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"LW:NOTABILITY" and "LW:NB" redirect here.

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.

To prevent overenthusiastic edits and conflicts of interest, a commonly accepted rule is that the discoverer of a pattern, inventor of new terminology, writer of a program, etc., etc., should not be the one to document that pattern, term, or program on the LifeWiki.

An exception to that rule is that if a discovery makes an existing statement in a LifeWiki article untrue, then by definition there's no question about the notability of the discovery. The discoverer probably has a good command of the relevant details, and might as well do the editing in that case.

Editors generally don't create main-namespace pages about themselves; it's better to let someone else make an independent judgment about whether such a page is needed. By contrast, information about an editor's discoveries is very much welcome (though certainly optional) on user-namespace ("User:{username}") pages.

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.

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.

Name notability guideline

It's very possible for a pattern to be notable, and to have its own LifeWiki article, without a specific name for that pattern being considered to be notable. A new name for an existing pattern should not be added to the LifeWiki until it has been in common use for a year or two. "Common use" means regular uses in discussion, by people other than the initial proponents of the new name. In other words, a term should have become widely adopted in conversations about the pattern, in a way that shows that it's an accepted and uncontroversial term, well before any attempts are made to mention the term in LifeWiki articles.

No matter who invented a term, if it is known to be a new invention, a reference should be added to make it clear who invented the name and when it was invented, in the same edit that adds the term to the LifeWiki. This can be either a link to something like a forum message, or text added to the body of the article if necessary. Just mentioning the new name's source in an edit summary isn't quite as good, because the information becomes hard to find after many subsequent edits.

Person notability guideline

A person should only have a page about them created in the wiki if they satisfy at least one of the following criteria.

  • They discovered an extremely notable pattern.
  • There are at least three red links within the wiki pointing to their name, excluding links created by that person (if applicable).
  • Their contributions to cellular automata are described by an independent, third-party source such as the Game of Life News.

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 add the speedy deletion tag listed on that page.
  • If the article could potentially be considered notable, add the {{notability}} tag to the top of the page.
  • If the article is clearly non-notable and does not meet the criteria for speedy deletion, see LifeWiki:Deletion policy.