The following are guidelines for closing Wikipedia:Requested moves.

Formatting requests

Malformed requests are usually created by not substituting the ((move)) template, or using rename or movereq directly instead of substituting move. They can usually be fixed by replacing ((move|Newpagename)) with ((subst:move|Newpagename)), which will, within one half hour, propagate to WP:RM. Some other common problems are multiple —'s, and missing signatures or missing timestamps.

Non-admin closure

Experienced editors in good standing are allowed to close some requested move surveys.

Non-administrators should restrict themselves to:

Conflicts of interest

No user, whether an administrator or otherwise, should ever close a requested move discussion they participated in except if the discussion reaches a unanimous result after a full listing period (seven days).

Determining consensus

Determining consensus on requested moves is somewhat of a contentious area. In general, there is a consensus that there is no minimum participation required. This isn't like articles for deletion, where lack of participation requires relisting. For most moves, there is no need to make a request at all; the need for requesting the move arises only because of a technical limitation resulting from the target article name existing as a redirect with more than one edit. Thus, if no one has objected, go ahead and perform the move as requested unless it is patently out of keeping with naming conventions or otherwise is in clear conflict with policy.

If objections have been raised, then the discussion should be evaluated just like any other discussion on Wikipedia: lack of consensus normally means that no change happens. However, sometimes a requested move is filed in response to a recent move from a long existing name that cannot be undone without administrative help.

If the closing administrator feels that no consensus has been reached, they may move the article back to the most recent stable name. In some cases, it may be disputed what the most recent stable name is; in cases such as this, administrators are expected to use their own judgment in determining the proper destination. If a discussion is ongoing or has not reached a reasonable conclusion, relist it, by adding, just after:
[[Oldpage]] → [[Newpage]] Relisted. ~~~~ (or something to that effect). That will move the listing to today's date on WP:RM.

Reversal of irreversible page moves

See: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/AndriyK#Reversal of irreversible page moves (Passed 7-0, 04:19, 27 January 2006)

If a page move is blocked for an ordinary editor due to a minor edit history on the target page, consider deleting the page and restoring only the redirect, then any editor can move the page without any additional help from an administrator.

Moving procedure

Since any page move listed at WP:RM or WP:SPLICE will have a redirect at the desired location, you must investigate that redirect. It is important to check to see if the redirect has major history; major history contains information about the addition of current text. (This is sometimes caused by the accidental creation of a duplicate article, or someone doing a cut-and-paste "move", instead of using the "Move this page" button.) Never simply delete such redirect pages, (which we need to keep for copyright reasons).

Major history

There are three ways to deal with a page move with a major history:

  1. The "right" way is to merge the histories, using the procedure outlined at Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves. On rare occasions, this procedure will not work correctly. There are also circumstances (for example duplicate pages) where it's not the correct choice anyway. Once done, it cannot easily be undone, so don't pick this option unless it's definitely the right one. You can request history merges at Wikipedia:Cut and paste move repair holding pen.
  2. Alternatively, the article and the redirect can be swapped. This leaves the bifurcated history, but has less chance of causing problems. Simply move one of the pair to a temporary name, and then delete the new redirect which that move will leave behind at the original location; next, move the other page of the pair across to the first one's old location, and delete that left-over new redirect; finally, move the first one from its temporary location to its new name. You will then need to delete the new redirect at the temporary location, and finally fix the old redirect to point at the article again (at this point, it will be pointing to itself).
  3. Another option is for redirect pages with major history to be archived into a talk namespace, and a link to them put into the article's talk page. (An example of such a page is at Talk:Network SouthEast, which was originally created as a duplicate article at Network SouthEast and later archived, when the original article was moved from Network South East.)

Minor history

A minor history on the other hand contains no information, for example the redirect page Eric Tracy has a minor history but Eric Treacy (which incidentally is the correct spelling) could not be moved there because of a spelling mistake in the original page. Redirect pages with minor histories can simply be deleted.

Tidying up

Whichever of these various options you take, moving pages will change any redirects that pointed to the original page location, into double redirects. It is the responsibility of the admin doing the move to fix these, though periodically a bot will attempt to fix any you missed.

The "move succeeded" summary page that that you are taken to directly upon a move provides a boldfaced "check" button specifically geared to listing the offending double redirects created. However, some talk pages, archive pages and subpages that you may have also moved, may also have had redirects that have become double redirects. For such associated pages, go to the prior page names (which should now be themselves all at redirects) and click on "What links here" in the toolbox on the left hand side of the page, then click on "Hide links." This is the manual procedure to take you to what the "Check" button noted above takes you to automatically. Fix any double redirects shown on the resulting page.

You should also check whether there are any images on the moved page with fair use rationales (any Commons images can be immediately excluded). If you find such images present, change all mentions of the prior article name, to the retitled name, so that the image is not marked for deletion as orphaned.

When you complete an entry on this page (whether the move was accepted or rejected), don't forget to remove the ((movereq)) tag from the talk page. You should also add and sign a comment to indicate whether the move was accepted or rejected in the discussion area for the requested move survey on the article's talk page. This can take the form of an informal note or a more formal close (see below).

There are a few options for closing the move request survey on the affected article's talk page. One is to use the templates ((subst:RM top)) and ((subst:RM bottom)) (although some editors prefer ((polltop))/((pollbottom)) or ((discussion top))/((discussion bottom))), much like the WP:AfD debate closing templates ((at)) and ((ab)). The other is just to leave a statement like "This article has been renamed as the result of a move request". For requests that for some reason did not apply, you can use ((notmovedmalformed)) or a similar statement based on the circumstances.

Those volunteering to do tidying tasks should watch the requested moves page for new notices.

History merges

In order to deal with required merges of a copy/paste move which cannot be done right away, list the pages involved at Wikipedia:Cut and paste move repair holding pen.

Contested moves

If moves that are listed as "uncontroversial" are contested, you may notify the editor with ((RMinc)).