User:DexDor/Administration pages are not articles Information

From Wikipedia

In this essay "administration page" means any page that readers are not expected to deliberately navigate to. This includes talk pages, disambiguation pages, templates and pages in the Wikipedia namespace. Some administration pages (e.g. many templates) directly affect how articles appear to users, whilst other administration pages (e.g. talk pages) only indirectly affect readers.

Wikipedia:What is an article?

Wikipedia project coordination pages should be under Category:Wikipedia administration, not in categories that contain main-namespace articles by topic. (A small number of articles about Wikipedia are in the mainstream categories and this is OK.) User pages may be categorized under Category:Wikipedians, but not in any of the subcategories under Category:People.

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Self-references to avoid

Generally administration pages should not be categorized as articles - i.e. they should not be placed in Category:Articles or in any of its subcategories (content categories).

Why Wikipedia administration pages should not be categorized as articles

The main problems caused by such categorization are:

  • It adds clutter to article (reader) categories.
  • It makes it harder to check for unintended categorization (e.g. accidental categorization of a talk page by omitting the extra ":" character in what is intended to be a link to the category from a discussion) because category intersection queries return lots of "false positives".
  • It makes it harder to ensure that pages are in the correct category (e.g. because a page will not show in a database report of uncategorized pages). [1]
  • It increases the effort spent categorizing administration pages. Note: Many administration pages are (correctly) in 3 or more non-article categories. [2]
  • It complicates the top levels of the category structure. For example, Category:Wikipedia_templates isn't placed under Category:Articles so it would be inconsistent to place Category:Foobar templates under Category:Foobar.
  • It makes it more difficult to use category intersection tools - e.g. if Category:Foobars contains Category:WikiProject Foobars (and hence lots of subcats for talk pages of articles at different levels of importance/quality) then that increases the number of categories that a category intersection query on Category:Foobars needs to search.
  • It increases the time spent maintaining the category structure. For example, sometimes an editor creates a category (Category:Foobar) just to link together an article (Foobar) and a template (Template:Foobar). [3]
  • It can contribute to muddling the distinction between whether a page is an article or something else (e.g. a disambiguation page).

Why an editor may think that some administration pages do belong in content categories

The following are some reasons why an editor may think that some administration pages belong in content categories:

Response: Category:Brazil (which is under Category:Articles) is for articles about Brazil; by convention, we don't use the word "articles" in the names of such (reader-side) categories. Placing Category:Brazil templates in Category:Brazil would be (incorrectly) putting templates about Brazil into the category for articles about Brazil. Similarly, placing Category:Wikipedia GLAM in Romania in Category:Romania would be (incorrectly) putting pages in the Wikipedia namespace into a category for articles.
  • An editor may think that because WP:SORTKEY specifies sortkeys for administration pages (e.g. "ω" for WikiProjects) it is appropriate for such administration pages to be placed in content categories. [4]
Response: SORTKEY doesn't override the rules of categorization. Note: Most, if not all, of these sortkeys may be useful when categorizing administration pages in administration categories - e.g. Category:WikiProject Beer templates in Category:Beer templates (see User:DexDor/Sortkeys for more examples).
  • An editor may think that without administration pages being placed in content categories it would be difficult (for editors and potential new editors) to navigate to administration pages.
Response: There are many ways for people to get from articles "through the magic door" to see Wikipedia administration - for example:
  • An editor interested in one area of administration (e.g. redirects or templates) might think that putting administration pages from "their" area of administration wouldn't cause much category clutter.
Response: There are lots of areas of Wikipedia administration for any given topic - e.g. redirects, templates, wikiprojects, disambiguation pages, images, pages requesting photographs, pages with errors, stub categories, categories tagged as underpopulated.... [5]
  • An editor may think that because lists about a particular topic are categorized as articles then templates about that topic should also be categorized as articles.
Response: (Encyclopedic) lists are articles [6] [c] - e.g. they are in the article namespace (mainspace) and readers are expected to navigate to them (using the category structure or otherwise). Templates are not articles [7] - they can be in a variety of namespaces (e.g. Template, User and Wikipedia [d]) and readers are not expected to navigate to them, but to view them as part of an article.
  • An editor may want to use categorization to navigate between non-articles and articles that contain a similar type of infirmation. [8]
Response: Links can be placed in text to aid navigation between such categories without causing a problem with categorization.
  • An editor may understand that a non-article page (e.g. a template) should not be directly placed in content categories, but still think that such pages can be indirectly placed in content categories (e.g. by placing Category:Foobar templates in Category:Foobar).
Response: That's not how categorization should work (see, for example, WP:SUBCAT); either a page is in a category or it is not in that category.


