Wikipedia:Did you know/Supplementary guidelines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Did you know?
Introduction and rules
Introduction and rulesWP:DYK
General discussionWT:DYK
Supplementary rulesWP:DYKSG
Reviewing guideWP:DYKR
Nominate an articleWP:DYKCNN
Awaiting approvalWP:DYKN
April 1 hooksWP:DYKAPRIL
Preps and queuesT:DYK/Q
Admin instructionsWP:DYKAI
Main Page errorsWP:ERRORS
On the Main Page
Archived setsWP:DYKA
Just for fun
Monthly wrapsWP:DYKW
Scripts and botsWP:DYKSB
List of users ...
... by nominationsWP:DYKNC
... by promotionsWP:DYKPC

These are the supplementary guidelines (formerly called additional rules or unwritten rules) of Did You Know; that is, they are supplementary to Wikipedia:Did you know#DYK rules and Template talk:Did you know#Instructions for nominators. These rules provide detailed explanations for commonly asked questions regarding the basic rules. It is not necessary to be thoroughly familiar with every one of these rules, but if you have a question regarding interpretation of the basic rules, you will probably find the answer here.

These rules are meant (as said in G4 below) to describe consensus that has been reached among the DYK community through previous discussions of issues that have come up repeatedly.

Supplementary article length rules[edit]

  • A1 (prose): The 1500-character minimum includes letters, numbers, punctuation, and spaces.[A 1]
  • A2 (not prose): It includes only "readable prose"; it does not include the table of contents, section headers, image captions, block quotes, auxiliary sections such as "See also" and "References", citation callouts such as "[6]", tags such as "[citation needed]", and so on.[A 2]
  • A3 (software): To count the number of characters in a piece of text, you may need to use a JavaScript extension like User:Dr pda/prosesize.js (instructions on the talk page), a free website like this, or an external software program that has a character-counting feature. Prosesize.js is the preferred counting method, and usually carries the most weight at DYK, because it counts only the prose as defined by Did you know rules, thus avoiding mistakes and providing an impartial settlement of disputed counting. The character counts indicated on "Revision history" pages are useless for DYK purposes.[A 3]
  • A4 (fivefold history): Fivefold expansion is calculated from the last version of the article before the expansion began, no matter how bad it was (copyvios are an exception), no matter whether you kept any of it and no matter if it were up for deletion. This may be a bad surprise, but we don't have enough time and volunteers to reach consensus on the quality of each previous article.[A 4]
  • A5 (new text): New text seven days old or less can only count toward the 1500 character minimum in one article; if it is duplicated in other nominated new articles, it is ignored for the purpose of character count. If some of the text in a nominated article was copied from another Wikipedia article, and the copied text is more than seven days old, then the copied text must be expanded fivefold as if the copied text had been a separate article.[A 5]

Supplementary article link rules[edit]

  • B1 (qualifying link): The hook must link to a qualifying article. "Qualifying" refers to the many rules (including these supplementary guidelines) regulating the quality of that article.[B 1]
  • B2 (link capitalization): Don't capitalize your article as it appears in the hook, just because that's how it appears in the article. Capitalize it only if the word would normally be capitalized, even if you weren't linking it.[B 2]
  • B3 (link piping): Many hooks are better when the link is piped, and show on the Main Page that way. Disambiguated article titles like Gene Green (baseball) are always piped like this: '''[[Gene Green (baseball)|Gene Green]]''', giving Gene Green.[B 3]

Other supplementary rules for the hook[edit]

