Answers/Content

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Content questions
How to report a problem with content, request new content, or find out more information.

Volunteering
How to create or contribute content, translate content, or help develop MediaWiki software.

Licensing
How to copy content on Wikimedia Foundation's sites, donate your own, or report unlicensed use of your information.

About the Wikimedia Foundation
Information about the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement or business proposals for the Wikimedia Foundation.

Donors
Find out how to donate and information about how your money is spent, as well as what to do in case of problems.

Press
If you're a member of the press looking to contact Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Zero
For information about the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Zero initiative or to contact us about providing mobile subscribers free access to Wikipedia.

Local Chapters
For information about Wikimedia's international network of associated organizations or how to contact them.


The Wikimedia Foundation does not create or curate the contents on Wikipedia or the other educational sites we manage; instead, this work is done by a vast community of volunteers. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia (as explained at Wikipedia:Introduction). Our other projects are collaborative as well. Content is not created, reviewed or controlled by a central authority, but rather by anyone from the public who is interested in joining in to spread knowledge.

There is information in the sections below on how to report a problem with content, request new content, add new content, or find out more information.

If you cannot find your answer here, please check the "Help" link on the left hand side of the specific project you have questions about. If doing this does not answer your question, you may wish to write to the email response team at info@wikimedia.org

Disclaimer: Emails to info@wikimedia.org are reviewed and responded to by volunteers from our user community. Please understand that the Wikimedia Foundation cannot guarantee confidential treatment of any sensitive information you include in your message.


If you would like to report inaccuracy in content

Our projects are "wikis", which means that anyone visiting the site can edit or add to most pages. In most cases, if you believe that content could be improved, we ask you to address it on the site yourself.

First, you can edit almost any page directly. You don't need to apply or get special permission to join us. At the top of each page is an "edit" label. Try it for example at the sandbox on the English Wikipedia. You don't even need to log in to edit, although creating an account gives you more options and helps you keep track of your contributions. You can create an account on our educational projects by pressing "create account" in the top right corner.

Our projects are open to volunteers and encourage people to pitch in. You can generally find information on how in the sidebar of each project. w:Wikipedia:Introduction and w:Wikipedia:Tutorial are useful reading for how to edit MediaWiki software, if you choose to contribute directly.

Please note that while contributions are welcome, the volunteer communities who create and curate content do have policies and guidelines which they have crafted to which content must adhere. These will vary according to the project you are editing and can generally be read by following the links on the left side of the page. For instance, the policies that govern Wikipedia ask that you remain neutral in your prose and provide reliable sources to substantiate the information you add. Content that does not meet local policies may be modified or removed.

Second, you can raise your concern for review by members of the community. Each page on our projects has an associated "discussion page" or "talk page"; you can access this by clicking the "discussion" link at the top of the page. You can then voice your concerns by selecting the "new section" link in the tabs at the top of the page. You will see two text boxes for you to write in: one for a title for your note and one for the note itself. See the MediaWiki help page on talk pages if you would like more information on using them.)

If other contributors are not receptive to your note or edits, there are dispute resolution processes you can follow on the sites. You can frequently find more information about these by pressing the "help" link found on most projects in the sidebar on the left. If you cannot find the dispute resolution processes on a given project, you should be able visit the help desk or community portal to ask local volunteers on that project how to proceed.

Finally, in some cases, it may be appropriate to reach out for information or assistance to the volunteer email response team at info@wikimedia.org. The volunteer email response team receives a large number of emails every day, and they do not have the capacity or the mandate to help with most minor corrections or standard content disputes. They may be able to assist people in special circumstances, however. Before writing, it's a good idea to check on the project where you are encountering difficulties to see if there are specific instructions for contacting volunteers on that project or specific information on how they may be able to help. For instance, the Dutch Wikipedia page on their volunteer email response system at nl:Wikipedia: OTRS includes specific details for what to do in various circumstances. (You may be able to locate this information on other projects by pressing the magnifying glass in the search bar, typing "OTRS" in the box, and pressing "Help and Project Pages" beneath the box.) Some projects include that information in the link on the left labeled "Contact page". (See, for example, the English Wikipedia's "Contact us" page.)

