Wikipedia:WikiProject Discographies/style

Discography WikiProject style guide proposal(s):

The following is a series of suggested guidelines for the style and content of discographies. Please note that these guidelines are intended to apply only to artist discographies, not label discographies.



Below is a list of general content that should be included in a discography:

  1. Lead section
    • It is encouraged to avoid direct replication of the article's title in the lead—therefore, it is also recommended to avoid bolding of the title in the lead sentence.
    • See WP:LEAD.
  2. Discography infobox
  3. A table-based list of official releases, in chronological order from earliest to latest.
    • Each release is given its own row, with various pieces of information creating a series of columns.
    • Separate types of releases (such as studio albums, live albums, extended plays, etc.) are generally split up into individual sections and tables.
    • The optional listing of notable works not officially released, such as songs not released as singles but which nevertheless achieved significant chart positions, should be in a clearly separate section. That is, such songs should be in a section like "Other charted songs" and not under "Singles".
    • Similar columns between sections and tables should ideally be kept at a consistent width.
    • See WP:TABLE for help on making tables. The sample tables shown below include mark-up to improve accessibility. Table captions (immediately following "|+" in the table code) are suggested but optional; they need not be used if they merely duplicate section headings (see WP:ACCESS for more).
  4. References
    • See WP:CITE as well as the section below detailing the sourcing requirements further.
  5. An External links section
    • Commonly-used links include the artist's or band's homepage and/or links to Discogs or Allmusic.
    • See WP:EL.
  6. Categories


For each release, the following information, data, and statistics may be included wherever available and applicable. In all cases it is assumed to be information regarding the original release, not re-releases or differing packages released in foreign territories.

Requirements listed below with a are not expected of singles, music videos, or any other releases featuring a single song.
  1. Title
  2. Earliest release date (year, month, and day, as specific as is available)
    • Dates should be spelled out as either "month-day, year" or "day-month-year" (or "month-day" or "day-month") according to the guidelines at WP:MOSNUM, in which dates will normally match the origin of the artist or band, if an English-speaking country. If the artist or band originates from a non-English-speaking country, please see WP:MOSNUM#Full date formatting.
    • Single-song releases should not provide the full release date, only the year.
    • See MOS:SYL.
  3. Record label
  4. Catalog number (if notable)
    • This is generally provided along with the record label.
  5. Formats released
  6. Peak chart positions
    • It is generally discouraged to give an account of a release's entire chart history or trajectory; only its peak position is relevant.
    • Where a release did not chart, but a column for a particular chart or territory exists since another release charted there, either an en-dash (–) or an em-dash (—) should be placed in the cell. There is no requirement to use one type of dash over the other, but they should be used consistently throughout the article and centered in their cells. Additionally, a legend at the bottom of the table should denote the meaning of the dash by saying something like "" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
    • Separate charts or territories should be represented by their own column; the artist or band's home country comes first, followed by an English-language alphabetical ordering of countries (with the option to prioritize English-speaking countries before others), then followed by international, multinational, or worldwide charts if available. In the case of multiple charts per country (such as the various Billboard charts), these should also be in alphabetical order of country-name then chart name.
    • Column headers for chart positions should be an English-language abbreviation of the chart's country of origin, not the name of the individual chart. The exception to this rule, however, is in cases where two columns are from the same country, such as component or competing charts. In these cases, the column header should start with an abbreviation of the country, followed by an abbreviation of the chart name. In all cases, the column header should be wikilinked to the specific chart's page, or if the chart does not have a page, then to the country's page.
    • In the case of multiple charts, "comprehensive" does not necessarily mean an exhaustive list of countries and charts the artist has charted on. A limit of approximately 10 separate charts is suggested, using any combination of country, component, or competing charts. There is no set inclusion criteria for which charts should and shouldn't be included, but a good rule of thumb is to go by the relative success of the artist on that chart.
  7. Sales figures. Reliable sales figures are not always available, so sources should be examined with some skepticism. It is not necessary to report a recording's sales figures in every market. Since no official organization tracks total sales, "worldwide sales" numbers are especially suspect and should not be added. Remember that units sold and units shipped are different items, sometimes reported imprecisely even by reliable sources. The numerical success of a recording is sometimes better explained in the text than in a table.
  8. Certifications of shipments or sales by recording industry associations. Certifications for countries whose peaks are not shown should also be left out of the per-release listing, per WP:INDISCRIMINATE.
  9. Any further notes or comments of notable interest that relate to the artist or band's overall body of work

