Wikipedia:Did you know/Guidelines

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Did you know?
Introduction and rules
General discussionWT:DYK
Reviewer instructionsWP:DYKRI
Nominate an articleWP:DYKCNN
Awaiting approvalWP:DYKN
April 1 hooksWP:DYKAPRIL
Preps and queuesT:DYK/Q
Prepper instructionsWP:DYKPBI
Admin instructionsWP:DYKAI
Main Page errorsWP:ERRORS
Archived setsWP:DYKA
Just for fun
Monthly wrapsWP:DYKW
Hall of FameWP:DYK/HoF
List of users ...
... by nominationsWP:DYKNC
... by promotionsWP:DYKPC
Scripts and botsWP:DYKSB
On the Main Page
To ping the DYK admins{{DYK admins}}

This is a complete handbook of all of DYK's guidelines and standard practices. It is more helpful as a reference than a guide – if you're looking for a guide on how to do a specific job, see the reviewing, prep building, and admin instructions.

To some extent, DYK approval of a nomination is a subjective process. No amount of studying this page can guarantee approval, nor will violating any guideline or precedent guarantee disapproval. Just because an unfamiliar criterion is not listed does not mean a nomination cannot be disqualified. The subjective decision might depend on an attempt to circumvent the details of the rules, especially if the attempt does not address the underlying purpose of improving the hook and article.



Articles featured at DYK must be new at the time of nomination. For DYK purposes, an article is considered new if, within the last seven days, the article has been created in mainspace from a redlink or redirect; expanded at least fivefold in terms of its prose portion; promoted to good article status;[a] moved from userspace or draftspace into mainspace; or translated from another Wikipedia. Articles that have been re-created from deletion may be considered new. The seven-day limit can be extended for a day or two upon request.

An article is ineligible for DYK if it has in the past five years appeared on the Main Page as a bold link at DYK, unless the article was then deleted as a copyright violation. It is also ineligible if it has, within the year prior to nomination or between nomination and appearance on the Main Page, appeared as a boldlink at In the news (ITN) or in the prose section of Selected anniversaries (OTD), or as Today's featured article (TFA). A nomination must go on hold if the article has pending nominations to appear at any of the same. Bolded names with dates listed at the bottom of OTD are not disqualified, nor are names listed in "Recent deaths" section of ITN.

Fivefold expansion[edit]

Articles can be made eligible via a fivefold expansion of an article's prose. This calculation is made from the last version of the article before the expansion began, even if text from the original was deleted in the process (unless the text was a copyright violation, in which case it does not count towards the size of the original). This may be a bad surprise, but we don't have enough time and volunteers to reach consensus on the quality of each previous article.

Some people think we're mindless bureaucratic meanies for wanting a 100,000-character article to be expanded to 500,000. But please don't miss the forest for the trees. We didn't want you to nominate a 100,000-character existing article; we wanted a new article. If it isn't new, it can still be nominated if it gets listed as a good article.


Articles featured at DYK must exceed 1500 characters of prose. Text that is not original does not count, including text copied from the public domain and from other Wikipedia articles. Splits from non-new articles are ineligible, but if the copied text does not exceed one-fifth of the total prose size, the article can be considered eligible as a fivefold expansion of the copied text. Articles split from new articles or articles with active nominations remain eligible, unless the parent article only qualifies as a newly good article. New text may not count towards the length requirement of more than one article.

Prose size[edit]

The prose size of an article is the amount of raw text contained in the article. That includes letters, numbers, punctuation, and spaces, but should exclude wikitext, templates, lists, tables, section headers, image captions, block quotes, the table of contents, and references. DYKcheck is generally considered the authoritative counter of prose size, but manual counts are admissible as well. The byte counts indicated in an article's revision history are useless for DYK purposes, but DYKcheck will work correctly on old revisions.

External policy compliance[edit]

The article must be based on reliable sources, which must be cited inline. All content that could reasonably be challenged, except for plot summaries and that which summarizes cited content elsewhere in the article, must be cited no later than the end of the paragraph (or line if the content is not in prose). The use of multiple sources is generally preferred, though more leeway may be given for more obscure topics. Sources should be properly labelled; that is, not under an "External links" header, and not bare URLs. No one is required to check that the article's citations generally back up its content, with the exception of the hook fact; however, any source-to-text integrity issues that are discovered need to rectified before approval.

