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What Does Notability Mean and How Do You Check Your Notability
Notability can be one of the most confusing topics when it comes to creating Wikipedia pages and content. Most people often find themselves asking questions like, “what does notability actually mean? And How do I even check notability?”
Well, this guide will define what Wikipedia notability is and how to check notability. In addition, we will create another post that will show you effective ways to increase notability for Wikipedia page approval.
Notability is one of the most important guidelines you should know before creating your Wikipedia article. Therefore, it is fundamental that you take time to plan a path to writing the first article. This will help you avoid issues like your article being deleted and wasting time and effort for no reason.
So, with that said, let’s just jump into the first topic of the day: What Does Notability Mean?
What is Notability?
Notability on Wikipedia refers to a topic with significant and notable coverage from reliable sources. And according to Wikipedia’s Golden Rule, a topic is considered notable if it has “significant coverage” in “reliable sources” that are “independent” of the topic.
‘Significant’ in this case means that a simple mention from reliable sources isn’t enough. However, having an entire book or several journals with in-depth research on the topic is enough. Furthermore, the sources must be independent of the subject (which you, your brand, or your company). The source must also have a good peer review reputation or/and fact-checking.
Notability is a very important key aspect to consider when creating a new Wikipedia article from scratch.
Remember, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia which means it summarises all published knowledge into one comprehensive article. Therefore, if the topic you’re planning to write about isn’t notable, then it will be deleted. This is simply because it doesn’t have enough information written about by credible sources.
Wikipedia always aims to avoid knowledge gaps within the data published on its site. This means if your article has gaps, so will Wikipedia, and that isn’t a good thing.
Note: 3-5 really good sources can be enough to make your chosen topic meet the notability status.
How Do You Check Your Notability?
Since now we know what notability is, how can you actually check it, or how can you know the topic is notable?
Well, here are some of the effective ways to do so:
1. Check if the topic has Significant Coverage
When it comes to checking significant coverage of a specific topic, then you need to consider two things;
· The number of sources that have covered that topic
· In-depth coverage.
And so, in this case, you will need to ensure that the topic is covered by a significant number of sources. Furthermore, the coverage should be ‘in-depth,’ not just a ‘brush over the topic or a couple of mentions.
Note: If the topic sources you find only feature a couple of brief mentions, then that doesn’t meet the requirements. However, if the article (source) covers the topic, like 80%, then that meets the definition of ‘significant coverage.’
2. Check if your topic sources are reliable
Even if your sources have met, you’re the ‘significant coverage’ definition well; it doesn’t mean you are all good to go. Remember, the reliability of those sources you have found is another important key that you need to consider.
And so, if your topic is published on a trusted source, then that meets the Reliable Sources golden rule. The source must be known to be reliable as well as have editorial control over all content they publish.
Examples of reliable sources are:
· Time Magazine
· The Wall Street Journal
· The New York Times
· The USA Today
Unfortunately, topics can also dictate what source can be considered reliable.
For example, when dealing with medical topics, then a reliable source will be peer-reviewed medical journals. Other than that, they are considered irrelevant. This is simply because Medical Wikipedia articles will only agree with published studies as the right sources, even if the topics have been addressed in Time Magazine or The New York Times.
Overall, familiarize yourself with Wikipedia’s general checklist to help you understand more about which sources are considered reliable.
3. The sources must be independent of the topic
Well, here is another bummer for you! You might meet the above two requirements, but if your sources aren’t independent of the topics, then they are not useful.
“Independent” is quite a challenging term to understand, especially if you’re new to Wikipedia. Self-published content isn’t used for notability checks since they don’t meet Wikipedia integrity. You can only use one or two self-published sources if looking to point out things like location, but not for notability purposes.
Here are good examples of independent and non-independent sources.
Wikipedia guidelines on notability are subject to change from time to time. However, you must read a full guide to understand this topic.
Key Note: The notability rule applies differently to different topics, such as the medical article example we discussed in this post. Being fully aware of notability guidelines is essential when it comes to creating a Wikipedia article.
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