Contents 1 Please do not bite the newcomers 2 How to avoid being a "biter" 3 Ignorantia juris may excuse 4 What to do if you feel you have "bitten" or have been bitten 5 Common newcomer errors 6 Templates 7 See also 8 References


Please do not bite the newcomers[edit] Understand that newcomers are both necessary for and valuable to the community. By helping newcomers, we can increase the range of knowledge, perspectives, and ideas on Wikipedia, thereby preserving its neutrality and integrity as a resource and ultimately increasing its value. In fact, it has been found that newcomers are responsible for adding the majority of lasting content to Wikipedia (i.e., substantive edits); while insiders and administrators are responsible for a large bulk of total edits, these often involve tweaking, reverting, and rearranging content.[1] Remember, our motto and our invitation to the newcomer is be bold. We have a set of rules, standards, and traditions, but they must not be applied in such a way as to thwart the efforts of newcomers who take that invitation at face value. A newcomer brings a wealth of ideas, creativity and experience from other areas that, current rules and standards aside, have the potential to better our community and Wikipedia as a whole. It may be that the rules and standards need revising or expanding; perhaps what the newcomer is doing "wrong" may ultimately improve Wikipedia. Observe for a while and, if necessary, ask what the newcomer is trying to achieve before concluding that their efforts are wanting or that they are simply "wrong". If a newcomer seems to have made a small mistake (e.g., forgetting to put book titles in italics), try to correct it yourself, but do not slam the newcomer. A gentle note at their user page explaining the Wikipedia standard and how to achieve it in the future may prove helpful, as they may be unfamiliar with the norm or merely how to achieve it. Remember, this is a place where anyone may edit and therefore it is each person's responsibility to edit and complement, rather than to criticize or supervise others. If you use bad manners or curse at newcomers, they may decide not to contribute to the encyclopedia again. A newcomer may save a tentative first draft to see if they are even allowed to start an article, with plans to expand it if there is no backlash. If, within a few minutes, the article is plastered with cleanup tags, assessed as "stub" or even suggested for deletion, they may give up. It is better to wait a few days to see how a harmless article evolves than to rush to criticise. If you feel that you must say something to a newcomer about a mistake, please do so in a constructive and respectful manner. Begin by introducing yourself with a greeting on the user's talk page to let them know that they are welcome here, and present your corrections calmly and as a peer. If possible, point out things that they've done correctly or well. Remind newcomers that their edit histories are usually saved, both at the article page history and a list of user contributions associated with their user name or IP address if still unregistered. When their edits are reverted, they may panic, start an edit war, or leave Wikipedia entirely, mistakenly assuming that hours of work have been irretrievably deleted. Please gently let newcomers know that their work can usually be retrieved from the history. Inform them that they are able to negotiate with other editors on talk pages. If all else fails, they can request undeletion of the articles that they have edited. Newcomers may be hesitant to make changes, especially major ones, such as NPOV-ing and moving, due to fear of damaging Wikipedia (or of offending other Wikipedians and being flamed or being blocked). Teach them to be bold. While it is fine to point a new user who has made a mistake towards the relevant policy pages, it is both unreasonable and unfriendly to suggest that they stop taking part in votes, Articles for Deletion discussions, etc., until they "gain more experience." This both discourages new editors and deprives Wikipedia of much-needed insights. When giving advice, tone down the rhetoric a few notches from the usual Wikipedia norm. Make the newcomer feel genuinely welcome, not as though they must win your approval in order to be granted membership into an exclusive club. Any new domain of concentrated, special-purpose human activity has its own specialized structures, which take time to learn (and which benefit from periodic re-examination and revision). Do not call newcomers disparaging names such as "sockpuppet" or "meatpuppet." You can point them to those policies if there is valid cause to do so. For example, if a disproportionate number of newcomers show up on one side of a vote, you should make them feel welcome while explaining that their votes may be disregarded if it violates basic policies regarding content. No name-calling is necessary. Similarly, think hard before calling a newcomer a single-purpose account. Besides, it is discouraged to label any editor with such invidious titles during a dispute (see Wikipedia:Don't call a spade a spade). Sometimes users forget to use four tildes after talk page posts. You can make the reminder process easier and less annoying by using the following two templates. In the meantime, you can use {{unsigned}} to fix those anonymous comments. Template:Sign1 – Please sign your name using four tildes (~~~~) when making your posts on talk pages. Template:Sign2 – When editing on User Talk or Article Talk pages, please sign your name using four tildes (~~~~) when making your posts. I would also suggest that you consider creating an account for yourself. There are some times when users add in new discussions to talk pages, despite the discussions already being ongoing. Often, the newcomers wouldn't be aware that there has already been a discussion on the topic, even if it is very recent guide them with it. Assume good faith on the part of newcomers. They most likely want to help out. Give them a chance! Experience or associated privileges from it shouldn't be misguidedly interpreted as a means for default acquiescence from other members and no Wikipedian is above any other Wikipedian. Some actions might appear to a newcomer as not;[clarification needed] editors who exercise these privileges should provide unambiguous clarity as to why, based on policies – this is a sign of a responsible editor. Remember Hanlon's Razor. Behavior that appears malicious might be from ignorance of our expectations and rules. Even if you are 100% sure that someone is a worthless, no-good Internet troll, vandal, or worse, conduct yourself as if they are not. Remember that the apparent test editors have the potential to be tomorrow's editors. By giving a polite, honest and noncondemning answer to newcomers, you have the opportunity to teach them Wikipedia policy. By being calm, interested, and respectful, you do credit to your dignity, and to our project. It is polite to point out to newcomers little details about editing on Wikipedia, such as the fact that one can sign one's name on userpages by leaving four of the tilde symbols (~), or pointing out that a wikilink can be achieved by putting double square brackets around a word or phrase. Remember that you too were once a newcomer. Treat others as you were treated (or, perhaps, wish you had been treated) when you first arrived. Remember: "Don't bite, do what's right. Being a friend is all right."


