Help:Disambiguation

DCCWiki, a community DCC encyclopedia.

Blue check.gif This page is considered a guideline on DCCWiki. It illustrates standards of conduct, which many editors agree with in principle. However, it is not policy. Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose any major changes.


Disambiguation in DCCWikipedia is the process of resolving ambiguity—meaning 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 types of turnpikes that lead to different topics which share the same term or a similar term.

DCCWikipedia thrives on the fact that making links is simple and automatic: as you're typing in an edit window, put brackets around Manufacturers (like this: [[Manufacturers]]) and you'll have a link. But were you intending to link to either DCC Manufacturers or general manufacturers?

Disambiguation should not be confused with the merging of duplicate articles (articles with different titles, but regarding the very same topic, for example "Gas Turbine" and "Gas turbine", or "loo" and "restroom").

A disambiguation page contains no article content, but refers users to other Wikipedia pages.

When to disambiguate

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).

Do not disambiguate, or add a link to a disambiguation page, if there is no risk of confusion. Ask yourself: When a reader enters this term and pushes "Go", what article would they realistically be expecting to view as a result? 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).

Disambiguation links

When a user searches for a particular term, he or she may have something else in mind than what actually appears. In this case, a friendly link to the alternative article is placed at the top. For example, the article Quaoar is about the heavenly body, but it contains a link that reads:

This article is about the trans-Neptunian object. For the Tongva god, see Quaoar (deity).

If there is more than one such alternative page, create a link to a disambiguation page (see below). One of the templates shown below may be used, or a custom message such as

Bach redirects here. For other uses, see Bach (disambiguation)

which appears on the Johann Sebastian Bach page.

One can also disambiguate at the bottom of the article like this:

----
'''Controller''' is also a slang term for the term [[command station]].

Some editors believe that this makes such links harder to find, however.

Templates for disambiguation links

A number of templates have been created to ensure a common appearance of disambiguation links:

For other uses, see ArticleName (disambiguation).
This article is about BlahBlahBlah; for other meanings, see ArticleName (disambiguation).
For other uses, see DifferentArticleName (disambiguation).
For other uses, see DifferentArticleName.
This article is about This Topic; for Some Other Topic, see DifferentArticleName
This article is about the year. For other uses, see number 1492.
For other places with the same name, see ArticleName (disambiguation).
For other places with the same name, see DifferentArticleName (disambiguation).

If you need a disambiguation link with custom text:

See also:

Disambiguation pages

These contain links only, like this:

Lift may refer to:

Template:Disambiguation

A disambiguation page may have a name like Term XYZ (disambiguation), or may be named after the general term (Term XYZ).

Style for disambiguation pages:

  • Put the article title in bold as an intro.
  • Start each line with the link to the target page.
  • Don't wikilink any other words.
  • Only include references to related subject articles if the term in question actually is described on that page.
  • Include the template {{disambig}} at the bottom.

You may want to disambiguate on the same page:

  • TITLE and Title
  • Title town and Title township

What NOT to put on disambiguation pages

Lists of articles of which the disambiguated term forms a part of the article title. If there is a separate list article, however, it makes sense to have a link to it in a "See also" section; for example, List of people whose first name is Michael should have a link from Michael.

Disambiguation descriptions should not be created for subjects whose only articles are only on pages of sister projects, even if the disambiguation page already exists (e.g., the poll on 9/11 victims). However, there are templates for linking to Wiktionary; see Wikipedia:How to link to Wikimedia projects#Wiktionary. Subjects that have articles on both Wikipedia and sister projects are, of course, fine.

Examples

On a page called Title, generally do not disambiguate:

  • Title County
  • Title City
  • Title Hospital
  • Title University

"Title Island", "Title River" or "River Title" may be worth listing in cases where the "Island"/"River" part is often omitted.

In most cases, do not list names of which Title is a part, unless the persons are very frequently referred to simply by their first or last name (e.g. Galileo, Shakespeare).

TLAs

Pages of common two and three letter abbreviations group series of possible expansions for the letters, such as chemical element symbols, similar to disambiguation pages. These should be expanded beforehand. Such pages facilitate navigation and replace disambiguation pages.

Fixing links to disambiguated topics

A code of honor for creating disambiguation pages is to fix the mis-directed links that will be created when the disambiguation page is made.

Before creating a disambiguation page, click on "What links here" to find all of the pages that link to the page you are about to change. Make sure that those pages are fixed or that they won't be adversely affected before you perform the split.

When repairing a link (for example, when renaming Topic Name to Topic Name (some qualifier), you can use empty pipe syntax so that the link does not contain the new qualifier. For example, [[Topic Name (some qualifier)|]] will render as Topic Name just like the original. This is easier to edit and maintain than the more wordy [[Topic Name (some qualifier)|Topic Name]].

Links to disambiguation pages

There is rarely any need for links directly to disambiguation pages—except from the primary topic, if any. In most cases, links should point to the article that deals with the specific meaning intended, and not to a disambiguation page. Before making a page into a disambiguation page, one should first look at each page that links to it (using the "pages that link here" feature of the software) and correct the links as appropriate. Of course, the whole point of making a disambiguation page is so that accidental links made to it will make sense, so it's not a major problem if there are still links to it.

The DCCWikipedia software has a feature that lists "orphan" pages; that is, pages that no other page links to. But for disambiguating pages, that's perfectly correct: we usually want pages to link to the more specific pages.

Double disambiguation

A disambiguation of a disambiguation is a disambiguation that is linked from another disambiguation. This kind of disambiguation is typically more specific than one with a simplified name. These kind of disambiguations are relatively rare on DCCWikipedia. One example is if an economics article links to Defense, a disambiguation page which then leads to Defense industry, a secondary disambiguation page.