Wikipedia for Editors (updated)

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Wikipedia for Editors
(NobleProg Ltd)

What is Wikipedia ⌘

  • Free encyclopedia
  • Donation
  • Wikimedia foundation
  • Developed by community
  • No central authority

Contents ⌘

Part I: Content

Part II: Editing

Part III: Community

Part IV: Other Projects

Part I: Content ⌘

  1. What’s in Wikipedia?
  2. The World Gets a Free Encyclopedia

What’s in Wikipedia? ⌘

  • Types of Articles
  • Article and Content Inclusion Policies
  • Core Policies: V, NOR, and NPOV
  • Understanding the Policies
  • Other Guidelines
  • What Wikipedia Is Not
  • Non-article Content
  • Types of Non-article Pages
  • Namespaces

Types of Article ⌘

Traditional encyclopedia topics

You can find all the types of content that you might expect from a general encyclopedia


No occupations or groups are restricted or emphasized, although in order to qualify for an article, the person must be notable, that is, well known within his or her major field of endeavor

Fictional characters

Articles about well-known fictional characters are included.

Types of Article ⌘


There are articles not just on countries, provinces, and major geographical features but also about cities and towns worldwide.

Media—movies, books, albums, songs, television shows (and their episodes), videogames, and more

Work in almost any medium can be considered for its own article.

Companies and organizations

There are factual articles about most well-known corporations. As with biographies, writing about your own organization or company is discouraged.

Types of Article ⌘

Computer software and hardware

Thousands of articles about programming languages, software, hardware, and computer science theory.


Thousands of articles about railway stations, canals, airports, and other minutiae of transport networks.


Lists can be about nearly about any topic. Linked lists are a defining feature of Wikipedia.

Types of Article ⌘


These pages simply push you from one page title to another automatically.

Disambiguation pages

These pages include a whole list of links to possible articles that have similar names. Slide0009 image001.png

Navigating Wikipedia ⌘

  1. Searchbox
  2. Google
  3. Special:Search
  4. Special Pages

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Core Policies: V, Nor, and NPoV

Verifiability (V)

You should always be able to verify that the content of a Wikipedia article is factual, using reliable outside sources that are cited within the article. VER

No Original Research (NOR)

To prevent spreading new ideas Wikipedia from being used as a soapbox to spread new ideas, ideas and facts must be previously published elsewhere by a third party. NOR

Neutral Point of View (NPOV)

Similar to what journalists mean by objectivity in reporting. NPOV

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Other Guidelines


  • helps set a baseline level for inclusion to prevent Wikipedia from becoming something other than an encyclopedia.
  • the most common reason why a topic is deemed unsuitable for a Wikipedia article.
  • easy to think about superficially but difficult to apply or cleanly define in the abstract.

Warnings of Notability

Notability may be perishable

Notability is not the same as having a fan, reputation or distinction

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Other Guidelines

Copyrighted Material

  • Plagiarism is NOT allowed.
  • Any materials must be specifically licensed under the **GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), which is a “free license”

***GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) Anyone can reuse and redistribute the content for any purpose without asking permission, as long as they meet certain conditions; the content can be used on other sites or even republished in print.

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Other Guidelines

Copyrighted Material

  • Materials taken from other places generally shouldn NOT appear on Wikipedia.
  • You should NOT take text or photos from the Internet or elsewhere and reproduce them on Wikipedia without explicit permission; copying any work that is not in the public domain or explicitly licensed as being freely available is a copyright violation.

It is best, in almost all cases, to simply write the article afresh!

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Other Guidelines

Non-encyclopedic Content

  • Some non-encyclopedic content is inappropriate for Wikipedia but may be welcome on other sister Wikimedia projects

For instance,

  • Definitions of words (without supporting encyclopedic information) are outside of Wikipedia’s scope.
  • A definition alone is not sufficient for a Wikipedia article.
  • However, dictionary definitions are very welcome at Wiktionary, Wikimedia’s free dictionary project.

Slide0015 image003.png

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Other Guidelines

Non-encyclopedic Content

  • Original reporting of events is also NOT a part of Wikipedia; violates the No Original Research or Verifiability policy.
  • “how-to” article may not be encyclopedic, but would be just fine over at Wikibooks, Wikimedia’s project to write free textbooks.

Slide0016 image005.png

Article and Content Inclusion Policies ⌘

Other Guidelines

Non-encyclopedic Content

  • Original source documents (for example, the text of Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”) are not welcome on Wikipedia, but that is because primary sources belong on Wikisource.

Slide0017 image007.png

What Wikipedia is NOT ⌘

Wikipedia is NOT an indiscriminate collection of information, a directory, or a dictionary.

