The purpose of this page of frequently asked questions is to answer questions that do not fit into any of the other categories, including linking to Wikipedia and some general questions about how Wikipedia is run.
Wikipedia has received several threats of legal action, but none have yet been followed through. Under United States and international law, the Wikimedia Foundation is not responsible for defamation posted on Wikipedia.
What is the best way to link into Wikipedia from another site?
If you want to link to a specific Wikipedia page, simply use, where XX is the code for the language the article is written in, XX.wikipedia.org/wiki/, plus the page name, changing spaces to underscores. For example, this is a link to the English-language article Mohandas Gandhi:
Are there any Wikipedia banners or graphics I can use for a link?
A few of our contributors have made some. They can be found at Wikipedia:Banners and buttons. You can also use our logo. If you make your own Wikipedia graphics (please do!) and want them to be redistributed, simply upload them and link to them from the banner page.
Is there a place where people ask for new entries?
There are two places:
The Wikipedia:Reference desk aims to function like a real library's reference desk: people are invited to ask questions on any subject. If you can answer something there, why not start an article on it?
Is there any peer review process to validate the data that is displayed?
We are all peers here and we all review each other's work. All articles are thus subjected to constant critical review in one sense, but no formal approval process is currently a standard procedure. However, the Wikiculture is an introspective one and policy and guidelines are evolving continually.
In the most general sense, registered Wikipedians work within an area they define for themselves, and in technical areas like the sciences, social sciences, etc. there usually exists a large group of knowledgeable editors with a long list of articles on their watchlist armed with the powerful tool of page history, to keep an eye on more expert content. There is no claim that this ad hoc system is foolproof, and attempts are being made constantly to improve upon it within the foundation goal of allowing open editing by anyone.
In addition, potential page vandalism gets vigorous patrolling by experienced Wikipedians monitoring special pages dedicated to watching recent changes, changes by anonymous editors, and changes by new editors. Together, these patrols catch most deliberate or naive editing within a short while of the misguided edit.
Some people have plans for formal peer review or article certification systems to work on top of Wikipedia, currently in a backlog of proposed policy changes. We'll be sure to point them out if and when any get up and running. For more information, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia approval mechanism.
In addition, many of our better editors will place a 'matured' article up for peer review by using Peer Review, and advertising for feedback on the Village Pump. Prior to that stage, some editors interested in quality will ask a diverse group of personal contacts within the community by 'Spam-requesting' on the individual's talk pages for feedback and ideas on developing less mature articles. Both are voluntary processes, and generally raise the quality of both content and presentation from such sought out input. These measures also tend to expand the body of talent working on a particular article, again benefiting its quality.
How is Wikipedia backed up? Is it possible that an accident could destroy all this data?
Database dumps are made weekly and a slave server is usually running a copy of the database. Contingency plans include backups of the site's configuration files. The database download is available for anyone wanting to keep off-site backups.
Is it "the Wikipedia," or just plain "Wikipedia"?
Wikipedia, as a proper noun, does not take an article. When referring to the project as a whole, plain "Wikipedia" is standard usage. There is only one project known as Wikipedia without any further description or qualification, and that project has many languages: "Wikipedia currently has 14 000 000 articles in over 260 languages."
When referring to individual editions of the project, each of which is usually described by its language, the edition takes an article. There is only one Wikipedia for a given language. Example: the Romanian-language Wikipedia, a slavic-language Wikipedia.
When describing Wikipedia as one of many encyclopedias, reference works, or projects, an article is appropriate: "the Wikipedia encyclopedia", or "the Wikipedia project". In each case the article is attached to the common, not the proper noun (the encyclopedia, the project). (Similarly, note that we say "Britannica", but "the Encyclopædia Britannica" [the applying there to Encyclopædia] and "the OED" [the applying to Dictionary])
When referring to one of these language editions, in comparison with other editions, an article is likewise used:
"The smallest Wikipedia" = the smallest language edition of Wikipedia
"A recently-started Wikipedia" = a Wikipedia language edition started recently
Help! I found a website that's copying from Wikipedia!
Chances are, they're allowed to do it, just as long as they comply with the CC-BY-SA and GFDL, which all Wikipedia text is licensed under, which allows anyone to copy our material just as long as they cite Wikipedia and include a copy of the licence.
However, if you find a site that absolutely does not comply with this, please by all means let us know on Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks based on the degree of compliance (see that page).
When does an article warrant having its stub template removed?
The search index is maintained on a dedicated server, and is updated completely approximately every thirty hours. Recent changes are not reflected until the next time the search index is updated. Also, article names are case sensitive. The "go" button usually masks this, but if an article name includes a mixture of capitalized and uncapitalized words or any words in camelCase a redirect is necessary.
Where can I see a log or list of all the pages created by a specific user?
For a list of articles that you have created, click on the tab at the top of the page that says "My contributions". Scroll to the bottom. There should be a link that says "Articles created".
For any other user, go to their User page (by clicking on their signature) and select the "contributions" option on the right hand Toolbox menu. This will take you to their Contributions page, which lists all of their contributions to that wiki. At the bottom of the page are links to the "Articles created" and the "Global contributions" (across all Wikimedia WIKIs) by this user name.
How do I move an image from English Wikipedia to Wikimedia Commons?