Welcome to the Wikipedia deletion process. This page is here to help familiarize you with some of the guidelines and policies relevant to deletion, and the process by which the community decides which articles to delete and which ones to keep.

When to use the deletion process

Wikipedia is a work in progress. Articles are not expected to be perfect. However, Wikipedia content, policies and qualities are to be expected in all articles. They are:

Articles that don't conform to these policies can sometimes be improved to the point where they do conform. Articles that the community feels cannot improve, or are unlikely to improve, are often deleted.

When not to use the deletion process

How does the deletion process work?

There are three preferable ways in which articles can become deleted.

Once an article has been deleted, if there are remaining issues, a debate may take place at deletion review. Pages that are not articles (such as categories or images) are usually deleted via a separate process, see Wikipedia:Deletion policy for more.

Deletion discussions

Deletion is often decided through discussion on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. This is an easy way to get involved with the deletion process, but there are a few things worth knowing. Most importantly, deletion is not decided by voting. Rather, the purpose of the discussions is to try to achieve a community consensus about whether the article in question should be deleted. When a consensus is reached, it will usually be respected by the closing administrator, but not always. If there is no consensus, the closing administrator will often default to keep the article.

Because the purpose is to establish a consensus among the community, contributions from newcomers are not always viewed as equally important. However, reasonable arguments are always welcome. The following are some of the common arguments in deletion discussions:

Advice for newcomers to deletion

Speedy deletion

In some cases, a page may be so undesirable that it can be speedily deleted without a debate. There are strict Criteria for speedy deletion; if a page meets one or more of these criteria, it may be speedily deleted by an administrator. This is meant to be used in uncontroversial cases, but lack of controversy is not a requirement. The main reason articles are speedily deleted are for being extremely short on material or context, for being a recreation of deleted material, or for being an article about a real person or group of people that doesn't assert the importance of the subject.

Proposed deletion

Articles not meeting the criteria for speedy deletion should not be speedily deleted. On the other hand, deletion debates for articles that will surely be deleted without controversy are a waste of the community's time. For articles that fit in this middle ground, we have Proposed deletion. An article proposed for deletion will be deleted in seven days if no one objects. Proposed deletion should only be used for uncontroversial deletion nominations; it should not be used as a way of getting an article deleted without the community noticing.

Deletion review debates

Everything that is true of deletion debates is true of deletion review debates, but they are often even harder to resolve. Deletion review exists for two primary purposes: to review the decision of administrators in deleting an article (usually as the result of a debate), or to ask that a previously deleted article be allowed to be recreated.

How to nominate a page for deletion

Competence

Nominators for deletion should demonstrate a reasonable level of competence. This means articles, categories or templates should not be nominated in a routine fashion, nor because one feels too lazy to check for sources, or if the content is still being built or improved.

Some lingo and shortcuts

Policies

Guidelines

See also