How to avoid being a "biter"[edit] Newcomers' ideas of how things should be handled within Wikipedia will largely be out of context. It's a jungle in Wikipedia, and it may take some time before a newcomer becomes accustomed to how things work here. Keeping that in mind may help you avoid becoming a "biter". To avoid being accused of biting, try to: Avoid intensifiers in commentary (e.g., exclamation points and words like terrible, dumb, stupid, bad, etc.). Moderate your approach and wording. Always explain reverts in the edit summary, and use plain English rather than cryptic abbreviations. Avoid sarcasm in edit summaries and on talk pages, especially when reverting. Strive to respond in a measured manner. Wait and postpone editing as soon as you feel that you're upset. Be gracious. Acknowledge differing principles and be willing to reach a consensus. Take responsibility for resolving conflicts. Reciprocate where necessary. Listen actively. Avoid excessive Wikipedia jargon. When linking to policies or guidelines, do so in whole phrases, not wiki shorthand. Avoid using blocks as a first resort. Consider talking to a user before you block them. Avoid deleting newly created articles, as inexperienced authors might still be working on them or trying to figure something out. Even the most well written and helpful deletion template message may seem frightening or unwelcome to new users. Consider writing a personalised message. Standard welcome/warning messages are both cordial and correcting. Consider using these templates for welcoming, or the first two here for warning. Strive to be a responsible Wikipedian. By fostering goodwill, you will neither provoke nor be provoked easily, and will allow new Wikipedians to devote their time and resources towards building a truly collaborative encyclopedia.


Ignorantia juris may excuse[edit] The principle Latin Ignorantia juris non excusat (Latin for: "ignorance of the law does not excuse") is incompatible with the guidelines of "do not bite" and "assume good faith". In this case, ignorance of Wikipedia's guidelines can or may excuse the mistakes of a newcomer. Furthermore, you yourself violate Wikipedia's guidelines and policies when you attack a new user for ignorance of them. Try instead to follow the points set forth in this article to relieve new editors of their ignorance. Keep in mind that this is not the way many other things work, and even seasoned editors fail to follow—or are simply unaware of—our guidelines from time to time. To a newcomer, the large number of Wikipedia policies and guidelines can be overwhelming. Ignorance of the rules can often be expected, but willfully disregarding them and disrupting the editorial process of constructing our online encyclopedia is quite another. If you exclude editors without barnstars and the like from your circle you probably diminish the final product. In all cases though, we ought to interact with our fellow editors with gentleness and respect. This is the most important thing to stress. Some strategies are: Approach challenging behaviors as a self-protective and responsive behavior occurring as a result of triggered/unmet needs. Avoid infantilizing a newcomer, impulsive labeling as a vandal or sockpuppet, outpacing the newcomer with policies instead of educating with core ones, ignoring and reverting newcomer concerns and contributions in their active presence of editing. Avoid acute and repetitive paraphrase of intimidation language, confrontations and quizzing with respect and confidence. Objectivity isn't neutrality, modifying pattern of communication that fits with constructive interpersonal skills (Validation, Collaboration, Facilitation of skills for Wikipedia tasks, Non-disruptive and comfortable environment, friendly support and non-solicitation relations) is within Wikipedia spirit. Always choose a compassionate and gentle persuasive approach.


