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RfC: Use of "Human" in Anatomy article titles.

Closing due to request at WP:ANRFC. Option 4 by almost 3:1 as compared to option 3. Also seems to be in accordance with general wiki convention and consensus. 1 and 2 seem to be just restatements of general splitting principles. Not making any calls on them as they don't seem important to the dispute. Gaijin42 (talk) 20:48, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There seems to be some disagreement about whether or not major Anatomy articles should be split into two: a "Human" article, and an article about another species. For example: Mandible and Human mandible; Nose and Human nose; Liver and Human liver, etc.

There appears to be disagreement on many levels regarding this. On the one hand, there are legitimate concerns that the majority of users will be searching for articles relating to humans. Additionally, splitting articles may reduce the quality and impact on readability. On the other hand, it is more than encyclopedic to cover anatomy in other articles, it could be argued that this is an example of one of Wikipedia's systemic biases, and there is no reason why comparative anatomy shouldn't be covered.

Due to the scope of the issue, involvement of multiple wikiprojects and users on multiple articles over an extended period, I feel it will be useful to gather feedback using the RfC mechanism. I have stated four principles here:

  1. Articles about comparative and human anatomy should be provided on the same page, when such differences are minor.
  2. Articles about comparative anatomy should be provided on a separate page, when such differences are major.
  3. When provided on separate pages, the primary page (eg Liver) should be about the human organ, and a secondary page (eg Liver (animals)) provided to describe other animals.
  4. When provided on separate pages, -the primary page (eg Liver) should be in general form about all manifestations, and a secondary page (eg Human liver) provided for the human organ.

A list is provided here:

