toward eliminating the vanity risk, although not completely. I think "primarily about" is better wording than "non-trivial mentions" - I've seen too many things that I thought were trivial mentions be reasons for keeping something, even though it could only validate one or two facts in a multi-screen article. GRBerry 01:00, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
This discussion shows why we need to remember that notability is a tool to help determine whether an article will meet inclusion criteria and is not a criterion in and of itself. From my perspective, Britney Spears is of little use to the Earth's populace and therefore is "non-notable," but there still should be an article on her. We may disagree about whether someone like Jay Cutler or Adam Morrison is worth the hype, but the fact is, a lot has been written about those guys, so there's no reason to delete their articles. Plenty of college athletes failed to pan out as pros -- Archie Griffin, Andre Ware, David Klingler, etc. Yet their college exploits have established them as significant sports figures. No reason to delete them, either. (I see Klingler is a redlink. The guy set lots of records at U. Houston and should have a page.) -- Mwalcoff 04:22, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
All those examples you give doesn't refute any of my points. I fully agree that some college players deserve articles, just the vast majority do not. VegaDark 19:40, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I agree 100% with the case made by VegaDark, and I think the guidelines should be seriously considered into redrafting for the WP:BIO guidelines. I hope to use some of this argument for revising my althletes proposal. For the most part, people think too much about the "sum of human knowledge" fallacy that WP tries to make (well, some members) and we should focus on QUALITY of the articles and not HOW MANY we can make. I will explain more in the near future on the athletes proposal talk page. --Burgwerworldz 02:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

This is all very non-wikipedia

Trying to create this rule and then delete every article in wikipedia goes against the very nature of the encyclopedia's open-ness. Some people will think Homer Simpson is noteworthy, some won't. This entire rule should be scrapped unless there is a major issue with respect to bandwidth and disk space on un-notable people, which I don't see! Sandwich Eater 18:13, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

There is nuch to be said for Sandwich Eater's argument. However, we do have WP:BIO, and it is necessary to agree on how to implement it. --Runcorn 19:49, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Having criteria for inclusion is in the very nature of being an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is not a forum for unregulated free speech. —Centrxtalk • 01:38, 17 July 2006 (UTC)


Firstly, I think we'll need a separate page for athletes. Anyway, here are my recommendations for what we should say about athletes in the "big four" US sports:

<begin here> As with other subjects, users should only create articles on athletes if they or other users are likely to find enough verifiable, independent information on the athlete in question to develop a full-length article.

The following types of athletes are likely to meet this criterion:

  • Anyone who has played or coached in the NFL, NBA or NHL or Major League Baseball
  • Any current or former starter or coach on a widely followed college football or basketball team
  • Anyone who has received significant media attention as a "prospect" or "phenom." Examples of subjects who would fit in this category might include:
  • Any athlete who has become famous for any other reason, such as Jason McElwain, the autistic high school student who scored 20 points in 4 minutes of an interscholastic basketball game.

<end here>

We'd also have to draw up guidelines for women's sports, as well as sports like track and field and soccer. I'd leave it up to others more versed in those areas to come up with ideas.

Mwalcoff 23:52, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Notability (athletes) and the discussion here. -- Alias Flood 01:10, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
OK. I've moved it there. -- Mwalcoff 01:25, 17 July 2006 (UTC)


I linked the policy pages so navigation is easier. I may not have gotten them all. Wjhonson 06:27, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Solving debate by adding another search box on wiki?

Notability is obviously quite controversial with regard to "the free encyclopedia." In order to make everyone happy, why not install a secondary search box on the home page or 'advanced options' which gives the user the ability to search those articles which are considered 'notable' by concensus. All the rest of the articles which meet the other criteria, but aren't considered notable, can be accessed by checking/unchecking a box on the advanced options panel... or by entering their search request in the box marked "search all articles, including non-notables."

An interesting idea, but I see two problems. Firstly, that would be a fair amount of work for the developers. Secondly, it may lead to endless debates about notability; and don't forget, it would take years to go through over a million articles and discuss them.--Runcorn 21:15, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
This would create second- or third-class of articles that no one maintains and few read. —Centrxtalk • 07:22, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
There are already plenty of such articles.--Runcorn 12:01, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: No first biographies

Please see discussion on this at WP:BLP's talk page. JesseW, the juggling janitor 20:09, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Highest level in mainly amateur, including college sports

Reading the discussion above, I gather the phrase at the highest level in mainly amateur sports, including college sports in the United States is universally interpreted as at the highest level in mainly amateur sports or at the highest level in any college sport in the United States. Perhaps I'm the only one, but I at least initially read including college sports in the United States to pertain only to mainly amateur sports like sport rowing or freestyle wrestling (the college level in the US being the "highest level" in these sports), which would exclude the tremendous number of college basketball, football, baseball, etc. players since these sports are not "mainly amateur". I can see that I'm probably misreading this clause, but reading it the way it is apparently intended flabbergasts me. Do we really want articles on tens of thousands of college students because of a fleeting association (4 years at most) with a sports team? What becomes of these articles after the student graduates and enters their almost certain to be non-notable life? Do we update Johnny Testosterone's article to say what his "post collegiate career" life became (After playing four years for the Mighty Mites, Johnny graduated with a degree in business and as of 2006 runs a pet shop in his home town of Obscureville)? Or do we perhaps need a mechanism to schedule an AfD discussion for some date in the future? I think there's a huge difference between encyclopedic notability (which I'd expect to be essentially permanent) and the kind of notability achieved by participation in collegiate athletics. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:36, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

i'm against any reinterpretation. Highest level of college sports would mean, to me, the highest level of college sports - Division I, highly noted schools. Many role players on, say, Michigan State's football team or Duke's basketball team are of a higher notability than a bench player on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, for instance, but we wouldn't try to eliminate either. Given that the chances of many of these players ever getting articles anyway is minimal, I see no point in trying to fix what isn't broken. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:55, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Exam Books

Is there a difference between text books and Exam-oriented-books (Like the Self Assessment and Board Review) as far as notability is concerned and is there any criteria that says that only authors of text books are notable and authors of Exam-Oriented-Books are non-notable.Doctor Bruno 03:00, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd have said not; if someone has published several Exam-Oriented-Books that have sold well, surely he or she is notable.--Runcorn 19:35, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

What if a source says someone's notable?

Suppose a reliable source says explicitly that someone is notable, or something equivalent like important, prominent or "major figure"? Is that on its own sufficient to prove notability?--Runcorn 17:57, 20 August 2006 (UTC)