|This page documents an English Wikipedia project content guideline.|
It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
|This guideline in a nutshell: |
Project pages are for information or discussion about Wikipedia. They should be used to allow Wikipedians to better participate in the community, and not used to excess for unrelated purposes nor to bring the project into disrepute.
|Subject namespaces||Talk namespaces|
|2302||Gadget definition||Gadget definition talk||2303|
|446||Education Program||Education Program talk||447|
|Current list (API call)|
The project namespace or Wikipedia namespace is a namespace consisting of administration pages with information or discussion about Wikipedia. Pages in this namespace will always have the prefix Wikipedia:. They can also be reached by alias WP: or the standard (for any MediaWiki site) prefix Project:. Its namespace number is four (4).
Pages within the "Project namespace" themselves are not part of the encyclopedia proper. These administrative pages are intended for use by editors or by automated tools for the organization and governance of the encyclopedia. Consequently, they do not generally need to conform to the same content protocols or style conventions as articles. Nevertheless, these pages, as with all pages, should be accessible and must comply with Wikipedia's conduct and legal policies.
The project namespace is not a free web host and should not be used as a long-term archive to host pages that look like articles. Articles in the project namespace under construction may be moved to the draft namespace or Userspace draft allowing time for their development and feedback before being moved to Wikipedia's mainspace. Stalled or abandoned drafts and pages in the project namespace that violate policies applicable to non-content pages may be subject to deletion. Editors may not violate copyrights or harass anywhere on Wikipedia. Under the criteria for speedy deletion, these types of pages are subject to expeditious deletion. See below for more information.
The project namespace pages are organized according to their function within the overall project schema. This includes Wikipedia official policies and guidelines, process pages, discussion pages, optional essays, maintenance pages, informative pages, and historical pages.
For lists of pages in the project namespace, see:
A main gateway for the project namespace is Community portal. The Community Portal includes categorized links to the more commonly used pages related to the project. A link to the Community Portal page is available in the sidebar.
Policies and guidelines pages describe Wikipedia's best practice and clarify principles that are widely accepted by the community and have been through the Wikipedia review process. These pages are marked with the ((policy)), ((guideline)) or ((MoS guideline)) template. For summaries of key policies, see List of policies. For summaries of key guidelines, see List of guidelines. For summaries of guidelines about Wikipedia's house style, see the Manual of Style contents page. For information on editing policies or guidelines see Edits to policies and guidelines.
Process pages help facilitate application of the policies and guidelines governing all Wikipedia pages (e.g., Wikipedia:Articles for deletion). See Wikipedia processes for details.
Many pages in the Wikipedia namespace have nothing to do with rules or implementation of those rules, and thus do not belong in the above categories. See Wikipedia:The difference between policies, guidelines and essays for more information.
Some pages are designed for discussions, such as the Village pumps. Others serve as noticeboards to draw attention to discussions taking place elsewhere, such as the centralized discussions page and various requests for comments pages. While many of these pages operate like talk pages, some of them have posting rules (at the top of the page) which may be administratively enforced, and they also have their own talk pages, usually about the management of the noticeboard or other process in question. To ask a question or make a request, see the request directory. For a listing of ongoing discussions and current requests, see the dashboard.
Maintenance pages are used to help facilitate the organization and clean-up of articles to bring them up to encyclopedic standards. These editor- and bot-generated pages typically contain articles and other pages requiring maintenance or attention. (e.g., Wikipedia:Dusty articles). The Special namespace also contains bot generated maintenance reports (e.g. Special:UncategorizedPages). See Wikipedia maintenance for details.
Informative and instructional pages are typically edited by the community; while not policies or guidelines themselves, they are intended to supplement or clarify Wikipedia guidelines, policies, or other Wikipedia processes and practices that are communal norms. Where essay pages offer advice or opinions through viewpoints, information pages should supplement or clarify technical or factual information about Wikipedia impartially. In comparison to policies and guidelines, information pages, like essay pages, have a limited status, and can reflect varying levels of consensus and vetting. These pages are typically marked with the ((Information page)), ((Wikipedia how-to)), or ((Supplement))[a] template.
There is a large amount of overlap between the Help namespace (which provides mainly technical information) and the Wikipedia namespace (which provides mainly procedural information and interpretation). For this reason, redirects and hatnotes are often set up between these two namespaces. See Help:About help pages for more information. For a listing of how-to and information pages, see the help directory.
