Help:Infobox

Example of an infobox

An infobox is a fixed-format table usually added to the top right-hand corner of articles to consistently present a summary of some unifying aspect that the articles share and sometimes to improve navigation to other interrelated articles. Many infoboxes also emit structured metadata which is sourced by DBpedia and other third party re-users. The generalized infobox feature grew out of the original taxoboxes (taxonomy infoboxes) that editors developed to visually express the scientific classification of organisms.

The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article. Whether to include an infobox, which infobox to include, and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article.

What infoboxes do

Infobox templates contain important facts and statistics of a type which are common to related articles. For instance, all animals have a scientific classification (species, family and so on), as well as a conservation status. Adding a {{taxobox}} to articles on animals therefore makes it easier to quickly find such information and to compare it with that of other articles.

Infobox templates are like fact sheets, or sidebars, in magazine articles. They quickly summarize important points in an easy-to-read format. However, they are not "statistics" tables in that they (generally) only summarize material from an article—the information should still be present in the main text, partly because it may not be possible for some readers to access the contents of the infobox. In particular, if infobox templates hide long columns of data inside collapsing tables, then readers using assistive technology may miss their presence entirely.

Many infoboxes also emit metadata such as microformats (see the microformats project).