Wikiquote exists to provide a free, online, searchable, dictionary of quotations. All entries must meet a minimum threshold of notability, importance, or significance in order for an article on that topic to remain.
- Articles on Wikiquote should refer to people or things that are well-known.
- Articles on Wikiquote should be verifiable. This means they should identify the reliable sources which give a quote so that others can check it is being quoted accurately.
- Wikiquote is not an indiscriminate directory of anything said by anybody.
Generally, if a topic is notable on Wikipedia, then it is notable enough for Wikiquote. Conversely, if an article about the topic has been deleted from Wikipedia on grounds of non-notability, then it is likely to be considered not notable on Wikiquote.
One of the simplest tests for notability of a subject, and of a quote, is to check whether other people have quoted it. They may have been approving or dissenting, said it was well-put or badly-written, but if a quote is often retold by others, then it is notable. If, on the other hand, no-one has thought it worth repeating, then the quote is probably not notable.
Types of notability of articles
Wikiquote articles generally fall into three classes:
Unlike Wikipedia, Wikiquote articles about people are expected to have some relevance to an English-speaking audience. While Wikipedia considers major figures in non-English speaking countries as notable, if they have not produced remarks which are quoted among English speakers (whether in translation or not), they may not be notable in Wikiquote. Conversely, if they have produced notable quotations (quoted by reliable secondary sourcs such as dictionaries of quotations) they are notable for WQ purposes.
The main page of Wikiquote states:
- Welcome to Wikiquote, a free online compendium of quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, including sources (where known), translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information! The English version of Wikiquote has 8,811 pages so far with many thousands of quotations and proverbs. Visit the help page or experiment in the sandbox to learn how you can edit nearly any page right now; or go to the Log in page to create a user page.
If a person has a page at either Wikipedia or at Wikiquote, then chances are that the person is "notable". Of course inclusion on either is no guarantee of notability, and lack of an entry on either is by no means prrof of non-notability.
Publication within a notable creative work does not necessarily make a particular quote notable (e.g. a letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun is not necessarily notable even though the Baltimore Sun is itself notable). A sentence in David Copperfield is not necessarily notable, unless it has been quoted seprately from its context.
Even if a person is notable (e.g. has a non-trivial Wikipedia or Wikiquote page), that doesn't mean that everything such a person says on a theme topic should go in Wikiquote. One factor to consider is whether the quote has been quoted by others.
However, for theme articles in particular, quotations from notable people or notable publications that discuss the theme can be especially appropriate regardless of the frequency of the material having been quoted elsewhere, especially obscure or forgotten quotations that speak directly to the theme - this is one way Wikiquote is unique as compared to conventional compendia.
Just because a quotation has not been frequently quoted recently does not mean it was not quoted at some time in the past, but a quote that has never been singled out for quotation should be especially suspect. Inclusion of such a quote at a Wikiquote theme page should be especially disfavored if the quote is relatively long at a theme page that is already large.
Notability of individual quotes
Non-notability as a reason for deletion
Articles on non-notable subjects can be put up in Votes for deletion, where the article's merits are discussed. It is also possible for administrators to speedily delete articles about real people, groups of people, bands, or clubs where the introduction does not assert the importance or significance of its subject.