Submissions/School articles on Wikipedia: A case study of notability practices across languages

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This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
School articles on Wikipedia: A case study of notability practices across languages
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Christopher Cooper
E-mail address
CT Cooper
Country of origin
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia UK
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Ever since Wikipedia was born, the question on what topics should be included or excluded has been asked. In order to create consistent standards on the English Wikipedia, the concept of notability was established. This required topics to meet a certain standard of source coverage before they could have their own articles on the project. This may sound simple, but where these standards should be, how they should be measured and implemented, has been dominated by controversy to the present day. Deletionism and inclusionism are now an important part of Wikipedia culture.

Notability standards are known to vary across different language projects of Wikipedia. How does this occur and why? One particularly controversial area on the English Wikipedia has been school article notability, with views on the issue having varied from "Wikipedia should only cover schools which are also present in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, such as Eton" to "Wikipedia should have an article on all schools". The consequences of this have been years of tension between those trying to add school articles, and those trying to reduce them, with poor outcomes for the project. From this controversy, the question can be raised, how do other projects deal with this and what lessons can be learnt from them?

This presentation will start by reviewing the concept of notability in general, and will then go on to discuss the ongoing school article notability controversy on the English Wikipedia, by looking at the current situation, the main issues under discussion, and the proposed solutions. From this, an analysis will then take place on the notability standards of other projects and how have they dealt with schools. To conclude, questions will be asked on possible solutions to the issues highlighted. Is the fragmentation of standards across projects inevitable, or can gulfs be bridged?

Track (Wikis and the Public Sector; GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums); WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education; Technology and Infrastructure)
WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Probably, although my attendance is not yet certain. My request for a Foundation scholarship has been declined; I'm holding out for a chapter one. I might yet be able to attend without a scholarship through a cheap indirect flights and cheap accommodation. No longer attending this year for reasons beyond submission rejection.
Slides or further information (optional)
No slides are yet available. I will upload the finished presentation to Wikimedia Commons before the conference. No slides will be available indefinitely. I will look into this area more however, and may submit something similar for Wikimania 2013, as significant interest was expressed on this topic.
Special request as to time of presentations (for example - can not present on Saturday)

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Possibly. Resident Mario 00:28, 16 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Risker 04:34, 17 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Bináris 10:34, 17 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Since the submitter has pointed similarities between his and my submission, I am eager to see where we concur and where we differ. Hindustanilanguage 07:08, 21 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Very interested. GastelEtzwane 21:56, 23 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Nataev (talk) 01:29, 26 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Haxpett (talk) 23:45, 10 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. --Poupou l'quourouce (talk) 20:52, 13 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. Wikipelli (talk) 15:32, 16 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Can't miss this one! I was involved in a school notability debate on Greek Wikipedia, very interested in seeing other WP approaches--Saintfevrier (talk) 23:42, 16 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  11. Léna (talk) 23:42, 18 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  12. Zellfaze (talk) 19:46, 19 March 2012 (UTC) I've seen so many articles get deleted that shouldn't have been and vice versa.Reply[reply]
  13. MikeLynch (talk) 19:08, 21 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  14. Limoke oscar (talk) 11:43, 23 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]