This page documents an English Wikipedia
|This page in a nutshell: Wikipedia
Wikipedia articles must not contain original research. On Wikipedia, original research means material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published source exists.[a] This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that reaches or implies a conclusion not stated by the sources. To demonstrate that you are not adding original research, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article and directly support[b] the material being presented.
The prohibition against original research means that all material added to articles must be verifiable in a reliable, published source, even if not already verified via an
Despite the need for reliable sources, you must not plagiarize them or violate their copyrights. Rewriting source material in your own words while retaining the substance is not considered original research.
"No original research" (NOR) is one of three core content policies that, along with
This policy does not apply to
Wikipedia is fundamentally built on research that has been collected and organized from reliable sources, as described in content policies such as this one. If no reliable independent sources can be found on a topic, Wikipedia should not have an article about it. If you discover something new, Wikipedia is not the place to announce such a discovery.
The best practice is to research the most reliable sources on the topic and summarize what they say in your own words, with each statement in the article being verifiable in a source that makes that statement explicitly. Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication. Take care not to go beyond what the sources express or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intention of the source, such as using material
Any material challenged or
In general, the most reliable sources are:
- Peer-reviewed journals
- Books published by university presses
- University-level textbooks
- Magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses
- Mainstream newspapers
However, note that higher standards than this are required for
As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication. Self-published material, whether on paper or online, is generally not regarded as reliable. See
Information in an article must be verifiable in the references cited. In general, article statements should not rely on unclear or inconsistent passages or on passing comments. Any passages open to multiple interpretations should be precisely cited or avoided. A summary of extensive discussion should reflect the conclusions of the source. Drawing conclusions not evident in the reference is original research regardless of the type of source. References must be cited in context and on topic.
Primary, secondary and tertiary sources
Wikipedia articles should be based on
Appropriate sourcing can be a complicated issue, and these are general rules. Deciding whether primary, secondary, or tertiary sources are appropriate in any given instance is a matter of good editorial judgment and
- Primary sources are original materials that are close to an event, and are often accounts written by people who are directly involved. They offer an insider's view of an event, a period of history, a work of art, a political decision, and so on. Primary sources may or may not be independent sources. An account of a traffic incident written by a witness is a primary source of information about the event; similarly, a scientific paper documenting a new experiment conducted by the author is a primary source for the outcome of that experiment. For Wikipedia's purposes, breaking news stories are also considered to be primary sources. Historical documents such as diaries are as well.[d]
- Policy: Unless restricted by another policy,
- Primary sources that have been reputably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them.[e]
- Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation.
- A primary source may be used on Wikipedia only to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge. For example, an article about a musician may cite discographies and track listings published by the record label, and an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source.
- Do not analyze, evaluate, interpret, or synthesize material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so.
- Do not base an entire article on primary sources, and be cautious about basing large passages on them.
- Do not add unsourced material from your personal experience, because that would make Wikipedia a primary source of that material. Use extra caution when handling primary sources about living people; see WP:Biographies of living persons § Avoid misuse of primary sources, which is policy.
- Primary sources that have been
- Policy: Unless restricted by another policy,