Wikiversity:Productive forking and tailoring is encouraged

You can help develop this proposal, share your thoughts, or discuss its adoption as a Wikiversity policy, guideline, or process. References or links should describe this page as a "proposal".

Forking and tailoring is encouraged within Wikiversity materials to rapidly achieve a broad spectrum of useful materials suitable for various ages or skill levels of diverse participants.

Tailoring is a term used within the U.S. Defense Department to describe a process of starting with MIL-STDs (military standards) and modifying them to meet a specific project, mission, team, or personal goal or requirement.

To facilitate rapid creation of useful learning materials and processes, Wikiversity participants are encouraged to start with properly accredited electronic copies of public domain, CC by-sa or FDL'd materials and modify them to meet specific lesson plan or learning processes needs and objectives. This is easily accomplished with local files by cutting and pasting the original text one wishes to fork into a new file. Be sure to provide a link in the edit summary back to the original file to meet attribution requirement. Anyone who wishes to see where the material originated can now trace its origin via this link to to the originating online file history and the materials immediately begin to diverge.

Polished materials produced in this manner should be linked into our learning trails appropriately so they may be found and used dynamically by other participants.

Incomplete or predominantly duplicate or unused resources that have gone idle or static should be considered targets for merging, linking or removal.

Materials are considered active if participants home or talk pages link to them and edits have taken place within three months, even if the materials are not yet ready for general use within active learning processes.

Materials are considered idle if participants linking to the materials are nonresponsive to queries placed on their talk pages for six months.

Licence requirements




[1]: tbd



The GNU Free Documentation License, our copyright licence, requires that forked materials based upon GFDL documents (which includes copying existing Wikiversity pages to make new ones) must comply with certain basic requirements:

  • The "network location" of the original page must be given.
  • The title(s), authorship, and history of the original page must be preserved.

On MediaWiki wikis, including Wikiversity, common practice for observing both requirements is:

  • To use an internal link in the initial edit summary when the copy is created
  • To not delete the source page, since doing so removes the preserved title(s), authorship, and history upon which the copy relies

For administrative convenience, particularly for determining whether an original page can be deleted without violating the GFDL, it is best practice to note in the source page which pages are copies of it. This is particularly true of pages that have been merged into other pages (which is, again, copying).

Ordinary editors can only create forks by copying and pasting the wikitext of pages, which is subject to the preceding requirements. Administrators have the additional ability, via the Export and Import tools, to more directly preserve authorship, title, and history information when creating forks. However, these tools require the use of a sibling Wikimedia Foundation project as an intermediary.

See also