CZ:Lemma article

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A lemma article is an article created for a subject where there is a presumption that it is unlikely a significant amount will be written about that subject in the near future, and thus the article consists simply of a definition that is transcluded on the main page for the article. The lemma article then can be the target of a wikilink, or appear in an R-template in a Related Articles page.

Because of this special purpose a definition for a lemma article may be longer than the usual recommended length of about 100 characters.

At any time, a lemma article may be converted to a regular article; at that point, part of a long definition usually will move to the main page.

How to create a lemma article


  1. Lemma articles are best started by placing the {{r}} template for the target article on a suitable CZ:Related Articles subpage (this also helps contextualization).
  2. Follow the "Add brief definition or description" link and start the definition. After saving, the definition page will display the definition, along with a redlink to the cluster's main page.
  3. Click on this redlink to open that page with preloaded content, then save. Your lemma cluster has been started.
  4. Lemma articles may have Related Articles subpage. You can start it by clicking on the "[r]", which will open that page with preloaded content. Fill it in and save.


  1. Create a definition subpage, titled like this: Lemma article title/Definition. Be sure the word "Definition" in the lemma article title uses a capital D. The Edit page of the lemma article's definition should have this as the topmost line on the Edit page: <noinclude>{{subpages}}</noinclude>, immediately below which you enter a definition of the subject. Any other text or comments on the Edit page should be deleted.
  2. Create the main lemma article page with only the following preloaded text (don't forget to save):
<!-- Text is transcluded from the BASEPAGENAME/Definition subpage-->

How to turn a lemma article into a full article

  1. Add content to the main article page.
  2. Create the metadata template.
    To do this either click the small link under the superscript after the the page title,
    or go to the talk page (click the red link "discussion"), and choose "New page created" from the choice offered.
  3. Create the talk page.
  4. Simplify (shorten) the definition if this is appropriate.

Good uses of the lemma article system

There are a variety of uses.

  1. A place for a definition of a term of art, which will be used by many articles
  2. In early development of a comprehensive Related Articles page, so the Related Articles context is clear without redlinks. For example, if the main subject is an organization, lemmas may be created for its board of directors, staff, etc., some of which will later turn into full articles. By having the extended definition, however, there is enough room for affiliations, which allows the discovery of social networks
  3. An early definition of a key term by a non-expert
  4. A component, etc., of a series of pieces of equipment, such as a standard connector, cable, or subassembly. By having any sort of page for what may be only a few sentences, there is still the power of linkage

One special case is — to borrow a term from software development — the creation of "Easter Eggs" for an Eduzendium project. Without creating articles that would do too much work for the student, it is possible to store information (e.g., mini-biographies of key people) that will show up in "links to" or when they fill in the Related Articles page of their article -- reminding them to search the literature before starting to write. In like manner, they can provide the instructor with a way of creating standard definitions of terms to be used in the course.

See also this extended explanation (in a forum thread) of the rationale behind lemma articles, as well as this thread on the clarification of usage patterns.

List of lemma articles

A full list can be found at Category:Lemma Article

For further reading

Sage advice on writing CZ articles.

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