Please state whether you agree or disagree with the above principles, and it would be wonderful if you would be able to substantiate this with a constructive argument about what to do here, so that we can work out a way to deal with this situation. I have notified WP:MED and WP:VET, in addition to posting on this page. Kind regards, --LT910001 (talk) 03:16, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Oppose use of Human in the title. I agree that, when provided on separate pages, the primary page should be about the human organ, and the secondary page should describe other animals. I also agree that articles about comparative anatomy should be provided on a separate page when such differences are major, but only if there is a lot of material to cover about the non-human aspect. Otherwise, it is unnecessary WP:Content forking, unnecessarily causing our readers to go to more than one article for that information. Per my statements in the aforementioned liver discussion, I don't see this as a systemic bias issue. I stated there: "A lot of the times we dedicate our articles significantly more to humans with an Other animals section, as Wikipedia:MEDMOS#Sections shows, because the topic has been studied significantly less with regard to non-human animals and our readers will usually be looking for the human aspect of that topic. ... I'm concerned with such splits being unnecessarily made. Again, if a topic is barely studied, or otherwise significantly less studied, with regard to non-human animals, I believe that it is a terrible idea to then create a content fork for that information instead of covering it with the human material. I will never be in favor of such splits. We should strive to have our articles be as comprehensive as possible (WP:Summary style-wise of course). For Wikipedia articles regarding topics that pertain to humans and non-human animals, unless that article is specifically about humans or specifically about non-human animals, such a Wikipedia article is more well-rounded if there is information in it about both humans and non-human animals. Non-human information should only be made into a separate article when a split is needed, per WP:Content fork. If there is no WP:SIZE issue in such cases, I see no issue." Flyer22 (talk) 03:43, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for contributing. I take it therefore you agree with principles (1), (2) - only if there are size issues - and (3). --LT910001 (talk) 05:19, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose use of human in the title. The main article should be about humans. We as humans have a greater interest in the subject about humans. At the end of the article we can have a section called "Other animals" and than link out to the anatomical subject in other animals. We do not have our pneumonia article called "pneumonia in humans" even though other animals get pneumonia. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 04:55, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Great, thanks for your input. I take it that you agree with principles (1) and (3). Not trying to be reductionist, but will catalogue these so as to reach a degree of consensus. --LT910001 (talk) 05:19, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Support use of Human in the title if the article does not cover the organ in other animals. Logically at some stage the anatomy of non-human organs will be described in the encyclopaedia, and the general term is reasonably used for the general case. Comparative anatomy is unquestionably within the scope of Wikipedia, if not necessarily Project Anatomy, and this should be considered when planning style recommendations.
  • Principle 1 is appropriate as a starting point, and would logically be titled with the general term. (eg: Liver) The title is then suitable for all information on the organ, and is good until the article grows to a size where splitting is desirable.
  • Principle 2 is appropriate when the article is large enough to justify a split, and the general term should be reserved for the general case, and a specific term used to identify species where appropriate. Comparative may be a suitable modifier where the article compares between species, but the general term would normally be adequate. (eg: Human liver, Mammalian liver, Fish liver, Liver) Hatnote links can be used to direct the user to the human organ or other taxonomic group when a separate article exists.
  • Principle 4 should apply to the names of the articles. The encyclopedia is about all knowledge (subject to the usual caveats), and although people may be generally more interested in their own species, we should strive to deal with the widest range of topics in a way which will cause the least confusion and terminology contortions in the long run.
This system will allow users to find what they are looking for. I agree with Flyer22 above that unnecessary content forking is counterproductive, but foresee eventual conflict with the rest of zoology if an anthropocentric naming convention is imposed.• • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose use of Human in title. As Doc James says I agree that the primary page should be about humans, but also concede that a great deal of work will be required to change this, ex. Lung, Heart etc. There are for example articles such as Liver (food) that fill gaps concerning livers in general. My original split of Liver to Human liver was because I thought there was consensus due to the number of articles e.g. Human lung, Human heart etc. Further I think the anthropocentric argument is slightly off the mark. Nothing is denying the existence of articles that focus on animals and comparative anatomy, but the fact is we live in a very anthropocentric society, and most individuals looking for an article on the heart will be looking for the human heart. To get a good consensus that will hold we will probably need to contact relevant zoologists on Wikipedia. CFCF (talk) 07:41, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, CFCF. I take it that you agree with principles (2) and (3) explicitly. Unfortunately I don't know who these editors would be, but I would certainly like to get their input on this matter. If you know of any, would you be so kind as to reach out to them and invite them to this discussion? --LT910001 (talk) 10:44, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I contacted a few Wikiprojects, Biology, Tree of Life & Organismal Biomechanics. CFCF (talk) 22:32, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
  • support use of Human in title. Ultimately, we should follow the lead of our sources. Brittanica, for example, has an article on "Heart", which is about all hearts. I disagree that most people will be looking for the human heart. The term "heart" is much broader than humans, obviously, and wikipedia is not a medical reference text (or, it probably shouldn't be). That said, I don't think we should *oblige* the use of the term "human" for every condition that affects humans - I don't think we should rename Breast cancer to Human breast cancer even though it mostly covers human cases of same. But, if we have two articles, generally the species-generic article should occupy the primary topic and the human-specific version, if it exists, could be called "Human x" or "X (human)"--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:52, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Obiwankenobi, the sources show that the human heart is usually the topic of discussion when discussing the heart. Also, like I just stated below in addition to this post (same time stamp), "[t]ime and time again, the default article has proven to be the article that the vast majority of our readers wind up at because they are looking solely for the human material." I state this based on general comments in relation to such splits. Flyer22 (talk) 23:24, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, I therefore take it you agree with principle (4). --LT910001 (talk) 01:52, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • support. While I do think that interest in the human organs will be more common, using "Human ____" instead of just "_____" when there is significant diversity will help convey cases in which humans are not the norm within vertebrates or broader animals. It's largely stylistic, it shouldn't impede people's searches, and it doesn't leave other taxa to be 'swept under the rug'. However, I'm also flexible - as I said on another page, I think the key questions should be "Can someone interested in the human organ find that information quickly and easily?" and "Can someone interested in the organ in other species find that information quickly and easily?" HCA (talk) 22:38, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your input, I take it you agree with principle (4) - applied in a flexible way. --LT910001 (talk) 01:52, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Technical Note: A label like "Liver (animals)" logically includes humans, since humans are animals. Perhaps "Liver (non-human)"? Then again, any organ page about multiple taxa will wind up encompassing human variation, since we're fairly anatomically uninteresting aside from a few odd adaptations here and there. HCA (talk) 22:38, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but the keyword there is "occasionally." I can't at all understand how it can be considered a good idea to generally not have the default article be mostly about humans with an "Other animals" section (which is what WP:MEDMOS has mostly done for years), while leaving room to have an article solely about the non-human aspect if needed. Time and time again, the default article has proven to be the article that the vast majority of our readers wind up at because they are looking solely for the human material. The Penis article, as compared to the Human penis article, is one such example. Our readers, what appears to be the vast majority of the time (from what I have seen of people visiting these two pages and commenting on them there or elsewhere on Wikipedia over the years), go to the Penis article looking solely for human material, then have to click on the Human penis link at the top of the article just to get to that information that is solely about the human penis. Sometimes, even with that hatnote, it's overlooked that there is a Human penis article, even by our own editors, such as in this case with Liz. Other editors in that discussion, such as NeilN, Johnuniq, Taylornate and Guy1890 (in that order), all seemed aware of the Human penis article (I know that NeilN was already aware of it). But I do wonder how many of the others in that discussion, such as Anthonyhcole (who, like Taylornate, is a fellow WP:MED editor) and Equazcion, knew of it. Clearly, WP:PRIMARYTOPIC should generally play a role in cases such as these. Flyer22 (talk) 23:24, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, well, I got pulled into that talk page conversation and don't normally read articles on anatomy. So, consider me your average reader, not an editor with expertise in biological topics. Liz Read! Talk! 23:36, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Exactly, that's my point; I'm talking about the average reader. You are an average reader in this case, but you have an advantage because you are a generally active Wikipedia editor. If even a generally active Wikipedia editor missed that there is a Human penis article, just imagine how the non-Wikipedia editors who read this site fair. Sure, the existence of a non-human anatomy article can be similarly overlooked. But I believe that it's more important that the human aspect is not overlooked. And if both aspects are on the same page, with the non-human aspect only being made into a separate article when needed, that helps avoid overlooking anyway. Flyer22 (talk) 23:47, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Is there some way of more formally investigating how many people visit an anatomy article and then end up clicking on the hat link to visit the page they intended? Lesion (talk) 00:00, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
yes, you just have to create a custom redirect that is only used in the hatnote. Then measure hits to that redirect. If that redirect is linked from nowhere else you can easily measure how many people went to heart and then clicked on human heart for example at the top.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:36, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Conflicted: I can see good points in both sides, but I am sure that whatever this RfC decides, there would be opposition from many editors once article renaming was noticed. Therefore, if it is felt that some significant renaming may occur, please get wider input—use Template:Centralized discussion if many pages are involved. I do not think that a generic RfC can really address the issue unless there is a list somewhere showing what a change would probably involve.

