Jump to content

The no original research policy

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
(Redirected from Original research)
(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

The no original research policy, which has been adopted by all Wikipedias, and is the model of similar policies in other Wikimedia projects, is summarised as:[1]

  • Wikipedia does not publish original thought: all material in Wikipedia must be attributed to a reliable, published source.
  • Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources.

The policy is elaborated by sections titled "Sources", "Synthesis of published material which advances a position", "Citing oneself", "Original images", and "Primary, secondary and tertiary sources".

It is worth noting that the "no original research" clearly refers to the content, not the expression thereof, as some might have come to think.[2][3] In fact, however, every Wikipedia article contains original text (of verifiable contents) written by Wikipedians; one that doesn't might have been taken from a GFDL-source (like planetmath:), but it is more likely to be a "copyvio" and would be deleted sooner or later.

Other Wikimedia projects have various views on this matter:

  • Wikinews has a policy about "original reporting", which details how a citizen reporter can write an original report.
  • Wikibooks do not host works of fiction or primary research.
  • Wikiversity have developed detailed research guidelines on what kinds of primary or secondary research projects should or shouldn't be hosted, and review procedures to check the values of these works.
  • Some Wikiquotes have developed a "no original research" policy, e.g. Italian Wikiquote.

See also[edit]


  1. "No original research". English Wikipedia. 11 February 2009. 
  2. "[Foundation-l] Klassical Chinese". WMF mailing list. 4 September 2008. 
  3. "Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikipedia (2)". Meta-Wiki. 11 February 2009.