How do Wikipedia editors decide what are reliable sources?
Over the past few weeks, Wikimedia UK has received a large number of press inquiries related to the Guardian’s article ‘Wikipedia bans Daily Mail as ‘unreliable’ source’. Now that the dust has settled on this story a little, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how the community of editors who create Wikipedia and its sister projects came to adopt a policy to generally avoid using references to Daily Mail articles.
Much of the coverage of this editorial decision, both by The Guardian and by other media, referred to Wikipedia at least as often as Wikipedia editors; although The Guardian did add that ‘The move is likely to stop short of prohibiting linking to the Daily Mail’, because as many Wikimedians will be fully aware, one of the Five Pillars of Wikipedia is that ‘Wikipedia has no firm rules’.
So You’ve Decided to Become a Wikipedia Editor…
The learning curve when you start editing Wikipedia and its sister projects can be steep, so to help you get started, we decided to compile some advice that will help you navigate the complexity of the Wikimedia projects.
Check out the Getting Started page for general advice and information about how Wikipedia works before you start editing. There are a lot of written and visual tutorials as well as links to policies and guidelines used on the site. A quick look at the main editorial policies of Wikipedia, known as the Five Pillars, is also worthwhile.
Wicipedia Cymraeg: A few milestones
Blog by Robin Owain, Wikimedia UK Manager
In December 1996 I uploaded around 150 of my published poems on a website, ”Rebel ar y We” (‘Rebel on the Web’), available to all, free of charge. In 2005, after my son’s illness, I changed the title to ”Rhedeg ar Wydr” (‘Running on a Glass Roof’). A few months later a revue was published by the Welsh Books Council in their magazine ”Llais Llyfrau”, which recognised that this was the first time a Welsh book had been placed on the web, the first Welsh e-book.
I urged other writers to publish on the web, rather than through a publisher; the middleman, the censor. The uproar which followed was not nice, especially by one publisher in North wales who saw it as the beginning of the end! “Hundreds of pounds are at stake!” he wrote (”Golwg”, 16 March 2000), and for the next 10 years I was ‘sent to Coventry’ by the media. In an interview on BBC’s Radio Cymru around 2010 a listener phoned in and rudely chastised me by saying, “Don’t speak through your hat! Of course you can’t get a book to move down a phone-line and appear in another place!” And, yes, that was only 6 years ago! How things have changed!
Contributing ‘free information for everybody’ was my battle-cry, and the reason I started editing Wikipedia, with my first edit as User Llywelyn2000 on 7 June 2008, when cy-wiki already had a grand total of 16,000 articles. Today it has 81,400.
After the birth of en-wiki, it took around two years before her Welsh sibling, cy-wiki, appeared (July 2003). That first article was – and yes we are myopic! – ‘Wales’ with ‘List of Welsh people’, ‘Squirrel’, ‘David R. Edwards’ and ‘Owain Gwynedd’ quickly following.
- Read more at blog.wikimedia.org.uk