In Wikipedia, editors add links to articles where they think a reader might want to know more about something. Where links are blue, readers can click on them to see a more detailed article on that subject. However, when Wikipedia doesn't contain an article for a particular link, it shows up as a red link (
like this one).
Red links are not always bad, as explained at Wikipedia:Red link. However, Wikipedia's user experience is better when red links are managed appropriately. WikiProject Red Link Recovery is a WikiProject looking at all methods of reducing the number of unnecessary red links in Wikipedia.
They can exist for one of several reasons:
- Wikipedia doesn't have an article on the linked subject ...
- ... because one should exist, but nobody has started it yet.
- ... because an administrator deleted the article and did not remove backlinks afterwards.
- ... because the subject doesn't meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines (though it might be part of an article with larger scope).
- ... because the link makes no sense — it may be a mistake or vandalism.
- Wikipedia does have an article on the linked subject, but under a different title ...
- ... maybe the editor just typed its name incorrectly.
- ... maybe the spelling of the article name in the (red) hyperlink used to be correct, but someone "moved" (re-named) the target article, without first being diligent enough about checking "
What links here" and updating as appropriate. (This probably happens more often with changes to names of sections, than with changes to names of articles. An editor could easily forget that a section can be mentioned in a hyperlink cross-reference — such as the link from Retting to Jute#Production.)
- ... it might be hard to find because it is stored under an unusual title and needs to be moved.
- ... perhaps alternative names need to be given to the article using redirects.