Editing Women into Wikipedia Part 3:  Notability

There’s nothing more disheartening than to create a Wikipedia article only to have it instantly flagged for deletion.  Even with hours put into finding sources and carefully formatting every section to fit Wikipedia’s style, there is one major issue that can doom the best of intentions:  Notability.  Let’s say that you want to create an article on your favorite SoundGirls Blogger.  You might be able to find an interview, a picture, and maybe even their IMDb page.  However, it takes more than that to qualify.


Means a subject that stands out from the crowd.  An event that started a movement, a company that pioneered a technology, a person who did something for the first time, these are all subjects that are deserving of note.  Celebrity status can help a person acquire notability, but it does not guarantee that they are worthy of a Wikipedia article.  In my previous articles, I stressed the importance of reliable sources of information.  By using books, journal articles, and interviews there is added longevity and importance.  A social media star usually misses these in their 15 minutes of fame.

Wikipedia editors often choose topics they care deeply about, however, Wikipedia is not the place to deep dive into a given topic.  Just like their predecessor, the encyclopedia, they are a place to start a research journey.  Every article is there to give a taste of information.  Categories are for a summary of knowledge in a selected field.  By flooding Wikipedia with the mundane, it drains the usefulness of the website.

What guarantees notability?  As mentioned before: reliable sources.  Books, biographies, interviews all contribute to the information contained in a Wikipedia article, but also add to the subject’s notability.  Notable people win awards.  Grammy night is a great time to edit Wikipedia.  Academics, while not famous, can be notable if they publish groundbreaking research or books that influence their fields.  Specifically for the field of Entertainment, notability means having worked on several popular works:  films that get released to theatres and festivals, songs that chart, tv shows on network tv, or streaming platforms.

There is a reason why Wikipedia encourages new editors to edit articles over creating new articles.  Finding a subject that fits the notability requirements can be tricky.  Luckily my user page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lyrelyrebird (as mentioned in my previous Editing Women into Wikipedia articles), as well as Wikiprojects, have lists of suggested subjects to get you started.  Remember to be bold and cite all your sources.  Happy editing!

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