FamilySearch Wiki:External links

From FamilySearch Wiki

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<br> FamilySearch Wiki articles may include links to web pages outside FamilySearch Wiki ('''external links'''). All external links must conform to certain formatting restrictions. Some acceptable links include those that direct users to further research helps, online copies of records, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy.
  
FamilySearch Wiki articles may include links to web pages outside FamilySearch Wiki ('''external links'''). All external links must conform to certain formatting restrictions. Some acceptable links include those that direct users to further research helps, online copies of records, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy.
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Some external links are welcome (see [[#What_should_be_linked|"What should be linked"]], below), but it is not FamilySearch Wiki's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic. No page should be linked from a FamilySearch Wiki article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to the [[Help:Guiding principles and policies|guiding principles and policies]]. The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link.  
  
Some external links are welcome (see [[#What should be linked|"What should be linked"]], below), but it is not FamilySearch Wiki's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic. No page should be linked from a FamilySearch Wiki article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to this guideline and [[FSW:COMMONSENSE|common sense]]. The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link.
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This guideline concerns external links that are '''not'''  citations to sources supporting article content. If the website or page to which you want to link includes information that is not yet a part of the article, consider using it as a source for the article, and citing it. Guidelines for sourcing, which includes external links used as citations, are discussed at [[FamilySearch Wiki:Reliable sources]] and [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources]].  
  
This guideline concerns external links that are '''not''' [[FSW:CITE|citations]] to sources supporting article content. If the website or page to which you want to link includes information that is not yet a part of the article, consider using it as a source for the article, and citing it. Guidelines for sourcing, which includes external links used as citations, are discussed at [[FamilySearch Wiki:Reliable sources]] and [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources]].
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{{ToDo|Content from Wikipedia - to be reviewed/edit for FamilySearch purposes}}
  
{{ToDo|Content from Wikipedia - to be reviewed/edit for FamilySearch purposes}}
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==Important points to remember== <!--
 
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==Important points to remember==
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# This guideline '''does not apply''' to [[FSW:Inline citations|inline citations]] or [[FSW:CITE#General_reference|general references]], which should appear in the "References" or "Notes" section.
 
# This guideline '''does not apply''' to [[FSW:Inline citations|inline citations]] or [[FSW:CITE#General_reference|general references]], which should appear in the "References" or "Notes" section.
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== Restrictions on linking ==
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For [[FSW:LOP|policy]] or technical reasons, editors are restricted from linking to the following, '''without exception''':
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== Restrictions on linking  ==
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For [[FSW:LOP|policy]] or technical reasons, editors are restricted from linking to the following, '''without exception''': <!--
 
# Material that violates the copyrights of others per [[FamilySearch Wiki:Copyrights#Linking to copyrighted works|contributors' rights and obligations]] should not be linked. Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work. Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered [[contributory copyright infringement]]. If you know that an external website is carrying a work in violation of the work's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work casts a bad light on FamilySearch Wiki and its editors. ''This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as [[YouTube]], where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates copyright.''
 
# Material that violates the copyrights of others per [[FamilySearch Wiki:Copyrights#Linking to copyrighted works|contributors' rights and obligations]] should not be linked. Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work. Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered [[contributory copyright infringement]]. If you know that an external website is carrying a work in violation of the work's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work casts a bad light on FamilySearch Wiki and its editors. ''This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as [[YouTube]], where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates copyright.''
 
#Sites that match the [[MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist|FamilySearch Wiki-specific]] or [[M:Spam blacklist|multi-site]] blacklist without being [[MediaWiki:Spam-whitelist|whitelisted]]. [[MediaWiki|MediaWiki's]] code will automatically block any edits that contain such links.
 
#Sites that match the [[MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist|FamilySearch Wiki-specific]] or [[M:Spam blacklist|multi-site]] blacklist without being [[MediaWiki:Spam-whitelist|whitelisted]]. [[MediaWiki|MediaWiki's]] code will automatically block any edits that contain such links.
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== What to link ==
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There are several things that should be considered when adding an external link.
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== What to link ==
*Is the site content [[FamilySearch Wiki:Accessibility|accessible]] to the reader?
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*Is the site content proper in the context of the article (useful, tasteful, informative, factual, etc.)?
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There are several things that should be considered when adding an external link.  
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*Is the site content [[FamilySearch Wiki:Accessibility|accessible]] to the reader?  
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*Is the site content proper in the context of the article (useful, tasteful, informative, factual, etc.)?  
 
*Is the link functional and likely to remain functional?
 
*Is the link functional and likely to remain functional?
  
Each link should be considered on its merits, using the following guidelines. As the number of external links in an article grows longer, assessment should become stricter. When in doubt about the appropriateness of adding new links, make a suggestion on the article's talkpage and discuss with other editors.
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Each link should be considered on its merits, using the following guidelines. As the number of external links in an article grows longer, assessment should become stricter. When in doubt about the appropriateness of adding new links, make a suggestion on the article's talkpage and discuss with other editors.  
  
=== What can normally be linked ===  
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=== What can normally be linked ===
{{anchor|What should be linked}}
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{{anchor|What should be linked}} <!--
 
# {{anchor|YES 1}}FamilySearch Wiki articles about any organization, person, website, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any. See [[#Official links|Official links]] below.
 
# {{anchor|YES 1}}FamilySearch Wiki articles about any organization, person, website, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any. See [[#Official links|Official links]] below.
 
# {{anchor|YES 2}}An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work, if none of the [[#Links normally to be avoided|"Links normally to be avoided"]] criteria apply.
 
# {{anchor|YES 2}}An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work, if none of the [[#Links normally to be avoided|"Links normally to be avoided"]] criteria apply.
 
# {{anchor|YES 3}}Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the FamilySearch Wiki article due to copyright issues,<ref>This '''does not''' permit you to link to any page that is violating someone else's copyright.  This means that if you cannot include the material in the FamilySearch Wiki article because it is copyrighted, then you may link to the copyright owner's page.</ref> amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks), or other reasons.
 
