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Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Reviewing instructions

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The Articles for creation helper script is a script that assists in reviewing article submissions and redirect or category requests. The script can accept and decline article submissions, mark submissions as under review, tag submissions for deletion, and add comments to submissions without changing their status. The script will also automatically notify the author of the outcome and can be used to create the respective talk page of an accepted submission.

It is highly recommended that reviewers use the script when reviewing, as it ensures that editors are notified and templates are removed from articles once they have been created.

Editors must read the script documentation and the reviewing instructions below before starting to review submissions. The documentation and the discussion pages for the script are located at Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Helper script.

To install the script go to your user preferences and check the checkbox at: Preferences → Gadgets → Yet Another AFC Helper Script: easily review Articles for creation submissions and redirect requests.

Finding submissions awaiting review

You can find a list at Category:Pending AfC submissions. Or you can click on the button at {{AFC button}}, which will take you to a random article waiting for your keen eye.

Placing a submission "under review"

If you are in the process of reviewing a submission, please mark the submission "under review". This changes the visible submission template, alerting other reviewers that someone is reviewing the submission, which reduces the possible occurrence of edit conflicts. When using the script, simply select Mark as reviewing from the Review tab.

Core purpose

The purpose of reviewing is to identify which submissions will be deleted and which won't. Articles that will probably survive a listing at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion should be accepted. Articles that will probably not survive should be declined. Issues that do not affect the likelihood of success at AFD (e.g., halo effects like formatting) should not be considered when making this fundamental calculation.

If this article were nominated for deletion at WP:AFD, would it be likely to survive?
Yes, it will probably be kept. Then ACCEPT it now. (You can tag non-deletion-worthy problems.)
No, it will be deleted. Then DECLINE it. Please explain why you believe it would be deleted.
Maybe, but I'm not sure. Then ASK FOR HELP on the talk page.

General standards and invalid reasons for declining a submission

Avoid the following errors
  1. Avoid declining an article because it correctly uses general references to support some or all of the material. The content and sourcing policies require inline citations for only four specific types of material, most commonly direct quotations and contentious material (whether negative, positive, or neutral) about living persons.
  2. Avoid declining an article that meets the criteria for requiring inline citations because you wrongly assumed that the absence of little blue numbers meant that no inline citations existed. The use of <ref> tags, although popular, is not required. Editors may choose any form of inline citation, not just the most popular one. Many new editors choose a different style, and their choice is officially protected by Wikipedia's citation guidelines.
  3. Avoid declining an article because the references contain bare URLs or other reference formatting problems. Instead, run reFill or tag the article with {{cleanup-link rot|date=June 2024}} or {{citation style|date=June 2024}}.
  4. Avoid declining an article because it contains formatting issues, such as no wikilinks to other articles, or because it has no sections. Instead, fix it yourself, or accept the article and tag it with maintenance templates to alert other editors to the one or two issues that you believe need to be resolved first.
  5. Avoid declining an article because you personally don't like the citation style or formatting.
  6. Avoid declining an article because the reliable sources are not free or on-line. Books, magazines, and other print-only sources are perfectly acceptable.

Reviewing workflow

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Step 1: Quick-fail criteria

Before reading a submission in detail, check whether it meets any of the quick-fail criteria. If so, it should be declined immediately and in some cases it may be necessary to nominate the submission for speedy deletion.

Expand this box to learn about the quick fail criteria
Quick-fail criteria
Quick-fail reason Action
Vandalism, negative unsourced BLP, or attack page If a submission is clearly an attack page, an entirely negative unsourced BLP, or vandalism, immediately decline the submission as such and ensure you select the check box to blank the submission using {{afc cleared}}. Also, you should immediately tag the page for speedy deletion with {{db-g10}} for attack pages and negative unsourced BLP, or {{db-g3}} for vandalism. This can be done using Twinkle, if you have this gadget installed. Consider also warning the user on their talkpage.
Nonsense or test If a submission consists of only patent nonsense or is an unambiguous test edit, decline it as a test. Test submissions with no other useful page history are also eligible for speedy deletion under criteria {{db-g2}}.
Copyright violation Please check all submissions for copying from existing sources – copyright infringement is a pervasive problem and it is not only important that we don't host such material, but it often leads to significant additional work when not caught early. One way to search for them is to copy and paste into a search engine such as Google (between quotation marks) a limited but unique portion of text of the draft, and try a few such snippets from each paragraph. See also this tool. Also check the sources provided, and, if relevant, and even if not given as a reference or link, check the person's or organization's web site (it is often useful once located to look for an "about", "history" or other narrative section).