    Re penis and human penis: most commentary about that comes from attention-seeking editors who want to push NOTCENSORED, and it's not a good case to consider when wondering about issues like lung vs. human lung.

    Re "other animals": that may be fine in a theoretical manner, but it would get a fair bit of opposition from those who would think it quaintly human-centric (with a "lung" article focused on humans rather than lungs), and Lung (animal) is rather like Far East. Johnuniq (talk) 01:54, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your input. There are about 29 articles (possibly a few more that I haven't identified) that are the crux of this discussion. I therefore don't think involving the entire Wikipedia community in this matter is necessary. --LT910001 (talk) 01:52, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, and thanks for the list of 28 articles above (I slightly formatted that, and put it into alphabetical order—I hope the original order was not important). Johnuniq (talk) 05:02, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose change. On reflection, it would not be appropriate for lung to be devoted to our lungs (very parochial and human-centric), with lung (animals) left for a discussion of the concept, range, and development of lungs. Articles are generic—we start with city, and move to New York City and all the rest. The fact that a hypothetical Joe Reader may not want to read about anything other than humans is too bad—Joe can click the link to the human article. This issue should not be decided solely by those who monitor anatomy pages as the articles are part of core encyclopedic content. Maybe I'm misreading this RfC because some of the above comments confuse me. A very quick look at the liver issue makes me agree that content forking should not occur until a solid alternative article is available, so human liver should exist only if it contains significantly different information from liver. Johnuniq (talk) 05:26, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Johnuniq. I think in many of these cases (e.g. Rib cage and Human rib cage) a single article is warranted. I would urge a note of caution about being too generic though. For example Pharynx includes images of invertebrates that have something called a "pharynx", but I think the focus here should be chordates. Cmungall (talk) 23:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your input (have responded more in full below), it appears you agree with principles (1), (2) and (4). --LT910001 (talk) 01:57, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Although the given list of principles is a useful beginning as it stands, the very idea of speaking in terms of "primary" and "secondary" articles is mistaken and is divisively pernicious in its temptation to the biologically challenged to assess one topic as more "prime" or "important" than another, instead of each being important in the logic of its own context, both individual and in mutual perspective. The theoretical ideal would be a single article dealing with everything in global perspective, but that being unpractical and unwieldy in the contexts of the various topics of interest among our readers, it makes perfect sense to split topics into separate but complementary articles. But then the mode of splitting is not "primary" and "secondary" (down to "denary" or whatever the subject of the digestive system of the Strepsiptera might be); it should be along the lines firstly of most general, as in "Liver" with an unqualified title, and then of subsets with titles qualified to reflect the subsetting (Liver (human),Liver (surgery), Liver (worship) and so on). There might be a disambiguation page when that seems useful, but I reckon that in most such cases distinguishing hatnotes and the like would be both efficient and adequate. There also should be adequate linkage between all the articles wherever this might seem helpful. The breathtaking parochiality of the likes of "...only if there is a lot of material to cover about the non-human aspect..." is hard to make sense of. Such broadminded concession that there might so much material to cover, concerning about 60000 non-human species, that they might merit a a minority note alongside one other species (...which was that again? Some Eutherian or other?) might upset some readers, but the conceptual structure of the topic could justify not merely such gracious concession, but even a more logical reference to say liver in general, with an unqualified title, with as many other articles as necessary to address separate categories, such as hepatology and hepatopathology, whether human or reptile. Even the majority of readers who wanted general information about human liver function might find all they need in the lede to the general article; those who wanted specifically human detail should find what they want at most one click away, and without distortion of the articles (both human and other) by an artificial hierarchy worthy of the chain of being popular in pre-Darwinian days. What next? A primary article on the Chinese liver because there are more Chinese interested in Chinese livers than Americans interested in American livers? Relegating American livers to a "secondary" article? Or to a tertiary article subordinate to a secondary article about Andorran livers because Andorrans are particularly passionate about Andorran livers? (A strictly academic example; I have no idea how Andorrans might or might not feel on the topic; I chose Andorra only because there are fewer Andorrans than Americans.) Or should we make the primary article on Liver recipes because more people are interested in cooking than anatomy? For heaven's sake let us structure our choice of articles, their titles and their contexts on something a little more encyclopedic than some individuals' lack of interest beyond particular splinter topics. JonRichfield (talk) 16:59, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Since you are referring to my comment when you stated "'...only if there is a lot of material to cover about the non-human aspect...' is hard to make sense of," I will state that I disagree with that; I believe that it's very easy to make sense of, per the guidelines I pointed to above. There is no need to create a stub article about the aspect with regard to non-human animals if that material can be adequately covered in the default article. WP:Content forking is very clear about WP:SPLIT; we should only split content when we need to or at least when it makes great sense to do so. If the material that is being split cannot or can barely be expanded beyond a stub, then it should not be split. I made it perfectly clear above that "A lot of the times we dedicate our articles significantly more to humans with an Other animals section, as Wikipedia:MEDMOS#Sections shows, because the topic has been studied significantly less with regard to non-human animals and our readers will usually be