# {{anchor|YES 3}}Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the FamilySearch Wiki article due to copyright issues,<ref>This '''does not''' permit you to link to any page that is violating someone else's copyright.  This means that if you cannot include the material in the FamilySearch Wiki article because it is copyrighted, then you may link to the copyright owner's page.</ref> amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks), or other reasons.
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--> === Links to be considered === <!--
=== Links to be considered ===
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# {{anchor|MAYBE 1}}''The recommendation to consider professional reviews as external links was repealed. The reviews should instead be used as [[FSW:RS|sources]] in a "Reception" section.'' <!-- Until October 2009, this item was: For albums, movies, books, and other creative works, links to professional reviews that have not been used to [[FSW:V|verify]] information about the critical reception of the work or that contain information that cannot be integrated into the FamilySearch Wiki article. -->  
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# {{anchor|MAYBE 1}}''The recommendation to consider professional reviews as external links was repealed. The reviews should instead be used as [[FSW:RS|sources]] in a "Reception" section.'' <!-- Until October 2009, this item was: For albums, movies, books, and other creative works, links to professional reviews that have not been used to [[FSW:V|verify]] information about the critical reception of the work or that contain information that cannot be integrated into the FamilySearch Wiki article. -->
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#{{anchor|MAYBE 2}}Very large pages, such as [[#Rich_media|pages containing rich media files]], should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Worldwide, many use FamilySearch Wiki with a low-speed connection. Unusually large pages should be annotated as such.  
# {{anchor|MAYBE 2}}Very large pages, such as [[#Rich media|pages containing rich media files]], should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Worldwide, many use FamilySearch Wiki with a low-speed connection. Unusually large pages should be annotated as such.
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#{{anchor|MAYBE 3}}A well-chosen link to a directory of websites or organizations. Long lists of links [[FSW:NOTLINK|are not acceptable]]. A directory link may be a permanent link or a temporary measure put in place while external links are being discussed on the article's talk page. The [[Open Directory Project]] is often a neutral candidate, and may be added using the {{tlx|dmoz}} template.  
# {{anchor|MAYBE 3}}A well-chosen link to a directory of websites or organizations. Long lists of links [[FSW:NOTLINK|are not acceptable]]. A directory link may be a permanent link or a temporary measure put in place while external links are being discussed on the article's talk page. The [[Open Directory Project]] is often a neutral candidate, and may be added using the {{tlx|dmoz}} template.
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#{{anchor|MAYBE 4}}Sites that fail to meet criteria for [[FSW:RS|reliable sources]] yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources.
# {{anchor|MAYBE 4}}Sites that fail to meet criteria for [[FSW:RS|reliable sources]] yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources.
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--&gt; == {{anchor|AVOID}} Links normally to be avoided == <!--
== {{anchor|AVOID}} Links normally to be avoided ==
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'''Except for [[FamilySearch Wiki:External links#Official links|a link to an official page of the article's subject]]''', one should generally avoid:
 
'''Except for [[FamilySearch Wiki:External links#Official links|a link to an official page of the article's subject]]''', one should generally avoid:
 
#{{anchors|EL1|not unique}}Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a [[FamilySearch Wiki:Featured article criteria|featured article]].
 
#{{anchors|EL1|not unique}}Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a [[FamilySearch Wiki:Featured article criteria|featured article]].
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#{{anchors|EL19|organizations}}Links to websites of organizations mentioned in an article—unless they otherwise qualify as something that [[#What should be linked|should be linked]] or [[#Links to be considered|considered]].<ref name=NotRef /><ref>Links to websites ''are'' permitted when the website has been used as a [[FSW:Reliable source]], but ''not'' to direct readers to the organization's website or merely to verify that the organization exists, or that it has a website.<br />'''No''': "[http://RedCross.org The Red Cross] issued a press release that said..." <br />'''Yes''': "The [[Red Cross]] issued a press release that said...[http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.edd4398600b584f5fef71210c23f78a0/?vgnextoid=00a00628b1cde110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default]" </ref>
 
#{{anchors|EL19|organizations}}Links to websites of organizations mentioned in an article—unless they otherwise qualify as something that [[#What should be linked|should be linked]] or [[#Links to be considered|considered]].<ref name=NotRef /><ref>Links to websites ''are'' permitted when the website has been used as a [[FSW:Reliable source]], but ''not'' to direct readers to the organization's website or merely to verify that the organization exists, or that it has a website.<br />'''No''': "[http://RedCross.org The Red Cross] issued a press release that said..." <br />'''Yes''': "The [[Red Cross]] issued a press release that said...[http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.edd4398600b584f5fef71210c23f78a0/?vgnextoid=00a00628b1cde110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default]" </ref>
 
#{{anchors|EL20}}External links as sole entries in [[FamilySearch Wiki:Stand-alone lists|stand-alone lists]] and [[FSW:EMBED|embedded lists]].
 
#{{anchors|EL20}}External links as sole entries in [[FamilySearch Wiki:Stand-alone lists|stand-alone lists]] and [[FSW:EMBED|embedded lists]].
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=== {{anchor|ADV}} Advertising and conflicts of interest ===
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{{main|FamilySearch Wiki:Conflict of interest|FamilySearch Wiki:Spam}}
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=== {{anchor|ADV}} Advertising and conflicts of interest ===
  
It is true that a link from FamilySearch Wiki to an external site may drive Web traffic to that site. But in line with FamilySearch Wiki policies, you should avoid linking to a site that you own, maintain, or represent—even if FSW guidelines seem to imply that it may otherwise be linked. When in doubt, you may go to the talk page and let another editor decide. This suggestion is in line with FSW's [[FamilySearch Wiki:Conflict of interest|conflict-of-interest]] guidelines.
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{{main|FamilySearch Wiki:Conflict of interest|FamilySearch Wiki:Spam}}
  
FamilySearch Wiki uses the same standards for evaluating links to websites owned by for-profit and (real or purported) non-profit organizations. Links to potentially revenue-generating web pages are not prohibited, even though the website owner might earn money through advertisements, sales, or (in the case of non-profit organizations) donations.  Choose which pages to link based on the immediate benefit to FamilySearch Wiki readers that click on the link, not based on the organization's tax status or your guess at whether the website's owner might earn money from the link.
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It is true that a link from FamilySearch Wiki to an external site may drive Web traffic to that site. But in line with FamilySearch Wiki policies, you should avoid linking to a site that you own, maintain, or represent—even if FSW guidelines seem to imply that it may otherwise be linked. When in doubt, you may go to the talk page and let another editor decide. This suggestion is in line with FSW's [[FamilySearch Wiki:Conflict of interest|conflict-of-interest]] guidelines.  
  
A few parties now appear to have a spambot capable of spamming wikis from several different wiki engines, analogous to the submitter scripts for guestbooks and blogs. If you see a bot inserting external links, please consider checking the other language wikis to see if the attack is widespread. If it is, please [[m:Talk:Spam blacklist|report it]] on Meta; they can put in a Wikimedia-wide text filter. Sysops will [[FamilySearch Wiki:blocking policy|block]] unauthorized [[FamilySearch Wiki:bots|bots]] on sight.
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FamilySearch Wiki uses the same standards for evaluating links to websites owned by for-profit and (real or purported) non-profit organizations. Links to potentially revenue-generating web pages are not prohibited, even though the website owner might earn money through advertisements, sales, or (in the case of non-profit organizations) donations. Choose which pages to link based on the immediate benefit to FamilySearch Wiki readers that click on the link, not based on the organization's tax status or your guess at whether the website's owner might earn money from the link.  
  
