GLAM/Get started/GLAM contributions guide
- 1 GLAM contributions guide
- 1.1 Why is citing sources more important than the expertise of the editor?
- 1.2 I'm the expert on this topic, why can't you stop other people from changing what I've written?
- 1.3 If my work gets changed for the worse, how do I stop people saying that I wrote something that I no longer agree with?
- 1.4 My work got removed and someone wrote an unfriendly message saying I'm a vandal/spammer. Why?
- 1.5 If someone takes a section of my work here and includes it in their own commercial book, do I get a royalty or a credit? Do they ask my permission first?
- 1.6 What if the description or metadata of a work in an existing article is incorrect?
- 1.7 How do I maintain a neutral tone?
- 1.8 What can I do about being challenged on things by the Wikipedia community?
- 1.9 How do I raise a query?
- 1.10 Can I find a volunteer to create an article for us?
- 1.11 What does it mean when an article is "Featured"?
GLAM contributions guide
- English Wikipedia: Neutral Point of View Policy
- English Wikipedia: No Original Research Policy
- English Wikipedia: Verifiability Policy
Why is citing sources more important than the expertise of the editor?
On Wikipedia editors are judged by the quality of their contributions not the extent of their professional expertise. It may be frustrating to know something to be true, yet be asked to provide verification. But, without this requirement, other non-specialist editors could insert incorrect information, claiming (or believing) it to be true. In addition, elaborate hoax articles have been created – hoaxes that lasted a long time and were uncovered only when their sources were found to be unverifiable (for example, see Slow Blind Driveway and Upper Peninsula War). So, although it might seem confronting to have "citation needed" appear next to something you have written, the burden of proof lies with the person making a claim: you need to provide a reference showing the claim is true; the person contesting the claim does not need to prove it is false.
I'm the expert on this topic, why can't you stop other people from changing what I've written?
There are many reasons. In addition, keep in mind that Wikipedia is written for its readers, not for other experts. A contribution can be completely correct and yet not be understandable to the average reader, or the contribution may conflict with Wikipedia guidelines. An experienced editor may have little knowledge of the topic, yet be able to identify a problem with the style used in an article; ideally, the subject expert and the experienced editor would collaborate to develop the article. However, if no convincing reason was provided in the edit summary that changed your contribution, simply change it back, while providing a detailed edit summary explaining why your change is desirable. In your edit summary, it is helpful to mention a specific error in the text that you are correcting, but it is not helpful to comment on the other editor. You can and should remove unsourced claims and patent nonsense inserted by others, however it is essential that you do not enter an edit war: if your changes are removed twice in one day, seek assistance by raising the issue on the talk page.
If my work gets changed for the worse, how do I stop people saying that I wrote something that I no longer agree with?
Articles are not attributed to any single editor; instead, the full history of all article changes (in the "history" tab) shows who did what. In addition, it is possible to list only your user contributions to make it simple for anyone to see exactly what you wrote.
My work got removed and someone wrote an unfriendly message saying I'm a vandal/spammer. Why?
Either you misunderstood something on this page or you have run into a user not familiar with the unique characteristics of a culture sector professional. Wikipedia policies evolve over time and many people aren't up-to-date on the latest changes. Another possibility is that the other user has been down in the trenches fighting serious vandals and you were caught up in what looked like a similar pattern of behavior. So long as your first task on Wikipedia isn't to add 100 links to your website with no other content, you should be fine. We are trying to make the standard warnings more friendly, but this has not yet been completed.
If someone takes a section of my work here and includes it in their own commercial book, do I get a royalty or a credit? Do they ask my permission first?
They do not need to ask permission or pay a royalty, but they are required to credit contributors. Beware that there are many websites that illegally copy Wikipedia content without attribution. This is no different than a website illegally copying material directly from your site. However, Wikipedia material is frequently targeted due to the site's popularity.
What if the description or metadata of a work in an existing article is incorrect?
You may, of course, edit the information to improve the description. If this is the metadata for a multimedia item, click through until you find the page on Wikimedia Commons where it is stored and fix the metadata there. Alternatively you could Contact someone at Commons to help you improve it. You can also leave a message at the discussion page where you saw the mistake.
How do I maintain a neutral tone?