It’s an encyclopedia (and preferably a well-rounded one) in which criteria such as notability are used to weed out entries.

Wikipedia is NOT a paper encyclopedia.

No printing costs, no physical restrictions on growth. No restrictions on what branches of human knowledge should be included.

Wikipedia is NOT a publisher of original thought, nor a soapbox.

No Original Research: Wikipedia is not interested in personal essays. No reviews of products, companies, and No personal opinions—whether positive or negative—are unwelcome in Wikipedia articles.

What Wikipedia is NOT ⌘

Wikipedia is NOT a mirror, repository of files, a blog, webspace provider, or social networking site.

  • Wikipedia is a project with a very specific purpose—to create and distribute an encyclopedia.
  • It is not a helpful web application for storing other unrelated information.

Wikipedia is NOT static.

  • The encyclopedia is an open-ended work in progress, and Wikipedia articles are, by definition, always provisional.
  • This attitude reflects a shared view of knowledge as something that by its nature is dynamic and expanding, rather than settled.

What Wikipedia is NOT ⌘

Wikipedia is NOT a crystal ball.

  • This is a warning about posting rumor and speculation about future events, such as gossip about films that are currently in production.

Some content may be considered offensive or inappropriate.

The lack of censorship can cause distress— there are many hundreds of articles about topics that many people would prefer not to think about. Considering that the aim is to be a repository of all human information, written by a truly diverse group of people from all over the world, this is unavoidable.

Non-article Content ⌘

Types of Non-article Pages

User pages and user talk pages

  • They are set aside as a private space where editors can work.
  • To communicate , editors leave notes on user talk pages.
  • e.g. User_talk:Bernard.szlachta, Talk:Obama, etc...

Policy pages and guidelines

  • Provide guidance about editing content and interacting with other volunteers.
  • Policies and guidelines lay out stylistic guidelines for editing, content inclusion policies, procedures to resolve disputes, and much more.
  • e.g. Wikipedia:Guidelines or wp:guildlines for short

Quiz ⌘

  1. Find the Neutral Point of View policy page
  2. What is the shortcut for the page above?

Non-article Content ⌘

Types of Non-article Pages

Community discussion, procedural, and project pages

the community discuss proposals and coordinates editing projects.

Help pages Include documentation of editing syntax, technical procedures, and best practices, and are referenced throughout this book.

Non-article Content ⌘

Types of Non-article Pages

Image description pages

  • Each image is coupled with an image description page.
  • These pages exist to provide the image with a textual description (metadata).

Mediawiki-generated special pages and administrative pages

Generated on the fly by the MediaWiki software and serve as utilities rather than editable pages. Used for special lists and essential pages, such as the account creation pages.

Non-article Content ⌘


  • Each type of page is distinguished by a prefix
  • Each prefix is actually an indicator that the page is inside a particular namespace.

2: World Gets a Free Encyclopedia ⌘

Wikipedia’s Mission

Wikipedia’s Roots

Wikipedia's Mission ⌘

Its mission is to make the whole world’s information available in all languages.

“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”

—Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder Slide0027 image009.jpg

Wikipedia's Root ⌘

Wikipedia as an encyclopedia

Wikipedia carries on these encyclopedist traditions but with some radical changes.

  • Technological: online; no limit of the economics of printing.
  • Non-commercial: ease of access; broader topics

The 1960s and 1970s: Unix, Networks, and Personal Computers

The 1980s: The Free software Movement - The GNU project

1995: ward’s **wiki

1997: open source Communities

2000: online Community dynamics


A wiki is a type of website that anyone can edit.

Wikipedia's Root ⌘

Wikipedia as a Wiki Community

  • Embracing the history of encyclopedias
  • The openness of free software, and
  • the easily accessible,
  • collaborative aspects of online communities

2001: Wikipedia Goes Live - immediate success!

wikipedia Today

Unfinished Business Slide0029 image011.jpg

Part II: Editing ⌘

3: Basic Editing

4: Cleanup, Projects, and Processes

5: Make and Mend Wikipedia’s Web

6: Images, Templates, and Special Characters

7: The Life Cycle of an Article

3: Basic Editing ⌘

Editing a Page

  • Understanding the Edit Window
  • Major vs. Minor Edits
  • Handling Major Editing Tasks
  • Fixing Mistakes and Other Reasons to Revert
  • Who Can Edit What?
  • Syntax Fundamentals of Text Markup

Internal and External Links

  • Sections and Headings
  • Removing Formatting and Hiding Comments

Exercise ⌘

  • Register or Log in
  • Create a user sandbox page (User:yourusername/sandbox, e.g. wiki/User:Bernard.szlachta/sandbox

Editing a Page ⌘

Understanding the Edit Window Slide0033 image014.png Slide0033 image013.png

Editing a Page ⌘

Major vs. Minor Edits

Minor edit

An edit that the editor believes requires no review by other editors. For example,

  • spelling or grammatical corrections,
  • adding a single internal link,
  • fixing punctuation,
  • or making small formatting or presentational changes.

