ProleWiki:Editor onboarding

From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia

Hello new editor and welcome!

This page is meant to help you get started on ProleWiki as quickly as possible, so please read it all the way through!

Please give us feedback on this page! Join the discord or contact CriticalResist on his talk page (click the link on his name). We can only improve this onboarding experience with your help!

Reading time: 10-20 minutes

Too long didn't read?

First thing: please read everything on this page! But if you can't, here's the bullet point list of everything that's on this page.

  1. If you're a library or learning editor, you have special restrictions in place. Please read the associated sections for more information.
  2. Join the Discord if you have it (or matrix) to make communication easier. Just give us your ProleWiki username in vetting, don't answer the questions.
  3. Remember we write for the reader, who are not necessarily communists.
  4. Read our editorial guidelines, they explain the style we use and how we format things.
  5. Source everything. We will revert edits which are not sourced properly until they are, we have a team that patrols new edits and validates them, they will notify you if they revert your edit and why.
  6. The only claims you don't have to source are common sense claims: things people (not communists, but general people) would reasonably know. E.g. a person's full name or date of birth, or the list of countries in the EU. Vague, general claims such as "The revolution brought many changes to the country" also don't have to be sourced. Everything else should be.
  7. We don't shy away from criticizing parties and public figures when we need to on our pages, but always as a struggle session. Leave personal opinions out and make sure it's not petty drama but is important to know for the reader.
  8. Clean up after yourself: you are responsible for formatting, proofreading, properly sourcing, etc. all edits you make. We don't have any janitors, so you're expected to do this yourself to maintain quality across all pages. Essentially, all editors are also moderators and the wiki is largely self-governed.
  9. Governance: ProleWiki is governed currently by two admins (CriticalResist and Forte) who pick up tasks that haven't been delegated to editors.
  10. If you have skills you think may be useful to ProleWiki or have an idea to evolve (e.g. a project you'd be interested in doing for ProleWiki), please reach out to the admins.
  11. We also have a library and essays space you can participate on. Managed both by 420dengist.
  12. Trusted role: make enough edits and stay active for a while and we will give you the trusted role. It's not a badge of honor, it's a mark of being active on the Wiki and being involved. It will let you vote on finances, account requests & create pages and upload files.
  13. User guide: don't know how to do something in the editor? Refer to this guide.
  14. We promote democracy and evolve rapidly! What you read now on this page may not be true 3 months from now!
  15. In case of conflict with editors: please contact the admins. Don't get into edit wars or let things stew. See Code of conduct.
  16. And most of all: have fun! We have a friendly community that you're now a part of!

For library editors

Starting in November 2023, we started allowing library editors on ProleWiki. You'll know if you're a library editor as this will have been discussed with you before your account was approved. But for simplicity's sake, we included all the information for library editors in this page.

Whether you've been approved to become a full editor or a library editor, please read this entire page regardless!

Becoming a library editor means that you can only edit library pages, that is, books and documents we host. Some common tasks of library editors include:

  • Adding new books to the library (check user guide on how to do that).
  • Adding infoboxes to works (See 'templates' here, it's the Library Work template).
  • Correcting typos and other OCR artefacts that may be present in books.
  • Categorizing works correctly, and suggesting new categories and categorization methods.
  • Making suggestions on the library! Any suggestion you might have is good to hear, so don't hesitate to share.

This work is mutually beneficial, but rest assured there's no quotas to fill or hours to put in: you participate when you want, we're not going to come after you if you take a break. On the one hand, it allows you to get to know us (and vice versa) and learn how ProleWiki works. It also allows you to read the books you upload and therefore become more theoretically proficient. On our end, it helps us fill the Library with more works (we still have some ways to go!). Down the line, once you've learned more theory, you can try vetting again and hopefully become a full editor!

For any question in the course of this work, please contact 420dengist who manages our library, or the administration. As a library editor, we require you to join either the Discord or Matrix servers (see next section) so that we can more easily communicate with each other. Don't worry, we're friendly!

For learning editors

At the same time, we have also started approving learning editors. As a learning editor, you have all the permissions and rights new editors do, however, your permissions to edit some pages might be restricted depending on your vetting answers or edits you make.

In that sense, 'learning editor' is a very informal role.

A restriction means that the edit button will not appear when you visit pages on a certain topic.