If the submission contains material that has been copied from elsewhere and the source is not released under a suitable free license or into the public domain, immediately decline the submission as a copyright violation. In no event should you simply decline and leave the copyright violation sitting in the page history. There are three routes to take from here:

1) If substantially the entire page is an unambiguous copyright violation (and there's no non-infringing revision to revert to), please tag the page for speedy deletion with {{db-g12}}. This can be done using Twinkle, if you have this gadget installed, or using AFCH when you decline the draft. Don't forget to warn the user with the warning notice template that will be provided to you in the text of the speedy deletion tag. Where you have not marked the page for speedy deletion for whatever reason (e.g., removing the infringement found would still leave substantial content), you can either:

2) Send the page for investigation to Wikipedia:Copyright problems, by marking it with {{copyvio | url=insert URL}}, and then follow the instructions in the copyright investigation notice to list the page at "today's" copyright violations page and to warn the user; or

3) If you are willing to take the time to clean up the copyright problem yourself, please click "show" below for detailed instructions.

Copyright cleanup instructions
     (i) remove all of the copyrighted material from the draft, noting in your edit summary where it is from ("Remove copyright violation of http://www...."). Where the copying is from more than one source, it's often easiest to remove each infringement in a separate edit;

     (ii) post to the draft's talk page {{subst:cclean|url=URL(s) copied from}}; just place a space between the URLs if there's more than one (note: this template automatically signs for you so place no tildes);

     (iii) mark the revisions in the page history (typically the first edit and second to last edit) for redaction by an administrator by placing and saving at the top of the draft page this template: {{copyvio-revdel|start = earliest revision ID (that is, the number at end of the revision's URL after "oldid=") | end= end revision ID}};

     (iv) change the decline parameter in your AfC copyvio decline template from cv to cv-cleaned – or remove that decline entirely, since you've just cleaned it, and re-assess the draft on its other merits; and

     (v) warn the user, such as with {{subst:uw-copyright-new|DraftName}}.

Advertising Quickly read over the submission. If the submission is a blatant advertisement decline the submission as such. In some cases it may be necessary to select the checkbox to blank the submission using {{afc cleared}}; although Draft: pages are not normally indexed by search engines, they can show up on mirror sites. In extreme cases, where a submission is a blatant advertisement and the subject is clearly non-notable or otherwise unsuitable for Wikipedia, it may be appropriate to tag the submission for speedy deletion using {{db-g11}}.
Blank submission Click on edit to ensure that the article is truly blank and not simply missing a closing tag. If truly blank, decline as a blank submission. However, if you look at the page history and see that it previously had content but it was 1) blanked by the same user/IP address that posted that content; and 2) there were no substantive edits by other users – you may tag it for speedy deletion using any of {{db-g7}} / {{db-blanked}} / {{db-author}}.
Submission not in English If a submission is not written in English, it can be declined. Category:AfC submissions declined as not in English is linked from Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English. Another editor might translate the submission at a later date.
Already exists Sometimes new editors create a submission without checking to see if the subject already has a Wikipedia article. Do a quick search for the title of the suggested article, as well as any alternative names that come to mind. If you find an article on the same subject, decline the article. Consider making a redirect if the contributed name is useful.

Step 2: Notability and verifiability

The principle of notability applies to the subject of the article. The principle of verifiability applies to the content of the article. The most basic standard for inclusion in Wikipedia is notability. It is important for reviewers to determine a subject's likely notability right away, to avoid new editors having submissions declined for other reasons, only to find out later that the subject of their submission cannot be accepted because it does not meet the notability guidelines. Many problems found in submissions can be fixed through good editing, but no amount of editing can make an inherently non-notable subject notable!

If what is written in the submission meets the notability guidelines, but the submission lacks references to evidence this, then the underlying issue is inadequate verification and the submission should be declined for that reason. Notability is a higher standard than lacking an indication of importance or significance, which are grounds for speedy deletion in the article mainspace.

