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If an article becomes too large, or a section of an article has a length that is out of proportion to the rest of the article, it may be appropriate for some or all of the article to be split into new articles. In some cases, refactoring an article into child or sister articles can allow subtopics to be discussed more fully elsewhere without dominating a general overview article to which they are non-central (but only if the new articles are themselves sufficiently notable to be included in the encyclopedia).
The two main reasons for splitting material out from an article are size and content relevance. If either the whole article, or the specific material within one section becomes too large, or if the material is seen to be inappropriate for the article due to being out of scope, then a split may be considered or proposed. Consideration must be given to size, notability and potential neutrality issues before proposing or carrying out a split.
Main page: Wikipedia:Article size
Articles should be neither too big nor too small.
Large articles may have readability and technical issues. A page of about 30 to 50 kilobytes (kB) of readable prose, which roughly corresponds to 6,000 to 10,000 words, takes between 30 and 40 minutes to read at average speed, which is right on the limit of the average concentration span of 40 to 50 minutes. Also, some users may have technical limitations, such as a low speed service, an unstable connection, or a pay per megabyte service.
At 50 kB of readable prose and above it may benefit the reader to consider moving some sections to new articles and replace them with summaries per Wikipedia:Summary style. Consideration, however, needs to be given to the amount and quality of material to be moved. If the material for the new article is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of the subject, or would simply duplicate the summary that would be left behind, then it may be too soon to move it. Unsourced material shouldn't be used to create new articles as it may have notability or verifiability issues.
Below 50 kB, an article may not need splitting based on size alone, and at 40 kB and below a split would generally only be justified based on content issues.
|Readable prose size (kB)||What to do|
|> 100||Almost certainly should be divided|
|> 60||Probably should be divided (although the scope of a topic can sometimes justify the added reading time)|
|> 50||May need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)|
|< 40||Length alone does not justify division|
|< 1||If an article or list has remained this size for over a couple of months, consider combining it with a related page. Alternatively, why not fix it by adding more info? See Wikipedia:Stub.|
Number of characters in an article can be found with the help of XTools (also accessible via Page History from Page Statistics link at the top) under "Prose" in the "General statistics" section; Shubinator's DYK tool; or Prosesize.
These guidelines apply somewhat less to disambiguation pages and naturally do not apply to redirects. They also apply less strongly to list articles, especially if splitting them would require breaking up a sortable table.
Too large after templates are expanded:
Main page: Help:Template § Template limits
Pages exceeding this limit are in Category:Pages where post-expand include size is exceeded
After all templates and transclusions are accounted for, if the resulting "post-expanded include size" may reach a limit. Symptoms include templates lower in the page, such as ((reflist)) or navigation templates at the bottom of the page not displaying properly. One solution is to split the article.
Since "un-doing" a split may be labor-intensive if significant editing happens to either page after the split, try to avoid splitting until after a community discussion. If there is another way to reduce the "post-expanded size" that is easier to "undo" than a split, consider doing it first, then opening a discussion to see what the long-term fix should be.
Likewise, if a split would be controversial, try to find a less controversial way to temporarily reduce the "post-expanded size" then open a discussion to find consensus for a long-term fix.
However, if splitting the page is the easiest-to-undo solution and such a split would not be controversial, consider being bold and splitting the page, then immediately opening a discussion to see if the community accepts the split or if it offers alternative solutions. In this case, be prepared to undo the split.
Sometimes two or more distinct topics may share the same base title or similar titles, such as "light", which may refer to electromagnetic radiation, a component that produces light, or spiritual illumination. Sometimes the distinct topics may be closely related, such as Coffea (the plant) and coffee (the product), or thermal energy and heat.
When two or more distinct topics with the same or a similar titles are being written about on the same page, even if they are closely related, a content split may be considered, and a disambiguation page created to point readers to the separate pages. Before proposing a split, consideration must be given both to notability of the offshoot topic and to potential neutrality issues. If one or more of the topics is not notable on its own, it may be more appropriate to simply remove the material from Wikipedia than to create a new article.
