Meta:Historical/Wikipedia and Nupedia

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Historical pages about the WP-NuP relationship, mainly from before 2002.

Old page histories are on the Talk page.

Adding Wikipedia articles to Nupedia[edit]

Background In March 2001, the leadership of Nupedia began serious consideration of the idea of working more closely with Wikipedia, or else setting up a Nupedia wiki. Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief of Nupedia, seriously advanced for discussion the idea of switching Nupedia's editorial process to a less bottleneck-ridden, wiki type of process.

The general sense that Nupedia arrived at is that, while some changes in Nupedia's editorial process might be warranted, we should wait several months before making any change. In the meantime, however, many Nupedia editors and peer reviewers were very receptive to the idea of Wikipedia articles being submitted to Nupedia. So we'd like officially to encourage you to submit articles for which you're mainly responsible to Nupedia.

How to get started


  • When in doubt, ask for help by e-mail from Larry Sanger (lsanger at or from the relevant area editor.
  • If we don't have an active review group in the area your article would be filed under, while it might be accepted under a different area, it might not. If the article is five paragraphs and under, and treats a "nonspecialist" topic (e.g., most topics in geography would work), then submit it under the General and Other heading.
  • Generally speaking, you'll have a slightly better change to have your article assigned since it already exists. Still, to avoid embarrassment, it would probably be best to ask the relevant editor in e-mail if he or she believes an article is ready for Nupedia, or if it needs further work.
  • Bear in mind that Nupedia, unlike Wikipedia, has a very thorough review process, which requires patience and thick skin. It will help considerably if you familiarize yourself with the (presently-outdated) editorial policy guidelines.
  • We strongly encourage you to develop Nupedia articles, or proposed Nupedia articles, on Wikipedia! You can get much useful help here, particularly if you let it be known to the others that an article could become a Nupedia article.

What about multiple authorship? How do we work that out?
Obviously, articles created on Wikipedia have something akin to multiple authors. So, I suggest that on a /Talk page for the article, you present the idea of submitting the article to Nupedia. Some people have made very minor edits, and they shouldn't be credited as co-authors. Others, however, might have added whole sections. In that case, you should try to contact that other person and discuss how to proceed. You might want to act as co-authors on Nupedia; alternatively, you might want to credit the other co-authors, but take responsibility for all the changes required by Nupedia. This is the sort of thing that we can learn to do by doing.

I think that in many cases, and as for me, credit is neither asked for or wanted. When I write on the wikipedia, I do so for my own entertainment and to anonymously contribute to the body of knowledge. Is it possible for articles to appear in Nupedia without any particular attribution, or with attribution to the Wikipedia community-at-large? This seems to better suit our social mores over here. --Jimbo Wales

Yes, that's quite possible. Simply sign up for the article under your own Nupedia member ID, and just before we give it final acceptance, we'll switch the author field off to some specially-created "Wikipedia-created" ID. --LMS

Pah! We're Wikipedia! We don't need Nupedia!
You've got an excellent point there. Wikipedia is much more successful in terms of sheer numbers. But Nupedia has the great advantage of being very carefully peer-reviewed by experts. Getting an article through Nupedia's editorial process is difficult, and a considerable achievement. A case can be made that Wikipedia and Nupedia need each other; Wikipedia needs the rigor of Nupedia's editorial process, and its expertise, while Nupedia needs Wikipedia's open, vigorous dynamic.

the following content is taken from the attached talk page

Nupedia does not need wiki articles.

I would like the person who wrote the above to elaborate the sentiment. I know that there are some on Nupedia who feel that way. But there are a few Wikipedia articles that are, frankly, rather better than some articles-in-progress on Nupedia. The fact that an article started life on Wikipedia does not, of course, make it a bad article. --LMS

This will allow each of wiki and nupedia to evolve on their own and act as a quality check in giving two versions of many articles.

Plus, using a 'mature' article from nupedia may stifle creativity in writing the same topic on wiki. This may prevent interesting information from being in wiki articles.