Expand this box to learn about notability and verifiability
Articles require significant coverage
in reliable sources
that are independent of the subject.

Subject-specific notability guidelines

Wikipedia has some subject-specific notability guidelines. Read through the submission and consider if one or more of the guidelines below applies. If it does, and the submission does not meet the relevant guideline or the General Notability Guideline you can decline the submission for that reason. The following table shows the notability guidelines for specific subjects. If the subject of the submission you are reviewing is not listed in the table below, only apply the general notability guideline.

Notability guidelines
Subject Guideline shortcut Action
Academics (professors, scientists, etc.) WP:PROF Decline the submission as about a non-notable academic
Astronomical objects WP:NASTRO Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable subject
Books WP:NBOOK Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable subject
Events WP:NEVENT Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable subject
Films WP:NFILM Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable film
Geographical features WP:NGEO Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable subject
Musical performers or works WP:NMUSIC Decline the submission as about a non-notable band
Organizations or companies WP:NCORP Decline the submission as about a non-notable corporation
Sports and athletes WP:NSPORT Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable subject
Web content WP:NWEB Decline the submission as about a non-notable web presence
Other people WP:BIO Decline the submission as a non-notable biography
Any subject not covered above WP:GNG Decline the submission as about a generally non-notable subject


If what is written in the submission meets the notability guidelines, but the submission lacks references to evidence this, then the underlying issue is inadequate verification and the submission should be declined for that reason.

Reason for denial Action
Insufficient reliable sources to verify the content of the submission. Decline the submission as lacking sufficient references to verify the content.

Step 3: Suitability

Now you should read the submission in detail and decide whether it is suitable for Wikipedia. To be suitable, the article must be about a notable subject and be written in an encyclopedic style from a neutral point of view. The most common reasons that a submission is not suitable are provided here.

Expand this box to learn about unsuitable articles
Types of unsuitable articles
Reason for denial Action
Nothing more than a dictionary definition Decline the submission as a nothing more than a dictionary definition
A non-notable neologism Decline the submission as a nothing more than a non-notable neologism
Appears to be a joke or hoax Decline the submission as a joke
Does not conform to the BLP policy[1] Decline the submission as not conforming to the BLP policy[1]
Is not written from a neutral point of view Decline the submission as not written from a neutral point of view
Insufficient context Decline the submission as having insufficient context to make the subject understandable
Too short, but could be merged into Article Decline the submission as too short and suggest a suitable title for the content to be merged into (if applicable). Generally, the author should be able to do this themselves.
Anything else covered by WP:NOT Decline the submission as not suitable for Wikipedia; consider writing to custom decline reason in these cases, explaining exactly why the submission is not suitable.
  1. ^ a b When reviewing any submission about a living person, remember that the policy on Biographies of living persons includes:

    "Contentious material about living persons… that is unsourced or poorly sourced — whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable — should be 'removed immediately and without waiting for discussion.'"

    If the submission is a BLP policy violation, decline it as such, ensuring you select the checkbox to blank the submission using {{afc cleared}} – this is done as a courtesy to the subject of the submission. Attack pages and entirely negative unsourced BLP are distinct from straightforward BLP violations. They should not be declined as BLP violations, non-notable, or lacking sources. Instead, they should be declined using the specific decline reason for vandalism/negative blp/attack page and tagged for immediate deletion with {{db-g10}}. This can be done using Twinkle, if you have this gadget installed.

Step 4: Accepting a submission

At this point, if you have not found any reason to decline the creation of the article, it should be accepted. Follow the steps here:

Expand this box to learn about accepting a submission
  1. Click the Accept button.
  2. Click Accept and publish to mainspace. The script will move the article for you, clean it up, create its talk page, grade it, and notify the submission creator.
  3. If you have AWB authorization, you can use AWB to tidy up the new article and carry out typo and general fixes. If you don't have AWB, you can use Auto-Ed to clean up the formatting of pages or do it manually.
  4. If the submission is reasonably well-sourced, has a minimum of 1,500 characters of prose, and is generally interesting, consider nominating the article to appear on the main page as part of Did you know? (see instructions).

