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This page is considered a guideline on WoWWiki.

It illustrates standards of conduct, which many editors agree with in principle. However, it is not policy.

Disambiguation is the process of resolving ambiguity — the conflict that occurs when a term is closely associated with two or more different topics. In many cases, this word or phrase is the "natural" title of more than one article. In other words, disambiguations are paths leading to different topics that share the same term or a similar term. For information on creating a Disambiguation page see its help page.

Wikis thrive on the fact that making links is simple and automatic: as you're typing in an edit window, put brackets around Portal (like this: [[Portal]]) and you'll have a link. But were you intending to link to the spell Portal or perhaps you wanted an Instance Portal. Maybe you were even referring to portals that act as gateways between worlds.

(Note: to see how the above links were created, see the article on piped links).

There are two primary ways to resolve ambiguity between articles:

  • disambiguation links — an article discussing the most common meaning of a term can have a link at the top pointing the user to another page pertaining to a different meaning (and often utilizing a similar title).
  • disambiguation pages — non-article pages that contain no content and only refer users to other WoWWiki pages.

Deciding when to disambiguateEdit

Disambiguation serves a single purpose: to let the reader choose among different pages that closely relate to various meanings of a particular term (some of which might logically utilize said term in a titular fashion). The considerations of what WoWWiki is not are not magically invalidated for disambiguation pages. Disambiguation pages are not intended for games of "free association." Please use them carefully and only when needed.

ConfusionEdit

Ask yourself: When a reader enters this term, what article would they realistically be expecting to view as a result? When there is no risk of confusion, do not disambiguate nor add a link to a disambiguation page.

ListsEdit

Lists of articles of which the disambiguated term forms only a part of the article title don't belong here. Disambiguation pages are not search indices. Do not add links that merely contain part of the page title (where there is no significant risk of confusion).

However, when there is a separate list article, it makes sense to have a link to it in a "See also" section. For example, a list of Undercity NPCs should have a link from Undercity, but does not need to be disambiguated.

Summary or multi-stub pagesEdit

Several small topics of just a paragraph or so each can co-exist on a single page, separated by headings. Although this is similar to a disambiguation page, the disambiguation notice should not be put here, as the page doesn't link to other articles closely associated with a specific term.

As each section grows, there may come a time when a subject should have a page of its own.

Although many pages rely on this principle, it has become more common for each subject to have a separate page for its own stub.

Always use {{split}}, and reach consensus before attempting the split.

Disambiguation linksEdit

When a user searches for a particular term, something else might be expected than what actually appears. Therefore, helpful links to any alternative articles with similar names are needed.

One way of adding disambiguation links is to include a link at the top of the page to the other article. For example,

This article is for x in context y, if you are looking for x in context z, see [[x (z)]]

Disambiguation pagesEdit

These pages are composed of a list of links. Start the page with the {{disambig}} tag. Below the tag provide a list of links to the pages that they might be looking for.

PreparationEdit

Before constructing a new disambiguation page, determine a Specific topic name for existing pages, and a generic name for the disambiguation page. Move any conflicting page to its more specific name.

Use the what links here on the list of the moved page to update all of the pages that linked to them.

ConstructionEdit

Assuming a Generic topic page, use the What links here list of the moved page to access the redirect page created by the move, and replace that redirect page with the new disambiguation page.

Use the new disambiguation page to find and replace any old disambiguation links in existing pages with a link to the new disambiguation page.

Page naming conventionsEdit

A disambiguation page may be named after the general term ("Term XYZ"), or may have a title like "Term XYZ (disambiguation)". Usually, there should be just one page for all cases (upper- or lower-case) and variant punctuation.

For example, "Term xyz", "Term Xyz", "Term X-Y-Z", and "Term X.Y.Z." should all redirect to one page.

Generic topicEdit

In most cases, the generic term or phrase should be the title of the actual disambiguation page. This permits an editor to visually determine whether a disambiguating page is generic in Category:Disambiguations.

Primary topicEdit

When the primary meaning for a term or phrase is well known (indicated by a majority of links in existing articles, and by consensus of the editors of those articles), then use that topic for the title of the main article, with a disambiguation link at the top. Where there is no such consensus, there is no primary topic page.

Ensure that the "(disambiguation)" page links back to an unambiguous page name. The unambiguous page name should redirect to the primary topic page. This assists future editors (and automated processes).

LinksEdit

There is rarely a need for links directly to disambiguation pages—except from any primary topic. In most cases, links should point to the article that deals with the specific meaning intended.

See alsoEdit

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