If you do choose to reach out to the volunteer email response team, please keep in mind that our projects have no central editorial board. While volunteer responders are chosen from among the volunteer community by other volunteers for their experience on the projects, they can only act in accordance with the community-created policies and processes of the projects they serve. In some very exceptional circumstances, they may be able to help you directly, but, if not, should often be able to help you determine the best way to proceed.

If contacting the volunteer email response team, please clearly explain the issues you are encountering and, if you are writing the general address, please specify the language and project where you are experiencing the issue (for example, French Wiktionary; Russian Wikipedia).

If you would like to contribute content on our sites

First, we want to thank you for your interest in joining our mission! Wikipedia and its sister sites rely on volunteers who generate and maintain all content as well as creating almost all of the policies and guidelines that govern the sites. They are collaborative projects, with people from all over the world bringing their skills and interests to join in the compilation and dissemination of knowledge to everyone, everywhere, free of charge.

There are a number of ways you can join in.

  • Do you like to research or write? Did you know that you can contribute content to Wikipedia and its sister sites directly? Each language project has information about contributing in the links on the side, sometimes under a pull-down title like "Interactions". Many of them have advanced tutorials. The English Wikipedia's tutorial is w:Wikipedia:Tutorial, for instance.
  • Are you fluent in more than one language and willing to translate? See our page on translation for more specific information.
  • Do you like to take photographs? Draw pictures? Design charts, maps or put together audio files? There is a place for you, too! Media files that you have created which have encyclopedic value and which you're willing to donate can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, where they can be used on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as elsewhere! See Commons:Project scope/Summary for some more information on the kinds of media files that we are looking for and Upload Wizard to begin.
  • Are you a programmer or web developer or interested in becoming one? Did you know that even the software Wikipedia uses is largely developed by volunteers? If you're interested in pitching in there, please see How to become a MediaWiki hacker.

As mentioned above, most of our projects' policies and practices are created by volunteers, who can best help if you have questions about the volunteering experience. If you would like more information, you may want to visit the "help" forums linked on the left hand side of each page on our websites to learn where questions can be addressed to the community of that particular project. If you cannot find the information you seek or have other questions for or about the projects, you might want to write to the volunteer email response team at info@wikimedia.org. Volunteers are available to offer guidance in many different languages.

We hope you will decide to join us!

If you would like to suggest or contribute content about yourself, your clients or your business

The sidebar as it appears on the English language Wikipedia as of June 2014
Note: This refers to new content; for information on disputing existing content, please see "Inaccuracies"

The Wikimedia Foundation does not create or curate the contents on Wikipedia or the other educational sites we manage; instead, this work is done by a vast community of volunteers. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia (as explained at Wikipedia:Introduction). Our other projects are collaborative as well. Content is not created, reviewed or controlled by a central authority, but rather by anyone from the public who is interested in joining in to spread knowledge.

Each project has its own policies and guidelines created by the volunteers who work on that particular project. Their mechanisms for requesting or creating content will vary, as will what they require in content submitted to them. Some projects have special guidelines governing submissions by people who are closely connected to the subjects they are writing about. For instance, the English Wikipedia has its "Conflict of interest guideline". Many other language Wikipedias have similar documents. You can use the English Wikipedia's "Conflict of interest" page to locate similar pages on other language Wikipedias by browsing the "language" links that are listed on the left hand side of that page. The English version of our travel project, Wikivoyage, has a guideline at Wikivoyage:Don't tout. Again, you can navigate from that page through the language links to find similar guidelines at other language Wikivoyages.