Q: Changing a single date in an article, say 1776 to 1676 ? Minor ?

A minor edit should NOT

substantially change the meaning of an article

Editing a Page ⌘

Major vs. Minor Edits

Major edits

  • comprise all other edits.
  • Any change that affects the meaning of an article is major (not minor), even if the edit is a single word.
  • The modifications ought to be checked

Editing a Page ⌘

Handling Major Editing Tasks

  • be bold
  • break large editing into small stages
  • discuss proposed changes on the article talk page before implementing
  • work section-by-section in longer articles
  • write an overall, final edit summary to document the changes

Editing a Page ⌘

Fixing Mistakes and Other Reasons to Revert

All versions of every article are saved, you can always revert a page back to a previous version. Slide0037 image016.png

Editing a Page ⌘

Who Can Edit What?

  • Can be edited by anyone, whether logged in or not.
  • The rare exceptional pages not open to editing include some system-generated pages and a few key pages that are permanently restricted, such as the main page.

Editing a Page ⌘

Who Can Edit What?


A small number of other pages at any given time have been closed to editing with an administrative action.

  • Fully Protected Page: editable only by site Administrators
  • Semi-protected Page: editable by the vast majority of logged-in users

Editing a Page ⌘


Wikisyntax, wikimarkup or wikitext

A special markup language for formatting pages used in Wikipedia

Fundamentals of Text Markup

  • Bold and Italic
  • Indentation, Line, and Paragraph Breaks
  • Numbered and Bullet Lists
  • Sections and Headings
  • Linking into and out of Sections
  • Removing Formatting and Hiding Comments

Editing a Page ⌘

Internal and External Links

Internal Links (wikilinks)

  • Creating an internal link to another page on Wikipedia by enclosing the name of the page you wish to link
  • Should not contain underscores

Internal Linking Policy

  • Not too many and not too few!
  • No need to link every common noun
  • Link to the most specific concept you can
  • Do not introduce self-links
  • Avoid splitting a single concept

Editing a Page ⌘

Internal and External Links

Internal Links (wikilinks)

  • Creating an internal link to another page on Wikipedia by enclosing the name of the page you wish to link
  • Should not contain underscores

Internal Linking Policy

  • Not too many and not too few!
  • No need to link every common noun
  • Link to the most specific concept you can
  • Do not introduce self-links
  • Avoid splitting a single concept

Editing a Page ⌘

Internal and External Links


Links to a page that does not exist yet. Slide0042 image018.png

Editing a Page ⌘

Internal and External Links

External Links

  • Links to other websites.
  • always light blue and marked with a small arrow
  • Normally appear at the bottom of an article in the 'External Link' section
  • Simply paste the URL (with the http:// prefix)

NobleProg UK Limited

Editing a Page ⌘

Internal and External Links

External Policy

  • Directly relevant to the topic of the article
  • Commercial pages or sites that only exist for selling a product are not included
  • Some whole sites should not be linked to
  • Sites in languages other than English are discouraged

Editing a Page ⌘


  1. Citations are an extremely important part of Wikipedia
  2. Wikipedia's no original research policy suggests all articles should have citations, and from multiple sources if possible
  3. Citations should be from reliable sources
  4. Its often good practice to start writing an article by first gathering sources
  5. You can include a citation with the <ref>This is a reference</ref> tag
  6. Adding </references> or {{Reflist}} will produce a list of all references, normally located under a References or Notes Heading
  7. You can name references <ref name="a ref"> which allows you to repeat a reference by using <ref name="a ref" />
Reflist also allows you to pass in references {{Reflist|refs=<ref name=name>This is a reference</ref>}} which you can then use with the name attribute.
This means that lengthy references are not present in the main article and can make it easier for other editors

4: Cleanup, Projects and Processes ⌘


  • Flagging Articles
  • Cleanup Categories

Cleanup Tasks

  • Rewriting
  • Expanding Stubs
  • Wikification
  • Vandalism Patrolling
  • Cleanup Editing Tools

Projects: Working to Improve Content

  • WikiProjects
  • Wikiportals
  • Writing Collaborations


  • What Processes Cover
  • Deleting Articles
  • Featured Articles

Cleanup ⌘

Flagging Articles


The general term for improving articles


The cleanup message you will see at the top of many articles Slide0046 image020.png

Cleanup ⌘

Cleanup Categories WP:TC

Adding a cleanup message to an article will automatically place the article in an associated cleanup category

Adding a cleanup message to an article will automatically place the article in an associated cleanup category

The categories have backlogs—large numbers of articles awaiting attention.

