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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. If you disagree with the guidelines or have some suggested guidelines you prefer, please use the Ballotpedia Naming Convention's Talk Page to start a discussion.

General conventions

Lowercase subsequent words

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

Prefer singular nouns

Convention: In general only create page titles that are in the singular, unless that noun is always in a plural form in English. For example, a page should be named "Ballot" rather than "Ballots".

Duplicate names

Convention: 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). Add {{disambig}} to the page so that it shows up in the Special:Disambiguations page.

Use common names

Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.

Be precise

Convention: Please, do not write or put an article on a page with an ambiguously named title as though that title had no other meanings. If all possible words have multiple meanings, go with the rule of thumb of naming guidelines and use the more popular term.

Avoid abbreviations

Convention: 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".

Use of "and"

Sometimes two or more closely-related or complementary concepts are most sensibly discussed on a common page rather than a page each. Where an overarching name is not practicable, use each individual name in the article title, joined by "and." Example: Donors and ballot measures.

Other specific conventions

Ballot measure articles

Ballot measures articles use 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.


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

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

Books and other publications

Convention: Use the title of the work as the article's title.


See: Categories.

Government departments

See: Ballotpedia:Naming conventions (government departments)

Naming lists

Convention: For a page that's a list of something, title your article as [[list of Xs]], rather than [[Xs]], [[famous Xs]], [[listing of important Xs]], [[list of noted Xs]], [[list of all Xs]], etc.


Ballotpedia:Naming conventions (people) starts from the idea that names in the format <First name> <Last name> are usually the least problematic as page name for an article on a single person.