Wikipedia:Splitting

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If an article becomes too large, or a section of an article has a length that is out of proportion to the rest of the article, it is often appropriate for some or all of the article to be split into new articles. In some cases, refactoring an article into child or sister articles can allow subtopics to be discussed more fully elsewhere without dominating a general overview article to which they are non-central (but only if the new articles are themselves sufficiently notable to be included in the encyclopedia).

When to split

The two main reasons for splitting material out from an article are size and content relevance. If either the whole article, or the specific material within one section becomes too large, or if the material is seen to be inappropriate for the article due to being out of scope, then a split may be considered or proposed. Consideration must be given to size, notability and potential neutrality issues before proposing or carrying out a split.

Size split

Articles should be neither too big nor too small.

Large articles may have readability and technical issues. A page of about 30 to 50 kilobytes (kB) of readable prose, which roughly corresponds to 6,000 to 10,000 words, takes between 30 and 40 minutes to read at average speed, which is right on the limit of the average concentration span of 40 to 50 minutes. Also, some users may have technical limitations, such as a low speed service, an unstable connection, a pay per kilobyte service, or they may access Wikipedia through a mobile phone or smartphone, and these mobile browsers may truncate long pages.

At 50 kB of readable prose and above it may benefit the reader to consider moving some sections to new articles and replace them with summaries per Wikipedia:Summary style. Consideration, however, needs to be given to the amount and quality of material to be moved. If the material for the new article is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of the subject, or would simply duplicate the summary that would be left behind, then it may be too soon to move it. Unsourced material shouldn't be used to create new articles as it may have notability or verifiability issues.

Below 50 kB, an article may not need splitting based on size alone, and at 40 kB and below a split would generally only be justified based on content issues.

Rule of thumb
Readable prose size (kB) What to do
> 100 Almost certainly should be divided
>  60 Probably should be divided (although the scope of a topic can sometimes justify the added reading time)
>  50 May need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)
<  40 Length alone does not justify division
<   1 If an article or list has remained this size for over a couple of months, consider combining it with a related page. Alternatively, why not fix it by adding more info? See Wikipedia:Stub.

These guidelines apply somewhat less to disambiguation pages and naturally do not apply to redirects. They also apply less strongly to list articles, especially if splitting them would require breaking up a sortable table.

Content split

Sometimes two or more distinct topics may share the same base title or similar titles, such as "light", which may refer to electromagnetic radiation, a component that produces light, or spiritual illumination. Sometimes the distinct topics may be closely related, such as Coffea (the plant) and coffee (the product), or thermal energy and heat.

When two or more distinct topics with the same or a similar titles are being written about on the same page, even if they are closely related, a content split may be considered, and a disambiguation page created to point readers to the separate pages. Consideration must be given both to notability of the offshoot topic, and to potential neutrality issues before proposing a split. If one or more of the topics is not notable on its own, it may be more appropriate to simply remove the material from Wikipedia than to create a new article.

If unsure, then use a template, and start a discussion on the article talkpage.

Procedure

Note: For disambiguation pages use {{Split dab}} instead of {{split}}. If section is known use {{split section}}.

If an article meets the criteria for splitting and no discussion is required, editors can be bold and carry out the split. If unsure, or with high-profile or sensitive articles, start a "Split" discussion on the article talk page, and consider informing any associated WikiProject(s). Additionally, adding one of the splitting templates will display a notice on the article and list it at Category:Articles to be split. This will help bring it to the attention of editors who may assist in establishing consensus, in deciding if a split is appropriate, or in carrying out the split. Templates used without an accompanying rationale, and where there is no obvious reason for the split request, may be removed at any time.

Note: To conform with Wikipedia's licensing requirements, which require that content contributors receive attribution, the page receiving the split material must have an edit summary noting "split content from [[article name]]". (Do not omit this step or omit the page name.) A note should also be made in the edit summary of the source article, "split content to [[article name]]". It is a requirement of Wikipedia's licensing that attribution be given to all the content author(s). The {{Copied}} template can be placed on the talk page of both articles for this purpose. For further information, refer to the main Copying within Wikipedia guideline.

Step 1: Create a discussion

Skip to step 5 if making a bold split. Create a discussion in the talkpage of the page content is to be split from. Include what sections are to be split and what the new page name should be. Example:

== Spliting proposal ==

I propose that sections ''[[sections]]'' be split into a separate page called ''[[new page name]]''. The content of the current page seems off-topic and these section are large enough to make their own page. ~~~~

Notify involved users (optional):' To generate a discussion and to notify people who know a lot about the topic, it's recommend to contact involved users, these users can be: frequent contributors, the creator or the page or users who have a lot of post in the talk page. You can notify them by {{ping |''USER1''|''USER2''|...}} or by using a notice for their talk page{{Subst:Splitnote | ''ARTICLE NAME'' | ''NEW ARTICLE'' | ''TALK PAGE''}}.

Failure to reach a consensus, whether the result of a split discussion, or a bold split that was contested usually results in the article remaining whole. A contested bold split may be reverted, however it is not always appropriate to redirect the new article to the old as the new article may stand on its own even if the main article that it came from is not split.

