Wikiquote:Deletion policy

This page is an official policy on Wikiquote.
It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.
Please do not make significant changes to this page without prior discussion.
Wikiquote Policies and Guidelines

All text created in the Wikiquote main namespace is subject to several important rules covering criteria for articles (what Wikiquote is not), quote compendium quality (accuracy, sourcing, and verifiability), editorial approach (neutral point of view), as well as the Wikiquote copyright policy. Articles and text which are capable of meeting these should usually be remedied by editing, but content which fails inclusion criteria for Wikiquote, is incapable of verification with reputable sources, or is in breach of copyright policy, is usually deleted.

Deletion of a Wikiquote article removes the current version and all previous versions from view. Unlike page blanking, which can be performed (or reverted) by any user, deletion can be performed only by administrators. In the normal operations of Wikiquote, somewhere between 50 and 200 pages are deleted each month, in accordance with a deletion process that is open to all users.

This page describes how pages which are believed to be suitable for deletion should be handled, explains the various deletion options and processes, and summarizes a number of common problems with Wikiquote articles that may call for deletion as well as alternatives to deletion.

Procedure for deletion

If a page does not fall into one of the categories listed under Wikiquote:Speedy deletions, then it cannot be deleted until it has spent at least seven days on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion.

What to do with a problem page/image/category

Does the page really belong on VfD? Read the following two tables to find out what to do with a problem page.

Problems that don't require deletion
Problem with page Solution Add this tag
Article written in a foreign language.
List in Category:Pages needing translation. {{notenglish}}
A stub (but with potential).
List in Category:Wikiquote stubs, or, better yet, expand it! {{stub}}
Such a tiny domain of quotes that it doesn't deserve its own article.
Merge the useful content into a more comprehensive article and redirect. {{merge}}
Article duplicates substantial information in some other article.
Merge with other article and redirect. {{merge}} [[article]].
Article needs improvement.
List in Category:Wikiquote cleanup. {{cleanup}}
Article needs a lot of improvement. List on Wikiquote:Pages needing attention.  
Article is biased or has lots of POV.
List on Wikiquote:Pages needing attention. {{npov}} or {{POV check}}
Dispute over article content.
List on Wikiquote:Requests for comments. {{disputed}}
Two subjects have the same name.
Make a disambiguation page. {{disambig}}
Can't verify information in article.
Follow the procedure on Wikipedia:Verifiability; if that doesn't work, come back here. If quotes are truly unverifiable, they may be deleted.  
Inappropriate user page. Talk to the user; if that doesn't work, come back here.  
Vandalism or inaccuracy.
Revert it and mention it on Wikiquote:Vandalism in progress.  
Annoying user. Add user to Wikiquote:Requests for comments. But stay cool.  
Problems that may require deletion
Problem with page Solution Add this tag
List on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion. {{vfd-new}}
Article or image is possible copyright infringement.
List on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion, mentioning alleged source of copyright. {{vfd-new}}
Redundant, useless, or problematic template or series box.
List on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion. Be sure to describe specific problem. {{Vfd-template-new}}
  • Otherwise undesirable image.
  • Useless redirect (not common; redirects are cheap).
  • Category scheme gone awry.
List on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion. Be sure to describe specific problem. {{vfd-new}}
Page belongs in:
  • Wikipedia (article),
  • Wikisource (full speech or other entire work),
  • Wiktionary (dictionary definition).
List on Wikiquote:Transwiki candidates under the appropriate section. {{move to Wikipedia}}

{{move to Wikisource}}
{{move to Wiktionary}}

Article is a candidate for speedy deletion including:

(Complete list is at Speedy deletion: the cases.)

Add to Category:Candidates for speedy deletion. {{delete}} or


See also: Wikiquote:Template messages#Deletion

If you feel the page under consideration meets the above guidelines for listing at Wikiquote:Votes for deletion, you can nominate it there by following the instructions at the top of WQ:VFD. Be sure to give the reason why you think it should be deleted. It will remain there for a time, giving other users the chance to comment on whether they think deletion is in fact appropriate. After an appropriate lag time, an administrator will delete the page if a rough consensus is reached (see guidelines of deletion rough consensus).

For candidates for speedy deletion, administrators do not have to request deletion — they may delete them on sight.

"Listed for deletion" notice

When you list a page on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion, it is necessary to let its readers know it might be deleted, regardless of whether it is a brand-new page or an old one with a long history. The way to do this is to place a {{vfd-new}} tag above the page's content, which expands to:

This notice is intended to encourage readers to join in the deletion discussion, and to give readers and new users a chance to understand why a page may be removed. If a redirect is nominated for deletion, it should also include the tag at the top. This will break the redirection, but is the only practical means to notify users of the redirect that it is under discussion for deletion.

If you are nominating a template for deletion, please add {{vfd-template-new|template name|discussion name}} to the top of the template. This will provide a tiny, discreet alert on the pages using this template, identifying the template under deletion consideration and providing a link to its discussion. (See Template:vfd-template-new for important usage details.)

Lag times

Once a page is listed for deletion, the nomination is kept open for a period of time to allow for community comment. The different deletion nomination methods have different "lag times" (the length of time that the page should normally be listed before the article can be deleted). This gives other users the chance to comment on whether they think deletion is in fact appropriate. The lag times are currently set at:

Commenting on a listing for deletion

When someone has listed an article for deletion on one of the lists, anyone else may comment on the request. When expressing an opinion, please include your opinion and your reasoning, and sign with ~~~~ (four consecutive tilde characters). The following are some suggested wordings. There is a list of these and other commonly used shorthands at Wikipedia:Guide to deletion.

