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A stub is an article deemed too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject. The objective of this page is to provide a general guide for dealing with stubs.

The first section, Basic information, contains information that is recommended for most users. The second section, Creating stub types, contains more specialized material.

NOTE: This page is NOT for proposing new stub articles. To do that, please visit Wikipedia:Articles for creation or Wikipedia:Requested articles. Existing stub categories can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Stub types.

Basic information

A stub is an article that, although providing some useful information, is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject, and that is capable of expansion. Non-article pages, such as disambiguation pages, lists, categories, templates, talk pages, and redirects, are not regarded as stubs.

If a stub has little verifiable information, or if its subject has no apparent notability, it may be deleted or be merged into another relevant article.

While a " definition" may be enough to qualify an article as a stub, Wikipedia is not a dictionary. The distinction between dictionary and encyclopedia articles is best expressed by the use–mention distinction:

  • A dictionary article is about a word or phrase and will often have several different definitions for it
  • An encyclopedia article is about the subject denoted by the title but usually has only one definition (or in some cases, several definitions that are largely the same) but there may be several equivalent words (synonyms) or phrases for it.

Sizable articles are usually not considered stubs, even if they have significant problems or are noticeably incomplete. With these larger articles, a cleanup template is usually added instead of a stub template.

How big is too big?

Over the years, different editors have followed different rules of thumb to help them decide when an article is likely to be a stub. Editors may decide that an article with more than ten sentences is too big to be a stub, or that the threshold for another article may be 250 words. Others follow the Did you know? standard of 1,500 characters in the main text. AutoWikiBrowser is frequently set to automatically remove stub tags from any article with more than 500 words.

There is no set size at which an article stops being a stub. While very short articles are very likely to be stubs, there are some subjects about which very little can be written. Conversely, there are subjects about which a lot could be written, and their articles may still be stubs even if they are a few paragraphs long. As such, it is impossible to state whether an article is a stub based solely on its length, and any decision on the article has to come down to an editor's best judgement (the user essay on the Croughton-London rule may be of use when trying to judge whether an article is a stub). Similarly, stub status usually depends on the length of prose text alone – lists, templates, images, and other such peripheral parts of an article are usually not considered when judging whether an article is a stub.

Creating and improving a stub article

A stub should contain enough information for other editors to expand upon it. The key is to provide adequate context—articles with little or no context usually end up being speedily deleted. Your initial research may be done either through books or reliable websites. You may also contribute knowledge acquired from other sources, but it is useful to conduct some research beforehand to ensure that your facts are accurate and unbiased. Use your own words: directly copying other sources without giving them credit is plagiarism, and may in some cases be a violation of copyright.

Begin by defining or describing your topic. Avoid fallacies of definition. Write clearly and informatively. State, for example, what a person is famous for, where a place is located and what it is known for, or the basic details of an event and when it happened.

Next, try to expand upon this basic definition. Internally link relevant words, so that users unfamiliar with the subject can understand what you have written. Avoid linking words needlessly; instead, consider which words may require further definition for a casual reader to understand the article.

Lastly, a critical step: add sources for the information you have put into the stub; see citing sources for information on how to do so in Wikipedia.

How to mark an article as a stub

After writing a short article, or finding an unmarked stub, you should insert a stub template. Choose from among the templates listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Stub types.

Per the manual of style, the stub template is placed at the end of the article, after the External links section, any navigation templates, and the category tags, so that the stub category will appear after all article content. Leave two blank lines between the first stub template and whatever precedes it. As with all templates, stub templates are added by simply placing the name of the template in the text between double pairs of curly brackets (e.g., ). Stub templates are transcluded, not substituted.

Stub templates have two parts: a short message noting the stub's topic and encouraging editors to expand it, and a category link, which places the article in a stub category alongside other stubs on the same topic. The naming for stub templates is usually topic-stub; a list of these templates may be found here. You need not learn all the templates—even simply adding {{ stub}} helps (see this essay for more information). The more accurately an article is tagged, however, the less work it is for other sorters later, and the more useful it is for editors looking for articles to expand.

If a more specific stub template than is currently on an article exists and completely covers the subject of the article, remove the more general template and replace it with the more specific type (for example, an article on Morocco may be stubbed with {{ Africa-stub}}. If it is solely about Morocco, remove the template and replace it with {{ Morocco-stub}} - don't simply add {{ Morocco-stub}} and leave {{ Africa-stub}} in place). One specific template can often be used to replace two or more more general types (for example, {{ UK-sport-bio-stub}} can replace both {{ UK-bio-stub}} and {{ sport-bio-stub}}).

If an article overlaps several stub categories, more than one template may be used, but it is strongly recommended that only those relating to the subject's main notability be used. A limit of three or, if really necessary, four stub templates is advised.

Stub-related activities are centralised at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting ( shortcut Wikipedia:WSS). This project should be your main reference for stub information, and is where new stub types should be proposed for discussion prior to creation.

Removing stub status

Once a stub has been properly expanded and becomes a larger article, any editor may remove its stub template. No administrator action or formal permission is needed. Stub templates are usually located at the bottom of the page, and usually have a name like {{ something-stub}} if you are using the classic wikitext editor rather than VisualEditor.

Many articles still marked as stubs have in fact been expanded beyond what is regarded as stub size. If an article is too large to be considered a stub but still needs expansion, the stub template may be removed and appropriate {{ expand section}} templates may be added (no article should contain both a stub template and an expand template).

When removing stub templates, users should also visit the talk page and update the WikiProject classifications as necessary.

Be bold in removing stub tags that are clearly no longer applicable.

Locating stubs

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Wikipedia:Stub
armãneashti: Wikipedia:Ahurhire
Bân-lâm-gú: Wikipedia:Phí
беларуская: Вікіпедыя:Накід
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вікіпэдыя:Накід
čeština: Wikipedie:Pahýl
dolnoserbski: Wikipedija:Zarodk
Esperanto: Vikipedio:Ĝermo
føroyskt: Wikipedia:Stubbi
français: Aide:Ébauche
hornjoserbsce: Wikipedija:Zarodk
hrvatski: Wikipedija:Mrva
Bahasa Indonesia: Wikipedia:Tulisan rintisan
interlingua: Wikipedia:Pecietta
italiano: Aiuto:Abbozzo
kernowek: Wikipedia:Stokk
မြန်မာဘာသာ: Wikipedia:Stub
Dorerin Naoero: Wikipedia:Kadudu
Napulitano: Ajùto:Stub
norsk nynorsk: Wikipedia:Spire
occitan: Ajuda:Esbòs
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Vikipediya:Chala maqola
Plattdüütsch: Wikipedia:Stubben
português: Wikipédia:Esboço
română: Wikipedia:Ciot
sámegiella: Wikipedia:Nalta
sicilianu: Wikipedia:Stub
Simple English: Wikipedia:Stub
slovenčina: Wikipédia:Výhonok
slovenščina: Wikipedija:Škrbina
српски / srpski: Википедија:Клица
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Wikipedia:Članci u začetku
vepsän kel’: Vikipedii:Ezitegez
Tiếng Việt: Wikipedia:Bài sơ khai