Wikipedia talk:Stub

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shortcut:
See also: Wikipedia talk:Find or fix a stub for older discussion.

Minimum size

Some stubs say next to nothing, e.g. "Xtrynyr is a community in Ruritania", with no clue about where the information came from. A stub like this is annoying to users who follow the bluelink to Xtrynyr and find no useful information. This is to propose adding something like the following to this guideline:

"As a rule, a stub should provide some information about the subject that will be useful to readers, even if that information is minimal. It should also give at least one source for the information provided. Creation of stubs that provide no useful information and/or include no sources is deprecated"

Comments? Aymatth2 (talk) 17:32, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Such pages may be eligible for speedy deletion under WP:CSD#A3. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Ugh, this is not what A3 is for, despite its misuse. "Xtrynyr is a community in Ruritania" absolutely does not meet A3--read the criteria... Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:55, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Although we certainly would like all new articles to have at least one source, it is not an absolute requirement outside the realm of WP:BLP articles. Nor should it be. The rest of your proposal is contradictory. You say they should "provide some information about the subject that will be useful to readers, even if that information is minimal. " That's exactly what these one-liners do, provide minimal information on a notable subject that can later be expanded into a fully-fleshed out article. Many of our geographic location articles started out in such a state, whether mass-created or not. Somebody lives some tiny village and finds it isn't mentioned here, so they add it. Later on someone else comes along and expands it and adds refs. That's exactly how Wikipedia is supposed to work. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
In principal I would agree with Aymatth2 that all new created articles really should have bare minimum one fact, preferably referenced. However, I as was recently discussed am prone to getting carried away with some batches of contentless articles if there is a large number of articles to work thorugh from a category from another wikipedia. A big project of mine at the moment is Turkish villages of which 26,000 are missing all of which have content in the articles on Turkish wikipedia and all of which have population data available. I believe they are worth starting as xxx is a village in xxx province, Turkey because at some point I know they can easily be expanded and if I was to take it in a one by one approach I would never even ttempt to try to dtart 200 let alone 26,000. In the long term I believe we are better off having even one liners on villages in Turkey as I know they can be expanded. I think there is a difference though between an article which is intended to be transwikied with content which already exists in another language and those which are unverifiable. I would rarely create an unsourced "sub stub" if it wasn't a transwiki thing. Most of my articles are sourced and contain a fact or two, especially if created in their own right not as part of the INterntranswiki project. Personally I would allow leeway in regards to short articles which exist in detail on another wikipedia and are intended to be transferred. I believe we should not think of the other wikipedias as a separate sites but as part of the same project.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:41, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I am o.k. with that. Presumably a person creating a stub has access to some knowledge about the subject, maybe from another wikipedia, and can provide a bit of information with a source. Then the stub does not irritate people who follow the blue link before it gets expanded. Saying "Xtrynyr is a community in the Strznx province of Ruritania with a population of 30 people as of 2002" gives some useful information - but it should be sourced. Aymatth2 (talk) 19:53, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Most of the useless stubs I come across appear to be created in the hopes that someone else will come along and provide extensive information about a very narrow subject, which is only likely to happen if a) you have an editor who is that obsessed with the subject, or b) there is a PD source of information handy to copy and paste. In the latter category, too many National Register of Historic Places stubs come to mind. Never mind that if these places are on the NRHP, they're notable because of historically significant events or occurrences, not because of their mere placement on the NRHP. Just from reading the articles in question, however, you would think notability was due to the latter rather than the former. I would hope that if any editor is doing this with a noble cause in mind, that it would be human knowledge, not the titular subject of one article or another. Keeping that in mind, perhaps making more extensive use of article merging where necessary?RadioKAOS (talk) 19:55, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
(ex x2)I find the one-line mass-created stubs absolutely useless and think it's even worse to see one of these without any reference at all. The information would be much better presented as part of a list (List of villages in XXX province, Turkey, for example). This way the encyclopedia could still have the basic information (now we know the village exists), and an article on a particular village can be created later, when sources have been identified and someone is actually interested enough to write a real article about it. That said, the proposed text is so vague that the current stub creation would qualify. Karanacs (talk) 19:56, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
With all due respect Karanacs dictating what should be written into this encyclopedia because of "interest to actually write a real article about it" is the extreme problem we are suffering from. Systematic bias, which is why we have GAs on hundred of US TV series episodes and are missing 95% of the lakes of Sweden. The vast majority are only interested in their part of the world and popular culture/sport. Sorry but because the average Joe doesn't want to write a full article about a legit town of a few thousand people in Benin that is not a reason to exclude it from the encyclopedia. Of course we need some interest from one or two to expand it. Take this as an example. Articles are usually developed by one or two people. There are enough people in the world who could potentially use wikipedia and have the full range of interests.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:05, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I do not understand why it is better to have thousands or hundreds of thousands of one-line articles instead of a few dozen or few hundred lists that contain the same information. Karanacs (talk) 20:15, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

What Aymatth2 would be your minimum requirement? Like Ataliklikun Bay, Gbégourou or Axaren. Would Château de Gaujacq be acceptable to you given that sources and information is already there on French wikipedia? I'm gathering that most here (myself included) would frown against ones like Axaren which are as they stand useless. One fact and source minimum requirement I could agree on.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:01, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I should point out that this is a guideline, not a policy. I would say Ataliklikun Bay is fine - plenty of sourced information. Gbégourou is fine too. The location is described and shown on the map, and the population is given with a source. Axaren passes the criterion of having some useful information (the province) but has no sources. Maybe this is an imaginary lake. I would fail it. I would fail Château de Gaujacq too, for the same reason, but would have no problem if one of the sources on the :fr wikipedia were brought across. With trans-wiki articles, we still need some basic proof of existence from external sources. Other wikis have quality problems too. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:20, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
If you think they are useless, why do you create them? Karanacs (talk) 20:17, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"Which are as they stand are useless" and "are useless" are two different things. We are a wiki and content can be added within seconds/minutes if anybody wants to add it. I only start articles which I believe are notable topics and can be expanded. The idea Karanacs is that in a few years time we end up with hundreds of thousands of full length sourced articles!! The ultimate goal is that by 2015 we see many articles started developed like this. Tall order perhaps but the world is a big place!! I create them because I feel it is important for us to cover notable topics which get excluded due to bias and want us to at least try to start covering the world evenly! OK maybe start the article will not change the fact that many are no interested in Swedish lakes but that doesn't make them unencyclopedic.. I could accept a rule that "if a reader visits an article he MUST be able to learn one fact at bare minimum about that subject". So for a town a population figure or location information in relation to other settlements, with rivers or lakes an area/length figure, with mountains an altitude figure etc. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:01, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

