Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes

There have been many Wikipedia:Articles for deletion (AfD) debates over the years. This page summarizes how various types of articles, subjects, and issues have often been dealt with on AfD.

For an archive of this page, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Precedents/Archive.

Citing this page in AfD[edit]

This page summarizes what some editors believe are the typical outcomes of past AfD discussions for some commonly nominated subjects.

This page is not a policy or guideline, and previous outcomes do not bind future ones because consensus can change. The community's actual notability guidelines are listed in the template at the right. Notability always requires verifiable evidence, and all articles on all subjects are kept or deleted on the basis of sources showing their notability, not their subjective importance or relationship to something else. All articles should be evaluated individually on their merits and their ability to conform to standard content policies such as Verifiability and Neutral point of view.

As guidelines and actual practice change, this page should be updated to reflect current outcomes.

Avoid over-reliance on citing these "common outcomes" when stating one's case at Articles for Deletion. While precedents can be useful in helping to resolve notability challenges, editors are not necessarily bound to follow past practice. When push comes to shove, notability is demonstrated by the mustering of evidence that an article topic is the subject of multiple instances of non-trivial coverage in trustworthy independent sources.

This page simply attempts to summarize Wikipedia's common daily practice with respect to deletion debates. If you feel that an outcome common to articles like the one you are discussing does not apply, then give a common-sense or guidelines-based reason why it shouldn't apply. Avoid weak or illogical arguments, such as "Notability is only an optional guideline" or "We always keep these articles".

You can use the template {{Outcomes}} to link to this section.

General notability guideline[edit]

A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. However, there is still a lot of debate on notability.

People [edit]


See Wikipedia:Notability (academics) for a detailed guideline.

Businesspeople and executives[edit]

  • Corporate presidents, chief executive officers and chairpersons of the boards of directors of companies listed in the Fortune 500 (US) or the FTSE 100 Index (UK) are generally kept as notable.
  • Biographical material on heads and key figures of smaller companies which are themselves the subject of Wikipedia articles are sometimes merged into those articles and the biographies redirected to the company.


  • Family members of celebrities are generally merged with the articles about celebrities themselves, unless the family member meets notability requirements themselves. Ashlee Simpson and Jessica Simpson each have their own article; James Fawcett redirects to Farrah Fawcett.

Clergy and religious persons [edit]


  • Winners of contests, games of skill, and other competitions are subjects of some disagreement. Such articles are generally kept as notable only at the national level. For example, winners of well-known national spelling bees (like Scripps or CanSpell) may be kept as notable. The typical winner of a local spelling bee is almost always deleted. Other competitors are often redirected to the main article of the contest or show season.
  • Winners of lotteries and other games of chance are not considered inherently notable and are usually deleted.
  • Athletes and other sportspersons are subject to outcomes which vary according to the sport in question. In general, professional athletes in major sports are always kept, players who fail to play in top level professional leagues are often deleted. Participants in sports at a national level are more likely to be kept as notable than participants at a local level. The notability standard for athletes is Wikipedia:Notability (sports).


  • Flag officers, general officers and their service equivalents (e.g., Air officers) are generally considered notable; this includes officers of equal rank who are not considered flag or general officers in their own countries (e.g. brigadiers, commodores).
  • Field grade officers (such as colonels) and their equivalents, as well as more junior officers, must usually demonstrate notability independent of their military rank.

Oldest people[edit]

  • Articles about people known only for being the oldest person in the world, in a country, etc., at any given time are normally redirected or merged to a list of oldest people.


In general[edit]

  • Elected and appointed political figures at the national cabinet level are generally regarded as notable, as are usually those at the major sub-national level (US state, Canadian province, Japanese prefecture, etc.). See WP:POLITICIAN.

Local politicians[edit]

  • Municipal politicians are not inherently notable just for being in politics, but neither are they inherently non-notable just because they are in local politics. Each case is evaluated on its own individual merits. Mayors of cities of at least regional prominence have usually survived AFD, although the article should say more than just "Jane Doe is the mayor of Cityville". Mayors of smaller towns, however, are generally deemed not notable just for being mayors, although they may be notable for other reasons in addition to their mayoralty (e.g. having previously held a more notable office). Note that this criterion has not generally been as restrictive as the criterion for city councillors. City councillors and other major municipal officers are not automatically notable, although precedent has tended to favor keeping members of the main citywide government of internationally famous metropolitan areas such as Toronto, Chicago, Tokyo, or London. Losing candidates for municipal election are not considered inherently notable just for their candidacy and are generally deleted unless previous notability can be demonstrated.
  • American county-level legislators are considered to be similarly not-inherently notable just like municipal politicians.
  • Local politicians whose office would not ordinarily be considered notable may still clear the bar if they have received national or international press coverage, beyond the scope of what would ordinarily be expected for their role. For example, a small-town mayor or city councillor who was the first LGBT person ever elected to office in their country, or who emerged as a significant national spokesperson for a political issue, may be considered notable on that basis. Note that this distinction may not simply be asserted or sourced to exclusively local media; to claim notability on this basis, the coverage must be shown to have nationalized or internationalized well beyond their own local area alone.