=== Sites requiring registration {{anchors|registration}}===
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A few parties now appear to have a spambot capable of spamming wikis from several different wiki engines, analogous to the submitter scripts for guestbooks and blogs. If you see a bot inserting external links, please consider checking the other language wikis to see if the attack is widespread. If it is, please [[M:Talk:Spam blacklist|report it]] on Meta; they can put in a Wikimedia-wide text filter. Sysops will [[FamilySearch Wiki:Blocking policy|block]] unauthorized [[FamilySearch Wiki:Bots|bots]] on sight.
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=== Sites requiring registration {{anchors|registration}}=== <!--
 
'''Outside of [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources|citations]],<ref name=NotRef />''' external links to websites that require registration or a paid subscription to view should be avoided because they are of limited use to most readers. [[Facebook]] and many online newspapers require registration to access some or all of their content, while some require a subscription. Online magazines frequently require subscriptions to access their sites or for premium content. If old newspaper and magazine articles are archived, there may be a fee for accessing them.
 
'''Outside of [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources|citations]],<ref name=NotRef />''' external links to websites that require registration or a paid subscription to view should be avoided because they are of limited use to most readers. [[Facebook]] and many online newspapers require registration to access some or all of their content, while some require a subscription. Online magazines frequently require subscriptions to access their sites or for premium content. If old newspaper and magazine articles are archived, there may be a fee for accessing them.
  
 
A site that requires registration or a subscription should not be linked unless the website itself is the topic of the article (see [[#Official links|Official links]] below) or the link is part of an inline reference (see [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources]]). References should be to the most authoritative source, adding a link to a free version if one is available.
 
A site that requires registration or a subscription should not be linked unless the website itself is the topic of the article (see [[#Official links|Official links]] below) or the link is part of an inline reference (see [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources]]). References should be to the most authoritative source, adding a link to a free version if one is available.
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=== Non-English-language content {{anchors|not English}}===
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=== Non-English-language content {{anchors|not English}} ===
  
'''Outside of [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources|citations]],<ref name=NotRef />''' external links to English-language content are strongly preferred in the English-language FamilySearch Wiki. It may be appropriate to have a link to a non-English-language site, such as when an [[#Official links|official site]] is unavailable in English; or when the link is to the subject's text in its original language; or when the site contains visual aids such as maps, diagrams, or tables—per the guideline on [[FamilySearch Wiki:Manual of Style (links)#Non-English-language sites|non-English-language sites]].
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'''Outside of [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources|citations]],<ref name="NotRef" />''' external links to English-language content are strongly preferred in the English-language FamilySearch Wiki. It may be appropriate to have a link to a non-English-language site, such as when an [[#Official_links|official site]] is unavailable in English; or when the link is to the subject's text in its original language; or when the site contains visual aids such as maps, diagrams, or tables—per the guideline on [[FamilySearch Wiki:Manual of Style (links)#Non-English-language_sites|non-English-language sites]].  
  
When linking to a site in a non-English language under the exceptions above, label the link with a [[:Category:Language icon templates|language icon]], available for most languages, using two-letter language codes: for example, {{tl|es icon}}, {{tl|fr icon}}, etc. Place the language label after the link (i.e. <nowiki>[http://de.FamilySearch Wiki.org/ German FamilySearch Wiki] {{de icon}}</nowiki>).
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When linking to a site in a non-English language under the exceptions above, label the link with a [[:Category:Language icon templates|language icon]], available for most languages, using two-letter language codes: for example, {{tl|es icon}}, {{tl|fr icon}}, etc. Place the language label after the link (i.e. <nowiki>[http://de.FamilySearch Wiki.org/ German FamilySearch Wiki] {{de icon}}</nowiki>).  
  
Note that this guideline does not apply to references, which can be in any language, though English is preferred if available and equally reliable. See [[FamilySearch Wiki:Verifiability#Non-English sources]] for FamilySearch Wiki's standards for published sources that are not written in English.
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Note that this guideline does not apply to references, which can be in any language, though English is preferred if available and equally reliable. See [[FamilySearch Wiki:Verifiability#Non-English_sources]] for FamilySearch Wiki's standards for published sources that are not written in English.  
  
=== Redirection sites {{anchor|redirect}}===
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=== Redirection sites {{anchor|redirect}} ===
[[URL redirection]] sites are not to be used. Examples of these sites include [[TinyURL|tinyurl.com]], tiny.cc and the [[.tk]] top level domain. Most of these sites are listed in the [[m:Spam blacklist]] because they are frequently abused by link spammers, which means that it is not possible to save a page that contains such a link. Because [[URL]] redirection sites are added to the blacklist whenever abuse occurs, you may create problems for future editors by using them. Adding links to [[Anonymous web proxy|web proxies]] is prohibited for a similar reason. Instead, one should add a link to the original URL.
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It is generally preferred to link to the exact destination of a link. For instance, if example.com is an automatic redirect to tripod.com/example, it is better to link to the exact page, even if the webmaster considers the redirect address to be more official.
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[[URL redirection]] sites are not to be used. Examples of these sites include [[TinyURL|tinyurl.com]], tiny.cc and the [[.tk]] top level domain. Most of these sites are listed in the [[M:Spam blacklist]] because they are frequently abused by link spammers, which means that it is not possible to save a page that contains such a link. Because [[URL]] redirection sites are added to the blacklist whenever abuse occurs, you may create problems for future editors by using them. Adding links to [[Anonymous web proxy|web proxies]] is prohibited for a similar reason. Instead, one should add a link to the original URL.  
  
=== Rich media {{anchor|rich media}}===
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It is generally preferred to link to the exact destination of a link. For instance, if example.com is an automatic redirect to tripod.com/example, it is better to link to the exact page, even if the webmaster considers the redirect address to be more official.  
It is acceptable to link to pages rendered in normal [[HTML]] or [[plain text]], but this is not always the case with pages using [[rich media]] formats (which may be incompatible with many users' settings and browsers). Check that the content type of the linked page is "text/html", "text/plain", or "application/xhtml+xml" (or another XHTML content type) as some pages may instead be rendered solely by platform-dependent [[Plug-in (computing)|plugins]]. Try to avoid directly linking to any content that requires special software, or an add-on to a browser. It is always preferred to link to a page rendered in normal HTML that contains embedded links to the rich media.  
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Where a link to rich media is deemed appropriate, either as a direct link or embedded within an HTML page, an explicit indication of the technology needed to access the relevant content must be given, as in the following examples:
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=== Rich media {{anchor|rich media}} ===
*[http://www.kexp.org/aspnet_client/KEXPViewMediaGroup.aspx?rID=2805&pID=528&fID=1111&date=1111 Interview] (along with [[Lenny Kaye]]) November 11, 2005 on [[KEXP-FM]]; 53 minutes, includes three songs. ([[Windows Media Player]], [[RealPlayer]]).
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It is acceptable to link to pages rendered in normal [[HTML]] or [[Plain text]], but this is not always the case with pages using [[Rich media]] formats (which may be incompatible with many users' settings and browsers). Check that the content type of the linked page is "text/html", "text/plain", or "application/xhtml+xml" (or another XHTML content type) as some pages may instead be rendered solely by platform-dependent [[Plug-in (computing)|plugins]]. Try to avoid directly linking to any content that requires special software, or an add-on to a browser. It is always preferred to link to a page rendered in normal HTML that contains embedded links to the rich media.
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Where a link to rich media is deemed appropriate, either as a direct link or embedded within an HTML page, an explicit indication of the technology needed to access the relevant content must be given, as in the following examples:  
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*[http://www.kexp.org/aspnet_client/KEXPViewMediaGroup.aspx?rID=2805&pID=528&fID=1111&date=1111 Interview] (along with [[Lenny Kaye]]) November 11, 2005 on [[KEXP-FM]]; 53 minutes, includes three songs. ([[Windows Media Player]], [[RealPlayer]]).  
 