Step 2: Add notice

Use {{split}} to notify users of the propsed split. On the article (not the talkpage) add {{split|'''Article 1'''|date=September 2018}} or {{split|'''Article 1'''|'''Article 2'''|...|date=September 2018}}. This template adds a box notify users about the split. If the new page name is unknown, use {{split}} by itself with no parameters.

Step 3: Discuss

In many cases, a hybrid discussion/straw poll is used, but remember that polling is not a substitute for discussion. Example formatting:

 * '''Merge''' – <insert reason for supporting merger here> ~~~~
 * '''Don't merge''' – <insert reason for opposing merger here> ~~~~

Step 4: Close the discussions and determine the consensus

Close the discussion and determine the consensus by using the following:

== Merger proposal ==

{{Discussion top|result=The result of this discussion was to ... ~~~~}}

<Start of discussion>
.
.
.
<End of discussion>

{{Discussion bottom}}

Step 5: Perform the splitting

If the consensus was to split the page then you may perform the splitting. If you're doing a bold split skip to here. To split the content it's recommend to make a draft of what the tow pages (primarily the page being created) in your sandbox. If you only have one sandbox you may use Wikipedia:sandbox, create a another sandbox (Your username / sandbox2) or create a page by the name of (Your username / Name of article). Once you have a draft you can now move it to the main space. If you are unable to make a article yet, you can submit the article as a draft page using Wikipedia:AfC. To prevent a backlog of pages needing to be split don't be afraid to perform this step, even if it wasn't your idea to perform the split. Once the new article is created remove the sections that were moved from the original article.

Step 6: Clean up

If material is split from an article, consider if a summary section should be created, and if a {{Main}} template should be placed the top of the section to link to the new page. In general, if the split is due to size, then a summary section is required, if the split is due to content (or scope), then a summary section is unlikely to be required. In the talk page of the new and old articles, include the template {{Copied}}.

How to properly split an article

The following procedure can be used for splitting from a single source article to a new article. These instructions are provided for guidance, but some steps may not be necessary in all cases and these instructions may not cover every eventuality. It is advisable to read through the whole of this procedure before starting.

  1. Prepare the source article by grouping the material to be split out into a single section.
  2. Create the new article by opening the empty page (or redirect page).
  3. Open the source article (or relevant section) to edit in another browser window (or tab) and copy the contents to be split out (from the section created in step #1) from the source article.
  4. Paste into the new article with edit summary "Contents [[WP:SPLIT]] from [[Source article name]]" and save the new article.
  5. Tidy up the new article:
    • The lead sentence will need to be changed to use bold font and usually includes a link to the source article.
    • A References section should be added and categories should be added. There may also be sections of a bibliography, navboxes, See also section or External links that can be copied from the source article.
    • Adjust section headings.
    • Add any background information about the parent subject that will be necessary for the reader to understand the subtopic.
    • Resolve any cite errors that occur when invocations of a named reference are separated from their definition - i.e. copy the relevant information from the source article.
  6. Create a good summary of the subtopic at the parent article. Note: it may be best to prepare this in advance as summarising several pages of text and selecting a single image may not be a trivial task.
    • Add "{{Main|new article name}}" (use the order: image, main tag, text). If all the content of the section is being removed (e.g. in the case of a list) use the "See" template instead of the "Main" template. If necessary (where there is an image, but only a short paragraph of text) add "{{Clear}}" to the end. Use the edit summary "Material [[WP:SPLIT]] to [[New article name]]" and save the edit.
    • Add a summary, usually of a couple of paragraphs and one image, of the newly created subtopic (unless complete removal is appropriate).
    • There may be some external links, bibliography items, etc. that can be removed from the source article as they are now in the new article.
  7. Check Special:WhatLinksHere to see whether some inlinks to the source article (especially any that were to the section that has been split off) can now be changed to point to the new article.
  8. (Optionally) Add templates referring to the split to the talk pages:
    • If the new article is not being created from scratch (e.g. there is already a redirect) then go to the new article, click on 'View history' tab, select the edit where the copy was made, open it and copy the diff URL of the edit where the cut was made from the browser URL window.
    • If the new article is being created from scratch it's a bit more complicated to obtain a diff URL- see Template:Copied.
    • Open the source article talk page to edit in a new tab.
    • Add template {{Copied|from=|from_oldid=|to=|diff=}} to source article talk page, and paste the diff URL into it, add the title of the new article and the date, add a descriptive edit summary and save the edit.
    • Open the new (destination) article talk page to edit in a new tab.
    • Add template {{Copied|from=|from_oldid=|to=|diff=}} to the new article talk page, and paste the diff into it, add the title of the source page and the date, add a descriptive edit summary and save the edit.
  9. (Optionally) Put wikiproject tags on the new article's talk page.
  10. (If possible) Connect the new article to any corresponding articles in other Wikipedias - see Interwiki.

Templates

There are a number of templates that can be used on articles and their talk pages as part of splitting articles.

Articles nominated for splitting

A list of articles that have been tagged for consideration for splitting are at Category:Articles to be split.

Articles to be split
(refresh)
All articles568

See also