A stub on Lexicanum is defined as a very short article of one paragraph or less. Generally, stub articles are short, vague sentences (or even a single sentence) that fail to cover all but the extreme basics of a subject.
Stubs can be useful as placeholders - if you are in the process of researching a topic or are writing a longer article for inclusion in the wiki, it can be a good idea to start with a short article. However, stubs are also sometimes left in the database, and thus are of very little use to those who read them.
- Before creating a stub article, you should ask yourself if this stub might be useful to anyone. Sometimes it is better to have no article at all than to have one that completely fails to describe even the basic facts about a subject.
- When creating a stub article, please add a stub message to show other contributors that this article needs to be expanded. This procedure is explained below.
- After creating a stub article, don't just leave the article in the database. Try to return after a while to expand the article if no one else did in the meantime.
Marking stub articles
If you create a stub, or find an unmarked stub, add the following boilerplate message at the bottom of the article to encourage other users to destubify the article:
- This is a generic message for all stub articles. It will appear as:
This article is a stub. You can help the Lexicanum by expanding it.
Finding and fixing stub articles
If you happen across a stub article, on a subject about which you are familiar, take a few minutes to flesh out the material! Provide more information and help to build the web further by adding even more wiki links to the text.
If you would like to find stub articles that need fixing, use the following pages to find lists of stub articles:
- Category:Lexicanum stubs -- for all stub articles
- Special:Shortpages (a page listing all existing articles by their size. Ideal to find unmarked stub articles - of course, not all short articles on this list are stubs)
Alternatively, the MediaWiki software can automatically mark short articles for you. In your preferences, set the Threshold for stub display to a number higher than zero (a recommended number is 200 bytes). By doing this, links to short articles will be colored differently, allowing you to spot them on all pages.
In all cases, please make sure to remove the stub message from any article that you fixed.
Articles that aren't stubs!
Not all short articles are stub articles. Sometimes, there's only a little bit of information available on a subject and it only warrants two or three sentences. Short articles that cover their subject entirely should not be marked with a stub message.
Not all incomplete articles are stub articles, either. The stub message should not be used to mark any article that you think is incomplete. If an article consists of more than one paragraph but is still incomplete, you should instead list the article on "Lexicanum incomplete articles". Read "Lexicanum:Pages needing attention" to learn how to do so.