  • The making of stubs should be actively encouraged, The principles are building the web, and that Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia --even incomplete information is useful, as long as it is verifiable. Whether we would do better making combination articles is a question of style, that basically does not greatly matter: people may do as they please about it. Nothing stops consensus from merging articles later, or splitting them either.
The relevant question can therefore only be whether we should encourage the making of stubs without sources. We should not. We should encourage all articles to be sourced. An encyclopedia without explicit or implied verifiability is close to useless, & our method of working requires explicit verifiability, as no editor here can be assumed to be reliable.. Nonetheless, the creation of articles even with out sources should be permitted, because someone else may wish to source them--and usually someone does do that. But someone who insists on created unsourced articles--large or small, minimal or more than minimal, is not being as constructive as they ought to be. DGG ( talk ) 20:26, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Giunssani is practically unsourced though and I think its a very constructive article.♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

@Aymatth2 In my opinion Château de Gaujacq if the 1686 fact was sourced that would be bare minimum right?♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:27, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

That would be good enough for me. A source would verify existence of the chateau, and likely leads to further information. The article has useful information about the chateau, even a picture, so would not annoy the reader who clicked on the bluelink. They might want more, but at least get something. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:12, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Coming from the discussion at ANI, my issue with auto creation of very short stubs that are obviously verifiable is that they lack notability. Notability's only a guideline, and of course there are some classes of articles like geographical features that are generally accepted on the long-term presumption of notability, but these present a problem when we're ready to willy-nilly delete articles on television episodes, fictional characters, garage bands, local businesses, etc. I fully understand the difference, but it is very hard to quell the calls that call out to WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS by the newer users that see these articles get deleted while we have stubby articles on a river that only 100 people in the world may even know about. Personally, articles that are likely going to be stubs for a long long time should instead be created as redirects to a list of such notable features, so that when that stub actually can be expanded, its a non-admin action that any editor can undertake. --MASEM (t) 20:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. A notable topic will always be notable however short. The problem as you say is that some of them may take an awful amount of time to be developed. IN regards to settlements time and time again I've requested a bot creates lists of settlements in a table like List of populated places in Peru by country using coordinates from geonames and we redirect until enough info can be found to create half decent articles. Given that there appears to be support for this why didn't any of you lot support me for I proposed this huh? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Which we don't allow for any other topic unless it has been assessed via one of the sub-notability guidelines. And even then, the presumption of notability is how much the community tolerates the lack of proof. The fact that notability guidelines for geographic features have been presented and rejected by the community suggests that these don't have automatic notability. Yes, at some point, the Foundation should have pages dedicated to being a gazetteer to list out all these features, but this screams to either break out a WikiAtlas project, or to use reason seasons to group common features into list/tables within the encyclopedic side. No information is lost by the latter process. --MASEM (t) 20:35, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Again I proposed WIkiAtlas to the foundation back in 2009. But I'm not getting what I wanted. And you'll find virtually all geo features if covered in sources will be notable.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
It is acceptable to create very short stubs about types of subject generally accepted as notable, as long as they have at least one reliable source to satisfy verifiability. High schools are generally found in AFD to be notable, for instance. "Blivet High School was a high school in Tennessee," referenced to a Tennessee Department of Education database, would be minimally acceptable. It would be better to inform the reader that "Blivet High School was a high school in Dickson County, Tennessee from 1895 until 1950, when it was merged into Dickson County Central High School." A similar one line minimal stub about a present or former licensed radio or TV station which produced a portion of its programming would be acceptable if referenced to the FCC (or appropriate national) database. Its frequency, power, ownership, format etc would be useful info but not essential if someone wanted to create a category of related stubs from a reliable source. The same goes for some politicians such as state legislators. "Ambrose Abbott was a member of the Maine Legislature" would be minimally acceptable, referenced to the state legislature database. It would be desirable and helpful to the reader to note that Abbott served in one term, from January to March, 1874. Local newspapers (not indexed in Google Newspaper archive) and the state archives likely have much more information than I could find online, for someone to fill in his biographical details. I object to treating any Wikipedia as a reliable source; the English language Wikipedia has contained at various times hoax articles describing military heroes, persons of nobility, towns, and even wars. I suspect that some other language Wikipedias, with fewer administrators, likely have a number of hoax, mistake, or simply incorrect entries as well. A seasoned editor creating hundreds or thousands of stubs, such as Dr. Blofeld has frequently done, should cite a reliable source to verify each one. This is different from a naive editor creating a stub about his hometown, as his first edit. Many times I have spent hours referencing such an article when I am on "new article patrol," rather than just tagging it as unreferenced. The quality and reputation of Wikipedia diminish when it gains thousands of unreferenced stubs, some of which may be mistakes or hoaxes. The time of wikignomes is better spent helping new editors get their articles referenced, than following a seasoned editor around and trying to determine where he got his information for a stub. Is a "ricochet reference" acceptable? If the Spanish Wikipedia cites a reliable sounding source for a fact, is it acceptable to just copy that ref and insert in the article in this Wikipedia, or is the editor expected to actually have checked and verified the reference? Is there a way of copying the reference (could also be from a different article in the English Wikipedia) and noting that the reference cited has not actually been viewed? When a non-English article is translated, that is likely to happen, since the foreign editor may have had access to paper references not available in the English speaking editor's country. Edison (talk) 20:36, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree Edison, new stubs should really contain one fact and one source standard procedure. @Karanacs do you think Watom Island, Urara Island, Ataliklikun Bay, Ningi Chiefdom, Buta Territory are useless stubs or do you see them as a positive move towards covering poorly documented parts of the world and addressing systematic bias?♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I think very minimal stubs could be ok but they shouldn't contain mistakes or to be misleading. Also even minimal stub should have an infobox with the most important information (length, mouth, country - for rivers; population, coordinates, administration subjects - for settlements). We should keep wikipedia as a source of information but not as a copy of google maps. Hugo.arg (talk) 20:51, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Dr Blofield, the examples you listed are, in my opinion, decent stubs. They contain more information than "this place exists". I don't see the point in sub-stubs that establish that something exists without telling us anything at all about them. In my opinion, having lots of one-line stubs on a distant geographical area is only giving lip service to the idea of countering bias. Is it better to have 1000 articles, each containing 10 words, so that we now have 10,000 words on this topic, or to have 10 articles with 1,000 words each, so that we have some depth to the topic? Is it really bias to not have articles on the English wikipedia on topics where sources cannot be found in English to do more than verify existance? Karanacs (talk) 21:36, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Non-English sources are just as acceptable as English sources - see WP:NONENG. Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:56, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed that actually one line stubs untouched for two three years illuminate the sytematic bias problem by exisitng and remaining untouched. But I get exasperated at times at our ignorance of real notable subjects which should have full articles by now that occasionally I resort to auto drill if there are too many to consider creating slowly one at a time.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

There should be no limit to how many stubs we can create. If I [we] need to destroy all the red links by creating every village in China, I will do so at a reasonable speed. We are here to build an encyclopedia, not to finish it. I rest my case! Jaguar (talk) 21:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

If you look at the new pages right you'll find worse articles than stub I created which are poorly formatted, unsourced, lacking basic wikification/categories. At least my measliest stubs have the "infrastructure" in place. Its a big problem that we don't have enough editors to sort out all of the new ones coming in. Helmipuuro for instance is unsourced but clearly looks notable but are we to reject it for not having sources? And how many newish editors know how the referencing works? I didn't for quite some time.

