Help:Naming conventions (people)

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Wikipedia has formulated a set of naming conventions for pages specifically about baseball players. This is a good start in principle. However, our universe of notable persons, numbering close to 200,000 at launch, is sufficiently large that following these conventions in the short run is impractical.

[edit] Conventions followed at initial creation

When the initial set of person pages was created in April 2009, simple heuristics were needed to create unambiguous page names. Person pages were created based on the biographical information in the SABR Minor Leagues Database as of March 31, 2009. The following rules where used.

  1. If a person's encyclopedia name and last name resulted in a unique name, that name was used.
  2. If more than one person shared the same encyclopedia name plus last name, the "main page" with that name was created as a disambiguation page. Each person sharing that name was placed on a page named by the first name plus last name plus minor league database ID (in parentheses).
  3. Records for which only a last name is known were lumped under person pages with "Unknown" used as the encyclopedia name.

[edit] Desirable properties of person naming conventions

As the set of pages describing people evolves through human use and editing, certain conventions should be followed to ensure that pages are named in an "expected" way for the user. Among these are

  1. Where there is a clear primary topic, that is, when there is a person who is clearly the most notable among multiple people sharing that name, that person's page should be the main article. For example, Ernie Banks should refer directly to the Cub Hall of Famer, and not to a disambiguation page pointing also to Ernie Banks (banks-002ern), a recent minor leaguer.
  2. As pages are edited and new pages created, disambiguation based upon naming conventions similar to Wikipedia's should be preferred to the use of IDs. The Minor Leagues Database will not be issuing IDs for persons other than players and managers in leagues within the database's scope; therefore, executives, umpires, amateur players, and so forth will not have IDs in that system if they have no professional playing experience. Players making their professional debut, or players recently identified in past seasons, will not immediately have IDs assigned. Finally, given the mutable nature of the IDs in the database, using them for new disambiguation is not recommended. It is not worth systematically working to move pages from ID-based disambiguation to the recommended system, but it should be considered when one is editing a page pertaining to a person affected by these guidelines.
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