Wikinews:Archive conventions

(Redirected from Wikinews:ARCHIVE)
This is an official policy on English Wikinews. It has wide acceptance and is considered a standard for all users to follow. Changes to this page must reflect consensus. If in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

Policies and Guidelines

Neutral point of view
Content guide
Style guide

Ignore all rules


For Wikipedians


File photo of a newspaper archive.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Archive conventions on Wikinews are particularly important because Wikinews is not an encyclopedia. Articles presented on Wikinews reflect the specific time at which they were written and published, and do not attempt to encompass events which occur, or knowledge which becomes available, after publication.

Because articles published on Wikinews may serve as references of their time, the project description describes a final stage for articles in which they are protected from further edits. This protection serves to keep articles as snapshots in time; editing them is considered equal to editing history.

General conventions

Age for protection

Any article which is published and dated no less than seven days from the current date should, ordinarily, be archived per the process described below. Articles which have been published for more than 24 hours should not undergo significant edits; in case of a conflict on this basis, administrators may apply protection early. In such circumstances, the article should have the pre-protection process described below applied once it is seven days old.

Articles may be page-move-protected at any time after publication, to preclude page-move vandalism.

When, during times of slow output, the number of articles shown on the main page has dropped to just ten, archiving is usually suspended until additional articles are published. The theory behind this practice is that the main page should display a reasonable variety of the project's published work.

Talk pages are not protected

Article talk pages are not protected. Discussions regarding post-archival edits to an article should take place on the article's talk page. Ideally, the template {{editprotected}} should be used to notify administrators about required post-archival edits.

Post-archival edits

After an article has been protected, it should no longer be edited on elements of content, sources, or other substance. It should be edited for non-content issues (such as spelling, typos, punctuation and so forth) on a case-by-case basis. Questions of grammar are prone to dispute, and should be implemented after consensus on the talk page. Images are considered content and should not be changed or removed, even if deleted on Commons. They can, however, be converted using {{missing image}}, which takes into account the removal of an image whilst preserving as much content as possible.

Part of the newspaper archives in Edinburgh's Central Library.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A note about {{DEFAULTSORTKEY:}}

Please note: It is important that {{DEFAULTSORTKEY:}} (or equivalents such as changing the sortkey on individual categories) never be added to an archived article (If you need to do this, do it at or before time of publish, never after publishing). This is because changing the sortkey of an article in a category changes the date the categorylink was last modified. Wikinews (DPL) uses this date to figure out when an article was published. Changing the sortkey causes the article to jump to the top of recently published lists; a bad thing if it was actually published last year.

Curating the archives

Archive curation is a constant and ongoing process. Due to protection, it is generally only carried out by administrators. Below is a non-exhaustive list of tasks requiring work;

  1. Some years ago Wikinews fell behind with archiving. A robot was used to automatically archive all articles that required it. These bear {{Archive-unreviewed}} and are in Category:AutoArchived. These predate the current review process. They can be checked and, if in suitable shape, {{Archive-unreviewed}} should be replaced with {{Archive}}
  2. Creating new topic categories is a constant task. Once a topic, such as a city or politician, has three to five relevant articles, a category should be created and added to relevant articles. To maintain compatibility with {{w}}, redirects must be set up.
  3. As mentioned above, articles in Category:Pages with broken file links require processed with {{missing image}}.
  4. Wikinews has begun using {{image credit}} to credit photographers and other media creators; this should be appended to old image captions where not already included in the caption.
  5. Before the {{sisters}} template, sister links were sometimes placed in what is now viewed as inappropriate locations, simultaneously implying they were used as sources for information in the articles whilst also degrading their importance as sister projects. Older articles using the outdated methods still exist in the archives. They should be converted to comply with the current style guide on sister links.

Pre-protection process

Administrators carrying out archiving should give all articles being archived a general check for problems. Per notes above, substantial changes cannot be made. Remove outdated tags such as {{expand}} and {{breaking}}. Once protected an article cannot be expanded and thus this is confusing.

The {{Archived}} tag should be added at the end of the article, preferably by putting {{Publish}}, {{Archived}} on individual lines, followed by the categories. Interwiki links to non-English Wikinews sites go last.

Articles should be given a final check for format, small style errors, proper categorisation, spelling, and similar minor points. Since all changes are reviewed, there should be no major problems outstanding at this time. Wikipedia's AutoWikiBrowser supports Wikinews and is a useful tool for catching typos and common errors. It is, however, no substitute for the current version of the human eyeball.

To archive


If there are no articles listed below the horizontal line (that is, if there are no more than twenty five unarchived articles), see the usual exception at times of slow output, above. Otherwise, articles published no later than June 11 may be archived. (Refresh)

  • The print edition pages should be archived, listed at Wikinews:Print edition.
  • Verify the fully-protected version of any article you archive is sighted.