*Berkowitz, Joel, [http://yiddishbookcenter.org/pdf/pt/44/PT44_goldfaden.pdf Avrom Goldfaden and the Modern Yiddish Theater: The Bard of Old Constantine] ([[Portable Document Format|PDF]]), ''Pakn Treger'', no. 44, Winter 2004, 10–19.
 
*Berkowitz, Joel, [http://yiddishbookcenter.org/pdf/pt/44/PT44_goldfaden.pdf Avrom Goldfaden and the Modern Yiddish Theater: The Bard of Old Constantine] ([[Portable Document Format|PDF]]), ''Pakn Treger'', no. 44, Winter 2004, 10–19.
  
==== Linking to user-submitted video sites====
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==== Linking to user-submitted video sites==== <!--
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There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites, as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see [[#Restrictions on linking|Restrictions on linking]] and [[#Links normally to be avoided|Links normally to be avoided]]). Many videos hosted on YouTube or similar sites do '''not''' meet the standards for inclusion in External links sections, and [[FamilySearch Wiki:COPYLINK|copyright]] is of particular concern. Many YouTube videos of newscasts, shows or other content of interest to FamilySearch Wiki visitors are copyright violations and '''should not''' be linked to. Links should be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis. Links to online videos should also identify the software necessary for readers to view the content. For example, all links to YouTube videos should, if applicable, indicate that [[Flash Video]] software or a web browser supporting [[H.264/MPEG-4 AVC]] is necessary to see the content.
 
There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites, as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see [[#Restrictions on linking|Restrictions on linking]] and [[#Links normally to be avoided|Links normally to be avoided]]). Many videos hosted on YouTube or similar sites do '''not''' meet the standards for inclusion in External links sections, and [[FamilySearch Wiki:COPYLINK|copyright]] is of particular concern. Many YouTube videos of newscasts, shows or other content of interest to FamilySearch Wiki visitors are copyright violations and '''should not''' be linked to. Links should be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis. Links to online videos should also identify the software necessary for readers to view the content. For example, all links to YouTube videos should, if applicable, indicate that [[Flash Video]] software or a web browser supporting [[H.264/MPEG-4 AVC]] is necessary to see the content.
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=== Avoid undue weight on particular points of view ===
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On articles with multiple points of view, avoid providing links too great in number or weight to one point of view, or that give undue weight to minority views. Add comments to these links informing the reader of their point of view. If one point of view dominates informed opinion, that should be represented first. For more information, see [[FamilySearch Wiki:Neutral point of view]]—in particular, FamilySearch Wiki's guidelines on [[FamilySearch Wiki:Neutral point of view#Undue weight|undue weight]].
 
On articles with multiple points of view, avoid providing links too great in number or weight to one point of view, or that give undue weight to minority views. Add comments to these links informing the reader of their point of view. If one point of view dominates informed opinion, that should be represented first. For more information, see [[FamilySearch Wiki:Neutral point of view]]—in particular, FamilySearch Wiki's guidelines on [[FamilySearch Wiki:Neutral point of view#Undue weight|undue weight]].
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==Official links==
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== Official links ==
  
An official link is a link to a website or other Internet service that meets both of the following:
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An official link is a link to a website or other Internet service that meets both of the following:  
# The linked content is controlled by the subject ([[FSW:CORP|organization]] or [[FSW:BLP|individual person]]) of the FamilySearch Wiki article.
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# The linked content primarily covers the area for which the subject of the article is notable.
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Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself. These links are exempt from the [[FSW:ELNO|links normally to be avoided]], but they are not exempt from the [[FSW:ELNEVER|restrictions on linking]]. For example, although links to websites that require readers to register or pay to view content are [[FSW:EL#EL6|normally not acceptable]] in the ''External links'' section, such a link may be included when it is an official website for the subject.
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#The linked content is controlled by the subject ([[FSW:CORP|organization]] or [[FSW:BLP|individual person]]) of the FamilySearch Wiki article.  
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#The linked content primarily covers the area for which the subject of the article is notable.
  
Official links are still subject to standard formatting requirements, such as [[#Rich media|rich media labeling]] and not placing links in the text of the article. When an official website is used as a source to [[FSW:SPS|verify a self-published statement]] in the article text, it should be formatted like any other reference used in the article.<ref name=NotRef/> Official websites may be included in some [[FSW:INFOBOX|infoboxes]], and by convention are listed first in the ''External links'' section. Use of the template {{tl|official website}} is optional.
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Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself. These links are exempt from the [[FSW:ELNO|links normally to be avoided]], but they are not exempt from the [[FSW:ELNEVER|restrictions on linking]]. For example, although links to websites that require readers to register or pay to view content are [[FSW:EL#EL6|normally not acceptable]] in the ''External links'' section, such a link may be included when it is an official website for the subject.
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Official links are still subject to standard formatting requirements, such as [[#Rich_media|rich media labeling]] and not placing links in the text of the article. When an official website is used as a source to [[FSW:SPS|verify a self-published statement]] in the article text, it should be formatted like any other reference used in the article.<ref name="NotRef" /> Official websites may be included in some [[FSW:INFOBOX|infoboxes]], and by convention are listed first in the ''External links'' section. Use of the template {{tl|official website}} is optional. <!--
 
No official link exists for many articles. "Fansites", including everything from websites run by fans of a musician to a charitable organization supporting patients with a disease, even if they are endorsed or authorized by the subject, are not considered official websites because the subject of the article is unable to control the information being presented. Links to websites that are not considered official websites may still be justifiable under other sections of this guideline, e.g., [[#Links to be considered|Links to consider]] #4.
 
No official link exists for many articles. "Fansites", including everything from websites run by fans of a musician to a charitable organization supporting patients with a disease, even if they are endorsed or authorized by the subject, are not considered official websites because the subject of the article is unable to control the information being presented. Links to websites that are not considered official websites may still be justifiable under other sections of this guideline, e.g., [[#Links to be considered|Links to consider]] #4.
-->
+
-->  
 +
 
 
;Minimize the number of links
 
;Minimize the number of links
If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate.<ref>Situations in which multiple official links are typically provided include:
 
<!--
 
* The biography of an elected official might link to both an official government website and the official's political party or campaign website (see, e.g., [[Barack Obama]], [[David Cameron]]).
 
