How Wikipedia Works/Content

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Chapter 1. What's in Wikipedia?[edit]

What's in Wikipedia?
  1. Types of Articles
  2. Article and Content Inclusion Policies
    1. Core Policies: V, NOR, and NPOV
    2. Understanding the Policies
    3. Other Guidelines
      1. Notability
      2. Copyrighted Material
      3. Non-encyclopedic Content
    4. What Wikipedia Is Not
  3. Non-article Content
    1. Types of Non-article Pages
    2. Namespaces
      1. List of Namespaces
  4. Summary and What to Read Next


Chapter 2. The World Gets a Free Encyclopedia[edit]

The World Gets a Free Encyclopedia
  1. Wikipedia's Mission
  2. Wikipedia's Roots
    1. Ancient Greece to Today: Encyclopedias
    2. Late 17th Century: The Modern Encyclopedia
    3. Wikipedia as an Encyclopedia
    4. The 1960s and 1970s: Unix, Networks, and Personal Computers
    5. The 1980s: The Free Software Movement
      1. Wikipedia and the Free Perspective
    6. 1995: Ward's Wiki
    7. 1997: Open Source Communities
    8. 2000: Online Community Dynamics
      1. Wikipedia as a Wiki Community
    9. 2001: Wikipedia Goes Live
    10. Wikipedia Today
    11. Unfinished Business
  3. The Wikipedia Model Debated
    1. Misinformation: The Seigenthaler Scandal
    2. Amateur Contributors, Authority, and Academia
      1. Wikipedia and Academic Authority
      2. Wikipedia and Experts
      3. Case Studies in Academic Authority
      4. Pseudonyms and Claimed Expertise
      5. The Crowd of Amateurs
  4. Summary


Chapter 3. Finding Wikipedia's Content[edit]

Finding Wikipedia's Content
  1. Searching Wikipedia
    1. Basic Searching
      1. Varying the Search
      2. Search Operators
      3. Searching Other Namespaces
      4. Some Special Searches
      5. Search Problems and Some Alternatives
    2. External Search Engines
      1. When to Use External Search Engines
      2. When Not to Use External Search Engines
  2. Ways into Wikipedia
    1. Welcome to the Main Page
      1. Navigating the Main Page
      2. Portals into the Encyclopedia
      3. Daily Content
      4. Constructing the Main Page
      5. Disclaimers, License, and Privacy
    2. The Omnipresent Sidebar
      1. Navigation
      2. Interaction
      3. Recent Changes
      4. The Search Box
      5. Toolbox
      6. Languages
  3. Joys of Hypertext
    1. A Hypertext Primer
    2. Three Types of Links
    3. Browsing by Topic
      1. Lists of Articles
      2. Traditional Classification Schemes
      3. Date-Related Articles
    4. Browsing by Categories
      1. Structure of a Category Page
      2. Navigating Categories
      3. A Longer Journey Using Categories
    5. Browsing by Page Type
      1. Finding Excellent or Poor Content
      2. Finding Images
      3. Finding Media Files
  4. Summary


Chapter 4. Understanding and Evaluating an Article[edit]

Understanding and Evaluating an Article
  1. Anatomy of an Article
    1. The Article Text
    2. Backlinks
    3. Article History
      1. Reading a Page History
      2. Analyzing a Page History
      3. Edit Summaries and Minor Edits
    4. Talk Pages
      1. Reading and Contributing to Talk Pages
      2. Making Good Use of Talk Pages
  2. Evaluating Articles
    1. Misinformation, Missing Information, and Mistakes
    2. D-R-E-W-S
      1. Discussion on the Talk Page
      2. Ratings
      3. Edit History
      4. Writing and Formatting
      5. Sources
  3. Summary
  4. Final Thoughts for Part I


Final Thoughts for Part I[edit]

For those who don't know where to begin: The structures set up for browsing help provide in-depth explorations of nearly any topic, in ways that you might not have imagined.

For those with concerns about quality: Wikipedia is remarkably transparent, and it is the first encyclopedia to be so open about its editorial process. While the transparency of edit histories doesn't guarantee correctness, it provides much more opportunity than most reference sources to judge quality for yourself.

For those who think Wikipedia ought to be a one-stop shop: Although Wikipedia in general is excellent as a first source for research, it should hardly ever be the end of your research. As with any encyclopedia, checking with other reference sources and primary sources is a must.

For those who would like to help: The transition from lurker to worker on the site is easy. This book's next part covers what you need to know about editing.

For those who like to have the last word: There is no last word on Wikipedia, a work in progress.