Wikipedia:List of policies and guidelines

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The following is a comprehensive list of policies and guidelines. For descriptive directories see Wikipedia:List of policies, Wikipedia:List of guidelines and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Contents.


Wikipedia's rules and best practices are specified in these documents:

Green check.svg Policy[edit]

A policy documents a rule or standard with wide acceptance among Wikipedia editors that all users should normally follow.

Blue check.svg Guideline[edit]

A guideline is a set of best practices that are supported by the consensus of Wikipedia editors. Editors should attempt to follow guidelines, though they are best treated with common sense. Occasional exceptions may apply. Naming conventions are considered guidelines.

Information icon4.svg Information page[edit]

An information page describes a process on Wikipedia and reflects community consensus.

The basics[edit]

The Five Pillars[edit]

The Five Pillars are the five fundamental principles of Wikipedia:

Encyclopedia icon.svg Wikipedia is an encyclopedia
Scale icon green.svg Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view
Jigsaw piece yellow 01.svg Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute
Smiley icon orange.svg Editors should treat each other with respect and civility
Light bulb icon red.svg Wikipedia has no firm rules


Large-print links are broad, fundamental policies and guidelines that apply throughout Wikipedia.

Normal-print links are policies and guidelines that are general in scope but may apply to more specific situations.

Small-print links are policies and guidelines that are specific to a subject area or process on Wikipedia.


Green check.svg Content policies[edit]

Biographies of Living PersonsImage Use PolicyWikipedia is Not a Dictionary

Blue check.svg Content guidelines[edit]

AutobiographyAccuracy DisputeContent ForkingExternal LinksNo Disclaimers in ArticlesNon-Free ContentNon-Free Use Rationale GuidelineNon-U.S. CopyrightsOffensive MaterialPublic DomainSpamSpoiler

Blue check.svg Editing guidelines[edit]

As OfBroad-Concept ArticlesCategories, Lists, and Navigation TemplatesCopying within WikipediaReviewing Good ArticlesHatnotePage BlankingOvercategorizationPreparing Images for UploadRed LinkRedirectSet Index ArticlesSoft RedirectSpellcheckingSubpagesUpdating InformationUser Categories

Blue check.svg Notability guidelines[edit]

AcademicsAstronomical ObjectsBooksEventsFilmsGeographic FeaturesMusicNumbersOrganizations and CompaniesPeopleSportsWeb

Blue check.svg Naming conventions[edit]

AcronymsCapitalizationCountry-Specific TopicsDefinite or Indefinite ArticlesEventsGeographic NamesNumbers and DatesLong ListsPeoplePluralsTechnical RestrictionsUse English

AircraftAncient RomansArmenianAstronomical ObjectsAustralian RoadsBaseball PlayersBelgium: Castle, Country House, Château and KasteelBelgium: Alternate Language NamesBooksBroadcastingBrusselsBurmeseLaw Enforcement Agency CategoriesChemistryChineseClergyCollege FootballComicsCompaniesFaunaFilmsFloraUK Parliament ConstituenciesGovernment and LegislationGreekHebrewIce HockeyIndicIrish CategoriesKoreanLanguagesLatter Day SaintsMacedoniaManuscriptsMongolianMusicNew ZealandNorse MythologyOperasEthnicities and TribesMiningPolitical PartiesShipsSports TeamsSportspeopleStations in PolandTelevisionTibetanRoyalty and NobilityU.S. State and Territory HighwaysUK StationsVideo GamesWest BankSwiss MunicipalitiesWriting Systems

Blue check.svg Style guidelines[edit]

Content: AccessibilityBiographiesLinkingSelf-References to AvoidWords to WatchWikimedia Sister Projects

Formatting: AbbreviationsCapital LettersDates and NumbersPronunciationProper NamesSpellingText FormattingTitles

Layout: LayoutLead SectionLists (Embedded ListsLists of WorksRoad Junction ListsStand-Alone Lists)TablesTrivia Sections

Images: ImagesCaptionsIcons

ArtsAnime and MangaComicsFilmMusic (Music SamplesRecord ChartsStringed Instrument Tunings) – NovelsTelevisionVisual ArtsWriting About FictionHistoryMilitary HistoryBlazonLegalLegalTrademarksRegionalCanadaChinaFranceHawaiiIndiaIrelandJapanKoreaPhilippinesPolandSingaporeTrinidad and TobagoReligionIslamLatter Day SaintsScienceChemistryComputingMathematicsMedicineTaxoBox DocumentationSportsCue SportsSnookerWikipedia ContentDisambiguation PagesInfoboxes

Green check.svg Conduct policies[edit]

Clean StartDispute ResolutionEdit WarringNo Personal AttacksOwnership of ContentSockpuppetryUsername Policy

Blue check.svg Behavioral guidelines[edit]

Appealing a BlockCanvassingChanging Username GuidelinesCourtesy VanishingDeceased Wikipedians GuidelinesDo Not Disrupt Wikipedia to Illustrate a PointGaming the SystemPlease Do Not Bite the NewcomersReviewingRollbackSignaturesSpam BlacklistLinking to External Harassment

Green check.svg Deletion policies[edit]

Attack PageOversightProposed Deletion of Biographies of Living PeopleRevision Deletion

Blue check.svg Deletion guidelines[edit]

Deletion Guidelines for AdministratorsSpeedy Keep

Green check.svg Procedural policies[edit]

Arbitration Committee: CheckUser and OversightBot PolicyCheckUserGlobal Rights PolicyIP Block ExemptionPage moverOpen ProxiesVolunteer Response Team

Information icon4.svg Procedural information[edit]

Green check.svg Enforcement policies[edit]

Discretionary SanctionsBanning Policy

Green check.svg Legal policies[edit]

Child ProtectionCopyright ViolationsLibelNon-Free Content CriteriaPaid-contribution disclosureReusing Wikipedia Content

Blue check.svg Project content guidelines[edit]

UserboxesWikiProject Council Guide

Blue check.svg Template guidelines[edit]

High-Risk TemplatesSubstitutionTalk Page Templates

Blue check.svg Reference Desk guidelines[edit]

GeneralMedical advice

See also[edit]

Related essays
  • Simplified rule-set – some basic aspect of Wikipedia norms and practices.
    • Eight rules for editing  – if you start out by following these simple rules, the rest should come naturally.
    • Ten rules for editing  – Wikipedia can be daunting, but here we provide tips to make editing smoother.
    • Trifecta – ultra-fast overview of foundational principles related to policies and guidelines.
  • The rules are principles – policies and guidelines exist as rough approximations of their underlying principles.