Type of site
|Created by||Wikimedia community|
|Registration||Optional (required for uploading images)|
|Launched||September 7, 2004|
The Wikimedia Commons (also called "Wikicommons", "the Commons", "Wikipedia Commons" or just "Commons") is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. Like Wikipedia, it is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. It provides a common resource repository to all the various Wikimedia sister projects in any language.
The files uploaded to the Commons repository can be used like locally uploaded files on all projects on the Wikimedia servers in all languages, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikisource and Wikinews, or downloaded for offsite use, as all of the content is either in the public domain or released under licenses such as the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and GNU Free Documentation License.
What is the Commons?
- Main article: Commons:Welcome
Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that is created and maintained by volunteers. Its name, "Wikimedia Commons", is derived from that of the umbrella project "Wikimedia", which manages all Wikimedia projects, and from the plural noun "commons" as its contents are shared across all Wikimedia projects. It provides a central repository for freely licensed photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, and media of all sorts that are useful for any Wikimedia project.
For a tutorial on contributing to Wikimedia Commons, see Contributing your own work.
Embedding Commons' media in Wikipedia articles
To embed a Wikimedia Commons image or video file in Wikipedia, just include it in the same way as if it were to be stored locally.
To include an image in a page, use for example a link in the form (standard usage shown):
Further details can be found at Help:Visual file markup.
Further details can be found at Help:Sound file markup.
Example of a gallery
If you would like to display a gallery of photos, you can follow this example code
<gallery class="center"> Philipp Veit 008.jpg Image_Germania_(painting).jpg|You can also include captions. Niederwald memorial 2.JPG Accademia - St John the Baptist by Titian Cat314.jpg </gallery>
to produce this:
Please do not categorize Commons files on Wikipedia, but rather help Commons by categorizing them there.
How to move images from Wikipedia to Wikimedia Commons
Differences between Wikipedia and Commons
- Commons does not allow non-free or fair use images. See c:Commons:Licensing. Commons employs a more restrictive interpretation of international copyright law than Wikipedia. Images must be free in both the country of origin and the United States in order to be free enough for Commons. In cases of media where there is little information but significant doubt about an image's source, date, author or copyright status in general, Commons will assume that it is copyrighted and that it should not be hosted at all: see Precautionary principle.
- On Wikipedia, an image can be nominated for deletion if it does not (attempt to) illustrate an article. Commons is less immediately concerned about what articles an image might illustrate, as there are hundreds of Wikimedia projects that use its media whose pages are of vastly different nature. Many images are not used anywhere on projects but instead serve to just illustrate several topics within their categories on Commons (for example, c:Category:Women calling with mobile phones, which Wikipedia may not find an immediate need for). The general requirement is that media must have an 'educational purpose', which can be often a wider term than 'encyclopedic'. See c:Commons:Project scope.
- On Wikipedia, it is important that an image is placed in an article. On the image description page, the section "File links" shows which pages are using the image. On Commons, this section shows both which pages within Commons an image is used on; and a list of all the usage of the file across Wikimedia projects (through the GlobalUsage feature). The important requirement for files on Commons is not to be used, but rather to be appropriately placed in categories. See c:Commons:Categorization.
- Commons is a multilingual project. Filenames, file descriptions, templates, noticeboards and discussion pages all welcome text, labels or discussions in other languages. Try to avoid assuming that everyone speaks the same language(s) as you, and with equal fluency. Put Userboxes on your User page to indicate what languages you are able to speak, and your level of proficiency. See c:Commons:Babel.
- There are generally less specialised discussion areas on Commons than there are on Wikipedia, but the main, centralised areas tend to be quite active. While the Village pump on Wikipedia is more subdivided (for example, there is a dedicated board for technical issues), c:Commons:Village pump at Commons forms more of a general noticeboard for many types of community discussions, including technical issues, policy or co-ordination. However, there are also village pumps for many individual languages. c:Commons:Help desk is the general help desk targeted at new users for general questions on Commons. c:Commons:Village pump/Copyright is a board for discussion of any copyright or licensing related inquiries, and is widely watched by experienced community members. Administrators can be contacted on the c:Commons:Administrators' noticeboard.
- Wikipedia and Commons both share a featured picture project and nomination process (see c:Commons:Featured pictures). However, Commons also celebrates quality images (c:Commons:Quality images) for media less visually or thematically outstanding than required by the featured criteria (similar to Good articles), with one criteria being that the media was created and uploaded by a Wikimedian. c:Commons:Valuable images recognises images for their significant potential to illustrate subjects regardless of immediate technical quality, such as historical events, notable people, distinct plant or animal species, or intricate objects or processes (see valued image scope).
Wikimedia sister projects lists templates that are designed to provide article-to-article linking between Wikipedia and its Wikimedia sister projects. It also provides links to pages concerning moving articles between projects.