Articles should be neutral, and free of copyright violations, including close paraphrasing and media copyright. All content subject to the policy on biographies of living persons must conform with it. Achieving good article status does not grant a pass for this section; DYK-specific verification is still required.

The facts of the hook in the article should be cited no later than the end of the sentence in which they appear. If a part of the hook fact appears multiple times, including across multiple boldlinked articles, citing at least one suffices. Citations at the end of the paragraph are not sufficient, and this rule applies even when a citation would not be required for the purposes of the article.


There is an expectation that an article—even a short one—that is to appear on the front page should appear to be reasonably complete and not some sort of work in progress. Therefore, articles which include unexpanded headers are likely to be rejected. Articles that fail to deal adequately with the topic are also likely to be rejected. For example, an article about a book that fails to summarize the book's contents, but contains only a bio of the author and some critics' views, is likely to be rejected as insufficiently comprehensive.

The article should not be subject to unresolved edit-warring and should not deserve stub or dispute tags. Orphan tags and COI notices are not dispute tags. Articles nominated for deletion or merging must go on hold until the process has concluded.


External policy compliance[edit]

The hook should include a definite fact that is unlikely to change, and citations in the article that are used to support the hook fact must verify the hook and be reliable. The wording of the article, hook, and source should all agree with each other with respect to who is providing the information – if the source is not willing to the say the fact in its own voice, the hook should attribute back to the original source as well.

Hooks must adopt a neutral point of view. Hooks that unduly focus on negative aspects of living persons should be avoided. Note that this is a stricter requirement than BLP as a whole: a sentence that might be due weight in the article can become undue if used in the hook, as all of the surrounding context of the individual's wider life is missing.


The hook should be likely to be perceived as unusual or intriguing by readers with no special knowledge or interest. The most interesting hooks are the ones that leave the reader wanting to know more – we want people to see the new articles our volunteers have put time and effort into crafting, and a hook that excites the reader into wanting to know more goes a long way towards that goal. At the same time, excessively sensational or gratuitous hooks should be rejected.

Make sure to provide any necessary context for your hook – don't assume everyone worldwide is familiar with your subject. However, do keep hooks short and to the point.

The boldlinked article should generally be the main or at least a major factor in the hook; avoid hooks that are primarily about an incident the subject is only tangentially related to.

Special considerations[edit]

If the subject of the hook is a work of fiction or a fictional character, the hook must involve the real world in some way. Works of fiction are bounded only by human creativity, making possible all manner of hooks that would be interesting if they were real – but if everything is special, nothing is. Simply acknowledging that a hook is about a work of fiction is not sufficient.

Articles and hooks featuring election candidates cannot appear on the main page in the 30 days prior to the election or while the polls are open, unless the hook is a "multi" that includes bolded links to new articles on all the main candidates. Approved nominations are to be held until after the polls have closed, after which they may be run.


Every hook that appears at DYK follows the same basic format: an asterisk for the bullet point list, followed by a space, followed by three dots, followed by another space, followed by a hook that ends in a question mark. The text of most hooks begin with "that":

* ... that '''[[milk]]''' can come from cows?

Every eligible article in the hook should be linked and wrapped in bold markup '''. Markup should go on the outside of the link if possible:

Correct: '''[[milk]]'''
Incorrect: [[milk|'''milk''']]
Correct: '''''[[The West Wing]]'''''
Incorrect: '''[[The West Wing|''The West Wing'']]'''
Correct: '''[[Jon Stewart's 2004 appearance on Crossfire|Jon Stewart's 2004 appearance on ''Crossfire'']]'''

Lead hooks should contain a media marker, usually after the bolded article, signifying the connection to the shown piece of media. For an image, this is usually (pictured), but this marker can be moved or edited depending on exactly what is being shown. Note that the italics sit outside the parentheses:

Correct: ''(pictured)''
Incorrect: (''pictured'')

The hook cannot exceed 200 prose characters. Counting starts from after the space following the three dots, and ends at the question mark. For articles with multiple boldlinks, text in boldlinks after the first do not count toward the limit. The eleven characters in a (pictured) tag does not count, but any modifying text does.