looking for the human aspect of that topic." It is often that there is not much to state about the non-human aspect. We should not be content forking simply on the principle of not seeming anthropocentric. We should be thinking about what is best for the encyclopedia/our readers. And like CFCF stated above, "we live in a very anthropocentric society." That is true, as is reflected by the sources; the vast majority of sources on anatomy and medical topics focus on those matters with regard to humans far more than they do with regard to non-human animals. Flyer22 (talk) 17:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think just about everyone is saying that articles should not be forked without good reason. I find the RfC rather confusing because in its attempt to be totally neutral, it's not clear what the proposal is. Also, several issues are mentioned, and my response, like a couple of the others, is focused on the suggestion that the plain title (Liver) should be about human livers, while some other title would be used for livers in general—all that is on the proviso that it is actually desirable to have two articles. In many cases that may not be necessary, and articles should not be forked until sufficient encyclopedic information is available to support both. Let's talk about a specific proposal to rename some articles (which?) where there is no controversy about whether the articles are unnecessary content forks. Johnuniq (talk) 01:06, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I have requested comments only on this issue, without picking up particular issues, so that this discussion may provide some general indication as to where the community stands on this issue. Although there are certainly factors unique to each article, with sufficient input from other commentators I feel it is useful to have this discussion as a reference point for future discussions. --LT910001 (talk) 02:06, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support proposal #1 (same page when similar) and #4 3 (corrected to reflect my original intent - simply wrote the wrong #), with the exception that someone is likely to type "Liver" into the search box whether looking for the general topic or the human organ, so the page titles should be "Liver" and "Liver (human)", because the latter is more specific. This is similar to "Avatar" and all of the various parenthetically-modified titles - it's easy to find the one you want without going to another page first. I think it would be a terrible idea to start with "Human ..." - the resulting list would be incoherent. -- Scray (talk) 05:37, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - Human Anatomy is more focused in research and content readability. Eduemoni↑talk↓ 18:11, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong support for a combination of approaches 2&4 It's not exactly a SNOW issue by any means, but I still feel this one really only has one way forward to be consistent with general policy. The fact of the matter is that many of the organs and other anatomical features in question are likely to have massive amounts of content rising well above the level where a split is warranted, and there is no better criteria for this delineation than to take the content that the vast, vast majority of our users are clearly going to be looking for (that pertaining to the human variant) and separate it from the more general subject. Not only does this serve to keep together that content which the reader has the most likely need for, but in general it will almost certainly lead to the best averaging of sizes between split articles and maximize their digestibility considerably. What's more, putting aside those practical benefits, there's also the empirical consideration that many organs may share the same name and basic function and yet still can be vastly different in terms of physiology (even histology) between organisms. Obviously we can't spin out an article for every intersection of a given animal and a given organ, but, given the undeniable most likely needs of our average reader, the human articles, with their specific (and much more robust) clinical, physiological, and medical content, are unimpeachable as justified, as far as I'm concerned. All of that being said, I also strongly believe that the article for general content should reside at the default page (Heart, Eye, Lung, ect.), for the obvious reasons that A) it is the superordinate and inclusive subject, and B) this is probably closer to how the average user will search for the content if they want more general information (and the general article is likely to have many wikilinks to the specifically human article, and will certainly have a disambig/"for the human heart" link at the top, in any event). Basically I feel this is about as clear cut a case as you get on Wikipedia of "if it's not broken, don't fix it". Snow (talk) 23:24, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Snow Rise (Snow), "if it's not broken, don't fix it" is what I (and those with the same or very similar sentiments) am basically arguing above; that is the standard practice -- to have the default article be mostly about humans with a section about other animals until a separate article is needed for other animals, and to have the default article remain mostly (or become solely) about humans even when the article is split. Not just for medical articles, such as Rabies or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and anatomy articles, but topics in general. The "splitting the article so that the default article is about all animals and there is a different one specifically about humans" direction is the more recent approach, an approach that I disagree with...disregarding the exceptions that I do agree with. Flyer22 (talk) 23:39, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough; my past impressions with these articles seemed to suggest that the "Human [feature]" titling was the more common approach than "Animal [feature]" when a split occurs, but I've never actually surveyed the titles. Regardless of which is the traditional approach though, my support is still firmly behind allowing the broader subject to reside at the article space with the simpler title. Human organs (and other anatomical features) are variants of features shared by millions of species throughout billions of years and as such, the generalized article has relevance and context that is vastly larger than the article which focuses upon the human variety. Now obviously, with regard to most (if not at all) of the anatomical features covered by the articles in question, the human variant is by far the most researched single variety of that feature, but that does not mean that its relevance outweighs that of all other variants and the vast number of subjects they are of relevance to. I also believe you are most likely mistaken in your assumption that in general Wikipedia articles are titled such that the most