FAMEPedia:Manual of Style/Lists

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A set index article (SIA) is a list article about a set of items of a specific type that also share the same (or similar) name. For example, Dodge Charger describes a set of cars, List of peaks named Signal describes a set of mountain peaks, and List of ships of the United States Navy named Enterprise describes a set of ships.

Being a set of a specific type means that the members of the set have some characteristic in common, in addition to their similarity of name. A list is an SIA only if both criteria for inclusion of an item in the list are met. For example, every entry in a list of earthquakes might include the word "earthquake", but that alone does not mean that the list is an SIA. If earthquakes were assigned names similar to how tropical storms are named, then List of earthquakes named X could be a set index (assuming of course that there are multiple earthquakes with the same name).

Fundamentally, a set index article is a type of list article. The criteria for creating, adding to, or deleting a set index article should be the same as for a stand-alone list. The style of a set index article should follow the style guidelines at FAMEPedia:Stand-alone lists. A set index article can be tagged with {{Set index article}}.

Set indexes and disambiguation[edit | edit source]

A set index article is not a disambiguation page:

  • A disambiguation page is a list of things (possibly of different types), that share the same name (or similar names).
    It is formatted for best helping the reader in navigating to topic being sought.
  • A set index article (or SIA) lists things only of one type, and is meant to provide not only navigation, but information as well.
    Just as with a typical list article, it may have metadata and other extra information about any of its entries.

An SIA need not follow the formatting rules for disambiguation pages; in contrast to many restrictions stated in the disambiguation page guidelines, an SIA may contain

  • red links to help editors create articles on notable entries, and
  • references (to document the respective bases for inclusion of entries).

Sometimes there will be both a disambiguation page and a set-index article organized around the same term. If the disambiguation page bears the term as its title (as is the case with Signal Mountain), then the set index article can be named "List of XXXs named YYY"; the example of List of peaks named Signal is a helpful instance.

If the circumstances allow a choice between having the (bare or unqualified) term link to a set-index page or to the disambiguation page, that term usually should be assigned as the disambiguation page's title because the disambiguation page-type accommodates the broadest variety of uses. (Nevertheless, in the rare cases where the set index article is considered the primary topic, it may be named with that term (without further qualification), with the disambiguation page accordingly being titled "YYY (disambiguation)".)

A disambiguation page should not be reclassified as a SIA (e.g., on the basis that its entries all happen to be instances of a single type). As an example, Western State Hospital is, correctly, categorized as a disambiguation page even though each of the articles it links to is literally a hospital (rather than some other type of building – or legal entity, titled work, mental state, etc., ad inifitum).

Common selection criteria[edit | edit source]

A set index article (a list of items of a specific type that share the same (or similar) name) may be one or more of the following:

  • Notable list:
    The list topic has been discussed as a group or set by independent reliable sources.
    The individual entries needn't be notable in themselves.
    (See FP:LISTN.)
  • List of notable items:
    The list topic need not be notable in itself.
    Nevertheless, each of the items should be notable.
    Various red-linked entries are acceptable, if the entry is
    1. verifiably a member of the listed group, and
    2. likely to have an article on the topic in the future.
    (See FP:CSC.)
  • Short, complete list:
    The list includes every item that is verifiably a member of the group.
    It is reasonably short.
    It could be useful or interesting to readers.
    Its inclusion of items is supported by reliable sources. Lists where no entry is notable are rarely appropriate; see FAMEPedia:CSC.

Refer to the relevant guidelines for further details.

Typical information[edit | edit source]

