| This article is an official policy on Bulbapedia.
Its contents are strongly binding and can be considered law on Bulbapedia.
|This is an official Bulbapedia policy. In a nutshell:|
|Avoid speculation on Bulbapedia; making inferences should be limited|
What is speculation?
Speculation is any rumor, presumption, or unconfirmed fact edited into the wiki by a user without a reliable source or citation to back up the claim. This can include information such as a Pokémon being captured by a character in the anime or a new feature presumed present in an upcoming game. It is often future-focused, addressing something that "might" or "is likely to" occur.
However, speculation is not limited to guesses about upcoming events. Guesses about why design decisions were made (e.g. why an unused item in a Pokémon game was never used) also constitutes speculation.
As a general rule, users should not add speculation to pages in the mainspace. Bulbapedia seeks to describe what is currently known, not speculate what might be known in the future.
Examples of speculation
New episodes of the Pokémon anime typically air in Japan every week. Until the air date of a specific episode is officially revealed, guessing the air date based on the episode's number is speculation, so it is not permitted.
Another example of speculation would be creating an article for Generation IX: as of July 2020, while one can presume that the series will continue after Generation VIII, the absence of confirmed games means that any content on a Generation IX page would be speculation.
How to properly signal uncertainty
The origins of designs, names, etc. are usually speculation, as they are rarely officially described. While Bulbapedia does allow possible design origins to be listed on pages, unsourced origins should normally be phrased to reflect this uncertainty. Conversely, officially sourced origins should be phrased in a definite manner.
For example, the Oblivia region is believed to be based on the Oki Islands, but this has not been officially confirmed, so the wording of the origin section of its article should reflect that (using phrasing such as "may be based on"). Conversely, the Kalos region has been officially described as being based on France, so the origin section of its article should be definite about the origin, and cite the source confirming this origin.
Inferences are conclusions based on evidence and reasoning. While Bulbapedia avoids speculation, there are limited circumstances where inference may be permitted to explain a situation that appears in Pokémon media. The guidelines below describe some common issues and how inference may (or may not) be used for them. Any circumstance that does not fall into one of the categories below will be considered speculation and in violation of Bulbapedia policy. In all cases where Bulbapedia makes inferences, we will include a notice explaining our policy.
Section- or issue-specific inference guidelines are detailed below. If you have questions, please contact a Staff member.
The issues below may allow inference in some situations; in such cases, a disclaimer must be included.
Given that trainers in the Pokémon anime generally do not own multiple Pokémon in the same evolutionary line concurrently, when a recurring character (including gym leaders and previous main characters) is seen with an evolved form of a Pokémon they have previously been shown to have owned, it is inferred to be the same Pokémon unless there is visual or dialogue evidence from the anime that directly contradicts this.
Where these inferences have been made, there must always be accompanied by an explicit disclaimer in the description that the Pokémon is presumed to be evolved from the previously seen Pokémon.
No inference guidelines
The situations below do not permit inference, only allowing strong evidence that directly confirms the issue.
Anime gender policy
For species with visual gender differences, inferences can only be made for Pokémon introduced in Generation IV or later. In these cases, the gender differences should be clear and noticeable. Pokémon with very minor differences (such as Toxicroak) should not be assigned a gender based on visual differences alone.
Pre-Generation IV Pokémon (owned by main characters or otherwise) introduced prior to DP001 cannot have their genders confirmed via visual gender differences, as they were introduced before gender difference mechanics. Instead, their opposite gendered variant (to their pre-Gen IV appearance) must make an appearance and must be acknowledged as a gendered counterpart. An appearance alone is not enough to grandfather a Pokémon in.
For the use of a move to be considered verified, the move must be verbally and explicitly commanded or named by a character. Moves with unique animation patterns can also be considered verified.
Occasionally, an unnamed move/ability will be named in the script of the closed captions, which is acceptable for using as verification. Moves or abilities that are not verified via one of the above means, will be considered unconfirmed and removed from articles.
Occasionally, a voice actor may play a role where they are uncredited. Voice actors for characters in uncredited roles are only considered verified if they are confirmed by the voice actor or voice director themselves. Guessing by ear or going by credits are not credible sources. Unofficial external sites like IMDb or BehindtheVoiceActors are also not considered legitimate sources.
Within the anime, it is not normally necessary to confirm each voice actor for every single episode. Instead, it is typically safe to infer that the same voice actor continues to voice the same character in successive appearances, unless there is reason to believe otherwise. If a character is absent for a substantial period of time, it may be necessary to re-confirm that it is the same voice actor. Note that this does not apply across media: if an anime character appears in a video game, that character's voice must be confirmed separately for that video game, unless the video game recycles voice clips from the anime.
Recurring wild Pokémon
Generally, wild Pokémon that appear in the anime should be considered "one of many" within its species. A wild Pokémon should not be inferred to be the same individual across episodes unless there is visual or dialogue evidence from the anime that directly specifies it is the same individual.
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