Help:Naming Conventions

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This page aims to help new Fanlore editors format page names consistently and covers some general rules and guidelines to do so. If after reading this page you are still unsure or have questions about naming pages, please add them to the Talk page, and other editors will help you find a solution.

How do I get started?

When you create a new page, the first thing you'll have to do is define its title.

The best way to get the title right is to type it exactly as you want it into the search box and hit "Go". This includes the correct capitalization and punctuation. So, for example, to create a page entitled An Archive of Our Own, type "An Archive of Our Own" in the search box, not "an archive of our own". Providing there is no existing page or redirect page with this name, a message will appear at the top of the search results reading, "Create the page "An Archive of Our Own" on this wiki"!. Selecting the page name will take you to a new, blank page where you can contribute to fannish history!

If you're not sure what would be the "right" name for a page according to Fanlore's conventions, below are some points to bear in mind.

Singular vs. Plural Titles

Fanlore has a strong preference for pages with singular titles over plural titles. For example, naming a page website rather than naming it websites, or Big Name Fan over Big Name Fans. The exception to this is if the term is never or hardly ever used in singular terms, such as with the glossary term Feels. Preference for page titles in the singular is because it is simpler to form internal links with singular titles by writing [[Title]]s than to the plural, i.e., [[Titles|Title]].

However, pages for plural titles may be created as redirects to the main page, such as creating the page "Websites" as a redirect to the page "Website."


In general, Fanlore follows the "title case" convention [1] for article titles, meaning prepositions and conjunctions are not capitalized. For example, see Letter of Comment and Jeeves and Wooster. There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. Names (of persons, organizations, or works) with an established pattern of capitalization, such as bell hooks or due South.
  2. Disambiguation phrases. Some page titles are disambiguated with parenthetical phrases, such as Alexander (film) or The Horse-Tamer's Daughter (filk zine), that should not be capitalized unless they are proper nouns (e.g. Sherlock (BBC)).

Lowercase Titles

The first letter of your title will be automatically transformed to uppercase. For example, if you tried to create a page called "website" it would auto-capitalize the page to "Website." It is possible to override this where necessary (for example, due South); to do so, use the following magic word:


Put the above anywhere on the page (we recommend at the end, after the categories), and replace xyz with the title exactly how you want it. For example: <no wiki></no wiki> will ensure the title of the page displays as "due South" instead of Due South.

Page Titles and Sorting Order Within Categories

When you add pages to a category, the category will display the pages in a list sorted alphabetically by the first letter of the page name. However, some page names will need to be sorted differently -- such as people pages and pages for characters with Western name order (first name last name) and fanworks and other pages where the page name starts with an article ("A" or "An" or "The").

For example, the David Hewlett page should show up under "H" for Hewlett instead of "D" for David in Category:People, and the The Last of the Wine page should show up under "L" for Last, not under "T" under Category:Books & Literature.

So after you create the David Hewlett or The Last of the Wine page, how do you change the sorting order? Here's how:

To change the way a page sorts in every category it appears in, add this text to the page:


So to sort The Last of the Wine under L instead of T, add {{DEFAULTSORT:Last of the Wine}}. To sort David Hewlett under H instead of D, add {{DEFAULTSORT:Hewlett, David}}

To change the way a page sorts in one category, add this text:


(Note: Do not change the sort order for pages in Category: Fans.)

Page Names for non-English-Language Fandom

When creating fandom pages where the original canon language is not English, use whatever name the fandom favors, such as its romanization or an English-language localization. For example, for 魔道祖师 the romanization is Mo Dao Zu Shi and the official English-language localization is The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, among other fan translations. For this fandom, fans tend to use Mo Dao Zu Shi and abbreviate it to MDZS, so the Fanlore page is titled Mo Dao Zu Shi. You can also create redirects from alternate translations or localizations, as well as abbreviations like MDZS, and point them to the main page.

If there isn't a clear consensus among the fandom about what's used, the page name should fall back on the English translation of the name in any official release(s). If there isn't an official release in English, then the page name should fall back on romanization.

If there are other uncertainties, such as differences between romanizations, the editor is free to use their best judgment and we encourage starting a discussion on the Talk page, as pages can always be renamed/moved later on.

For more help on non-English page naming conventions visit Help:Non-English Language Content on Fanlore.

Page Names with Accent Marks

When a page name for an article (page) includes accent marks, please create a redirect to that page using the anglicized version of the name (e.g. Eowyn redirecting to Éowyn).