Potential restrictions will be discussed and decided on collectively by the Trusted editors before they are enacted. They are decided on a case-by-case basis and will not be pre-emptively added but only decided when there is reason to have them placed. Restrictions will be removed as you show increased proficiency in the subject matter, and for this reason we highly recommend you join either the Discord or Matrix server so you can chat with and get to know the editors.

The point of restricting permissions is not to punish our learning editors, but to make sure the information published on ProleWiki is accurate, factual, and authoritative. If you've been accepted as an editor, it means the editorship considered you have knowledge to share in some topics. But we can't all be perfect, and it's natural that some areas of your knowledge might not be as developed as others. It's for that reason that we might put restrictions on the topics you don't entirely master yet.

Socialise with the team

We recommend that you join our Discord here:

Our Discord is where most of the discussion happens, and you will usually receive an answer faster there.

When opening a ticket on the Discord, just give us your account name and you'll get in.

We also have a Matrix space if you prefer that, but while we check it, it's rarely used:

We also have other channels you can follow where we sometimes post announcements and other interesting things:

Do you have socials too? Make them known! We'll follow you and like your content, and you can also tweet out the edits you've made to the wiki (and maybe even tag us!)

Before you start writing...

Editorial guidelines

Please familiarize yourself with our Guidelines: ProleWiki:Editorial guidelines so as to help retain a cohesive look to the encyclopedia.

Generally, you will start to internalize our editorial feel from reading the encyclopedia and seeing how it's usually written.

While we got some inspiration from Wikipedia in some areas, we don't entirely rely on them and it's not possible to translate Wikipedia's guidelines and conventions 1:1 onto ProleWiki. Wikipedia is an anti-communist encyclopedia with its own share of problems, and while we took inspiration from what worked (as they've had two decades to refine their editorial conventions), our similarities don't go further than that.

Likewise, when you start writing, please do not copy content straight from outside sources — we don't need to plagiarize!

Source as much as you can

There is no such thing as adding too many sources so please source every claim you make (with more than one source even)!

Since January 2024, we've become much more strict in regards to sourcing. Now, edits which are not properly sourced will be reverted. In that case, you will be notified by the patrol team (see users with delegate role). Any reverted edit is still accessible from the "View History" button so you can find it again when you're ready to add sources.

The only claims you don't have to source are "common sense" claims: things which we can reasonably expect people (not communists but anyone) to be familiar with. For example, names and dates of birth don't need to be sourced. Vague, general claims that are made to introduce a subject don't need to be sourced either. For example, writing "The revolution brought many changes to the country" ought to be considered common sense: obviously, a revolution brings many changes. However, specifying "The revolution brought many social changes to the country such as: ..." would require a source for the specific claims.

Remember we are writing for the reader and so pages should make sense to them.

How to write polemics

We strongly believe in self-criticism and struggle sessions when it comes to the content of wiki pages. This works both for 1- what you write and 2- the actual content that you write.

  1. After making an edit, please don't take it personally if another editor comes through afterwards and corrects or undoes parts of what you've written. We work together to improve the wiki for the reader.
  2. On the content of pages, we don't shy away from criticizing parties, organizations and public figures and denounce their tendencies that need to be denounced. ProleWiki itself has editors from all over the world and no allegiance towards a specific party or figure, which is our strength. However, please remember that people will associate your edits with ProleWiki itself! As such, please refrain from editing personal opinions or beliefs inside pages. While we don't have a "No Point-of-view" or "no original research" policy as strict as Wikipedia, remember that people who read ProleWiki will associate your (individual) edits as something the encyclopedia (i.e. all of us) says.

When writing polemics especially, please source claims as much as you can and be as accurate as possible in your wording. One way to think about it and guide your writing is to think: a- if I showed this to anyone in the world, would they believe me? and b- would I feel confident in showing this to the subject in person?

Clean up after yourself

Essentially, cleaning up after yourself means that you are responsible for proofreading, sourcing, and following the editorial guidelines when you make an edit. While other editors might eventually patrol edits to correct typos or fix formatting, we don't have the capacity currently to proofread every edit. As such, we rely on each editor to make sure that they check up on both format and content before publishing their edits.

User guide

We are in the process of writing an exhaustive user guide on how to edit Prolewiki. Please find it here: ProleWiki:User guide.

This page will teach you how to use ProleWiki autonomously like a pro. It's also a good reference guide if you don't know how to do something or forgot.


