Wikipedia has over 5.8 million articles and the number continues to grow. Chances are, you’ve used Wikipedia yourself in the past for either research or recreation. It is an open source collaborative online encyclopedia with multiple authors and even more readers.
In terms of content, Wikipedia encourages users to contribute to Wikipedia. He wants you to fix bugs, create new pages, and be part of a rapidly growing community. They are looking for users who are willing to cite sources, provide objective content, and update all relative entries.
Perhaps you mean a topic for which you cannot find an entry by topic when you search the website, or you have encountered multiple errors on your favorite rock band’s page that you want to fix. In this case, it can be very difficult to become a Wikipedia member.
How to create and contribute to a Wikipedia page
Although Wikipedia has been around since 2011, it is constantly evolving. In the beginning, Wikipedia was completely open source, allowing you to publish creating and editing pages within seconds of completion. This leads to many inaccuracies such as errors, ideological biases and meaningless or irrelevant text.
Since the rise in popularity, some language editions of Wikipedia have found it appropriate to impose restrictions on the creation and editing of articles. Some pages have even been deemed semi-protected or extended verified, which means that only certain editors can modify them.
Before contributing to Wikipedia and diving too deep into your own modifications, it would be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the main Wikipedia policies. Key policy principles: neutral point of view, verifiability and lack of original research will be the focus after account creation.
Creating a Wikipedia Account
Create Wikipedia Account
It was never necessary to create an account to use the site, but registration will give the user more rights. One of these privileges is the ability to create and edit site pages.
- To create a Wikipedia account, go to the official website and select your preferred language.
- On the home page, click “Create Account” in the upper right corner.
- Enter all the required information in the appropriate text boxes and click “Create Account”.
- This will take you to the main policies page. You should notice that the ribbon at the top of the page has changed.
Please make sure you have verified your email address before proceeding. You should receive a confirmation email almost immediately after creating your account. It will be found in the inbox of the email address associated with your new account.
Contribute to Wikipedia by creating a Wikipedia page
- Before you start building your page, you first need to make sure your topic isn’t covered yet. Enter a subject in the search bar and see if a result appears.
- If the topic has already been covered, the best thing you can do is share your knowledge with it. For topics not yet covered, the results will be displayed as follows:
- In this case, you can click the result or press Enter. You will be taken to the search results page. Since this page does not yet exist on Wikipedia, you should see the following paragraph:
- Click on the “ask to create” link to continue. You should now be on the Creative Articles page where some of your options will be discussed. Reading the Help: Your first article will show you the best ways to avoid newbie mistakes.
- There is also a Submission for Review section that you should also read before clicking “Click here to start a new article.”
Wikipedia Article Wizard
The Wikipedia Articles Wizard will now be your guide. He will advise you to practice editing in your sandbox before creating a live draft of your article. The choice is yours, but anyone just starting out might find it a boon to have an area where they can freely err to get a feel for the editing process.
Your sandbox is essentially your own custom page where you can add information about yourself that can be seen by everyone or not. This is a great resource for new editors who can get a feel for what to expect in the future.
- Continue with the wizard by clicking the Next button at the bottom of each page. Be sure to read every page in its entirety, as this information is invaluable to your contribution.
- Eventually you will be taken to a page where you will be asked about your relationship to the topic for which you are going to create a page.
- With “I’m not affiliated with a topic” you can start drafting your page. Any of the other buttons will require you to edit and post on your user page a confirmation of your relationship to the topic.
- I am writing about something close to me that Wikipedia does not approve of, as they say it is harder to remain neutral. You will need to reveal your relationship to the subject.
- I get paid to edit, requires the name of your employer or client to maintain a civil relationship with the Wikipedia community.
- However, in this article we will not have anything to do with the topic of our page. All you have to do now is come up with a name for your draft page and click Create New Draft Article.
Editing a Wikipedia Page
Edit your Wikipedia Page
Immediately you will be asked to start editing or switch to the visual editor.
If you are not already familiar with WikiText, switching to the visual editor will be much easier.
Keep in mind that going forward, learning WikiText, which uses markup language, will benefit you in the long run. For the article, we will use a visual editor.
The new page should look something like this:
Be sure to read the instructions and refer to the Wikipedia Cheat Sheet for how to format the page correctly. The cheat sheet contains information on how to format text, create links, quotes, links and footnotes, and many other additions and changes for the visual editor or source editor.
Using the visual editor does not require a cheat sheet, but it is always at hand. If you ever want to switch between editors, you can click the Switch Editor icon in the menu bar.
When you start writing, the instructions window will disappear. If necessary, you can click the Change Notifications icon to bring it back.
Plus, the process is pretty straightforward. Enter your text in the blank field, just be sure not to delete an existing line of interest. This will prevent the page from being published as it will not go through the editing process.
With the visual editor, you can change the font, add links, quote, create bulleted lists, insert images, tables, and more. Whatever your page needs, Wikipedia will help you.
All inline quotes will automatically appear in the Links section, so there is no need to duplicate them. Links will be required for everything that is presented as fact on your page.
Stick to the rules, create an engaging and informative page, and when you’re ready, click the Publish Page button. Your draft will be saved in the public area where you can continue working on it whenever you want.
It can take several weeks before your draft is reviewed and approved or rejected. During this time, you can continue to add to it and make changes if necessary. Just make sure that it doesn’t pass six months without a single edit, otherwise the draft will be deleted
Contribute to Wikipedia Page
If you want to contribute to an already created Wikipedia page, you will need to find one that has not been classified as protected or partially protected. Typically, any partially protected article allows minimal page editing.
You can tell which articles have this protection by looking at the padlock on the page.
You should pay attention to the pages that contain stubs. A placeholder tag is assigned to an article that is not yet complete or has been written in detail. When browsing the Wikipedia site, you will find incomplete pages with placeholder tags on them.
If you have anything to add to your theme using a placeholder tag, you can click the expand link to get immediate editing rights.
After making changes to the article, you can click the “Publish Changes” button. You will see a pop-up window asking you to take stock of the changes and submit them for review.
To simply become a co-author regardless of the topic, you can find a list of stub-tagged articles and articles in need of expansion right on the Wikipedia site. You should also add any updated images related to a theme you may have taken or found. The encyclopedia requires images, so don’t be afraid to add a few. However, you will be required to provide detailed information about the source and license of the image file.
Another way to contribute to Wikipedia is to remove spam and reverse vandalism. Wikipedia has millions of readers and members who check its resources every day. This tends to result in some articles being vandalized by biased or malicious individuals. You may find a page with broken or inappropriate links, meaningless text, or articles that have been completely removed.
Wikipedia provides tools to enable a member to undo vandalism and restore a page to a previous state. Anyone found to be systematically violating Wikipedia rules or persistently vandalizing a page should be reported to the Administrator’s Council on Vandalism Intervention (AIV).
Anti-vandalism on Wikipedia
Correcting incorrect information and correcting page vandalism is also considered a contribution.
- To assist in this effort, you should enable the Twinkle gadget specified in your user preferences.
- You must get an automatic confirmation to see the Twinkle gadget in settings. To receive automatic confirmation, your account must be more than four days old and have at least ten edits attributed to it.
- Once Twinkle is enabled, you can track all recent changes using the Recent Changes link on the left side of the menu. It can be found in the Interaction section.
- From here you can view all recent changes and determine if any of them are considered vandalism.
- If vandalism was detected on the page, undo the changes and leave the user alert template on the page. If a fourth warning was issued, you can report this to the user in the AIV.
You can help Wikipedia by fixing these errors and making it better for anyone who uses the site as a source of information.