Cleanup Tasks ⌘


Poor writing

  • start with a poorly written draft (not a proficient writer or not a native speakers)
  • gradually become unclear
  • no appropriate tone or style
* Template:Copyedit 

Addresses any problem with grammar, style, cohesion, tone or spelling

* Template:Advert, Template:Fansite, Template:Gameguide, Template:Likeresume,Template:Newsrelease, Template:Obit, Template:Review, Template:Story

Address Problems with inappropriate tone and style

* Template:Abbreviations, Template:Buzzword, Template:Cleanup-jargon, Template:Inappropriate person, Template:Quotefarm, Template:Toospecialized 

Address composition problems

* Template:Contradict, Template:Misleading, Template:Unbalanced, Template:Limitedgeographicscope, Template:Weasel 

Address problems with content and presentation

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Expanding Stubs

Stub articles

Beginning articles that need to be expanded with more information on the topic.

If you don’t want to write an entire article from scratch but enjoy the research and writing process, try expanding one of
these articles! 
[ [ Category:Articles_to_be_expanded ] ]

Slide0049 image022.jpg

Cleanup Tasks ⌘



The changing of any text into wikitext, including marking it with wikisyntax, structuring the article into logical

sections, and adding internal link.

In broader sense, means "formatting according to Wikipedia style" Slide0050 image024.png

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Fact-Checking and Referencing

Wikipedia has several templates that alert both editors and readers that citations are needed in an article:

Slide0051 image026.png

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Help, an Article About Me Is Incorrect!


Issues can be discussed on the talk page for any article.

The best first step toward getting a problem resolved.


You can simply edit the article. Before that, you should consult Wikipedia:Conflict of interest

Email route

Your best recourse is to send an email, as explained at Wikipedia:OTRS (shortcut WP:OTRS), detailing the problem.

This channel is the official complaint mechanism.

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Copyright Violations

Copyright violations

Caused by people cutting and pasting material from other sites into an article, which you can detect by searching the Web

for the passage.

  • If only a sentence or two was copied and the source is simply unattributed, then rewriting and citing the source may

solve the problem.

  • If, however, an entire article or most of it has been copied from a single source (as is more common with cut-and-paste

violations), then a copyright violation has occurred

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Copyright Violations

Removing Copyright Violations

  • The text can be reverted to a good version
  • Rewrite the text yourself - be careful not to paraphrase
  • If you aren’t certain that a copyright violation has occurred, use Template:Copyvio, which will trigger a more

measured deletion process.

  • If you are sure the article violates copyright and that the text or topic does not seem to have any redeeming value, you

may want to use the speedy delete tag Template:Db-copyvio, which will ensure rapid administrator attention

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Vandalism Patrolling Slide0055 image028.png


  • A change made to Wikipedia with the malicious intention of having a negative effect on the content.
  • Anyone can just revert obvious vandalism
  • check the diff of the edit along with the editing history to determine vandalism
  • Many tools and systems have been developed to detect (and sometimes automatically correct) vandal edits; the Counter-

Vandalism Unit, found at Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit

Cleanup Tasks ⌘

Cleanup Editing Tools

Many cleanup editing tasks (such as correcting spelling or fixing typos) are repetitive, and for these you can use editing


These tools help power editors get dull tasks done quickly (though editors are always responsible for the edits they make,

regardless of whether they used an automated tool or not).

Projects: Working to Improve Content ⌘

The fundamental problem of the Wikipedia method is that massive collaboration is *hard*.

—David Gerard, WikiEN-l mailing list, 9 October 2007 Slide0057 image030.jpg

Projects: Working to Improve Content ⌘


A loose grouping of editors who have banded together

  • WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles.
  • WikiProject Philately
  • WikiProject Skateboarding
  • WikiProject Chemistry ...

