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Memory Alpha:Disambiguation

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Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Disambiguation
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines

Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

Disambig

Disambiguation in Memory Alpha is the process of resolving the conflict that occurs when articles about two or more different topics have the same natural title or are substantially similar in title.

Memory Alpha thrives on the fact that making links is simple and automatic: as you're typing in an edit window, put brackets around Enterprise (like this: [[Enterprise]]) and you'll have a link. But were you intending to link to Enterprise the series or one of the many ships?

See also

How to disambiguate?

There are two ways to disambiguate. The first one is to create a disambiguation page listing and linking the different meanings of a term. The second one is to add disambiguation links to other meanings to the top of the article with the natural title.

Each method should depend on the specific subject and the amount of content that is/will be in the article.

Disambiguation page

A disambiguation page is usually placed at the natural title and links to all articles that naturally would have this name. A good example of this would be USS Hood. When creating a disambiguation page, you should include the following template at the bottom of the page:

{{disambiguation page}}, which will show the following text:

This is a disambiguation page; that is, one that points to other pages that might otherwise have the same name. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix that link to point to the appropriate specific page.

However, if there is one primary definition of the title, the more important subject can go on the main, simple title. This is open for discussion, though. In this case, the disambiguation page can be placed at Title (disambiguation) and should be linked from the main article using the following template:

{{disambiguation link}}, which reads:

For additional meanings of "Title", please see Title (disambiguation).

In almost all cases the "most important" article is the one that should stay without any disambiguation. If there are two (or more) articles of importance, the disambiguation page should be at the bare link. For example, there are at least two starships named "USS Enterprise" of importance (Kirk's original and the Enterprise-D), so the disambiguation page is at "USS Enterprise". In the case of D.C. Fontana, author of several novels and episodes, that article is of greater importance than the in-universe version which featured in background information in two episodes; thus, the article about the real author is at D.C. Fontana and her fictional namesake is at D.C. Fontana (author).

Disambiguation links

If you're not making a whole disambiguation page you can put a notice at the top of a page, linking to another meaning of that term. This is generally only done if there are just two different meanings and one of them is considered the primary definition (see above). In this case, you can use the following template:

{{disambiguate}}, which takes the title of the target page as a parameter and will appear as:

For another meaning of "Title", please see Title (second meaning).

Some specialized templates exist, for example:

  • {{ep disambiguation}}, which will automatically create a disambiguation to an episode of the same name, located at "Title (episode)".
  • {{mirror disambiguation}}, which will link to a disambiguated article about the mirror universe counterpart at "Title (mirror)".
  • {{Alt disambiguation}}, which will link to a disambiguated article about the alternate reality counterpart at "Title (alternate reality)".
  • {{Prime disambiguation}}, used to link back to the "prime" character's page from either the mirror universe or the alternate reality.

Links to disambiguation pages

While it is generally okay for disambiguation pages to be orphans – it is more appropriate for other articles to link to the specific subjects rather than to the disambiguation page – we want to avoid cluttering the list of orphaned pages with these intentional orphans. Thus, all disambiguation pages should be linked from Links to disambiguation pages.

Of course, there will be accidental links, and in some cases it will even make sense to point a reader to the disambiguation page rather than to a single specific article (generally, if you want to let the reader choose which topic they are looking for).

When linking to a disambiguation page intentionally, the link should be to a redirect to the disambiguation page from the "(disambiguation)" title; in other words, if "Term ABC" is a disambiguation page, a redirect from "Term ABC (disambiguation)" should be created if it does not already exist. This type of redirect is used to indicate any intentional links to the disambiguation page, to distinguish them from accidental or erroneous incoming links that should be disambiguated to the appropriate article.

In addition to the manual list noted above, the following pages list all disambiguation pages:

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