Wikipedia: Policies and Guidelines


October 20, 2021

Several policies and guidelines exist on Wikipedia. Policies are norms that all users must abide by, and guidelines are collections of best practices. Following the policies and guidelines is understanding how Wikipedia works and is an easy way to collaborate with other users. You don't have to read all policies and guidelines, but it's worth reading Wikipedia's Five Principles. What is 'Policies and Guidelines'? A policy is a basic rule of Wikipedia, closely related to the Five Principles of Wikipedia, and contains content generally adhered to by all users. Policy documents are grouped in Category:Wikipedia Policies. Guidelines are collections of best practices that have been endorsed by many editors by consensus in a specific context. Guidelines are usually good to follow, but sometimes exceptions do occur. Guidance documents are grouped in Category:Wikipedia Guidelines. Essays are not rule documents outlining the overall consensus, like policies or guidelines. Essays are the opinions of some users participating in Wikipedia, which may be personal opinions, or may be content that gets a lot of consent if not a policy or guideline. Essay articles are grouped in Category:Wikipedia Essays. Proposition (proposition) is proposed as a policy and guideline for Wikipedia, and is in the process of asking for consensus. Suggested articles are grouped in Category:Wikipedia Suggestions. Policies or guidelines are not mandatory, and you don't need to be bound by the rules if you have a good reason. Also, certain parts of the policy and guidance documents may have lost meaning as consensus has changed. Conversely, simply acting as written in a policy or guideline without considering its intent does not follow the consensus of Wikipedia. Please contribute based on common sense and consensus.


Default Policy

These policies are the basic founding policies for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. See Misconceptions on Wikipedia. Documents must be written with a neutral point of view. Read the Neutral Perspective. There must be no copyright infringement. Articles on Wikipedia are essentially free works distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA 3.0). Behavior that infringes on the copyrights of others, such as the unauthorized importing of articles with exclusive copyrights, hinders the development of Wikipedia. Please read Wikipedia: Copyright. Respect other users. Users of Wikipedia work together to create Wikipedia from different countries, different cultures, and different perspectives. Respect for other users is very important for collaboration, which is how Wikipedia is built.

Other Policies

A list of all policies can be viewed in the policy classification. Below is a list of the policies that are considered important. Wikipedia: Editorial Disputes Wikipedia:Protection Policy Wikipedia: Document Destruction Wikipedia:deletion policy Wikipedia:Block Policy


A list of all guidelines can be found in the guidelines classification. Wikipedia:Choosing a title Wikipedia:Criteria for listing articles Wikipedia: Handing over article Wikipedia:User Documentation


Wikipedia's policies and guidelines are created together by all users of Wikipedia. Modifications or changes to Wikipedia's policy and guidance documents;

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