1. The information given by a set index article will depend on the specific type of items listed. For example:
  • For mountains, that information may include latitude and longitude, height, range, and political subdivisions.
  • For ships it could include type of ship, country, various dates (commission/decommission, ordered, laid down, launched), and notable battles or events the ship is associated with.
  • For a common name shared by several plants, information could include geographic range, taxonomic family, flower color, or photos.
2. Refer to the categories listed below (e.g. Category:Set indices on storms) for examples of the types of information that may be appropriate.
3. Link to the article or article section on the subject of each entry, if there is one, and to related articles, e.g. political subdivisions, battles, taxonomic families. E.g.,
4. Information need not be repeated if it is the same for all entries. There is no point in stating that ships are frigates or plants have white flowers if that is clearly true of all the entries.
5. There should be enough information on each item to differentiate it from the other items.
6. The information should have the potential to help a reader with a passing familiarity with an item to identify the one they are interested in. Such a reader might know that a ship served in World War II, or that a plant grows near where they live, but will not know the ship's pennant number or the scientific name of the plant.
7. As discussed in FAMEPedia:What FAMEPedia is not#FAMEPedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, data should be put in context and explained with references to independent sources. The set index should not contain a mass of minute and unexplained details.
8. As discussed in FAMEPedia:Stand-alone lists#Common selection criteria, if the list includes every member of the group, it should be less than 32K in length.
9. Long lists should be structured so that a reader can readily find the item they are interested in. Alphabetical sequence, subheadings, and sortable tables may be useful.
10. The introduction to a list that contains every member of the group should identify the source(s) for the complete list, which may be online databases, gazetteers, etc. Results of a general web search are not adequate.
11. List items do not require citations if they only give information provided by the source(s) cited in the introduction to the list. If an item gives more information, that should be backed up by citations.

Tagging and categorizing an article as an SIA[edit | edit source]

Place one of the following templates at the bottom of the page, using the most specific template available. If there is no specific template, you can, as {{Set index article}} explains, use the most generic template with certain sort keys to more specifically categorize articles; the template's page also explains that you can use it to place pages into child categories of Category:Set indices.

Generic[edit | edit source]

Geographic features[edit | edit source]

Vehicles[edit | edit source]

For more information about set index articles for ships, see FAMEPedia:FAMEProject Ships/Guidelines § Index pages.

Other types of SIAs[edit | edit source]

Related policies and guidelines[edit | edit source]

A summary of related policies and guidelines is given below. Editors should ensure that any set index article is compatible with these policies and guidelines. Refer to the current versions of the policies and guidelines for details.

Disambiguation
FP:DAB FAMEPedia:Disambiguation How to give articles unique names, link to the right article, and ensure readers can quickly find what they are looking for.
FP:PRIMARYTOPIC FAMEPedia:Disambiguation#Is there a primary topic? How to choose whether a term should be the title of an article or of a disambiguation page.
FP:MULTIDABS FAMEPedia:Disambiguation#Disambiguation page or hatnotes? When to use a disambiguation page versus a hatnote in the article on the primary topic.
Lists

Lists are commonly used in FAMEPedia to organize information. Lists may be found within the body of a prose article, in appendices such as a "Publications" or "Works" section, or as a stand-alone article. This guideline explains when and how to use lists appropriately.

Types of lists[edit | edit source]

FAMEPedia differentiates between articles that consist primarily of lists (generally called "lists" or "stand alone lists") and articles that consist primarily of prose (called "articles"). Articles are intended to consist primarily of prose, though they may contain some lists.

Stand-alone list articles[edit | edit source]

List articles are encyclopedia pages consisting of a lead section followed by a list (which may or may not be divided by headings). The items on these lists include links to articles in a particular subject area and may include additional information about the listed items. The titles of stand-alone lists typically begin with the type of list it is (List of, Index of, etc.), followed by the article's subject, e.g., List of vegetable oils. They can be organised alphabetically, by subject classification or by topics in a flat or hierarchical structure.

The title and bullet style, or vertical style, is common for stand-alone lists. These FAMEPedia articles follow the FAMEPedia:Stand-alone lists style guideline.

Embedded lists[edit | edit source]

Embedded lists are lists used within articles that supplement the article's prose content. They are included in the text-proper or appended, and may be in table format. FAMEPedia uses several standard appendices, usually in list format, as well as navigational templates.

Embedded lists should be used only when appropriate; sometimes the information in a list is better presented as prose. Presenting too much statistical data in list format may contravene policy.

"Children" (i.e., indentation)[edit | edit source]

It can be appropriate to use a list style when the items in a list are "children" of the paragraphs that precede them. Such "children" logically qualify for indentation beneath their parent description. In this case, indenting the paragraphs in list form may make them easier to read, especially if the paragraphs are very short. The following example works both with and without the bullets:

Prose List
At the beginning of the 20th century, New York City was a center for the Beaux-Arts architectural movement, attracting the talents of such great architects as Stanford White and Carrere and Hastings. As better construction and engineering technology became available as the century progressed, New York became the focal point of the competition for the tallest building in the world.