If unsure, start a discussion on the article's talk page using a template.
Note: For disambiguation pages, use ((Split dab)) instead of ((split)). If section to be split out is known, use ((split section)).
If an article meets the criteria for splitting and no discussion is required, editors can be bold and carry out the split. If unsure, or with high-profile or sensitive articles, start a "Split" discussion on the article talk page, and consider informing any associated WikiProject(s). Additionally, adding one of the splitting templates will display a notice on the article and list it at Category:Articles to be split. This will help bring it to the attention of editors who may assist in establishing consensus, in deciding if a split is appropriate, or in carrying out the split. Templates used without an accompanying rationale, and where there is no obvious reason for the split request, may be removed at any time.
Note: To conform with Wikipedia's licensing requirements, which require that all content contributors receive attribution, the page receiving the split material must have an edit summary noting "split content from [[article name]]". (Do not omit this step or omit the page name.) A note should also be made in the edit summary of the source article, "split content to [[article name]]". The ((Copied)) template can also be placed on the talk page of both articles. For further information, refer to the main Copying within Wikipedia guideline.
Skip to step 5 if making a bold split. Create a discussion on the talkpage of the page that content is to be split from. Include what sections are to be split and what the new page name should be. Example:
== Splitting proposal == I propose that sections ''[[sections]]'' be split into a separate page called ''[[new page name]]''. The content of the current page seems off-topic and these sections are large enough to make their own page. ~~~~
Notify involved users (optional): To generate a discussion and to notify people who know a lot about the topic, it is recommended to contact involved users. These users can be: frequent contributors, the creator of the page or users who have a lot of posts on the talk page. You can notify them by
((ping |''USER1''|''USER2''|...)) or by using a notice for their talk page
((Subst:Splitnote | ''ARTICLE NAME'' | ''NEW ARTICLE'' | ''TALK PAGE'')).
Failure to reach a consensus, whether the result of a split discussion or a bold split that was contested, usually results in the article remaining whole. A contested bold split may be reverted; however it is not always appropriate to redirect the new article to the old as the new article may stand on its own, even if the main article that it came from is not split.
((split)) to notify users of the proposed split. On the article (not the talkpage) add
((split|'''Article 1'''|date=August 2022)) or
((split|'''Article 1'''|'''Article 2'''|...|date=August 2022)). This template adds a box to notify users about the split. If the new page name is unknown, use
((split)) by itself with no parameters.
In many cases, a hybrid discussion/straw poll is used, but remember that polling is not a substitute for discussion. Example formatting:
* '''Support''' – <insert reason for supporting split here> ~~~~ * '''Oppose''' – <insert reason for opposing split here> ~~~~
Close the discussion and determine the consensus by using the following:
== Split proposal == ((Discussion top|result=The result of this discussion was to ... ~~~~)) <Start of discussion> . . . <End of discussion> ((Discussion bottom))
See below. This is the most important step!
If material is split from an article, consider whether a summary section should be created, and whether a ((Main)) template should be placed at the top of the section to link to the new page. In general, if the split is due to size, then a summary section is required; if the split is due to content (or scope), then a summary section is unlikely to be required. On the talk page of the new and old articles, include the template ((Copied)).
Further information: Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia
Further information: Wikipedia:How to fix cut-and-paste moves
The following procedure can be used for splitting from a single source article to a new article. These instructions are provided for guidance, but some steps may not be necessary in all cases and these instructions may not cover every eventuality. It is advisable to read through the whole of this procedure before starting.
((Copied|from=|from_oldid=|to=|to_diff=))to source article talk page, and paste the diff URL into it, add the title of the new article and the date, add a descriptive edit summary and save the edit.
((Copied|from=|from_oldid=|to=|to_diff=))to the new article talk page, and paste the diff into it, add the title of the source page and the date, add a descriptive edit summary and save the edit.
Main page: Wikipedia:Template messages/Splitting
There are a number of templates that can be used on articles and their talk pages as part of splitting articles.
A list of articles that have been tagged for consideration for splitting are at Category:Articles to be split.
|Articles to be split|