Wikisource:Deletion policy

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Deletion policy

Wikisource's deletion policy codifies the circumstances under which administrators may delete pages. Although any user can blank a page, the page remains accessible and older revisions may be accessed through the edit history. When a page is deleted, the previous edit history cannot be viewed by non-administrators. Only administrators have the ability to delete and undelete pages.

Policy: Criteria for deletion


If you suspect that a work is a copyright violation, you can place it on Wikisource:Copyright discussions. If you believe that an article does not belong on Wikisource, but it doesn't match any of the criteria for speedy deletion below, you can list it at Wikisource:Proposed deletions.

The discussion will be held for at least one (Proposed deletions) or two (Copyright discussions) weeks. Although any user is welcome to discuss the nomination, only established editors may cast a vote with weight.

Speedy deletion


Wikisource's deletion policy allows administrators to summarily delete pages that meet one or more of the Criteria for speedy deletion (commonly CSD). If you disagree with a speedy deletion, you can appeal it at Wikisource:Proposed deletions (see "Undeletion"). Pages matching a criterion for speedy deletion should be tagged with the criterion's appropriate template (or {{sdelete}}) and not reported at Wikisource:Proposed deletions (see category). In tagging a page for speedy deletion please note the reason for deletion as follows {{sdelete|reason for deletion}}.


  1. No meaningful content or history. This includes test edits (eg, "asdf" or "Can I really create a page here?"), obvious nonsense, or simple vandalism.
  2. Reposted content previously deleted according to this deletion policy, unless it was significantly rewritten in a manner that calls into question the deletion reason.
  3. Banned contributor: content created and edited solely by a banned user after they were banned, where there is possibility of bad faith. Good contributions by a banned user should be accepted, but where bad faith is possible it should be assumed.
  4. Redundant: Two versions of the same text on different pages, with no significant differences between them. An unsourced work that is redundant to a sourced (scanned) version.
  5. Beyond scope: The content clearly lies outside the scope of Wikisource (such as advertisements or book descriptions without text). This doesn't apply to works which belong on other Wikimedia project (see Transwikied articles).
  6. Copyright violation: Content which is a clear and proven copyright violation, or content previously deleted as a copyright violation, or author pages for authors whose works are all copyrighted.
  7. Author's request: Deletion per request of the author, if the author is the only significant contributor, the request is not in bad faith, and the content is not to the benefit of Wikisource. If the author blanks the page, this may be taken as a request.
  8. Person- or work-based categories: Categories where the defining characteristic is person-based or work-based. See Help:Categorization § Excluded categories.
    • Person-based categories: Categories where the defining characteristic is person-based. This includes, but is not limited to, author-based categories like "Works by author name" intended to contain works by a particular author (instead, list the works on the Author page).
      There are exceptions for categories where the person's name signifies an administration (the administration associated with a specific US president), regnal period (the government of a given British monarch), or similar, which are not subject to speedy deletion under this criterion.
    • Work-based categories: Categories solely intended to contain pages within a particular work (instead, provide a table of contents on the work's main page).

Articles and images

  1. Articles transwikied to another project, or images uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons with the original contributor noted.
  2. Non-notable content, not significantly peer-reviewed or previously published in a significant edition or forum.
  3. Works without authorship information, where a reasonable attempt has been made to discover this information and contact the user who added the text. Note that this does not apply to texts whose authors are unknown.


  1. Process deletion: deletion as part of a page move or history merge, as long as the action requiring the deletion is uncontroversial.
  2. Unneeded redirects from page titles created within the last week, or older redirects tagged with {{subst:dated soft redirect|"[[new title]]"}} for at least two months. Redirects to nonexistent pages may be deleted at any time. Unneeded redirects include alternate mixed-case capitalisation (one redirect for all-first-letter capitals suffices), and redirects from page moves where the original title is incorrect.
  3. Cross-namespace redirects from the article namespace to any other namespace.
  4. Orphaned talk page: a discussion page for deleted or nonexistent content.


These criteria are being used experimentally, and have not yet been established.

These criteria may be used by administrators to quickly close proposed deletions, although they cannot be used to delete a page before such a discussion begins. Such deletions are visible in the Proposed deletions archives and are easily reviewed or challenged. See "Precedent deletion criteria" for discussion.

  1. Categories for an author's works, where a standardised author index exists and all pages are listed.
    see: Style guide.
    discussions: "Author pages" (Scriptorium, 2005-09), "Author Template" (Scriptorium, 2005-10), "Categorisation" (WikiProject IGD, 2006-01).
    precedents: 2006/09.
  2. "Copydumps", i.e. works that consist of copy-pasted OCR text with minimal or no formatting or cleanup.
    note: it is often easier to start over from the beginning than to attempt to clean up poorly-generated OCR text
    - discussions: "Request for comment: Are drop by copy and pastes still in scope?" (Scriptorium, 2019-10), "Copydumps" (Scriptorium, 2021-02)
    - precedents: 2019/10, 2021/03


Any deletion may be appealed by posting arguments in favour at Wikisource:Proposed deletions with the prefix "Undelete". For example:

== Undelete [[Example]] ==

In practice

  • For pages that should be speedily deleted, please affix {{sdelete}}, per its guidance, to the respective pages.
  • For pages that require a deletion discussion, please affix {{delete}}, then create the discussion at the nomination page.
  • If you wish to contribute to a deletion discussion, that occurs at Wikisource:Proposed deletions.
  • If you wish to contribute to a copyright discussion, that occurs at Wikisource:Copyright discussions.
  • General questions are welcomed at Wikisource:Scriptorium.

See also