The way I see it is that we are here to provide the most comprehensive encyclopedia we can possibly create and that ignoring 700 rivers of some province of a country is a wiki sin! Especially if the article equivalent on another wikipedia is very developed and sourced. In my view the article existing at least shows it as been highlighted as being notable, even if initally lacking in content. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Just dropping by to say I oppose any attempt whatsoever to create a minimum stub size. Assuming that a stub is not totally empty, it provides information to our users. (Reader: "Oh, Xtrynyr is located in Ruritania.") Tiny stubs are sometimes created by clueless newbies--it's no use to delete their (meager, but marginally helpful) contributions. Tiny stubs are also often created by users like Dr. Blofeld, who provide the correct formatting for future contributions. That way, instead of some totally unformatted, uncategorized article created by a Ruritanian trying to write an article on their town, we'll get something that at least in some category framework and properly formatted. The perennial debate about whether red links or poor-quality blue links do the best at motivating content creation is the only possible reason I could see to impose a minimum stub size, but until some sort of data on this topic is obtained, it would make no sense to remove useful (marginally useful, but still useful) content from the encyclopedia based on unfounded speculation. Minimum stub sizes and referencing requirements are also barriers to entry to new users, and could be demoralizing if works in progress were to be deleted. Calliopejen1 (talk) 22:04, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

In regards to myself I only create unsourced stubs on topics intended to be directly transferred from another wikipedia. I have proposed a User:Transwikibot which uses google translate to auto generate articles in our wikipedia space and once checked/proof read and a source or two added they can simply be moved into the mainspace. I would strongly urge people here to support me on this as you'd no longer see the pathetic attempts to transfer content but a system in which more fuller articles could be create relatively quickly piece by piece. Of course some translations i certian languages are better than others but if we had a bot creating an english equivalent of eveyr missing article on another wikipedia in our work space we would be much more organized. I think most people here grossly underestimate the value of missing articles on other wikipedias. I want WP:Intertranswiki to be much more organized and constructive and to have the ability to generate articles more fully first time with minimum effort. That's one of the key problems in this, is sheer mass of missing content and amount of time. We desperately need something powerful to get us organized.♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:08, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I totally agree, I got warned by a sysop to create articles with at least one reference, which I have been doing now. There shouldn't be a limit to the number of words/byes that a stub should have, a stub is ready to be expanded anytime and almost all of them are notable enough especially if they have been transferred from foreign Wikipedias or if they are based on real places. Jaguar (talk) 22:12, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I think the point of the discussions that took place elsewhere, which is being entirely missed here is not that what you guys are doing/want to do is "wrong", just that your priorities are deeply misplaced. Also see my comments at Jimbo's page [1]. Volunteer Marek  23:40, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I think that the minimum size for a stub is one sentence. Even if that one sentence is "next to nothing, e.g. 'Xtrynyr is a community in Ruritania'," that first sentence is what many of our editors actually want to know.
It happens that I wouldn't mass-create such stubs; being a mergeist, I'd create a list or sections in an article instead. But eventually both need to exist, so you won't find me complaining about the person who's doing the other half of the work.
The only restriction I might put on mass stub creation is that if you're creating more than <pick a number greater than 10> at a time, then you must add both a category and a citation to a reliable source (which need not be an WP:Inline citation; a WP:General reference is good enough), ideally in the first draft (mostly to save the rest of us from trouble caused by the occasional competence-challenged CSD tagger). WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:44, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Random break

The purpose of Wikipedia is to provide useful and verifiable information to readers in an accessible form. The question is whether the WP:Stub guideline should explicitly say that stubs should give some useful information and provide at least one source, and that stubs that have no useful information and/or do not quote any source should be "deprecated". My view is that such stubs do not help readers or editors. The comment right at the start of this discussion from Redrose64 (talk · contribs) is hard to dispute: "Such pages may be eligible for speedy deletion under WP:CSD#A3". The question is really whether the WP:Stub guideline should restate policy, or at least I think it is. There is no hurry at all, but perhaps at some point a straw poll would be useful. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

A3 does not apply to stubs with any meaningful content. A3 is intended for articles with just infoboxes, external links, or a rephrasing of the title. Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 04:33, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
(ec)If I start a stub on the number 56334956 is that notable? I can put in some "meaningful content" in there, as in "56334956 is the natural number between 56334955 and 56334957" (and that's it). I could maybe even put in some kind of Math template and an infobox (with a bit of a stretch). And hell, "sourcing" this won't be that hard either (I'm sure I can find some statistics textbook which lists it in its random numbers table ;)) On that note, it seems to me that the Category:Integers gives up too easily [2] (around 301 or so). There is a lot, like an infinity, of them missing. Someone should get going on that. Volunteer Marek 
Are we agreed that "X is a species of Y" or "X is a comet" or "X is a Y in Z" articles are minimally acceptable, (if not admirable,) so long as they have at least one reliable source, to satisfy verifiability? On random article patrol, I often find things like"Xarfax is an island in the Adriatic Sea," "Flamflim is Iceland's leading hiphop band" or "The Upchuck is a species of butterfly, Nymphalidae Danaini Vomitus." I spend countless hours which could be better spent in other ways improving the encyclopedia, searching fruitlessly for references to confirm the dubious claim. I cannot prove the negative: that no reliable sources exist. An experienced editor should cite the reliable source he used in creating the article. Dr. Blofeld proposes transwiki-ing articles, which is not unreasonable, but I have concerns of verifiability and reliable sourcing, since this Wikipedia has definitely had bogus references in many articles. If a German Wikipedian cited a book which may or may not exist, is it acceptable to duplicate that ref in the English Wikipedia without any editor of this Wikipedia having retrieved it from an online source, or eyeballed a paper copy of it? Would a 'pedia editor lie? YES! Editors have claimed that refs stated things they do not say. and some hoaxers have even cited false paper references. We lose credibility when we allow hoaxers or spin doctors to manipulate us into having articles lacking reliable and verifiable sourcing. Edison (talk) 05:12, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Are we agreed that... - again, this is completely missing the point.  Volunteer Marek  05:17, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Your point, maybe, though it has not been clearly stated. Your presentation both on Jimbo's page and here is unclear and rambling. Edison (talk) 05:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, Marek stop rambling on!!♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:10, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Dr. Blofeld, I suspect that my "rambling" generates more value added to the encyclopedia than all your mass-created stubs put together. Volunteer Marek  17:24, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of unclear statements "Your point, maybe, though it has not been clearly stated." does not even make grammatical sense. Let me rephrase. Unclear statements though yours are maybe are somehow. I don't think it's my presentation that is unclear here. Sure, go out there and create some stubs. Volunteer Marek  06:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Marek, you are one strange fellow. You talk in riddles and seem to like confusing things and getting your tongue in a twist. Nobody cares what you say, and that goes for Jimbo who likely scans over your ramblings to read constructive comments!.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:46, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, Dr., you're a strange fellow yourself. For someone who "doesn't care what I say" you sure get huffy (up to and including removing my comments from talk pages, which is a no-no). I wasn't expecting that anything but "Stubs good!" or "Stubs bad!" would be taken as "confusing" by some. And I didn't know you had a psychic link with Jimbo which lets you know how he reads the comments on his page. Are you sure you're not over-reaching there and projecting your innermost hopes on the innocent man? Take care. Volunteer Marek  18:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't say there is anything wrong with creating stubs? It's merely red link destroying and it has to be done to expand the content of Wikipedia. Stubs are not always stubs - I created 2011 England riots and Operation Ellamy a couple of hours after they were announced. They have both made the front page and are massive. Jaguar (talk) 18:34, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
As I already said numerous times, there's nothing "wrong" per se with mass creating stubs or "red link destroying" (I can actually can think of somethings - like the fact that a red link exists for a good reason and you're taking away a signal to others who might create a REAL article). And of course pretty much every article starts as a stub, so it's not a surprise that something like 2011 England riots winds up being vastly improved. But for every stub that became an FA or GA I can show you a few dozen that have languished as stubs since their creation three or four years ago, with not a single(ok maybe one) meaningful edit to them. Ergo, "red link destroying" and "mass creating stubs" is NOT "content creation". It's a notch above spamming. Now, because it is a "notch above" it may very well be within Wikipedia policy. But if you're looking to really improve the encyclopedia than rather than mass creating stubs that will just sit there for the next five years, how about going to the library, getting a book or two, reading them, sitting down, writing, referencing and improving some already existing long forgotten stub. Oh yeah, that's like... real work. And your edit count doesn't go up all that much. Nevermind. Volunteer Marek  18:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I understand your point however I'm not interested in my edit count. I've got more important things to do such as some coursework and revising for exams than going to a library - I'm not saying that's too much effort, I'm just saying that there is little point in doing that because after all it is going to be hard trying to find material for a Chinese village in the middle of nowhere. I do see your point, and I am a good copy editor and I am interested in content, but I am also interested in getting rid of all these masses of red links even if they all have a reference for each. Jaguar (talk) 20:17, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Minimum stub-size is a non-arguement. It either meets the GNG or it doesn't. Is a stub with 20 words OK? What if it was only 19 long, for example? If it has no context, then the speedy deletion becomes applicable. Lugnuts (talk) 08:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think there should be a minimum size. I do think we can make a requirement that batch creation of stubs should meet some minimal standards, like having at least one reliable source (not a foreign wikipedia version or other wikiproject). And we can also wonder why identical one-line stubs (whether sourced or not) like X is a river in Y can not be more efficiently be grouped in a list (or number of lists), "list of rivers in Y", with redirects from the individual articles. It seems to me to be a lot more reader-friendly to group such clearly related info, instead of having so many articles almost entirely void of meaningful info. Fram (talk) 09:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

