A merge, or merger, is the process of uniting two or more pages into a single page. It is done by copying some or all content from the source page(s) into the destination page and then replacing the source page with a redirect to the destination page.

Any editor can perform a merge. No permission or discussion is needed if you think the merge is uncontroversial; just do it (but it might get reverted). Otherwise, the merge should be first proposed and discussed, as detailed below.

When performing a merge, one should remember to reconcile talk pages, and to attribute copied content, as required by Wikipedia's license. At minimum, this means adding words "Merged content to/from [[page]]" to edit summaries. See How to merge below for details.

Reasons for merging

There are several good reasons to merge pages:

  1. Duplicate: There are two or more pages on exactly the same subject, with the same scope. If a duplicate article was recently created, it may also be a candidate for speedy deletion under CSD A10 criteria.
  2. Overlap: There are two or more pages on related subjects that have a large overlap and might be WP:REDUNDANT. Remember, that Wikipedia is not a dictionary; there does not need to be a separate entry for every concept. For example, "flammable" and "non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on flammability. Topics with the same name that are normally covered in a single article for example Greenland deals with both the country and island (which have similar boundaries) thus a Greenland (island) article can be merged with the "Greenland" country article, see Wikipedia:Semi-duplicate.
  3. Short text: If a page is very short (consisting of perhaps only one or two sentences) and is, in your opinion as editor, unlikely to be expanded within a "reasonable" (unspecified) amount of time, it often makes sense to merge it into a page on a broader topic.
  4. Insufficient notability: Some topics may not reach the general notability guidelines, or more specific criteria, so merging is an alternative to deletion. While this can also be implemented through the articles for deletion process, merging directly may be more efficient. For example, parents or children of a celebrity who themselves are otherwise unremarkable are generally covered in a section of the article on the celebrity.
  5. Context: If a short article requires the background material or context from a broader article in order for readers to understand it. For example, minor characters from works of fiction are generally covered in a "List of characters in <work>" article (and can be merged there); see also Wikipedia:Notability (fiction).

Merging should be avoided if:

  1. The resulting article would be too long or "clunky",
  2. The separate topics could be expanded into longer standalone (but cross-linked) articles, or
  3. The topics are discrete subjects warranting their own articles, with each meeting the General Notability Guidelines, even if short.

Proposing a merge

If the need for a merge is obvious, editors can be bold and simply do it. See how to merge below. Bold merges may be reverted, even though they are labor-intensive to complete, but this edit process and civil discussion produces better articles. Articles that are young or short, such as stubs differing only in title and wording, should be merged immediately. Articles that have been separate for a long time should usually be discussed first, especially those on controversial topics.

To start a discussion, perform the following steps. If the merge is difficult to perform or seems potentially controversial, you should request assistance and feedback at Wikipedia:Proposed mergers.

Do not use the discussion procedure described here to propose:

Step 1: Create a discussion

This is usually done on the proposed destination page's talk page. Exceptions:

  • If the destination does not exist, do not create its talk page (it could get speedily deleted).
  • If a discussion exists already, do not move it (for example, having a discussion on the source page is acceptable).

For example, if suggesting that Foo be merged into Bar, create a proposal in a new section at Talk:Bar. Start a new section at the bottom of that talk page and include the proposal itself, the list of the affected pages, and a merge rationale. A good example is the following section:

== Merge proposal ==
I propose merging [[Foo]] into [[Bar]]. I think the content in Foo can easily be explained in the context of Bar, and a merge would not cause any article-size or [[WP:UNDUE|weighting]] problems in Bar.~~~~

Notify involved users (optional)

You may optionally notify involved users (e.g. contributors to the source and destination pages), who might not be watchlisting them. One way is to simply notify them directly from the merge discussion page:

{{ping|User1|User2|User3|...}} Message text. ~~~~

Alternatively, go to those users' talk pages and start a new section. Make sure to provide a link to the merge discussion. You may use the following standard templates to leave a standard message:

{{subst:Mergenote|Foo|Talk:Bar#Merge proposal}}

Please respect neutrality when making invitations to participate in the merge discussion. Votestacking, that is, canvassing support by selectively notifying editors who have a predetermined point of view or opinion, is inappropriate.

Step 2: Tag the relevant pages

These templates should not be substituted.

