Help:Disambiguation Pages

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A disambiguation page consists of links to two or more wiki pages with the same or similar titles.

Because only one page can have a given title, pages with similar titles are disambiguated to distinguish them from one another. (See Help:Naming Conventions.) However, the disambiguated titles may be difficult to search on. Disambiguation pages are then created to help readers find the right page. When the reader searches on the common term or phrase, they are directed to the disambiguation page, where they will find several options to choose from.

You can see a list of all disambiguation pages here.

Contents

What do I call the disambiguation page?

Most of the time, the title of the page should be the ambiguous word or phrase itself. For example, Captain Jack, Scarlet, and A Hard Day's Night are all disambiguation pages.

In a few cases, one use of a generic term (e.g. Star Trek) is so overwhelmingly popular compared to the other uses that the disambiguation page is itself disambiguated. Wikipedia call this the "primary topic". In this case, Star Trek points to the primary topic and the disambiguation page is called Star Trek (disambiguation), and Star Trek links to the disambiguation page in a hatnote. Whether or not there is a primary topic should be determined on a case-by-case basis on the talk page of the article in question.

How do I create a disambiguation page?

If the page does not already exist:

  1. Create the page as usual
  2. Copy this template to the top of the page: {{Disambiguation}}
  3. Create a bulleted list of wikilinked page names, preferably with a short description of what they're about
  4. Save the page

If the page already exists (usually why you need to disambiguate):

  1. Ask a gardener to move/rename the existing page to a disambiguated title
  2. The disambiguation page you want will turn into a redirect
  3. Edit the page, removing the redirect code and adding {{Disambiguation}}
  4. Create a bulleted list of wikilinked page names, preferably with a short description of what they're about
  5. Save the page

When do I need to disambiguate? What belongs in the list of page names?

  • When you have two or more pages that need the exact same name
  • Names can need disambiguation on first name or last name basis independently from the page name because people and characters are sometimes referred to and wikilinked by first or last name. Fr example, see John.
    • Once you've got a disambiguation page, you can also add pages that are slightly different (note: don't create disambiguation pages for these differences). For example:
      • A page that doesn't need disambiguation uses an article like "A" or "The" and the disambiguated pages don't (and vice versa)
      • The disambiguation page is a synonym for a page with a different name (see the Religion link on the Faith disambiguation page)
  • Pages with similar but not identical titles can link to one another in a hatnote (disambiguation line) instead of being disambiguated. For example, see Mindgames and The Matrix.
  • Pages that use one or more of the same words or phrases but are otherwise distinct do not belong on a disambiguation page

Example Disambiguation Page

The disambiguation page for Closer looks like this:
This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.

Are you looking for:

  • Closer, a Kirk/Spock vid by TJonesy & Killa.
  • Closer, a Spike/Angel vid by Sisabet.
  • Closer, a 2004 film with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts based on a play by Patrick Marber.
The actual page names are different from what you currently see displayed on the Closer disambiguation page. Without special editing the page names look like this:
Closer (Star Trek vid)
Closer (Angel vid)
The Closer
Closer (film)

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