Wikipedia Best Practices

Wikipedia is a common information source on any given topic. Content is generated and moderated entirely by the Wikipedia community.

Though individuals and organizations are often interested in ensuring they are represented in Wikipedia, self-written profiles are expressly discouraged by Wikipedia and should be avoided.

Anything that smacks to the Wikipedia community as PR or promotion (as opposed to information) will be expressly targeted. Violating this ethos can result in serious negative PR consequences. The risk is rarely worth it.

The best practices below offer guidelines for participating in Wikipedia.

  • Self-written / ghost written profiles discouraged / prohibited.
  • Original research prohibited; all information on Wikipedia must be cited.
  • Talk pages are appropriate places to suggest material / new articles that may reference you, your work or your department.
  • Only edit content about yourself or your department when it is obviously vandalism, out of date, or a typo.
  • If you must post an article about yourself, keep it entirely neutral and ensure all information is verified elsewhere (on your departments Web site, on your personal Web site, professional organizations sites, etc.) Understand that once you post such a profile, you lose control over it you cannot take it down and others will edit it. A better approach is to make a proposal that an article be written about you on a talk page within your area of expertise, provide the relevant content, and let the Wikipedia community take it on.
  • Do not violate copyright laws. Content under copyright restriction will be flagged as a violation and deleted. 
  • Users should not advertise or promote a product or company on Wikipedia.
  • Neutral point of view is a founding and guiding principle of Wikipedia. Any content provided by public relations / marketing offices should be straight facts only, with appropriate citations.
  • To participate in Wikipedia, consider authoring or editing a Wikipedia entry for your research area. You may link back to VUMC, but it is important to link it to other relevant sites.

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