Subject namespacesTalk namespaces
2UserUser talk3
4WikipediaWikipedia talk5
6FileFile talk7
8MediaWikiMediaWiki talk9
10TemplateTemplate talk11
12HelpHelp talk13
14CategoryCategory talk15
100PortalPortal talk101
108BookBook talk109
118DraftDraft talk119
446Education ProgramEducation Program talk447
710TimedTextTimedText talk711
828ModuleModule talk829
2300GadgetGadget talk2301
2302Gadget definitionGadget definition talk2303

Drafts are administration pages in the Draft namespace where new articles may be created and developed, for a limited[note 1] period of time. They help new articles to develop and receive feedback before being moved to Wikipedia's mainspace. If you are logged in, creating a Draft version first is optional. Editors may instead choose to create draft pages in their userspace, or new articles directly in mainspace after the user has become autoconfirmed or confirmed.

How drafts work

Finding drafts

Drafts are not indexed by most search engines including Google,[note 2] meaning most readers will not find them. Anyone may search and view drafts on Wikipedia directly using Wikipedia's built-in search engine: simply choose "Advanced", then tick "Draft" or "Draft talk" on the list of options (i.e. in this manner). The list of all Draft pages is at Special:AllPages or newly created drafts, visit a random draft, or see Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/tables.

Creating and editing drafts

Anyone, including users who are not logged in, may create and edit drafts. Drafts in the namespace have "Draft:" before their normal title, and also have an associated draft talk page. Users who have VisualEditor enabled will be able to use VisualEditor just like on articles. WP:Autoconfirmed rights are required for moving drafts to article mainspace page but you may request a page move at Wikipedia:Requested moves. If there is a technical barrier to the move like the target is create protected, seek an Admin's assistance.

Create a new draft

Preparing drafts

  • (Optionally) add the template at the top of the draft (not the talk page), along with the template's parameters |name and |subject=. A list of appropriate subject fields can be found here.
  • Disable any categories by inserting a colon before the word "Category". Example: change [[Category:Living people]] to [[:Category:Living people]]
  • Non-free content cannot be included in draft articles per Wikipedia's policy on where non-free media is allowed. Any desired non-free content should be added to the article once it has been moved to the mainspace.

Publishing a draft

Publishing a draft requires an editor to use the page move function to move it in the Main (article) namespace. This means that anonymous editors, or registered editors not autoconfirmed, will need to request publication by inserting into their drafts the relevant template for requesting a page move. Editors may also optionally submit drafts for review via the articles for creation process.

An article created in draftspace does not belong to the editor who created it, and any other user may edit, publish, redirect, merge or seek deletion of any draft.[note 3]

Moving articles to draft space

As a result of a deletion discussion

Articles may be moved to become a draft as a result of a deletion discussion, indirectly following deletion and a request for undeletion. When performing such a move, link to the original deletion discussion and the decision to move the article into draftspace. Authors should try to understand and respond to the reason for moving back to draft status, and then use the AfC submission process to have the page moved back to mainspace. The author is encouraged to ask other editors questions, or to use the template.

During new page review

The community has also allowed for new page reviewers to move new articles to draft space.[note 4] Below are a set of best practices to follow when draftifying an article in these circumstances. As part of the review of new pages, editors holding the permission of New Page Reviewer may unilaterally move an unreviewed page back to draft status if:

  1. the topic has some potential merit, and
  2. the article does not meet the required standard, and
  3. there is no evidence of active improvement.

Expanding on the above:

Has some merit

1a. for example, the topic is plausibly notable (if not, it should be speedy-deleted under A7 or nominated at AfD; do not draftify junk).

Does not meet the required standard

2a. The page is obviously unready for mainspace. It does not meet WP:STUB; or it would have very little chance of survival at AfD; or it meets any speedy deletion criterion.
2b. The topic appears unimportant, is possibly not worth the effort of fixing, and no great loss if deleted due to expiring in draftspace.
2c. The topic is not a new topic likely to be of interest to multiple people (such as current affairs topics).
2d. The page is a recent creation by an inexperienced editor. (Old pages, and pages by experienced editors, deserve an AfD discussion).

No evidence of active improvement

3a. There is no evidence of a user actively working on it.
3b. There is no assertion that the page belongs in mainspace, such as a clear statement to that effect in the edit history, or on the talk page, or a revert of a previous draftification.
Requirements for page movers

To unilaterally move an article to draft space, you should:

Other editors (including the author of the page) have a right to object to moving the page, and to have the matter discussed at WP:AfD. If an editor raises an objection, move the page back to mainspace and list at AfD.

Tools for moving articles to draft space