VistApedia:Deletion policy

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OpenVistA Wiki: Policies and Guidelines

From time to time, it is necessary to delete pages from OpenVistA Wiki's database. While any user may be able to simply blank a page (i.e. delete all its content), the original text will still be available in the page history for other users to view — and also to restore if they wish. However, when pages are deleted, all versions, past and present, are removed from the wiki.

Only administrators have the authority to delete and undelete pages on OpenVistA Wiki. Administrators are trusted to use their best judgment in determining whether a page should be deleted or not. However, administrators must also follow the process described below to help make such decisions.

Deleted pages can also be restored by the administrators, if and only if support is expressed on votes for undeletion. This is essentially a safeguard against permanently deleting articles. See undeletion policy for more information.

Deleting a page is not a step to be taken lightly!

See also: Dealing with possible copyright infringements

Procedure for deletion

Requesting deletion

To request that a page or image be deleted, place it on the appropriate list. Some of these pages have slightly different procedures — if so, these will be detailed on the page itself:

OpenVistA Wiki:Votes for deletion
Use this list for all types of articles and suggestions that do not use a special list. This includes standard article pages as well as talk pages, categories and templates.
OpenVistA Wiki:Images for deletion
Use this list for images and image description pages, not including possible copyright infringements.
OpenVistA Wiki:Possible copyright infringements
Possible copyright infringements, both images and articles, should be listed here.
OpenVistA Wiki:Pages for immediate deletion
Use this list for uncontroversial deletion suggestions as detailed below.

Anyone may submit a page for deletion on any of the above listed pages. When you list a page, include why you think the page should be deleted. The submission will remain on the page for a specific period of time, during which other contributors will have a chance to vote for or against the deletion. After an appropriate delay (generally five days, but may vary depending on the format), the page may be deleted by an administrator — if and only if a rough consensus for deletion is reached.

Note: If you're not sure that deletion is the best approach, you can also choose to mark the article as a page needing attention instead.

Voting format

When expressing an opinion, please include your opinion, your reasoning, and sign with ~~~~ (four consecutive tilde characters). Here are some suggested wordings:

  • delete
  • keep
  • redirect to [[article]]
  • merge into [[article]] and delete
  • merge into [[article]] and redirect
  • other (some other Action)
  • comment (not a vote).

Lag times

The lag time is the minimal amount of time that an article must be listed as a candidate for deletion before it may be deleted by an administrator. This gives other contributors the chance to comment on whether they believe that deletion is the appropriate course of Action.

OpenVistA Wiki:Votes for deletion
5 days
OpenVistA Wiki:Images for deletion
7 days
OpenVistA Wiki:Possible copyright infringements
7 days
OpenVistA Wiki:Pages for immediate deletion
no delay

Restrictions, Deletion consensus

To request that a page or image be permanently deleted, a user's votes will be considered valid if that user:

  • has been in existence at least one week before the listing, and
  • has at least 15 non-minor article edits logged at the time of the initial listing
Note: Regardless of the above requirements, the page's initial author may vote once.

At the end of five days, if 2/3 majority vote to delete, the page will be removed. Otherwise the page remains. The page will also remain if it has been improved enough since the initial listing that the reason for listing no longer applies anymore. This requires that a reason be given initially.

Candidates for immediate deletion

There are a few, limited, exceptions to the five day rule:

  1. Unused redirects.
  2. No meaningful content or history (eg "sdhgdf"). See patent nonsense.
  3. Test pages (e.g. "Can I really create a page here?").
  4. Pure vandalism (see dealing with vandalism).
  5. Very short pages with little or no definition or context.
  6. Reposted content that was deleted according to this deletion policy. This does not apply to undeleted content that was undeleted according to undeletion policy.
  7. Pages created and edited solely by a banned user, after they were banned (see bans and blocks).
  8. New VistApedia user home pages accidentally created in main article space. However, move content to their user home page first, and consider waiting a day or two before deleting the resulting redirect.

Administrators may also delete pages for the following technical purposes:

  1. Deleting a redirect that has no useful history, to make way for a non-controversial page move.
  2. Temporarily deleting a page in order to merge page histories after a cut and paste move.
  3. Deleting an image page not adhering to the naming conventions after "copying" the image to another title.

In these cases, administrators may choose to delete the page without it being listed on votes for deletion, or after it has only been listed on VfD for a couple of days. If you see a candidate for speedy deletion, and you are not an administrator, add it to pages for immediate deletion.

Remember that possible copyright infringements are not candidates for fast deletion (in most circumstances).

Ideally, when an administrator deletes a test page or other page with no useful content, it is helpful to put a note on the author's talk page explaining things, and preserving the deleted content, pointing them to the sandbox in cases of tests. And remember, be considerate to new members!

"Listed for deletion" notice

When you list a page on OpenVistA Wiki:Votes for deletion that you think will be listed for the entire 5 days (i.e., a page that won't be deleted immediately) it is courteous to let people know it might be deleted. The suggested way is to place the following or similar notice above the page's content:

{{deletion}} ~~~~

Hopefully, this notice will prevent readers and new users from becoming confused as to why a page was removed. Please note: possible copyright infringements have a different suggested notice. Please use the "Copyright infringement notice" ({{copyvio1}}) text from the message templates instead.

Unlisting a page from VfD

If an alternative solution to deletion has been agreed upon, leave the article listed on votes for deletion for a few days, along with a notice stating why the page was note deleted. This will help avoid the case of pages being listed for deletion multiple times.

In some cases, the VfD discussion may be useful for developing the article in question, or to prevent the page from being re-listed in the future. In these cases, you should probably move the VfD Debate to the article's talk page where it can be archived. (You might want to use a sub-page to preserve the Debate, such as [[talk:NAME/deletion]]).

Always include a useful edit summary when editing the VfD page, especially when unlisting a page, so that the page history of the VfD page can be used as backup archive for discussions that have not been regularly archived.

What to list on VfD

If a page does not fall into one of the categories for immediate deletion listed above, then the page cannot be deleted without it first being listed on the votes for deletion page first. However, some pages should not be listed at all, and should just be kept and developed further.

  • Don't list stubs for articles that have potential, but list stubs that are nonsensical. Also, redirect or list stubs that likely will never become more than a simple definition. See fix a stub.
  • Don't list articles that just need heavy editing; instead, list them on Pages needing attention. However, consider listing articles that are just patent nonsense.
  • Redirect pages should be listed on pages for immediate deletion only if the problems they cause outweigh their advantages. For more info, see our recommendations on deleting redirects.
  • List pages that have no potential as encyclopedia articles. This includes non-canon topics or content, as well as unverifiable material.
  • List orphan images where you can't think of an article where they might be useful.
  • If a page has some useful content but is too small to even be a stub, try moving that content to a different, larger article and change the page into a redirect. However, do list a page if turning it into a redirect would cause problems - see recommendations on deleting redirects.

See also