CIS-A2K/Documents/Guide to English Wikipedia

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This guide is written specifically for Indian non-English Wikipedians who sometimes face trouble on the English Wikipedia. However other editors too can use it.

Very often we see situations, where some non-English Indian Wikipedians start working on the English Wikipedia and face difficulties such as their articles are nominated for deletion or they are warned by other Wikipedians. Sometimes, after facing difficulties some of these Wikipedians conclude that the "English Wikipedia is an unfriendly place" or "English Wikipedians (specially admins) are evil." A very few of such allegations may be true sometimes (needs thorough assessment although), we the CIS-A2K team believe that there is a gap of understanding here that needs to be addressed and taken care of. And that's the reason we are preparing this guide to English Wikipedia. However, please note that this guide a) is not any policy that you need to strictly follow, b) does not guarantee that your creation or works on the English Wikipedia will be safe and sound always, BUT it tries to show its readers a few ways which can enhance their editing skills.

English Wikipedia and other Indian WikipediasEdit

English is often considered as the "queen of languages". C. Rajgopalachari once told— "English language is the greatest gift of Goddess Saraswati to India". In official, inter-state communication and other works, English is the mostly used language in India (followed by Hindi). On the other hand the English Wikipedia is the largest and the most powerful of all the Wikipedias. As of March 2015, the Wiki has more than 4.7 million articles.

Here we should note few points—

English Wikipedia does not have any geographical boundaryEdit

English Wikipedia does not have any geographical boundary. In other words, we can not say that the English Wikipedia's readers or editors are from any particular region. For example, for Telugu Wikipedia, we may conclude that the most editors are from Andhra Pradesh (or South India). But for the English Wikipedia, we do not have any such scope (some of the best Indian English Wikipedian editors are neither non-Indians or are not living in India currently).

Now this thing has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages are—

  1. the community is very large
  2. the community is full of diversity

Disadvantages include—

  1. it is problematic to organize such a large community (as a result, Wiki-meetups, workshops etc. for the Indian English Wikipedia community do not take place).
  2. a region's or country's people being unaware of another region's or country's issues sometimes misjudge or misunderstand things (for an example: it was decided by the English Wikipedia India noticeboard that Indic language characters should not be added in article leads of WikiProject India article. As such rule does not exist in other WikiProjects, many Wikipedians did not understand/follow it).

English Wikipedia does not have a critical "lack of active editors" problemEdit

Like many other small Wikis the English Wikipedia does not have a critical "lack of active editors" problem. The best/worst part of this is— on the English Wikipedia, you'll not find an "over welcoming" environment and your errors will not be overlooked.

English Wikipedia does not hate youEdit

English Wikipedia may not be "over welcoming", but it does not hate you either. You just need to follow their basic guidelines and principles.

Things you should remember while editing on the English WikipediaEdit

These are the points you should remember while editing on the English Wikipedia.

Strictly follow the Five pillarsEdit

Every Wikipedia has their set of rules and guidelines. On the English Wikipedia, one must strictly follow the five pillars of Wikipedia. These are the fundamental principles of Wikipedia and are non-compromising (at least some of those people who abuse English Wikipedia admins and always say that "English Wikipedia is evil", actually never read these 5 basic rules.).

Special attention to the following policiesEdit

Did you check/assess notability before writing your article?
Have you added enough reliable sources in your article?

One must give special attention to the following policies/guidelines—

  1. Verifiability and Reliable sources: on the English Wikipedia it is considered that an encyclopedia entry must be verifiable by reliable sources. If you are creating on article, please give special attention to verifiability and reliable sources. A good number of articles are often PROD-ed, AFD-ed or CSD-ed for lack of reliable sources.
  2. Notability: Notability is another important English Wikipedia policy where you should concentrate. A professor of Telengana, a Malayalam story-book, a Bengali musician may be notable in their regions, but that does not mean that articles on them will be considered notable on the English Wikipedia too. English Wikipedia has their own basic standard and criteria. Please read these carefully which may avoid some future difficulties.
  3. Neutral point of view: Neutral point of view (NPOV) is another policy that should study carefully. On some other Wikipedias you'll find such statements ABC, the most prolific poet of our generation was born on 19xx. . . . . . His fantastic writings include "Book1", Book2" etc. Such writing style may be alright on some Wikis,but on the English-language Wikipedia, these are minor issues of NPOV-pushing.
  4. Manual of styles there are hundreds of Manual of styles (MoS) rules and guidelines. How to add image,write caption,put alt, write dates, position "See also", "External links" or "References" sections. . . whatever you can think has its own set of directions and guidelines. Please note: MoS error is not a reason to delete an article on the English Wikipedia, but please try to follow MoS guidelines.
  5. Copyright violation Last but not in least, do not copy-paste content on the English Wikipedia. They abhor copyright violation.