"And we can also wonder why identical one-line stubs (whether sourced or not) like X is a river in Y can not be more efficiently be grouped in a list (or number of lists), "list of rivers in Y", with redirects from the individual articles. " Well the answer is simple to that one, many of the river articles have full content article son the other wiki which is intended to be translated. Given that we are not paper and space it not an issue, it would be more productive to fully translate.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:08, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

And nothing stops you or anyone to change the redirect into an article at the moment that this translation is done. Your reply does not provide a reason against the preference for a list instead of identical microstubs. Fram (talk) 10:40, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

You mentioned Aspen (Botkyrka Municipality) ‎. Well its better off having its own article as the vast majority of the others are.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:59, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

As far as this discussion is in effect a proposal to require at least one source for a stub, I'd like to point you all to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_75#Require_all_new_articles_to_contain_at_least_one_source, a proposal from July 2011 that failed after a good deal of community discussion. No use beating a dead horse here on a relatively obscure talk page, where this proposal has already failed after a broader discussion. Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Not exactly. This is a proposal to expand the guideline so it "deprecates" creation of stubs that provide no useful information and/or include no sources. Basically: "we much prefer that stubs have at least some information and quote at least one source". This is not change in policy but in the guideline. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:14, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps some attention should be given to WP:MASSCREATION, which is part of a policy. Basically, there is no difference between rapidly creating 50 microstubs with "subst:pagename is a river in Poland" and what is described in that bot policy. So why are these creations not restricted by that same policy? Fram (talk) 15:19, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

  • This proposal has nothing to do with the way in which articles are created. It would apply to stubs created manually, semi-automatically or automatically. WP:MASSCREATION says the last two categories need approval, but says nothing about their content. This proposal is to refine the guideline about stub content to say:
"As a rule, a stub should provide some information about the subject that will be useful to readers. It should also give at least one source for the information provided. Creation of stubs that provide no useful information and/or include no sources is deprecated"
Note the terms "As a rule" and "is deprecated". The proposed guideline change does not require that all stubs have useful information and cite a source. It recognizes that there will be exceptions, but recommends that in most cases some useful information be included with a source. Aymatth2 (talk) 16:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Two thoughts, Aymatth2. (1) Regardless whether I support or oppose your propsoed guideline, I'd suggest that instead of "deprecated" you should have "discouraged" or similar language; "deprecated" would distract the reader with questions like "you mean, we could do this -- why the change?" or "what does deprecate mean in this instance?" (2) Your proposal doesn't really resolve this disagreement, beyond encouraging the use of sources. What I see in this discussion is that all concerned parties disagree on exactly how much information "will be useful to readers": we have people above arguing that "X is a river in Y" is sufficiently enough information to be useful to our readers. (And responding to their assertions with language along the lines of "That's not right" won't get us to a concensus on the matter. ;) -- llywrch (talk) 17:34, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree with both points, llywrch. "Discouraged" is a better word. And the proposal does not fully resolve the issue. It expresses a preference for useful information backed up by sources, which should not be controversial. How much is enough to be useful? I would not attempt to define that. But a guideline does not have to be legalistically rigorous to be useful. Expressing a general preference, even if bit vague, is presumably better than nothing. Aymatth2 (talk) 18:06, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
IMO the barest 'x is a y in z' is OK and provides enough context. But I'd support something here along the lines of 'a reliable source is strongly recommended.' As to whether the ref has been read. There is a Assume Good Faith issue here, when it comes to articles from other language Wikis. EN-WP editors do this by default all the time - whenever someone copyedits an article with offline sources they haven't read, or an article translated from another Wiki, or supports an FA, GA, or DYK without having read and understood every single word in the sources, they are in effect affirming their trust in the info. Novickas (talk) 20:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi. I just noticed this conversation and wanted to voice my opinion that I agree with some of the above users about that there should be a requirement about some external source. This could be at minimum a hyperlink within single brackets, and is a better solution than having "this article has less than X words, it must be deleted" mentality. If the article is really short (as in less than a paragraph or so) and lacks any citations of any kind, then it should be deleted. This should serve as a springboard for anyone who wants to further expand the article. Best, Jessemv (talk) 06:10, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  • There is some support above for collecting linked stubs together as lists. Indeed, it makes sense for a number of topics to have a list article or set index article which compliments the articles on the individual items in the list, regardless of the length of the individual articles, so creating such a list at any time is desirable.
I think the question here is not should we have information on all the rivers in Vlasticnovia, or all the episodes of Porky and Butbum, or all the beers made by Pisshead Brewery, or all the stations on the Random Valley Line, or all the players in Awesome Football Team, but where should we place that information where it is most useful for our readers? And where we should place it would depend largely on the amount of information we have. If we have little more than a directory listing, "Foo is part of Foo", then it might be more useful to have that information in context - either as part of a parent article or a list or set index article. Having the information in context tells the reader more as the reader can see the set and the relationships, and it is easier to scan and access. If the information is contained in a parent or list article, and a reader clicks on a link to be given the same information in a stub, then that stub has simply created frustration.
If the information is already in Wikipedia, then it should not be split out into a standalone article until it either provides more information than is in the parent article, or the amount of information in the parent article is so large it can be reduced per WP:Summary style and a new article created.
If the information doesn't already exist on Wikipedia consideration should be given as to where it is best placed - as a standalone article or as part of a parent or list article, or both.
I would be hesitant to put too many limitations on creating a new article, as articles may develop from the most unpromising beginnings; however, if an article has been around for a little while (a week? a month?) and has not grown, then serious consideration should be given to merging the content into a parent or list article if possible.
It might be appropriate to list this discussion on CENT to get more opinions. SilkTork ✔Tea time 02:26, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I generally agree with the above. The irritation factor is what mostly concerns me - readers getting to a stub that tells them nothing new. But before putting this on CENT, it is worth planning how to avoid a confused and inconclusive rehash of fixed and incompatible positions. How should the discussion should be structured and facilitated? To me there are a series of ideas here:
  • Should provide some useful information
  • Should say more than the parent article
  • Should have at least one source
  • May be better in a parent rather than stand-alone if there is not much content
  • Should be merged into a parent after a while if it has not grown
All of these are, I think, advice rather than rules. But have there been any cases of multiple-part recommendations being successfully taken to a conclusion? Aymatth2 (talk) 02:52, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed wordings

