General Notability For Wikipedia

What Is Wikipedia’s General Notability Guideline?

The General Notability Guideline (GNG) is a Wikipedia policy that outlines the primary criteria for determining if a subject is eligible to have a stand-alone article on the platform. Its intent is maintain a high-quality encyclopedia with relevant and well-sourced content.

Abiding by the GNG is supposed to help maintain consistency across articles and ensures that the focus of the encyclopedia remains on subjects that have received significant coverage in reliable sources. But decentralized editing by volunteers, publication of pages prior to review, and the quantity volume of Wikipedia article means that the policy is not applied uniformly across all pages. Do not use Wikipedia articles to glean Wikipedia policy – only use the policy itself.

The GNG requires a topic to have received significant coverage in reliable, independent sources. It aims to prevent the inclusion of trivial subjects, self-promotion, and unsourced content. That said, do not confuse “notability” with merit. The policy does not allow for subjective evaluation of merit by individual editors – rather, it emphasizes how often and to what extent a subject  has been written about by mostly well-established editorial publications. Even if one editor tries to make an exception, other editors can enforce the policy, meaning the page probably won’t stick for the long term.

Proposing a new page about a subject that involves yourself, a friend, family member, employer,  or where you have a financial stake is considered a “conflict of interest” by Wikipedia. Public disclosure of Conflict of Interest is required under the Wikimedia Foundations Terms of Use for anyone that participate in any page or proposed page. Public disclosure is usually made on an  existing or proposed article’s “Talk” page. 

Directly publishing of pages when a user has a conflict of interest violates Wikipedia policies. COI users may submit pages for review by independent editors. Most pages submitted for review are declined because users either submit pages that fail  the notability guidelines or fall into pitfalls, such as violating the guidelines on neutral point of view, advertising content,verification, and reliable sources. Establishing notability is just the first step in getting a page published on Wikipedia which will stick over the long terms.

Wikipedia editing is anonymous, unless you choose to disclose your identity, But Wikipedia uses both human and software solutions to unearth pages created by editors with a conflict of interest. Such pages are typically not hard for an experienced editor to spot. An otherwise notable page might be deleted if it is published by an undisclosed COI editor, including paid consultants, who fail to fully disclose on the Talk page. Even if the page is not, deleted, it might be labelled with a warning flag for undisclosed conflict of interest editing. Editors who find undisclosed COI editing might dramatically cut it down in size. And the user who submitted the page could be banned for repeated violations, in particular setting up multiple different undisclosed COI accounts.


What is the general notability guideline for creating a new page on Wikipedia?

When creating a new page on Wikipedia, the subject must meet the platform’s General Notability Guideline (GNG). This means the subject has received significant coverage in reliable, independent sources, ensuring the topic is notable enough to warrant a stand-alone article.

What types of sources are considered valid for establishing notability for creating a new page?

Valid sources for establishing notability for creating a new page include published works in all forms and media, peer-reviewed publications, credible and authoritative books, reputable media sources, and other reliable sources generally. These sources should be independent of the subject, i.e., not produced by the subject or someone affiliated with it.

Can a new page that doesn’t meet the general notability guideline still be included in Wikipedia?

A topic that does not meet the general notability guideline may still be included in Wikipedia under certain conditions. For example, it may be merged into an article about a larger, notable topic or relevant list to provide context. However, a stand-alone article may be at risk of deletion or merging if it doesn’t meet the GNG.

Are there specific notability guidelines for different categories of creating a new page?

Yes, there are subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs) for various topics, such as biographies, books, films, and organizations. These guidelines provide additional clarity on when a stand-alone article can or should be written and may include criteria unique to each subject category.

Why is someone contesting the notability of a new page I’m trying to get added on Wikipedia?

When someone contests the notability of a new page you’re attempting to add on Wikipedia, it’s usually because they believe the topic does not meet the platform’s General Notability Guideline (GNG) or specific subject-based notability guidelines. Editors engage in regular reviews of new pages to ensure they adhere to Wikipedia’s content policies and guidelines, and they might challenge the notability of a new page if:


      • The topic lacks significant coverage in reliable, independent sources.

      • There is insufficient verifiable information available to create a well-sourced article.

      • The article appears to be promotional, biased, or not neutral in tone.

      • There is a potential conflict of interest, such as the article’s author being affiliated with the subject.

    To overcome such challenges, make sure that your proposed new page covers a truly notable subject, ensure all information is verifiable, and is well-sourced using independent and reliable sources.

    How can WhiteHatWiki help?

    We are an agency that specializes in “white hat” consulting in “conflict of interest” (COI) situations. Proposing a new page, or updates to an existing page about you, your company, family, friends, clients, employers, your financial interests and other external relationships constitutes a COI. Public disclosure of the COI is mandatory; and direct publishing or editing of pages is not allowed. WHW can work with qualified clients to create a draft or proposal that will abide by Wikipedia’s labyrinth of policies to the satisfaction of Wikipedia’s tough, independent reviewers. Contact Us.