This guide is designed to introduce new Wikipedians to the basics of contributing to one of the largest open educational resources in the world. It provides a brief overview of editing existing entries and creating new entries.
This very basic introduction to editing can be supplemented with this helpful tutorial from Wikipedia.
All of the content below is sourced from the Wikipedia help documentation and Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam's Rewriting Wikipedia Project, especially their guide to How to Create Wikipedia Entries that Will Stick.
On Notability in Wikipedia
- 'Significant coverage' addresses the topic directly and in detail, so that no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than a trivial mention but it need not be the main topic of the source material.
- 'Reliable' means sources need editorial integrity to allow verifiable evaluation of notability, per the reliable source guideline. Sources may encompass published works in all forms and media, and in any language. Availability of secondary sources covering the subject is a good test for notability.
- 'Sources' should be secondary sources, as those provide the most objective evidence of notability. There is no fixed number of sources required since sources vary in quality and depth of coverage, but multiple sources are generally expected. Sources do not have to be available online and do not have to be in English. Multiple publications from the same author or organization are usually regarded as a single source for the purposes of establishing notability.
- 'Independent of the subject' excludes works produced by the article's subject or someone affiliated with it. For example, advertising, press releases, autobiographies, and the subject's website are not considered independent.
- 'Presumed' means that significant coverage in reliable sources creates an assumption, not a guarantee, that a subject should be included. A more in-depth discussion might conclude that the topic actually should not have a stand-alone article—perhaps because it violates what Wikipedia is not, particularly the rule that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information.
If a topic does not meet these criteria but still has some verifiable facts, it might be useful to discuss it within another article."
Create an Account
- Create an Account. You do not need to register a username to edit, but registration is strongly encouraged.
- When you create a new account, you have certain privileges. Once you have been active in Wikipedia with your new account, you can attain certain access levels, which include the ability to start a new article. All of this (including the intricacies of what those privileges can be) is outlined on the User Access Levels page.
How-to Guides in Wikipedia
Things you can do to improve Wikipedia entries:
Other things you can do in Wikipedia to add value:
Wikipedia in the Classroom
Looking for ways to incorporate Wikipedia into course assignments?
- The Cornell Digital CoLab's Wikipedia in the Classroom Page by Liz Alexander
- Resources: Wikipedia Classes/Assignments/Brochures from Postcolonial Digital Humanities
- Education/Case Studies from the Wikipedia Education Program
- Brochures and other classroom handouts from the Wikipedia Education Program