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Figure 1. Hierarchy of Wikiversity schools and topics.
Short podcast about school and topic pages.
See also: Wikiversity:Naming conventions.
Subject namespaces Talk namespaces
0 (main / article) Talk 1
2 User User talk 3
4 Wikiversity Wikiversity talk 5
6 File File talk 7
8 MediaWiki MediaWiki talk 9
10 Template Template talk 11
12 Help Help talk 13
14 Category Category talk 15
100 School School talk 101
102 Portal Portal talk 103
104 Topic Topic talk 105
106 Collection Collection talk 107
828 Module Module talk 829
2300 Gadget Gadget talk 2301
2302 Gadget definition Gadget definition talk 2303
Virtual namespaces
-1 Special
-2 Media

Like all wikis using the MediaWiki software, Wikiversity has built-in namespaces. The main namespace, where page names have no prefix, is for learning resources. There are several additional namespaces where page names all start with a prefix such as "Topic:" or "Wikiversity:". The other namespaces have special uses that are described in this page.

The main namespace is for all Wikiversity pages that deal directly with learning (the educational mission of Wikiversity). The main namespace contains pages that are about learning materials (example: Hunter-gatherers project), learning projects (example: Bibliography and Research Methods), and research activities (example: Bloom clock project).

The other namespaces have special uses that help Wikiversity participants facilitate and organize their collaborative content development efforts.

In addition to the namespaces that are found at Wikipedia, Wikiversity has "school" and "topic" namespaces. Like the "wikiversity" and "portal" namespaces, the "school" and "topic" namespaces are for meta-content; that is, Wikiversity content that is concerned with the management and organization of Wikiversity rather than being directly concerned with learning and the educational activities that take place in the main namespace. Pages in the "school" namespace are concerned with management and organization of large subject areas and large amounts Wikiversity main namespace content (example: School:Medicine). Wikiversity schools contain and organize groups of more narrowly-focused content development projects in the "Topic:" namespace. The content development projects in the "Topic:" namespace can be referred to as departments, centers, institutes, divisions or whatever is convenient (example: the Accounting Department). For more information see: Wikiversity:Topics.

Content development projects. At Wikipedia, editors have found that it is useful to create a special type of meta-page called a WikiProject page. At Wikipedia such pages all exist with the project namespace and start with the prefix "Wikipedia:WikiProject:" (example). At Wikiversity, the pages in the "school" and "topic" namespaces can be thought of as special types of "WikiProject" pages that are concerned with creating and organizing learning resources for broad subject areas ("School:" projects) or more narrow academic topics ("Topic:" projects).

The concept of namespaces is similar to programming language namespaces and general namespaces.

Basic namespaces[edit]

Figure 2. The Wikiversity namespace hierarchy. Any department can be 'contained' by several schools. Any learning project can be 'contained' (linked to) by several departments.

The main namespace of Wikiversity is for education-oriented content (see Special:Allpages). It is the default namespace and page names for Wikiversity pages that are in the main namespace do not use a prefix. Wikiversity allows the creation of subpages for main namespace page, see: Wikiversity:Subpages.
101 problem - Not all English-speaking countries number courses starting at 101. "Foo 101" means nothing to some people. It is better to say "Introduction to Foo".


All pages in the Wikiversity project namespace start with the prefix Wikiversity:. The Wikiversity namespace is a namespace containing pages that provide information about Wikiversity. The page you are now reading is located in the Wikiversity project namespace. An example of another page in the Wikiversity namespace is Wikiversity:Main Page. Other important pages in the project namespace are the policy pages. Note: the word "project" is used in many ways in the contexts of many different kinds of collaborative wiki projects. This entire website is the "Wikiversity project". Wikiversity also contains many collaborative "content development projects" in the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces. In the main namespace, there are many learning projects where Wikiversity participants can engage in collaborative learning activities (see Figure 2). See also: Portal:Wikiversity.


The portal namespace (prefix Portal:) is for reader-oriented directory/guide pages that help readers find Wikiversity content that is related to a specific subject. It also may contain links to encourage readers to contribute new content to Wikiversity (see, for example, Portal:Learning Projects. The "Portal:" namespace can be used together with categories. Wikiversity editors can create new categories to unite departments and projects as needed. Each category can have its own portal page in the "Portal:" namespace. Portals are particularly useful for areas of study that do not fit into the more conventional school>division>department hierarchy. Example of a portal: Portal:Science. See Wikiversity:Portal.


