Wikipedia:FAQ/Miscellaneous

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Miscellaneous FAQ


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The purpose of this page of frequently asked questions is to answer questions that do not fit into any of the other categories, including linking to Wikipedia and some general questions about how Wikipedia is run.

Can you tell me anything about the Wikipedia logo?[edit]

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The current logo is described at Logo.
See International logo vote and Final logo variants for the selection process used.
See Wikipedia:Wikipedia logos for more details and Logo history for Wikipedia's past logos.
There are two errors in the Wikipedia logo, described in this New York Times article, and debated here.

What do the +/- numbers in red and green next to the articles on my watch list mean?[edit]

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The numbers represent the net number of bytes of information added or removed by the edit. Green means data added; red means data removed.

What is the longest article in Wikipedia?[edit]

The size of an article changes often, but in general List of .. type of articles have a high presence. For editorial clarity, very long textual articles are frequently split into sub-articles by sub-topic (e.g. The main article India has many sub-articles). A dynamically updated and current list can be found at Special:Longpages, for a database snapshot at any given time. There is also a category of articles that may be too long.

Where can I get the Wikipedia icon used in favorites or shortcuts?[edit]

Right here: favicon.ico.

Is allowing everyone to edit pages safe? What if someone starts defaming people?[edit]

Any sort of illegal material gets removed from active wikis quite quickly. See this discussion on Ward's Wiki for more thoughts.
Wikipedia has received several threats of legal action, but none have yet been followed through. Under United States and international law, the Wikimedia Foundation is not responsible for defamation posted on Wikipedia.

What is the best way to link into Wikipedia from another site?[edit]

To link to the multilingual Wikipedia home page, the preferred URL is http://www.wikipedia.org. Our older URL, http://www.wikipedia.com, still works but is deprecated. To link to the home page of the English Wikipedia, the preferred URL is http://en.wikipedia.org.
If you want to link to a specific Wikipedia page, simply use, where XX is the code for the language the article is written in, XX.wikipedia.org/wiki/, plus the page name, changing spaces to underscores. For example, this is a link to the English-language article Mohandas Gandhi:
<a href="/en/wiki/Mohandas_Gandhi">Mohandas Gandhi</a>
The currently valid language codes are listed at Special:SiteMatrix.

Are there any Wikipedia banners or graphics I can use for a link?[edit]

A few of our contributors have made some. They can be found at Wikipedia:Banners and buttons. You can also use our logo. If you make your own Wikipedia graphics (please do!) and want them to be redistributed, simply upload them and link to them from the banner page.


Is there a place where people ask for new entries?[edit]

There are two places:

Is there any peer review process to validate the data that is displayed?[edit]

We are all peers here and we all review each other's work. All articles are thus subjected to constant critical review in one sense, but no formal approval process is currently a standard procedure. However, the Wikiculture is an introspective one and policy and guidelines are evolving continually.
In the most general sense, registered Wikipedians work within an area they define for themselves, and in technical areas like the sciences, social sciences, etc. there usually exists a large group of knowledgeable editors with a long list of articles on their watchlist armed with the powerful tool of page history, to keep an eye on more expert content. There is no claim that this ad hoc system is foolproof, and attempts are being made constantly to improve upon it within the foundation goal of allowing open editing by anyone.
In addition, potential page vandalism gets vigorous patrolling by experienced Wikipedians monitoring special pages dedicated to watching recent changes, changes by anonymous editors, and changes by new editors. Together, these patrols catch most deliberate or naive editing within a short while of the misguided edit.
Some people have plans for formal peer review or article certification systems to work on top of Wikipedia, currently in a backlog of proposed policy changes. We'll be sure to point them out if and when any get up and running. For more information, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia approval mechanism.
In addition, many of our better editors will place a 'matured' article up for peer review by using Peer Review, and advertising for feedback on the Village Pump. Prior to that stage, some editors interested in quality will ask a diverse group of personal contacts within the community by 'Spam-requesting' on the individual's talk pages for feedback and ideas on developing less mature articles. Both are voluntary processes, and generally raise the quality of both content and presentation from such sought out input. These measures also tend to expand the body of talent working on a particular article, again benefiting its quality.

How is Wikipedia backed up? Is it possible that an accident could destroy all this data?[edit]

Database dumps are made weekly and a slave server is usually running a copy of the database. Contingency plans include backups of the site's configuration files. The database download is available for anyone wanting to keep off-site backups.

Is it "the Wikipedia," or just plain "Wikipedia"?[edit]

Wikipedia, as a proper noun, does not take an article. When referring to the project as a whole, plain "Wikipedia" is standard usage. There is only one project known as Wikipedia without any further description or qualification, and that project has many languages: "Wikipedia currently has 14 000 000 articles in over 260 languages."
  • When referring to individual editions of the project, each of which is usually described by its language, the edition takes an article. There is only one Wikipedia for a given language. Example: the Romanian-language Wikipedia, a slavic-language Wikipedia.
  • When describing Wikipedia as one of many encyclopedias, reference works, or projects, an article is appropriate: "the Wikipedia encyclopedia", or "the Wikipedia project". In each case the article is attached to the common, not the proper noun (the encyclopedia, the project). (Similarly, note that we say "Britannica", but "the Encyclop√¶dia Britannica" [the applying there to Encyclop√¶dia] and "the OED" [the applying to Dictionary])
  • When referring to one of these language editions, in comparison with other editions, an article is likewise used:
    "The smallest Wikipedia" = the smallest language edition of Wikipedia
    "A recently-started Wikipedia" = a Wikipedia language edition started recently