MeritBadgeDotOrg:WikiProject Guide

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What is a WikiProject?

A WikiProject is a collection of pages devoted to the management of a specific topic or family of topics within Wikipedia; and, simultaneously, a group of editors that use said pages to collaborate on encyclopedic work. It is not a place to write encyclopedia articles directly, but a resource to help coordinate and organize article writing.
A WikiProject, in other words, is a central place for editor collaboration on a particular topic area. It may develop criteria, maintain various collaborative processes, keep track of work that needs to be done, and act as a forum where issues of interest to the editors of a subject may be discussed.

But what makes a WikiProject "work"? It is tempting, given the above definition, to view a WikiProject primarily as the sum of its article-related activities; in other words, to consider it merely an umbrella for some "pages devoted to the management of a specific topic or family of topics". Experience suggests, however, that a WikiProject must be more than a collection of processes and guidelines to succeed. What distinguishes a successful WikiProject is not the function of calling it a "WikiProject"; rather, it is that a WikiProject functions more as a grouping of editors than of articles.

A WikiProject is fundamentally a social construct; its success depends on its ability to function as a cohesive group of editors working towards a common goal. Much of the work that members must do to sustain a successful WikiProject—quality assessment and peer review in particular, but almost anything beyond the actual writing of articles—is tedious, often unrewarding, and usually unappreciated. To be effective, a WikiProject must foster not only interest in the topic of the project, but also an esprit de corps among its members. Only where group cohesion can be maintained—where, in other words, project members are willing to share in the less exciting work—can a WikiProject muster the energy and direction to produce excellent articles systematically rather than incidentally.

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