Wikibooks:WikiProject

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A WikiProject is a metadata page that serves as a reference point for those who wish to be involved in a specific project to create a set of highly-related books.

Structural principles for a WikiProject page:

  • defines the scope of the particular project
  • establishes the formatting conventions for individual pages and books (e.g. how each individual item should be structured)
  • lists participating contributors
  • provides subject-specific forums

What are the advantages?

  • Standard of look and feel. There are existing pages that deal with standards, but they cannot be applied to specific books. The conventions for books on mathematics or chemistry are worlds apart from the conventions for foreign languages.
  • Allows the development of special interest communities within Wikibooks. This can happen organically, but the WikiProject page makes the process formal.
  • Permits strategic planning and consensual discussion by creating a central location for discussion instead of fragmented discussion over several different talk pages.
  • Allows controlled dynamic evolution. The inherent problem in any communal project is that without central authority chaos emerges. But with excessive central authority, stagnation sets in. The WikiProject is a 'central authority' (thus providing the benefits of stability), but the WikiProject page itself remains consensual and dynamic. Where evolution occurs, the process can be centrally managed.
  • Helps to build community among users, by creating common goals that people can work towards. Wikibookians tend to be focused on their own books and their own pet projects, and WikiProjects allow users to get together and work collaboratively on greater goals.

What a WikiProject is not

A WikiProject is not a place for subject information or book content. It is not a place to write a book, but it can be used to help plan a book, or to organize the authors of a book.

Is it worth the effort?

The value of such a metadata management model increases with the volume of contributors. In a case where only a handful of contributors are working on a project the actual value of a WikiProject page is negative - it only adds additional work. However, as the volume of contributors increases the work required to maintain the WikiProject pages is substantially less than the work required to correct the fragmentation of style and content, and the duplication which will otherwise occur.

How to Start a WikiProject

Use {{project}} on your page. WikiProjects should have a clear objective in mind, and should work to meet some goal. Once a new WikiProject is started, it can be advertised on the bulletin board or in the reading room. It is currently advised that WikiProjects's hyperlink be in the form of: Wikibooks:WikiProject_YourProjectName

If a WikiProject becomes inactive, it can be labeled with {{inactive}}. If it has only recently seen a slowdown in activity, {{semi-active}} may be more appropriate.

List of WikiProjects

Active WikiProjects Inactive WikiProjects
Semi-active WikiProjects