Your best bet for creating or requesting content related to you, your business, or someone you represent is to first figure out the policies and guidelines that govern the project where you wish this content to appear. Projects have helpful links on the left side of every page of their screen. The English Wikipedia's sidebar is depicted here. These sidebars have sections titled something like "Interaction" or "Contribution" that include links to help and information pages. These are generally the best place to find out more about the project and its policies, including what content is appropriate for inclusion and how to request content—if there is a mechanism on the particular project for doing that—if you don't wish to or if it is inappropriate for you to create it yourself. Some projects, including many languages of Wikipedia, offer content creation wizards to walk you through the process. The English Wikipedia's Article Wizard is here. You can use the language links on the left of that page to find what other language Wikipedias offer a similar tool.

If you cannot find the information you need or have questions about the policies and processes, most projects host an online "help" forum where experienced volunteers answer questions. These are generally accessible through the sidebar on the left hand side of the page. There are also experienced volunteers available to offer information via email at info@wikimedia.org. Volunteers are available to offer guidance in many different languages.

If you would like to translate content

Thank you for your interest in assisting!

Wikipedia relies on volunteers who generate and maintain all content as well as creating policies and guidelines to govern the site. It is a collaborative project, with people from all over the world bringing their skills and interests to join in the compilation and dissemination of knowledge to everyone, everywhere, free of charge. The other projects we maintain are also collaborative, crowd-sourced projects that rely on volunteers. Translation is a volunteer-driven activity on our websites, just like content creation.

If you want to translate content from one of our projects to another, a general approach to translation from English Wikipedia to other projects is provided at w:Wikipedia:Translate us. This approach is likely to succeed on most projects with most languages, but it's a good idea to check on whichever project you wish to work to see if there are different local processes. You can reach out to the "help" or community discussion forum on the project where you want to place the translation. These are generally linked from the side of every page. If you can't find it, you can write to info@wikimedia.org for more information. Please, in that case, specify the language project where you want to work (for instance, Italian Wiktionary; French Wikipedia).

If you are interested in helping to translate official documents used for management of Wikimedia projects, this work is also done by volunteers. Meta:Babylon is a good place to begin. There is a section there on getting started which includes some important links, and there is also a section on communication that tells you some of the best places to get in touch with other translators, who may be able to give you specifics about the work. We'd recommend reading the tutorial linked from the "getting started" section before beginning, if you choose to pitch in.

Thanks for your interest, and we hope you will decide to join us.

Disclaimer: Emails to info@wikimedia.org are reviewed and responded to by volunteers from our user community. Please understand that the Wikimedia Foundation cannot guarantee confidential treatment of any sensitive information you include in your message.

If you would like to find out more information about subjects on our sites

Since content on our educational projects is not created, reviewed, or controlled by a central authority, but by members of the public volunteering to help out, we are not able to offer more information about the subjects on our sites via email. As an organization that relies almost entirely on the good will of volunteers, we do not have the resources to research such material.

However, you may be able to get additional information on the site itself. Many languages of Wikipedia host a "reference desk"—an online resource where various volunteers do try to answer knowledge-based questions. The English Wikipedia's, for instance, is located at en:Wikipedia:Reference desk. You can find a long list of reference desks in other languages in the bottom of the toolbar on the left side of the page. Though there is no guarantee that they can provide an answer, they are often able. Please be specific in your question so that others can better assist you.

Anything you post to the Reference Desk will become public. Therefore, we do not recommend that you post personal information such as email addresses or phone numbers. Generally, once you post your question you can check back on the webpage in a day or two to see if volunteers have been able to answer you.

If you would like contact information for a subject on our sites

While the websites we maintain host articles about a wide number of people, companies and corporations, we do not hold contact details for them. Contact details may be included in the article about the subject or in links provided within the article. If not, you may wish to use a search engine or other resource to try to locate this information. As an organization that relies almost entirely on the good will of volunteers, we do not have the resources to research inquiries of this nature.



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