The hook should contain {{lang}} and {{transl}} tags for non-English and transliterated text, respectively, unless the text is in common English usage. The hook must not contain redlinks, external links, redirects, or links to disambiguation pages. A boldlink next to a non-boldlink does not breach MOS:SEAOFBLUE, but any two non-boldlinks or two boldlinks must be kept separate. It should also not contain parentheses – with the exception of the media marker – unless absolutely unavoidable. There should not be a space before the question mark, but if the text directly preceding it is italicized, the {{-?}} tag can offset it.

If the hook uses a possessive apostrophe after the qualifying article, use {{`}} or {{`s}} to keep the bold text and the apostrophe distinct. Use the slightly different templates {{'}} or {{'s}} for italics:

Incorrect: '''[[milk]]''''smilk's
Incorrect: '''[[milk]]'''{{'s}}milk's
Correct: '''[[milk]]'''{{`s}}milk's
Correct: '''[[cookie]]s'''{{`}}cookies'
Incorrect: '''''[[The West Wing]]''''''sThe West Wing's
Incorrect: '''''[[The West Wing]]'''''{{`s}}The West Wing's
Correct: '''''[[The West Wing]]'''''{{'s}}The West Wing's


The first hook in the set on the main page must have an associated image or other piece of media. The media must be suitable, attractive, and interesting; images in particular must display well in the small size of the {{main page image/DYK}} template (140x140 pixels, adjusted for aspect ratio). The media must be freely licensed—fair-use images are not permitted on the Main Page. It must already be in the article (or a crop from an image already in the article, if necessary to maintain quality at small size); and it must be relevant to the article. Try to avoid images that divert readers from the bolded article into a side article – for example, taking a hook about a fictional character and picturing the character's also-linked portrayer. DYK wants to show readers its new and expanded content, and images can be detrimental to that purpose if not used carefully.

Reviewing a nomination[edit]

Mandatory reviews[edit]

If you have nominated five or more articles in the past, you must complete a full review of one other nomination (unrelated to you) for every subsequent article you nominate‍—‌this is called quid pro quo or QPQ. A review does not need to be successful to count as a QPQ. Where a nomination offers more than one new or expanded article, an article-for-article quid pro quo (QPQ) is required for each nominated article. As soon as a new nominator's hook includes articles beyond their fifth nomination of an article for DYK, each of those requires a separate QPQ review.

You can do your QPQ review before or after you make your nomination, but for your nomination to be approved you will need to provide a link, at your nomination, to your completed QPQ review. For help in learning the reviewing process, see the reviewers' guide. Ideally, a QPQ should be submitted within a week of a nomination. After one week, and a reminder to the nominator, a nomination may be closed as "incomplete." QPQs do not expire and may be used at any time for a future DYK nomination.

The community may also choose to activate an "unreviewed backlog mode"; while activated, editors who have nominated twenty or more articles are required to provide an extra QPQ for every new nomination until the backlog mode ends. This mode was activated for nominations begun between 00:00, 8 March, and 23:59, 12 April 2024.

Rules for reviewing[edit]

You're not allowed to approve your own hook or article, nor may you review an article if it's a recently listed good article that you either nominated or reviewed for GA (though you can still nominate it for DYK).

DYK novices are strongly discouraged from confirming articles that are subject to active arbitration remedies, as are editors active in those areas. Use common sense here, and avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. A valid DYK nomination will readily be confirmed by a neutral editor.

For an article to be considered approved, there must be at least one full review with respect to the DYK criteria, rather than a simple "check mark". Subsequent reviews in a nomination may rely on preceding reviews where the validity of the latter has not been disputed – however, only full reviews with no reliable predecessors count as a QPQ.

Promoting a hook[edit]

Users are encouraged to help out by promoting hooks to the seven prep areas; you don't have to be an administrator. However, do not promote a hook you wrote, or a hook for an article you created, nominated, or reviewed. (Ask for assistance at WT:DYK if one of "your" hooks has been waiting a long time for promotion.) It is the promoter's responsibility to make sure all review issues have been resolved, that the hook is verified by sourcing within the article. The promoter acts as a secondary verification that the nomination was reviewed properly.

