UESPWiki:Policies and Guidelines
Our mission is to create a high-quality encyclopedic guide focusing on the Elder Scrolls series. Because there is no official structure that polices the quality of our site, we have had to slowly adopt various rules, procedures, and values that allow everyone to make effective contributions to the wiki.
New editors on the site are not required to read through all of these policies and guidelines; they are not a list of rules that must be understood before participating in the site. Most of them are based upon common sense. Editors who act in good faith and treat other members of the community with good faith are unlikely to encounter any problems; editors will be notified if a situation arises where a policy or guideline may be relevant.
In general, the policies have been written just in case future situations arise where they are needed. They provide a reference for editors on recommended courses of action. The policies have been written up ahead of time so that details can be worked out in a neutral atmosphere, instead of being determined after a problem has already arisen. The policies often take into account the collective experience of the many editors who have contributed to the site.
In addition, some guidelines are primarily a summary of discussions that have cropped up about how to best accomplish certain tasks. In cases where the discussed questions are likely to be of long-term interest, the conclusions are written up into a guideline for future reference by all members of the community.
A list of all the site's policies and guidelines is provided at Policies and Guidelines. All of these have been written by the community and for the community. Everyone's input on these articles is welcome. Any new articles that are written are initially considered to be proposals, and are listed at Proposed Policies and Guidelines for the community to discuss and improve before being accepted as official pages.
Writing High-Quality Articles
- Informative – Content must be informative to the reader. Content that conveys little to no information should be removed or reworded as appropriate. Think of ways you can improve content so that it is more informative.
- Verifiable – Every editor should be able to look at information given and verify it through their own game. Editor opinions and first person stories are never verifiable and should be avoided.
- Professional – All articles should ideally be written in a formal tone expected of an encyclopedia quality site. Proper grammar, casing, spelling, tone, and prose are all qualities that are characteristic of a professional article.
- Legible – Articles should be made legible by using proper wiki syntax and other text formatting to cleanly expand an article.
- Main article: UESPWiki:Etiquette
These are the qualities that are desired of an editor on our project. Some of the rules listed are mandatory to anyone who would like to edit, while others are suggested rules that will allow you to be understood in the community. In any case, following all of these guidelines will prevent you from getting into trouble, and will help you slowly earn respect in the community.
- Be bold when editing. Everyone has an edit button on the top of the screen. If you find something that can be improved, then improve it! Encourage others, even those who you don't agree with, to do the same.
- Be nice when editing. Be civil when talking to other people, and treat them with respect and kindness. Encourage others to be nice as well, and be careful not to unintentionally present yourself as being uncivil.
- Don't vandalize. Vandalism is defined as the addition, deletion, or alteration of any content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the wiki. Don't mess pages up on purpose. Blanking articles or sections, replacing content with jokes or other nonsense, and sneakily making articles inaccurate is considered vandalism. Any vandalizing edits should be removed and reported.
- Assume good faith. In contrast, assume that others are trying to help the wiki and not harm it unless you have evidence to the contrary. Don't ignore bad actions, but try your best to assume that they are wanting to help.
- Using decent edit summaries will prevent confusion. Try to explain what you did and why you did it as often as possible. If you need to elaborate, simply conclude your edit summary with "see talk", and promptly explain the edit on the talk page.
- When in doubt, discuss. Consensus, even if it is between just two people, will aid in the improvement of articles. We have all the time in the world to discuss changes, and we have plenty of places to do it. If you discuss changes before you make them, you can reach a consensus faster and people will have a better understanding about why you are making the changes.
- Sign your comments on talk pages. How do people know what comments are yours if you don't sign them? You should add four tildes (~~~~) to the end of all of your comments on talk pages. Just make sure you don't get carried away and do the same thing on main articles, unless of course they are message boards such as the community portal.
- Adhere to copyright. All content on the wiki, except for images and transcripted texts, should be compatible with our copyright license. You agree that all of your contributions are licensed under the license, and may be edited, altered, or removed by other contributors.
These are the procedural policies and guidelines for enforcing policies and guidelines as well as promoting and documenting the proper improvement of articles.
- Avoid First Person – When editing regular articles, avoid explaining situations in the first person unless you have a good reason to do so. Singular first person is most often not verifiable, which means that first person statements are frequently and mercilessly removed. Plural first person implies that a consensus was formed, and should usually only be used on project pages.
- Blocking Policy – Editors who are disruptive and do not respect our community can be blocked from editing for either a short or long period of time, depending on the offense.
- Content Over Style – The content of the site always has precedence over the current style of the site. If at any time the style interferes with the content of the site, then the style must change in order to support the content.
- Deletion Policy – Pages can only be deleted by an administrator, and in general should follow one of the processes approved by the deletion policy.
- Namespaces – We keep all of our pages in namespaces such as Oblivion: and UESPWiki:, and we do not put regular content in our main namespace like Wikipedia or OblivioWiki. Please do not put regular content inside the main namespace.
- Protection Policy – Pages can be protected by administrators in various degrees and for various time periods when the need arises.
- Style Guide – We try to keep a uniform and neat style. These are style-related guidelines that you should follow when editing.