Slide0058 image032.jpg

Processes ⌘

  • A page, or a suite of pages, normally found in the Wikipedia namespace where editors discuss proposed decisions.
  • public, open, and transparent
  • Confidence-building mechanism
  • Rely on community consensus as well as policy for making decisions


general agreement among participants within a specified time period (almost all processes put time limits on discussion)

==== Processes ⌘==== Slide0060 image034.jpg Process, community, and policy

These are key concepts for how Wikipedia works

—the real Wikipedia, not a utopian clone

Processes ⌘

What Processes Cover

  • Wikipedia has numerous processes, dealing with both content and community. (include some that implement Wikipedia's official policies such as the deletion processes)
  • Others focus on making specific maintenance tasks routine (such as renaming categories or approving bots)

Deleting Articles ⌘

  • For Wikipedia’s worst content
  • Generally seen as a bad solution if the article can be salvaged - cleaned up or are stubs
  • Very specific and complicated rules for deletion
  • A large body of past discussion on the subject.
  • All traces of contributions to that article also disappear
  • Only Wikipedia’s administrators may delete articles, but the deletion process is open for anyone to discuss

Deleting Articles ⌘

Deletion Processes

Speedy Deletion

For articles that definitely violate Wikipedia policies

Proposed Deletion

  • Gentler than speedy deletions
  • Give the community time to review the proposal
  • Can be used for any type of article, not just those falling under the criteria

Deleting Articles ⌘

Deletion Processes

Articles for deletion

  • For articles flagged for potential deletion
  • Added to a list, and other editors review them

Slide0064 image036.png

Deleting Articles ⌘

Common Reasons For Deleting Articles

Non-notable or vanity topics

Articles about people who aren’t in the news regularly Writing about yourself

Spam-like postings

Does the article read like an advertisement?

About a product or a company?

Too specialist

Judged as non-notable but is really part of something larger— a single college within a university—you may be able to

include the information under the broader topic

Deleting Articles ⌘

Common Reasons For Deleting Articles


  • Common problem with characters and elements from fiction, such as TV episodes or individual songs.
  • Adding detail to the broader articles that already exist on the topic first, rather than starting new articles.

They hate the way you write

  • Not a valid reason for deletion, but you can avoid deletion by submitting a well-written article in the first place.
  • Many experienced editors make drafts in userspace along with other writing advice.

Featured Articles ⌘

Promoting Articles

Good articles (GA) and featured articles (FA)

Two levels of articles that the community has determined to be some of the best content on Wikipedia

5: Make and Mend Wikipedia's Web ⌘

Redirect and Disambiguate

  • Redirects
  • Disambiguation Pages



Redirect and Disambiguate ⌘


If you want to redirect the page Goldfishes to the article

Goldfish, you would create the page Goldfishes and type this text:

  1. REDIRECT goldfish

Slide0069 image038.png

Redirect and Disambiguate ⌘


Double redirects

Avoid creating a redirect to a redirect: The database software is unable to forward twice.

Redirects across namespaces

Redirecting from one namespace to another is confusing because the whole point of namespaces is to separate different types

of content.

Redirect and Disambiguate ⌘

Disambiguate Pages

Disambiguation pages (Dab pages)

  • One of the Wikipedia success stories
  • Create several differently titled articles for each meaning of the ambiguous term along with a dedicated page to link to,

or disambiguate, between all of them for readers Slide0071 image040.png

Categorize ⌘

Categorizing basics

Article wikitext with multiple categories listed near the end of a page Slide0072 image042.png

Housekeeping ⌘

When A Page Move Is Blocked

You might want to move Jolly Green Giant to Green Giant—but you’d find that Green Giant is already taken up

with a page about the company.

Green Giant to Green Giant (company)

Jolly Green Giant to Green Giant (symbol) Slide0073 image044.jpg

Housekeeping ⌘

Default Meanings

  1. The lesser character should not become the default meaning, however. For example Thor, the Norse god, must have

priority over Thor (Marvel Comics).

  1. Moves are best made from a more general title to a more particular title: from John Jones to John James Jones,

for example.

Housekeeping ⌘

Avoiding Disambiguation Pages

A square is a special kind of rectangle where all four sides have equal length

To avoid the dab page,

A square is a special kind of rectangle where all four sides have equal length;

Housekeeping ⌘

Controlling Category Sorting

Pages within categories are displayed alphabetically by the first word of the page title, but this can be modified by sort

keys Slide0076 image046.png

Housekeeping ⌘

Categories and Template for Redirects

  • Links for redirect pages on a category page appear in italics.
  • If you click the link, you go to the page to which the redirect leads (not to the article with the title you expected).

For example,

Charles Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte is a redirect to Napoleon III of France.

The category tag [ [ Category:Presidents of France|Bonaparte ] ] could be included in the redirect, so the category page would

include the correct name for his time as president and be sorted under Bonaparte.