The current governance structure of ProleWiki can be seen here.

Administrators do technical and political work inside the project. The technical work is to maintain and configure the server and its files. Politically, the administration takes on a role of mentoring and guidance rather than a directive role, helping editors build consensus. The administrators still retain a right of veto, as their role is to keep ProleWiki in line with our principles and avoid deviation from them.

Editors can join or be added to certain groups based on demand and interest. But some groups, due to the sensitivity of the work, cannot be joined freely. This is the case of technical work and our internal security group. Technical work is currently at the hands of the administrators, while the internal security group is composed of trustworthy editors hand-picked by the administrators. The group was created during a period of infiltration and wrecking attempts against our project, during which some editors were chosen due to their excellence in investigation and counter-offensive efforts.

There are also auditors, who can look at account requests. All account requests (including yours!) are sent to the trusted editors for a yes/no vote.

There are currently no moderators either on the Discord or the Wiki.

ProleWiki is evolving very quickly however, and this structure might have changed by the time you read this onboarding page.

Understanding "Trusted" editors

As you make contributions or edits (either in quality or quantity) to ProleWiki as a whole, the administration (CriticalResist and Forte) will give you the Trusted role, which will allow you to create new pages as well as upload images. Getting the trusted role usually takes a few weeks to a month of active editing.

If you feel that you've participated enough, you can freely ask the admins to review your account and grant you the Trusted role. We are sometimes overloaded with work and forget who has not received their Trusted role. If you feel we've forgotten about you, please shoot us a message!

Read this page for more information on what being Trusted means: Trusted Editor Permissions.

You should think of your period before receiving the role as a "tutorial" period, where the administration helps you become an autonomous editor.

If you are a library or learning editor, you might not be eligible for the Trusted role right away and might have to pass through the 'new' editor phase before receiving your Trusted role.

In the meantime and until you get your Trusted status, you can ask the administration or other editors to create a page for you as needed; either on the Matrix or the Discord would be easiest.

However, please limit your new pages! We prefer that you focus on one (new) page at a time so that we limit the amount of stubs on the wiki.

Until you have these permissions...

Until you get the Trusted permissions, we recommend that you edit existing pages to add content or even rewrite paragraphs to help the flow of reading. You can also add categories to our pages, add sources to claims, and correct typos and proofread.

Remember that as a proletarian encyclopedia, we strive to make our content easily accessible in all ways possible.

If you need to find sources for your editing, see the following pages:

There is no such thing as too many sources comrades, so please add them as you write!

If you're not sure what to edit check these pages for inspiration:

  • Category:Stubs (stubs -- articles that are very short)
  • Short pages
  • Wanted pages (pages that are linked on other pages but do not exist yet. You will need a "trusted" editor to create these pages for you).

We have more than just encyclopedic pages!

We have a space for free-form Essays, in which you can write whatever you want (within reason); our editorial guidelines don't apply there.

We also have a Library of texts where you can add Marxist and non-marxist (but socialist) texts.

Finally, we have started a Quotes space where you can post quotes from Marxist theorists. We don't use it a lot, but we've identified that this is something people look for online and so it's interesting to have it on the wiki. It is also useful to have quotes to pull from when writing pages sometimes.

While you are unable to directly create pages in those spaces until you get your permissions, you can ask other editors or the administration to create such pages for you.

In case of conflicts with edits or editors

Please note that ProleWiki is a collaborative encyclopedia and as such we all volunteer here to promote a proletarian education. Therefore, please don't take it personally if another editor edits a page you made.

If you have any issues with a fellow comrade, please use either the Discord (if they are on it) or the talk pages; e.g. the comrade's talk page or the page's talk topics.

Administrators are here to facilitate discourse and conflict resolution if you have any issues, don't hesitate to contact them.

Code of Conduct

We have a Code of conduct here: ProleWiki:Code of conduct. In a nutshell, please respect the principle of comradeship and assume good faith from them in case of conflicts.

If you have any questions

Again, we cannot emphasize enough that you should join the Discord! It will allow you to talk to the other editors and ask your questions as needed. We understand though that not everyone likes to use Discord, and so you can also ask on our Hub or, if needed, directly on our Administrators' talk pages if there's anything you don't understand or would like to know.

Have you read the whole document? Why not head on over to the talk page and create a topic to say hello as your first edit? You'll find the talk page by clicking on "Discussion" in the upper-right corner of this page.