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Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, an online community of individuals interested in building and using a high-quality encyclopedia in a spirit of mutual respect. Therefore, there are certain things that Wikipedia is not.

Style and format

Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia

Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, but a digital encyclopedia project. Other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page, there is no practical limit to the number of topics Wikipedia can cover or the total amount of content. However, there is an important distinction between what can be done, and what should be done, which is covered under § Encyclopedic content below. Consequently, this policy is not a free pass for inclusion: articles must abide by the appropriate content policies, particularly those covered in the five pillars.

Keeping articles to a reasonable size is important for Wikipedia's accessibility, especially for dial-up and mobile browser readers, since it directly affects page download time (see Wikipedia:Article size). Splitting long articles and leaving adequate summaries is a natural part of growth for a topic (see Wikipedia:Summary style). Some topics are covered by print encyclopedias only in short, static articles, but Wikipedia can include more information, provide more external links, and update more quickly.

Encyclopedic content

Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful. A Wikipedia article should not be a complete exposition of all possible details, but a summary of accepted knowledge regarding its subject.[1] Verifiable and sourced statements should be treated with appropriate weight. Although there are debates about the encyclopedic merits of several classes of entries, consensus is that the following are good examples of what Wikipedia is not. The examples under each section are not intended to be exhaustive.

Wikipedia is not a dictionary

Wikipedia is not a dictionary, or a usage or jargon guide. Wikipedia articles are not:

  1. Definitions. Articles should begin with a good definition or description, but articles that contain nothing more than a definition should be expanded with additional encyclopedic content. If they cannot be expanded beyond a definition, Wikipedia is not the place for them. In some cases, the definition of a word may be an encyclopedic subject, such as the definition of planet. For a wiki that is a dictionary, visit our sister project Wiktionary. Dictionary definitions should be transwikied there.
  2. Dictionary entries. Encyclopedia articles are about a person, or a group, a concept, a place, a thing, an event, etc. In some cases, a word or phrase itself may be an encyclopedic subject, such as

    Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, but a digital encyclopedia project. Other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page, there is no practical limit to the number of topics Wikipedia can cover or the total amount of content. However, there is an important distinction between what can be done, and what should be done, which is covered under § Encyclopedic content below. Consequently, this policy is not a free pass for inclusion: articles must abide by the appropriate content policies, particularly those covered in the five pillars.

    Keeping articles to a reasonable size is important for Wikipedia's accessibility, especially for dial-up and mobile browser readers, since it directly affects page download time (see Wikipedia:Article size). Splitting long articles and leaving adequate summaries is a natural part of growth for a topic (see Wikipedia:Summary style). Some topics are covered by print encyclopedias only in short, static articles, but Wikipedia can include more information, provide more external links, and update more quickly.

    Encyclopedic content

    Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful. A Wikipedia article should not be a complete exposition of all possible details, but a summary of accepted knowledge regarding its subject.[1] Verifiable and sourced statements should be treated with appropriate weight. Although there are debates about the encyclopedic merits of several classes of entries, consensus is that the following are good examples of what Wikipedia is not. The examples under each section are not intended to be exhaustive.

    Wikipedia is not a dictionary

  3. Dictionary entries. Encyclopedia articles are about a person, or a group, a concept, a place, a thing, an event, etc. In some cases, a word or phrase itself may be an encyclopedic subject, such as

    Wikipedia is not a place to publish your own thoughts and analyses or to publish new information. Per our policy on original research, please do not use Wikipedia for any of the following:

    1. Primary (original) research, such as proposing theories and solutions, original ideas, defining terms, coining new words, etc. If you have completed primary research on a topic, your results should be published in other venues, such as peer-reviewed journals, other printed forms, open research, or respected online publications. Wikipedia can report your work after it is published and becomes part of accepted knowledge; however, citations of reliable sources are needed to demonstrate that material is verifiable, and not merely the editor's policy on original research, please do not use Wikipedia for any of the following:

      1. Primary (original) research, such as proposing theories and solutions, original ideas, defining terms, coining new words, etc. If you have completed primary research on a topic, your results should be published in other venues, such as peer-reviewed journals, other printed forms, open research, or respected online publications. Wikipedia can report your work after it is published and becomes part of accepted knowledge; however, citations of reliable sources are needed to demonstrate that material is verifiable, and not merely the editor's opinion.
      2. Personal inventions. If you or a friend invented a drinking game, a new type of dance move, or even the word frindle, it is not notable enough to be given an article until multiple, independent, and reliable secondary sources report on it. And

        Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda, advertising and showcasing. This applies to usernames, articles, draftspace, categories, files, talk page discussions, templates, and user pages. Therefore, content hosted in Wikipedia is not for:

        1. Advocacy, propaganda, or recruitment of any kind: commercial, political, scientific, religious, national, sports-related, or otherwise. An article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda, advertising and showcasing. This applies to usernames, articles, draftspace, categories, files, talk page discussions, templates, and user pages. Therefore, content hosted in Wikipedia is not for:

          1. Advocacy, propaganda, or recruitment of any kind: commercial, political, scientific, religious, national, sports-related, or otherwise. An article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a neutral point of view. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your opinions.[2]
          2. Opinion pieces. Although some topics, particularly those concerning current affairs and politics, may stir passions and tempt people to "climb soapboxes", Wikipedia is not the medium for this. Articles must be balanced to put entries, especially for current events, in a reasonable perspe

            Non-disruptive statements of opinion on internal Wikipedia policies and guidelines may be made on user pages and within the Wikipedia: namespace, as they are relevant to the current and future operation of the project. However, article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject (see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines).

            Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files

            Wikipedia is neither a mirror nor a repository of links, images, or media files.[3] Wikipedia articles are not merely collections of:

            1. External links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia. On articles about topics with many fansites, for example, including a link to one major fansite may be appropriate. See Wikipedia:External links for some guidelines.
            2. Internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for lists for browsing or to assist with article organization and navigation; for these, please follow relevant guidance at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists, Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Embedded lists.
            3. Public domain or other source material such as entire books or source code, original historical documents, letters, laws, proclamations, and other source material that are useful only when presented with their original, unmodified wording. Complete copies of primary sources may go into Wikisource, but not on Wikipedia. Public domain resources such as the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica may be used to add content to an article (see Plagiarism guideline: Public-domain sources for guidelines on doing so). See also Wikipedia:Do not include the full text of lengthy primary sources and Wikisource's inclusion policy.
            4. Photographs or media files with no accompanying text. If you are interested in presenting a picture, please provide an encyclopedic context, or consider adding it to Wikimedia Commons. If a picture comes from a public domain source on a website, then consider adding it to Wikipedia:Images with missing articles or Wikipedia:Public domain image resources.

            Wikipedia is not a blog, web hosting service, social networking service, or memorial site

            • WP:NOTWEBHOST
            • WP:NOTBLOG
            • WP:NOTRESUME
            • WP:NOTSOCIAL
            • WP:NOTSOCIALMEDIA
            • WP:NOTSOCIALN

              Wikipedia is neither a mirror nor a repository of links, images, or media files.[3] Wikipedia articles are not merely collections of:

              1. External links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia. On articles about topics with many fansites, for example, including a link to one major fansite may be appropriate. See Wikipedia:External links for some guidelines.
              2. Internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for lists for browsing or to assist with article organization and navigation; for these, please follow relevant guidance at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists,

                Wikipedia is not a social networking service like Facebook or Twitter. You may not host your own website, blog, wiki, résumé, or cloud on Wikipedia. Wikipedia pages, including those in user space, are not:

                Wikipedia is not a social networking service like Facebook or Twitter. You may not host your own website, blog, wiki, résumé, or cloud on Wikipedia. Wikipedia pages, including those in user space, are not:

                1. Personal web pages. Wikipedians have individual user pages, but they should be used primarily to present information relevant to work on the encyclopedia. Limited autobiographical information is allowed, but user pages do not serve as personal webpages, blogs, or repositories for large amounts of material irrelevant to collaborating on Wikipedia. If you want to post your résumé or make a personal webpage, please use one of the many free providers on the Internet or any hosting included with your Internet service provider. The focus of user pages should not be social networking or amusement, but rather providing a foundation for effective collaboration. Humorous pages that refer to Wikipedia in some way may be created in an appropriate namespace. Personal web pages are often speedily deleted. Wikipedia articles use formal English and are not written in Internet posting style.
                2. File storage areas. Please upload only files that are used (or will be used) in encyclopedia articles or project pages; anything else will be deleted. If you have extra relevant images, consider uploading them to the Wikimedia Commons, where they can be linked from Wikipedia.
                3. Dating services. Wikipedia is not an appropriate place to pursue relationships or sexual encounters. User pages that move beyond broad expressions of sexual orientation are unacceptable. However, you very well may form new friendships as you go about improving the encyclopedia.
                4. Memorials. Subjects of encyclopedia articles must satisfy Wikipedia's notability requirements. Wikipedia is not the place to memorialize deceased friends, relatives, a

                  If you are interested in using the wiki technology for a collaborative effort on something else, even just a single page, many free and commercial sites provide wiki hosting. You can also install wiki software on your server. See the installation guide at MediaWiki.org for information on doing this. See also Wikipedia:Alternative outlets.

                  Your user page is not yours. It is a part of Wikipedia, and exists to make collaboration among Wikipedians easier, not for self promotion.

                  Wikipedia is not a directory