Essays about Wikipedia may be written by anyone; some represent widespread norms, others only represent minority viewpoints. Essays can be long monologues or short theses , serious or funny, informative or opinionated. Essays like information pages have no official status, and do not speak for the Wikipedia community as they may be created and edited without overall community oversight. Essays are typically marked with one of the various ((essay)) templates. See Wikipedia:Essays for more information. For a listing of essays, see the essay directory.
Pages of a WikiProject are the central place for editor collaboration and organization on a particular topic area. Many WikiProjects compose "advice essays" about how to apply Wikipedia's policies and guidelines to their specific subject area. Pages with
Wikipedia:WikiProject prefix form a WikiProject pseudo-namespace. These pages are typically marked with the ((WikiProject status)) or ((WikiProject advice)) template. For a listing of projects, see the directory of WikiProjects. For additional resources, or if you have any questions, please visit the WikiProject Council.
A historical page or process is one which is no longer in use, or is no longer relevant or consensus has changed about its content. They are kept as records of past Wikipedia processes to give context to historical discussions and to inform future discussions on similar topics. These pages are typically marked with the ((historical)), ((superseded)) or ((dormant)) templates. See HISTORICAL for more details.
Further information: Wikipedia:Avoid writing redundant essays and Wikipedia:Content forking/Internal § Policy forks
See also: Wikipedia:User pages § What may I have in my user pages?, and Wikipedia:Drafts § Creating and editing drafts
Essays and information pages may be established by writing them and adding ((Essay)), ((Information page)), ((Wikipedia how-to)), or similar templates to the page. Essays and information pages in the "Wikipedia namespace" should not be used to create an alternative rule set. Creation of new guideline and policy pages require discussion and a high level of consensus from the entire community before publication (see WP:PROPOSAL for procedural details). For general recommendations about the creation and improvement of existing guideline and policy pages, see Wikipedia:Policy writing is hard.
The project namespace contains many pages and a lot of information. Try to avoid creating new pages unnecessarily. Before creating a new page, you should consider looking through the topical index, essay directory and help directory to see if the material belongs at a page that already exists. It is strongly recommended that you propose a WikiProject at the proposal page, if there are enough willing editors to participate in the project. Already existing WikiProjects can be found in the directory of WikiProjects.
Main page: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion
See also: Wikipedia:User pages § Deletion of user pages, and Wikipedia:Drafts § Deleting a draft
Iif editing can improve the page, this should be done rather than deleting the page. Disputes over page content are usually not dealt with by deleting the page, except in severe cases. The content issues should be discussed at the relevant talk page, and other methods of dispute resolution should be used first, such as listing on "requests for comments" for further input.
The usual deletion process is to post a request at miscellany for deletion to have project pages deleted. Make sure that a notice of the request is posted to the talk page of the affected project. If the project is under a parent WikiProject, a notice should be posted there as well. Essays, information pages, and other informal pages that are only supported by a small minority of the community may be moved to the primary author's userspace over deletion. The Wikipedia community has historically tolerated a wide range of Wikipedia related subjects and viewpoints on user pages.
Policies, guidelines and process pages should not be nominated for deletion, as such nominations will probably be considered disruptive, and the ensuing discussions closed early. The ((Disputed tag)) template is typically used for claims that an essay, WikiProject advice or information page was recently assigned guideline or policy status without proper or sufficient consensus being established. See WP:Local consensus for more details.
It is generally preferable that inactive WikiProjects not be deleted, but instead be marked as ((WikiProject status|inactive)), or redirected to a relevant WikiProject, or changed to a task force of a parent WikiProject, unless the WikiProject was incompletely created or is entirely undesirable. See WP:INACTIVEWP for more details.
If a project page clearly satisfies a "general" speedy deletion criterion, it should be tagged with the appropriate template. For issues only affecting specific revisions on a page (where other page versions are fine) revision delete is usually more appropriate. To request revision-deletion for copyright violations, see ((Copyvio-revdel)) for details.
For a complete listing of past and current project namespace deletion requests at MfD, see all MfD pages with Wikipedia prefix.
The Wikipedia namespace began after the January 2002 release of the Phase II software. Prior to that, an index of related pages was maintained at Wikipedia utilities, which remained for some time afterwards at Wikipedia:Utilities. This list of pages in the project namespace has been replaced by the pages as described above.
By default Wikipedia's search engine is restricted to the Article namespace. Typing the project page prefix
Wikipedia: (Wikipedia followed by a colon) or
WP: (WP followed by a colon) provides search results for the "Wikipedia namespace". You can also use the Special:Search box below to locate Wikipedia/Project namespace pages. See Help:Searching for more information.
See Wikipedia:Template messages/Wikipedia namespace for a listing of Wikipedia namespace banners.