WeRelate talk:Links to Wikipedia

The discussion on this page is generally obsolete. Please refer to Help:Guidelines for use of Wikipedia for up to date information.--Dallan 15:59, 28 September 2009 (EDT)


Wikipedia references on "place" pages

Queries that started the discussion

The Bowling Green page says this (as I'm sure thousands of other pages do and more will) near the top:

  • the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

But near the bottom it has the standard detailed WP acknowledgment giving links to the WP page and its history. I suggest that the first one is now superfluous. If it's done programmatically (which I presume it is), maybe it should be removed from the program as long as the program has the provision for adding the detailed notice.

There's also a question about the wording. As soon as anyone edits the top paragraph/section, the "the text in this section is copied from" part of the notice that precedes it will be wrong. If keeping that short notice, please change its wording to something like how the long one starts: "This page uses content from ".

Robin Patterson 17:35, 2 November 2006 (MST)


The phrase "the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia" comes from a "copy-wikipedia" template. It means to say that the text under the particular (level 2) section heading, or the introductory text before any section heading, is copied from wikipedia. When an article has multiple sections, like Place:Illinois, only sections where the text comes from Wikipedia contain the phrase. If someone changes the text in a "wikipedia" section, there are instructions in a comment asking them to change the "copy-wikipedia" template to "source-wikipedia" (for the introductory section), or to remove the "copy-wikipedia" template (for the other sections). I agree that this is not very intuitive. The "copy-wikipedia" templates are necessary for two things:

  1. they're used by our updating program (which runs every 3-6 months) to tell it which sections to re-copy from wikipedia,
  2. they're meant to tell people that if they edit the section, their edits will be lost so long as the "copy-wikipedia" template remains.

I'm reluctant to remove them since our updating program depends upon them, but I agree that the templates could be re-worded. Given the above information on the purposes of the "copy-wikipedia" template, any suggestions for better wording?--Dallan 16:30, 4 November 2006 (MST)

I think that, because of their use, the notices should remain - its a really great idea to have sections of articles updated from Wikipedia automatically.--Bjwebb 15:02, 6 November 2006 (MST)

Response from initiator (same day)

OK, thanks, I've now looked at Place:Illinois and seen the precautionary notices. great idea in principle, as long as that sort of comment/warning is on every page that's subject to automatic periodic updating.

Query (1): a reader looking at the "the text in this section is copied" may think the page is all copied from Wikipedia. (How many paragraphs make a section? - see below for one answer.) I see that my Bowling Green addition was outside the template part, but there's no sign of the distinction on the displayed page.
Query (2): with a lower-down message of that sort, I see imperfections. It starts off: "The text under this heading is updated periodically from the Wikipedia article. If you wish to modify it, you need to make the same change ..." (my italics). The text under that heading looks as if it might extend to the bottom of the page, beyond the history. Alternatively, readers having studied the one-paragraph starter may think only the first paragraph is affected. There are four subheadings. If a potential editor scrolls carefully, the concluding comment "end copy-wikipedia (add further information for this section below this line)" is noticed.
That's fine if editors are really careful, UNLESS an editor wants to make a small addition to one of the paragraphs and:
EITHER doesn't manage to update the Wikipedia page (maybe had a train to catch and just forgot)
OR wants to preserve his or her addition without having to update the Wikipedia page
OR knows that the WP standard-enforcers would be likely to delete the addition as "unencyclopedic" even though it's perfectly good genealogy, so he or she removes the "WP template" - which could be a pity because the other paragraphs might deserve occasional updating from WP and would no longer get it.

Continuing dialogue

I worry about this as well. A wikipedia-copied section can be either (a) the introductory text before the first section heading, or (b) everything below a level-2 section heading until the next level-2 section heading. I think that the history information from Wikipedia is helpful/interesting, but I worry that people will not understand that their edits will be lost if they edit the wikipedia sections and don't change/remove the templates. I can think of three possible solutions. Maybe there are others?

  1. Remove the Wikipedia text altogether. Still link to the wikipedia article, but don't copy text from it.
  2. Make the template text more descriptive. For example, "This text until the next level-two section heading is re-copied periodically from Wikipedia. Please place your comments in another section."
  3. Store the copied wikipedia text in templates. Each wikipedia-copied section corresponds to a unique template. When people edit the article, they see the templates (e.g., "{{wikipedia-illinois-intro}}" and "{{wikipedia-illinois-history}}").

--Dallan 22:00, 6 November 2006 (MST)


How does this work? I would like to put some Wikipedia text on a Person page I've made. How do I go about doing that? --Joeljkp 16:32, 7 December 2006 (MST)

Current approach

If you want to copy wikipedia text and place it in your page, you need to include a {{wikipedia-notice|title of wikipedia article}} template at the bottom of the page so that we can give proper attribution to Wikipedia.

If you copy over an entire section of a wikipedia article, and you want that section to be updated every 3-6 months with the latest content from Wikipedia, in addition to including the {{wikipedia-notice}} template at the bottom of the article, you also need to:

  • create a template {{wp-title of wikipedia article-section header}}, where section header is a level-2 (two equal signs) section header from the wikipedia article, or is omitted if you want to copy over the introductory text before any section.
  • copy the wikipedia text into the new template
  • at the top of the new template, include:
  • {{copy-wikipedia|title of wikipedia article}} if you copied the introductory text, or {{copy-wikipedia|title of wikipedia article#section header}} if you copied the text of a level-2 section header.
  • place the following comment after the {{copy-wikipedia}} template: <!-- This text is copied from wikipedia. Any changes made will be overwritten during the next update. -->
  • insert a reference to the template you just created in the article that you want to include the wikipedia text into.

See Place:Illinois, United States, Template:wp-Illinois, and Template:wp-Illinois-History for examples.

In the past, we included the wikipedia text inline into place pages, but this caused confusion. We're now in the process of creating separate templates for the wikipedia text. We've done this for all US and Canadian place pages, and we hope to have the rest of the places finished by end of January.

Unfortunately, you can't copy wikipedia text into Person and Family pages because we dual-license those pages under GFDL and CC-BY-SA, and wikipedia articles are licensed only under GFDL. (See WeRelate:Licensing and its talk page for a discussion in this area.)

It would be nice if someone edited this page and moved a lot of the content to its discussion page.

--Dallan 12:21, 10 December 2006 (MST)