popular topic within a category of similar topics supplants the superordinate topic which covers them all. This is difficult to evaluate and prove with any certainty, but all across Wikipedia, it seems to me that the opposite rule is applied (and for good reason as it is arguably the most intuitive, straightforward and least problematic approach. But even putting aside the fact that the organization of the project is better served by allowing the broader topic to remain at the simplified location by virtue of representing the root subject, there's the even more important consideration that we ought to use the format which serves the needs of our readers and I feel that the root=root (that is, the subject which is broader conceptual category gets the title with the least additive elements) serves that purpose as well. All in all I just haven't seen any argument which suggests even nearly comparable benefits for doing things the other way around with a reverse-hierarchical ordering. Doing things in such a fashion leads to a less accurate title for the articles in question and a less intuitive searching process for our readers. Snow (talk) 02:54, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Snow Rise, I stand by my views on this matter above and don't have a lot more to state on it (not a lot more that wouldn't be mostly redundant). Definitely don't see how I am mistaken in the least on this matter/how it is at all difficult to evaluate that the vast majority of our readers will be looking for the human topic (especially given the fact that the vast majority of sources usually cover the human topic significantly more than the non-human topic and our readership has consistently shown themselves to be looking for the human topic first and foremost). So to briefly reiterate, the only times that I see splitting articles as acceptable is what I agreed with above on that direction. Flyer22 (talk) 03:07, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
And regarding this: "I also believe you are most likely mistaken in your assumption that in general Wikipedia articles are titled such that the most popular topic within a category of similar topics supplants the superordinate topic which covers them all."
I didn't state that. In this regard, I basically stated that, when a topic concerns humans and non-human animals, humans are usually given top priority; the reasons for that have already been addressed above. But again, to reiterate, we know far more about humans than we do about non-human animals. For the vast majority of topics, whether sociology or biology, there is usually going to be a lot to state about humans. Whether there is a lot to state about non-human animals is more so a case-by-case matter, but, on average, the topic is studied significantly less with regard to them and there is often not much to state about the topic with regard to them. Thus, I cannot see what you are arguing for as more beneficial. And that humans are usually given top priority on Wikipedia is a fact that is easily observable. Flyer22 (talk) 03:29, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #4 or whichever will give a high-level overview of the concept. I'm not very familiar with anatomy articles. As a reader, I would first assume that Skull is about all skulls, much like how someone else pointed out that City should be about high-level concepts concerning cities in general, not New York City. Similarly, Language should be about the concept, not about English. One should be able to find a good overview of the concept at the main article without having to click on other pages. Other issues can probably be settled on individual talk pages, but I guess I'd expect to see some discussion of comparative anatomy on the main page. Tail provides a half-decent overview of tails, while Stomach seems overly concerned with human anatomy. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 05:49, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • $0.02 The solution here, to me, seems rather simple. An article titled "heart" should cover every aspect of hearts. We can call this a "parent article." Within this article, the subject of hearts should be defined in its broadest sense, and then divided into its different aspects. (It shouldn't be for in-depth analysis, but just a broad overview.) If enough information exists, there should be individual sections on the different variants, such as "human," "mammal," "insect," etc... Provided there is enough information, of course, each different section should have a "main-article link" to its own subordinate-article. In this way, the parent article introduces the subject, and then guides the reader directly to the subarticle for which they are looking. This simple, fractal format can be found in many artilces all over Wikipedia, like the parent article potential energy, whose subarticle are gravitational-potential energy and chemical-potential energy etc..., or articles like Basic fighter maneuvers, whose subarticles are the maneuvers themselves. If there is enough information, the parent article really becomes somewhat of a DAB page that provides a summary of each different aspect. Zaereth (talk) 01:03, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose the use of human in the title, by default it can be expected that humans are most interested in content related to humans, it may be "systemic bias" but as it reflects the real-world bias found in the sources that humans give more importance to topics concerning humans, that's the correct and desired result. If there's a small amount of content related to non-human animals, that can be covered in the main article in at Other animals section. If there's a lot of content related to non-human animals that can be spun off into a separate article and the main article can have the {{Main}} template pointing to it. For anatomic features that the sourcing doesn't show is mainly related to humans, say for example Cloaca, the article will be about this feature in non-human animals. Just follow the emphasis found in the sourcing. If the sourcing is mainly about humans, the article should be mainly about humans. If the sourcing is mainly about other animals, the article should be about other animals. Zad68 15:56, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I created this topic to request comments from various editors regarding this issue so that, at a future date, these comments may prove valuable in forming the basis for a policy or statement regarding this issue. As it is, it appears there are significant amounts of editors who support and oppose this topic, with the predominant theme that articles should not be unnecessarily forked. Although there is no consensus on this matter, if there are no objections and no ongoing conversation, I'll close the topic on the 14th (January, 2014), and provide a more detailed summary and tally of opinions on that date. --LT910001 (talk) 23:36, 7 January 2014 (UTC)


