Help:Article Naming

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Help:Article Naming


Much of the content on this page was taken from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

This naming conventions page sets out D&Dwiki's standard on how to name articles.


We could link you to a wikipedia article that explains everything about the infinitely complicated ways they use namespaces to achieve what they do. Here you go, you masochist.

Or we could just give you a basic rundown so you can make links and move pages. A namespace is an organizational tool that the website uses to separate pages into like-groups. It is only effective if the users of the wiki put pages in their correct category. In the case of D&D Wiki, most users don't have much reason to add much of anything out of the main namespace, but eventually some users work their way up to more technical practices, like making templates, or help pages. Here's the big thing to know:

If an article name doesn't have some sort of "BLABLA:" preceding it, it is almost certainly in the namespace Main. The exception is some SRD: pages are actually in the Main name space, and just say SRD: before their name, which isn't enough to actually be included in a specific namespace. As such, unless you have some practice with linking, moving, and creating pages, please hold off on making major edits to any apparently SRD content.

An article's "full page name" is its name WITH the namespace. So, for example, this page's name is "Article Naming". Its full page name is "Help: Article Naming".

When you make a link to a page in any namespace other than Main, you must include the full page name, not just the name.

When you move an article, always make sure it is in the correct namespace from the dropdown list to the left of name entry. Simply typing in your intended namespace is not enough.

Finally, a word of caution, be very careful moving a page into the User namespace. The reasons should be quite apparent, as your userpage is in the User namespace.

Deciding an article name

Every D&Dwiki article must have a unique title. Ideally, these titles should be:

  • Recognizable – Use names and terms most commonly used, and so most likely to be recognized, for the topic of the article. (Use the terminology of our audience, the D&D hobby community, even if you personally find it lacking. Defer to developer terminology if available.)
  • Easy to find – Use terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article (and to which editors will most naturally link from other articles).
  • Precise – Be precise, but only as precise as is necessary to identify the topic of the article unambiguously.
  • Concise – A good article title is brief and to the point. (Even when disambiguation is necessary, keep that part brief.)
  • Consistent – Prefer titles that follow the same pattern as those of other similar articles.

Most articles will have a simple and obvious name that satisfies most or all of these criteria. If so, use it, as a straightforward choice. However, it may be necessary to trade off two or more of the criteria against one another; in such situations, article names are determined by consensus, usually guided by the usage in reliable sources. Consensus on naming articles in specific fields, or with respect to particular problems, is stated and explained on the guideline pages referenced. When no consensus exists, it is established through discussion, always with the above principles in mind. The choice of article names should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists.

Redirects should be created to articles that may reasonably be searched for or linked to under two or more names (such as different spellings or former names). Conversely, a name that could refer to several different articles may require disambiguation.

Adding the article identifier

D&Dwiki utilizes identifiers in article names so as to better categorize and identify the content of the article. These can be seen after the name of each article. For example, an article containing a Character Class for revised third edition will be named as follows: Article Name (3.5e Class). These identifiers should usually showcase two aspects of the content to the viewer: the edition that the content is provided for (if applicable), and the type of content (i.e. class, feat, race). If you have trouble determining what the proper identifier is for your article, look up other articles of the same type and use their identifier.

All Wizards of the Coast content that we are legally allowed to have on D&Dwiki utilizes a different format for the Identifier. In these cases, the identifier is the first part of the name. SRD content will be named like UA:Defense Bonus and may include edition specific information as well, such as 3e SRD:Barbarian. These identifiers are reserved for officially licensed content from Wizards of the Coast and should not be used in any Main namespace articles. If you would like to help out with a SRD transcription project, feel free to contact any of the administrators.

Use common names

Articles are normally titled using the most common English-language name of a person or thing that is the subject of the article. If the article's subject has no evident name, a concise, recognizable and neutral description is used instead. As part of this, the name chosen for an article, while in common use, should be neither vulgar nor pedantic: readers will not expect such names to be the title of an article in an encyclopedia such as D&Dwiki.

However, an article title should not be too close to that of a Wizards of the Coast (or other company)'s product identity. Variants and inspired articles may use such a name, but must always utilize the Template:Copyright Disclaimer, and must have the appropriate identifier, such as "(5e Race Variant)" afterwards.

Occasionally, specific topic areas may follow a standardized precedent that is not strictly the common name. This practice is often controversial, and should not be adopted unless it produces clear benefits outweighing the use of uncommon names; when it is, the article titles adopted should follow a neutral and common convention specific to that topic area, and they otherwise adhere to the general principles in naming articles on D&D Wiki. The decision to adopt such a convention may be influenced by factors such as:

  • Most of the articles on the subject do have ambiguous common names, so that the convention extends a standardized disambiguation to articles which do not need disambiguation
  • Many articles deal with subjects with several common names,
  • There is no obvious method to determine which names are the most common or otherwise suitable common names are ambiguous.