  • C1 (bad links): No redlinks, external links, redirects, or links to disambiguation pages in the hook.[C 1]
  • C2 (context): Don't assume everyone worldwide knows what country or sport you're talking about.[C 2]
  • C3 (multi-hook length): A hook introducing more than one article is an exception to the hook length rule: subtract from the overall count the bolded characters for each additional new article beyond the first. If the result is 200 or less, the hook length is probably acceptable. Otherwise the hook may still be acceptable (on a case-by-case basis) if it is reasonably compact and readable.[C 3]
  • C4 (question mark spacing): No space before the question mark.[C 4]
  • C5: [merged to bad links][C 5]
  • C6 (in-universe): If the subject is a work of fiction or a fictional character, the hook must involve the real world in some way.[C 6]
  • C7 (apostrophe spacing): If the hook uses a possessive apostrophe after the qualifying article, use {{`}} or {{`s}} to keep the bold text and the apostrophe distinct e.g. "... that John's house (etc)?" If the article is in italics (e.g. a ship's name), use the slightly different templates {{'}} or {{'s}} e.g. "... that HMS Hood's anchor (etc)?"[C 7]
  • C8 (ellipses): The three ellipsis points and the space before "that" do not count towards the hook length.[C 8]
  • C9 (parentheses): No parentheses in the hook unless absolutely unavoidable. The (pictured) (or equivalent) for the image slot is an exception.[C 9]
  • C10 (language tagging): Unless in common English usage (in which case simply use italics), enclose non-English text in {{lang}} (or {{transl}} for transliterated text) e.g.
    ... that Luciano Berio based '''''{{lang|it|[[Quattro versioni originali della "Ritirata notturna di Madrid"]]}}''''' on Boccherini's ''{{lang|it|[[Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid]]}}''?
    In the example, it is the code for Italian. Other common codes are fr=French, de=German, la=Latin, es=Spanish; see List of ISO 639-1 codes. Note also the use of '' for italics and ''''' for bold-italics.[C 10]
  • C11 (sensational): Excessively sensational or gratuitous hooks should be rejected.[C 11]
  • C12 (main point): The bolded article should generally be the main or at least a major factor in the hook; avoid hooks that are primarily about an incident the subject is only tangentially related to. [C 12]

Other supplementary rules for the article[edit]

  • D1: Articles that have been on DYK before as bold links are ineligible.[D 1]
  • D2: The article in general should use inline, cited sources. All content, excepting leads, plot summaries, and paragraphs which summarize other (cited) content, must be cited, with at minimum at least one cite at the end of every paragraph.[D 2]
  • D4: Wikipedia, including Wikipedia in other languages, is not considered a reliable source.[D 4]
  • D5: Articles nominated for deletion must go on hold until they have survived the deletion process.[D 5]
  • D6: The article is likely to be rejected for unresolved edit-warring or the presence of dispute tags. (Removing the tags without consensus does not count.) A list can be found at WP:DISPUTETAG. An orphan tag is not a dispute tag.[D 6]
  • D7: There is a reasonable expectation that an article—even a short one—that is to appear on the front page should appear to be complete and not some sort of work in progress. Therefore, articles which include unexpanded headers are likely to be rejected. Articles that fail to deal adequately with the topic are also likely to be rejected. For example, an article about a book that fails to summarize the book's contents, but contains only a bio of the author and some critics' views, is likely to be rejected as insufficiently comprehensive.[D 7]
  • D8: "Seven days old" means seven days old in article space. You may spend as long as you want writing/expanding an article on a user subpage; the seven days start when you move it into article space. Such moves are often overlooked when enforcing the seven-day rule, so we may need a reminder. But if you merge the edit history when you move, we might not see that you moved it.[D 8]
  • D9: The "seven days old" limit can be extended for a day or two upon request. If the nominator is new to DYK, a seven-day extension may be allowed.[D 9]
  • D10: If an article contradicts an existing article, the contradiction should be resolved one way or the other before the article is approved.[D 10]
  • D11: If an article otherwise qualifies for DYK, it is not a stub, and any stub tag should be removed before promotion.[D 11]
  • D12: Multiple sources are generally preferred, though more leeway may be given for more obscure topics.[D 12]
  • D13 (verification): No one is required to check that the article's citations generally back up its content, with the exception of the hook; however, any source-to-text integrity issues that are discovered need to rectified before approval.
  • D14 (subjective): To some extent, DYK approval is a subjective process. No amount of studying rules, almost-rules, and precedents will guarantee approval; nor will violating any rule guarantee disapproval. Just because an unfamiliar criterion is not listed does not mean a nomination cannot be disqualified. The subjective decision might depend on an attempt to circumvent the details of the rules, especially if the attempt does not address the underlying purpose of improving the hook and article.[D 13]

"Rules" sometimes invoked but lacking a consensus[edit]

  • E1: Does the first word always have to be "that"?[E 1]
  • E2: Can there be multiple sentences in a hook?[E 2]
  • E3: [deleted][E 3]
  • E4: Occasionally someone objects to linking an unfamiliar word to Wiktionary on the front page, but such objections have always been overruled.[E 4]
  • E5: Do the 11 characters in " (pictured)" or the 27 characters in " (specific object pictured)" (i.e. including an introductory space) count towards the 200 character limit?[E 5]

Rules listed elsewhere but often overlooked[edit]