What to do if you feel you have "bitten" or have been bitten[edit] If you have bitten someone, or feel that you have been bitten, considering the following points could help ensure that it doesn't happen again. Choose to learn from the incident. Apologize if you realize you have bitten another user. Consider alternatives to biting that could have achieved a better response. If you encounter a similar situation in the future, choose one of those alternatives instead of repeating history. Find something of value in the experience. Extract the wisdom that may have been unintentionally veiled. Be reasonable. Explain why you were offended, but learn to recognize when the message cannot be received. The recipient may be unable or unwilling to accept fault, and it may be better to move on to other things than to dwell on the bite. Move on from it!


Common newcomer errors[edit] One common error among newcomers is to create an article in mainspace about themselves, their garage band, or about their original theories on a certain topic. One way to deal gently with this is to userfy the article, and leave a note saying why. {{nn-userfy}} is designed for userfying autobiographical articles. The remaining redirect can be flagged for deletion using {{Db-rediruser}}. Userfied articles on bands could be tagged with {{PROD}}, since they tend to hang around. New articles about a person's original research and theories could have a note appended explaining WP:OR. It is sometimes helpful to direct new users to alternative outlets. Another common newbie error is to violate the three revert rule. There is no reason to expect that a newcomer would know about this rule, so it is a good idea to inform them of the rule on their talkpage after their second revert.


Templates[edit] {{this is a new user}}


See also[edit] This page is referenced in the Wikipedia Glossary. A case study (food for thought provided by Paolo.dL) Wikipedia:Assume no clue Wikipedia:Avoid cryptic language Wikipedia:BITECLUB Wikipedia:Civility Wikipedia:Do NOT bite the developers Wikipedia:Avoiding difficult users Wikipedia:IPs are human too MeatBall:CriticismIsFeedback, MeatBall:WelcomeNewcomer Strategy proposal on a campaign on this Strategy proposal on newbie learning Wikipedia:Passive Aggressive Wikipedia:Please bite the newbies Wikipedia:Welcoming committee User:Vchimpanzee/How to edit constructively