What should not be includedEdit

  • Tracklistings, B-sides, or any other description of the tracks on a release which is the subject of a separate article. In such cases the relevant article should be linked.
  • Bootlegs, unless officially released, or can otherwise pass the general notability guidelines to deserve a separate article.
  • Unofficial releases of any kind. For example, The Grey Album would not be included in the The Beatles discography or Jay-Z discography.
  • Leaked material.
  • Non-original or previously-released material used on soundtracks, trailers, commercials, or any other compilation releases.
  • Unreleased material unless notable enough to include. In this case, locate a source or wait until the material is released.
  • Non-musical releases or works.
  • Releases by other artists as a tribute or cover.

Citations and referencesEdit

General referencesEdit

For the establishment of the general releases in a discography – that a certain release exists, was released in the first place, and is a part of the artist's body of work – general sources, as opposed to in-line citations, are sufficient. For additional non-contentious facts such as release date, record label, and catalog number, general sources are also acceptable.

In-line citationsEdit

Any surprising or contentious notes beyond the aforementioned should be sourced using in-line citations. For data such as peak chart positions, sales, and certifications, in-line citations are preferred. Whenever a single citation applies to an entire set of data, such as a single chart or certifying body, in-line citations should be presented in the column header, rather than each cell.


Only reliable sources should be cited as sources of information. See WP:RS for more information on sources.

Useful resourcesEdit

Chart positions

Chart recommendations are maintained at WP:Record charts. The list of charts to specifically avoid is located at WP:BADCHARTS, while a list of reliable sources for chart positions and certifications is located at WP:GOODCHARTS.


The following examples are from Nirvana discography and The Prodigy discography, meant to show different examples of an album table and a singles table, respectively. Both tables have been adjusted slightly for the purposes of demonstration.

Note that these tables are from different articles and, not surprisingly, the widths specified for similar columns (e.g., the Title) in the two tables are not the same. In a given discography, however, we expect the Title column for albums tables to be uniform throughout, and the Title columns for songs tables likewise to be uniform, even when not the same as in the albums tables. Ultimately, the exact formatting and content of such tables depend on what's best for individual articles; see the Ignore all rules section below.

For help in listing certifications of sales and shipments, see the next section.

To view the wikicode, click [edit] above.

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
Bleach 89 34 26 24 30 33
  • Released: September 24, 1991
  • Label: DGC (DGC #24425)
  • Format: CD, CS, LP
1 2 2 1 5 2 2 1 2 7
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"One Love" 1993 8 3 Music for the Jilted Generation
"No Good (Start the Dance)" 1994 4 45 4 3 7
"Voodoo People" 1994 13 24 7
"Poison" 1995 15 3 5
(featuring Ricky Nelson)
1996 1 22 1 6 2 1 30 The Fat of the Land
"Breathe" 1996 1 2 1 8 1 1
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Listing certificationsEdit

Historically, discographies on Wikipedia have listed sales and shipment certifications by country, usually listed in the same order as the charts for which peaks are shown (home country chart(s) first, then other countries in alphabetical order). The country names have been abbreviated in tables to save space, so we have used "US", "AUS", "NZL", etc., for awards from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and so on. These have also been wikilinked on first mention, pointing to the certifications provider, so we have had US, AUS, NZL and similar.

At the same time, the very same countries are listed in the columns of chart peaks, with the very same abbreviations, but linking to the respective article on the specific chart shown (or the country if no chart article is available). We have, therefore, headings like US, AUS, NZL, etc.

The above arrangement can confuse visitors, especially readers unfamiliar with the music business, and our information-laden discographies should be clear and easy to understand. Therefore, the recommended way to specify certifications is by supplier, not country, with the link to the provider's article (if any) at first mention. The first certification listed per work should be the award for the artist's home country, followed by the rest of the awards earned, listed alphabetically by provider. Again, we want to list only those certifications which were earned in the countries for which we're showing chart peaks.

To determine what to show when listing earned sales and shipments awards, consult the table below. Some countries do not have certifying bodies so notable as to have their own Wikipedia article. The Recording Industry Association of America and British Phonographic Industry have articles, but some countries have small local arms of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), often without articles, so we link to IFPI once while specifying the country (see table).