  • Delete. (optional explanation) ~~~~
  • Keep. (optional explanation) ~~~~
  • Redirect to [[article]]. (optional explanation) ~~~~
  • Merge into [[article]] and redirect. (optional explanation) ~~~~
  • Move to other Wiki project. (optional explanation) ~~~~
  • Comment. (comment text; not a vote) ~~~~
  • (other action)

The bolding of action votes (by placing three apostrophes (''') on each side) makes it easier for admins to count and review the votes at decision time. However, except for the signature, these are guidelines, not requirements. Note to adminstrators: "merge into [[article]] and redirect" requires that the information on authorship of the content is somehow preserved, unless it is solely public domain text.

Decision policy

For pages listed on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion, if a rough consensus has been reached by the end of the lag time to delete the page, the page will be removed. Otherwise the page remains. Note that what a rough consensus is is not set in stone. Some consider a 2/3 majority a "rough consensus", while others believe consensus implies a higher ratio. Administrators must use their best judgment to discern a consensus. Consensus is not merely a vote, as administrators have no way to guarantee one-person, one-vote participation, and all pages within Wikiquote must abide by the consensuses of established Wikiquote policy and Wikimedia Foundation rules and guidelines as well as the current opinions given in each discussion. Administrators are also encouraged to consider the involvement of the discussion participants in general Wikiquote work to avoid "ballot stuffing" by groups of one-time users only interested in single articles. (See w:Wikipedia:Voting is evil and w:WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a Democracy for more discussion on why strict voting is impractical for Wikimedia projects.)

Pages that have been improved along the lines of the discussion and general Wikiquote practices may also remain if the improvement has been sufficient to make the rationale for the original deletion nomination no longer relevant. This requires a reason to be given initially when requesting that a page be deleted.

Please do not remove any votes from any VfD or like discussion. If you suspect that a vote comes from a sockpuppet or is otherwise invalid, mark it as such with a comment, list any pertinent links, and leave it there. Admins reviewing the discussion will investigate and decide whether or not to take that vote into account, and may strike multiple votes by a single user, or "forged" votes (signed as someone other than the user shown in the edit history). But by not removing any votes, we ensure that there can be no arguments over who removed what and why.

Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators expands on this and provides a little rationale.

Finishing a vote for deletion

There are five basic steps to completing a VfD discussion:

  1. Determine consensus and close the vote.
  2. Take any required action on the named article(s).
  3. Create an archive copy from the closed discussion with the page name Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/DISCUSSION TITLE.
  4. Move the VfD entry to the appropriate month page in Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/Log.
  5. Remove the discussion from Wikiquote:Votes for deletion.

At any point after the end of the lag time or announced vote closure time (ideally within a day), an administrator will determine whether there is a consensus. No consensus is, by default, a community decision to keep. The admin's finding should be clearly recorded in the VfD entry so the community will know the result without reading the entire discussion (which may be quite long). If a vote closes line was provided in the VfD discussion, it should be changed to vote closed and show the result. Note that unlike Wikipedia, only an administrator may close a VfD.

As soon as possible after closing, an admin will take the specified action on the article.

  • If the vote was to keep, the {{vfd-new}} tag should be removed from the article, and notice posted on the article's talk page about the concluded VfD that includes a link to the archived VfD discussion. This is also done for any action, like merge and redirect, that results in something being left at that article's title space. The template {{vfd-kept-new|DISCUSSION TITLE}} can be used as a notice for articles kept intact. {{vfd-redirect|DISCUSSION TITLE|NEW PAGE TITLE}} can be used for articles that were redirected to another title, as well as merged articles, since the merge-from page is then made a redirect.
  • If the consensus was to delete, the article and its talk page will be deleted. It is a good idea to prefix the deletion log summary with VFD: to indicate the deletion was a result of a community vote. (Speedy deletions are typically prefixed with SD: reason.)
  • If the result was to delete, but the deletion cannot be carried out for an extended period of time, the entry should be listed in the Pending deletion page of the deletion log. (This typically includes pages with considerable content that must be distributed to other pages or otherwise conserved elsewhere before final deletion.)

After recording the result, the admin should quickly copy the VfD discussion into a new page, Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/DISCUSSION TITLE, where "DISCUSSION TITLE" is the VfD discussion title, usually but not always the page name. (The page Wikiquote:Useful links has a convenient input box that makes this creation easier.) This makes the discussion and decision available for review. Next, the archived VfD discussion should be listed in the appropriate month page (e.g., Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/Log/2006 September) in the reverse order that they were nominated, so that the latest nominations are at the top. This is accomplished by adding the following text above the existing entries:

{{Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/DISCUSSION TITLE}}

The resulting transclusion automatically displays the content of the archived discussion as if it were part of the month log page.

Closing and archiving admins should include edit summaries for their actions that make it easier to spot the actions in the VfD edit history, like closed PAGE vote; result: delete (for closure) and archived: PAGE (for archiving).

Wikipedia has more information on the general process (some of which is followed here) at Wikipedia:Deletion process.


Deleted pages can be restored, by administrators, if and only if there is support on Wikiquote:Deletion review, or the page was speedily deleted out-of-process. If deletions are made too casually, Wikiquote may lose potentially useful text, and members of the community may feel that their work is not appreciated. Hence, the decision to permanently delete an article is not taken lightly, and the deletion process is followed. See Wikiquote:Undeletion policy for guidance on undeletion.

If an article is repeatedly re-created by unassociated editors after being deleted, this should be seen as evidence for the need for an article. Administrators should always be responsible with the power that they have. If in doubt... don't delete!

See also