Pages in the School: namespace can serve as content development projects for broad subject areas in a similar fashion to Wikipedia "wikiprojects". The "School" namespace is for organization of the work of Wikiversity participants who are content producers, those who create learning resources and participate in learning projects. The names of Wikiversity school pages always start with the "School:" prefix. Example: the Wikiversity School of Biology organizes many topic pages such as Topic:Cell Biology. See: Wikiversity:Schools.

School: contains community oriented pages for the improvement of resources under a major category.


The use of the Topic: namespace was discontinued in 2016, with content moved to either Portal: or main namespace pages.

Historically, pages in the Topic: namespace served as content development projects for narrow academic topics in a similar fashion to Wikipedia "wikiprojects". The "Topic" namespace was for organization of the work of Wikiversity participants who are content producers, those who create learning resources and participate in learning projects. The names of topic pages always started with the "Topic:" prefix. Example of a topic page: Topic:Cell biology.

Topic: pages were primarily used as "Departments", "Centers", "Divisions" or similar terms desired by those collaborating in that topic area. For example, under "School:Psychology" might have been "Topic:Social psychology" and "Topic:Clinical psychology". These specific content development pages in the "Topic:" namespace would then be referred to as the Department of Clinical Psychology or the Division of Social Psychology, depending on preference. See: Wikiversity:Topics.

Topic: may be the equivalent to Wikipedia's taskforces. These are community oriented pages for the improvement of resources.


The user namespace (prefix User:) is a namespace with pages for learning about Wikiversity participants and for sharing personal education experiences, for example containing bookmarks to favorite pages. If you see in the RecentChanges list that the user named "Jimbo" has updated some pages, this user name is a link not to Jimbo but to User:Jimbo. (See Special:Listusers).


Pages in the File: namespace start with the prefix File:. The "File:" namespace holds image files, sound files, pdf files and other media files), one page for each file, with a link to the image or sound clip itself. See Special:ListFiles. There are three versions of links to images and sound files:

  1. [[File:Foobar.jpg]] will insert the image directly into the page (not for sound files)
  2. [[Media:Foobar.jpg]] will make a text link to the image or type of file
  3. [[:File:Foobar.jpg]] will make a text link to the file's description page

Media example: A sound files Example. Troldhaugen.ogg source; see Wedding-Day at Troldhaugen (Help with ogg audio play).
See Help:Media.


The MediaWiki namespace (prefix MediaWiki:) is a namespace containing interface texts such as link labels and messages. They are used for adjusting the localisation (i.e. local version) of interface messages without waiting for a new LanguageXx.php file to get installed. Each label and message has a separate page. Pages in this namespace are protected by default. An automatically generated list of all interface messages is at Special:Allmessages.


The Template namespace (formerly part of the MediaWiki namespace) is used to define a standard text which can then be conveniently added within pages, either the text itself at the time of adding, or a reference to the text at the time of viewing the page. The latter way effectively changes all such occurrences of the standard text automatically by just editing the page where the text is defined. These are listed at w:Template messages and w:Navigational templates. The majority of this type is not protected.


The Category namespace contains categories of pages, with each displaying a list of pages in that category and optional additional text. Wikiversity:Browse is a tool to help navigating the Category namespace, which if not well-coordinated leads to problems. But categories are a powerful way to organize effort, unify content, manage projects and maintain Wikiversity. See Wikiversity:FAQ/Categorization for more information.


Pages in the help namespace provide information about how to edit Wikiversity webpages and participate within the Wikiversity community. See: Help:Contents. There are also some similar pages in the "Wikiversity:" namespace such as Wikiversity:Glossary and others in the main namespace such as Introduction to Wikiversity. Wikiversity also has pages about how to edit other Wikimedia Foundation sister projects, see Wikipedia service-learning courses.


Except for special pages, each namespace has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the main article namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the user namespace has the prefix User talk:. Most of the pages in the talk namespaces are used to discuss changes to the corresponding page in the associated namespace. Pages in the user talk namespace are used to leave messages for a particular user. The user talk namespace is special in that, whenever a user's talk page is edited, that user will see a box saying "You have new messages" on every page that they view until they visit their talk page.

See also[edit]