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Getting Started with Wikipedia

Humanities Librarian

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Lara Nicosia
she/her/hers
Contact:
(585) 275-9298

Wikipedia's Core Content Standards

Wikipedia has three core content standards that all entries must follow. As you work on updating an entry, keep these standards in mind:

Neutral Point of View (NPOV)  Editors should "write the things that almost everyone agrees about, and make them the main point of the article." Wikipedia is not a platform to advance agendas or debate an argument; it is a source for the world to use for background information on a topic or idea. According to Wikipedia, "Instead of essay-like, argumentative, or opinionated writing, Wikipedia articles should have a straightforward, just-the-facts style. The goal of a Wikipedia article is to create a comprehensive and neutrally written summary of existing mainstream knowledge about a topic." (More info)

Verifiability (V)  Editors should include information that can be easily verified by other sources outside Wikipedia. It is important that you rely on pre-existing research to back-up your claims and cite your sources! (More info)

No Original Research (NOR)  Wikipedia is not a platform to publish new arguments, theories, or ideas. It is important that the content you add is based on reliable, secondary sources. The phrase "secondary source" is used in a more humanistic sense in this case to refer to sources that "make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims"...as opposed to primary sources which are documents and items created at the time an event occurred.  According to Wikipedia's guidelines, scholarly journal articles and published research studies are secondary sources and are appropriate to cite in an entry. (More info)