If Nupedia doesn't comment on Wikipedia formally, it can't act as a "quality check" on Wikipedia, as far as I can tell; and the only way for Nupedia to comment on Wikipedia formally is for Wikipedia articles to be submitted to Nupedia.

I think we should make the articles on Wikipedia as "mature" as possible. We do, after all, eventually want top-quality articles on Wikipedia. It doesn't matter at all that we won't have such articles anytime soon. The notion that creativity is stifle by quality is one I for one completely and totally reject. Moreover, I fail to see how information will not be added to high-quality articles. Finally, the issue under discussion isn't whether Nupedia articles should be added to Wikipedia, but whether Wikipedia articles should be submitted to Nupedia. --LMS

Chalkboard candidates[edit]

This is part of the Historical Wikipedia pages collection. Last edited Sep 18, 2002.

The Chalkboard was an experimental wiki set up by the Nupedia Project, in an attempt to use the wiki process in the creation of Nupedia articles. The Chalkboard was not widely used, and the experiment was abandoned. The Chalkboard wiki is still set up at

Articles that can be copied to the Nupedia Chalkboard[edit]

If you spot an article here on Wikipedia that is of exceptionally high quality and covers all important points of the subject, you might want to enlist it on this page. It should stay here for a short time, so that it can be "fine-tuned", if necessary. If someone thinks the article is not yet ready to go, please state why not. Once the article is "ready to go", the article will be copied to the chalkboard, crediting those Wikipedians who can be tracked down and properly credited as the initial authors. Generally speaking, the Chalkboard's management wants you to try your best to determine authorship, or some of the authorship, before copying to the Chalkboard. For details of the following process, please see the Nupedia Chalkboard.

Actually, don't do any of that. The Nupedia Chalkboard says:

The future of the chalkboard is uncertain. Most probably it is to be discontinued. For the time being, please do not put any more articles here. If you like, try Wikipedia instead.

Back to en:Wikipedia:Historical Wikipedia pages

the following material was taken from en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia/Nupedia2Wikipedia

We are encouraged to move Wikipedia articles through the Chalkboard to Nupedia. What about transferring Nupedia Chalkboard articles into Wikipedia ? Wikipedia would benefit from them and putting them under Wikipedia scrutiny and authoring/editorial process can only make them better. --User:Kpjas

This is a good idea. It is possible, but only if the authors of the Chalkboard articles will agree to it--which they might not. You'd have to ask, or encourage them to make the transfer. You see, at present anyway, the Chalkboard is leaving copyright with the author(s) of the articles. (Perhaps it shouldn't--no one has debated the point yet.) Moving the article from the Chalkboard to Wikipedia constitutes swiping a proprietary article and releasing it under the GNU FDL.

So far, the only reason we do have the copyright provision is to encourage people to work on the Chalkboard who might fear that their work will be misused and misattributed. It's akin to the academic who circulates papers privately and writes "not for general circulation" because he doesn't want to be credited with silly stuff his colleagues will easily catch and which he can work on.

I suppose this concern does not afflict posted Nupedia articles. We are perfectly willing to upload posted Nupedia articles to Wikipedia.

I think these issues do deserve some more thought! Larry Sanger

Nupedia Translation[edit]

How can we make use of international wikis to support Nupedia's article translation projects? Actually, it seems rather simple:

  1. From the HomePage of your language's wiki, create a page for the project of translating Nupedia articles into your language. You might name it, for example, "Nupedia articles" or "Nupedia article translation" or "Nupedia translation project"--whatever seems best.
  2. On that page, create various subpages (Like This, with the slash) for individual web pages, and individual articles, that your project is working on.
  3. Also on that page, upload and maintain any instructions for translators that you have worked out.

Any other suggestions? Feel free to add them to this list. Remember, this is a wiki!

As an example, you can see how the Germans have started.

Any discussion of the above or of general issues about using Wikipedias to do Nupedia article translation? This would be a good place for such discussion.

See also : en:Wikipedia:Non-English Wikipedias