* A retailer may have separate websites for the corporate office and for consumers (see, e.g., [[Walmart]], [[J. C. Penney]]).
 
* A person who is notable for more than one thing might maintain separate websites for each notable activity, (e.g., one website for music and another website for a book).</ref> However, FamilySearch Wiki [[FSW:NOTLINKS|does not provide a comprehensive web directory to every official website]]. FamilySearch Wiki does not attempt to document or provide links to every part of the subject's [[web presence]] or provide readers with a handy list of all social networking sites. Complete directories lead to clutter and to placing [[FSW:DUE|undue emphasis]] on what the subject says.
 
-->
 
  
More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites. For example, if the main page of the official website for an author contains a link to the author's blog and Twitter feed, then it is not appropriate to provide links to all three. Instead, provide only the main page of the official website in this situation. In other situations, it may be appropriate to provide more than one link, such as when a business has one website for the corporate headquarters and another for consumer information. Choose the minimum number of links that provide readers with the maximum amount of information. Links that provide consistent information are strongly preferred to social networking and communication services where the content changes rapidly and may not comply with this guideline at any given moment in time.
+
If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate.<ref>Situations in which multiple official links are typically provided include:fckLR&lt;!--fckLR* The biography of an elected official might link to both an official government website and the official's political party or campaign website (see, e.g., [[Barack Obama]], [[David Cameron]]).fckLR* A retailer may have separate websites for the corporate office and for consumers (see, e.g., [[Walmart]], [[J. C. Penney]]).fckLR* A person who is notable for more than one thing might maintain separate websites for each notable activity, (e.g., one website for music and another website for a book).</ref> However, FamilySearch Wiki [[FSW:NOTLINKS|does not provide a comprehensive web directory to every official website]]. FamilySearch Wiki does not attempt to document or provide links to every part of the subject's [[Web presence]] or provide readers with a handy list of all social networking sites. Complete directories lead to clutter and to placing [[FSW:DUE|undue emphasis]] on what the subject says. --&gt;
  
== Longevity of links ==
+
More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites. For example, if the main page of the official website for an author contains a link to the author's blog and Twitter feed, then it is not appropriate to provide links to all three. Instead, provide only the main page of the official website in this situation. In other situations, it may be appropriate to provide more than one link, such as when a business has one website for the corporate headquarters and another for consumer information. Choose the minimum number of links that provide readers with the maximum amount of information. Links that provide consistent information are strongly preferred to social networking and communication services where the content changes rapidly and may not comply with this guideline at any given moment in time.
  
It is very important to consider whether the link is likely to remain relevant and acceptable to the article in the foreseeable future. For example, it is not useful to link to a webpage that changes often and merely happens to have a relevant picture or article on its front page at the moment. Consider locating and linking to "permalink" versions of web content, and trying to find resources which have a commitment to keeping content available at the same address.
+
== Longevity of links  ==
  
=== What can be done with a dead external link ===
+
It is very important to consider whether the link is likely to remain relevant and acceptable to the article in the foreseeable future. For example, it is not useful to link to a webpage that changes often and merely happens to have a relevant picture or article on its front page at the moment. Consider locating and linking to "permalink" versions of web content, and trying to find resources which have a commitment to keeping content available at the same address.
{{see also|FamilySearch Wiki:Link rot}}
+
  
Links to dead [[URL]]s in a list of external links are of no use to FamilySearch Wiki articles. Such dead links should either be updated or removed. Note however, that the matter is different for references: see [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources#Preventing and repairing dead links]].
+
=== What can be done with a dead external link  ===
  
Note that some dead links are caused by vandalism (for example, a vandal disabling links to products competing with the vandal's favored product): it is worth checking to see if there is a working version of the link in an earlier version of article. Some vandalism of this type is quite subtle, such as replacing [[ASCII]] letters in the URL with [[Homoglyph|identical-looking]] [[Cyrillic]] letters.
+
{{see also|FamilySearch Wiki:Link rot}}
  
=== Hijacked and re-registered sites ===
+
Links to dead [[URL]]s in a list of external links are of no use to FamilySearch Wiki articles. Such dead links should either be updated or removed. Note however, that the matter is different for references: see [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources#Preventing_and_repairing_dead_links]].
URLs can be "[[Domain hijacking|hijacked]]" or re-registered for a different purpose after a registration expires.<ref>{{cite web ||url=http://www.pcworld.com/article/87824/porn_sites_hijack_expired_domain_names.html|title=Porn Sites Hijack Expired Domain Names}}</ref> While the URL remains valid, it no longer points to the desired information, so it needs to be handled as a dead link.
+
 
 +
Note that some dead links are caused by vandalism (for example, a vandal disabling links to products competing with the vandal's favored product): it is worth checking to see if there is a working version of the link in an earlier version of article. Some vandalism of this type is quite subtle, such as replacing [[ASCII]] letters in the URL with [[Homoglyph|identical-looking]] [[Cyrillic]] letters.
 +
 
 +
=== Hijacked and re-registered sites ===
 +
 
 +
URLs can be "[[Domain hijacking|hijacked]]" or re-registered for a different purpose after a registration expires.<ref>{{cite web ||url=http://www.pcworld.com/article/87824/porn_sites_hijack_expired_domain_names.html|title=Porn Sites Hijack Expired Domain Names}}</ref> While the URL remains valid, it no longer points to the desired information, so it needs to be handled as a dead link.  
 +
 
 +
== How to link  ==
 +
 
 +
{{see also|Help:URL}} Link with no text (code and example output):
  
== How to link ==
 
{{see also|Help:URL}}
 
Link with no text (code and example output):
 
 
  <nowiki>[http://example.com/]</nowiki>
 
  <nowiki>[http://example.com/]</nowiki>
 
   
 
   
 
  [http://example.com/]
 
  [http://example.com/]
Link containing text:
+
 
 +
Link containing text:  
 +
 
 
  <nowiki>[http://example.com/ The RFC-mandated example.com website]</nowiki>
 
  <nowiki>[http://example.com/ The RFC-mandated example.com website]</nowiki>
 
   
 
   
 
  [http://example.com/ The RFC-mandated example.com website]
 
  [http://example.com/ The RFC-mandated example.com website]
All text following a space is taken as the text to use for the link. Embedding wikilinks into the link text is incorrect; instead choose the appropriate words to link.
+
 
 +
All text following a space is taken as the text to use for the link. Embedding wikilinks into the link text is incorrect; instead choose the appropriate words to link.  
 +
 
 
  "The <nowiki>[[RFC]]-mandated [http://example.com/ example.com website]</nowiki>".  
 
  "The <nowiki>[[RFC]]-mandated [http://example.com/ example.com website]</nowiki>".  
 
   
 
   
 
  "The [[RFC]]-mandated [http://example.com/ example.com website]".
 
  "The [[RFC]]-mandated [http://example.com/ example.com website]".
  