  • F1: There must be a space after the ellipsis.[F 1]
  • F2: The link to your article should be in bold (e.g., '''[[Manx cat]]''').[F 2]
  • F3: The hook should end with a question mark.[F 3]
  • F4: For a hook with an accompanying picture, the string (pictured) is all in italics, including the parentheses.[F 4]
  • F5: For titles or words with dashes see WP:DASH.[F 5]
  • F6: For hooks containing numbers see MOS:NUM#Numbers as figures or words.[F 6]
  • F7: Make sure your article title conforms with Wikipedia:Manual of Style (titles)[F 7]
  • F8: A "new" article is no more than seven days old. This does not include articles split from older articles, although an article sufficiently expanded from a section of an older article can be a fivefold expansion. The word "fork" is sometimes used to mean Wikipedia:Splitting.[F 8]
  • F9: Fix redirects in hooks – see MOS:DYKPIPE.[F 9]

Other recurring issues[edit]

  • G1: [deleted][G 1]
  • G2: To calculate fivefold expansion:
    1. Count the characters in the prose-only portion of the current version.
    2. On the history screen, access the pre-expansion version of the article. You can find it by clicking on the timestamp directly before the first expanding edit.
    3. Divide the prosesize of the current revision by the prosesize of the historical revision. The resulting number should exceed five in a qualifying article.[G 2]
  • G3: [deleted][G 3]
  • G4: These supplementary guidelines are intended to describe the consensus, not to prescribe it.[G 4]

Rules for evaluating other people's hooks and articles[edit]

  • H1: You don't have to be an administrator or a DYK regular to comment on a hook, to use a symbol such as Symbol confirmed.svg or Symbol delete vote.svg, or even to edit one of the preparation areas. However, the judgments of regulars are less likely to be challenged.[H 1]
  • H2: You're not allowed to approve your own hook or article, nor may you review an article if it's a recently listed Good Article that you either nominated or reviewed for GA (though you can still nominate it for DYK). DYK novices are strongly discouraged from confirming articles that are subject to active arbitration remedies, as are editors active in those areas. Use common sense here, and avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. A valid DYK nomination will readily be confirmed by a neutral editor.[H 2]
  • H3: If the article is sourced entirely to offline or foreign-language sources in such a way that you cannot verify that the subject of the article actually exists or that contentious material is accurate, don't verify the article; instead, leave a note explaining your difficulty below the hook. This will alert other users to the fact that the article lacks basic verifiability and a discussion can then be had as to whether or not to promote it.[H 3]
  • H4: Where a nomination offers more than one new or expanded article, an article-for-article quid pro quo (QPQ) is required for each nominated article. The consensus is that hook-for-hook reviewing is not acceptable in case of multiple nominations. As soon as a new nominator's hook includes articles beyond their fifth nomination of an article for DYK, each of those requires a separate QPQ review.[H 4]

Rules of thumb for preparing updates[edit]

Users are encouraged to help out by preparing updates in the seven prep areas. Promoting your own articles is generally discouraged, and promoting your own articles before they have been independently verified is not allowed. Updates should be filled from the approved nominations page, including those being held for specific dates in the Special occasion holding area at the top of the page.

Here are a few rules of thumb for preparing updates:

  • J1: Users are encouraged to help out by preparing updates in the seven prep areas; you don't have to be an administrator. However, it's a no-no to promote a hook you wrote, or a hook for an article you created, nominated, or reviewed. (Ask for assistance at WT:DYK if one of "your" hooks has been waiting a long time for promotion.)[J 1]
  • J2: Choose approved hooks (Symbol confirmed.svg or Pictogram voting keep.svg). These will be on the approved nominations page, including the special occasions holding area at the top of that page. Check to make sure that the nomination has no outstanding issues, that a full review was completed, and that any substantial changes to the article since the last review are within the DYK criteria. Verify compliance with WP:DYK#gen3 (hook is intriguing and verifiable) and WP:DYKIMG (image has a valid free license and is not Fair Use).[J 2]
  • J3: The accepted length of an update is a fixed number that changes on occasion, usually six, seven or eight hooks (currently eight). This is not an absolute rule but it is the currently accepted standard length for an update, depending on page balance, so the items selected fit with whatever else is on the Main Page at that time. Check by using the links on the prep page you're working on. For example, for Prep 1: "See how this template appears on both today's Main Page and tomorrow's Main Page." to see if the DYK template balances the rest of the main page layout.[J 3]
  • J4: Make sure to choose a varied selection – don't choose half a dozen people hooks, for example, or a bunch of hooks about one particular country or topic. Variety is the spice of life. (However, see the following clause for an important qualification).[J 4]
  • J5: Because of the disproportionate number of US-related hooks and biography hooks, it is usually appropriate to have roughly 50% of hooks in a given update on both US and biography topics, but no more than half. That is to say, in an eight-hook update you should have roughly four hooks per update on US topics, and four on biography. These are not mutually exclusive, for example if you have two US bio hooks that would count as both two US hooks and two bio hooks. Note that "roughly 50%" means just that – this is not an absolute; you can have less of either if there are not many currently available such hooks to choose from on the Suggestions page. Note however that as a general rule you should almost never have more than 50% of hooks on US, biography or any other topic.[J 5]
  • J6: Also, mix your hooks up. Try to avoid having two hooks of the same general type next to one another in the update (for example, two US hooks or two bio hooks together). Putting several US hooks in a row looks US-centric, so intersperse US hooks with non-US ones. In the same spirit, try to avoid putting two bio hooks together, or two cooking hooks, two railroad hooks, whatever. Avoid putting two images of people in adjacent sets, as well.[J 6]
  • J7: Avoid awkward juxtapositions. For example, don't put a sad hook next to a funny one; it looks incongruous and jerks the reader uncomfortably from one emotion to another.[J 7]
  • J8: Hooks on the approved nominations page that include images often get verified first. Users sometimes then just go and grab a bunch of the nearest verified hooks for the preparation areas, which can often include several of these verified picture hooks. Not every submitted picture can be featured in the picture slot of course, but since only one picture can be featured per update, try to leave the good picture hooks behind for another update if you possibly can.[J 8]
  • J9: Try to avoid images that divert readers from the bolded article into a side article – for example, taking a hook about a fictional character and picturing the character's also-linked portrayer. DYK wants to show readers its new and expanded content, and images can be detrimental to that purpose if not used carefully. [J 9]
  • J10: A funny or quirky hook in the last (bottom) slot rounds out an update nicely.[J 10]
  • J11: Don't be afraid to ruthlessly trim hooks of extraneous information and clauses. A lot of people who submit hooks tend to overestimate the amount of information that is required, but the end result is a hook that has too much information and is difficult to process. In general, the shorter and punchier the hook, the more impact it has. As it says on the Suggestions page, the 200-character limit is an outside limit not a recommended length—the ideal length is probably no more than about 150–160 chars. Note however that some hooks cannot be reduced in length without losing essential information, so don't assume that every hook that is 200 characters long requires trimming.[J 11]
  • J12: [moved][J 12]
  • J13: Make sure to include the article name, date, nominator, and creator under the "Credits" section to allow others to return it if a dispute arises.[J 13]
  • J14: It is the promoter's responsibility to make sure all review issues have been resolved, that the hook is verified by sourcing within the article. The promoter acts as a secondary verification that the nomination was reviewed properly. The article should not have any problem templates on it at the time of promotion.[J 14]
  • J15: There will frequently be a need for empty prep slots, in case a hook needs to be bumped or delayed. A good rule of thumb is to leave half of the bottom prep empty: the first slot (image), the last slot (quirky), and two middle slots.[J 15]
  • J16: When verifying the sourcing for a hook, there are some common pitfalls to avoid:
    a. Check that when viewing the source for a fact (not a quote), the source states this fact in their own voice. If they're attributing to someone else, that might mean they're not willing to say it in their own voice. Make sure you know who or what this fact is ultimately sourced to, and judge whether or not it is trustworthy.
    b. Make sure that quotes used in the hook have in-line attribution in the article. If there isn't attribution, the hook would fall afoul of MOS:WEASEL.
    c. WP:RSOPINION: Opinion pieces are not reliable for facts, even when published by reputable organizations.[J 16]


Where date or editor is not given, refer to the previous sentence for attribution.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2019-04-03 by A loose necktie. Amended by EEng.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2008-07-19. Merged from Template talk:Did you know on 2009-01-21 by Rjanag. Split to A3 on 2009-01-21 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2009-05-17 by Smallman12q. Amended on 2009-09-06 by Otto4711.
  3. ^ Split from A2 on 2009-01-21 by Art LaPella. Amended by Rjanag.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2008-08-07. Amended on 2009-01-27 by consensus. Amended on 2010-12-04 by consensus. Amended on 2016-02-18 by consensus. Amended on 2020-07-07 by RfC.
  5. ^ Added on 2008-09-01 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2008-09-04. Amended on 2015-08-07 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2015-08-10.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-07-28 by Art LaPella.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  3. ^ Added on 2008-07-28 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2021-02-04 by Mandarax.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella. Merged from #C5 and #J12 on 2022-11-15 by theleekycauldron.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2015-05-08 by EEng.
  3. ^ Added on 2008-09-03 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2009-01-19 by Gatoclass.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  5. ^ Added on 2008-08-07 by Art LaPella.
  6. ^ Added on 2009-02-09 by DragonflySixtyseven. Upheld on 2017-03-29 by RfC.
  7. ^ Added on 2009-10-13 by Bencherlite.
  8. ^ Added on 2011-06-03 by Schwede66.
  9. ^ Added on 2015-07-06 by Gatoclass.
  10. ^ Added on 2015-05-08 by EEng. Amended on 2022-12-29. Amended on 2022-12-30 by theleekycauldron.
  11. ^ Added on 2023-01-01 by RfC.
  12. ^ Added on 2023-01-20 by theleekycauldron.


