Wikivoyage:Policies

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Important: Wikivoyage is subject to all global Wikimedia policies in addition to the policies listed here.

This page is a guide to the policies of English Wikivoyage. If you don't find your answer here or in the frequently asked questions, ask in the travellers' pub.

Guiding principles[edit]

These are the basic principles that inspire our work and policy.
The traveller comes first
Nutshell: Our work is guided by what is best from the traveller's perspective.
Note: You could call this our Prime Directive
Goals and non-goals
Nutshell: Our goal is to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide.
Related pages:
Consensus
Nutshell: Almost all decisions are made by achieving consensus rather than voting — so state your arguments and build consensus for debatable matters.
Related pages:
Plunge forward
Nutshell: Don't worry about being perfect or making mistakes. If something needs to be done, do it. Jump in and make useful edits to articles.

Core content policies[edit]

The core content policies refer to the way we write and present our travel guide to the reader.
Be fair
Nutshell: Describe travel destinations fairly, even if that means that a description isn't flattering. Provide honest information so travelers can make informed decisions.
Related pages:
Don't tout
Nutshell: Listings should describe the establishment or attraction in clear, honest and concise terms. A business should only be listed once per destination. Edits that look like touting may be reverted.
Related pages:
Tone
Nutshell: Writing should describe the destination or attraction in a lively and concise manner. Avoid exaggerations, superlatives and vague, flowery language.
Related pages:

Community policies[edit]

How to get along in the Wikivoyage community

Unwanted edits[edit]

Keep Wikivoyage fun
Nutshell: Writing about travel should be almost as fun as visiting the destinations themselves, so behavior that makes it less fun for others to contribute to Wikivoyage should be avoided. If someone else is making it less fun for you to contribute here, assume good faith, but if problems persist discuss the issue with that user and solicit feedback from others in extreme cases.
How to handle unwanted edits
Nutshell: Unwanted edits are contributions that do not agree with our policies and guidelines or Manual of Style. Any contributor may revert an unwanted edit.
Note: This is the policy on dealing with vandalism.
Related pages:
Edit war
Nutshell: Do not wage edit war. If involved in one, step back and use the article’s talk page to come to a consensus.
Related pages:

Links[edit]

External links
Nutshell: External links should be kept to a minimum, and only links to primary sources should be used. There should not be an external links section in any article.
Related pages:
Sister project links (Draft) - (links to articles within the Wikimedia projects group)
Note: New policy needed as there will be more than just Wikipedia to consider, though that is the most likely to be linked.
Nutshell: Many Wikivoyage articles can benefit from links to Wikipedia articles on the same subject. A travel article focuses on the issues facing travelers for a destination, but Wikipedia articles can have deeper or broader information on a topic or attraction.
Related pages:
Internal links
Nutshell: Make links to other Wikivoyage pages, but generally only link the first instance of an article name. These should be incorporated into the text of an article if practical, otherwise use a "See also" section at the end of the page.
Inter-language links
Note: More of a how-to page than policy.
Nutshell: We use Wikidata to make links between articles that cover the same subject in the different language versions of Wikivoyage. The MediaWiki software has a feature we can use on discussion pages, not articles, for making links between articles that cover different subjects.

Specific community policies[edit]

Deletion policy
Nutshell: Articles and images can be deleted if certain criteria are met. If you feel an article or image should be deleted, nominate it for deletion. Some items, such as spam or blatant copyright violations, can be speedy deleted.
Related pages:
Protected page policy
Nutshell: Administrators may protect a page when necessary, but it is preferable that abusive edits are effectively counteracted without protecting a page.
Related pages:
Image policy
Nutshell: Images must be compatible with our copyleft licence. The image page must contain a summary with the appropriate attribution information and licence information. Photos should not contain people unless it is a public space and the people are peripheral to the picture content.
Related pages:
Site notice policy
Nutshell: The site notice is a feature which can be used to alert the community about important developments. Site notices should be discussed on the talk page and published by consensus
Related pages:
Sock puppets
Nutshell: The creation of sockpuppets, i.e., multiple accounts per user, is discouraged, but they are usually just ignored.
No real world threats
Nutshell: Real world threats—essentially threats of physical or legal harm—are strictly prohibited on Wikivoyage. They are never necessary, and can have a chilling effect on public participation. If you do post a threat of a lawsuit or physical harm, even an ambiguous or vague one, you will likely be banned from further editing here with prejudice.
User account migration
Nutshell: If you had an account on the old Wikivoyage site, or if you have contributions that were imported here from Wikitravel, you can merge the records of your contributions into your account on this new Wikivoyage site.
It's not carved in stone
Nutshell: Most of our detail policies and guidelines, and the manual of style can be changed if there is a need and the community can come to a consensus on the change. Any proposed change must be compatible with our guiding principles
Related pages:
Jargon
Nutshell: A glossary of terms used in discussions, edit summaries, or on IRC.
Related pages:
Checkuser
Nutshell: Checkuser can be used to examine user IP address information and other server log data. It is to be used sparingly and only to protect Wikivoyage against vandalism, disruption and/or bad faith.
Note: Under discussion.
Related pages:

Community projects[edit]

Collaboration of the month
Nutshell: The Collaboration of the month is a way to get many contributors working on one article at once, often to get it ready for an upcoming event or a nomination for destination of the month. While anyone can edit any article at any time, this provides a way to highlight specific articles allowing many contributors to help improve them together.
Expeditions
Nutshell: An Expedition is a special project for articles or images. (Sure, we could just call it a "project", but what fun is that?) Expeditions help us collaborate and organize around certain subjects, be they based on shared interests, geography, or shared skills.
Related pages:

Roles within the community[edit]

Hierarchy
Nutshell: Wikivoyage has a hierarchy of people involved in the community, with varying levels of responsibility in the project. People burdened with more responsibility are expected to serve those above them, and make life easier for them.
Autoconfirmed users
Nutshell: Users who have been registered for longer than 4 days are autoconfirmed. In addition to this allowing them to mark anonymous users' edits as reviewed, it also means that their own edits are marked as reviewed automatically.
Administrators
Nutshell: Administrators are registered users who have shown a good appreciation of the policies and guidelines and made significant contributions, have been nominated by the community and have been granted some additional functions. They are the plumbers and janitors of the travel guide and perform mostly mundane tasks, but also those few tasks which could do permanent damage if done wrongly.
Related pages:
Bureaucrats
Nutshell: Bureaucrats are administrators with a few extra, rarely needed, but essential functions, who are trusted by the community to do things like switch on administrator functions.
Related pages:
Docents
Nutshell: Docents are registered users who know a lot about a particular destination or topic and volunteer their time and knowledge to help travellers who have questions about that destination or topic.
Related pages:
Welcome message
Nutshell: When new Wikivoyagers set up a user account and make a new user page, we usually welcome them to the site with a brief message. We want every contributor's first contact with Wikivoyage to be a positive experience. A friendly welcome and an explanation of any reversion can save a contributor who may otherwise just turn away from the site.
Related pages:

Cooperating with other websites[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation believes there is enough room for multiple travel sites to co-exist, and for community members to contribute to multiple sites in this area.

All of the various "cooperating with..." policy pages

Other language Wikivoyage projects[edit]

Wikivoyage projects have many common goals, and content that is acceptable on English Wikivoyage will usually be welcome on other languages, suitably translated.

If you are registered on the English Wikivoyage project, you are automatically registered on all other Wikimedia Foundation projects, and can edit any of them under your user name following the local policies and guidelines, many of which may be similar to those of English Wikivoyage. Be careful if your command of the local language is poor, and look out for the differences. Our policies are not enforceable on other languages and trying to enforce them will offend. Similarly, their policies are not enforceable here. If you think they are better or should be harmonized, start a discussion about it. The Travellers' pub is a good place to start such a discussion if a better place is not obvious.

Infrastructure and software[edit]

Wikivoyage:Technical infrastructure policy
Obsolete: the primary Web and database servers that run Wikivoyage.org are now operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. With rare exceptions (such as Wikivoyage-specific map servers), any issues should be reported to WMF through bugzilla: or on meta:.
Avoid HTML
HTML should be avoided in marking up articles. Use Wikimarkup for formatting when possible. If Wikimarkup is not possible, and the formatting will be generally useful, consider a MediaWiki template
Related pages:
Offline version
Nutshell: You as a traveller should be able to take your tour guide with you on the road. An internet café is not always just around the corner. But maybe you have a laptop or palm with the content of Wikivoyage on it. Our offline version is (will be) updated weekly.
Note: We don't have one (yet) officially, although individual users have repackaged our open-source data in third-party apps or archives which may be downloaded to Android, iOS or similar devices. The underlying Wikimedia database dumps are updated at best twice monthly; these may be repackaged at will if the original licence and authors' attribution is retained. As of 2012, we still need an *.epub (Nook, Kobo) or *.mobi (Kindle) version; this would need to be split into multiple volumes (so each large country or region as an e-book volume) due to e-reader limitations on the size of each book.
Script policy
Nutshell: Automated scripts that modify Wiki travel guide pages and images must comply with the script policy and be approved.
Related pages:
Using MediaWiki templates
Nutshell: The software we use, MediaWiki, has a feature to include the contents of one article into another automatically. This is called transclusion or templating, although it has nothing to do with our article templates. Templates should be used for editorial markup and metadata.
Related pages:
Wiki markup
Nutshell: MediaWiki software uses a special code called Wiki markup for formatting the text and images in an article. The Wiki markup used while editing a page will determine how the text looks and what links and images are in the page.
Related pages:

