Criteria and rules for all or specific types of content

Content criteria

  • All content should relate to Linux OS and its components including Distros, Software, Kernels and all core files. Development and people involved in Linux are included in this policy and the history of development as well.
  • All content needs to be accurate. Linux Wiki aims to provide reliable information. In particular, adding speculation and own inventions (fan fiction, fan art etc.) to articles should be avoided* All content needs to be verifiable. Other editors need to be able to check and verify it.
  • All content needs to be informative. Information which is only of interest to the writer or to other editors (as opposed to readers) should not be included in articles.
  • All content needs to be objective. Opinions, speculations, and "my favorite"-style passages should not be added to articles. Accordingly, guides may only be posted as subpages of one's user page or as a blog.
  • All content needs to relate to Linux components as delivered by the developers.
  • All content needs to abide by copyright regulations. Generally, content from other sites should not be copied unless permission has been granted. For example, do not upload magazine scans or add illegally obtained information, so as to avoid potential legal problems.

Criteria for specific content

In the case where the following rules conflict with the general polices, the more specific rule supersedes the general one.

Plagiarism Policy

A wiki doesn't just live and die on the information it contains; it also survives on the reputation it builds as an information source.

Plagiarism hurts the wikis reputation and reduces our ability to be seen as an authoritative information source - it also could be a breach of copyright.

It could also put the wiki at risk - unauthorized copyrighted content could see parts of, or even the whole wiki made unavailable.

What is, and what is not, plagiarism?

"The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own" Oxford Dictionary

As a trusted source of information, we want as much of our pages as possible to be made up of original content that you can't find anywhere else. To this end, we would prefer you to, whenever possible, create original works that do not directly copy anyone else's work.

This is not to say you can't be inspired by it - maybe you saw something somewhere else that you thought might improve a page. By all means, feel free to bring that to the wiki - but make sure its your own work and written in your own words - and if you can improve and develop the idea further.

Sometimes you may have to use other peoples words and work, here are some situations where this is acceptable (this isn't inclusive):

  • Licensed Content. If you have prior permission from the content owner, you can reuse their content - We've asked permission to present to you many of our sound files for example. You should still cite who the owner of the work is though.
  • Copyleft/Creative Commons/Pubic Domain - this is a specific form of licensed content, the owner of the work has made it available for anyone to use without prior permission, but in the case of the first two this is subject to some rules. You should ensure that you follow any requirements set by the content owner (such as following the license conditions, or attributing in the way that they request); if no attribution standard is given by the owner, then you should ensure that they are identified and if at all possible the original linked in the references (for non-displayed content, the comments may also be acceptable).
  • Quotes - Its perfectly permissible to quote a person, or even a copyrighted work. Your quote should be limited to the amount you need to make your point - for example, you can't quote an entire magazine article, but a paragraph or two may be acceptable. You should use the Quote template, and link to the source of the quote wherever possible, giving credit to the author/speaker/publication.
  • Fair Use - There are also times where it is possible to reuse content within the US's "Fair Use" exemption. Much of the source files and screenshots fall into this category, as does images used in news reporting. The origin should be credited and linked wherever possible.

What happens if I break the rules

  • Good faith attempts to attribute shouldn't ordinarily see punishment. If you have done something incorrectly, we'll show you how to put it right - We appreciate the thought and effort you make, and won't punish you for a simple mistake. If you keep making the exact same mistake, we may have to restrict your ability to edit the wiki.
  • If you are a new user, or someone who is new at editing and make no effort to attribute content that is not your own, then you will receive a maximum of on warning for this behavior. After this warning, we expect you to make a good faith attempt to attribute (Getting it wrong is better than not doing it at all).
  • If you have already been warned, or are someone who we feel should know better (this includes the entire leadership team, and experienced editors) and you fail to make even a good faith attempt to attribute, Enforcement action will be taken. For users in this group, there is zero tolerance.

What happens if I see someone who breaks the rule, or I suspect content has been copied?

  • If it is a fresh edit, you should Undo (or revert) the edit (or if its just part of a larger edit, remove just the suspect content), and leave a note on the talk page indicating what you have done, why, and where you think the information has been copied from
  • If it is existing information, then remove the specific content and leave a note on the talk page
  • If you are a content owner (or other responsible person for the source), and you believe your content has been misused or copied, please instead notify our "Plagiarism Point of Contact".
  • If you notice a user repeatedly using plagarised content, please alert an administrator.

Point of Contact

The Plagiarism Point of Contact (PPOC) is an administrator whom accepts reports of potential plagiarism. They have no special enforcement powers beyond being an administrator, but instead act as a single point to report issues to.

The PPOC may investigate issues directly, or may ask a fellow member of the admin team to handle an issue. If the PPOC hasn't replied to a talk page comment in a significant amount of time, then any admin is free to take the lead.

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