Wikipedia:When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork

Nowadays, Wikipedia:When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork is a topic that has captured the attention of many people around the world. Since its emergence, Wikipedia:When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork has generated great interest and been the subject of debate in various circles. Over the years, Wikipedia:When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork has proven to be relevant in various areas, from technology to politics, culture and society in general. As we continue to explore and analyze Wikipedia:When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork, it is imperative to understand its impact on our daily lives and the world around us. In this article, we will delve into the importance of Wikipedia:When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork and its influence on different aspects of contemporary society.

A Wikipedian about to hide a non-notable article in the woodwork.

Many users create articles about current events and other topics that do not quite meet notability requirements in the present, but could potentially become notable in the future. In these cases, the best solution is to move the articles out of article space instead of outright deleting them. The solution avoids the creation of non-notable clutter, but prevents the tediousness of rewriting deleted articles from scratch should the subject become notable.

Why Keep or Delete are flawed

Many articles about notable events are created after an event occurs, but before the event becomes notable. The various notability requirements of Wikipedia state that these articles should be deleted. However, both common sense and at least one guideline state that this approach is counterproductive if there is a reasonable prospect that the article could become notable. Should the deleted article become notable, editors would need to re-research the article in its entirety. This approach is rather pointless and a waste of everyone's time because the information was already present on Wikipedia before being senselessly deleted. These articles of questionable future notability need to be kept somewhere, just in case they become notable.

However, the previous paragraph should not be used as justification for a keep vote in an AfD debate. Arguing that an article will become notable in the future is inherently speculation, which violates Wikipedia policy. Even without this specific policy violation, this approach to keeping articles of questionable future notability would still cause problems. Wikipedia would likely be flooded with articles that are clearly not notable in the present day, but were kept in the past because of the chance that they could have become notable. This approach directly contradicts the notability requirements for events and would result in the keeping of countless articles that, in hindsight, were just non-notable news.

The solution

When dealing with articles of debatable future notability, the best decision is neither keeping nor deleting the article. Rather, it is to move the article out of article space. Normal viewers will be unable to see these articles, but Wikipedians can move the woodworked articles back into article space if they ever become notable. Articles can be woodworked in three ways.

The first is to userfy the article. If this occurs, the article would be moved from main article space to a user's page space. Should the subject of the article become notable, the article can simply be transferred back into the mainspace. However, if it becomes clear that the article is not notable, then  {{db-userreq}} can be added to the top of the article in your own userspace and it will be quickly deleted. Even if the command is not inserted, the article will still remain out of the mainspace and non-notable clutter will be avoided.

The second way is to draftify the article. If this occurs, the article would be transferred off of the main wiki and onto draft space. An article in draft space is more visible to other editors, who may freely improve the draft or transfer it back into the mainspace when they feel it's ready. However a draft which has not been significantly improved or moved to mainspace in six months may be eligible for speedy deletion. If an editor other than the original author sees significant potential for promotion to mainspace in the longer term, they may tag the page with template {{Promising draft}}.

The third way to hide the article is to redirect it to another page, leaving the content in the page history. Few non-Wikipedians will actually be able to find the article. However, the moment the article subject becomes notable, the redirect can be undone and all of the redirected article will be perfectly preserved. Any user would be able to make the revert, if they find the article in the history. If the article never becomes notable, the redirect can be nominated for deletion or left in place if it is serving as a useful redirect.


  1. ^ Warning: Adding this line to a page will nominate it for speedy deletion. Do not add it to any page you do not want to see deleted.