What Are the Wikipedia’s Editing Rules that You Should Know?

Wikipedia is a free, open-content online encyclopedia that was developed by a community of users known as Wikipedians who worked together to produce the information on the site. Anyone who has registered on the site has the ability to submit an article for publication; however, registration is not needed in order to modify existing articles. The name of the site is derived from wiki, a server software that allows anybody to edit Web site content by using a Web browser to make changes.

It is a non-profit, multilingual online encyclopedia created by Jimmy Wales and funded by the Wikimedia Foundation. The English-language version of the Wiki includes over five million entries and is believed to have a user base of around 25 million. Wikipedia serves as an encyclopedia as well as a community. On Wikipedia, there were no hard and fast rules; rather, there were guidelines established by the user community.

Here are seven wiki editing guidelines that everyone should be familiar with.

  1. Wikipedia is not a site where you may promote your products or services.

Wikipedia is not a platform to advertise products or to post your own ideas; it is also not a website for personal communication, a freely licensed media repository, or a censored publication, among other things. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, not a distribution tool for press releases. Ensure that the information on your website is up to date and correct. Keep in mind that not everything you wish to appear on your page will actually appear on it. Before you engage in the process of Wikimedia page creation or any other kind of editing practice in Wikipedia, you should understand this fundamental aspect of Wikipedia very well. 

  1. Wikipedia adheres strictly to a code of ethics regarding potential conflicts of interest.

Conflict of interest (COI) editing is the process of adding information to Wikipedia about yourself, your family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial and other connections that are in conflict with your professional interests. On Wikipedia, it is highly discouraged to edit with a conflict of interest. It erodes public trust and increases the likelihood of bringing public humiliation to the people and businesses that are being pushed. If COI editing creates problems, an administrator may ban the accounts.

  1.  You cannot claim ownership of your Wikipedia page

There is no such thing as “owned” content (including articles or any page at Wikipedia). Others may make modifications to an article after you have created or edited it, and you have no control over whether or not they do so. Furthermore, you should not reverse their changes unless there is a compelling cause to do so. If there is a disagreement, it should be handled gently, beginning with a conversation on the article talk page. If you find obsolete or inaccurate information, please update it. However, you will not be able to “press a button” to make the changes you want.

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  1. Learn how Wikipedia defines “notability”

Notability is a test used by Wikipedia editors to determine if a particular subject is worthy of being treated as a stand-alone article. Verifiable information on Wikipedia is required. If no credible, independent sources can be identified on a subject, it should not have its own page on Wikipedia. The notion of notability in Wikipedia is based on this fundamental criterion, which helps to prevent subjects from being included indiscriminately. The subjects of articles and lists must be noteworthy, or “worthy of attention”. 

Your content must be noteworthy to be in Wikipedia. In the end, notability is determined by third-party reportage.  Prepare a list of sources first, then decide what material you can really cite.

  1. Make sure your sources are reliable and verified

Articles on Wikipedia should be based on credible published sources, covering both majority and substantial minority viewpoints.  A topic will not be covered on Wikipedia if no credible sources exist.

  1. Watch out for copyrights

The use of pictures and material on Wikipedia is subject to very stringent copyright regulations. The content of your own website (or any other website) will be removed by another editor if it is copied and pasted into the text box. The carefully prepared language that corporate communications has cleaned and fussed over will not be copied. You must create original material that has been obtained from reliable third-party sources in order to be successful.

  1. Make sure there is no ‘war’ with another editor

Even if you disagree, respect your Wikipedians. Respect Wikipedia decorum and avoid personal insults. Rather than disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, seek agreement. Act in good faith and presume others’ good faith. Do not escalate disputes on the relevant discussion pages, and remember that there are 6,396,937 other articles on English Wikipedia to edit and debate.

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