To propose a merge of two pages, place the following template at the top of each page or section:

{{merge|OTHERPAGE|discuss=Talk:DESTINATIONPAGE#Merge proposal|date=June 2024}}

If you know which page should be removed, use

{{merge to|DESTINATIONPAGE|discuss=Talk:DESTINATIONPAGE#Merge proposal|date=June 2024}}

on the source page, and

{{merge from|SOURCEPAGE|discuss=Talk:DESTINATIONPAGE#Merge proposal|date=June 2024}}

on the destination page.

If two pages are proposed to be merged into a third destination page that already exists, use

{{merge|OTHERSOURCEPAGE|target=DESTINATIONPAGE|discuss=Talk:DESTINATIONPAGE#Merge proposal|date=June 2024}}

on the source pages, and

{{merge from|SOURCEPAGE1|SOURCEPAGE2|discuss=Talk:DESTINATIONPAGE#Merge proposal|date=June 2024}}

on the destination page.

If two pages are proposed to be merged at a destination page that does not yet exist (destination does not have a talk page), use

{{merge|OTHERSOURCEPAGE|target=DESTINATIONPAGE|discuss=Talk:SOURCEPAGE#Merge proposal|date=June 2024}}

on each source page, choosing one of the source talk pages as the discussion location and ensuring the discuss parameter directs to this talk page on both source pages.

Please use the discuss parameter to direct to the same talk page. Otherwise, two separate discussions could take place. If the discuss parameter is not specified, the "Discuss" links lead to the top of each article's Talk page. In {{merge to}}, {{merge from}}), it always leads to the destination talk page, but it is still preferable to link to a specific section of the talk page.

In other namespaces

  • Do not use the above templates to propose a category merge. This should be requested at WP:Categories for discussion, which uses a separate {{cfm}} template.
  • For a merge of pages within "Wikipedia" namespace (titles with the "Wikipedia:" or "WP:" prefix), do not include this prefix in the parameter.
  • When proposing a merge between two different namespaces, these templates won't work because of technical limitations.

Step 3: Discuss the merge

Make sure to follow standard talk page guidelines, which includes civility and staying focused on the content, not on the involved editors, using threaded discussion formatting, not biting newcomers, and being clear and concise.

In many cases, a hybrid discussion/straw poll is used, but remember that polling is not a substitute for discussion. Example formatting:

* '''Merge''' – <insert reason for supporting merge here> ~~~~
* '''Don't merge''' – <insert reason for opposing merge here> ~~~~

Step 4: Close the merge discussion and determine consensus

During discussion, a rough consensus may emerge to proceed with the merge. Any user, including the user who first proposed the merge, may close the discussion and move forward with the merge if enough time (normally one week or more) has elapsed and there has been no discussion or if there is unanimous consent to merge. Closing of merge discussions differs from closing of requested move discussions in that closings of uncontroversial merge discussions by involved users are allowed. Admin tools are not needed unless page protection prohibits editing.

In more unclear, controversial cases, the determination that a consensus to merge has or has not been achieved should be made by an editor who is neutral and not directly involved in the merge proposal or the discussion. The discussion can be posted at WP:Proposed mergers to get some help. If necessary, a request that an administrator, who is not involved, close the discussion can be made at the Requests for Closure noticeboard.

To close a merge proposal discussion, the {{Discussion top}} and {{Discussion bottom}} templates are used in the following manner:

== Merge proposal ==
{{Discussion top|result=The result of this discussion was... . ~~~~}}

The merge proposal...
* and discussion...
* ...

{{Discussion bottom}}

After closing the merge proposal discussion, remove the {{Merge to}} template from the source page and place the {{Old merge}} template on the corresponding talk page in the following manner:

{{Old merge
| otherpage = <destination page, entered as "Page name" (without brackets)>
| date = <date merge was proposed, entered as "a date string" (according to preference)>
| result = <result of discussion, entered as "'''No consensus'''" (with boldface markup)>
| talk = <merge discussion, entered as "Talk:Page name#Section name" (without brackets)>
| URL = <permanent link, entered as "U_R_L" (with underscored spaces and without brackets)>}}

Remove the {{Merge from}} template from the target page if the consensus is "do not merge" or "no consensus".