Abbreviations & Acronyms

Generally the full term (e.g. Little Black Dress) should be the page title, and the acronym (e.g. LBD) should be a redirect. In a few cases, the acronym is selected for the page title because the letters stand for more than one phrase: for example, PWP can mean either Plot? What Plot? or Porn Without Plot.

For acronyms that can stand for multiple distinct things, see Help:Disambiguation Pages for help setting up a disambiguation page that links to two or more pages with names that can be abbreviated as the same acronym.

Please add {{AbbrevAcronym}} to acronym redirects so that they will appear in the Abbreviations & Acronyms category.

Fanwork Pages

Articles about individual fanworks should include only the work's title in the page name. The capitalization of the page name should follow the fanwork's capitalization. For example, "Blue Sky," not "Blue sky," or "...and sealing wax…" not "And Sealing Wax." For information on how to make a page title display as lowercase, see Lowercase Titles.

See Help:Disambiguation Naming Conventions for what to do when more than one fanwork has the same title. See also Help:Fanworks.

Character and Pairing Pages

Character page titles generally consist of the full name of the character. Examples: Martha Jones, Severus Snape.

Because the naming conventions for pairings vary from fandom to fandom, there is no hard-and-fast rule about how to represent the name of the pairing. Generally, the most commonly used pairing name may be the name you want to utilize for the title of its page. Contrast Fraser/Kowalski with ItachixSasuke with Sheith.

See Help:Character pages and Help:Relationship pages for more information.

Pages with the Same Name and Disambiguation

Every page must have a unique title. Where there are several pages with the same title, you need to differentiate between them. A page can be disambiguated by adding a parenthetical description to its title. For example, see Maya (fan writer) or Portal (Star Trek: TOS story). However, it is not necessary to do this unless there are other, similarly-named pages- a disambiguation can always be added later.

When several pages have similar titles, a disambiguation page should also be created.

See Help:Disambiguation Naming Conventions for guidelines on how to format parentheticals for different types of articles.

Pages for Series and Franchises

Some works, such as film franchises or novel series, have multiple pieces of canon material due to their serialization. For example, Harry Potter has seven books in its series and eight films. In these cases, nuance and personal judgment may be used to decide on whether separate pages should be created for individual parts of a series, or for any adaptations. While the Harry Potter article is utilized for its entire book and film franchise, others may separate their canon material, such as The Hobbit focusing on the book and The Hobbit (film series) being used for the films. Another example would be Transformers, which while listing several iterations of the series on the page, also links to each iteration's individual pages such as Robots in Disguise and Transformers Animated.

When using a single article for the entirety of a franchise, redirects should be made from the individual parts of the canon. For example, the individual books Axiom's End and Truth of the Divine redirect to the name of the novel trilogy Noumena (book series), which serves as the main article.

When in doubt about whether or not you should create a single article for a series, or whether each part should be its own page, ask for opinions using the Talk page or contact the Fanlore Committee. A single page can always be split off into multiple pages later if needed.

Changing a Page's Name

There is no way for a regular editor to change a page's title on their own once created, as only Gardeners, Fanlore Policy & Admin, and Advanced Editors have the ability to do so. Regular editors may request a page be moved (renamed) by adding the Attention Gardeners Template to the page and leaving a comment on the article's Talk page asking for help. A gardener, admin, or advanced editor can then use the "Move" function to move the page content to a new name. Moving an article will automatically set up a redirect from the article's previous title so that there will be no broken links — anywhere the former page title was linked will send the user to the new page.

Pages are typically moved when there is a typo or a capitalization error in the page name, if new information has come to light regarding the page's name, or if there have been previous discussions regarding renaming the page on the Talk page. It's good practice to use the Talk page to let others know why you would like the page's name changed.

If you are an Advanced Editor who needs to move a page or are a regular editor who's just curious about how it's done, check out Help:Moving a Page.

What If I'm Still Not Sure What to Name the Page?

But what if, even after reading the rules above, you're still not sure how to name a particular page? Don't worry! The Fanlore community is here to help you out, you only need to ask.

Just use the Talk page of the page you created or the Talk page of this article to ask your questions so that editors or Gardeners can help answer them. Talk pages are located at the top left of each page. If the "Talk" tab is red then the talk page is empty, and you are free to create it in order to request help or ask questions.

Don't be scared to ask for help; even if you made a mistake, a Gardener can always fix it later.

For any other questions, you can use the Talk page or contact the Fanlore Committee.