References[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Help for Wikipedia newbies. ^ Swartz, Aaron (2006-09-04). "Who writes Wikipedia? (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)" (HTML). Retrieved 2009-04-21.  v t e Wikipedia key policies and guidelines Five pillars What Wikipedia is not Ignore all rules Content Verifiability No original research Neutral point of view What Wikipedia is not Biographies of living persons Image use Wikipedia is not a dictionary Article titles Notability Autobiography Citing sources Identifying reliable sources medicine Do not include copies of primary sources Plagiarism Don't create hoaxes Fringe theories Patent nonsense External links Conduct Civility Consensus Editing policy Harassment Vandalism Ignore all rules No personal attacks Ownership of content Edit warring Dispute resolution Sock puppetry No legal threats Child protection Paid-contribution disclosure Assume good faith Conflict of interest Disruptive editing Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point Etiquette Gaming the system Please do not bite the newcomers Courtesy vanishing Deletion Deletion policy Proposed deletion Criteria for speedy deletion Attack page Oversight Proposed deletion of BLP Proposed deletion (books) Revision deletion Enforcement Administrators Banning Blocking Page protection Editing Article size Be bold Disambiguation Hatnotes Set index articles Subpages User pages Talk page guidelines Signatures Broad-concept article Project namespace WikiProjects Style Manual of Style Contents Accessibility Understandability Dates and numbers Images Layout Lead section Linking Lists Classification Categories, lists, and navigation templates Categorization Template namespace WMF List of policies Friendly space policy Licensing and copyright Privacy policy Values FAQ List of all policies and guidelines List of policies List of guidelines Lists of attempts in creating fundamental principles v t e Useful links Daily pages CAT:HELP WP:ANI WP:BLPN WP:BOTN WP:CNB WP:COIN WP:CORD WP:EAR WP:ECCN WP:FICTN WP:FTN WP:HELPDESK WP:MCQ WP:NORN WP:NPOVN WP:PUMP (/A /M /P /R /T) WP:RD (/C /E /H /L /M /MA /S) WP:RFC (/ART /BIO /ECON /HIST /LANG /NAME /PHIL /POLICY /POLY /SCI /SOC /STYLE) WP:RFF WP:RSN WP:SPI WP:THIRD WP:UPHR WP:WQA WP:XFD (WP:AFD WP:TFD WP:CFD WP:RFD WP:MFD WP:DRV) Things to do CAT:BACKLOG CAT:M CAT:WRI WP:ABUSE WP:AFC WP:ASOF WP:DPWL WP:FAC WP:FAR WP:FPC WP:GAN WP:GAR WP:HD WP:KIND WP:MISSING WP:PR WP:RD WP:RP WP:SPOKEN WP:UW WP:THQ WP:VITAL WP:WANTED WP:WC BrokenRedirects Disambigs LongPages NewbieContribs NewPages OrphanPages TagsPages UncatImages UncatPages Resources CAT:HOWTO WP:AWARD WP:CATEGORY WP:CAT-R WP:CITE WP:CITET WP:COPYEDIT WP:CR WP:CUTPASTE WP:CUV WP:DEPT WP:DISAMBIG WP:EDIT WP:FOOT WP:FORMULA WP:HAT WP:ICT WP:LAYOUT WP:LIBRARY WP:MAGIC WP:MERGE WP:PIFU WP:PRECEDENT WP:REDIRECT WP:STYLE WP:SUMMARY WP:TEMPLATE CatTree PrefixIndex Policies / Guidelines WP:3RR WP:ADMIN WP:AP WP:APPEAL WP:ATTACK WP:AUTOBIO WP:BAN WP:BLANK WP:BLOCK WP:BOLD WP:BOTPOL WP:BUILD WP:CANVASS WP:CFORK WP:CIVIL WP:CONFLICT WP:CONSENSUS WP:COPYRIGHT WP:DELETE WP:DISCLAIM WP:DISPUTE WP:DISRUPTIVE WP:DONTBITE WP:DPR WP:EP WP:ETIQ WP:EDITWAR WP:FRINGE WP:GAME WP:GOOGLE WP:HARASS WP:HOAX WP:IGNORE WP:IUP WP:LEAD WP:LEGAL WP:LIBEL WP:LINKS WP:LIST WP:LIVING WP:LOGOS WP:M WP:NAME WP:NONFREE WP:NONSENSE WP:NOT WP:NOTE WP:NPOV WP:NPS WP:OFFICE WP:ORIGINAL WP:OVERSIGHT WP:OWN WP:PACL WP:PD WP:PEACOCK WP:PERFORM WP:POINT WP:POLLING WP:PROD WP:PROTECT WP:RELIABLE WP:SELF WP:SOCK WP:SPAM WP:SPEEDY WP:STUB WP:TALK WP:TP WP:TRIVIA WP:USERBOX WP:USERNAME WP:USERPAGE WP:VANDAL WP:VANISH WP:VERIFY WP:WEASEL WP:WHEEL Administrators CAT:AB CAT:CSD CAT:PER CAT:RFU WP:AE WP:AIV WP:AN WP:ANEW WP:ARL WP:CP WP:DGFA WP:NAS WP:OP WP:RFA WP:RFARB WP:RFM WP:RFPP WP:RM WP:RSPAM WP:UAA BlockLog DelLog ProtectLog External links Article statistics Edit Counter FIST ISBNdb Link checker Make Reference MissingTopics Is Admin? Wikichecker WikiEN-l archives Wiki ToDo Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Please_do_not_bite_the_newcomers&oldid=818617510" Categories: Wikipedia behavioral guidelinesWikipedia glossary itemsHidden categories: Wikipedia move-protected project pages


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