In Wikipedian usage the word neutral is shorthand for "neutral point of view" or "NPOV". The neutral point of view neither sympathises with nor disparages its subject, nor does it endorse or oppose specific viewpoints. It is not a lack of viewpoint, but is rather a specific, editorially neutral, point of view. In the cultural sector much effort has been taken in the last few decades to make item descriptions engaging and to embrace the controversies that an item might have surrounding it. This is in contradistinction to past practice of writing simple, uncontroversial (even bland) item descriptions. By insisting on "neutrality" Wikipedia is not asking for a return to simple descriptions or an avoidance of controversial topics. For example, Wikipedia's article on evolution includes a well referenced section on social and cultural responses which discusses "creationism". Elgin Marbles is a highly controversial museum topic, as can be seen by perusing the article, its editing history and talk page archives. If the ownership or display of an object has caused a controversy that has generated significant coverage, the controversy should be covered in an objective way.
So long as the controversies and more "colourful" sections of a subject meet the criteria for verifiability then please feel free to include them in the article – but in a neutral tone.
w:WP:PEACOCK is a style guideline that deprecates unreferenced "peacock terms": unreferenced superlatives in a description ("highly important", "most beautiful", "unique" – what authority made the assessment?). Attitudes as to what constitute "peacock terms" vary considerably among editors, as will their readiness to accept the owning institution as a reference on this. A sensible quotation from a reliable source independent of the institution should not be challenged – but for example a newspaper journalist may not be considered a reliable source in this context, where an art historian should be.
What can I do about being challenged on things by the Wikipedia community?
You are part of the community! It is helpful to see what Wikipedia is not and in particular focus on the consensus process. You can prevail even when 10 others seem to be against you. If you are confident that your position is in-line with the five pillars, don't give up! Seek out a noticeboard to make your case and get others to support you. Remember to stay calm and focus on the content dispute and how it relates to the five pillars. Don't get sucked into drama, even when it is being done by others. There are many reasonable Wikipedians. Some of those most willing to help watch the discussion for this page. Keep in mind that everyone is a volunteer and so they may not contribute daily. If the issue concerns the format and style of articles, make sure you are correctly interpreting the Wikipedia policies and guidelines; other editors may not have your subject knowledge, but may have a better understanding of these.
How do I raise a query?
For general queries on editing, the new contributors' help page is a good option. Queries about cultural sector institution-specific matters covered in this page should be raised at the talk page ("discussion" tab above) here, and copied to the article talk page. See the "Contact" section below also. A further option is to click on the usernames of those who have contributed to the discussion page and post a message on the talk page of someone who is currently online. To check if someone is likely online, from their userpage, click on "User contributions" under "Toolbox" on the left-hand window sidebar and see if they have made a recent contribution. Keep in mind that the times displayed will be in UTC unless you have set your local timezone in your user preferences on the "Date and time" tab. You will probably find that setting a local timezone will make Wikipedia easier to use.
Can I find a volunteer to create an article for us?
Possibly, see requested articles (give a link to any available online material) —but do not expect quick results here. Wikipedians are very busy and we would rather help you learn how to create and edit articles. You are an expert in your subject area and a random helpful editor probably cannot do as good of a job as you can. It may be easier for others to help "wikify" and polish an article once you have incorporated the essential material. In cases where a new article needs major cleanup and is at risk of being deleted, move it to a subpage under your user page (or create it there to start with) and ask other editors to help you improve it. When the article is ready, it can be easily moved back into the mainspace.
What does it mean when an article is "Featured"?
In Wikipedia there is a system of quality assessment that goes from "stub" all the way up to "featured article". All articles that appear on the w:Main Page of Wikipedia are featured articles and they can be recognised by the small bronze star () at the top right corner of an article. To achieve this status an article must meet strict criteria and are rigorously peer reviewed. All articles in Wikipedia have the potential to become featured articles, and the subject matter can range "from the sublime to the ridiculous".
A similar kind of purpose of writing in the cultural sector is the w:catalogue raisonné (an exhaustive list of works of a particular type) even though it is a different style of writing. Just as such a catalogue is considered to be the pinnacle of analysis of the subject matter by virtue of its completeness so to a featured article is considered to be the pinnacle of description of any particular subject. Featured articles often have sub (or "child") articles that expand on particular sections within them but are considered to be a complete and exhaustive study of the subject at hand. Similarly, the featured list is an exhaustive list of a particular topic. When the complete set of a series of articles or lists in an identifiable group are all at the "featured" level then this becomes a featured topic. For example, Wikipedia's articles about Jupiter and all of its moons are considered collectively to be a featured topic.