Tally of votes
  • Tallies don't always add up to 15, as not all contributors made reference to all points.
  • Total contributors: 15
  • (1) Articles should be provided on the same page, when differences are minor. For: 10.
  • (2) Articles should be provided on different pages, when differences are major. For: 8
  • (3) If on separate pages, the main page should be about human anatomy. For: 4
  • (4) If on separate pages, the main page should be about the item or organ in general. for: 11
Tally of votes as recorded by LT910001
  • There appears to be strong support (11 / 4) for the focus, when articles are large enough to warrant separate pages, of the main article focusing on the item in general form. The articles proposed were:
    • This is reflective of the encyclopedia in general form, with the root article being about a subject in general, and then separate sub-articles.
    • This structure helps reduce confusion in terms of article titles and organisation, duplication of content, and in terminology
  • There also appears to be strong support to maintain articles with minor differences as single articles (10 for, 0 against), and for articles only to be split when content differences are major (8 for, 0 against).

If I may be so bold, I would note that it seems that the majority of the proponents of having a main article about humans are active WP:MED editors. It seems that there may be some variation in views towards these articles between medically-orientated and other editors. This may be due to anatomy being a separate but related discipline, regarding the structure of living things, with medicine being the treatment of disease primarily focused on humans, as distinct from veterinary medicine.