Merges can be easily reversed if a consensus is formed against it shortly after it was performed. If there is a consensus against the merge, or if there is no consensus or no discussion and you don't believe that it is appropriate to merge the pages, then please remove the merge proposal tags and, if necessary, close any discussion.

Step 5: Perform the merge

See § How to merge below. The main reason that the merge backlog includes thousands of articles is because the people who support the merge neglect to undertake this final step. Any editor, including the editor who originally proposed the merge, is permitted to perform a merge in accordance with consensus. Merging pages does not require intervention from an administrator.

Merge as a result of a deletion discussion

In Articles for Deletion (AfD) discussions (also see Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Alternatives to deletion), editors may suggest that the article(s) nominated for deletion be merged to an appropriate article. If there is a rough consensus for a merge at the end of a deletion discussion, the following template is placed at the top of the nominated article:

{{Afd-merge to|destination article|debate name|debate closure date}}

Similarly, the following template is placed on the destination article's talk page:

{{Afd-merge from|nominated article|debate name|debate closure date}}

This informs users involved in those pages that content is to be merged as a result of a deletion discussion. It is the involved editors' job, not the closing administrators' job, to perform the merge. Proceed in the manner described above. See also Wikipedia:Merge what? for an essay encouraging not to just vote merge in AfD discussions.

How to merge

  1. Copy all or some of the content from the source page(s) and paste the content in an appropriate location at the destination page. Don't just redirect the source page without copying any content if any good content from the source page exists. Publish the edit, leaving the following edit summary (a link to the source article is required by copyright):
    Merged content from [[source page]] to here. See [[Talk:merge discussion section]].
    Ideally, do any necessary copyediting and rearranging in a separate, second edit rather than when you first paste the moved text (to simplify attribution). In practice, this means: Copy and paste all the content you want to transfer; publish the page with the required edit summary (even if it duplicates parts or looks a bit messy at this stage; you can use {{In use}} if you want to let others know you'll be fixing it right away); then edit the page a second time to clean it up.
  2. Redirect the source page whose content was just merged by replacing everything with the following:
    #REDIRECT [[destination page]] {{R from merge}}
    Or if the content was merged to a single section, the following:
    #REDIRECT [[destination page#section]] {{R from merge}} {{R to section}}
    Publish the page, leaving the following edit summary:
    Merged content to [[destination page#section]]. See [[Talk:merge discussion section]].
  3. Reconcile talk page tags. If the source page has a talk page:
    • Move all {{merged-from}} and {{copied}} templates to the destination page's talk page, if there are any.
    • Reconcile {{WikiProject ....}} templates: copy them from the source page to the destination and remove duplicates (look out for alternative templates; e.g. {{WikiProject Software|Computing=yes}} is the same as {{WikiProject Computing|Software=yes}}). Once copied, change the source article WikiProject templates so that they contain |class=redirect (even for WikiProjects that do not yet support a redirect class); this does not have to be done if {{WikiProject banner shell}} is being used, since that template will automatically choose the class.
  4. Optionally: Tag the destination page's talk page with {{merged-from|source page name|date}}, and the source page's talk page with {{merged-to|destination page name|date}}. Place these tags at the top of the talk pages.
    As an alternative, experienced users can add {{copied|from=|from_oldid=|to=|to_oldid=|to_diff=|date=}} to the top of both talk pages.
  5. Optionally: Fix any double redirects found at Special:WhatLinksHere. A bot automatically fixes this problem but it may take a day or two.
  6. Check for non-free images (or other files). Examples: a book cover, a poster, a logo, etc. The description page of such an image will have a red copyright icon and a non-free use rationale (a summary box with Non-free use rationale in the title, or a Fair use section) – the article title mentioned in such a rationale should be updated. This is required under the non-free content criteria.
  7. Remove the relevant {{Merge from}} template from the destination article, if it still exists.

Note: Most merged articles are not good candidates for merging of page histories because they have been edited in parallel and the collation of their edit states would create unhelpful and/or misleading diffs. In most cases, no request for a history-merge should be submitted. (A more detailed explanation is available here.)

See also

Pages to merge

Wikipedia:WikiProject Merge was initiated to clear merge backlog. Current pages tagged for merging can be found at Category:Articles to be merged, which lists pages that have been tagged for merging on a particular month (tagging began in September 2006).

List of merge templates

See here for a table with examples.

Other projects