If there are no meaningful words that can be used for the link, a link with no text is preferred to using self-referential link text, such as "[[click here]]" or "this link". These types of [[FSW:CLICKHERE|self-references]] should be avoided.
+
If there are no meaningful words that can be used for the link, a link with no text is preferred to using self-referential link text, such as "[[Click here]]" or "this link". These types of [[FSW:CLICKHERE|self-references]] should be avoided.  
  
The URL must begin with <code>http://</code> or another internet protocol, such as <code>ftp://</code> or <code><nowiki>news://</nowiki></code>.
+
The URL must begin with <code>http://</code> or another internet protocol, such as <code>ftp://</code> or <code><nowiki>news://</nowiki></code>.  
  
=== External links section ===<!-- This section is linked from [[FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Albums]] -->
+
=== External links section ===<!-- This section is linked from [[FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Albums]] --> If an article has external links, the standard format is to place them in a bulleted list under a [[FSW:MOS#Section_headings|primary heading]] at the end of the article. External links should identify the link and briefly summarize the website's contents and why the website is relevant to the article. The heading should be "External links" (plural) even if only a single link is listed. If several external links are listed and the subject of the article is a living person, organization, web service, or otherwise has an [[#Official_links|official website]], it is normal practice to place the link to that site at the top of the list.  
If an article has external links, the standard format is to place them in a bulleted list under a [[FSW:MOS#Section headings|primary heading]] at the end of the article. External links should identify the link and briefly summarize the website's contents and why the website is relevant to the article. The heading should be "External links" (plural) even if only a single link is listed. If several external links are listed and the subject of the article is a living person, organization, web service, or otherwise has an [[#Official links|official website]], it is normal practice to place the link to that site at the top of the list.
+
  
If you link to another website, you should give your reader a good summary of the site's contents, and the reasons why this specific website is relevant to the article in question. If you link to an online article, try to provide as much meaningful article information as possible. For example:
+
If you link to another website, you should give your reader a good summary of the site's contents, and the reasons why this specific website is relevant to the article in question. If you link to an online article, try to provide as much meaningful article information as possible. For example:  
 
+
<pre>== External links ==
<pre><nowiki>
+
== External links ==
+
 
* [http://example.com/link_1 Link 1]
 
* [http://example.com/link_1 Link 1]
 
* [http://example.com/link_2 Link 2]
 
* [http://example.com/link_2 Link 2]
</nowiki></pre>
+
</pre>  
 +
Most external links should present different details from [[FSW:CITE|citations]]. For instance, a concise description of the contents and a clear indication of its source is more important than the actual title of the page, and access dates are not appropriate in the external links section. Because citation templates were not designed for use in the External links section, editors that use [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citation templates|citation templates]] in this section should be careful to ensure the resulting description is appropriate for an external link.
  
Most external links should present different details from [[FSW:CITE|citations]]. For instance, a concise description of the contents and a clear indication of its source is more important than the actual title of the page, and access dates are not appropriate in the external links section. Because citation templates were not designed for use in the External links section, editors that use [[FamilySearch Wiki:Citation templates|citation templates]] in this section should be careful to ensure the resulting description is appropriate for an external link.
+
=== References and citation ===
  
=== References and citation ===
+
{{see also|FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources|FamilySearch Wiki:Spam#Citation_spam}} Sites that have been used as sources in the creation of an article should be cited in the article, and linked as references, either in-line or in a references section. Links to these source sites are not "external links" for the purposes of this guideline, and should not normally be duplicated in an external links section. Exceptions—websites that can be both references and external links—include any [[#Official_links|official sites for the article topic]], or websites that are specifically devoted to the topic, contain multiple subpages, and meet the [[#Links_normally_to_be_avoided|above criteria]].
  
{{see also|FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources|FamilySearch Wiki:Spam#Citation_spam}}
+
=== Linking to databases  ===
Sites that have been used as sources in the creation of an article should be cited in the article, and linked as references, either in-line or in a references section. Links to these source sites are not "external links" for the purposes of this guideline, and should not normally be duplicated in an external links section. Exceptions—websites that can be both references and external links—include any [[#Official links|official sites for the article topic]], or websites that are specifically devoted to the topic, contain multiple subpages, and meet the [[#Links normally to be avoided|above criteria]].
+
  
=== Linking to databases ===
+
{{see|FamilySearch Wiki:Template messages/Links}} When linking to large database-driven sites like the [[Internet Movie Database]], try to use an [[:Category:External link templates|external link template]]. If the URL format of the database ever changes, it is sometimes possible to quickly fix all links by rewriting the template.  
{{see|FamilySearch Wiki:Template messages/Links}}
+
When linking to large database-driven sites like the [[Internet Movie Database]], try to use an [[:Category:External link templates|external link template]]. If the URL format of the database ever changes, it is sometimes possible to quickly fix all links by rewriting the template.
+
  
==Maintenance and review==
+
== Maintenance and review ==
Inappropriate and duplicative links may be deleted by any editor; if the reason for the deletion is not obvious, please explain on the article's talk page.
+
  
Templates may help organize a link maintenance project. The {{tl|external links}} template is for providing notice that the list of links may have grown to an inappropriate length or contain inappropriate links. {{tl|Cleanup-spam}} warns of suspected non-compliant links.
+
Inappropriate and duplicative links may be deleted by any editor; if the reason for the deletion is not obvious, please explain on the article's talk page.  
  
Inline templates may be useful for flagging individual links that you want to further discuss on the article's talk page:
+
Templates may help organize a link maintenance project. The {{tl|external links}} template is for providing notice that the list of links may have grown to an inappropriate length or contain inappropriate links. {{tl|Cleanup-spam}} warns of suspected non-compliant links.
* {{tl|Copyvio link}} to mark links suspected of violating copyrights
+
* {{tl|Off-topic-inline}} – to mark links that seem off-topic or irrelevant
+
* {{tl|Dead link}} – to mark links that do not appear to be working
+
  
If a page attracts many links or inappropriate links, a note in the external links section such as {{tls|no more links}} may discourage the addition of links.
+
Inline templates may be useful for flagging individual links that you want to further discuss on the article's talk page:
  
If a new or unregistered user persists in adding an inappropriate link to one or more pages, please consider leaving a message for [[User:XLinkBot]].  This [[FSW:BOT|bot]] will automatically revert listed sites if added by [[FSW:AUTOCONFIRM|non-autoconfirmed users]], but permit other editors to add them.  For malware or serious spamming, please read [[FamilySearch Wiki:Spam blacklist]] and [[FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Spam]] to recommend site-wide blacklisting.
+
*{{tl|Copyvio link}} – to mark links suspected of violating copyrights
 +
*{{tl|Off-topic-inline}} – to mark links that seem off-topic or irrelevant
 +
*{{tl|Dead link}} – to mark links that do not appear to be working
  
Two maintenance categories list all tagged articles that need attention to remove spam and non-compliant links. They are:
+
If a page attracts many links or inappropriate links, a note in the external links section such as {{tls|no more links}} may discourage the addition of links.
* [[:Category:FamilySearch Wiki external links cleanup]]
+
* [[:Category:FamilySearch Wiki spam cleanup]]
+
  
Any editor can address these concerns by applying the advice on this page. When an article complies with the relevant standards, then any editor may remove the tags.
+
If a new or unregistered user persists in adding an inappropriate link to one or more pages, please consider leaving a message for [[User:XLinkBot]]. This [[FSW:BOT|bot]] will automatically revert listed sites if added by [[FSW:AUTOCONFIRM|non-autoconfirmed users]], but permit other editors to add them. For malware or serious spamming, please read [[FamilySearch Wiki:Spam blacklist]] and [[FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Spam]] to recommend site-wide blacklisting.  
  