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Marking this closed only per request on WP:AN, but no doubt, editors are opposed to this change. -- DQ (t) (e) 12:15, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

See discussions above on concerns regarding the usefulness of directory style or very short stubs. Aymatth2 has proposed some new wording (#1) and I have added three more:-

  1. As a rule, a stub should provide some information about the subject that will be useful to readers, even if that information is minimal. It should also give at least one source for the information provided. Creation of stubs that provide no useful information and/or include no sources is deprecated
  2. Stubs should not be created from material already on Wikipedia unless they contain more information than is in the parent article; either new material should be added to the stub or Summary style should be used to balance out the weight of material
  3. When adding new material to Wikipedia, consideration should be given as to where to place the material - sometimes it is better to add small amounts of material to existing articles than to create a stub. If the material is part of a set, such as a group of rivers in a region, think about creating a list or set index article rather than a series of stubs. When the material later grows, it can be split out per Summary style into a standalone article
  4. If a stub is created that might be a candidate for redirecting to a list or parent article, it should be given at least seven days before redirecting to allow contributors time to develop the article

Please indicate if you support or oppose any or all of the suggestions. Further suggestions and amendments are invited and welcome. SilkTork ✔Tea time 02:37, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

  • I think stubs are the core of Wikipedia. Much of our content is composed of stubs. Stubs can be very useful, too. It makes information easier to find, for one. It also makes someone think, "Hey, I can add information to this article". If a topic is covered in a list, most readers won't be inclined to think that they should (or could) add more information about it. I agree that stubs should present more information than "X is a Y", but often, that information can be in an infobox, and possibly uncited. We shouldn't ban stubs because they are unsourced—we should find sources instead. I also agree that forking articles into stubs is rather silly, but I don't think we need an arbitrary time limit for redirecting stubs. If someone wants to redirect a stub, they can do so; if someone else disagrees, they can revert. Then a discussion can be held. Every stub is different, so we don't need a bureaucratic rule that adds another layer of complexity to the BRD process. If anything, it either just delays an inevitable revert and discussion, or delays an uncontested redirection. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:56, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • This whole discussion seems to be predicated on the assumption that "Xtrynyr is a community in Ruritania" doesn't impart any useful information, when it self evidently does impart what is probably the most important peice of information that readers will be looking for when they come across the name "Xtrynyr" in a book or newspaper and want to find out what it is. Phil Bridger (talk) 14:21, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support 1, 2, and 3. I think the wording is good, but perhaps "deprecated" is not the best word. How about "not appropriate"? On another point, I think we should avoid instruction creep on when to redirect - why 7 days? Why not 2 days or 30 days? Each stub is different, after all.bobrayner (talk) 16:26, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd support 1, but we already have it. It's the speedy deletion criteria for lack of content or context. An article has to say what it's about. WP grows from tubs, mostly, and it is almost impossible to rule out something as non-expandable. When I see a new article submitted in full at the first edit, I start suspecting either copyvio or commercial Press release. I see nothing wrong with a series of stubs: checking Diderot's encylopédie, he has thousands of one-line articles, as do almost all traditional .encyclopedias. DGG ( talk ) 17:15, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • The wording should say "It should give at least one reliable source," not just "It should give at least one source." For instance, the existence of an article about the topic in a different language Wikipedia is "one source," but not a sufficient one, since it is no more a reliable source than any other source "anyone can edit anonymously." It is unreasonable to assume that some other Wikipedia has no hoaxers or charlatans editing it, and to assume that sources referenced in the other Wikipedia can be relied on without our editor actually seeing them. Edison (talk) 17:00, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Requiring that a stub have "useful" information is a very bad idea: who's going to decide what's useful or what's not useful? We shouldn't have such vague requirements. Nyttend (talk) 01:42, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all per instruction creep. We already have a CSD for truly empty articles, anything beyond that--in my view--imparts useful information. We also have a recent, large-scale RFC rejecting a one-source requirement on new articles. Yes, longer is always better, and more sources are always better, but this is common sense and doesn't need to be added to the rules as vague, non-mandatory recommendations. Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:00, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support... I hereby support anything that will get rid of the hundreds of thousands of tiny articles about run of the mill roads and obscure villages. Just hit "random article" a few times to see the incredible raft of unmaintainable crap we have. Gigs (talk) 20:19, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all There is no reason to tolerate any article that does not include substantive information. This strikes me as a clear WP:Creep problem. That being said, there are no inherent problems with stubs - they represent our best opportunity to attract new editors willing to expand on a subject. A stub which can be expanded and improved is a much better starting point than asking a new editor to write an article from scratch. The more, the merrier. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 21:06, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all. Useless instruction creep that will mainly serve to male discussion more contentious. Wikipedia and its users are often well served by short, unvarnished articles conveying essential, unvarnished information. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 19:54, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all, just in case my !vote wasn't clear from my comment above. No coherent explanation has been given of why our current guidelines fail to support our mission of building an encyclopedia. These proposals would hinder that process by making the first step in creating articles much more difficult. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:11, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all. Stubs are a useful stage in building an article, and as has been explained above, they do contain some useful information. Adding rules which try to get rid of stubs is both instruction creep and likely to discourage long-term expansion of topics which don't already have substantial articles. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 23:21, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose All I agree with the comment by Fetchcomms above. Many article do start out as stubs. Banning their creation is counterproductive. Adding guidelines for redirecting stubs is unnecessary instruction creep. Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 19:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all: If someone were to create a stub and bearing in mind that the stub could be a small village in the middle of err... Moldova, then the chances are that a tiny village in Moldova would not have any information. If a Moldavian reader who knows English could update that article, that would be fair. However these new proposals aren't that fair. Jaguar (talk) 20:52, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support with Edison's addition offered above, although I'd prefer seeing something even stronger. There has apparently been a long tradition of the creation of masses of such one-sentence substubs with no sources or clearly unacceptable sources. (I've seen a bunch of geographical articles lately, each of which cited Google Maps, of all things, as a sole source [with no link to the relevant map]. And when I checked, I found that not all of the place names actually appear on Google Maps, at any zoom level.) It's about time that this stopped. If someone wants to write an article about a place, let him or her do enough research to at least sustain a reasonable stub. Deor (talk) 22:32, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose all. This would do more harm than good by biting new users who will become long-term community members, we do far too much of that already. Thryduulf (talk) 10:11, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't see a consensus for change emerging from this. People feel that we don't need any further guidance which might discourage the creation of stubs per se, and that existing guidelines and consensus are in place to allow the deletion or redirection of clearly inappropriate stubs. I will remove the listing from CENT. SilkTork ✔Tea time 10:58, 28 November 2011 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Need more than one ref

