Wikipedia:List of policies and guidelines

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 two types of documents:


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


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.

The basics

The Five Pillars

The Five Pillars are the five fundamental principles of Wikipedia:

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia
Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view
Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute
Editors should treat each other with respect and civility
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.

Content policies

Biographies of Living PersonsImage Use PolicyWikipedia is Not a Dictionary

Content guidelines

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

Editing guidelines

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

Notability guidelines

AcademicsAstronomical ObjectsBooksEventsFilmsGeographic FeaturesMusicNumbersOrganizations and CompaniesPeopleSportsWeb

Naming conventions

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

Style guidelines

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

Conduct policies

Clean StartDispute ResolutionEdit WarringNo Personal AttacksOwnership of ContentSock PuppetryUsername Policy

Behavioral guidelines

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

Deletion policies

Attack PageOversightProposed Deletion (Books)Proposed Deletion of Biographies of Living PeopleRevision Deletion

Deletion guidelines

Deletion Guidelines for AdministratorsSpeedy Keep

Procedural policies

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

Information pages about procedures: BureaucratsOffice Actions

Enforcement policies

Discretionary SanctionsBanning Policy

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

Project content guidelines

UserboxesWikiProject Council Guide

Template guidelines

High-Risk TemplatesSubstitutionTalk Page Templates

Reference Desk guidelines

GeneralMedical advice

See also

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.