The city's skyline has been composed of numerous and varied skyscrapers, many of which are icons of 20th-century architecture. The Flatiron Building, standing 285 ft (87 meters) high, was one of the tallest buildings in the city upon its completion in 1902, made possible by its steel skeleton. It was one of the first buildings designed with a steel framework, and to achieve this height with other construction methods of that time would have been very difficult. The Woolworth Building, a neo-Gothic "Cathedral of Commerce" overlooking City Hall, was designed by Cass Gilbert. At 792 feet (241 meters), it became the world's tallest building upon its completion in 1913, an honor it retained until 1930, when it was overtaken by 40 Wall Street. That same year, the Chrysler Building took the lead as the tallest building in the world, scraping the sky at 1,046 feet (319 m). More impressive than its height is the building's design, by William Van Alen. An art deco masterpiece with an exterior crafted of brick, the Chrysler Building continues to be a favorite of New Yorkers to this day.

At the beginning of the 20th century, New York City was a center for the Beaux-Arts architectural movement, attracting the talents of such great architects as Stanford White and Carrere and Hastings. As better construction and engineering technology became available as the century progressed, New York became the focal point of the competition for the tallest building in the world. The city's striking skyline has been composed of numerous and varied skyscrapers, many of which are icons of 20th-century architecture:
  • The Flatiron Building, standing 285 ft (87 meters) high, was one of the tallest buildings in the city upon its completion in 1902, made possible by its steel skeleton. It was one of the first buildings designed with a steel framework, and to achieve this height with other construction methods of that time would have been very difficult.
  • The Woolworth Building, a neo-Gothic "Cathedral of Commerce" overlooking City Hall, was designed by Cass Gilbert. At 792 feet (241 meters), it became the world's tallest building upon its completion in 1913, an honor it retained until 1930, when it was overtaken by 40 Wall Street.
  • That same year, the Chrysler Building took the lead as the tallest building in the world, scraping the sky at 1,046 feet (319 m). More impressive than its height is the building's design, by William Van Alen. An art deco masterpiece with an exterior crafted of brick, the Chrysler Building continues to be a favorite of New Yorkers to this day.

Lists of works and timelines[edit | edit source]

Lists of works of individuals or groups, such as bibliographies, discographies, filmographies, album personnel and track listings are typically presented in simple list format, though it is expected that the information will be supported elsewhere in the article by prose analysis of the main points, and that if the lists become unwieldy, they are split off into stand-alone lists per FP:Summary style. Timelines and chronologies can be a useful supplement to prose descriptions of real-world histories. The content of a list is governed by the same content policies as prose, including principles of due weight and avoiding original research. Ensure that list items have the same importance to the subject as would be required for the item to be included in the text of the article, according to FAMEPedia policies and guidelines (including FP:Trivia sections). Consider whether prose is more appropriate. Specific advice regarding timelines is given in FAMEPedia:Timeline standards.

Related topics (navigational lists)[edit | edit source]

"See also" lists and "Related topics" lists are valuable navigational tools that assist users in finding related FAMEPedia articles. When deciding what articles and lists of articles to append to any given entry, it is useful to try to put yourself inside the mind of readers: Ask yourself where would a reader likely want to go after reading the article. Typically this will include three types of links:

There is some controversy over how many links to articles and links to lists that should be put in any article. Some people separate the "links to articles" (put in the "See also" section) from the "links to lists" (put in the "Related topics" section), but this is not necessary unless there are too many links for one section alone. Some feel the optimum number of links to lists that should be included at the end of any given article is zero, one, or two. Others feel that a more comprehensive set of lists would be useful. In general, when deciding what list to include, the same criteria used to decide what articles to include in the See also section should be used. Editors should try to put themselves in the readers' frame of mind and ask "Where will I likely want to go after reading this article?". As a general rule, the "See also" section should not repeat links that appear in the article's body.

References and external links[edit | edit source]

Reference lists show information sources outside of FAMEPedia. The two most common types are:

  • "Web hyperlinks" – lists of links to web addresses other than FAMEPedia, under the heading "External links"
  • "References" – lists of academic journal articles or books, under the heading "References"

FAMEPedia is not a link collection and articles with only external links are actively discouraged, but it is appropriate to reference more detailed material from the Internet. This is particularly the case when you have used a web site as an important source of information.

