An individual human, animal or other biological organism that has recently died may have an entry in the recent deaths section if it has a Wikipedia article that is:
- Not currently nominated for deletion or speedy deletion.
- Updated, including reliably sourced confirmation of their death.
- Of sufficient quality to be posted on the main page, as determined by a consensus of commenters.
- This does not apply to species (or higher taxonomic groupings) or non-living entities.
- Individuals who do not have their own article but who have significant coverage on an article about a group (e.g. one member of a musical group) are eligible for a recent deaths entry on a case-by-case basis.
- Individuals who disappear are eligible for a recent deaths entry for the day they are declared dead in absentia, subject to the standard criteria above if there is no concurrent blurb about the disappearance.
- Recent deaths are placed at the bottom of Template:In the news.
- Use the * wiki list format, starting each entry on a new line and ending with a linebreak. Do not leave a blank line between items.
- An HTML comment with the date of death (or occasionally the date of announcement) is provided before the name of the person. This allows the list order to be maintained chronologically, with most recent deaths appearing first.
- There should be a maximum of 5-6 recent deaths, over no more than 2 lines.
- Any items older than 7 days should be removed.
An entry is listed in the following format:
*<!--Nov 26--> [[Yeshi Dhonden]]
It is sometimes contentious whether a death that qualifies for "recent deaths" should instead merit a blurb. In general, the following criteria are used to decide this:
- For deaths where the person's life is the main story, where the news reporting of the death consists solely of obituaries, or where the update to the article in question is merely a statement of the time and cause of death, the "recent deaths" section is usually used.
- For deaths where the cause of death itself is a major story (such as the unexpected death of a prominent figure by homicide, suicide, or accident) or where the events surrounding the death merit additional explanation (such as ongoing investigations, major stories about memorial services or international reactions, etc.) a blurb may be merited to explain the death's relevance. In general, if a person's death is only notable for what they did while alive, it belongs as an RD link. If the person's death itself is newsworthy for either the manner of death or the newsworthy reaction to it, it may merit a blurb.
- In rare cases, the death of major transformative world leaders in their field may merit a blurb. These cases are rare, and are usually posted on a sui generis basis through a discussion at WP:ITNC that determines there is community consensus that the death merits a blurb. Comparisons to deaths of prior persons (we posted John Doe, so we should also post Jane Smith, or conversely we didn't post Bill Jones, so we cannot post Susie Johnson) are rarely considered sufficient to post in absence of consensus.
In cases where a blurb has been suggested for a recent death, but there is debate about whether to use a blurb or not, but the article is otherwise updated and of quality by editorial consensus, the name may be posted as a Recent Death while the blurb discussion continues.
The section, however, does not detail people and deaths (e.g. occupation, age, and cause of death) due to size and length of the Main Page. Regardless of a blurb or a "recent death" listing, the article on the person in question must still comply with article requirements listed above, particularly WP:BLP which still applies to those who have recently died.
- Wikipedia talk:In the news/2016 RD proposal, RFC which decided current policy
- Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 57#Are animals eligible for the Recent Deaths section?, further discussion
- Wikipedia:In the news/Death criteria, previous discussion about this criterion