The "as of" technique is a method to deal with information that will date quickly. Some articles have information that is valid only at a specific moment in history, such as population statistics and current events. If you suspect that a fact in an article will become dated at some point in the future, and want to ensure that people will update it, include a tag of the form

((As of|year)) or ((As of|year|month))

with the year of validity in place of year and the month number in place of month. See the ((As of)) template for additional options and detailed examples.

Every individual, non-contiguous statement in an article that may date quickly should be so tagged, even if there are several such statements that link to the same year. Otherwise, it is possible that when one statement is updated, other statements in the article might be overlooked, and no one will realize that they need to be checked also.

Usage guidelines

Usually "as of" is used only in cases where an article is intended to provide the most current information available, and will need updating in the future. It should not be used for historical information that will not change. For example, a mention that the historical "population of Toledo, Ohio, was 13,768 as of the 1860 Census" should not be tagged, as it is a historical fact which will not change. It is appropriate to tag "the population of Toledo as of the 2010 Census was 287,208" (where the 2010 Census is the most recent available at the time of writing). The date used for a given statement should be the current date (for currently valid statements), or the date on which the data were obtained (for example, when using Census figures).

"As of" can be used with future dates when events are anticipated but not definite, or when the tense of the reference will need to be changed. For recurring events it is often better to use ((Update after)) to mark when the next event will occur. Here is one way to use "as of" with future dates:

     ((As of|2008)), construction is expected to finish in 2024 and cost US$28 billion.

Remember to always use precise language when writing about future or current events. The statement should make sense to a reader years into the future, even if the information has changed. If it is possible to predict when a statement will need updating you should also use the ((Update after)) template to indicate when a statement will become out of date. In the above statement the most obvious date is 31 December 2024, after which time construction will have finished or the statement will have become inaccurate. In either case the article should be updated to reflect this.

Sometimes the "As of" phrasing isn't ideal, and should be changed to produce good encyclopedic prose. It can be changed in either of two ways:

Avoid beginning a series of paragraphs or sentences with repeated instances of the wording "As of", as this can produce a distracting list-like effect. Both "As of" and "Since" can be made lower-case for use in mid-sentence, by addition of the |lc=y parameter, and any use of |alt=... can contain text beginning with lower case.

Precise language

In general, editors should avoid using statements that will date quickly. One exception to this is in articles that are regularly updated, such as those that cover current events. Where possible, avoid items such as "now" and "soon" (unless their intended meaning is made apparent by the prose), "currently" and "recently" (except on rare occasions where they are not redundant), or phrases such as "in modern times" and "the sixties" (unless their frame of reference was previously made clear). This does not apply to quotes, which should remain true to their original source.

When writing about past events use more precise phrases such as "during the 1990s", or "in August 1969". For future and current events use phrases such as "as of March 2007", or "since the start of 2005" which indicate the time-dependence of the information to the reader. To assist editors in keeping the information up to date, they should be used in conjunction with the "as of" technique described above. However, this technique is not intended as an alternative to using precise language.

"As of" categories

When statements are tagged using ((As of)) the article they are in is automatically added to one or more of the categories in the table below. This allows editors to browse the statements by date of origin. Statements from 2005 onwards will be sorted into categories by month and year if a month is specified, otherwise they will be placed in the parent year category. Statements from 1990–2004 will be categorised by year only, and all other statements will be placed in a separate category.

New categories should be created every month using the ((Category as of)) template, and the navbox below should be updated to reflect the changes. No other maintenance should be required for these categories.

Maintenance tasks

Article maintenance

If you are looking for work and are interested in helping this project there are a number of routine tasks that you can perform. The most demanding, and also most important, is to go through the above categories checking the statements that have been tagged, updating the statement or "as of" tag wherever possible. You may not be able to update some data at this point in time, for example census figures. You may find it easiest to work through the subcategories chronologically, or you may prefer to look through all tagged articles or work on today's focus letter.

When checking articles for updates you may find it helpful to add one of the following lines of code to your common.css page:

.asof-tag { display: inline !important; } /* Show all links */
.asof-tag.ref { display: inline !important; } /* Only show reference links */
.asof-tag.update { display: inline !important; } /* Only show (unreferenced) update links */

This displays a link to the location specified by the url parameter in the article, if given, which should lead to a webpage containing an updated version of the statement. The URL is visible in the edit window if available, this technique is intended to provide a faster way to check information. For an example see the template documentation. If the url parameter is not specified, this will display a link to edit the page, indicating the implementation of the template and allowing editors to quickly update pages.

Project maintenance

If you have less time to spare, you can check if this month's maintenance category has been created yet. If it hasn't, create it using the ((Cat ASOF)) template, and update the above navbox to include it. You can also help by adding "as of" tags whenever you come across an appropriate statement while editing articles.

Also see the next section for tasks relating to converting articles from the previous "as of" method.

Previous method ("as of" links)

Before July 2008, an alternative method for handling statements that date quickly was in use. The statements were linked to "As of..." pages that would redirect to the article for that year, using code such as:

[[As of 2008]], construction is expected to finish in 2012 and cost 28 billion USD.

This method is now discouraged as it creates misleading and unhelpful links that are of no benefit to readers. If one such link led you here, please either change it to reflect the above policy using the ((As of)) template, or report it on the project talk page. In simple cases, all that is necessary is to change [[As of 2008]] to ((As of|2008)). The process of converting the old links to the new tagging system is complete, but a few as of links may reappear from time to time. The "As of..." redirects have also been deleted, and should not be recreated; if you find links to pages that do not exist convert them to the new tagging system instead. Any recreated redirects will be listed automatically at Special:Prefixindex/As of, and should be deleted immediately.

See also