Bysen:Policy Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, an online community of people interested in building a high-quality encyclopedia in a spirit of mutual respect. Therefore, there are certain things that Wikipedia is not. Bysen:Policylist
Style and format[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia nis cartan wīsdōmbōc; nis nān sōþ gemǣre tō þǣm rīme andtimbra þe hē besprecan cann, oþþe þæt fulle andefn innunge, būtan swā sēðendlicnes and þā ōðre ordas gegifen on þissum tramete. However, there is an important distinction between what technically can be done, and what reasonably should be done, which is covered in the Content section below.
This policy is not a free pass for inclusion: articles must still abide by the appropriate content policies, particularly those covered in the five pillars.
There is a feasible limit for article size that depends on page download size for Wikipedia's dial-up and microbrowser readers and readability considerations for everybody (see Wikipedia:Article size). After a point, splitting an article into separate articles and leaving adequate summaries is a natural part of growth for a topic (see Wikipedia:Summary style). Some topics are covered by print encyclopedias only in short, static articles; however, because Wikipedia does not require paper, we can include more information, provide more external links, update more quickly, and so on.
This also means you do not have to redirect one topic to a partially equivalent topic of more common usage. A "See also" section stating that further information on the topic is available on the page of a closely related topic may be preferable.
- For stylistic ways in which Wikipedia differs from a paper publication, see the Wikipedia:Manual of Style.
Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information; merely being true or useful does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in an encyclopedia. Although there is an ongoing debate about the encyclopedic merits of several classes of entries, consensus is that the following are good examples of what Wikipedia is not.
Wikipedia is not a dictionary[adiht fruman]
- Heafodgewrit: Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary
Wikipedia is not a dictionary, usage or jargon guide. Wikipedia articles are not:
- Dictionary definitions. Although articles should begin with a definition and description of a subject, they should provide other types of information about that subject as well. Articles that contain nothing more than a definition should be expanded with additional encyclopedic content, if possible. In some cases, a word or phrase itself may be an encyclopedic topic, such as old school, Macedonia (terminology), or truthiness. Articles about the cultural or mathematical significance of individual numbers are also acceptable.
For a wiki that is a dictionary, visit our sister project Wiktionary. Dictionary definitions should be transwikied there.
- Usage guides or slang and idiom guides. Descriptive articles about languages, dialects or types of slang (such as Klingon language, Cockney or Leet) are desirable. Prescriptive guides for prospective speakers of such languages are not. See "Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, or textbook" below for more information.
For a wiki that is a collection of guidebooks, visit our sister project Wikibooks. Prescriptive guides for prospective speakers of a language should be transwikied there.
Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought[adiht fruman]
- Heafodgewrit: Wikipedia:No original research
Wikipedia is not a place to publish your own thoughts and analyses or to publish new information not previously published. Per our policy on original research, please do not use Wikipedia for any of the following:
- Primary (original) research such as proposing theories and solutions, original ideas, defining terms, coining new words, etcetera. If you have done primary research on a topic, publish your results in other venues such as peer-reviewed journals, other printed forms, or respected online sites, and Wikipedia will report about your work once it becomes part of accepted knowledge. Not all information added to Wikipedia has to be from peer-reviewed journals, but please strive to make sure that information is reliable and verifiable. For example, citing book, print, or reliable web resources demonstrates that the material is verifiable and is not merely the editor's opinion.
- Original inventions. If you or a friend invented the word frindle, a drinking game, or a new type of dance move, it is not notable enough to be Wikipedia article material until multiple, independent, and reliable secondary sources report on it. Wikipedia is not for things you made up one day.
- Personal essays that state your particular feelings about a topic (rather than the consensus of experts). Wikipedia is supposed to compile human knowledge. It is not a vehicle to make personal opinions become part of human knowledge. In the unusual situation where the opinions of an individual are important enough to discuss, it is preferable to let other people write about them. Personal essays on topics relating to Wikipedia are welcome in your user namespace or on the Meta-wiki. There is a Wikipedia fork at Wikinfo that encourages personal opinions in articles.
- Discussion forums. Please try to stay on the task of creating an encyclopedia. You can chat with folks about Wikipedia-related topics on their user talk pages, and should resolve problems with articles on the relevant talk pages, but please do not take discussion into articles. Also, bear in mind that talk pages exist for the purpose of discussing how to improve articles; they are not mere general discussion pages about the subject of the article, nor are they a helpdesk for obtaining instructions or technical assistance. If you wish to ask a specific question on a topic, Wikipedia has a Reference Desk, and questions should be asked there rather than on talk pages. Wikipedians who wish to hold casual discussions with fellow Wikipedians can use the IRC channels, such as #wikipedia. Note that this is an IRC channel, not a message board. There are also a number of early-stage projects that attempt to use a wiki for discussion and debate.
