CIS-A2K/Policies and guidelines/pa

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Access To Knowledge, The Centre for Internet Society logo.png

CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
If you have a general proposal/suggestion for Access to Knowledge team you can write on the discussion page. If you have appreciations or feedback on our work, please share it on feedback page.

ਮੁੱਖ ਸਫ਼ਾਨੀਤੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸੂਚੀਕੰਨੜ ਵਿਕੀਪੀਡੀਆਕੋਂਕਣੀ ਵਿਕੀਪੀਡੀਆਮਰਾਠੀ ਵਿਕੀਪੀਡੀਆOdia Wikipediaਤੇਲਗੂ ਵਿਕੀਪੀਡੀਆ

Policies and guidelines are a set of rules or guidelines proposed and adopted by a community. We are going to prepare this guide/handbook keeping mainly Indian-language Wikipedia communities in mind, and here we'll discuss:

  1. ਨੀਤੀ ਹੋਣ ਦੀ ਮਹੱਤਤਾ;
  2. How to create a new policy or revise an existing one;
  3. Challenges and issues faced by Indian Wikipedias to manage and implement policies;
ਇਸ ਸਫ਼ੇ ਲਈ ਦਰਸ਼ਕ

This page is aimed mostly at those communities who have policy gaps or policy issues. We'll help to address these issues and strengthen their policy and guidelines structure.

ਨੀਤੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਮਹੱਤਤਾ[edit]

Policies and guidelines are a set of rules proposed, discussed and developed by the community to describe —

  • Standard or best practices;
  • Community-approved procedure to do a work or how a community intends to do a work;

As opinions and work-method vary from person to person, it is very important that a community decides a common and the best way to perform a task. Policies and guidelines are useful because editors can easily refer to these pages for help, guidance and reference. Wikipedia policies and guidelines pages explain and best-agreed practices.

Creating or modifying existing policies[edit]

Creating or modifying a policy
in just five bullet points

Billiardball1.png Plan a new policy (or the changes) you are going to propose, prepare a draft outline;
Billiardball2.png Propose it on Village Pump;
Billiardball3.png Discuss it with community and build consensus;
Billiardball4.png Start making necessary changes;

If a community or an editor wants to propose a new policy or modify or make changes in an existing policy, these are the suggested steps.

ਯੋਜਨਾ • ② ਤਜਵੀਜ਼ • ③ ਚਰਚਾ • ④ ਅਮਲ


The first step of creating a new policy or modifying an existing one is "planning". An editor or a community should plan well and have a clear understanding of the policy (or the changes) they are going to propose. This planning generally includes:
  1. ਪ੍ਰਸਤਾਵ ਦੀ ਇੱਕ ਰੇਖਾ
  2. Importance of that particular policy (or the changes)
Sample proposal outline

Here is a sample policy addition proposal:

In this Wiki, I am (or "we are") proposing to create a basic protection policy page. As sometimes we need protect or semi-protect pages (or files), it is important to have a page describing our protection policy or when or why a page or a file is protected. Many Wikipedias have a separate page for protection policy, in this Wiki, I am suggesting to create a short policy page documenting our existing standard practices.


The next step is proposing it to the community
Village pump

On Wikipedia, discussions on policies generally take place on Village Pump. Village Pump is a community-wide discussion board. In many Wikis, Village Pump is the central and the most important discussion place. Hence, a Village Pump is the best place to start a discussion on policy.

Example: Here you can see a discussion on English Wikipedia Village Pump, where editors suggested policy changes regarding dead links.

Article or project talk page

Article or project talk page is an alternative place to propose a policy change. These talk pages are used to discuss changes to its associated article or project page. Sometimes these discussions may lead to some policy changes related proposals.

Policy page and its talk

Alternatively an editor may go ahead and create a basic policy page and continue discussion on its talk page. This first draft of a policy should not be considered as the final version. For example: Five pillars is one of the most important policy page on English Wikipedia.

Example: On 4 May 2005, the page was started by User:Neutrality with an edit summary New simple policy page. This was the first draft, later editors continued discussing and modifying the policy page.

Mailing list

Mailing list is an alternate channel where sometimes very important discussions take place. Although it is recommended to conduct a policy discussions on Village Pump, the experienced editors on community should decide whether they want to discuss it on their mailing list.

Facebook, Twitter

Facebook, Twitter etc. sites may be used for casual discussions, communications, and informing others, but it is not recommended to conduct formal policy discussions on these sites.


The third step is discussing the proposal with the community. Here community members will discuss the proposal and share their feedback, opinion, and suggestion. These comments are generally of two types:
  1. Support, oppose etc.: Here community members will support or oppose the request. A few member may cast !Neutral votes too
  2. Comment, suggestion of improvement: A few community members may or may not vote, but they will provide suggestions to improve the plan
  • Good practice: It is a good practice to discuss in details and not just write in a few words like "Endorse: I like and support it." --~~~~

Generally such a discussion is allowed to run for at least 7 days. Sometimes no conclusion is reached even after 7 days. In that case, an admin, or senior editors may allow to run it for a few more days. There is not any rule on what should be maximum timeline of completing a discussion, but undoubtedly it can go on for months.

Who should close a discussion?

In large communities generally admins close important discussions. But, any experienced/senior editor, who is aware of Wikipedia policies and guidelines and knows how to reach a conclusion in such discussion, may close it as well. In general, an editor should not act as closer if there are involved as participants. In small Wikis, specially if there is a clear consensus, a participant (not the proposer or thread starter) may also act as a closer.

Should the discussion be formally closed? OR What is the procedure to close a discussion?

It is recommended to formally close a discussion. Templates like Archive top and Archive bottom may be used, but these are not mandatory.

A closer should carefully study all the arguments, and add a closing comment.

  • Good practice: A closer should add detailed closing statement with a clear note on what is the consensus, or what should be done.
  • Discussion is an alternative to voting: On a few Wikipedias, there is not any formal voting procedure (i. e. they don't use Support, Oppose, Endorse etc. in their comments). In such Wikis, discussions should be considered as alternative to voting.



The last part is implementing and working on the community consensus. Any editor, including the proposer, may go ahead and make necessary changes (like creating a new policy page or update an existing one). But, he/they must follow the consensus or the decision and suggestions of the community members. The changes should reflect the consensus of the discussion.

  • Good practice: It is a good practice to notify and show the noticeboard once the work is done.

Challenges and issues[edit]

Indian language Wikipedia communities may face some of these problems. Here we'll discuss these challenges and possible workarounds.

Non-existing village pump[edit]

  • Challenge: A few Indian Wiki(pedia or source) communities, specially if those are newly launched, may not have a Village Pump or an equivalent.
  • Possible workaround: It is recommended to try to set up a Village Pump first.

Plan with us[edit]

If you want to propose a policy change on your Wiki and want to discuss with us to draft the proposal or any other thing, we can talk here.