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User annotated versions of works on Wikisource must:

  • Be marked as annotated by Wikisource by including the text "annotated" in the title and adding the work to Category:Wikisource annotations
  • Have an unannotated "clean text" of the work available on Wikisource alongside the annotated version.
  • Maintain neutrality and objectivity in all annotations.

What are annotations?[edit]

Annotations change the informational content of a work on Wikisource from its original source, however trivial those changes may be. The goal of good annotations is to add information or provide context to the reader to help explain something within the text. Some suggested forms of annotation can be found at Help:Annotating, but the method of annotating a work remains a matter of judgement for individual Wikisource users.

Examples include:

  • Some forms of wikilink. Please refer to Wikisource:Wikilinks.
  • Any additional text that is not part of the source work, whether within the body of the text or outside it (eg. footnotes, sidenotes, endnotes or similar).
  • The translation of single words or phrases.
  • Files that are not part of the source work, such as images.
  • The removal of any original text.

This policy does not cover annotated works that have been professionally published with annotations, nor any other work permitted by Wikisource:What Wikisource includes.

This policy does not apply to original translations of non-English works which do not otherwise add new information to the work; for more, see Wikisource:Translations. More elaborately annotated works may be created on Wikisource's sister project Wikibooks.


Declaration of annotation[edit]

All annotated works must be clearly marked as such in two ways:

  1. Labelled in the title.
  2. Added to Category:Wikisource annotations.

The title of the work must clearly declare that the work is annotated. The format is not fixed but could work like version disambiguation (eg. "Foo (annotated)", where Foo is the name of the original work), with a clear description as the title (eg. "The Annotated Foo"), or as the subpage name (eg. "Foo/Annotated", where Foo is both the original work and the basepage).

Add the category Wikisource annotations to all works annotated by Wikisource users per this policy. (Previously published annotated works should not be added to this category.)

Clean texts[edit]

A "clean" text, in the context of this policy, is the original work with no user-added annotations. A clean text must exist on Wikisource before an annotated version of the same text can be created.

Nothing should be presented as annotated (save those works utilizing the basic in-line wikilinking as a form of annotation) without the faithful completion of the transcription & proofreading of the work as published taking place prior to the creation of that annotated derivative.

No derivatives of any flavor (save those works utilizing the basic in-line wikilinking as a form of annotation) can be hosted here on en.WS until its unaltered, faithfully transcribed and proofread parent also exists (preferably beforehand). Any user annotation without such a base work being hosted somewhere in the Wiki-World, if not on en.WS itself, at the same time is of little added-value to the potential reader and of questionable fidelity at best in regards to the quality standards of Wikisource.


See also Wikisource:What is Wikisource?

All annotations on Wikisource are expected to be objective. Interpretive annotations are never allowed.

Like all Wikimedia Foundation projects, Wikisource intends to maintain a neutral point of view. This means that annotations added by Wikisource users should not advance or detract from any particular point of view on any given subject, but should try to present a fair, neutral description of the fact. This does not apply to the content of works in the main namespace, nor does it apply to any pre-existing annotations in any works hosted on Wikisource. It only applies to the annotations added by users.

Wikisource also requires that annotations are verifiable.

Finally, all Wikisource annotations must be denotative ("the primary, literal, or explicit meaning of a word, phrase, or symbol; that which a word denotes") and must not be connotative ("a meaning of a word or phrase that is suggested or implied"). An annotation on Wikisource must clearly state a fact and only that fact; it may not suggest or imply anything. This extends to wikilinks: they must link directly to the literal meaning of a word (the only exceptions being for different spelling or different phrasing in the page title or subheading).

What are not annotations?[edit]

The following do not count as annotation under these rules and are exempt from (ie. texts with these features do not have to have separate clean texts, etc).

  • Light wikilinking, as described on the wikilinking policy.
  • Use of the {{SIC}} template to indicate that typos are part of the original text and were not introduced during proofreading.
  • {{header}} templates. These are required on every page and are not considered part of the body of the text.
    • Text, information or other media held within a {{header}} template. These are visibly distinct from the body of the text are not considered part of the text itself.
  • Purely navigational templates, such as {{Similar}} and {{Auxiliary Table of Contents}}. In addition to their practical purpose, they are made distinct from the body of the text by either their position or their appearance.
  • License templates. These are required in the footer of every work and are not considered part of the body of the text.
  • Maintenance templates. These are not intended to be permanent nor are they part of the text itself.
  • A few forms of very basic wikilink. Please refer to Wikisource:Wikilinks.
  • HTML comments added as an aide to further/later proofreaders.
  • Scan-quality indicators (e.g. use of {{illegible}}, {{missing table}}, {{missing score}}, {{japanese missing}} [possible overlap with maintenance tags point above] etc.)

Deannotated works[edit]

Works that have been published elsewhere with annotations may be deannotated (stripping the annotations) if all of the following apply:

  1. No unannotated version of the work is known to exist. The work has never been published without annotations or the unannotated version is unavailable for some other reason.
  2. The complete original version (with the original annotations) is hosted separately on Wikisource.
  3. All annotations are removed, leaving only the unannotated work. Partial removal of annotations is not allowed.

Banned items[edit]

The following are currently banned on Wikisource:

  • Comparison pages: Pages from different versions of the same work, whether whole works or extracts, placed alongside each other (whether in series or in parallel) to provide a comparison between the different versions.
  • Purely decorative illustrations and images. (Known as grangerisation or extra-illustration)
  • Interpretive annotations. This includes any annotation containing inferences, assumptions, and/or suggestions.

See also[edit]