Open main menu

Wikipedia:Partially disambiguated page names

An ambiguous title is a title that applies to more than one topic described on Wikipedia. Sometimes one of those topics is considered the primary topic for that ambiguous title, and the article for that use is placed at the plain base name title (e.g., Paris is an article about the capital city of France), or if another title is preferred for the article, the plain base name is made to redirect to the preferred title (e.g., Hurricane redirects to Tropical cyclone). In other cases there is no primary topic, and a disambiguation page is placed at the title (e.g., Thriller is a disambiguation page). Normally the other non-primary uses are placed at titles that are disambiguated naturally (see WP:NATURALDIS), or with a comma (e.g., Paris, Texas), or parenthetically (e.g., Mercury (planet)). Sometimes titles with a commonly used qualifier remain at least somewhat ambiguous. For example, there are several albums named Thriller, so the names Thriller (album) and Thriller album are somewhat ambiguous. Some editors call these partially disambiguated titles or partially disambiguated page names (PDABs), or incompletely disambiguated (INCDAB or INCOMPDAB) titles.

The main question about PDABs is whether a PDAB itself can have a primary topic. In the example of Thriller (album), there is one album that is very well known and is considered much more highly notable than the others.

A request for comments concluded on 3 September 2019 that PDABs can have primary topics, but that "the standard for making disambiguated titles such as Foo (bar) a primary topic among all Foo's that are Bars should be tougher than the standard for titles that don't have any disambiguator". The Wikipedia guideline section known as WP:INCDAB or WP:INCOMPDAB was modified to reflect this.

WP:INCDAB was previously less specific about this issue. For example, as of December 2017, it said only that "When a more specific title is still ambiguous, but not enough so to call for double disambiguation, it should redirect back to the main disambiguation page (or a section of it). This aids navigation, and helps editors to avoid creating new articles under the ambiguous title by accident. Such redirects should be marked with {{R from incomplete disambiguation}}."

Further back in time, there was a period of a few months in 2013 when the wording of the guidelines included a stronger discouragement of PDABs having primary topics – e.g., at one point it directly said that "Only non-disambiguated terms are eligible to have primary topics."

Primary topic considerationsEdit

Central to disagreements about PDABs is whether the principle of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC applies to incompletely disambiguated titles. The quintessential example is whether Thriller (album) should lead to the Michael Jackson album named Thriller or to the disambiguation page at Thriller. As of this writing it is an article about the Michael Jackson album, which some editors say indicates that the album is recognized by the community to be the primary topic for the term "Thriller (album)". There is also the point that any phrase which can be the title of a dab page could also be a potential candidate for having a primary topic, and does have a primary topic if one of the uses on that page meets the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC criteria for that title relative to the other uses on that page. Others feel that since the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC section does not specifically reference incompletely disambiguated titles like Thriller (album), the concept of "primary topic" doesn't apply to such titles, and so the Michael Jackson album cannot be said to be a proper "primary topic" for this term.

The fundamental question is whether a given PDAB title should be used as the title of an article (or should be a redirect to one specific article) in cases where there is one topic that is arguably the "primary topic" for the PDAB title. If WP:PRIMARYTOPIC does not apply to PDABs, how do we decide whether a PDAB title in question should be the title of a specific article (or a redirect to such an article) or a disambiguation page (or a redirect to a disambiguation page)?

Former WP:Disambiguation guideline content on this issue was established by this May 2013 Village pump policy discussion, which concluded that only non-disambiguated terms should be eligible to have primary topics. However, its wording or inclusion in the Wikipedia:Disambiguation editing guideline was disputed. Concurrently with a September 2013 discussion at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation, that conclusion was removed from the guideline, for lack of consensus. See also: The shortcut's redirect for discussion.

Additionally, following a Request for Comment discussion, it was concluded in June 2016 that PDABs should sometimes be used for song and album articles when there are no other standalone articles sharing the same song or album name.

Original version of the former guideline (May 22, 2013)Edit

Partially disambiguated titles:

Only non-disambiguated terms are eligible to have primary topics. Parenthetically disambiguated titles that remain ambiguous are not considered to have a primary topic on Wikipedia. For example, Party (album) can refer to Party (Iggy Pop album), Party (Nick Swardson album), and Party (Pet Shop Boys album), therefore Party (album) redirects to Party (disambiguation); neither article should be considered the primary topic for "Party (album)" because that title employs parenthetical disambiguation. While a partially disambiguated term should not serve as the title of an article, it can redirect to an article in cases when such redirection does not introduce additional ambiguity. For example, New York (city) redirects to New York City, which is only one of several cities called "New York"; however, the term "New York City" does not employ parenthetical disambiguation and that title can itself refer to all the other cities called "New York" as well, therefore no additional ambiguity is introduced by New York (city) redirecting there.[1]

Final version of the former guideline (September 18, 2013)Edit

Partially disambiguated page names:

If a page name containing a parenthetical qualifier is still ambiguous, it might not be a suitable article title. In such an instance, a more precise qualifier should be used. For example, Party (album) is insufficiently precise because Party (Iggy Pop album), Party (Nick Swardson album), and Party (Pet Shop Boys album) exist. Therefore, Party (album) has no primary topic and serves as a redirect to Party (disambiguation), tagged {{R from incomplete disambiguation}}. With some naming conventions, it is appropriate to redirect a partially disambiguated term to an article. If so, a hatnote directing readers to other possible targets (or a disambiguation page) should be used.[2]

List of partially disambiguated article titlesEdit

The following is a manually updated list of article titles with parenthetical partial disambiguation on the English language Wikipedia.

comma disambiguation

(note this does not include places in the US, Australia and Canada, where comma disambiguation is considered somewhat part of the name)

Song and album articles with no other standalone articleEdit

Following a Request for Comment discussion, it was concluded in June 2016 that when a song or album is the only song or album that has a standalone article on Wikipedia, but other songs or albums of the same name are listed on the disambiguation page for that name per MOS:DABMENTION, the article title of the song or album that has a standalone article should not include the artist name. This conclusion has since been included in a footnote of the guideline at WP:ALBUMDAB.

The following is a manually updated list of such instances:

The template {{Incomplete disambiguation}} should not be used in such articles. That template is intended for use only on disambiguation pages.

List of partially disambiguated article redirectsEdit

Among the options for how to categorize partially disambiguated article redirects are (multiple categories may be appropriate):

The following is a manually updated list of WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT article redirects with parenthetical partial disambiguation on the English language Wikipedia.


See alsoEdit