Disambiguation in Wikipedia is the process of resolving conflicts that arise when a potential article title is ambiguous, most often because it refers to more than one subject covered by Wikipedia, either as the main topic of an article, or as a subtopic covered by an article in addition to the article's main topic. For example, Mercury can refer to a chemical element, a planet, a Roman god, and many other things.
|This page documents an English Wikipedia editing guideline.|
|This page in a nutshell: It is necessary to provide links and disambiguation pages so that readers typing in a reasonably likely topic name for more than one Wikipedia topic can quickly navigate to the article they seek.|
There are three important aspects to disambiguation:
- Naming articles in such a way that each has a unique title. For example, three of the articles dealing with topics ordinarily called "Mercury" are titled Mercury (element), Mercury (planet) and Mercury (mythology).
- Making the links for ambiguous terms point to the correct article title. For example, an editor of an astronomy article may have created a link to Mercury, and this should be corrected to point to Mercury (planet).
- Ensuring that a reader 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. For example, the page Mercury is a disambiguation page—a non-article page which lists various meanings of "Mercury" and which links to the articles that cover them. (As discussed below, however, ambiguous terms do not always require a disambiguation page.)
This page discusses the standard ways of handling the above issues. For detailed advice about the format of disambiguation pages, see the style manual.