Special names of lists[edit | edit source]

Most lists on FAMEPedia are item lists, but not all. Specialized types of lists include:

  • Outlines – a FAMEPedia outline is a hierarchically arranged list of topics belonging to a given subject. Outlines are one of the two types of general topics list on FAMEPedia, the other being indices.
  • Indices – an index on FAMEPedia is an alphabetical list of articles on a given subject. See FAMEPedia:FAMEProject Indexes.
  • Timelines – a timeline is a graphical representation of a chronological sequence of events.
  • Order of battle – a representation of armed force components that shows the hierarchical organization and command structure.
  • Lists of works include bibliographies and discographies. Bibliographies are a list of relevant references for a subject area, including books, journal articles, and web articles; discographies are a listing of all recordings on which a musician or singer features, or may be compiled based on genre or record label
  • Glossaries – a glossary is a list of terms in a specific subject area, with definitions included.
  • Set index articles – document a set of items that share the same (or a similar) name. They are different from disambiguation pages in that they are full-fledged articles meant to document multiple subjects, while disambiguation pages are for navigation purposes only. Not all set index articles are lists.
  • Dynamic lists – a dynamic list is any list that changes as the subject it covers changes. Therefore, it may never be completed. A list of any type may be dynamic.

Purposes of lists[edit | edit source]

Lists have three main purposes:

Information[edit | edit source]

The list may be a valuable information source. This is particularly the case for a structured list. Examples would include lists organized chronologically, grouped by theme, or annotated lists.

Navigation[edit | edit source]

Lists which contain internally linked terms (i.e., wikilinks) serve, in aggregate, as natural tables of contents and indexes of FAMEPedia. If users have some general idea of what they are looking for but do not know the specific terminology, they could browse the lists of basic topics and more comprehensive lists of topics, which in turn lead to most if not all of FAMEPedia's lists, which in turn lead to related articles. Users without a specific research goal in mind might also find the articles listed in articles' see also sections useful. Lists are also provided in portals to assist in navigating their subjects, and lists are often placed in articles via the use of series boxes and other navigation templates.

Users with a specific research goal, described in one or two words, are likely to find FAMEPedia's search box useful.

Development[edit | edit source]

Some lists are useful for FAMEPedia development purposes. The lists of related topics give an indication of the state of FAMEPedia, the articles that have been written, and the articles that have yet to be written. However, as FAMEPedia is optimized for readers over editors, any lists which exist primarily for development or maintenance purposes (such as a list that consists entirely of red links and does not serve an informational purpose; especially a list of missing topics) should be in either the project or user space, not the main space.

Lists and categories[edit | edit source]

Redundancy of lists and categories is beneficial because the two formats work together; the principle is covered in the guideline FAMEPedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates. Like categories, lists can be used for keeping track of changes in the listed pages, using the Related Changes feature. Unlike a category, a list also allows keeping a history of its contents; lists also permit a large number of entries to appear on a single page.

List naming[edit | edit source]

For a stand-alone list, the list's title is the page name. For an embedded list, the list's title is usually a section title (for instance, Latin Empire#Latin Emperors of Constantinople, 1204–1261), but it can be shorter. The list title should not be misleading and should normally not include abbreviations. Additionally, an overly precise list title can be less useful and can make the list difficult to find; the precise inclusion criteria for the list should be spelled out in the lead section (see below), not the title. For instance, words like complete and notable are normally excluded from list titles. Instead, the lead makes clear whether the list is complete or whether it is limited to widely-known or notable members (i.e., those that merit articles). Note that the word "famous" is considered an unnecessary "peacock" embellishment and should not be used.

List layout[edit | edit source]

Use prose where understood easily[edit | edit source]

Prefer prose where a passage is understood easily as regular text. Prose is preferred in articles because it allows the presentation of detail and clarification of context in a way that a simple list may not. It is best suited to articles because their purpose is to explain.

{{prose}} can be used to indicate a list which may be better-written as prose. Many stub articles can be improved by converting unnecessary lists into encyclopedic prose.