Wikiquote:Policies and guidelines

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Exquisite-opera.png This page is an official policy on Wikiquote.
It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.
Please do not make significant changes to this page without prior discussion.


Wikiquote is a collaborative project and its founders and contributors have a common goal:

Our goal with Wikiquote is to create a free compendium of quotations--indeed, the largest compendium of quotations in history, in both breadth and depth. We also want Wikiquote to become a reliable resource.

Wikiquote has some policies and guidelines that are generally accepted and considered important, or even essential, by the project's founders and participants. These help us to work towards our goal. It is important to note that at least some of these policies are still evolving, as Wikiquote grows and develops. Some others, however, have now long been settled and are not regarded as controversial by the vast majority of Wikiquote's "old hands."

Generally accepted policies

  • Don't infringe copyrights. Wikiquote is a free compendium licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License‎ and the GNU Free Documentation License. Submitting work without the copyright holder's permission threatens our objective to build a truly free compendium of quotations that anyone can redistribute, and could lead to legal liability for the project. See Wikiquote:Copyrights for more information.
  • Wikiquote is a compendium of quotations. The site should primarily be used for developing the compendium. In particular, discussions on talk pages should be directed at improving entries. See What Wikiquote is not.
  • Respect other contributors. Wikiquote contributors come from many different countries and cultures, and have widely different views. By treating others with respect we are able to cooperate effectively in building a compendium of quotations. For some guidelines, see Etiquette.
  • Follow conventions. By following these conventions we are able to produce a more consistent and usable compendium of quotations:

For policies on using some restricted features, see Administrators.

The policies of Wikiquote's sister project, Wikipedia, usually apply equally well to Wikiquote. In addition, most of them are more mature and hence more polished than Wikiquote's policies, which are still in the process of being developed. Where not specified in Wikiquote, use Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and linked articles.

While a Wikiquote version of the page has yet to be written, Wikipedia's "Avoiding common mistakes" page contains some useful information for newcomers.

How are these policies enforced?

You are a Wikiquote editor. Wikiquote lacks an editor-in-chief or a central, top-down mechanism whereby the day-to-day progress on the compendium is monitored and approved. Instead, active participants monitor recent changes and make copyedits and corrections to the content and format problems they see. So the participants are both writers and editors.

In extreme and unusual cases, Jimmy Wales has stepped in to ban a user who has proven to be unusually disruptive. Jimbo has also declared certain policies to be, essentially, official Wikiquote policies; see this Wikien-l post and User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles.

How policy has been formulated

Wikiquote policy is formulated for the most part by habit and consensus. Hence, the statements on this page and pages adjoining it are intended for the most part to be descriptive of existing community norms that have developed over time. Discussion pages including Wikiquote:Village pump and numerous talk pages of articles and documents incubate our policies and guidelines. Issues are still formulated and debated on talk pages.

Specific guidelines to consider

In addition to the generally accepted policies listed above, the following guidelines have been suggested by various participants in the Wikipedia project:

General guidelines

Behavior guidelines

Content guidelines

Style guidelines

See also