Within LifeWiki, notability refers to whether or not a topic or pattern merits its own article. Article topics need to be notable, or "worthy of notice." It is important to note that topic notability on LifeWiki is not necessarily dependent on things like fame, importance, or the popularity of a topic — although those may contribute.
A topic is presumed to be notable enough to merit an article if it meets the general notability guidelines below. A pattern is considered notable if it meets the pattern notability guidelines below.
These notability guidelines only outline how suitable a topic or pattern is for its own article. They don't directly limit the content of articles.
General notability guideline
If a topic has received coverage in external sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article. Verifiability is expected for all topics added to LifeWiki.
A topic for which this criterion is deemed to have been met by consensus is usually worthy of notice. Verifiable facts and content that are not deemed notable may be appropriate for inclusion in a separate article.
Pattern notability guideline
A pattern may or may not require coverage in external sources that are independent of the subject in order to warrant mention on LifeWiki and/or its own page. It is important to note that LifeWiki should not be used to catalog all patterns that could be constructed, since computer searches can be used to find and catalog millions of small patterns in a much more effective way than LifeWiki ever could.
If a pattern satisfies one of the following properties, then it is assumed that it warrants its own page. Many of the following notability criteria may overlap for certain patterns; a pattern only needs to satisfy one to warrant its own page.
- It is historically important. Examples include glider and R-pentomino.
- It is a fundamental or well-known pattern. Examples include block, glider and toad.
- Its discovery answered an open question about Life or a similar cellular automaton. Examples include Gosper glider gun and sawtooth 1212.
- It currently holds, or at one point held, a record of some kind. Examples include acorn, dragon and sawtooth 262.
- It was the first of its kind in that it did something notable that no known earlier-discovered pattern had done. Examples include moving sawtooth and parabolic sawtooth.
- It has received significant coverage in an external, independent source.
Patterns not warranting their own page
Even if a pattern does not warrant its own page, it may warrant mention in LifeWiki. If a pattern meets at least one of the following criteria but does not meet any of the criteria for having its own page, then it warrants mention on another page.
- It is similar to another pattern that already has its own page in LifeWiki, and at least one of the following two conditions hold:
- It does something different or has some different property that is relevant to the usefulness of the pattern (such as a smaller bounding box. Generally, a less useful version of a pattern should not be mentioned unless the following property applies to it.
- It is historically significant or relevant to the given pattern (such as being the original form in which the listed pattern was found).
- It, along with one or more other patterns, as a group constitute what would be considered a notable topic.
Topics not satisfying the notability guidelines
Although articles should demonstrate the notability of their topics, and articles on topics that do not meet this criterion are generally deleted, it is important to not just consider whether notability is established by the article, but whether it readily could be.
If appropriate sources cannot be found after a good-faith search for them, consider merging the article's content into a broader article providing context.
- If the article meets our criteria for speedy deletion, one can use a criterion-specific deletion tag listed on that page.
- The article does not meet the criteria for speedy deletion, see LifeWiki:Deletion policy.
Notability guidelines do not directly limit article content
The notability guidelines determine whether a topic or pattern is notable enough to be a separate article in LifeWiki. They do not regulate the content of articles.