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Resources for Using & Editing Wikipedia

Resources about using and editing Wikipedia.

Edit Source vs Edit

Wikipedia uses two methods of editing: classic editing through wiki markup (wikitext) and through a newer VisualEditor (VE). If you're just getting started with editing, we recommend using the VisualEditor as a user-friendly tool. 

Enable classic Edit Source tab and VisualEditor tab:

Login > Preferences > Editing > Pulldown menu: Show me both editor tabs > Save preferences

Use the "Edit" tab on entries and in your sandbox to use the VisualEditor. Use "Edit Source" to access the wiki markup.

Editing Talk pages still requires use of the classic editing through wiki markup and it's good to familiarize yourself with the basics as a new editor.

Basic Editing of Existing Entries

If editing using Wikipedia source editing (i.e., code) -- [[ ]]
Link to other existing Wikipedia pages.
  • To add links, use 2 brackets on each side of the words you want to link to an entry.  
    • For example: [[Cornell University]] automatically creates a link to the entry on Cornell. Be sure to doublecheck these links.
  • If you want to link to an entry from a word other than the title of the entry, use this format: [[title of entry | words in your text]].
    • For example, if I want to say "the university" and have it link to the Cornell University entry: [[Cornell University | the university]]
Link to external sites
  • For example: [ Breaking News] will link the words "Breaking News" to CNN's website. 

Basic formatting:

  • To create a section, use = on each side of the title.  Different numbers of = affect weight/size of header in hierarchy.
    • If an article has at least 4 headings, a Table of Contents will be automatically generated.
  • To create a bulleted list, use * in front of each item.
  • To create a numbered list, use # in front of each item. Numbers will be automatically generated.

Saving and Edit Summary

  • As you save a page after making edits, be sure to fill in the Edit Summary field to indicate the changes you've made. This provides a description of your edits in the Edit History. 
  • Break multiple edits down into smaller tasks and save after each set of edits. This makes it more difficult for your edits to be undone by other editors who can click "Undo" in the Edit History. 

Adding References to Existing Entries

  • In the Visual Editor: Hit "Cite" and use information about the citation to create a reference. References will automatically number. Add a References section using the code below, with the curly brackets indicating where the auto-generated list should appear.
  • In Edit Source: To add a reference, put your cursor in place and then hit the Cite button in the toolbar.  A pop-up window will appear where you can enter your citation information.  References will automatically number. Add a References section using the code below, with the curly brackets indicating where the auto-generated list should appear.


==Reference test==

This is the text that you are going to verify with a reference. <ref>Reference details go here</ref>




Choosing Sources & Linking to Library Collections

"While primary source materials are not appropriate sources for Wikipedia, including references to archival collections in an article can be an excellent way to lead interested researchers to rich collections as further resources. However, care should be used when linking to archival collection descriptions or finding aids—if the editor is affiliated with the holding institution they should only include links to collections which would provide the best information about a topic. The editor should take care to include links to other important collections located at other institutions. Links to archival collections can be included in the 'External links' section of an article, and if there are enough links to archival collections, it might be appropriate to call attention to this group of links by adding a subsection titled 'Links to archival collections'"

Creating a New Entry

Conflicts of Interest

Tracking Changes

  • Watchlists: "Watching pages allows any logged-in user to keep a list of 'watched' pages and to generate a list of recent changes made to those pages (and their associated talk pages). In this way you can keep track of and react to what's happening to pages you have created or are otherwise interested in"
  • Follow Twitter accounts that track anonymous edits by IP addresses:
    • @congress-edits tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits that are made from IP addresses in the US Congress (now suspended). 
    • @valleyedits tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits from Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and Wikimedia Foundation IP addresses. 
    • @pentagonedits tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits from made from IP addresses associated with the U.S. Pentagon.