Perhaps the overall take-away message from this RfC is that there is a strong consensus that articles should only be split when there is sufficient content to justify it.

At any rate, the net amount of articles affected is 29. If in the future this issue affects multiple articles and there is a wider discussion, it may be fruitful to discuss this issue in relation to major structures, about which major variation or knowledge exists about animal anatomy (such as bones and organs), and minor structures (viz. muscles, nerves), about which the majority of knowledge relates to the human form.

I thank all the contributors for contributing to this discussion, and wish you all well on your wiki-voyages. --LT910001 (talk) 07:48, 20 January 2014 (UTC)


Please discuss this below: --LT910001 (talk) 07:48, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

You stated, "Perhaps the overall take-away message from this RfC is that there is a strong consensus that articles should only be merged when there is sufficient content to justify it."
What I see is "the overall take-away message from this RfC is that there is a strong consensus that articles should only be split when there is sufficient content to justify it." And even then, editors above are not too much in agreement with regard to when to split. For example, it's pretty clear that I don't think that just because there is enough material for more than a stub that this means the content should be split from the main article. As for WP:MED editors being strong supporters of having the main article primarily focus on humans... Like I stated, having the main article primarily focus on humans is the way that Wikipedia generally works. It's the way that anatomy articles should generally work as well, for reasons I've already addressed above. Flyer22 (talk) 08:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, I intended to type 'split' and my fingers got away from me. --LT910001 (talk) 08:36, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Close discussion

Regarding Gaijin42's close of this discussion above, I'd like to know how it is "in accordance with general wiki convention and consensus" that the primary article be about non-human animals instead of about humans. I don't see that at all, and stated as much in the above discussion. It's not true for medical articles (except for some anatomy articles), it's not true for articles in general, and it has only been a recent convention with anatomy articles. Furthermore, as noted by others in the above discussion, the way that the WP:RfC is set up can be confusing. Given the arguments above, I don't see how any WP:Consensus can be taken away from it.

If Gaijin42 responds to the above, I'd rather he respond on this talk page here in this section instead of taking the matter to my talk page or creating a new section on this talk page just to reply. Flyer22 (talk) 21:06, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

