Bookshelf Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find answers to some of the frequently asked question about the Bookshelf Project. If you have a question that is not answered below, please leave a note on the talk page.

What is the Bookshelf Project?


The Bookshelf Project aims at creating a core set of public outreach materials designed to recruit new Wikipedia contributors. The idea is that by increasing potential contributor awareness, fostering excitement, and providing the training tools new editors need to get started, we’ll draw more new editors than we do today. And we believe recruiting new contributors to Wikipedia will necessarily increase the usefulness and quality of our encyclopedia.

Please have a look at our announcement on the Wikimedia Blog for more background information.

Are you creating English materials only?


No. The Bookshelf materials will be developed in English and will be designed for translation and adaptation by the Wikimedia chapters.

In order to ensure a broad and easy replication of the materials in other languages, all examples used in the materials will be either universally valid or easily exchangable. The materials should not reflect the culture and workflows of a particular language edition, but common principles that are applicable to all Wikipedia editions.

Who will do the printing?


In December 2009, we conducted a Production Survey among all 22 chapters to figure out what their experiences with print production are. We are currently analysing the results.

Our next step will be to discuss the results with the chapters and adjust our planning accordingly.

Is there a timeline for when the materials will become available?


Yes. Our goal is to have all materials available by fall 2010. Yet we decided to prioritize the following materials:

  • Welcome package (core information for new contributors)
  • Assigning Wikipedia articles as coursework to students (brochure)
  • “Neutral Point of View” in plain english (video)
  • “Only Verifiable Information” in plain English (video)

These first materials should be completed by the end of March 2010. Our goal is to introduce these at the chapters meeting in April. More details about our timeline are available on Timeframe (Bookshelf).

How will the materials be updated?


In the past, some materials like the Wikipedia Cheatsheet have only been available in PDF files on our servers. The source files were unavailable to all users except the originator. That made it very difficult for chapters to update existing versions or create new ones in their own language. Therefore, we are planning to create the materials in an open source desktop publishing format. This will enable the chapters to update the materials on their own.

To support the chapters with updating the materials, we plan to provide a “Localization Guidelines Leaflet” that will include editorial and visual design guidelines and other help.

Will there be printed materials only or will other media, like videos, be created, too?


Most of the bookshelf deliverables will be print materials, but videos, online materials and presentation slides will be created as well. See Overview of Deliverables (Bookshelf) for more details.