- Journalism. Wikipedia should not offer first-hand news reports on breaking stories. Wikipedia is not a primary source. However, our sister project Wikinews does exactly that, and is intended to be a primary source. Wikipedia does have many encyclopedia articles on topics of historical significance that are currently in the news, and can be updated with recent verified information.
Wikipedia is not a soapbox[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda and advertising. This applies to articles, categories, templates, talk page discussions, and user pages. Therefore, all content hosted in Wikipedia is not:
- Propaganda, advocacy, or recruitment of any kind, commercial, political, religious, or otherwise. Of course, an article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a neutral point of view. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.
- Opinion pieces on current affairs or politics. Although current affairs and politics may stir passions and tempt people to "climb soapboxes" (i.e. passionately advocate their pet point of view), Wikipedia is not the medium for this. Articles must be balanced so as to put entries, especially for current affairs, in a reasonable perspective, and represent a neutral point of view. Furthermore, Wikipedia authors should strive to write articles that will not quickly become obsolete. Wikinews, however, allows commentaries on its articles.
- Self-promotion. It can be tempting to write about yourself or projects you have a strong personal involvement in. However, do remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other, including the requirement to maintain a neutral point of view, which is difficult when writing about yourself. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles is unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography, Wikipedia:Notability and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest.
- Advertising. Articles about companies and products are acceptable if they are written in an objective and unbiased style. Furthermore, all article topics must be third-party verifiable, so articles about very small "garage" or local companies are not likely to be acceptable. External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they identify major organizations associated with a topic (see finishing school for an example). Please note Wikipedia does not endorse any organizations and does not set up affiliate programs. See also Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies) for guidelines on corporate notability. Furthermore, those interested in promoting causes or events, or issuing public service announcements, even if noncommercial, should use a forum other than Wikipedia to do so.
Non-disruptive statements of opinion on internal Wikipedia policies and guidelines may be made on user pages, as they are relevant to the current and future operation of the project.
- Mere collections of external links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia. On articles about topics with many fansites, including a link to one major fansite may be appropriate. See Wikipedia:External links for some guidelines.
- Mere collections of internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for lists to assist with the organisation of articles. Please follow the guidelines outlined at Wikipedia:Lists#List naming and list contents.
- Mere collections of public domain or other source material such as entire books or source code, original historical documents, letters, laws, proclamations, and other source material that are only useful when presented with their original, un-modified wording. Complete copies of primary sources may go into Wikisource, but not on Wikipedia. There is nothing wrong with using public domain resources such as 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica to add content to an article. See also Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources and Wikisource's inclusion policy.
- Mere collections of photographs or media files with no text to go with the articles. If you are interested in presenting a picture, please provide an encyclopedic context, or consider adding it to Wikimedia Commons. If a picture comes from a public domain source on a website, then consider adding it to Wikipedia:Images with missing articles or Wikipedia:Public domain image resources.
- Personal web pages. Wikipedians have their own user pages, but they may be used only to present information relevant to working on the encyclopedia. If you are looking to make a personal webpage or blog or to post your resume, please make use of one of the many free providers on the Internet or any hosting included with your Internet account. The focus of user pages should not be social networking, but rather providing a foundation for effective collaboration. Humourous pages that refer to Wikipedia in some way may be created in an appropriate namespace, however.
- File storage areas. Please upload only files that are used (or will be used) in encyclopedia articles or project pages; anything else will be deleted. If you have extra relevant images, consider uploading them to the Wikimedia Commons, where they can be linked from Wikipedia.
- Dating services. Wikipedia is not an appropriate place to pursue your desire for relationships or sex. User pages that move beyond broad expressions of sexual preference are unacceptable.
- Memorials. Wikipedia is not the place to honor departed friends and relatives. Subjects of encyclopedia articles must be notable besides being fondly remembered.
If you are interested in using the wiki technology for a collaborative effort on something else, even if it is just a single page, there are many sites that provide wiki hosting (free or for money). You can also install wiki software on your server. See the Wiki Science wikibook for information on doing this. Scratchpad Wiki Labs also allows personal wikis.