Recognizing contributors and articles[edit]

Barnstars
Nutshell: One great tradition in wiki culture is the barnstar. This is a simple image of an iron star, as used for decoration on barns in the northeastern United States. Because wiki community building is often compared to barn raising -- coming together to work on a project. The barnstar is a symbol of that community-mindedness, and is an informal "award" to recognize a user's exceptional community and content work.
Destination of the month
Shotcuts: dotm
Nutshell: Good articles are be featured on the main page as Destinations of the month
Related pages:
Star articles
Nutshell: Our best articles are recognised by awarding them a star rating
Related pages:

Organization of the wiki[edit]

Structure of the wiki is described here. Structure within an article is described in section Manual of style.

Hierarchy of travel guides[edit]

Breadcrumb navigation
Nutshell: Wikivoyage has a feature to show bread crumb menus under the title of a destination article to show the countries and regions that a destination belongs to.
Related pages:
Geographical hierarchy
Nutshell: To help organize travel guide articles, they are arranged into a non-overlapping geographical hierarchy. The type of information contained within an article varies depending on where it is in the hierarchy.
Other ways of seeing travel
Nutshell: Destinations, Travel topics, Itineraries and Phrasebooks
Related pages:

Creating travel guides[edit]

What is an article?
Nutshell (existing page): Generally, articles can be created for destinations where a traveller can sleep, such as geographical units in the geographical hierarchy (e.g., countries, states, cities). Attractions, companies, transports systems and routine schedules generally do not have articles unless there is a compelling reason for an exception.
Alt (proposed change): A destination is a geographical location where the traveller stays for some time, typically over several days, uses accommodation facilities provided at the destination, eats there and engages in activities which are the purpose of the visit. The basic destination is the city, but destination types include regions, national parks, and districts of exceptionally large cities.
Note: Regions include continents, continental sections, countries, states, provinces etc. Cities may be split into districts if the article becomes cumbersome.
Note: This does not apply to non-destination articles. Travel topics, Itineraries and Phrasebooks should be mentioned.

We have four categories of article: Destinations, Itineraries, Phrasebooks and Travel topics.

Related pages:
Bodies of water
Nutshell: We don't write destination guide articles about bodies of water. They may be referred to in other destination guides as attractions or as part of an itinerary or in a travel topic.
Destinations
Note: update nutshell
Nutshell:A destination is a geographical location where the traveller stays for some time, typically over several days, uses accommodation facilities provided at the destination, eats there and engages in activities which are the purpose of the visit. Destination types include regions, cities and national parks.
Related pages:
Disambiguation pages
Nutshell: A disambiguation page lists the full titles of several different articles with similar names, and allows the traveler to choose between them.
Related pages:
Itineraries
Nutshell: An itinerary is a guide for traveling along a specific route through several destinations or attractions, giving suggestions of where to stop, what to see, how to prepare, etc. If you think of our destination guides as dots on a map, an itinerary describes a line that connects those dots.
Related pages:
Phrasebooks
Nutshell: Phrasebooks are intended to define just enough of the language so that an English-speaking traveller can "get by" in an area where that language is spoken.
Related pages:
Travel topics
Nutshell: Travel topics are articles that deal with a specific topic that is too large or detailed to go in a specific travel guide destination page, or travel tips that are so general that they apply to nearly all destinations and don't need to be in each specific travel guide.
Note: A huge range of possibilities exist and if there is no guidance available for a proposed article, you can discuss it at the Travellers' pub.
Related pages:
Naming conventions
Nutshell: Destination articles should use the name most commonly used in English-speaking countries, or if one doesn't exist, the most commonly used name in the local language.
Related pages:

Travel guide content policies[edit]

