Wikipedia:Article titles

A Wikipedia article title is the large heading displayed above the article's content, and the basis for the article's page name and URL.[1] The title indicates what the article is about and distinguishes it from other articles.[2]

The title may simply be the name (or a name) of the subject of the article, or, if the article topic has no name, it may be a description of the topic. Because no two articles can have the same title,[3] it is sometimes necessary to add distinguishing information, often in the form of a description in parentheses after the name. Generally, article titles are based on what the subject is called in reliable sources. When this offers multiple possibilities, editors choose among them by considering several principles: the ideal article title precisely identifies the subject; it is short, natural, distinguishable and recognizable; and resembles titles for similar articles.

This page explains in detail the considerations, or naming conventions, on which choices of article titles are based. This page does not detail titling for pages in other namespaces, such as categories. It is supplemented by other more specific guidelines (see the box to the right), which should be interpreted in conjunction with other policies, particularly the three core content policies: Verifiability, No original research, and Neutral point of view.

If necessary, an article's title can be changed by a page move.[4] For information on page move procedures, see Wikipedia:Moving a page, and Wikipedia:Requested moves.

  1. ^ Specifically, it is the <h1 id="firstHeading"> HTML element that appears at the top of the article's page. It should be the only <h1> element on the page, but because editors have the ability to add any level of heading to a page's text, that cannot be guaranteed.
  2. ^ The title displayed as the article's main heading is usually identical (and always similar) to the stored title by which the page is referenced in category listings, recent changes lists, etc., and that appears (suitably encoded as necessary) in the page's URL. For technical details, see Wikipedia:Page name.
  3. ^ It is technically possible, but undesirable for various reasons, to make different pages display with the same title.
  4. ^ When an article's title is changed, its database entry is altered but not actually moved. For this reason, a title change is sometimes called a rename, although move remains the most common term.