Housekeeping ⌘

Process-style Resolutions

  • Category deletion
  • Problem redirects
  • Disagreement about default meanings
  • Merges without consensus
  • Contested title changes
  • Fixing cut-and-paste moves

6: Images,Templates, and Character ⌘

Images and Media Files

  • Finding and Adding Images
  • Using Images
  • Using Multimedia Files


  • Using Templates
  • Using Parameters
  • How Templates Work
  • Varieties of Templates

Laying Out Articles

  • Tables

Special Syntax

  • HTML and CSS
  • Mathematical Formulas
  • Variables and Magic Words

Images and Media Files ⌘

Finding and Adding Images

Searching for images to use

  1. The Wikimedia Commons is probably the best place searching for images or media files.
  2. Browse images using categories on Wikipedia
  3. Search image descriptions directly on Wikipedia by searching the Image namespace Slide0080 image048.png

Images and Media Files ⌘

Finding and Adding Images

Image Licenses and Fair use

If you can’t find an existing image for your article, you can upload a new one.

Images and Media Files ⌘

Finding and Adding Images

All images you upload to Wikipedia must meet one of four criteria:

  1. You own the rights to the image (that is, you created it), and you agree to release the image under a free license, such as the GFDL.
  2. If you didn’t originally create the image, you can prove that the copyright holder has licensed the image under an acceptable free license, such as the GFDL.
  3. You can prove that the image is in the public domain; this is the case with US government–created work such as photos from NASA, which are automatically placed in the public domain.
  4. You produce a convincing fair-use rationale.

Images and Media Files ⌘

Finding and Adding Images

Uploading Your Own Images Slide0083 image050.png

Images and Media Files ⌘

Using Images

You can insert an image on a Wikipedia page.

[ [ Image:nameofimage.jpg ] ]

Set image alignment

[ [ Image:nameofimage.jpg|left or right ] ] 

Image as a thumbnail, resize the image to 180 pixels with space for a caption at the bottom

[ [ Image:nameofimage.jpg|thumb|An image caption ] ] 
[ [ Image:nameofimage.jpg|right|thumb|An image caption ] ]

Images and Media Files ⌘

Using Images

This will display the image at 300 pixels, left-aligned

[ [Image:nameofimage.jpg|300px|left|This is an image ] ]


Display many small images together

Images and Media Files ⌘

Using Multimedia Files

Audio files can be very helpful for some topics.

[ [Media:nameoffile.ogg ] ]

For example, Wikipedia has numerous files designed to help you pronounce Chinese names properly. Slide0086 image052.png

Templates ⌘

Using Templates

  • The same style of footer or boxed graphic to show up across all articles on a given topic
  • Consistently leave certain messages on user talk pages

Template:Template name

Templates ⌘

Using Parameters

Parameters Indicate or allow you to include variables that are going to be different for each template use. Template:WPBooks

Many templates have optional parameters. Template:Cleanup

Templates ⌘

Varieties of Templates

Infobox Organizes information to display it cleanly to the reader Standardizes the presentation of essential facts about an article topic. Slide0089 image054.png

[ [ Template:Infobox NBA Player ] ]

Templates ⌘

Using Parameters

Navigation Templates Slide0090 image056.png

Laying Out Articles ⌘


  • The easiest way to lay out any kind of data array or multicolumn, multirow list
  • Should always be used judiciously as they make the wikisyntax less readable

Slide0091 image058.png

Laying Out Articles ⌘



  • should not generally be used for formatting tables or laying out pages.
  • For most tasks that HTML can do, customized MediaWiki syntax exists instead.

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)

  • is also widespread, primarily in formatting templates.
  • The look of the site as a whole is styled with CSS skins that are individually customizable by any logged-in user

Laying Out Articles ⌘

Variables and Magic Words


Are just a subset of the larger class of so-called magic words

Magic Words

Are symbols recognized by the MediaWiki software

7: The Life Cycle of an Article ⌘

Birth of Article


Maintenance Tagging

Editing Improvements

Potential Merge

Discussion and Content Tags


Bots Arrive

Incoming Wikilinks

Artie Is Moved

In Good Times

In Bad Times

Bad Times, and a True Story

Search Engines Find the Article

New Relatives

Getting the Picture

Good Article

Part III: Community ⌘

8: Becoming a Wikipedian

9: Community and Communication

10: Policy and Your Input

11: Disputes, Blocks, and Bans

8: Becoming a Wikipedian ⌘

  • On Arrival

Registering an Account

Setting Your Preferences

  • User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count

User Page Content


Contribution History and Counting Edits

  • Users and Administrators

User Levels


Requesting Help from an Administrator

On Arrival ⌘

Registering an Account

Having a Username vs. Editing as an IP user ?

It is recommended for all contributors to create an account!

  • Gives you an identity on the site that is distinct from your IP address
  • Having a username also makes it easier to communicate with others and participate in the Wikipedia community
  • Registered users also gain some editing privileges.

