A for Athlete


  • Notability is important at Wikipedia. See wikipedia:Notability
  • Notability is not important here, at A for Athlete. This wiki can include neighborhood athletes and sports volunteers as well as the global superstars.


Within Wikipedia, notability is an inclusion criterion based on encyclopedic suitability of a topic for a Wikipedia article. The topic of an article should be notable, or "worthy of notice". Notability is distinct from "fame", "importance", or "popularity", although these may positively correlate with it. A topic is presumed to be sufficiently notable to merit an article if it meets the general notability guidelines below, or if it meets an accepted subject-specific standard listed in the table at the right. If an article currently does not cite reliable secondary sources, that does not necessarily mean that its topic is not notable.

These notability guidelines only pertain to the encyclopedic suitability of topics for articles but do not directly limit the content of articles. Relevant content policies include: Neutral point of view, Verifiability, No original research, What Wikipedia is not, and Biographies of living persons.

General notability guideline[]

If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be notable.

  • "Presumed" means that substantive coverage in multiple independent reliable sources establishes a presumption, not a guarantee, of notability. Editors may reach a consensus that although a topic meets this criterion, it is not suitable for inclusion. For example, it may violate what Wikipedia is not.[1]
  • "Significant coverage" means that sources address the subject directly in detail, and no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than trivial but may be less than exclusive.[2]
  • "Reliable" means sources need editorial integrity to allow verifiable evaluation of notability, per the reliable source guideline. Sources may encompass published works in all forms and media. Availability of secondary sources covering the subject is a good test for notability.[3]
  • "Sources,"[4] defined on Wikipedia as secondary sources, provide the most objective evidence of notability. The number and nature of reliable sources needed varies depending on the depth of coverage and quality of the sources. Multiple sources are generally preferred.[5]
  • "Independent of the subject" excludes works produced by those affiliated with the subject including (but not limited to): self-publicity, advertising, self-published material by the subject, autobiographies, press releases, etc.[6]

A topic for which this criterion is deemed to have been met by consensus, is usually worthy of notice, and satisfies one of the criteria for a stand-alone article in the encyclopedia. Verifiable facts and content not supported by multiple independent sources may be appropriate for inclusion within another article.

Notability requires objective evidence[]

The common theme in the notability guidelines is the requirement for verifiable objective evidence to support a claim of notability. Substantial coverage in reliable sources constitutes such objective evidence, as do published peer recognition and the other factors listed in the subject specific guidelines.

Wikipedia is not a news source: it takes more than just a short burst of news reports about a single event or topic to constitute evidence of sufficient notability. The Wikimedia project Wikinews covers topics of present news coverage.

Articles not satisfying the notability guidelines[]

Although articles should demonstrate the notability of their topics, and articles on topics that do not meet this criteria are generally deleted, it is important to not just consider whether notability is established by the article, but whether it readily could be. When discussing whether to delete or merge an article due to non-notability, the discussion should focus not only on whether notability is established in the article, but on what the probability is that notability could be established. If it is likely that independent sources could be found for a topic, deletion due to lack of notability is inappropriate unless active effort has been made to find these sources. For articles of unclear notability, deletion should be a last resort.

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

  • Ask the article's creator or an expert on the subject[7] for advice on where to look for sources.
  • Put the Template:Tl tag on the article to alert other editors. To place a dated tag, put a {{subst:dated|notability}} tag.
  • If the article is about a specialized field, use the Template:Tl tag with a specific WikiProject to attract editors knowledgeable about that field, who may have access to reliable sources not available online.

If appropriate sources cannot be found, consider merging the article's content into a broader article providing context.[8] Otherwise, if deleting:[9]

  • If the article meets our criteria for speedy deletion, one can use a criterion-specific deletion tag listed on that page.
  • Use the Template:Tl tag, for articles which do not meet the criteria for speedy deletion, but are uncontroversial deletion candidates. This allows the article to be deleted after five days if nobody objects. For more information, see Wikipedia:Proposed deletion.
  • For cases where you are unsure about deletion or believe others might object, nominate the article for the articles for deletion process, where the merits will be debated and deliberated for 5 days.

Notability is not temporary[]

Template:Shortcut If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic, though subjects that do not meet the guideline at one point in time may do so as time passes and more sources come into existence. However, articles should not be written based on speculation that the topic may receive additional coverage in the future.