  • Candidates who are running or unsuccessfully ran for a national legislature or other national office are not viewed as having inherent notability and are often deleted or merged into lists of campaign hopefuls, such as Ontario New Democratic Party candidates, 1995 Ontario provincial election, or into articles detailing the specific race in question, such as United States Senate election in Nevada, 2010. Note that such articles are still subject to the same content policies as any other article, and may not contain any unsourced biographical information that would not be acceptable in a separate article.
  • Losing candidates for office below the national level who are otherwise non-notable are generally deleted. They are not moved to user space for fear of establishing a precedent that any premature article about an as-yet-unelected candidate for office can be kept in draftspace pending election returns, effectively making draftspace a repository for campaign brochures (see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Siân Gwenllian.)

Political figures not elected to public office[edit]

  • Sub-cabinet officials (assistant secretary, commissioner, etc.) are usually considered notable, especially if they have had otherwise notable careers.
  • The spouse of the head of state or government is usually regarded as notable.
  • Leaders of registered political parties at the national level are sometimes considered notable despite their party's lack of electoral success. Leaders of major sub-national (state, province, prefecture, etc.) level are usually deleted unless notability can be demonstrated for other reasons.
  • Ambassadors are not considered inherently notable.
  • Civil servants who assume a political office on an interim or caretaker basis are not considered notable just for having briefly held that office, even if holders of the office are normally considered notable.

Companies and organizations[edit]


  • Companies are not kept on a basis of how much revenue or how many employees they have. See WP:BIG.
  • Blatant advertising pages have been subject to speedy deletion.
  • Products that have been planned, but not created yet, are generally deleted. See WP:CRYSTAL. However, exceptions have included "future-tech" items which already have substantial referencing behind the fundamental concept, such as fusion reactors, and prominent products in development (e.g. the next version of a computer operating system) for which well-sourced product updates are released on a relatively regular basis.
  • Companies reported as significant subjects of news coverage are usually sufficiently notable.
  • Generally, companies that are included in major stock indices such as S&P 500 Index or FTSE 100 Index will have sufficient in-depth independent for notability.
  • Local retailers and service merchants (franchises or individually owned) are generally deleted, with exceptions, including businesses with particular historical significance (e.g. the first motel), those centered around a major historical event, or tourist attractions.

Religious Organizations[edit]

  • Religions, religious denominations and sects are almost always treated as presumptively notable and kept provided there is reliable source evidence of their existence and they represent more than a handful of affiliated congregations or places of worship.
  • Individual parishes, congregations, temples and other places of worship are not generally kept unless they satisfy specific criteria in one or more of our guidelines pertaining to the establishment of encyclopedic notability. See also WP:NCHURCH.


School districts[edit]


  1. Most elementary (primary) and middle schools that don't source a clear claim to notability usually get merged or redirected in AfD. Schools that don't meet the standard typically get merged or redirected to the school district authority that operates them (generally North America) or the lowest level locality (elsewhere or where there is no governing body) rather than being completely removed from the encyclopedia. 'Redirect' as an alternative to deletion is anchored in policy.
  2. Most independently accredited degree-awarding[1] institutions and high schools have historically been kept except when zero independent sources can be found to prove that the institution actually exists.
  3. Schools that are being planned or built, except high schools reliably sourced to be opened within 12 months, are usually deleted.


  • Professors (in the American sense of the word) tend to be kept and deleted in about equal numbers. Prominent tenured professors tend to be kept, while assistant professors without major awards are frequently deleted. The notability standard is Wikipedia:Notability (academics) (WP:PROF).
  • Most schoolteachers and instructors below the level of professor are considered not notable, and thus deleted.
  • Students are generally deleted as not notable. The notability standard is Wikipedia:Notability (people) (WP:BIO).
  • School principals and superintendents are generally not considered notable, with the exception of school superintendents of very large cities/school districts.

Parts of schools and school-related organizations[edit]

  • Classes, classrooms or lessons are almost invariably deleted.
  • Faculties, departments or degree programs within a university, college, or school are generally not considered notable unless they have made significant contributions to their field. Separate articles on law schools and medical schools are being kept.
  • The notability of student unions may vary between different countries and different universities. A case-by-case demonstration of notability for each student union should be the prime determining factor. See also WP:UNIGUIDE#Student life.
  • Clubs are generally deleted as not notable unless they are syndicated or coordinated on a national/international level.


