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Ballotpedia:Naming conventions

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Naming conventions are a list of guidelines on how to appropriately create and name articles on Ballotpedia. When naming your article, try to make it as easy as possible for a general reader who comes to Ballotpedia.

If you have any suggested changes or questions, please email us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

People

The title of an article on Ballotpedia about a person should be the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.

The title of the article should be:

  • The name of the person that is most generally recognizable
  • the name that is unambiguous with the name of other articles
For people, this quite often leads to an article name in the following format:
<First name> <Last name> (examples: Howard Jarvis, Tim Eyman)

Non-alphanumeric characters

Non-alphanumeric characters can be used if they adhere to the proper spelling of a name.

Middle initials

Middle initials are often commonly used, in order to avoid duplicates.

Duplicate names

When two people have the same name, add their state to the end of their article title (like John Barnes, Indiana) and then create a disambiguation page that lists the two names (like John Barnes). For in depth information on creating disambiguation pages, see Help:Disambiguation.

General

Avoid abbreviations

Avoid the use of abbreviations, including acronyms, in page naming unless the term you are naming is almost exclusively known only by its abbreviation and is widely known and used in that form. An article on an Alaskan ballot measure should start with "Alaska", not "AK".

Lowercase words in title

Do not capitalize second and subsequent words unless the title is a proper noun (such as a name) or is otherwise almost always capitalized.

Elections

Election pages on Ballotpedia are named State + elections, + year.

Government departments

All Ballotpedia articles on public agencies/offices/departments etc. and political officials must effectively communicate the name of the jurisdiction involved within the article title.

For example:

  • An article should be called "Missouri Secretary of State" and not "Secretary of State"

Ballot measure articles

Ballot measure articles use very specific writing guides and naming conventions that differ from the general naming conventions for the site. You should capitalize all the words in a page title with the exceptions of a, the, of and similar words.

Example:

Incorrect: "Colorado tax amendment, measure 2 (2013)"
Correct: "Colorado Tax Amendment, Measure 2 (2013)"

See Writing:Naming a ballot measure article for more details.

Using Ballotpedia: or Policypedia: prefix

A page should be named "Ballotpedia:Name of page" or "Policypedia:Name of page" when the page relates to instructional material for Ballotpedia or Policypedia. Pages that fall within this area are:

  • WikiProject pages
  • Writing guidelines
  • Calendar pages
  • Staff bio pages
  • Pages about Ballotpedia or Policypedia

Have a question?

If you are unsure how to name a page on Ballotpedia, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.