On Arrival ⌘

Setting Your Preferences Slide0098 image060.png

User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count ⌘


Wikipedia has some limitations on what you can post to your user page [ [Wikipedia:User page] ]

No Blogging, No Activist Campaign and No Grievances

User Talk Pages

Where other people can leave you messages about your work, articles that you are working on, and so on.

User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count ⌘



  • Defines your own personal corner of the huge Wikipedia site.
  • Displays a set of recent changes for the subset of pages that you have specifically selected to watch.
  • You can easily scan a list of the edits made to the pages or articles you are interested in, without having to go to


  • of those pages individually.
  • You can help defeat vandalism and keep the site tidy while monitoring topics of greatest interest to you.
  • Your watchlist is private—only you can access it.

User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count ⌘

Watchlists Slide0101 image062.png

User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count ⌘

RSS Notification Slide0102 image064.png

User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count ⌘

Contribution History and Counting Edit

Contribution History

Any contributor’s history of edits and total edit count is publicly accessible; a record of all changes made by any account

or IP address is kept.

Edit Count

The total number of page changes that a user has made, usually counting edits in all namespaces.

Having a certain edit count may bring suffrage in elections

User Pages, Watchlists, and Edit Count ⌘

Contribution History and Counting Edit


  • The author of the original tool for counting edits noted that editcountitis, or an unhealthy obsession with the notion of edit count, can be fatal
  • Is often a symptom of Wikipediholism

Wikipediholism Excessive devotion to an online collaborative encyclopedia.

Worry more about the quality of your edits than the quantity!

Users and Administrators ⌘

User Levels

IP Addresses

Visitors who have not created an account or signed in to an existing account can still do most things, including the most

important tasks: editing articles and helping with Wikipedia maintenance.

Signed-in Users

  • The majority of Wikipedia contributors are signed-in users
  • Can do everything IP addresses can do
  • Upload files, start new articles,move pages and edit semi-protected pages

Autoconfirmed Users

Users and Administrators ⌘

User Levels


Usually good, helpful people to ask about procedures and for help in editing dispute


An automated program or script that can do some routine tasks

The status of an account that is only used to enable mass automated edits

Users and Administrators ⌘



  • Often known as sysops (for system operator) or just admins and sometimes referred to as janitors, are editors whose

editing privileges have been increased

  • Administrator powers are given to editors who have proven themselves to be experienced and trustworthy though a process

called Requests for Adminship (RfA)

  • Adminship is a duty, not a prize.

Users and Administrators ⌘

Requesting Help from an Administrator

Anyone can legitimately request help from an admin, whether on policy, technical matters, or when troubled by another editor Slide0108 image066.jpg

9: Community and Communication ⌘

  • Wikipedia’s Culture

Assumptions on Arrival

Random Acts of Kindness

The Open Door

Soft Security

Communicating with Other Editors


Funny Business

  • Who Writes This Thing Anyway?


Systemic Bias

Operational Analysis: Raul’s Laws

Practical Values, Process, and Policy

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

Aussumptions on Arrival

Assume Good Faith (AGF)

  • Unless you have strong evidence to the contrary, you should always assume that people who work on the project are trying

to help it, not hurt it.

  • Assuming good faith means that if someone does not seem to be following policy, assume that he or she simply made a

mistake rather than deliberately disrupted the encyclopedia; always give an editor the benefit of the doubt.

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

Random Acts of Kindness

  • Welcoming new editors on their talk page. Simply saying, “Hello, good work!” when you notice a helpful edit from a new

contributor is encouraging

  • Giving each other awards for work well done.


a template you can add to any editor’s user talk page if you feel he or she deserves the award Slide0111 image068.png

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

The Open Door

The drive to keep the community as open as possible (anyone online can edit) has shaped the whole debate about how

Wikipedia should be operated.

  • Wikipedia’s success to date is entirely a function of our open community.
  • Newcomers are always to be welcomed.
  • ”You can edit this page right now” is a core guiding check on everything that we do.

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

Soft Security

  • Wikipedia’s security is soft, meaning security is largely reactionary.
  • Bad contributions cannot be completely excluded from the site, so those cleaning up afterward rely instead on checking

contributions and reverting bad changes.

  • Wikipedia uses the principle of soft security in the broadest way.
  • Security is guided by the community, rather than by restricting community actions ahead of time.
  • Everyone active on the site is responsible for security and quality.