  • Breaking news events that receive a large spike of media coverage are frequently closed as no consensus, defaulting to keep.
  • Organized events that do not indicate a credible claim to importance are now being speedy deleted. See WP:CSD#A7. Note that this applies only to organized events, such as street fairs and concerts, and not to unorganized events, such as accidents or disasters.

Broadcast media [edit]

  • Licensed radio and TV stations are generally kept as notable if they broadcast over the air and originate at least a portion of their programming schedule in their own studios. Lower power radio stations limited to a small neighborhood, such as Part 15 operations in the United States or stations with a VF# callsign in Canada, are not inherently notable, although they may be kept if some real notability can be demonstrated. Stations that only rebroadcast the signal of another station should be redirected to their programming source (e.g. CICO-TV is a redirect to TVOntario.)
  • Internet radio stations are usually kept as notable if they can demonstrate a clear and verifiable cultural notability or influence. AOL Radio and WOXY, for instance, are clearly notable, but your own personal Peercast stream with three listeners is not.
  • Satellite radio channels on XM, Sirius or WorldSpace are kept if reliable source coverage about the station itself can be provided, but are redirected to a list of stations on the parent service if they can be referenced only to cursory coverage or primary sources which merely confirm the station's existence.

Television programs[edit]

  • All programs are subject to WP:NTV.
  • Television series, game shows, and talk shows broadcast nationally by a major network or produced by a major studio are usually kept. An exception is if a program was short-lived and/or aired in a market where reliable source coverage is scant.
  • Unaired programs and television pilots not picked up to series are usually deleted.
  • Individual episodes of television series are typically deleted or redirected to appropriate lists of episodes, if available.
  • Characters and other fictional elements from television programs are subject to the usual rules for notability, as outlined at Wikipedia:Notability (fiction).

Computing [edit]

  • Communities, message boards and blogs are generally deleted as not notable.
  • Flash animations are generally deleted as not notable, unless they are extremely well-known.
  • Programming languages are usually kept if widely used (including those that were widely used historically).
  • Programming languages are usually kept, additionally, if they are well-cited in peer-reviewed computer science literature (even if not-particularly-widely used in practice historically/currently).
  • Notability of Internet phenomena is widely disputed.
  • Internet radio stations: see #Media.

Legal cases and court decisions[edit]

  • The regular notability guideline is applied.
  • Cases and decisions whose articles are kept tend to be those who have received sustained, detailed media coverage (see also WP:NCRIME for criminal cases), or those who have become influential as precedent.
  • Decisions by a jurisdiction's highest judicial authority (such as a supreme court) are not considered notable for this reason alone, because even high courts make many routine or unexceptional decisions.


  • Lists and categories have different uses, and lists nominated for deletion just because they have overlapping categories are usually kept.
  • However, this criterion does not mean that it's always necessary or valid to have both a list and a category for any given grouping of topics. Categories that are narrow intersections of multiple facts, or which function poorly without the features a list can provide (such as annotations or direct citations), may sometimes be deleted based on the principles and practices of Wikipedia:Categories for discussion, even if the corresponding list may be kept. See Wikipedia:Overcategorization for further information.
  • Lists are likely to be kept if they are limited in scope, are based upon concrete criteria for inclusion, have verifiable content, and have a logical reason for their construction. Lists that index articles according to those principles are especially likely to be kept; see WP:LISTPURP and WP:NOTDIR. Lists that are based on novel or unusual classifications are likely to be deleted unless they can satisfy WP:LISTN by demonstrating notability as a group.
  • Ephemeral listings, such as lists of current personnel in an organisation, are generally deleted, except for the ministries of national parliaments, etc.


  • Published authors are kept as notable if they have received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work, or if their work is likely to be very widely read.
  • Books are notable (and thus kept) if well-known, and should be listed under the author if not.
  • Characters and locations from books are often deleted, unless a large amount of information is written on a character. See Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)
  • Fan fiction is generally deleted as not notable.
  • Poems and other literary texts themselves are often deleted as they often violate copyright; articles about poems or texts are often kept (if the poems/texts are notable).


