Wikipedia/The other projects

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Writing an article
What is Wikipedia?
The structure of Wikipedia
The Five Pillars
Writing Assessment 1

Wikipedia is one of a number of different projects operating under a similar banner. Each project shares the same basic aim as Wikipedia, to produce or gather free use educational content, but each has different focus. As a result, there will be times when content is not suitable for Wikipedia, yet will be a perfect fit for one of the other projects. Accordingly it is worth knowing what the different projects are and how they relate to one another.

Wikibooks[edit | edit source]

Wikibooks is for the creation of free-use textbooks, with two subcategories of works: cookbooks and books aimed at children. As it serves a different role, some policies regarding content are more permissive than those found on Wikipedia, although work must remain within the confines of Wikibooks' mission. The featured books are well worth a look.

Wikimedia Commons[edit | edit source]

A Sikh pilgrim stands in the foreground, while in the background the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) is plainly visible.
Each year the community at Commons selects the year's best picture. This photograph of a Sikh pilgrim and the Harmandir Sahib in India was selected as the best image from 2009.

Wikimedia Commons (often referred to simple as "Commons") serves as a repository for free-use media that can be shared across all of the projects. For example, uploading an image to the English-language Wikipedia makes that image available for articles on Wikipedia. But uploading the same image to Wikimedia Commons makes that image available to Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, and all other Wikimedia Foundation projects. In addition, Wikimedia Commons allows those images to be available for projects outside of the Wikimedia banner, including school projects, printed textbooks, and comercial reuse.

As a general rule if media is acceptable under the policies at Commons it is preferable to upload the images there, rather than uploading them to Wikipedia or another project, as it makes it easier for people to find and reuse the images across the projects if they are stored in the one location. However, it should be remembered that Commons is more restrictive in its requirements than Wikipedia: under limited circumstances, Wikipedia allows the use of non-free images in articles (an issue to be explored in more depth later in this course), but such images would be unacceptable at Commons.

Meta[edit | edit source]

Meta-WIki, or simply Meta, is the wiki devoted to coordinating the other Wikimedia Foundation projects. It is the place where new wikis are discussed, global policy is worked out, and other cross-wiki issues are resolved.

Wikisource[edit | edit source]

If Wikipedia's role is to summarise what is published in reliable sources, it is Wikisource's mission to collect sources that may be valuable both within the Wikimedia Foundation projects and outside. Wikisource is a repository for public domain or free use texts, historical documents and translations of the same, although it does not accept original work - that is the role of Wikibooks.

Wikispecies[edit | edit source]

Wikispecies is relatively simple: it collects information about different animal and plant species into one location. Unlike Wikipedia, the role of Wikispecies is not to provide for encyclopaedic articles, but instead it focuses on gathering core scientific information, which may in turn serve to assist the development of articles on other projects, while at the same time being a valuable resource in its won right.

Wiktionary[edit | edit source]

Wiktionary is a project to build a free-use dictionary (in a variety of languages), in much the same way as Wikipedia is a project to build a free-use encyclopaedia. Although Wikipedia does contain some definitions, this is not WIkipedia's role - if the term is not sufficiently notable, it cannot go on WIkipedia. However, Wiktionary collects all types of terms, (given certain rules for inclusion) and currently is nearing 3 million definitions.

Wikinews[edit | edit source]

One of the rules with Wikipedia is that it is "not news": the role of Wikipedia is not to cover breaking stories, but to cover encyclopaedic topics. There is some overlap, and often Wikipedia will be extremely current, but if something is more "news" than "encyclopaedic" it belongs on Wikinews (and if it is encyclopaedic and news, it can always go on both).

Wikiversity[edit | edit source]

Wikiversity grew out of Wikibooks, and like Wikibooks has a focus on learning resources. Where it differs is the emphasis on the on teaching, as Wikiversity is developing courses and other resources which can be used online (as with this one) or offline, and pulling together content from Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia and the other projects to do so. Wikiversity also specifically encourages original research, providing place to develop research projects within the collaborative environment it provides.

Wikiquote[edit | edit source]

Finally Wikiquote, as the name might suggests, is a repository for famous (and less famous) quotations.

See also[edit | edit source]