== Searching for external links ==
+
Two maintenance categories list all tagged articles that need attention to remove spam and non-compliant links. They are:  
[[Special:Linksearch]] is a tool for searching for links from FamilySearch Wiki articles to sites outside FamilySearch Wiki. For example, [http://en.FamilySearch Wiki.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALinksearch&target=*.yahoo.com all FamilySearch Wiki pages linking to Yahoo.com]
+
  
== Handling disputes ==
+
*[[:Category:FamilySearch Wiki external links cleanup]]
 +
*[[:Category:FamilySearch Wiki spam cleanup]]
  
This guideline describes the most common reasons for including and excluding links. However, the fact that a given link is not actually prohibited by this guideline does not automatically mean that it must or should be linked. Every link provided must be justifiable in the opinion of the editors for an article. Disputes about links can be addressed through [[FSW:DR|the normal dispute-resolution process]], particularly at [[FSW:ELN|the external links noticeboard]].
+
Any editor can address these concerns by applying the advice on this page. When an article complies with the relevant standards, then any editor may remove the tags.  
  
Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a [[FSW:CON|consensus]] to include them.
+
== Searching for external links  ==
 +
 
 +
[[Special:Linksearch]] is a tool for searching for links from FamilySearch Wiki articles to sites outside FamilySearch Wiki. For example, [http://en.FamilySearch Wiki.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALinksearch&amp;target=*.yahoo.com all FamilySearch Wiki pages linking to Yahoo.com]
 +
 
 +
== Handling disputes  ==
 +
 
 +
This guideline describes the most common reasons for including and excluding links. However, the fact that a given link is not actually prohibited by this guideline does not automatically mean that it must or should be linked. Every link provided must be justifiable in the opinion of the editors for an article. Disputes about links can be addressed through [[FSW:DR|the normal dispute-resolution process]], particularly at [[FSW:ELN|the external links noticeboard]].
 +
 
 +
Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a [[FSW:CON|consensus]] to include them.  
  
 
== See also  ==
 
== See also  ==
Line 247: Line 249:
 
<br>  
 
<br>  
  
<br>
+
<br>  
  
=== References ===
+
=== References ===
  
 
<references />
 
<references />

Revision as of 21:46, 17 September 2013

Blue check.png This page documents a guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that contributors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense and the occasional exception.

Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.


FamilySearch Wiki articles may include links to web pages outside FamilySearch Wiki (external links). All external links must conform to certain formatting restrictions. Some acceptable links include those that direct users to further research helps, online copies of records, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy.

Some external links are welcome (see "What should be linked", below), but it is not FamilySearch Wiki's purpose to include a lengthy or comprehensive list of external links related to each topic. No page should be linked from a FamilySearch Wiki article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to the guiding principles and policies. The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link.

This guideline concerns external links that are not citations to sources supporting article content. If the website or page to which you want to link includes information that is not yet a part of the article, consider using it as a source for the article, and citing it. Guidelines for sourcing, which includes external links used as citations, are discussed at FamilySearch Wiki:Reliable sources and FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources.

To Do: Content from Wikipedia - to be reviewed/edit for FamilySearch purposes

Contents

Important points to remember

Restrictions on linking

For policy or technical reasons, editors are restricted from linking to the following, without exception:

What to link

There are several things that should be considered when adding an external link.

  • Is the site content accessible to the reader?
  • Is the site content proper in the context of the article (useful, tasteful, informative, factual, etc.)?
  • Is the link functional and likely to remain functional?

Each link should be considered on its merits, using the following guidelines. As the number of external links in an article grows longer, assessment should become stricter. When in doubt about the appropriateness of adding new links, make a suggestion on the article's talkpage and discuss with other editors.

What can normally be linked

=== Links to be considered ===

  1. Very large pages, such as pages containing rich media files, should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Worldwide, many use FamilySearch Wiki with a low-speed connection. Unusually large pages should be annotated as such.
  2. A well-chosen link to a directory of websites or organizations. Long lists of links are not acceptable. A directory link may be a permanent link or a temporary measure put in place while external links are being discussed on the article's talk page. The Open Directory Project is often a neutral candidate, and may be added using the {{dmoz}} template.
  3. Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources.

--> == Links normally to be avoided ==

Advertising and conflicts of interest

Main article: FamilySearch Wiki:Conflict of interest


It is true that a link from FamilySearch Wiki to an external site may drive Web traffic to that site. But in line with FamilySearch Wiki policies, you should avoid linking to a site that you own, maintain, or represent—even if FSW guidelines seem to imply that it may otherwise be linked. When in doubt, you may go to the talk page and let another editor decide. This suggestion is in line with FSW's conflict-of-interest guidelines.

FamilySearch Wiki uses the same standards for evaluating links to websites owned by for-profit and (real or purported) non-profit organizations. Links to potentially revenue-generating web pages are not prohibited, even though the website owner might earn money through advertisements, sales, or (in the case of non-profit organizations) donations. Choose which pages to link based on the immediate benefit to FamilySearch Wiki readers that click on the link, not based on the organization's tax status or your guess at whether the website's owner might earn money from the link.

A few parties now appear to have a spambot capable of spamming wikis from several different wiki engines, analogous to the submitter scripts for guestbooks and blogs. If you see a bot inserting external links, please consider checking the other language wikis to see if the attack is widespread. If it is, please report it on Meta; they can put in a Wikimedia-wide text filter. Sysops will block unauthorized bots on sight.

Sites requiring registration

Non-English-language content

Outside of citations,[1] external links to English-language content are strongly preferred in the English-language FamilySearch Wiki. It may be appropriate to have a link to a non-English-language site, such as when an official site is unavailable in English; or when the link is to the subject's text in its original language; or when the site contains visual aids such as maps, diagrams, or tables—per the guideline on non-English-language sites.

When linking to a site in a non-English language under the exceptions above, label the link with a language icon, available for most languages, using two-letter language codes: for example, {{es icon}}, {{fr icon}}, etc. Place the language label after the link (i.e. [http://de.FamilySearch Wiki.org/ German FamilySearch Wiki] {{de icon}}).

Note that this guideline does not apply to references, which can be in any language, though English is preferred if available and equally reliable. See FamilySearch Wiki:Verifiability#Non-English_sources for FamilySearch Wiki's standards for published sources that are not written in English.