  • Bands and musicians are kept as notable if they have been written about non-trivially by multiple reliable sources.
  • Albums are often kept as notable in and of themselves, if the artist is notable. Articles that provide the name of the band and more info than a mere tracklist are kept more often than articles that do not. An article on an album whose artist does not have an article is usually considered a candidate for speedy deletion.
  • Untitled, unreleased albums very rarely pass WP:CRYSTAL, and are often deleted — however, once a title and track listing have been confirmed by the artist or their record label for an upcoming release, an article on the album is not a WP:CRYSTAL violation if the information is properly referenced to reliable sources. See also WP:HAMMER.
  • Articles on band members are often deleted if listed in an article separate from the band, unless the person is deemed notable for his/her independent accomplishments
  • Lyrics are usually deleted, as they belong in WikiSource, unless they are copyright violations
  • Articles about songs are generally considered not notable, and deleted or redirected. Songs which have been verifiable Top 40 hits generally tend to survive AFD, although not without dissent.
  • Concert tours are only kept as notable if they are well-referenced by third-party reliable sources to show notability in terms of artistic approach, financial success, relationship to audience, or other such terms. Tour articles that only list tour dates and set lists are liable to be deleted, as are articles that are unreferenced or rely only upon fan sites.
  • Brand new genres of music are likely to be deleted. For examples of deletions, see Electrocrunk, Christian post-hardcore, Slow grass, Chelpedo punk, Christian fantasy metal, Trance metal, and Alternative bubblegum pop. This is because, even in a postmodern world, new music genres rarely catch on. The articles may be re-created once they garner critical notice or charted sales. Exceptions are rare; see Alternative metal as a contra-example.


All species that have a correct name (botany) or valid name (zoology) are inherently notable. Their names and at least a brief description must have been published in a reliable academic publication to be recognized as correct or valid. Because of this, they generally survive AfD.

Geography and astronomy[edit]

  • Major geographical and geological features featured on maps, such as lakes, rivers, mountains, islands, mountain passes, etc., generally survive AfD
  • Unless a structure is demonstrably historic, especially listed in the National Register of Historic Places or its non-US equivalent (like the Eiffel Tower), or otherwise serves an important or unusual function to a wide population (such as structures with rotating restaurants or publicly accessible observation decks) which is supported by multiple reliable independent sources, stub articles on structures are generally deleted including, for example, articles on utilitarian radio and television masts which are only referenced in the FCC database. Articles on structures have also sometimes been turned into redirects to a relevant list.
  • Asteroids, comets, stars, etc. may not survive AfD unless they are visible to the naked eye or multiple sources have written about them in some detail; see Wikipedia:Notability (astronomical objects).
  • For streets, roads and other transportation infrastructure see #Transportation

Populated places[edit]

  • Attractions and landmarks often survive AfD.
  • Bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and hotels tend not to survive AfD unless multiple independent sources have written about them in non-trivial detail.
  • Cities and villages anywhere in the world are generally kept, regardless of size or length of existence, as long as that existence can be verified through a reliable source. This usually also applies to any other area that has a legally recognized government, such as counties, parishes and municipalities.
  • Larger neighborhoods are usually kept if their names are found to have verifiable widespread usage.
  • Smaller suburbs are generally merged, being listed under the primary city article, except when they consist of legally separate municipalities or communes (e.g., having their own governments).
  • Larger shopping malls are often found to be notable. Very small malls, strip malls, and individual shops are generally deleted unless significant sourcing can be found. Size however, does not in and of itself confer notability, nor does it abrogate the requirements set forth in GNG.


Rail transport[edit]

  • Subway and railway lines often survive AfD.
  • Existing heavy rail stations on a main system (i.e. not a heritage railway) are generally kept at AfD.
  • Other stations are usually kept or merged and redirected to an article about the line or system they are on.


  • A dedicated bus rapid transit line, such as Ottawa's Transitway, is also usually kept, but a regular bus line that travels along normal city streets is not usually considered notable. However, some articles about bus lines in major cities have survived AfD — articles that describe the line's history and social impact in depth are more likely to be acceptable.
  • Articles about individual bus routes are rarely notable; recommendations to merge into a suitable list article are common.
  • Bus stops are usually deleted as not notable, with the exception of certain hubs in major cities.


  • Most numbered roadways are acceptable if they can be described beyond the route itself.
    • In the US, state and interstate highways (aka: freeways, turnpikes, expressways and motorways) are usually kept.
    • In Canada, any highway that is part of a province's or territory's official highway system is usually kept.
    • In the UK, motorways are usually kept. 'A' roads are usually kept if all or part of the road is trunk or primary. 'B' roads are usually deleted or merged (see below).
    • Highway exits should be listed in an article on a highway, not as a separate article, except for some highly notable ones (e.g. the Springfield Interchange near Washington, D.C.).
    • County roads are disputed, but are kept if genuine notability is demonstrated. If the notability claim boils down to "it's notable because it exists," however, then redirection to a single merged list of that county's numbered roads is more common.
  • City streets are contested, but minor streets are generally deleted.
  • Major, unnumbered streets and roads beyond the level of a side street or neighborhood roadway have varied outcomes. An article that explains and provides valid relevant citations for the social, cultural, historical or political context of a road in depth is more likely to survive AfD than one which merely describes the road's physical characteristics.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ But please note the existence of degree mill