Wikipedia and Notability

Hi, everyone. This message came across a listserv I moderate today about why someone’s entry about a band got rejected. I asked Sarah (the message’s author) if it was okay to share it with y’all. She said yes, so here it is.

Hi there,

I’m going to be the bearer of bad Wikipedia policy news. Sorry ūüė¶ ¬†And I¬†got into feminism through the riot grrrl movement – so..I feel terrible¬†discussing this.

For any article to be published in Wikipedia, it must meet the notability¬†guideline of having significant coverage about the subject in multiple¬†reliable secondary sources. And for musical acts, just merely putting music¬†out on an indie label or having other bands “like them” doesn’t make them¬†inherently notable. I have a lot of friends in bands, and most of them,¬†even those from the riot grrl days (I played in a few bands myself) aren’t¬†eligible for articles.

Bikini Kill is a good example of a band that is notable, or Team Dresch.

I wasn’t able to find, on a brief search for “Morning Sickness” online and¬†was unable to find enough online sources to show they are notable (again,¬†brief search). If they were featured in some Canadian publications, or in¬†stuff like Flipside or Maximum Rock n’ Roll, then they might meet¬†notability standards.

You can read about Wikipedia’s notability standards – which guarantee that¬†not every garage band makes it into Wikipedia – here:

and the specific music guidelines here:

Also, writing about your band or something you’ve been involved in is a¬†no-no on Wikipedia. As Lilian has a conflict of interest because she was in¬†the band. You can read about Conflict of Interest policy here:¬† ¬†It’s really hard to write¬†neutrally about something you were involved in, so, Wikipedia frowns pretty¬†heavily upon it.

¬†That Rhythm Activist article went through a non-review process, unlike¬†Lillian’s submission – it did not go through the Articles for Creation¬†process (which is reviewed by men and women alike, I’m a reviewer there).¬†And after looking at that article for Rhythm Activist, I’m nominating it¬†for deletion as it appears they don’t follow our notability guidelines.

Basically that article got added in a different way than Lillian’s¬†attempted article. It’s also been there since 2006, way before we had that¬†articles for creation process.



About cstabile

Carol Stabile is a founding member of Fembot , an online collaboration of scholars conducting research on gender, new media, and technology. She teaches at the University of Oregon. View all posts by cstabile

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