Sample list of certification providers, sortable by country*
Country Linked provider Code to add linked provider (copy and paste)
Brazil ABPD [[Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos|ABPD]]
Portugal AFP [[Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa|AFP]]
Mexico AMPROFON [[Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas|AMPROFON]]
Australia ARIA [[Australian Recording Industry Association|ARIA]]
Belgium BEA [[Belgian Entertainment Association|BEA]]
UK BPI [[British Phonographic Industry|BPI]]
Germany BVMI [[Bundesverband Musikindustrie|BVMI]]
Italy FIMI [[Federation of the Italian Music Industry|FIMI]]
Austria IFPI AUT [[International Federation of the Phonographic Industry|IFPI]] AUT
Denmark IFPI DEN [[IFPI Denmark|IFPI DEN]]
Finland IFPI FIN [[Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland|IFPI FIN]]
Greece IFPI GRC [[IFPI Greece|IFPI GRC]]
Norway IFPI NOR [[International Federation of the Phonographic Industry|IFPI]] NOR
Sweden GLF [[Swedish Recording Industry Association|GLF]]
Switzerland IFPI SWI [[International Federation of the Phonographic Industry|IFPI]] SWI
Ireland IRMA [[Irish Recorded Music Association|IRMA]]
Canada MC [[Music Canada|MC]]
Netherlands NVPI [[NVPI]]
United States RIAA [[Recording Industry Association of America|RIAA]]
Japan RIAJ [[Recording Industry Association of Japan|RIAJ]]
New Zealand RMNZ [[Recorded Music NZ|RMNZ]]
France SNEP [[Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique|SNEP]]
Romania UPFR [[Uniunea Producătorilor de Fonograme din România|UPFR]]
Poland ZPAV [[Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry|ZPAV]]

*A more comprehensive list of providers is at List of music recording certifications.

Watch for overlinking when adding certifications. You may need to remove links from providers lower in a table. For example:

For Title 1

For Title 2

  • BEA: 2× Platinum
  • FIMI: Multi-platinum
  • IFPI FIN: Platinum

United States certificationsEdit

The RIAA gives two main types of album certifications: standard and Latin. The standard gold and platinum awards are for shipments of 500,000 and 1,000,000, respectively, while the Latin gold and platinum thresholds are 30,000 and 60,000 units for Spanish-language albums certified after December 2013 and the Latin gold and platinum thresholds are 50,000 and 100,000 units for Spanish-language albums certified before December 2013. For an artist who has received both certifications, use whichever one results in the higher shipment number.

For example, in Daddy Yankee discography, his album Barrio Fino is certified platinum (standard) and 6× platinum (Latin). In this case, the standard platinum should be used because 1,000,000 copies are greater than 600,000. Another example is Gloria Estefan albums discography. The album Mi Tierra was certified 16× platinum (Latin) and platinum (standard). The editor would use the first since 1,600,000 copies are greater than 1,000,000. If the standard and Latin shipments are the same number, it is up to you as editor to choose which one. Make sure, however, to make a note that the certification is Latin (or standard if both are used in an article).

Example table showing the standard and Latin certifications
Title Certification
Por ejemplo
  • RIAA: Platinum (Standard)
Por ejemplo: Otra vez (The Remixes)
  • RIAA: 16× Platinum (Latin)

Another type of certification the RIAA gives out is "Mastertone", which is for ringtones. These should mostly be avoided per WP:INDISCRIMINATE. The only time this should be used is in extreme cases, as determined by consensus.

Fair use materialsEdit

It is generally discouraged to include copyrighted materials in discographies, even when fair use is claimed. Fair-use material is generally not considered to be essential to the reader's understanding of a discography, and so is typically only cosmetic in nature. This includes but is not limited to album covers, audio samples, and promotional photos. See WP:NFC for clarification on the policy.

Ignore all rulesEdit

Every artist is different, and therefore no two discographies will be exactly the same. Therefore, if there is a reasonable justification for deviating from the above guidelines to most accurately or appropriately document an artist's body of work, then ignore all the rules and go with what's best for the article. It is our goal to provide information in the best way possible, so a strict adherence to the guidelines listed above may not always be the best way to accomplish our goals. In an ideal situation however, any deviations from the guidelines should be with a clear purpose that is unique to the particular artist and situation in question. See WP:IAR for more information on ignoring the rules.


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