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Schoolcruft (a compound of school and cruft) is a term used when referring to editorial and policy issues often encountered in the course of maintaining articles relating to schools.

What is Schoolcruft[edit]

Schoolcruft should be distinguished from the simple editing of school articles, which many contributors of school age are able to do in an encyclopaedic manner and should be commended for, especially when this involves the adding of reliably sourced references to the article.[1]

Schoolcruft is a phenomenon which appears on Wikipedia when editors who are passionate and enthusiastic about a particular school, generally one they are either a current or recent student of, feel the impulse over a protracted period of time to share their passion with us, their audience, by creating a mini-shrine to their institution of learning and, in fact, almost anything relating to said institution, on Wikipedia. While performed with the best of intentions, and a belief that such content belongs on an encyclopaedia, the additions sadly often fail to meet Wikipedia's basic expectations of editing, including key policies and guidelines.[2] Their passion is often brought on by the school's history and rivalries that are carefully shaped and fostered within the school environment.

The majority of Schoolcruft issues will arise in relation to private schools, but this is not to suggest that the problem doesn't cross into articles on or relating to state (i.e. public) schools, who too are not immune to such editorial problems.[3]

Left unchecked, self-perpetuating walled gardens can spring up overnight with articles for the school's buildings, house system, association memberships and competitions, sporting achievements[4] and staff past and present. Occasionally the sprawling vines within the garden jump the containment walls of mainspace, venturing into template creation, categories and even portals.[5] Sometimes said categories are applied to articles which are only by the most tenuous and circuitous of logical reasonings connected to the school[6][7] – even Featured Pictures aren't spared.[8]

Ways to spot Schoolcruft[edit]

  1. Reproduction of the school song – a giveaway sign.[9][10]
  2. Excessive citation of the school's student diary, website, or other resources published by the school as a purported reliable source. [11][12]
  3. Detailed cataloguing of the school's, or school association's, sporting achievements, often in the form of lengthy manual tables.[10][13][4][14][15] These also have extensive use of non-free images.[16]
  4. Excessive creation of redirects for unlikely reiterations and internally common abbreviations. [17]
  5. Contributions about a favourite or preferred member of faculty or staff.[18]
  6. Information about student timetables, extracurricular activities, or even names of the different lunch periods students can be assigned.[19][18]
  7. Endless lists, divided annually, of duces and other students who have achieved academically. [15] [20]
  8. Entire sections devoted to small student-led organisations.[10][15][21][22]
  9. Details of food available at the school or campus, sometimes even including personal evaluations of competing options.[21][23]
  10. Extensive lists naming every teacher, coach and staff member down to the school janitor.[24]
  11. Commentary to the point of excessive on the school campus, grounds, and facilities.[25]
  12. Commentary to the point of excessive on academic and pedagogical philosophy,[25] unless independently sourced and due weight.
  13. A blow-by-blow chronology, broken down by year, of the school's achievements, "firsts", principals and changes in school colours.[26]
  14. School-specific slang, terminology and neologisms.[27]

Editorial and policy issues of Schoolcruft[edit]

Schoolcruft covers editorial and policy issues including:

Dealing with Schoolcruft[edit]

Schoolcruft articles can always be improved, but unfortunately, the self-perpetuating nature of the vice along with the sheer commitment and dedication of its proponents can drive even longer-term Wiki editors to distraction – especially those who have attempted and failed to assist the affected users to see the error of their ways, or to contribute in a fashion more consistent with Wikipedia policies and guidelines.

Users contributing Schoolcruft to Wikipedia need to be watched closely. If they are a registered user, gentle coaching and comments on their talk page from more experienced editors will usually pull them back from a self-induced death spiral. However, some users refuse to heed the call from the community, or simply fail to participate in attempts to help them learn more about the problems with the content they are contributing.

If the editor has resorted to 3RR, abusing other contributors on their talk pages or defaming competing schools in articles or talk space on an ongoing basis, speaking with local administrators to the school in question or raising an action on the administrators' noticeboard may well be the only appropriate path.[2][28] Anonymous IP editors whose sole specialty is Schoolcruft are always the most difficult to deal with, as they may not feel any urge to account for their actions or reform their behaviour.

See also[edit]

Other Wikipedians' commentaries on this area[edit]


  1. ^ Toledo Public Schools, Lucas County, Ohio well formed collection school articles
  2. ^ a b Sample Schoolcruft incident from Trinity College, Perth diff
  3. ^ For example, Glen Waverley Secondary College diff or Kent Street Senior High School diff
  4. ^ a b Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) subpages
  5. ^ PSA portal and Aquinas portal MfDs
  6. ^ Salter Point, Western Australia suburb that includes the school this dif
  7. ^ City of South Perth local Government area includes suburb that includes the school this diff
  8. ^ File:Redback frontal view.jpg this diff
  9. ^ See this discussion, and this diff from Trinity College, Perth
  10. ^ a b c This version of St. John's Jesuit High School
  11. ^ Aquinas College, Perth (23 February 2007), references 22 and 23.
  12. ^ This diff from St. Mark's College (University of Adelaide)
  13. ^ AfDs for PSA Athletics,
  14. ^ Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) Sports Champions
  15. ^ a b c This version of Vivian Gaither High School
  16. ^ GSV WP:NFCC image removal
  17. ^ Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2007 March 3
  18. ^ a b Diff from Confey College
  19. ^ Diff from Randallstown High School
  20. ^ Schoolcruft removedState College Area High School
  21. ^ a b These versions of Curtin University of Technology
  22. ^ Diff Irrawang High School
  23. ^ Diff Murdoch University.
  24. ^ Version of Kell High School before clean-up.
  25. ^ a b this version of Vidyashilp Academy
  26. ^ this version of Long Beach Polytechnic High School
  27. ^ Tonbrige School slang
  28. ^ Talk page history of the Schoolcruft creator from the Trinity College, Perth incident