A content category (and its subcategories) should only contain articles, books, portals and some redirects. It should not contain disambiguation pages, templates, talk pages, user pages or any other Wikipedia administration pages.

More precise definition of what pages do (and do not) belong in content categories

Only pages of the following types should be categorized under Category:Articles:

  • Articles (including encyclopedic lists, encyclopedic outlines).
  • Wikipedia books (community books) on encyclopedic topics.
  • Files (that are not on Commons) that are in article categories (example??) (TBC).
  • Portal pages (excluding subpages and Portal:Contents).
  • Redirects that are in article categories per WP:CATREDIRECT.
  • More specific categories for articles.
  • Stub categories. It can be argued that readers do not need to see stub categories. [9] However, such categorization doesn't (afaics) cause problems (as the pages being categorized are in the article namespace) and it may be useful (it's possible that users will see a stub category - find and article in it that's of interest to them and start editing...). There's also the practical problem that if (article-side) stub categories weren't categorized in the articles category tree then there would be pressure to place them elsewhere and hence it would be harder to keep a clear distinction between them and the categories for WikiProject stub categories (which categorize talk pages of articles). I.e. (article-side) stub categories are an exception to the rule ...

The following types of pages should not be categorized under Category:Articles:

  • Many/most template categories show a notice saying "This page is part of Wikipedia's administration and not part of the encyclopedia.".
  • (Afiacs) most template categories [e] are created and exist for many years without being placed directly in any article categories ( some examples).

To be decided:

  • Images and categories for images. Where images (and other files such as videos and audio) are stored in Wikipedia (rather than just in Commons) this is because ...

What this does not mean

Whilst administration pages should not be placed in article categories the reverse does not apply - i.e. articles can be placed in admininstration categories (e.g. Category:Articles needing expert attention) (as a hidden category).

See also


  1. ^ Often this is via intermediate categories such as Category:Airports in South America and Category:Aviation in Brazil.
  2. ^ A portal page is part of encyclopedia content, but it is generally considered ok for a portal page to contain an "advert" for the relevant WikiProject. Without such a link it is more likely that editors would duplicate Wikiproject type things on the portal page.
  3. ^ Note: sometimes, e.g. FA/ FL, it's useful to consider lists separately from other articles.
  4. ^ Note: There's also pages in other namespaces, e.g. the Portal namespace, that use noinclude markup and hence can be considered to be templates.
  5. ^ Note: This also applies when considering only general template categories, not categories specifically for navboxes etc.


  1. ^ E.g. prior to this that template category was not properly categorized.
  2. ^ E.g. a page such as Category:United Arab Emirates templates is in 4 parent categories for templates (more if hidden categories and talk page categories are included) (as of March 2020); it doesn't need more categorization. Template:Infobox military installation is in 9 template categories. This is an example where a template was in 5 article categories (as well as in a category for templates).
  3. ^ Example CFD deleting such a category
  4. ^ An example edit
  5. ^ If administration categories were placed under article categories then a topic (foobar) could contain pages such as the following:
    • Category:Foobar disambiguation pages
    • Category:Foobar stubs
    • Category:WikiProject Foobar (or task force) - and possibly Wikipedia:WikiProject Foobar as well
    • Category:Images of foobar (and/or images)
    • Category:Foobar templates (and/or templates)
    • Category:Foobar redirects
    • Category:Underpopulated foobar categories
    • Category:Requested photographs of foobar
    • Category:Foobar-centric ( example)
    • Category:Wikimedia Foobar (e.g. Category:Wikimedia Australia)
    (plus pages like portals and books that might be of interest to readers) (see also Category:Mathematics Wikipedia administration for further examples)
  6. ^ E.g. "These lists ... are also considered articles for Wikipedia's purposes." - Wikipedia:What is an article?
  7. ^ Wikipedia:What is an article?
  8. ^ "Why not include Category:Family templates in Category:Family trees as it aids navigation to family trees that are embedded in other articles?" at Category talk:Family tree templates
  9. ^ E.g. "there is no reason for the stub categories to be visible in the content categories" - User:Alan_Liefting/Essays/Stub_categories_are_project_categories.