Stubs are DrumCorpsWiki entries that have not yet received substantial attention from the editors of DrumCorpsWiki, and as such do not yet contain enough information to be considered real articles. In other words, they are short or insufficient pieces of information and require additions to further increase DrumCorpsWiki's usefulness. The community values stubs as useful first steps toward complete articles.
A stub is an article that's too short, but not so short as to be useless. In general, it must be long enough to at least define the article's title, which generally means 3 to 10 short sentences. Note that even a longer article on a complicated topic may be a stub; conversely, a short article on a topic of narrow scope may not be a stub.
Another way to define a stub is an article so incomplete that an editor who knows little or nothing about the topic could improve its content after a superficial Internet search or a few minutes in a reference library. An article that can be improved by only a rather knowledgeable editor, or after significant research, may not be a stub.
Sizeable articles which lack wikification or copy editing are generally not considered stubs, and the normal procedure is for one of the cleanup tags to be added to them, instead. Note that small articles with little information may end up being nominated for deletion or be merged into another relevant article.
Once a stub has been properly expanded and becomes an article rather than just a stub, you or any editor may remove the stub tag from it. No admin action or formal permission is needed.
After writing or finding the short article, the editor should insert what is called a stub template, which makes it possible for the article to be flagged as a stub. By convention, these stub templates should be placed near the bottom of the article.
Ideal stub article
When you write a stub article, it is important to bear in mind that its main interest is to be expanded, and that thus it ideally contains enough information to give a basis for other editors to expand upon. Your initial research may be done either through books or through a reliable search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or MSN Search. You may also contribute with knowledge you have acquired from other sources, but it is useful to conduct a small amount of research beforehand, in order to make sure that your version of the facts is correct and from a neutral point of view.
Begin by giving a definition or description of the topic in question. Avoid fallacies of definition. Since at times definitions are impossible, you should write a clear and informative description of the subject. State, for example, what a person is famous for, where a place is located and what it is known for. Or state the basic details of an event and when it happened.
Next, you should try to expand this basic definition. The previously mentioned research methods will often fetch you enough information for you to be able to expose the basic points of the subject. Once you have a couple of well-structured and well-written sentences, you should internally link relevant words, so that users unfamiliar with the specifics of a subject can understand what is written on the article. Avoid linking words needlessly; in case you are in doubt, you should use the preview button and try reading the article from the point of view of somebody who has had no exposure to information regarding the subject. If no word seems hard to comprehend or relevant enough, simply don't link anything.
Once you have submitted the article, there are a number of courses it may take. An editor might get interested in it and develop it further, or you could expand it yourself once you have found greater information about the subject or once you have more free time on your hands.