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Fallout Wiki:Content organization guideline

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This page contains the Nukapedia's content organization guideline. It describes in which way content should be divided into articles, i.e. what content should have own articles, when articles should be merged, when and how to disambiguate, how articles and categories should be named as well as how content should be categorized.
Policyintro
  • Guidelines describe desired etiquette and common practice in the creation, editing and organization of articles on this wiki.
  • Any registered editor is free to edit this page to improve its readability as long as the essence of the article remains unchanged.
  • If you would like to suggest content changes or propose a new policy or guideline, please use the wiki discussion forum.
  • See the policies and guidelines page for an overview of this wiki's policies and guidelines.

On content organization

Much like article layouts, content organization is one of the most important parts of wiki editing. How content is organized and distributed across articles decides how easy it is for readers to find the content they are looking for. A wiki should aim to make access to its content as easy as possible - after all, there is not much use in creating content which nobody can find and read.

Categorization and overview pages help readers find content in case they do not know the exact name of what they are looking for. Although categorization helps and is necessary, it should not be relied upon too heavily for navigating the wiki. Generally, readers should be able to reach pages by following links in articles or navigational aids rather than having to search through categories. Of course, some people prefer the direct method of using categories; others are put off by having to use them. For this reason, it should always be possible to find a given article through both methods. Overview pages, i.e. pages which list and summarize groups of related articles, are a good way to provide easy access to pages as they offer the possibility for more structured listings than categories which only list the name of their members.

In addition, content organization helps improve the overall quality of a wiki. If the content is not properly organized, repetition and redundancy will occur. While that may not seem bad at first glance, it inevitably leads to conflicting and/or incomplete information found in the various articles instead of complete and correct information in one place. In turn, this is detrimental to the wiki's reliability and its reputation.

Redundancy and repetition

  • Redundancy and repetition should be avoided. There should only be a single article (or section of an article) where a given topic is presented in full detail. Other pages should link to the page with the details instead of repeating them.
  • Only information that is directly relevant to the subject of a given article should be included in that article.

Naming

  • Article and category names should be as precise and at the same time as short as possible.
    • For characters, titles and ranks should not be included in the article title. For example, if a character is called "Paladin XYZ," the article should be named "XYZ." Full names are preferred if possible.
  • Article names should not be overcapitalized. They should be "Fallout series" and "Fallout setting," not "Fallout Series" and "Fallout Setting", regardless of in-game spelling. Proper names, such as Pancor Jackhammer should be capitalized, but common words, like combat shotgun, should not.
    • If it's not clear whether a name is a proper name or a common one, naming should be discussed and decided on a case by case basis.
  • If the spelling used on the wiki is different from the in-game spelling, a redirect from the in-game spelling should be created.
  • Names should generally be singular (i.e. "Mutant", not "Mutants"). Overview article names should be plural (e.g. "Fallout 3 items").
  • Overview articles should be named "<full game name> <subject in plural>" (e.g. "Fallout 2 organizations").
  • Category names should generally be plural unless this is impossible or awkward to do.

Disambiguation

  • If a given term can refer to multiple articles (i.e. if it is "ambiguous"), the articles should be moved to non-ambiguous (or "disambiguated") titles. A disambiguation page, i.e. a page which links to all possible articles this term may refer to, should then be placed at the ambiguous title.
  • In absence of other possibilities to disambiguate the titles (like a surname for a common first name), a term in brackets should be appended to the end. The terms should be chosen from the following list; the first characteristic in which the subjects differ is to be used.
    • type of subject (e.g. "character" or "item")
    • full name of the game the subject appears in (e.g. "Fallout 2" or "Fallout Tactics")
    • location (e.g. "Shady Sands" or "Arroyo")
    • other characteristics of the subjects
  • If a term is disambiguated by game and an article refers to multiple games, the term in brackets should only contain the game of first occurrence. Disambiguated titles for the other games should be redirected to it. For example, if an article refers to both Fallout 2 and Fallout 3 the article should be called "Example (Fallout 2)" and "Example (Fallout 3)" should redirect to it.

Categorization

  • All content pages (articles and files) should belong to at least one category which is not a maintenance category. Maintenance categories are all subcategories of Category:Attention required. Disambiguation pages and redirects are not considered articles in the sense of this rule.
  • A content page should be placed in all the categories to which it logically belongs.
  • A content page should be placed only in the most game-specific category (or categories) out of a given branch of the category tree. The question you should ask yourself is: Is category A a (more) game-specific version of category B? If that is the case, the page should only be in category A. For example, a weapon which appears in Fallout 2 should be in Category:Fallout 2 weapons but not in Category:Weapons (because "Fallout 2 weapons" is a game-specific version of "Weapons"). Similarly, a weapon which appears in Operation: Anchorage should not be in Category:Weapons or Category:Fallout 3 weapons, but only in Category:Operation: Anchorage weapons (because the latter is the most game-specific category). On the other hand, a weapon which appears in both Fallout and Fallout 2 should be in both Category:Fallout weapons and Category:Fallout 2 weapons (because "Fallout weapons" is not a (more) game-specific version of "Fallout 2 weapons").
  • An article should always be categorized by characteristics of the topic, not characteristics of the article. A character article which contains descriptions of bugs, for example, does not belong in Category:Bugs.
  • An article should never be left with a non-existent (redlinked) category on it. Either the category should be created (most easily by clicking on the red link), or else the link should be removed or changed to a category that does exist.
  • User pages should not be placed in content categories. They may be placed in certain categories which explicitly allow to do so, otherwise they should remain uncategorized.

Merging and splitting

Main considerations

There are two main considerations for the organization of content across articles:

  1. Strength of an article: Every article should be "strong" enough to stand on its own. This means the subject provides enough content to write an article of decent length about it.
  2. Reader convenience and clear structure: Content distribution across articles should be clearly structured and convenient for readers. Simply put, this means information should be presented in a way that allows readers to easily find what they are looking for.

In detail, this means:

  • When creating a new article, it should always be considered whether its subject is too weak to carry an own article and whether it would be more convenient for readers if it were merged with another article. If the answer to these questions are positive, the article should rather be merged (if possible).
  • Accordingly, if the subject of an article is broad enough to supply enough content for multiple individual articles or if it would be more convenient for readers if the article was split, splitting the article should be considered.

Multi-game articles

  • If an article subject appears in multiple games, there should generally be a single article about the subject which covers all games.
  • An exception should be made if the article is about an item with a generic ingame name. "Generic" refers to a non-specific, "type-like" name. For example, "Combat Armor" (or "Laser Pistol") is a generic name as it refers to a type of armor (or weapon) as well as multiple different incarnations in various games.
    • In this case a general article with background information and comparisons between the different incarnations should be placed at the subject's name and specific gameplay information should be placed in separate articles which are disambiguated (see below) by the game of appearance. However, it is not necessary to make an article for every game incarnation; if the item is identical in terms of ingame statistics in some of the games, the articles for these game incarnations may be merged.

Exceptions

  • "Named" subjects should always have own articles. For example, this applies to "named" characters or "named" locations. "Named" refers to a subject with a unique name (opposed to generic subjects).

See also

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