I have started a discussion over on GNG, which mostly relates to stubs - and similar issues to those in the section above, except it is concerning the need for minimal reliable sources in articles - even if they're stubs.

Please comment over there: Wikipedia talk:Notability#Articles need multiple sources.

Best,  Chzz  ►  22:56, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Haven't you got something more useful to do with your time Chzz? Geographical place names only need verification of existence. And my Benin stubs have government population data. Expecting lots of web sources for towns in places like Benin is hardly indicative of its level of notability or level of encyclopedic appropriateness. A single source to government figures or other reliable source is enough to make it valid, at least as a start. If you genuinely wanted to improve our coverage of the "Global South" then a mention and fact about the places is far far better than if it didn't exist at all. If you still have a problem with that then I suggest you learn to accept it or simply shut up. The web is still in its infancy and more and more sources are becoming available for third world locations and topics all the time. Take the Communes of Mali for instance. There are a lot of USAID case studies on them on the web.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:05, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Geographical articles only need verification of existence? I realise that it's popular, in some quarters, to create thousands of microstubs from geographical databases of dubious reliability; but we should at least try to apply the GNG. bobrayner (talk) 16:30, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
If there is a general acceptance of notability for some class of subjects, such as legislators, licensed broadcasting stations which produce some of their programming locally, public high schools or private high schools of a certain size, accredited colleges and universities, inhabited or formerly inhabited named places, or professional sports players, then it should be sufficient (if far from ideal) for a stub to have one reliable source initially. The reason such subjects have been consistently kept in AFDs is that we have found that it is generally possible to find multiple reliable and independent sources with significant coverage of the subject, although it may require more effort than a quick search for online sources at Google News archive or Google books. I agree with questioning "geographical databases of dubious reliability" since some are plainly full of careless errors, and lack a mechanism for getting errors corrected. Some anonymous person enters a hamlet in a geographic database, from unidentified sources, and there is a "hamlet" at a place where no dwelling ever stood. An Ordnance Survey map in the UK, or a National Geological Survey map in the US have been more carefully vetted than some online map system like Google Maps. I have personally contacted Google Maps with evidence of an error in the name of a street, with no reply and no correction of the error, for instance. Edison (talk) 17:10, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I thought you'd already agreed that you couln't tell if Lougba was actually a town? [3]
Anyway...as I suggested at the top - it would be best to comment on WT:N to avoid splitting up the discussion.  Chzz  ►  17:53, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Redlinks more informative in some cases

The discussion above has brought out many useful viewpoints. I will try to summarize them before asking for input to a straw poll. But I am not comfortable that we are giving enough weight to the reader's experience and would like to first open discussion on that. Whatever our hopes are that stubs will somehow encourage editors to add content, the question of whether stubs are useful to readers is not one to be ignored. Wikipedia is for readers, not for editors. If readers get even more cynical about Wikipedia, most of the work put into the project will have been wasted. Here is a scenario. The article on the famous Ruritanian poet Hyrmant Schlanzk includes the following:

Schlanzk spent many idyllic summers with his Kashubian grandparents in the remote highland village of Xtrynyr, fishing in the Sktor River and exploring the pine and oak forests of the Ztandl mountains. It was here that he first became interested in lepidoptery.

When a reader searches on Xtrynyr, they will find the article on the poet Schlanzk, and will learn something about the village. Now we make a stub that says "Xtrynyr is a community in Ruritania". When the user enters "Xtrynyr" in the search box and presses ENTER, that is all they get. Before, the search results gave some information about Xtrynyr. Now, the reader is stuck in a stub that tells them next to nothing. I am not sure about the wording, but there must be some way to say that a stub is not good if it reduces the amount of information a reader would find on a search result. Thoughts on how stubs increase or reduce the value of Wikipedia to readers? Aymatth2 (talk) 00:07, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

An excellent example, and well presented. My thought is that the stub template should be improved, so that it says something to the effect of "this article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Suggestions may be found on the Talk page, and further information may be found on the articles that link here" with "articles that link here" as a wikilink to the articles that link to that stub. My opinion at this point is that a suggestion like this is superior to some sort of "more information here than in the linking articles" requirement. Jessemv (talk) 06:27, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

"Redlinks more informative in some cases". I would thoroughly disagree, especially on stubs with intertranswiki tags. If the articles inform the reader that it is located in .... even that is more informative than nothing at all. Any "empty" stubs I've created have the translation tags in which one can click google translate link and immediately be presented with the information to the reader in english. Sorry Aymatth, but I think your distaste of the shorter stubs is affecting your outlook. A lot of editors are willing to add to an article but unwilling to create it. And if editors hate short stubs in their preferences they can simply programme a minimum KB size. You could simply change it in your preference to avoid clicking on articles and getting the "annoying lack of content". I would agree that one fact and one source bare minimum should be a rule but then this would exclude new articles from newbies who may start notable subjects and have them deleted because they don't know about sourcing. I think you're pretty much wasting your time with this as there is unlikely to be a "rule" which stops them from being created. If just a guideline if merely says "we frown upon this", not as if I wasn't aware of that already!♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:57, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

  • I like Jessemv's idea of adding a pointer to inbound link articles into the stub template (really just the toolbox "what links here", but more visible). That should be raised on the template talk page. I can't see a downside. I still think the guideline, and it is just a guideline, not the LAW, may well say "in general, we discourage..." and describe things like no useful information, no sources, less information than exists elsewhere etc. Aymatth2 (talk) 16:19, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion

