It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
This page in a nutshell:Hatnotes provide links at the very top of an article or a section to help readers locate a different article if the one they are at is not the one they're looking for.
Hatnotes are short notes placed at the very top of an article or a section, like a hat is placed on the very top of a head. (See the note in italics immediately preceding the box above.) Their purpose is to help readers locate a different article if the one they are at is not the one they're looking for. Readers may have arrived at the article containing the hatnote because:
Link directly to other articles; do not pipe non-disambiguation links. Linking to redirects is typically not preferred, although of course exceptions can occur. Links to disambiguation pages should always end in "(disambiguation)", even when that version of the title is a redirect.
Keep explanations to a minimum; explain vital information only, trusting instead in the article lead to clarify things for the reader.
Mention other topics and articles only if there is a reasonable possibility of a reader arriving at the article either by mistake or with another topic in mind.
However, if a notable topic X is commonly referred to as "Foo", but the article "Foo" is not about X, there must be a hatnote linking to the article on X or linking to a disambiguation page that contains a link to the article on X.
Hatnotes are placed at the very top of the article or section of an article, before any other items such as images, navigational templates, and maintenance templates (such as the "cleanup", "unreferenced", and "POV" templates). Text-only browsers and screen readers present the page sequentially. If a reader has reached the wrong page, they typically want to know that first.