Wikipedia is not a directory[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not a directory of everything that exists or has existed. Wikipedia articles are not:
- Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as (but not limited to) quotations, aphorisms, or persons (real or fictional). If you want to enter lists of quotations, put them into our sister project Wikiquote. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contributed to the list topic, for example Nixon's Enemies List. Wikipedia also includes reference tables and tabular information for quick reference. Merged groups of small articles based on a core topic are certainly permitted. (See Lists (stand alone lists) - appropriate topics for clarification.)
- Genealogical entries or phonebook entries. Biography articles should only be for people with some sort of fame, achievement, or perhaps notoriety. One measure of publicity is whether someone has been featured in several external sources (on or off-line). Less well-known people may be mentioned within other articles (e.g. Ronald Gay in Violence against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered). See m:Wikipeople for a proposed genealogical/biographical dictionary project. Wikipedia is not the white pages.
- Directories, directory entries, electronic program guide, or a resource for conducting business. For example, an article on a radio station generally should not list upcoming events, current promotions, phone numbers, current schedules, etc., although mention of major events, promotions or historically significant programme lists and schedules (such as the annual United States network television schedules) may be acceptable. Furthermore, the Talk pages associated with an article are for talking about the article, not for conducting the business of the topic of the article. Wikipedia is not the yellow pages.
- Sales catalogs, therefore prices of a product should not be quoted in an article unless the price can be sourced and there is a justified reason for its mention. Examples of justified reasons include notable sales of rare collectors items, prices relating to discussion of a price war, and historical discussion of economic inflation. On the other hand, street prices are trivia that can vary widely from place to place and over time. Therefore, lists of products currently on sale should not quote street prices. In addition, Wikipedia is not a price guide to be used to compare the prices of competing products, or the prices of a single product across different countries or regions.
- Non-encyclopedic cross-categorizations, such as "People from ethnic/cultural/religious group X employed by organization Y" or "Restaurants specializing in food type X in city Y". Cross-categories like these are not considered sufficient basis to create an article, unless the intersection of those categories is in some way a culturally significant phenomenon. See also Wikipedia:Overcategorization for this issue in categories.
Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, or textbook[adiht fruman]
อิ ๐ Wikipedia is an encyclopedic reference, not an instruction manual, guidebook or textbook. Wikipedia articles should not read like:
- Instruction manuals. While Wikipedia has descriptions of people, places, and things, a Wikipedia article should not read like a how-to style manual of instructions, advice (legal, medical, or otherwise) or suggestions, or contain "how-to"s. This includes tutorials, walk-throughs, instruction manuals, game guides, and recipes. If you're interested in a how-to style manual, you may want to look at wikiHow or our sister project Wikibooks.
- Travel guides. An article on Paris should mention landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but not the telephone number or street address of your favorite hotel or the price of a café au lait on the Champs-Élysées. Wikipedia is not a place to re-create content more suited to entries in hotel guides, culinary guides, travelogues, and the like. Notable locations may meet inclusion criteria, but Wikipedia does not list every tourist attraction, restaurant, hotel, venue, etc. Such details may be welcome at Wikitravel, however.
- Internet guides. Wikipedia articles should not exist only to describe the nature, appearance or services a website offers, but should describe the site in an encyclopedic manner, offering detail on a website's achievements, impact or historical significance, which can be significantly more up-to-date than most reference sources since we can incorporate new developments and facts as they are made known. See current events for examples.
- Textbooks and annotated texts. Wikipedia is an encyclopedic reference, not a textbook. The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts, not to teach subject matter. It is not appropriate to create or edit articles which read as textbooks, with leading questions and step-by-step problem solutions as examples. These belong on our sister projects Wikibooks and Wikisource.
Wikipedia is not a crystal ball[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not a collection of unverifiable speculation. All articles about anticipated events must be verifiable, and the subject matter must be of sufficiently wide interest that it would merit an article if the event had already occurred. It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, provided that discussion is properly referenced. It is not appropriate for an editor to insert their own opinions or analysis. In forward-looking articles about unreleased products, such as movies and games, take special care to avoid advertising and unverified claims. In particular:
- Individual scheduled or expected future events should only be included if the event is notable and almost certain to take place. If preparation for the event is not already in progress, speculation about it must be well documented. Examples of appropriate topics include the 2010 U.S. Senate elections and 2016 Summer Olympics. By comparison, the 2020 U.S. presidential election and 2040 Summer Olympics are not considered appropriate article topics because nothing can be said about them that is verifiable and not original research. Avoid predicted sports team line-ups, which are inherently unverifiable and speculative. A schedule of future events may be appropriate if it can be verified.
