Wikibooks:Deletion policy

Wikibookians are expected to follow this policy when performing deletion-related activities (including undeletion requests).

Only Administrators can delete and restore pages. Deletion removes access, and undeletion restores access to a page's content and revision history. Keeping track of deletions can be hard if done too casually. Deletion decisions are not to be taken lightly.

Deletion are not be confused with page blanking, which adds an entry in the page's history and anyone can undo. Page blanking might be vandalism, an attempt to deal with vandalism, or an attempt to delete a page for whatever reasons. The first two can be fixed by restoring a revision free of vandalism. The last may qualify for speedy deletion, depending on the situation; if you want a second opinion, you may make a request for deletion.

General guidelines

  • In general, keep stubs that can be improved on, but delete stubs that are too narrowly defined or do not have a decent definition of what they are about.
  • In general, keep modules that need heavy editing, but delete pages with no meaningful content.
  • In general, delete modules that will simply never become educational resource modules. This includes idiosyncratic non-topics such as "Teaching 100 monkeys to type the works of Shakespeare".

Meaningful content

Content is not meaningful if it does not add value to readers or otherwise contribute to the project. What is considered "meaningful content" depends on the namespace. Under this criterion, you'll have to be careful when nominating or deleting pages. In doubt, put it under a deletion discussion.

Absence of meaningful content includes, but is not limited to:

  • Spam and vandalism.
  • Test edits and nonsense.
  • Abandoned pages displaying intent, but no actual content.

You can leave {{query}} on the page to check whether the user is intending to develop the page further.

Speedy deletions

Speedy deletion is a deletion request where reasonable opposition is not expected or possible. Anyone can request speedy deletion, and anyone who objects or believes more discussion is needed can turn a speedy deletion candidate into a request for deletion. Speedy deletion requests made in bad faith can be removed by anyone.

Add {{delete|reasons for speedy deletion}} to the top of a page to request speedy deletion. That page will then appear in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion for administrators to address whenever time is available.

Pages that satisfy any of the following criteria can be considered for speedy deletion:

  1. Pages nominated for speedy deletion by the only significant contributor.
  2. Pages in the nominator's user namespace (their user page, talk page, or any sub-page thereof).
  3. Pages with no meaningful content. Always check and revert if good content in the revision history was replaced.
  4. Pages in a book where current book contributors support deletion. Always link to the discussion page where consensus was reached.
  5. Pages that cannot comply with the scope or policies of the project. Should there be any doubt, get community consensus.
  6. Orphaned redirects that do not conform with Wikibooks:Naming policy or where the names are unlikely to be inadvertently searched for by anyone.
  7. A repost of work previously deleted as a result of a requested for deletion that has not successfully gone through requests for undeletion.

Requests for deletion

If you disagree with the reason given in a speedy deletion nomination, or if you believe a work that does not satisfy any of the speedy deletion criteria should still be deleted, you can discuss deleting the work with your fellow community members at Wikibooks:Requests for deletion. Please sign/date your reasoning and be prepared to defend it.

Next you should add {{rfd}} to the top of the work, which will add the page to Category:Requests for deletion. At this time, the discussion process begins.

Every registered Wikibooks user can participate in the discussion process to decide what to do with the work in question. Please explain your reasoning, sign/date your comments, and be ready defend your position. For convenience please include a discussion icon to help other participants quickly review what the overall position of the participants is. If your reasoning changes, please strikeout (<s>old text</s>) any part of your stance that you wish to change, before (optionally) declaring a different position.

One week after the last comment if participants have mostly reached consensus about what to do, action will be taken by an administrator. Otherwise discussion may continue until consensus is reached. Deciding whether consensus has been reached and what consensus is should occur according to the decision-making guideline for high impact decisions. Per this guideline, any position declaration is an aid to discussion and not a vote; the decision isn't based on quantity but on quality.

Discussion may be terminated early and any outcome ignored if the discussion is believed to be the result of vandalism or part of an edit war between two contributors who may not like each other. If later serious objections are raised, discussion may resume.

You should be especially sensitive to discussions about brand-new works, particularly by new contributors to Wikibooks. Unless there are obvious problems that are unlikely to be rectified, your time would be better spent mentoring new contributors and trying to help clean up new works, even if the work is currently a blatant violation of current procedures. Remember you were once a new contributor too.

If the decision is that the page should be deleted, an administrator will do so, and it will show up on the page Special:Log/delete. Either way, the section should be archived for historical reference.

Violations of copyright (usually determined by running a Google test), should have {{copyvio|<source URL or description of source>}} added to the top of the offending page, which adds the page to Category:Copyright violations.

The user who submitted the work has one week from this date to prove that they had permission to post the work, otherwise it will be deleted.


First of all, if the page looks okay, but it's just on the wrong wiki (e.g. wrong language, wrong type of content), add {{transwiki|<suggested wiki>}} to the top of the page, which add the page to Category:Pages for transwiki.

Guidelines for admins

Here are some guidelines that those tasked with removing pages from the database can generally be expected to follow in making the decision to delete or not:

  1. As a general rule, don't delete pages you nominate for deletion if there are a number of comments in favor of keeping. Let someone else do it.
  2. Simply deleting a page does not automatically delete its talk page or any subpages. Please delete these pages too.
  3. If another solution has been found for some of these pages than deletion, leave them listed on Wikibooks:Requests for deletion for a short while, so the original poster can see why it wasn't deleted, and what did happen to it. This will prevent reposting of the same item. Alternately, leave a message on their user page explaining the verdict of the deletion process.
  4. Use common sense and respect the judgment and feelings of other Wikibooks participants.
  5. When in doubt, don't delete.
  6. Don't hesitate to turn a speedy delete into a RfD discussion. It is better to get community input on deleting a page than indiscriminate deleting on the part of admins.
  7. Where the content is such that it might usefully be moved elsewhere (for example, another wiki or that the authors might want a copy for their own records) give some time for them to do this before deleted (or alternatively email them a copy of the text).
  8. Copyright: See Wikibooks:Copyrights for deletion policy on copyright infringement (and m:Wikipedia and copyright issues and m:Avoid Copyright Paranoia for perspective).
  9. Administrators necessarily must use their best judgment, attempting to be as impartial as is possible for a fallible human, to determine when rough consensus has been reached. For example, administrators can disregard comments if they feel that there is strong evidence that they were not made in good faith. Such "bad faith" comments include those being made by sock puppets, being made anonymously, or being made using a new user id whose only edits are to the article in question and the voting on that article.

Ideally, when an admin deletes a test page or other page with no useful content, it is a good idea to put a note on the author's talk page explaining things, pointing them to the sandbox in cases of tests. Be friendly! Everyone was new once. In the case of anon IP users this is not as important as they have likely moved on or their IPs changed since that edit.

Frequently asked questions

This book is totally biased! What gives?
See Wikibooks:NPOV dispute. You don't need the RfD page for that.
Where'd my page go?!
Check the deletion log and head over to Wikibooks:Requests for undeletion if you believe that a page may have been deleted without proper grounds.

See also