Wikispecies:Project Cleanup

Welcome to Project Cleanup, a project within the Wikispecies Projects. This page is for those willing to take on the task of cleaning up Orphaned pages, Unpatrolled Pages and other Special Pages that are in need of attention. You can also ask questions to help clarify what to do with Orphaned pages, Some need to be linked, some will be Candidates for Speedy Deletion. If you want to follow the discussions here, and get a notification when the page changes, please add this page to your watch list, and each time you log in, you will see changes on your watchlist.




  • To cleanup Wikispecies of orphaned pages and and ensure all content is up to standard. Special:LonelyPages shows we have more than 4000 orphaned pages.


Things you can do


Problem pages


  • Unless you have Patrolling Rights you cannot do much with Patrolling, if you do then this is the list of Unpatrolled Pages. However, if you are experienced with Wikimedia you may request Patrolling rights; the instructions are at the bottom of the Patrollers page.
  • At List of common misspellings you can learn about the most common misspellings on WS, search for them, and correct them.
  • You may follow this link to bring up a list of Orphaned pages, you will need to assess whether the taxon is valid or not and either link it appropriately, turn it into a #REDIRECT or put it up for Candidates for Speedy Deletion by adding this [[Category:Candidates for speedy deletion]] category, or it can be discussed on the project talk page.
  • Other categories of problem pages can be found using the box to the right. Stubs and Unverified pages will be relatively straightforward, dealing with Disputed Taxa and Homonyms will be a little more advanced.

if you want to place the box to the right on your user page, you can insert the template with the following code: {{Project Cleanup problem pages}}



  • Patrolling: Most users with Patrolling Rights are experienced wikipedians and hence generally understand what is needed. However, what we are looking for is that the page has been edited or created in lines with what we need on Wikispecies, following our accepted formats. The page does not have to be complete, particularly if it was only recently created. That is: be friendly and give users time to finish it.
If you want to help with patrolling, please apply for Patrolling Rights in the section Requests for patroller rights. The statistics for recent patrols can be seen here.
  • Orphaned Pages: Because of the nature of taxonomy and nomenclature a great deal of knowledge is needed to decide what to do with an Orphaned Page. The taxon may be a junior synonym, in which case it should be retained but redirected to its senior synonym. It may be a name that is now seen as invalid in which case it can probably be deleted. Or it may simply have been left out of the genus page in which case linking it to its genus page will fix the issue. If in doubt please ask, there are a number of editors here, hopefully one of us may even be familiar with the taxon. You can also use a variety of online resources to help, even just googling a scientific name will often show up something. For best results, use Google Scholar, as this will eliminate junk pages not related to science.
  • Stubs: (including Biologist Stubs) are basically pages that require more information. For a taxon the bare minimum would be the name, holotype, type locality a synonymy and the original reference plus any other relevant references. We are not Wikipedia it is beyond our scope to present a detailed account on a taxon, but we are providing the taxonomic and nomenclatural justification of a species. For Biologist Stubs, date of birth and death, general groups they worked on, where they were based and a list of their publications and taxa that they named. Once you provide all these details to a page you should delete the {{stub}} or {{Biologist-Stub}} templates from the page.
  • Unverified Pages: these are pages that need to have their original references sourced and first reviews if warranted to ensure these are indeed taxa. Please note the slight differences in definitions between plants and animals that use different codes. Once you have verified that the page represents a genuine taxon and included the required references and other sections the Category:Unverified link can be removed.
  • Disputed Taxa: (and Validity Disputed) there can be many different reasons a particular taxa is disputed and unfortunately they will generally require some literature research to sort out. If it is because of a case before the ICZN or the ICBN then the case number should be included in the discussion with relevant links. Other than this until a decision is made by these bodies nothing can be done. If a case is brought to finality then the decision should be cited as a reference and appropriate changes made and the {{Disputed}} template deleted. If literature review finds that the issue has been resolved by published review then the taxon can be updated, this literature cited and the template removed.
  • Homonyms: As you come across these and there are a number of them a decision on what to do is needed. First and foremost is a disambiguation page to clearly send the user to the taxon they are after. On the junior Homonym place the {{Homonym}} template to make it clear there is an issue. Homonyms must be dealt with by a review paper in a peer review journal, we cannot correct them on Wikispecies. If you happen to know the author of the junior homonym you can let them know. If the necessary review has taken place then list the replacement name, relevant references, and remove the {{Homonym}} template if it was already there.



If the page needs to be deleted then put the [[Category:Candidates for speedy deletion]] category on the page.

During January 2017 over 5 000 categories were moved to Category:Candidates for speedy deletion, for analyze and deletion. Dan Koehl (talk) 10:30, 31 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]


  • If after patrolling or linking the page it is missing key information add the {{stub}} template if it is a taxon article and {{Biologist-Stub}} if it is an article about a biologist.
  • If you find a Homonym use the {{Homonym}} template on the junior Homonym.