The accepted length of an update is a fixed number that changes on occasion, usually between six and ten hooks (currently nine). This is not an absolute rule, but it is the currently accepted standard length for an update, depending on page balance, so the items selected fit with whatever else is on the Main Page at that time.

Putting sets together[edit]

Variety is the spice of life, so mix your hooks up. No topic should comprise more than two of the hooks in a given update. When a hook covers two or more topics it counts toward the maximum for each. For example, an eight-hook update can contain two hooks on fish and two on cooking, but an update with two hooks about cooking fish should not contain any other hooks related to fish or cooking. (The exceptions here are hooks related to the United States and biographies; it is generally acceptable to fill up to half a set with these.) If two hooks in a set have a shared topic, they should not be next to each other. Whenever possible, try to avoid including hooks about similar topics in consecutive sets. For example, if one set has a hook about cooking, try not to include a hook about cooking in the following set. Also try to avoid having two images of people in adjacent sets.

Consider picking an upbeat, funny, or quirky hook – if there is one available – and putting it in the bottom slot of the set. Just as serious news programs end on an upbeat note to bring viewers back next time, ending on an upbeat or quirky note rounds out an update nicely and encourages readers to come back next time for more. This is just a suggestion rather than a hard rule; sets are not required to have a quirky hook, and a set can run without one if no such hooks are available.

There will frequently be a need for empty prep slots, in case a hook needs to be bumped or delayed. A good rule of thumb is to leave half of the bottom prep empty: the first slot (image), the last slot (quirky), and two middle slots.

Quality control[edit]

Bold post-promotion edits to hooks are allowed only from promoters and uninvolved editors, in order to tighten up compliance with WP:DYKHOOKSTYLE. While you should be careful not to introduce new facts that require independent verification, don't be afraid to trim hooks of extraneous information and clauses. A lot of people who submit hooks tend to overestimate the amount of information that is required, but the end result is a hook that has too much information and is difficult to process. In general, the shorter and punchier the hook, the more impact it has. The 200-character limit is an outside limit, not a recommended length—the ideal length is probably no more than about 150–160 characters. Note however that some hooks cannot be reduced in length without losing essential information, so don't assume that every hook that is 200 characters long requires trimming.

Once a hook has been promoted to prep then any change beyond an absolutely obvious correction warrants a ping to the nominator by including [[User:NomUserName]] in the edit summary. Note that templates such as {{ping}} or {{u}} don't work to generate pings in edit summaries.

Special occasion requests[edit]

Articles intended to be held for special occasion dates should be nominated as normal, with a note left for the reviewers detailing the request. The nomination should be made at least one week prior to the occasion date, to allow time for reviews and promotions through the prep and queue sets, but not more than six weeks in advance. The reviewer must approve the special occasion request, but prep builders and admins are not bound by the reviewer's approval. Exceptions to the six-week limit can be implemented by way of a local consensus at WT:DYK.[b]

The hook should not put emphasis on a commercial release date of the article subject, but simply listing a hook on a specific date does not, in and of itself, make a hook promotional.

Occasionally, DYK will run thematic sets; these cannot be put together on a whim, and novel thematic sets must be approved at WT:DYK. Hooks collected for April Fools' Day (April 1) are an exception to the six-week requirement. Thematic sets are normally assembled for International Women's Day (March 8) and Christmas (December 25), but the six-week limit still applies.

Update frequency[edit]

DYK runs a certain number of sets per day, depending on the backlog size. Currently, we update DYK once every 24 hours. If we are at one set per day and immediately after the midnight (UTC) update finishes there are more than 120 approved nominations while at least ten prep/queue sets are filled, we rotate to two sets per day. If we are at two sets per day and immediately after a midnight (UTC) update there are fewer than 60 approved nominations or fewer than six filled prep/queue sets, we rotate to one set per day. The approved nominations page has a maximum size limit, so it will sometimes not display or count the latest nominations.


  1. ^ Articles technically lose their GA status if they are subsequently promoted to featured article status. That does not affect eligibility for DYK purposes.
  2. ^ Wikipedia talk:Did you know/Archive 194#Proposal: Themed sets