Disambiguation is the process of resolving the conflicts that arise when a single term is ambiguous, and so may refer to more than one topic which the wiki covers. There are three important aspects to disambiguation:
- Naming articles in such a way that each has a unique title.
- Making the links for ambiguous terms point to the correct article title.
- Ensuring that someone who searches for a topic using a particular term can get to the information on that topic quickly and easily, whichever of the possible topics it might be.
This page discusses the standard ways of handling the above issues and formatting of disambiguation pages.
Disambiguation pages should contain a minimum of three entries. If there are only two topics with the same name, the primary topic should link directly to the secondary topic with thetemplate. In these cases, creating a separate disambiguation page is unnecessary.
For disambiguation pages that cover a broad topic with dozens of possible entries, use your best judgement in determining what to include. Listing every single article with the topic in its title is overkill and makes it much more difficult for readers to find what they are looking for.
Article names follow Marvel's spelling and capitalization exactly. Names for items, characters, etc. are often reused, and therefore require parentheses in the title to differentiate versions.
Use common sense in determining how to name the parenthetical:
- Pages having to do with media should contain the full name of the media.
- Characters with no other distinguishing features may be named after the media they appear in.
- Media and locations with the same name should have the media as the primary topic and the location with the
(location)parenthetical, as people are more likely to be looking for that media.
Some pages may have the same spellings but different capitalization. While this is technically allowed by MediaWiki software and does not require further disambiguation, the minute difference is confusing to both readers and editors. One of the pages should be given a parenthetical (see the next section to determine which page to move), and that page's original name should be redirected to the other article.
In rare cases where names already contain parentheses and must be disambiguated with a second set of parenthesis, thetemplate may be used to correct the automatic styling in the page title.
Lowercase parentheticals are preferred except when using proper nouns or directly quoting from the MCU.
The page that is most likely to be visited takes precedence when determining the location of disambiguation pages.
Hatnotes are the templates that provide links to disambiguation pages or similar articles. Editors should keep the number of hatnotes at the top to a minimum. Two is the suggested limit, e.g. oneand one – if there are three or more, they should be placed on their own disambiguation page.
There are several hatnote templates available, each suited to different situations:
is the most common hatnote for noting other uses of the primary topic, and generally links to a
- is used when an ambiguous term redirects to a primary topic, but could also refer to a page with a similar title.
- is used when the primary topic could be confused with another page, either through misspelling, or similar subject matter.
- should only be placed in subsections of articles, generally accompanied by a summary of the topic being linked to.
As hatnotes separate the reader from the content they are looking for, descriptions should generally be as concise as possible. Long explanations are generally discouraged; the article's lead text, not the hatnote, should explain what the article is about.
Introductory line[edit source]
Disambiguation pages should always begin with:
'''[PAGENAME]''' may refer to:. The pagename should not be linked, nor should any further descriptive text be added to the first line.
Individual entries[edit source]
Each entry should be part of an unordered list (created with
*). Entries may stand alone or have a short sentence fragment describing it. Information presented in the description should be kept to a bare minimum, and should only be just enough to direct a reader to the correct article. If a page title is disambiguated with parentheses, the parentheses may be hidden via pipe link; however, this will require it to have a description.
Links should not be used in descriptions, in order to keep focus on the entry; the purpose of a disambiguation page is to take the reader to the page they were actually looking for, not any other article.
For pages with more than several items, the list may be split into sections. Short pages may use fake section headings by starting the line with a semicolon (
; Header); longer pages should use level 3 headers (
===Header===). If a section has too many entries, it may be split into columns with to preserve readability and space.
Headers should be titled by subject area, which should be as general as possible. Common groupings include "Media", "Characters", and "Items". For disambiguation pages that are already specific to one subject, the level of detail may change accordingly.
A "See also" section (different from an "Other" section) may be used to link to relevant disambiguation pages. If a "See also" section is needed, it should be given a level 2 header and placed last, after all other headers.
All disambiguation pages must have thetemplate placed at the bottom for categorization purposes.