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SIA Spring Workshop 2014: Community Standards

Resources for the Society of Indiana Archivists Pre-Conference Workshop for Spring 2014.

Policies and Guidelines


  1. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.
  2. Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view.
  3. Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute.
  4. Editors should treat each other with respect and civility.
  5. Wikipedia does not have firm rules.

There are policies (accepted standards that should be followed) and guidelines (best practices with occasional exceptions) for everything on Wikipedia, but no one could possibly know them all! Beyond these five pillars, here are a few of particular interest and relevancy to archivists:

The Bot Brigade

"A bot (derived from the word "robot") is an automated or semi-automated tool [program or script] that carries out repetitive and mundane tasks to maintain the 32,591,377 pages of the English Wikipedia. Bots are able to make edits very rapidly and can disrupt Wikipedia if they are incorrectly designed or operated. For these reasons, a bot policy has been developed."

--from Wikipedia: Bots

Bots do everything from revert vandalism to signing messages left on talk pages; without them, a great deal of work would have to be done by hand. You will likely receive one or more messages from a bot on your user page when you begin editing, welcoming you to Wikipedia and providing guidance, if necessary.

Wikipedia Is Edited by Bots. That's A Good Thing.

February 2014 article from Newsweek on the use of bots on Wikipedia.

The WikiProject

"A WikiProject is a group of editors that collaborate on encyclopedic work at a collection of pages devoted to the management of a specific topic or family of topics within Wikipedia. A WikiProject is a group of people, not a set of pages, a subject area, or a category. The WikiProject's pages are not a place to write encyclopedia articles directly, but a resource to help coordinate, discuss, organize the group's activities, and share ideas about article writing."

-- from the WikiProject Council's Guidelines for WikiProjects

WikiProjects are an excellent place to turn for guidance if you get stuck and also provide a number of services to the Wikipedia community, including article quality assessment, creating to-do lists to coordinate improvement of topical articles, and collecting advice on implementing Wikipedia policy and guidelines in the area of interest.

A few WikiProjects to get you started... a more complete list is available here.


Please read through your assigned article and then partner up with 2 other people who read different articles to discuss.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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