Be precise when necessary

Articles are named as precisely as is necessary to indicate their scope accurately, while avoiding over-precision. Readers should not have to read into the article to find which of several meanings of the title is the actual subject, but there is no virtue in excess. D&D Wiki also has disambiguation pages to help readers find the meaning they want.

All articles must, by the design of D&D Wiki, have a unique name. If there are several articles with the same name, it may be that one concerns the primary topic or most well-known content for that name; if so, that one keeps the common name, and the others must be disambiguated and utilize slight variations. It may be that using an alternative common name for an article is the simplest way to disambiguate; if not, add a disambiguator in parentheses. The articles should be linked, to help readers get where they want to go, either to each other or to a disambiguation page.

When variations on a title must be used, the general consensus is that the word "Variant" (always with a capital "V") be added between the page's proper name and the identifier, with a comma separating the word "Variant" from the proper name. When yet more variants are added, "Variant" should become "2nd Variant" and so on. Do NOT spell it "varient."

Examples of title variations:

  • Human (5e Race)
  • Human, Variant (5e Race)
  • Human, 2nd Variant (5e Race)
  • etc.

Controversial names

The purpose of an article's title is to identify the subject of the article to readers. The choice of title is not influenced by disputes about whether a name is "right" in a moral sense.

Note that the use of one name as an article title does not preclude the use of alternative names in appropriate contexts in the text of articles. Nor does the use of one name for one article require that all related articles use the same name. The advantages of consistency and of common usage should be considered; there is often some reason, such as anachronism, for inconsistencies in common usage.

Use English words

D&D Wiki is predominately an English-language wiki. As such, users are encouraged to add content in the English language. However, the site is always wishing to expand, and adding content in a foreign language may be encouraged. In this case, check with a D&D Wiki administrator for assistance.

Article title format

  • Use the singular form: Article titles are generally in singular in form, i.e. Druid not Druids. Exceptions include nouns that are always in a plural form in English and the names of classes of objects (i.e. Metals).
  • Avoid abbreviations: Abbreviations and acronyms are generally avoided unless the subject is almost exclusively known by its abbreviation.
  • Avoid definite and indefinite articles: Do not place definite or indefinite articles (the, a and an) at the beginning of titles unless they are part of a proper name or otherwise change the meaning.
  • Use nouns: Titles should be nouns or noun phrases. Adjective and verb forms should redirect to articles titled with the corresponding noun, although sometimes they will be disambiguation pages.
  • Do not enclose titles in quotes: Article names which are quotes are not enclosed in quotation marks.
  • Do not use titles suggesting that one article forms part of another. Even if an article is considered subsidiary to another, it should be named independently. (This does not always apply in non-article namespaces and subpages)

Special characters and formatting

There are technical restrictions on the use of certain characters in page titles. The characters #, <, >, [, ], |, {, and } cannot be used at all and there are certain restrictions on titles containing colons, periods and some other characters. Technically all other Unicode characters can be used in page titles. However the following should be noted:

  • Provide redirects to non-keyboard characters: If use of diacritics (accent marks) is in accordance with the English-language name, or other characters not present on standard keyboards are used, such as dashes, provide a redirect from the equivalent title using standard English-language keyboard characters.
  • Avoid accent-/quote-like characters: Accent-like and/or quote-like characters, combining diacritical marks combined with a "space" character) should be avoided in page names. A common exception is the curly apostrophe, which should, however, be used sparingly.
  • Do not use non-language characters: Non-language characters such as "♥", as sometimes found in advertisements or logos, should never be used in titles.
  • Consider browser support: If there is a reasonable alternative, avoid symbols which are so rare that many browsers will not render them.
  • Do not apply formatting: Formatting, such as italics or bolding, is technically achievable in page titles, but is used only in special cases. An example of such an exception is to produce italics for taxonomic names of genera and species on wikipedia.

Titles containing "and"

Sometimes two or more closely related or complementary concepts are most sensibly covered by a single article. Where possible, use a single name covering all cases. Where no reasonable overarching name is available, construct an article title using "and", as in Breaking Items & Attacking Objects. (The individual terms – such as Acronym – should redirect to the combined page, or be linked there via a disambiguation page or hatnote if they have other meanings.)

If there is no obvious ordering, place the more commonly encountered concept first, or if that is not applicable, use alphabetical order. Alternative names using reverse ordering should be redirects.

Renaming an Article

You can not "rename" an article really. Rather, you move the article to a different name. It seems like a technicality, and it is, but the change in perspective matters when doing things involving page names on a wiki. To move a page, simply click on the move tab at the top of the page. In the newly opened screen, ensure the desired namespace is selected, enter your intended page, check that the appropriate other moves and functions will occur as desired, and hit save. If you mess up, just ask an admin to sort it out. They'll most likely explain where you went wrong too, so you can do it yourself in the future. To reduce vandalism, only users who have confirmed their email are able to move pages.

Can I move a page without leaving a redirect?
Only administrators are capable of this action. If you feel a redirect is unnecessary, please contact an admin and have it removed from the wiki.

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