Avoid negative reviews
Nutshell: Generally, if an attraction or business is not worth going to, leave it out. If a negative review is given, explain why the review is negative.
Rental listings
Nutshell: Real estate and rental agencies are not listed unless specific criteria are met.
Tour operators
Nutshell: Tours should only be listed if they are a value-added activity for the traveller.
Note: What does this mean?
Sex tourism policy
Nutshell Information relating to sex tourism is not included in our travel guides. Information relating to red-light districts and strip clubs is generally OK.
Illegal activities policy
Nutshell: Activities that are illegal at the destination should be discussed in the travel guide article if the information is useful to the traveller, particularly when these activities are commonly legal in other places, or the penalties are unusually severe
Information for gay and lesbian travellers
Nutshell: Information of interest to GLBT travellers is placed in the appropriate section of the article (e.g., gay bars go in Drink, gay-friendly hotels go in Sleep).
When to use dates
Nutshell: Attaching a date to facts can be useful to the traveller, but it must be balanced against maintaining a clear and concise travel guide. Prices are generally not dated, but cultural events may be. Operating hours (including seasonal closures) should be included in the guide.
Related pages:
Living persons
Nutshell: Editors must take particular care when adding information about living persons to any Wikivoyage page. This is seldom an issue, as it is unusual for personal information on specific living people to be relevant to our articles.

Article status[edit]

Note: Should we distinguish between status and quality?

Article status
Nutshell: The overall quality of each travel guide should be assessed on a five point scale using the identified criteria. Star status is the highest level and is only given after successfully completing the nomination process.
Related pages: links to various pages describing the different status types:
Star nominations
Nutshell: Only nominate travel guides that appear to meet the criteria of a Star article. Star status will be given if consensus is reached within the community.
Star potential
Nutshell: Travel guides that are very close to Star status should be identified and tagged as "Star potential".
Related pages:

Pages that are not travel guides[edit]

How to pages
Nutshell: Not only policy, also helpful hints on how to do things that may not be obvious
Related pages:
Main Page guidelines
Nutshell: The Main Page is the entry point for most casual readers into Wikivoyage. It should show us in our best light. It includes a mix of gradually-changing information. Any logged-in user can edit it but, because of the complexity of the page layout, great care should be taken.
Namespaces
Note: this page could be modified and used as the landing page for 4.0 Organization
Nutshell: The software used by the Wikivoyage travel guide lets us split up the site into multiple namespaces. With namespaces, each page is explicitly tagged to show what it's used for and where it fits in the site structure.
Related pages:
Redirect pages
Nutshell: A redirect page is a page that automatically links to another page. There are several possible reasons to have a redirect.
Special pages help
Nutshell: Special pages are pages that provide a range of information about the information Wikivoyage contains. Through these pages you can quickly find most of the information in the guide, identify problems, locate users, see statistics and even find out what is missing!
Related pages:
User page help
Nutshell: Wikivoyage users that create their own user accounts get assigned their own user page. These pages are intended to provide a brief introduction about the user. Associated pages provide a personal sandbox to work on projects or ideas outside the "main" travel guide amd a communications medium for collaborating with other users.
Related pages:
Using talk pages
Nutshell: Every article on Wikivoyage has an associated talk page for discussing that article. Talk pages are not chat boards or comment areas; they're for coordinating editorial decisions, suggesting new material that should be considered, and generally collaborating on making a great article.

Manual of style[edit]

Manual of style

Nutshell: Our Manual of style is a collection of rules of thumb and guidelines for giving Wikivoyage articles a consistent look and feel. Most of these rules have exceptions, but to put together a good reference work collaboratively, it's best to follow the rules unless they're quite inappropriate for a particular situation.

Note: Structure within an article is described here. Structure of the wiki is described in section Organisation.

Structure of travel guide articles[edit]

Page banners
Nutshell: All main space articles - Destinations, travel topics, phrase books and disambiguation pages - should have a page banner based on the standard {{Pagebanner}} template. This template should not be used for project pages or talk pages.
Related pages:
Article templates
Nutshell: Travel guides are generally structured using standardized section headings and order, and we have handy substitution templates to help with this.
Related pages:
Avoid long lists
Nutshell: Long lists and large groups of items can be difficult to grasp. If there are more than 9 items to group, consider subdividing into groups of 7±2 items.
Related pages:
Climate (draft policy)
Nutshell: Provide basic climate information about the destination. It helps to travel light by bringing only the things one needs, and to travel comfortably by bringing the right things.
Related pages:
Geocoding
Nutshell: It's possible to encode information about the latitude and longitude of a destination into the destination guide itself.
Information boxes
Nutshell: An information box tells the reader something interesting about the destination or an attraction that is not included in the listing. They are good for providing supplemental information but should not be overused in an article.
Listings
Nutshell: Use standardized templates to provide consistent and complete information for business and attraction listings.
Related pages:
Maps
Nutshell: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when a trying to find your way around a new city, it's more like a million. A clear and simple map can save hours or even days of hassle.
Related pages:
One-liner listings
Nutshell: A brief description of a destination that allows the reader to select the travel guide they want to read.
Related pages:
Routebox navigation
Nutshell: Routeboxes are included in the Go next section and provide a quick way of identifying nearby destinations. Routes should reflect the type(s) of travel commonly used in the local area.
Related pages:
Section headers
Nutshell: Wherever possible, section headers should be identical to the ones in the article templates. The more consistent the sections of articles in Wikivoyage are, the easier it is for readers to find what they're looking for.
Related pages:

Writing style[edit]

Abbreviations
Nutshell: Using abbreviations for commonly known terms is encouraged. The abbreviations used should be uniform.
Related pages:
Creating emphasis (italics, bold)
Nutshell: Use boldface to call important topics and use italics for emphasis.
No advice from Captain Obvious
Nutshell: If something is very obvious or true for nearly all destinations, it does not need to be written.
Use of Pronouns
Note: this is a combination of the existing 1st and 2nd person policies.
Nutshell: You can address the reader, but do not refer to yourself in an article.
Words to avoid
Nutshell: A list of words to avoid when describing a destination and its attractions and businesses.
Alt: Don't use weasel words, waffle, double-talk or puffery.

Language[edit]

Foreign words
Nutshell: It's often useful to point out the local-language name for a place or thing in an article. List the foreign-language word in parentheses after the English name.
Related pages:
Romanization
Nutshell: Non-Latin alphabet names should be written in the latin alphabet for English to assist readers in pronounciation.
Alt: Romanization is the process of mapping a script into the Latin alphabet used for English. As a rule of thumb, romanization should allow the casual reader to guess at the pronunciation, and the expert to pronounce it right.
Related pages: -
Spelling
Nutshell: Destination guides should be written in the local variant of English.
Related pages:
Trademarks
Nutshell: It is OK to refer to trademarks, but trademark symbols should not be used.

Numbers and dates[edit]

Currency
Nutshell: The cost of an item should be listed in the local currency unless the local convention is to list the price in a foreign currency. Prices should be listed with the currency symbol or abbreviation that travellers will encounter.
Measurements
Nutshell: Metric or imperial units of measurement should be displayed depending on the predominant local usage. It is good practice to provide both metric and imperial conversions (local units first with conversion in parentheses).
Phone numbers
Nutshell: Format phone numbers as they would be dialled internationally but in a way that separates the country code, area code, and part that can be dialled locally.
Time and date formats
Nutshell: Times should be displayed in the local timezone using the 12 or 24 hour format, whichever is the predominant local usage. Days of the week should be abbreviated to the minimum number of letters. Dates should use the format dd mmm yyyy.
Related pages:

Legal information[edit]

Terms of use[edit]

Cookies
Nutshell: Cookies are not required to read or edit a guide, but they are necessary to log into and use a user account.
Disclaimer
Nutshell: You're responsible for yourself, we're not.
Terms of use
Nutshell: The whole content of Wikivoyage is available for everybody, provided that our Copyleft license is followed. Besides this webserver we provide our content as XML dumps and an offline version for re-use.
Related pages:

Licencing and redistribution[edit]

Copyleft
Nutshell: All written contributions to this project are automatically licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0. All files uploaded to the project must be licenced under CC BY-SA or a compatible licence.
Copyright-related issues
Note: was "Copyright details" - this page is about copyright-related issues contributors could encounter - recommend changing the name of the page so it's more clear what it is.
Database dump
Nutshell: The Mediawiki software provides a XML format for data exchange between wikis. As a matter of principle, the Wikimedia Foundation keeps its open-source content in a readily downloadable format for import into another running Mediawiki installation.
Dual licencing
Nutshell: The original creator of a work can choose to dual licence it. Subsequent contributors can only dual licence the work if it was previously dual-licenced.
Note: Will this be necessary when we work from Commons?
Full text of the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license
Full text of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
How to re-use Wikivoyage guides
Nutshell: To redistribute Wikivoyage content, you must attribute the authors of the content (not just Wikivoyage), and clearly note that the Wikivoyage content is available under the CC-by-sa 3.0 license, and note the specific copyright for each image.
License upgrade
Nutshell: Following broad consensus in favor, the license was upgraded to CC-by-sa 3.0 on January 1, 2010.
Non-compliant redistribution
Nutshell: Non-compliant distributors should be contacted and made aware of their obligations under the licence.
Non-free content
Nutshell: To remain as free as possible, Wikivoyage allows only limited use of photographs of copyrighted artwork and buildings.
Note: This is the official Exemption Doctrine Policy for English Wikivoyage, as required by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Why Wikivoyage isn't GFDL
Nutshell: GFDL 1.3 is now compatible with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Useful references[edit]