- Individual items from a predetermined list or a systematic pattern of names, preassigned to future events or discoveries, are not suitable article topics, if only generic information is known about the item. Lists of tropical cyclone names is encyclopedic; "Tropical Storm Alberto (2012)" is not, even though it is virtually certain that a storm of that name will occur in the North Atlantic and will turn counterclockwise. Similarly, articles about words formed on a predictable numeric system (such as "septenquinquagintillion") are not encyclopedic unless they are defined on good authority, or genuinely in use. Certain scientific extrapolations, such as chemical elements documented by IUPAC, prior to isolation in the laboratory, are usually considered encyclopedic.
- Articles that present extrapolation, speculation, and "future history" are original research and therefore inappropriate. While scientific and cultural norms continually evolve, we cannot anticipate that evolution but must wait for it to happen. Of course, we do and should have articles about notable artistic works, essays, or credible research that embody predictions. An article on Weapons of Star Trek is appropriate; an article on "Weapons to be used in World War III" is not. "Future history" is welcome at Future Wikia, where original research is allowed to some extent and fact-based speculations are welcome.
Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information[adiht fruman]
As explained in the policy introduction, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia. In addition to other sections of this policy, current consensus is that Wikipedia articles are not simply:
- Lists of Frequently Asked Questions. Wikipedia articles should not list FAQs. Instead, format the information provided as neutral prose within the appropriate article(s).
- Plot summaries. Wikipedia articles on published works (such as fictional stories) should contain real-world context and sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's development and historical significance, not solely a detailed summary of that work's plot. This applies to both stand-alone works and series. A concise plot summary is appropriate as part of the larger coverage of a fictional work. (See also: Wikipedia:Television episodes, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction), Wikipedia:Notability (fiction), Wikipedia:WikiProject Films/Style guidelines#Plot)
- Lyrics databases. Most song lyrics published after 1923 are protected by copyright. The lyrics of traditional songs may be in the public domain. However, even in this case the article may not consist solely of the lyrics, but has to primarily contain information about authorship, date of publication, social impact, etc. Source text generally belongs on WikiSource.
- Statistics. Long and sprawling lists of statistics may be confusing to readers and reduce the readability and neatness of our articles. In addition, articles should contain sufficient explanatory text to put statistics within the article in their proper context for a general reader. In cases where this may be necessary, (e.g. Opinion polling for the United States presidential election, 2008), consider using infoboxes or tables to enhance the readability of lengthy data lists.
- News reports. Wikipedia considers the historical notability of persons and events. News coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, but not all events warrant an encyclopedia article of their own. Routine news coverage of such things as announcements, sports, and tabloid journalism are not sufficient basis for an article. Even when an event is notable, individuals involved in it may not be. Unless news coverage of an individual goes beyond the context of a single event, our coverage of that individual should be limited to the article about that event, in proportion to their importance to the overall topic. (See Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons for more details.) Timely news subjects not suitable for Wikipedia may be suitable for our sister project Wikinews.
Wikipedia is not censored[adiht fruman]
อิ ๐ Bysen:Seealso Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive. Anyone reading Wikipedia can edit an article and the changes are displayed instantaneously without any checking to ensure appropriateness, so Wikipedia cannot guarantee that articles or images are tasteful to all users or adhere to specific social or religious norms or requirements.
While obviously inappropriate content (such as an irrelevant link to a shock site) is usually removed immediately, or content that is judged to violate Wikipedia's biographies of living persons policy can be removed, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links if they are relevant to the content (such as the articles about the penis and pornography) and do not violate any of our existing policies (especially neutral point of view), nor the law of the U.S. state of Florida, where Wikipedia's servers are hosted.
The above guidelines apply to content on Wikipedia. These guidelines apply to Wikipedia discussions and forums.
Wikipedia is not a democracy[adiht fruman]
อิ ๐ Wikipedia is political system. Its primary method of determining consensus is discussion, not voting. Although editors occasionally use straw polls in an attempt to test for consensus, polls or surveys may actually impede rather than assist discussion. They should be used with caution, if at all, and will not necessarily be treated as binding.or any other
Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not a moot court, and rules are not the purpose of the community. Instruction creep should be avoided. A perceived procedural error made in posting anything, such as an idea or nomination, is not grounds for invalidating that post. Follow the spirit, not the letter, of any rules, policies and guidelines if you feel they conflict. If the rules prevent you from improving the encyclopedia, you should ignore them. Disagreements should be resolved through consensus-based discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures.
Wikipedia is not a battleground[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not a place to hold grudges, import personal conflicts, or nurture hatred or fear. Making personal battles out of Wikipedia discussions goes directly against our policies and goals.
Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Do not insult, harass, or intimidate those with whom you have a disagreement. Rather, approach the matter intelligently and engage in polite discussion. If a user acts uncivilly, uncalmly, uncooperatively, insultingly, harassingly, or intimidatingly toward you, this does not give you an excuse to do the same in retaliation. Either respond solely to the factual points brought forward and ignore its objectionable flavoring, or ignore the relevant message entirely. You could also remind the user in question of Wikipedia's policy of no personal attacks in such a situation. Wikipedia is not an anti-leech community. Users should not criticize others on not devoting time to edit.
Also, do not create or modify articles just to prove a point. Do not use Wikipedia to make legal or other threats against Wikipedia, Wikipedians, or the Wikimedia Foundation: other means already exist to communicate legal problems. Threats are not tolerated and may result in a ban.
Wikipedia is not an anarchy[adiht fruman]
- WP:ANARCHY redirects here; you may be looking for the Anarchism Task Force.
Wikipedia is free and open, but restricts both freedom and openness where they interfere with creating an encyclopedia. Accordingly, Wikipedia is not a forum for unregulated free speech. The fact that Wikipedia is an open, self-governing project does not mean that any part of its purpose is to explore the viability of anarchic communities. Our purpose is to build an encyclopedia, not to test the limits of anarchism. See also meta:Power structure.
Wikipedia is not your web host[adiht fruman]
Many of the content restrictions listed above apply to your user page as well. Your user page is not a personal homepage, nor is it a blog. More importantly, your user page is not yours. It is a part of Wikipedia, and exists to make collaboration among Wikipedians easier, not for self-promotion. See User page help for current consensus guidelines on user pages.
And finally...[adiht fruman]
Wikipedia is not any of a very long list of other terrible ideas. We can't hope to anticipate every bad idea one of our millions of editors is going to have. Almost everything on this page made it here because somebody managed to come up with some new bad idea that we hadn't previously anticipated. (See WP:BEANS — it is in fact strongly discouraged to anticipate them.) In general, "that is a terrible idea" is always sufficient grounds to avoid doing something, provided there is a good reason that the idea is terrible.
When you wonder what to do[adiht fruman]
When you wonder what should or should not be in an article, ask yourself what a reader would expect to find under the same heading in an encyclopedia. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes is not official policy, but can be referred to as a record of what has and has not been considered encyclopedic in the past.
When you wonder whether the rules given above are being violated, consider:
- Changing the content of an article (normal editing)
- Changing the page into a redirect, preserving the page history
- Nominating the page for deletion if it meets grounds for such action under the Deletion policy page. To develop an understanding of what kinds of contributions are in danger of being deleted you have to regularly follow discussions there.
- Changing the rules on this page after a consensus has been reached following appropriate discussion with other Wikipedians via the Talk page. When adding new options, please be as clear as possible and provide counter-examples of similar, but permitted, subjects.
- Note: Wikipedia pages may not be used for advocacy unrelated to Wikipedia, but pages in the Wikipedia namespace may be used to advocate for specific viewepoints regarding the improvement or organization of Wikipedia itself. So essays, portals, project pages, etc. are part of what Wikipedia is.
- Note that the English Wikipedia incorporates many images and some text which are considered "fair use" into its GFDLed articles. (Other language Wikipedias often do not.) See also Wikipedia:Copyrights.
- This provision is not intended to encompass lists of links to articles within Wikipedia that are used for internal organization or to describe a notable subject.
- Note the how-to restriction does not apply to the Wikipedia: namespace, where "how-to"s relevant to editing Wikipedia itself are appropriate, such as Wikipedia:How to draw a diagram with Dia. Also telling the reader how something is used is encyclopedic, telling how to use something is not.
- If you believe that your legal rights are being violated, you may discuss this with other users involved, take the matter to the appropriate mailing list, contact the Wikimedia Foundation, or in cases of copyright violations notify us at Wikipedia:Request for immediate removal of copyright violation.
Similar official policies on other sister projects[adiht fruman]
- Wikibooks:What is Wikibooks
- Wikinews:What Wikinews is not
- Wikisource:What is Wikisource?
- Wiktionary:What Wiktionary is not
- Wikiquote:What Wikiquote is not
- Wikiversity:What Wikiversity is not
See also[adiht fruman]
- Several texts on what wikipedia is and isn't
- Wikipedia:Alternative outlets
- Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not/Outtakes
- Wikipedia:Avoiding common mistakes
- Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Precedents
- Wikipedia:Why was my page deleted?
- Wikipedia:What the GFDL is not
- Wikipedia:1000 things not to write your article about