Monday, October 24, 2011

Wikipedia and notability

The barrier to entry into Wikipedia articles is notability: Subjects must be notable enough to create enduring articles on the encyclopedia. According to policy, while news reporting covers announcements, sports news or celebrities, the fact that something is "in the news" is not a sufficient basis for inclusion in the encyclopaedia. Notability is difficult, perhaps impossible to predict directly after an event, and can result in historical events being described in purely modern terms or an article being created about something noteworthy at a particular time which later might not meet notability requirements. Wikipedians call this "recentism" and have a tag to make it transparent to readers that the article might be skewed towards "recent perspectives." In an essay on "recentism," Wikipedians describe the phenomenon as "writing or editing without a long-term, historical view, thereby inflating the importance of a topic that has received recent public attention."