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This article will help editors understand how to use stubs. Expanding and removing stubs is a great way to get started with contributing to and editing Lockwiki. If you would like to know how stub templates are created, see Template:Stub.

What are stubs?

Stubs are articles that are too short to provide thorough coverage of a topic, but long enough to provide basic information and starting points for future edits. Articles that are sufficiently long and detailed are not considered stubs, but they may still need Wiki markup or expansion in certain sections (See Help:Cleanup).

There is no set size limit for stubs. Some articles are short because that's all there is to know. Others may be quite long but still could use much more information (Decoding is a good example).

In some cases, short pages may be better merged into a larger article until more information is available.

Ideal stub article

For editors, creating a full page on the first draft is problematic. Creating a stub is a good way to make a page on the topic with enough relevant information to be interesting, but also provide a starting point for other editors to contribute.

When you write a stub, bear in mind that it should contain enough information for other editors to expand upon it. The key is to provide adequate context; articles with little or no context usually end up being speedily deleted. Your initial research may be done either through books or reliable websites. You may also contribute knowledge acquired from other sources, but it is useful to conduct some research beforehand, in order to ensure that your facts are accurate and unbiased. Use your own words: directly copying other sources is plagiarism, and may in some cases be a violation of copyright.

Begin by defining or describing your topic. Avoid fallacies of definition. Write clearly and informatively. State (for example: a lock model) what type of lock it is, who manufacturers it, what makes it unique, and any related lock brands or models.

Next, try to expand upon this basic definition. Internally link relevant words, so that users unfamiliar with the subject can understand what you have written. Avoid linking words needlessly; instead, consider which words may require further definition for a casual reader to understand the article. Lastly, a critical step: add sources for the information you have put into the stub.

Once you create and save the article, other editors will also be able to enhance it.

Marking articles as stubs

After writing or finding a short article, mark the article as a stub by including {{Stub}} on the page. Please use this tag at the end of the page, after everything else (including categories). This is done so that it is easy to later find and remove, but also so "Stub" is listed last in the category links.

The Stub template also has support for adding a general category link, in the form of {{Stub|Type=[[lockpicking]]}}. This does not categorize the stub (like Wikipedia), but it provides readers with a link to related information on the topic they're reading. This is good because it is likely that the stub article didn't answer all their questions.

Removing stub status

Once a page has been expanded enough to the point where stub status can be removed, simply remove the {{Stub}} tag from the page. No administrator approval or special permission is necessary to remove stub status from an article. In the case of a long article that is clearly not a stub but still needs additional editing, please see Help:Cleanup.

Finding stubs

To find stubs, you can visit Category:Stub. Pages that may be stubs but are not yet categorized can be found at Special:ShortPages. If you're looking to create a stub on an article that doesn't exist, Special:WantedPages is your best bet.

See also