Help:Editing People Pages

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This page is a step-by-step guide to editing pages describing the careers of people. It covers most of the common scenarios that arise while doing biographical research.


[edit] What do to if you're not sure

Pages in the Encyclopedia should contain information which is factually accurate and, to the extent possible, sourced by reliable primary and secondary citations. Even without a citation handy, you will encounter pages on which there appears to be some sort of factual conflict, for instance, a person listed as playing in a season after he is listed as dying, or a World War I veteran listed as killed in action with a date of death in the 1950s. When you see such a situation, but you don't have a source which allows you to determine which information is correct and which is erroneous to resolve a conflict, do not simply guess and delete the information you believe is inaccurate. Instead, tag the page (at the top) with an appropriate template. (A list of templates, and details on using them, is available at Help:Disagreement). Doing this will place a box at the top of the page indicating a factual conflict has been identified. Then, use the discussion page for that person (click the box labeled "discussion" at the top of the page) to describe the conflict, and give any partial information you might know about its potential resolution.

In editing a person's career, do not delete records from his list of engagements unless that engagement is entirely in error. If you simply suspect that the engagement has been attached to the wrong person, again, flag the page with the appropriate template from the list at Help:Disagreement. Deleting the record does not fix the underlying problem; in fact, makes the error more obscure. If you find, for instance, a playing record listed with a John Smith after he died, and simply delete it, we lose the information that there was a player, probably named Smith, possibly named John, who played on that team. While keeping that playing record on John Smith's page for now creates a logical absurdity, it also flags that for others to identify the correct solution. On the other hand, if the record is simply deleted, it increases the likelihood the error will perpetuate itself unnoticed.

[edit] Guidelines for pages on Major Leaguers

With a small number of exceptions, the identification of playing, managing, and umpiring records for Major Leaguers are well-established. For this set of people, the infobox on the person's page includes their Retrosheet ID. Major League engagement records are synchronized against the authoritative sources for this information. Therefore, Major League engagement records should not be transferred from one page to another. If a minor league or other record is incorrectly assigned to a Major League person, move the other, non-Major League records from the person's page, creating a new person page if necessary or appropriate. Moving Major League engagement records without also moving the Retrosheet ID will lead to a conflict, and the change will get undone at the next synchronization, so the changes you intended to make will be overwritten.

[edit] Identifying a new person not in the Encyclopedia

Each person who is notable should have, at a minimum, a main page describing their career. If you identify someone meeting the notability criteria, first make sure the person is not in the Encyclopedia under a different name or a variation of the name. If he (or she) has no page, then you should create a new one. See Adding a page for a person for the procedure for creating a new person page with the standard structure.

[edit] Identifying a new person currently listed only by last name

In the case of a person known only by his last name, the Encyclopedia uses the name "Unknown" (see for example Unknown Williams). If you identify the first name of a person, there are three possibilities:

  1. The person already exists in the Encyclopedia. In that case, follow the rules below for transferring engagement records between people. If all the records assigned on the unknown's page belong to the person you've identified, you should delete the unknown's page completely after transferring the records.
  2. The person does not exist in the Encyclopedia, but only some of the records on the unknown's page belong to the newly identified person. In this case, create a new page for the new person, and add in the engagement records belonging to him in his career section. Edit the unknown's page to delete those engagement records.
  3. The person does not exist in the Encyclopedia, and all of the records on the unknown's page belong to the newly identified person. In this case, simply edit the name fields for the existing page by clicking the Edit link on the infobox on the person's page.

[edit] Transferring engagement records between people

We often find out that playing or other service records are assigned to the wrong person. Fixing this is easy, especially compared to some of the more complicated situations on this page. Simply edit the career segment of the person who's incorrectly credited with the records and remove those records, and then edit the career segment of the correct person to add those records in, and save both pages. That's all there is to it. If this change affects minor league playing or managing records, the change will automatically be propagated to the Minor Leagues Database, and statistics will be transferred; there's an automated program to harvest this information, so you don't need to take any further action to flag the change.

When you do this, this might affect the first and last active dates for the person, so check whether any of the body text of the article needs to be revised to reflect this.

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