I notice on many websites they provide useful buttons beneath their content in order to make it easy for users to share that content with others via e-mail or on specific social networking websites. I've encountered some stubs on Wikipedia and was hoping to share it with people I knew had knowledge on the subject so that they may consider expanding these stubs. However I've been compelled by the lack of share buttons manually to copy stubs' URLs into e-mail messages if I wished to share said stubs. My suggestion is that the stub notices that appear at the end of short articles contain these share buttons and that when a user shares an article with someone through one of these buttons, the message that the recipient receives contains the entire article (if it is short enough) with a direct link to edit the article, or a subsection of it. For example, a button following a stub article may ask, "Do you know someone with knowledge on this topic? Ask them to expand this article!" with the last sentence being a link that pops up a window allowing the user to type in e-mail addresses or to share the article on a social network. I believe that implementing such buttons will encourage common readers to share articles with their knowledged acquaintances more freely, hence encouraging greater participation in the project. Kind regards, Adriaan. Adriaan Joubert (talk) 21:29, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I think it would be too much like advertising. You may find those buttons useful, but ultimately they are just a form of advertising for the social networks in question. Maybe a generic "email this article" would work, but it would be hard to prevent its use in spamming. Gigs (talk) 20:26, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

About Shekhar Chander

Shekhar Chander is Lecturer in Computer Science — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shekharchndr (talkcontribs) 09:07, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Can lists be stubs?

Eliminate stub templates?

At Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Layout#Swapping_order_of_categories_and_stub_templates there is a discussion about the order of categories and stub templates where an editor has suggested considering the elimination of all stub templates. I've suggested that they pursue that discussion here instead. PamD 07:00, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Given no discussion here, I have raised this proposal at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Eliminate_stub_templates_completely. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:31, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Has the definition of a stub changed?

I've been seeing a lot of stub templates and stub-class assessments being added to articles that contain considerably more than "only one or a few sentences of text" -- frequently on articles that contain a screenful (or more) of running text. These aren't just old templates, either; they're being actively added to articles of this size. I'm getting the impression that "stub" is now being used, at least by some active users, to label any article that could do with expansion or is otherwise less than perfect.

I haven't been very active on Wikipedia for a number of years, so I went looking to see if there had been any change in the definition of "stub", but if there has been, it hasn't been reflected on this page. Does this page still reflect the community's understanding of what a stub is? -- Visviva (talk) 02:51, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

As far as I know, the definition for stub tags hasn't changed, but some editors may have differing ideas on how long is too long. Article assessments are another issue: Most are out of date, and not all projects use the same definition of stub-class as an assessment class.
For stub tags, I had in my head a few paragraphs, not a few sentences as this page says, but a screenful is well beyond that either way. Sometimes it is because stub tags get left behind when the article is expanded, other times it is a mistake. Either way they should be removed if an article clearly isn't a stub. Perhaps the accepted size is creeping though - Otto Miller (catcher) would be close to the borderline I have commonly seen used, and it is certainly more than a couple of sentences, and has quite a bit of info. Sometimes articles of about this length have tags, sometimes they don't. Much more prose text than that and I think a stub tag shouldn't be being added.
Headings, lists, pictures, references etc generally don't count, so 750 Motor Club is an example of a page which I would call clearly a stub, but is more than one page. Pages with big infoboxes and lists and lots of references can be deceiving in that sense. --Qetuth (talk) 05:05, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Over the last three or so years I've seen a few (perhaps no more than four) newbie editors happily working through a category and adding a stub template to every article, regardless of its current state: for example, adding {{GreaterManchester-railstation-stub}} to every page in the subcategories of Category:Railway stations in Greater Manchester (e.g. Manchester Victoria station). After dropping them a polite note, we found that they didn't know of WP:STUB but had assumed that they were helping out by making the article easier to edit.
So, see if you can determine whether it's an enthusiastic but ill-informed newbie, and assist them. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:22, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Stubs and sources

Hello, I'm looking for clarification on stub articles vs. non-stub articles and the requirement of sources. Can an article without any reliable sources be considered anything but stub class? (Start or above)? Thank you! Kelly Marie 0812 (talk) 03:23, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

aLst I checked, it can be Start, but nothing higher. It'd be pretty silly to call an articles that is ten screens long a "Stub" just because it was unrefernced, don't you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:22, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
The reason I thought they had to have at least one source was that the Start class description at WP:ASSESS states "article should satisfy fundamental content policies such as notability and BLP, and provide sources to establish verifiability." But after being told start class articles don't need sources by another editor, I am confused. So I guess my real question is where does it say this, and/or should the instructions be a little more clear? Thanks for your help. Kelly Marie 0812 (talk) 04:34, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
I would have thought all articles, save possibly some lists, 'need' sources, and that an article not having any sources was considered to be a temporary situation for an article still under construction (however long it may actually stay in that state in practice). Hence it would have to have the lowest level of assessment, which is called "stub". However, "stub assessment" class is not the same as "stub" article, so a project may assess an article which is clearly not a stub as stub class for this and similar reasons. In theory though, if an article has that much unsourced content, a lot of it should probably be removed or moved to talk, and this would result in a stub article anyway. --Qetuth (talk) 04:45, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I think the confusion in my situation is that the content I've been dealing with is mostly regarding fictional characters, so there are articles with significant plot summaries (plot summaries have been determined to not need citations as watching the series verifies the content), so while I have been labeling any such articles without sources as "stub," some others feel they are "start." Is this truly a matter of opinion, or am I right to conclude that this page and WP:ASSESS policies show that any article lacking sources could not satisfy the requirements of start class? Any guidance on the proper way to solve this difference of opinion is greatly appreciated. I've held off working on classifying as to not start an edit war. I've asked at the wikiproject but have not received any feedback. Thank you. Kelly Marie 0812 (talk) 01:38, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Basically, should doesn't mean must. RFC 2119 is one popular description of the differences between those words. A B-class article always has references; a Start-class article should have references (indeed, even a one-sentence Stub should name its sources), but the presence of a list of sources isn't required.
In context, BTW, a plot summary is always considered to be implicitly sourced to the book itself, even if nobody types out a ==References== section and lists the book there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree that plot summaries are assumed to be sourced to the work. However articles "should" not consist solely of WP:PLOT and I came across this essay that might answer my question. "Note that regardless of the length of the page or the numbers of edits made to it, a page containing only plot summary is still a stub - an incomplete article." Kelly Marie 0812 (talk) 03:44, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

It's better two lines or no line?