Notability guidelines do not directly limit article content[]

Template:Shortcut Notability guidelines give guidance on whether a topic is notable enough to be included in Wikipedia as a separate article, but do not specifically regulate the content of articles (with the exception of lists of people [10]). The particular topics and facts within an article are not each required to meet the standards of the notability guidelines; instead, article content is governed by other policies and guidelines, such as the policy requiring Verifiability and the guidelines covering the use of reliable sources and of trivia sections.

The undue weight guideline applies to factual content and not just viewpoints. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements.

Depending on the particular content, these policies and guidelines may require that content meet specific criteria. Care should be taken to read these policies and guidelines before adding information of questionable importance or relevance to any article.

See also[]

Template:Wikipedia policies and guidelines Essays related to notability:

  • Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions - An essay arguing against the use of subjective criteria such as "I like it" and "I don't like it."
  • Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes - Summary of common outcomes from AfD discussions giving context to precedents.
  • Wikipedia:Independent sources - An essay explaining further why independent sources are needed to write an encyclopedia article.
  • Wikipedia:Notability/Arguments - A list of arguments for both application and non-application of notability.
    • User:Uncle G/On notability - An argument in favor of specific notability criteria.
    • Wikipedia:Non-notability/Essay - A dissenting view to notability arguments.
    • User:Hiding/What notability is not - An essay on notability within Wikipedia.
    • Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/Unencyclopedic A 2003 discussion on the use of "unencyclopedic" as a term in deletion debates
    • Wikipedia:Inherent notability - An essay arguing that certain topics have inherent notability.
  • Wikiprojects are encouraged to write essays that contain advice and/or opinions on how they interpret notability within their area of expertise. Such essays are not policies or guidelines, and editors are free to, but not obliged to follow their guidance. A list of such essays can be found in the WikiProject notability essays category.


  1. Moreover, not all coverage in reliable sources constitutes evidence of notability for the purposes of article creation; for example, directories and databases, advertisements, announcements columns, and minor news stories are all examples of coverage that may not actually support notability when examined, despite their existence as reliable sources.
  2. Examples: The 360-page book by Sobel and the 528-page book by Black on IBM are plainly non-trivial. The one sentence mention by Walker of the band Three Blind Mice in a biography of Bill Clinton (Martin Walker (1992-01-06). Template:Citation/make link. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1240962,00.html. ) is plainly trivial.
  3. Self-promotion, autobiography, and product placement are not the routes to having an encyclopedia article. The published works should be someone else writing independently about the topic. The barometer of notability is whether people independent of the topic itself (or of its manufacturer, creator, author, inventor, or vendor) have actually considered the topic notable enough that they have written and published non-trivial works of their own that focus upon it. Otherwise, someone could give their own topic as much notability as they want by simply expounding on it outside of Wikipedia, which would defeat the purpose of the concept. Also, neutral sources should exist in order to guarantee a neutral article can be written — self-promotion is not neutral (obviously), and self-published sources often are biased if even unintentionally: see Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest for discussion of neutrality concerns of such sources. Even non-promotional self-published sources, in the rare cases they may exist, are still not evidence of notability as they do not measure the attention a subject has received by the world at large.
  4. Including but not limited to newspapers, books and e-books, magazines, television and radio documentaries, reports by government agencies, scientific journals, etc. In the absence of multiple sources, it must be possible to verify that the source reflects a neutral point of view, is credible and provides sufficient detail for a comprehensive article.
  5. Lack of multiple sources suggests that the topic may be more suitable for inclusion in an article on a broader topic. Mere republications of a single source or news wire service do not always constitute multiple works. Several journals simultaneously publishing articles in the same geographic region about an occurrence, does not always constitute multiple works, especially when the authors are relying on the same sources, and merely restating the same information. Specifically, several journals publishing the same article within the same geographic region from a news wire service is not a multiplicity of works.
  6. Works produced by the subject, or those with a strong connection to them, are unlikely to be strong evidence of interest by the world at large. See also: Wikipedia:Conflict of interest for handling of such situations.
  7. Sometimes contacting the subject of a biography or the representative of a subject organization will yield independent source material. Of course we have to be careful to observe and evaluate independence. You might also see if there is a wikipedia project related to the topic, and ask for help there.
  8. For instance, articles on minor characters in a work of fiction may be merged into a "list of minor characters in ..."; articles on schools may be merged into articles on the towns or regions where schools are located; relatives of a famous person may be merged into the article on the person; articles on persons only notable for being associated with a certain group or event may be merged into the main article on that group or event.
  9. Wikipedia editors have been known to reject nominations for deletion that have been inadequately researched. Research should include attempts to find sources which might demonstrate notability, and/or information which would demonstrate notability in another manner.
  10. See Wikipedia:Notability (people)#Lists of people

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