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

Communicating with Other Editors

Wikipedia has several types of pages where editors communicate with one another:

  • Article talk pages for discussing article content
  • User talk pages for leaving another contributor personal messages
  • Project page and policy page talk pages, where individual policies or processes are discussed
  • Project-wide forums for discussing Wikipedia, asking questions, or offering general proposals
  • Noticeboards for raising alerts to problems or items of interest about a particular topic
  • Process pages for getting feedback or taking polls on a particular kind of issue (such as deletion debates)

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

Communicating with Other Editors

Talk Page Guidelines

  • Stick to discussing the article, and save self-expression for your own user page
  • Use the talk pages for discussing facts and sources.
  • Be brief but not abrupt. Be specific about changes you’d like to see.
  • Talk pages have a warehousing function.
  • Be civil, and make no personal attacks.
  • Avoid the absolute no-nos.
  • Don’t delete comments, and refactor discussion only as a last resort.
  • Don’t exclude newcomers.
  • Problem users show themselves over time.

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘

Communicating with Other Editors

Voting and Discussing

On-Wiki Forums

Asking Questions and resolving Problems

Getting News

Mailing Lists and Internet Relay Chat

Meetups and Conferences

Wikipedia's Culture ⌘


Who Writes This Thing Anyway? ⌘


Wikipedia’s editors are any recruits who can show that they have the talent to write and upgrade encyclopedia articles

Whether you’re a teenager or a tenured Ph.D. doesn’t matter on Wikipedia

Who Writes This Thing Anyway? ⌘

System Bias

Systemic Bias

A term used on Wikipedia to describe the concept that notions of notability and breadth of article coverage both reflect

the community of editors and their demographic

Who Writes This Thing Anyway? ⌘

Operational Analysis: Raul's Law

  • Much of Wikipedia’s content and all of the day-to-day functions are overseen by a small core of the most dedicated


  • Content brings visitors. Some of them will become contributors. Some of them will become dedicated users.
  • You cannot motivate people on a large scale to write about something they don’t want to write about.
  • Over time, contentious articles will grow from edit-war inspiring to eventually reach a compromise that is agreed upon by

all the editors who have not departed in exasperation.

  • As time goes on, the rules and informal policies on Wikipedia tend to become less and less plastic and harder and harder

to change

Who Writes This Thing Anyway? ⌘

Practical Values, Process, and Policy

Wikipedia has no centralized control, yet the site progresses and is successful.

Practical Values:

  • The worth of open information that is outside copyright barriers (and, therefore, probably support for free software too)
  • A commitment to sharing knowledge worldwide
  • Multiculturalism, diversity, and multilingualism
  • Fairness in representing diverse points of view

10: Policy and Your Input ⌘

  • The Spirit of Wikipedia

The Five Pillars

Ignore All Rules and Be Bold

  • What Is Policy?

Official Policy

How Policies Are Created and Developed

How to Interpret Policies and Guidelines

  • Letter of the Law

List of Policies

List of Guidelines

Seven Policies to Study

The Spirit of Wikipedia ⌘

The Five Pillars

The five pillars of Wikipedia, a harmonious summary of the principles that guide the site.

  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia (not anything else).
  • Wikipedia has a neutral point of view (the NPOV policy).
  • Wikipedia is free content that anyone may edit. (All Wikipedia content is freely licensed and free of charge, and content

is freely editable.)

  • Wikipedia has a code of conduct. (Editors should behave civilly toward each other.)
  • Wikipedia does not have firm rules. (The editing community can change the rules.)

The Spirit of Wikipedia ⌘

Ignore All Rules and Be Bold

Be Bold exhorts contributors to be bold in editing pages!

  • This philosophy is fundamental to Wikipedia.
  • With no top-down structure, work gets done, not because it was assigned as a task but because someone decided to be bold

and do it.

  • Although Be Bold is not an excuse to contradict standard policies and procedures, don’t be shy about improving the site.

What is Policy? ⌘

Official Policy

Official Policy

  • Is a category [ [ Category:Wikipedia official policy ] ].
  • Wikipedia has no body that can make a policy official; this declaration is based on consensus

What is Policy? ⌘

How Policies Are Created and Developed

  • Wikipedia does not have a special area just for drafting legislation.
  • The starting point for a new policy may be a new project page in the Wikipedia namespace or possibly an essay that makes

sense to other editors and begins to be referenced in discussions.

  • Policies and guidelines are then developed over time by interested editors through a consensus-based process.
  • Policies and guidelines are typically altered to reflect changing practice on the site or to solve a problem that has


  • If consensus for a new proposed policy can’t be reached, the proposal will be dropped.

What is Policy? ⌘

How to Interpret Policies and Guidelines

Exercise ⌘

Create a Page (suggest pub pages)

Useful links ⌘