The proposed external links guideline explains why resources may include links to external websites. An external link in Wikiversity generally refers to a link to any page for any website outside of any Wikimedia project. An interwiki link generally refers to a link to any page for any Wikimedia project website, and can be linked easily like [[mw:Help:Links]]. Links may help participants further their educational goals.
You may include links to external websites that help participants further their education on a topic and help make Wikiversity a better place for education. Each external link should be considered on its merits when adding or removing an external link.
- Is the website mainly intended to educate, facilitate knowledge sharing, or to host research?
- Is the website content in the English language?
- Is the website content open and accessible to participants?
- Is the website content proper in the context of the resource project (useful, tasteful, informative, factual, etc.)?
- Is the website of quality value to Wikiversity participants?
- Is the website content properly balanced in the context of the resource project?
- Is the website respectful of people's privacy and personal property?
- Is the link functioning and likely to remain functional?
- Resources about any organization, person, website, or other entity may link to the subject's official website, if any.
- Resources about any research topic may link to a website hosting a legally distributed copy of the work.
- Resources may link to websites that facilitate participants' ability to draw their own independent conclusions.
- Websites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an academic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into Wikiversity due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as statistics, credits, interview transcripts), or other reasons. Good content that can be integrated belongs on Wikiversity.
- Blogs or social networking websites from recognized and knowledgeable sources that are relevant to an academic understanding of the subject in the context of a resource project.
You can add or remove links as you participate in resource projects to help improve participants' understanding of the subject. Normally participants should assume good faith when a link is added or removed, but this does not mean a participant's good faith must be accepted. You should exercise caution and disclose conflicts of interest when you add, remove, or discuss links related to you, your organization, your competitors, or projects and products you or your competitors are involved with.
You may want to engage in dialog, ask nicely about why he or she added or removed a link, and reach a bilateral agreement when a participant is likely to return. Simply reverting without discussion may provoke an "edit war", which may keep others participants from being able to participate in collaborative education, and may as a result damage the reputation of all parties. You may want to review the sections on what can normally be linked and what links should be considered when discussing links.
Some reasons why a participant may revert changes to external links without engaging in dialog include:
- A long list of external links were added or removed without explanation.
- A link is in the Wikiversity, School, Portal or Topic namespaces, or on the main page; generally these namespaces and pages exist to help people around Wikiversity, not to help them away from Wikiversity. External links are normally only justified in exceptional circumstances.
- A person's entire contributions to Wikiversity consist primarily of external links, or a person is adding links to the same or similar websites across a wide range of pages on Wikiversity. You can use Special:Linksearch to run searches across the whole of Wikiversity for links to specific sites. This is one method of tracking down long term skewing or spamming of Wikiversity. However this may also indicate an inexperienced editor who needs help and encouragement.
- Sometimes entire websites are blacklisted and links will be automatically rejected. You may request whitelisting at Mediawiki talk:Spam-blacklist or Wikiversity:Request custodian action.
- A link to a competitor's website was removed, or a link to a website with conflicting or more complete knowledge was removed.
The general principle is that a high diversity of quality external links is good, and a quantity of external links to a low diversity of websites is bad.
The below subsections demonstrate by example some of the unique needs for external links at Wikiversity.
Media and the sandbox server
Audio and video media of many formats are much more essential to educational resources than they are to encyclopedia articles. The Wikimedia Foundation may not yet be technically in a position to allow the hosting of these files. Wikipedia specifically advises against linking to outside media. It is not obviously in Wikiversity's interest to do the same. A separate policy may have to be developed to cope with this problem. See sandbox server.
Minor educational sites
Many Wikiversity participants are educators with previous experience of using the internet for their educational projects, and it is likely that many participants have educational materials on other sites when they first come to Wikiversity. It is not practical to expect Wikiversitarians to import all their materials immediately, nor is it kind to ban them from linking their fledgling learning projects to their outside materials.
- It would seem fair to make temporary exceptions for Wikiversitarians with pre-existing external educational resources, when adding external links to learning projects primarily authored by themselves. Otherwise we would be discouraging educators from moving to Wikiversity.
- Wherever possible, materials should be imported in the course of time onto Wikiversity and the external links removed.
Wikipedia strongly discourages pages which are mere lists of links. It is conceivable that on Wikiversity, an editor might include a list of external links as a separate subpage within a learning project. If an editor has created such a subpage as part of a bona fide learning project, the mere fact that it is a page consisting only of external links should not be used as a reason for deletion - other factors, such as the quality and diversity of the links, should be taken into account. An example: School:Film/External links.
The Wikiversity Outreach programme invites people to add external links and information relating to their own organisations to a specific page on Wikiversity. This programme should not be misunderstood.
- Wikiversity Outreach is not a licence to spam. Outreach sites may not regard themselves as privileged to pepper the rest of Wikiversity with links to their site. Nor can the Outreach programme be developed in this direction, as it would breach the Wikimedia Foundation's commitment to neutrality. The Outreach programme exists for purposes not opposed to neutrality, such as coordination of metadata formats for learning objects or jointly conceiving of new methods of using the MediaWiki software for educational purposes.
- For pages about Outreach sites, subpages of the the Outreach project can be created (recommended: one page per site). The pages should adhere to neutrality principles, or present a balanced view. Advocacy and marketing are not permitted.
- If your site is on Wikiversity Outreach, this is equivalent to a declaration of a potential conflict of interest. Please observe conflict of interest rules.
- w:Wikipedia:External links - Wikipedia style guideline on external links.
- w:Wikipedia:Spam - a Wikipedia content guideline on recognising and avoiding spam.
- w:Wikipedia:Conflict of interest - a behavioural guideline to bona fide editors who find themselves tempted to edit on matters where they may have an external interest.
- w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam - contains advice on how to deal properly with spammers, such as assuming good faith, issuing the right kind of warning, and actually removing offending material.
- Information about external links on meta
- w:Wikipedia:Grief - a humorous article from Wikipedia, including psychological help for spammers.
- Wikiversity:External links/licences - a commentary on a part of the policy (this is not itself policy)
- w:WP:PANDA - an essay about Panda Sandwiches, and where not to sell them.
- The nofollow tag - why it is impossible to use MediaWiki / Wikiversity for search engine optimisation.
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