It is my opinion an analysis of policy that the general practice is that we start with general articles and drill down to more specific articles, on all subjects, not just anatomy. WP:SUMMARY WP:DETAIL. However regardless of my opinion, there were (11) clear !votes for #4, and (4) for #3. An almost 3:1 ratio is a very strong indicator of consensus (although certainly WP:NOTDEMOCRACY) As the clear majority is in line with my analysis of policy, it makes the close quite easy. I did not make a call on #1 and #2 as they are not mutually exclusive to #3 and #4 and appear to just be restating WP:SUMMARY and WP:SPLIT using local examples. Gaijin42 (talk) 21:16, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, then I disagree with your analysis of policy; WP:Summary style (what you mean by WP:SUMMARY) and WP:DETAIL (an aspect of WP:Summary style) are not policies, by the way. I also disagree with your analysis that there is any kind of WP:Consensus from that discussion, with the exception that "articles should only be split when there is sufficient content to justify it." WP:Consensus also most assuredly should not be weighed by the tally of votes, but by the strength of arguments. Even LT910001, the starter of that WP:RfC, was unsure about the WP:Consensus of that discussion...other than the "articles should only be split when there is sufficient content to justify it" aspect.
Anyway, you closed; I disagreed. Nothing more to state. Flyer22 (talk) 21:28, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
There are no strong policy reasons to weight votes in this case. Its primarily a preference of how we arrange our own content. In that case the tally is much more important. We disagree on the interpretation of the two guidelines. Shrug. If you believe my analysis of consensus was incorrect you may
"request a Closure review at Administrators' noticeboard with a link to the discussion page and the policy-based reason you believe the closure should be overturned. See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Closure review archive for previous closure reviews."
However, unless my analysis was grossly incorrect, "Simply believing a closure is wrong, even where reasonable people would have closed a discussion differently, is not sufficient for requesting review. Most closure reviews need to be based on context or information left out of the discussion, or new information that would have altered the discussion outcome were it held now." Gaijin42 (talk) 03:43, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Like I stated above, you were not citing policy for the basis of your closure. You were citing guidelines; one guideline, actually. And I don't at all see where that guideline agrees with your view. The arguments that, if there is to be a split, the main article should be devoted to humans and the spin-off article should be devoted to other animals were/are indeed strong and based on solid Wikipedia reasoning. Not to mention that having the main article devoted to humans is the standard practice, as is the case (except for some anatomy articles) with Wikipedia's medical articles, various other type of Wikipedia articles, and articles such as Pregnancy compared to Pregnancy (mammals). I didn't state that I was going to request a review; I very clearly relayed above, "Anyway, you closed; I disagreed. Nothing more to state." I wanted to know why you closed the way that you did; I got my answer. Flyer22 (talk) 04:09, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Pageview stats

After a recent request, I added WikiProject Anatomy to the list of projects to compile monthly pageview stats for. The data is the same used by but the program is different, and includes the aggregate views from all redirects to each page. The stats are at Wikipedia:WikiProject Anatomy/Popular pages.

The page will be updated monthly with new data. The edits aren't marked as bot edits, so they will show up in watchlists. You can view more results, request a new project be added to the list, or request a configuration change for this project using the Tool Labs tool. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks! Mr.Z-man 22:36, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Mr.Z-man!! Have added to WP:ANATOMY#Tools. On a sidenote I'm note sure whether it is depressing or inspiring that the primary focus of our readers is reproduction. LT910001 (talk) 03:07, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Great news, thanks so much! CFCF (talk · contribs · email) 19:46, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Pectus excavatum

I've removed this article from the ranking as it doesn't fall under our scope. It should be only under medicine in my view. Please respond if you disagree. CFCF (talk · contribs · email) 11:07, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Agree, it's pathology not normal anatomy. WPMED appropriate. Lesion (talk) 11:10, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Cranial nerve

Working on this article now, I want to get it at least to B-class before I roll it out on to the main page. Its currently at User:CFCF/sandbox/Cranial nerve, and I haven't done very much work yet. I plan on making a smaller section for each cranial nerve if that is a good idea. Ping Lesion CFCF (talk · contribs · email) 20:44, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

OK, Lesion (talk) 08:36, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I've got to go out now, but after very quick review, I think the whole section "Mnemonic devices" is not encyclopedic (although I was happy not to see any of the less polite mnemonics listed!). I have also xfd'd the main page List of mnemonics for the cranial nerves where I give the rationale for this. Lesion (talk) 08:55, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
As many anatomy books give mnemonics for them I think we should mention that there are a number of mnemonics in common use. On the other hand I would be completely fine to forego any mention or listing of individual mnemonics. Lets see where the deletion process goes for that list. It really seems like people have only added any mnemonic they've made up.CFCF (talk · contribs · email) 09:02, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Am unsure. CN has been on my todo list also. There is a List of medical mnemonics, I think it is worth merging any sourced mnemonics from CN to the list. I feel the list is useful as a place to collect the various mnemonics which are edited into articles, and also as a sink that can draw related editing (i.e. well-meaning but not encyclopaedic) away from articles themselves.LT910001 (talk) 12:05, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Return to the project page "WikiProject Anatomy/Archive 5".