Wikipedia:Article size

This page contains an overview of the key issues concerning article size. There are three related measures of an article's size:

  • Readable prose size: the amount of viewable text in the main sections of the article, not including tables, lists, or footer sections.
  • Wiki markup size: the amount of text in the full page edit window, as shown in the character count of the edit history page.
  • Browser page size: the total size of the page as loaded by a web browser.

The article size impacts usability in multiple ways:

  • Reader issues, such as attention span, readability, organization, information saturation, etc. (when articles are large); and fragmentation and duplication of related information the reader may be seeking over multiple pages (when articles are short).
  • Maintenance, such as articles becoming time-consuming to maintain when they are very long; and articles becoming time-consuming to maintain when duplicate or coordinated information, possibly with duplicate references, must be maintained across multiple short articles.
  • Technical issues, such as size limits imposed by the MediaWiki software.

When an article is too large, consider breaking it into smaller articles, spinning part of it out into a new article, or merging part of it into another existing article. When an article is too small, consider merging with one or more other existing articles. Such editorial decisions require consensus. Guidelines on the size of articles, and detailed solutions, are provided below. The licensing policy mandates that whenever any content is copied from one article to another new or existing article, an edit summary containing the required copy attribution must be used.

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