  1. ^ In progress...
  2. ^ Added on 2010-05-26 by consensus. Amended on 2023-01-07 by theleekycauldron.
  3. ^ Added on 2008-08-02 by consensus.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-06-30 by Art LaPella. Amended and partially split to #"Rules" sometimes invoked but lacking a consensus on 2008-07-05 by consensus.
  5. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  6. ^ Added on 2008-08-04 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2009-05-04 by consensus. Amended on 2019-06-11 by Maile66.
  7. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass.
  8. ^ Added on 2008-08-08 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2008-09-15. Amended on 2014-06-14 by consensus. Amended on 2016-02-18 by consensus.
  9. ^ Added on 2008-10-02 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2010-08-10 by Mandarax. Amended on 2011-07-31 by Antidiskriminator. Amended on 2014-06-14 by consensus. Amended on 2022-06-20 by consensus.
  10. ^ Added on 2008-08-23 by Art LaPella.
  11. ^ Added on 2009-06-15 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2018-06-28 by Maile66.
  12. ^ Added on 2008-06-30 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2009-08-13 by consensus. Amended on 2011-07-11 by Cmadler. Reverted on 2014-02-04 by Piotrus. Amended on 2016-02-18 by consensus.
  13. ^ Added on 2008-08-04 by Art LaPella.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-06-27 by Art LaPella.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-06-27 by Art LaPella.
  3. ^ Amended and partially split to #"Rules" sometimes invoked but lacking a consensus on 2008-07-05 by consensus. Deleted on 2022-12-29 by theleekycauldron.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-09-13 by Art LaPella.
  5. ^ Added on 2009-02-06 by Art LaPella.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  3. ^ Added on 2008-07-14 by Art LaPella.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-12-11 by Gatoclass.
  5. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  6. ^ Added on 2008-06-21 by Art LaPella.
  7. ^ Added on 2008-08-07 by Art LaPella.
  8. ^ Added on 2008-09-01 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2008-09-04. Amended on 2014-06-14 by consensus.
  9. ^ Added on 2008-10-31 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2019-07-04 by Valereee.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-06-26 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2010-12-17 by The Interior. Deleted on 2022-06-30 by EEng.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-07-24 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2022-12-29 by theleekycauldron.
  3. ^ Added on 2008-08-01 by Art LaPella. Deleted on 2022-12-29 by theleekycauldron.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-09-07 by Art LaPella.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-08-06 by consensus. Amended on 2008-08-23 by Art LaPella.
  2. ^ Added on 2008-10-06 by Art LaPella. Amended on 2008-12-05 by Howcheng. Amended on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2010-11-27 by EdChem. Amended on 2011-03-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2011-05-22. Amended on 2015-03-30 by consensus
  3. ^ Added on 2010-03-08 by Gatoclass.
  4. ^ Added on 2012-04-20 by Schwede66. Amended on 2012-12-10 by consensus. Amended on 2022-04-21 by RfC.


  1. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2017-02-06 by BlueMoonset.
  2. ^ In progress...
  3. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2014-04-09 by Sven Manguard.
  4. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass.
  5. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2015-08-07 by Gatoclass.
  6. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2023-01-05 by theleekycauldron.
  7. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass.
  8. ^ Added on 2009-01-03 by Gatoclass.
  9. ^ Added on 2023-01-20 by theleekycauldron.
  10. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass. Amended on 2016-08-14 by consensus.
  11. ^ Added on 2008-12-10 by Gatoclass.
  12. ^ Merged to C1 on 2022-11-15 by theleekycauldron.
  13. ^ In progress...
  14. ^ In progress...
  15. ^ Added on 2023-01-05 by theleekycauldron.
  16. ^ Added on 2022-11-13 by theleekycauldron. Amended on 2022-11-15.