It is common in deletion discussions for editors to advocate merging the article into another article as an alternative to deletion. While this may represent the best outcome in some cases, the amount of AfD discussions closed as merge has created a significant backlog in articles to be merged. It is not uncommon for some of these articles to remain in this backlog for a period of two years or more. Therefore, merge votes should be avoided if used only as a middle ground. Instead, editors should ask themselves, "Merge what?"

Good merge votesಸಂಪಾದಿಸಿ

A good merge vote should do more than just specify where an article could be merged. It should also specify what should be merged. Should the entire contents of the article be merged or only certain parts? Your vote will be more helpful and constructive if you can specify. Conversely, if you believe the material should be retained in some way but you're not sure how, consider voting to keep and initiating or participating in a merger proposal on the article's talk page. If you've considered the issue and decided that no content needs to be merged, but you also think the AfD article's title is a plausible search term, vote to redirect.

Bad merge votesಸಂಪಾದಿಸಿ

Don't just identify a related topic and vote to merge there without further explanation. This is only barely more useful than a vote to keep or delete without a reason.

When a merge may not be appropriateಸಂಪಾದಿಸಿ

  • First, if a subject doesn't meet the usual criteria for merging, it probably shouldn't be merged as a result of AfD either.
  • If you don't believe an AfD subject Foo is independently notable but merits mention on another article Bar, check to see what coverage of Foo already exists at Bar. If the coverage is sufficient, you should probably vote to redirect (or delete, if Foo is an implausible search term).
Example: The AfD for Ron Burgundy was closed as a merge with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy#Plot. But as one of the merge voters put it, Ron Burgundy was "completely redundant" to that section. Four months later, it was redirected without merging.

When a merge is appropriateಸಂಪಾದಿಸಿ

  • Subjects that lack independent notability may still deserve mention in another article.
Example: Agnes Skinner was merged (although not through AfD) to List of recurring The Simpsons characters. While consensus was against her having her own article, deletion wasn't necessary (cf. WP:NLISTITEM).
  • Suppose a section of a larger article Bar has been split into an article Foo, and an editor lists Foo at AfD. If you don't think Foo works as its own article, you could vote to merge it back into Bar (some users refer to this as an upmerge).

See alsoಸಂಪಾದಿಸಿ