Wikipedia:Project namespace

The project namespace or Wikipedia namespace is a namespace consisting of administration pages with information or discussion about Wikipedia. Pages in this namespace will always have the prefix Wikipedia:. They can also be reached by alias WP: or the standard (for any MediaWiki site) prefix Project:. Its namespace number is four (4).

Pages within the "Project namespace" themselves are not part of the encyclopedia proper. These administrative pages are intended for use by editors or by automated tools for the organization and governance of the encyclopedia. Consequently, they do not generally need to conform to the same content protocols or style conventions as articles. Nevertheless, these pages, as with all pages, should be accessible and must comply with Wikipedia's conduct and legal policies.

The project namespace is not a free web host and should not be used as a long-term archive to host pages that look like articles. Articles in the project namespace under construction may be moved to the draft namespace or Userspace draft allowing time for their development and feedback before being moved to Wikipedia's mainspace. Stalled or abandoned drafts and pages in the project namespace that violate policies applicable to non-content pages may be subject to deletion. Editors may not violate copyrights or harass anywhere on Wikipedia. Under the criteria for speedy deletion, these types of pages are subject to expeditious deletion. See below for more information.

The project namespace pages are organized according to their function within the overall project schema. This includes Wikipedia official policies and guidelines, process pages, discussion pages, optional essays, maintenance pages, informative pages, and historical pages.

A main gateway for the project namespace is Community portal. The Community Portal includes categorized links to the more commonly used pages related to the project. A link to the Community Portal page is available in the sidebar.

Process pages help facilitate application of the policies and guidelines governing all Wikipedia pages (e.g., Wikipedia:Articles for deletion). See Wikipedia processes for details.

Many pages in the Wikipedia namespace have nothing to do with rules or implementation of those rules, and thus do not belong in the above categories. See for more information.

Some pages are designed for discussions, such as the Village pumps. Others serve as noticeboards to draw attention to discussions taking place elsewhere, such as the centralized discussions page and various requests for comments pages. While many of these pages operate like talk pages, some of them have posting rules (at the top of the page) which may be administratively enforced, and they also have their own talk pages, usually about the management of the noticeboard or other process in question. To ask a question or make a request, see the request directory. For a listing of ongoing discussions and current requests, see the dashboard.

Maintenance pages are used to help facilitate the organization and clean-up of articles to bring them up to encyclopedic standards. These editor- and bot-generated pages typically contain articles and other pages requiring maintenance or attention. (e.g., Wikipedia:Dusty articles). The Special namespace also contains bot generated maintenance reports (e.g. Special:UncategorizedPages). See Wikipedia maintenance for details.

There is a large amount of overlap between the Help namespace (which provides mainly technical information) and the Wikipedia namespace (which provides mainly procedural information and interpretation). For this reason, redirects and hatnotes are often set up between these two namespaces. See Help:About help pages for more information. For a listing of how-to and information pages, see the help directory.

The project namespace contains many pages and a lot of information. Try to avoid creating new pages unnecessarily. Before creating a new page, you should consider looking through the topical index, essay directory and help directory to see if the material belongs at a page that already exists. It is strongly recommended that you propose a WikiProject at the proposal page, if there are enough willing editors to participate in the project. Already existing WikiProjects can be found in the directory of WikiProjects.

The usual deletion process is to post a request at miscellany for deletion to have project pages deleted. Make sure that a notice of the request is posted to the talk page of the affected project. If the project is under a parent WikiProject, a notice should be posted there as well. However, if editing can improve the page, this should be done rather than deleting the page. Disputes over page content are usually not dealt with by deleting the page, except in severe cases. The content issues should be discussed at the relevant talk page, and other methods of dispute resolution should be used first, such as listing on "requests for comments" for further input. Essays, information pages, and other informal pages that are only supported by a small minority of the community may be moved to the primary author's userspace over deletion. The Wikipedia community has historically tolerated a wide range of Wikipedia related subjects and viewpoints on user pages.

For a complete listing of past and current project namespace deletion requests at MfD, see .

The Wikipedia namespace began after the January 2002 release of the Phase II software. Prior to that, an index of related pages was maintained at Wikipedia utilities, which remained for some time afterwards at Wikipedia:Utilities. This list of pages in the project namespace has been replaced by the pages as described above.

By default Wikipedia's search engine is restricted to the Article namespace. Typing the project page prefix Wikipedia: (Wikipedia followed by a colon) or WP: (WP followed by a colon) provides search results for the "Wikipedia namespace". You can also use the Special:Search box below to locate Wikipedia/Project namespace pages. See Help:Searching for more information.

See Wikipedia:Template messages/Wikipedia namespace for a listing of Wikipedia namespace banners.