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Editing and Contributing to Wikipedia: Asian Studies

This guide is designed to introduce any Asian Studies specialists and students the basics of contributing to Wikipedia so that they may help improve the quality of Wikipedia articles on topics related to Asian cultures to enhance cross-culture understandi

First time editing Wikipedia?

This guide will help you to learn the basics of Wikipedia editing. It provides you with necessary information to understand Wikipedia and its goals better and explains the main steps of Wikipedia editing from creating an account to editing existing entries and creating new entries.

From the video below you can learn more about people who dedicate their time to editing Wikipedia and find out why they are doing it.

Editing Policy

Wikipedia is the product of millions of editors' contributions, each one bringing something different to the table, whether it be: researching skills, technical expertise, writing prowess or tidbits of information, but most importantly, a willingness to help. Even the best articles should not be considered complete, as each new editor can offer new insights on how to enhance and improve the content in it at any time. There are three core content policies: Neutral point of view, Verifiability, and No original research.

  • All content on Wikipedia must be written from a neutral point of view, which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic.
  • Wikipedia summarizes accepted knowledge. It is Wikipedia policy that information in Wikipedia should be verifiable and must not be original research. It is necessary to prove that content is verifiable by referencing reliable sources. Because a lack of content is better than misleading or false content, unsourced content may be challenged and removed. To avoid such challenges, it is best to provide an inline citation when adding content.
  • Wikipedia is a work in progress. Thanks to collaborative editing even incomplete or poorly written first drafts can evolve over time into excellent articles. Even poor articles, if they can be improved, are welcome. Great Wikipedia articles come from a succession of editors' efforts. Rather than removing imperfect content outright, try fixing problems if you can, tag or excise them if you can't.
  • Although perfection is not required, extra care should be taken on articles that mention living persons. Contentious material about living or recently deceased persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should either be verified immediately, with one or more reliable sources and presented in a neutral manner or be removed immediately.
  • Be cautious about making a major change to an article. Prevent edit warring by discussing such edits first on the article's talk page. One editor's idea of an improvement may be another editor's idea of a desecration. If you make changes, try to justify them in detail on the article talk page. 
  • Another way you can improve an article is by finding a source for existing unsourced content. This is especially true if you come across statements that are potentially controversial. You do not need to be the person who added the content to add a source and citation for it.

For more detailed information see: Wikipedia: Editing policy.

Five pillars of Wikipedia

1) Wikipedia is an encyclopedia

2) Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view

3) Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute

4) Editors should treat each other with respect and civility

5) Wikipedia has no firm rules

Who can edit Wikipedia?

The user access level of editors affects their abilities to perform specific actions on Wikipedia. A user's access level depends on which rights are assigned to accounts. There are two types of access leveling: automatic and requested. User access levels are determined by whether the Wikipedian is logged in, the account's age and edit count, and what manually assigned rights the account has.

  • Anyone can use the basic functionalities of Wikipedia even if they are not logged in. Unless they are blocked, they may freely edit most pages.
  • Being logged in gives users many advantages, such as having their public IP address hidden and the ability to track one's own contributions.
  • Once user accounts are more than a certain number of days old and have made more than a certain number of edits, they automatically become autoconfirmed or extended confirmed, allowing the direct creation of articles, the ability to move pages, to edit semi-protected and extended-protected pages, and upload files. 

What are the benefits of Wikipedia editing?

If you are wondering why Wikipedia editing is included to the course, the benefits of contributing to Wikipedia may be bigger than you think. There are  several skills that students can obtain from contributing to Wikipedia as a course assignment.

According to an article from Wiki Education:

  • "Wikipedia-based assignments enhance students’ digital literacy and critical research skills,
  • foster their ability to write for a public audience,
  • promote collaboration,
  • and motivate them more than traditional assignments.
  • Students also gain a valuable understanding and appreciation for a source of information they use every day: Wikipedia."

To learn more please check the full version of the article "What students learn from contributing to Wikipedia".


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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.