I read: It is usually desirable to leave two blank lines between the first stub template and whatever precedes it, and another one after them before the interlanguage link. But someone rollback me twice. --Kasper2006 (talk) 20:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I don't follow that guideline rigidly. When there are no blank lines before the first stub template, I add one; where there are three or more, I reduce them to two. But if there are either one or two, I leave them alone. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:55, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the long standing consensus. -- Magioladitis (talk) 15:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I think that the blank lines are good, but fighting over that seems like a candidate for WP:LAME. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:20, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I make it two lines whenever I am editing the footer anyway (unless I forget to), but something like this should not be a reason for an edit on its own I don't think - similar to changing the order of categories. --Qetuth (talk) 22:25, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Certainly whether it should be one blank line or two is not a tremendous deal, but a universal and uniform way (a policy) rather than a usual way (a guideline) would be an improvement. An alternative to making such a choice would to be to recode or reconfigure Wikipedia's MediaWiki such that, in the appearance of every page, stub notices coalesce in a similar manner as category membership indicators do. -- Lindberg 01:06, 17 September 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lindberg G Williams Jr (talkcontribs)

Opinions - When is a stub no longer a stub

When is a stub no longer a stub? I know in AWB's tagging fixes, if it sees a page with 500 words or more with a stub tag it removes it. Is this a general guideline? An upper limit? ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 22:32, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

As this page says: "There is no set size at which an article stops being a stub ... As such, it is impossible to state whether an article is a stub based solely on its length, and any decision on the article has to come down to an editor's best judgement". The fact that AWB completely undermines this (and other) guidelines has been raised before, and brushed aside. So yes, to all intents and purposes, a stub is an article with fewer than 500 words. DoctorKubla (talk) 08:43, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, 500 words is normally taken as a sign that the article is so far past the stub stage that nobody could realistically contest removal of the stub tag. (Automated actions and things that require judgment don't mix well.) Ten sentences, which commonly amounts to 150 words, used to be recommended as one rule of thumb. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:00, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I use the 250 words rule. Reason being, 250 words is a miniumum requirement for an article to be able to be a WP:DYK. Stubs are not allowed as DYK for being too incomplete. So a logical conclusion is that the 250 word mark - for readable prose (so, not lists, infoboxes, tables, and such) moves the stub to start. I have tagged probably several thousand articles based on that rule... PS. DYK rules mentioned are here: Wikipedia:Did_you_know#DYK_rules. While they in fact talk of "1,500 characters of prose", A. Senthil Kumar (2011). Knowledge discovery practices and emerging applications of data mining. Idea Group Inc (IGI). p. 325. ISBN 978-1-60960-069-3. Retrieved 6 April 2013.  and many other sources note that the average lenght of an English word is 5.1 letters, so I guess 300 words may be a better mark. I find words a better visual measure than characters, through this is a personal feeling; comments would be appreciated, through I think we can uncontroversially agree that anything over 300 words is not a stub. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:07, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • If an article about a film, novel, etc, says "X is a film" and then has 500 words of plot summary but no further information about the film it's a stub. It's qualititative as well as quantitative. PamD 18:20, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Based on all these comments about this perennial question, I've expanded the text to list some of the common rules of thumb and to put the "no set size" rule in bold-faced text. There is no set size, and there is a significant diversity of quick assessment strategies. Perhaps this will be clearer than silence. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Where does the stub tag actually go?

I just tried to label my first page as a stub (Court of Justice of the European Union) and put the tag at the end as per the instructions on this page - that just made the tag appear at the end. Is this page wrong, did I do something wrong, or is every stub notification I have ever seen wrong?86.164.194.233 (talk) 18:14, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

It's supposed to go at the end, see WP:FOOTERS. I've fixed it. What makes you think that it should go elsewhere? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:32, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I've generally only noticed references to stubs at the top of the page, as on this one (probably because I generally don't look at the very bottom), and got a little bit confused.86.143.168.70 (talk) 15:02, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
That's the template itself, not a page which uses the template... the big green box is the template's documentation, and it does state (at Template:Stub#How is a stub identified?) "Place a stub template at the very end of the article, after the "External links" section, any navigation templates, and the category tags." --Redrose64 (talk) 15:13, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Stubcat and permcat

The guideline doesn't say that all France stubs should be in 'permcat' France. I guess that is taken for granted. Nor does the guideline suggest checking the permcats when a stub tag is removed, but that may be a good idea.

First, please confirm or correct my understanding. The latest edit of stub biography Mike Berenstain should be reverted. That page should be in both cats American children's writers and American children's writer stubs. (Stub categories are distinguished categories, I think we now say.)

User talk: HelicopterLlama and I are not sure about this. I have never checked the permcats when I have removed a stub tag, but I will try to remember to do that now. Perhaps the guideline should recommend it.

--P64 (talk) 18:58, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

See WP:SUBCAT:
"Note also that as stub templates are for maintenance purposes, not user browsing ... they do not count as categorization for the purposes of Wikipedia's categorization policies. An article which has a "stubs" category on it must still be filed in the most appropriate content categories, even if one of them is a direct parent of the stubs category in question."
DoctorKubla (talk) 08:30, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Removing stub status

Can further clarification be added to the Removing stub status section to explain how to remove a stub? What is the process? I've searched through Wikipedia but cannot find this information. Thanks. Physics114 (talk) 09:45, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

It already says "any editor may remove its stub template"; "the stub template may be removed" and "Be bold in removing stub tags that are clearly no longer applicable". What is missing here? --Redrose64 (talk) 14:21, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I understand how to do this now. However, yesterday, I couldn't find out where to find the stub code on the page and how to remove it. For relatively new editors, perhaps some clarification could be added, e.g. delete the stub code ({{journal-stub}}) from the page. Stub codes are often at the bottom of the webpage.Physics114 (talk) 14:40, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Physics114, for that very practical suggestion. I've added a sentence and hope that it will help the next person who wants to do this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

A disagreement over film stub tags

Please see Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Film#Redundant_film_stub_tags. thank you, Shawn in Montreal (talk) 19:37, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

User:Casliber/Stub contest

Right, am thinking of running a de-stubbing contest at User:Casliber/Stub contest (in the vein of the Core Contest), just as a one off alternative and see how it goes - similar prizes. Discuss on talk page. Cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:35, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Removing stub status permanently ?

Consider the article .csnet. It is very short, has no references – and has two stub tags. It is also accurate, complete, and useful. If I delete the stub tags it would seem likely that someone or some bot would only add them again – so I'll just leave those stub tags in place. Is there a "Not-a-stub" category or template? If not could someone create such? Or can an article be somehow packed to appear larger than stub-sized? Thanks,50.136.247.190 (talk) 17:54, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Is it complete though? When did it come into use and when did it become obsolete? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:43, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
The infobox says it was introd8uced in 1985. DES (talk) 20:34, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I would be suspicious of any claim that an article of this length is "complete". If truly so, then it is mostly "useful" as yet another link in {{Generic top-level domains}} (and the other articles linked by that template) than as a standalone article. I didn't burn time looking, but surely this could even be merged somewhere? RadioKAOS  – Talk to me, Billy 02:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the general remarks in reply.
Now it is clearly incomplete in another sense; a sentence fragment has been appended. I know nothing about the substance and the fragment is suggestive, so I merely note it here. --P64 (talk) 20:43, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 January 2014

"emigrated to the United States in 1909." should probably be "...1919." 73.49.1.29 (talk) 16:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Stub. Please make your request at Talk:Gleb W. Derujinsky; but please note that the article Gleb W. Derujinsky is not protected. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:48, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Total number of stubs on en.wikipedia?

Do we have a gross number of how many stubs there are in total on en.wikipedia? (I wasn't sure when and/or where we discussed this..?) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:49, 26 March 2014 (UTC)








Creative Commons License