Known issues

If a submission, which should be accepted, cannot be moved because the page title is blacklisted, or the page is creation protected, you will get one of the following error messages:

  • If a proposed article title is triggering the title blacklist, you will see an error message that reads: Error info:hookaborted : The modification you tried to make was aborted by an extension hook. If you try and move the page manually you will see: MediaWiki:Titleblacklist-forbidden-move. Please find an administrator who will be able to assist you.
  • If the destination page has been creation protected because of repeated recreation, it will be necessary to make a request for unprotection at Wikipedia:Requests for unprotection.

Step 5: Other tasks and checks

Please read Wikipedia's username policy and if you recognize that a user has a prohibited username, tag the user's talk page with {{subst:uw-username|Reason}}. This tag is also used by Twinkle under: warn → Single issue warnings → {{uw-username}}. If the username is a blatant violation of the username policy, consider reporting the username to usernames for administrator attention.

See also

Draft submissions

Expand this box to learn about draft submissions

Draft submissions are designed to replace the userspace draft option from the article wizard. Submissions are reviewed only after a review is requested by the submitter. After a review is requested, it is reviewed like any other pending submission. If the submission meets the guidelines, it is accepted normally. If it needs improvement, it is declined. All draft submissions not pending review are located in Category:Draft AfC submissions. If the draft has not been edited for more than one week, the draft is automatically declined by ArticlesForCreationBot.

Draft submissions are not meant to replace the current Articles for Creation system. Rather, it is meant to offer new editors a way to create draft articles, without struggling with requested moves once they feel it is ready to be moved to mainspace.

A pending template can be turned into a draft template by replacing the second parameter with the letter "t". NOTE: Please only do this with the creator's permission.

Declining draft submissions

When a draft is submitted for review, there are two AFC submission templates. There is a draft submission template, and a normal pending review template. The draft submission template is merely used to keep track of unsubmitted drafts. Once it has been submitted for review, this template should be removed. ArticlesForCreationBot is tasked with removing the draft submission template, so only the pending review template should remain. If a draft submission meets the quick fail criteria, then it is declined like any other submission.

Other types of submissions

Expand this box to learn about other types of submissions

Articles for creation can also be used to submit templates, disambiguation pages and articles for deletion discussions. In these cases, there are no notability issues. You just need to decide whether the page is useful and appropriate to Wikipedia. For these submissions it will most likely be necessary to include a custom decline reason, using the AfC Helper Script. Refer to official guidelines for guidance on when to disambiguation pages or templates. This can be found at: (Wikipedia:Disambiguation or Wikipedia:Template namespace). Articles for deletion discussions may be created on behalf of anonymous users, who cannot start them. Aside from general reasons for declining a submission (empty, gibberish, spam, copyright violations, etc.), AFD submissions should generally be accepted. (See Wikipedia:Deletion policy and instructions for opening an AFD for more information.)

Cleaning submissions

The AFC Helper Script is able to clean up the formatting of submissions, including removing userspace/sandbox templates and unnecessary draft templates. From the Review menu, select Other options and then Clean submission. Once the script has finished, reload the page to see a much cleaner submission.

Adding questions or comments

If you want to ask the submitter a question, or just make a comment on a submission, click the Comment option from the Review tab.

Submissions in other namespace

Pending submissions that have been created in userspace (including sandboxes) should be moved to the preferred AfC namespace. You will find a pre-loaded link at the bottom of the pending review template to complete this. You may need to select an alternative appropriate name for the submission, based on its content. Note that the AfC Helper Script will not work in non-AfC namespaces. Submissions in other namespaces that contain the {{Afc submission}} template can be moved to AfC space regardless of their status, if it beneficial to do so.

Duplicate submissions

Sometimes you will notice two or more different submissions on the same subject created by the same editor. You may notice while trying to move a pending submission from userspace, that the preferred AfC title already exists. This is usually the result of new editors who are unfamiliar with the MediaWiki interface and create new pages rather than editing existing ones. In such cases, you should consider requesting a technical page move or a history merge. Do not create yet another duplicate page, even with a numerical distinguisher. This risks splitting page histories or creating parallel histories and confusing new editors. If you find two pending submissions on the same subject, by the same author, you can decline one of them as a duplicate. If you are unsure about how to deal with duplicates, ask an experienced member of the project or an administrator for assistance.

Reviewing manually

In the event of an AfC Helper Script failure, you can review submissions manually by reading this archived version of the instructions and following the steps for modifying {{Afc submission}}.