Redirection sites

URL redirection sites are not to be used. Examples of these sites include tinyurl.com, tiny.cc and the .tk top level domain. Most of these sites are listed in the M:Spam blacklist because they are frequently abused by link spammers, which means that it is not possible to save a page that contains such a link. Because URL redirection sites are added to the blacklist whenever abuse occurs, you may create problems for future editors by using them. Adding links to web proxies is prohibited for a similar reason. Instead, one should add a link to the original URL.

It is generally preferred to link to the exact destination of a link. For instance, if example.com is an automatic redirect to tripod.com/example, it is better to link to the exact page, even if the webmaster considers the redirect address to be more official.

Rich media

It is acceptable to link to pages rendered in normal HTML or Plain text, but this is not always the case with pages using Rich media formats (which may be incompatible with many users' settings and browsers). Check that the content type of the linked page is "text/html", "text/plain", or "application/xhtml+xml" (or another XHTML content type) as some pages may instead be rendered solely by platform-dependent plugins. Try to avoid directly linking to any content that requires special software, or an add-on to a browser. It is always preferred to link to a page rendered in normal HTML that contains embedded links to the rich media.

Where a link to rich media is deemed appropriate, either as a direct link or embedded within an HTML page, an explicit indication of the technology needed to access the relevant content must be given, as in the following examples:

= Linking to user-submitted video sites==== === Avoid undue weight on particular points of view

Official links

An official link is a link to a website or other Internet service that meets both of the following:

  1. The linked content is controlled by the subject (organization or individual person) of the FamilySearch Wiki article.
  2. The linked content primarily covers the area for which the subject of the article is notable.

Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself. These links are exempt from the links normally to be avoided, but they are not exempt from the restrictions on linking. For example, although links to websites that require readers to register or pay to view content are normally not acceptable in the External links section, such a link may be included when it is an official website for the subject.

Official links are still subject to standard formatting requirements, such as rich media labeling and not placing links in the text of the article. When an official website is used as a source to verify a self-published statement in the article text, it should be formatted like any other reference used in the article.[1] Official websites may be included in some infoboxes, and by convention are listed first in the External links section. Use of the template {{official website}} is optional.

Minimize the number of links

If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate.[2] However, FamilySearch Wiki does not provide a comprehensive web directory to every official website. FamilySearch Wiki does not attempt to document or provide links to every part of the subject's Web presence or provide readers with a handy list of all social networking sites. Complete directories lead to clutter and to placing undue emphasis on what the subject says. -->

More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites. For example, if the main page of the official website for an author contains a link to the author's blog and Twitter feed, then it is not appropriate to provide links to all three. Instead, provide only the main page of the official website in this situation. In other situations, it may be appropriate to provide more than one link, such as when a business has one website for the corporate headquarters and another for consumer information. Choose the minimum number of links that provide readers with the maximum amount of information. Links that provide consistent information are strongly preferred to social networking and communication services where the content changes rapidly and may not comply with this guideline at any given moment in time.

Longevity of links

It is very important to consider whether the link is likely to remain relevant and acceptable to the article in the foreseeable future. For example, it is not useful to link to a webpage that changes often and merely happens to have a relevant picture or article on its front page at the moment. Consider locating and linking to "permalink" versions of web content, and trying to find resources which have a commitment to keeping content available at the same address.

What can be done with a dead external link

Links to dead URLs in a list of external links are of no use to FamilySearch Wiki articles. Such dead links should either be updated or removed. Note however, that the matter is different for references: see FamilySearch Wiki:Citing sources#Preventing_and_repairing_dead_links.

Note that some dead links are caused by vandalism (for example, a vandal disabling links to products competing with the vandal's favored product): it is worth checking to see if there is a working version of the link in an earlier version of article. Some vandalism of this type is quite subtle, such as replacing ASCII letters in the URL with identical-looking Cyrillic letters.

Hijacked and re-registered sites

URLs can be "hijacked" or re-registered for a different purpose after a registration expires.[3] While the URL remains valid, it no longer points to the desired information, so it needs to be handled as a dead link.

How to link

Link with no text (code and example output):
[http://example.com/]

[1]

Link containing text:

[http://example.com/ The RFC-mandated example.com website]

The RFC-mandated example.com website

All text following a space is taken as the text to use for the link. Embedding wikilinks into the link text is incorrect; instead choose the appropriate words to link.

"The [[RFC]]-mandated [http://example.com/ example.com website]". 

"The RFC-mandated example.com website".

If there are no meaningful words that can be used for the link, a link with no text is preferred to using self-referential link text, such as "Click here" or "this link". These types of self-references should be avoided.

The URL must begin with http:// or another internet protocol, such as ftp:// or news://.

=== External links section === If an article has external links, the standard format is to place them in a bulleted list under a primary heading at the end of the article. External links should identify the link and briefly summarize the website's contents and why the website is relevant to the article. The heading should be "External links" (plural) even if only a single link is listed. If several external links are listed and the subject of the article is a living person, organization, web service, or otherwise has an official website, it is normal practice to place the link to that site at the top of the list.

If you link to another website, you should give your reader a good summary of the site's contents, and the reasons why this specific website is relevant to the article in question. If you link to an online article, try to provide as much meaningful article information as possible. For example:

== External links ==
* [http://example.com/link_1 Link 1]
* [http://example.com/link_2 Link 2]

Most external links should present different details from citations. For instance, a concise description of the contents and a clear indication of its source is more important than the actual title of the page, and access dates are not appropriate in the external links section. Because citation templates were not designed for use in the External links section, editors that use citation templates in this section should be careful to ensure the resulting description is appropriate for an external link.

References and citation

Sites that have been used as sources in the creation of an article should be cited in the article, and linked as references, either in-line or in a references section. Links to these source sites are not "external links" for the purposes of this guideline, and should not normally be duplicated in an external links section. Exceptions—websites that can be both references and external links—include any official sites for the article topic, or websites that are specifically devoted to the topic, contain multiple subpages, and meet the above criteria.

Linking to databases

When linking to large database-driven sites like the Internet Movie Database, try to use an external link template. If the URL format of the database ever changes, it is sometimes possible to quickly fix all links by rewriting the template.

Maintenance and review

Inappropriate and duplicative links may be deleted by any editor; if the reason for the deletion is not obvious, please explain on the article's talk page.

Templates may help organize a link maintenance project. The {{external links}} template is for providing notice that the list of links may have grown to an inappropriate length or contain inappropriate links. {{Cleanup-spam}} warns of suspected non-compliant links.

Inline templates may be useful for flagging individual links that you want to further discuss on the article's talk page:

  • {{Copyvio link}} – to mark links suspected of violating copyrights
  • {{Off-topic-inline}} – to mark links that seem off-topic or irrelevant
  • {{Dead link}} – to mark links that do not appear to be working

If a page attracts many links or inappropriate links, a note in the external links section such as {{subst:no more links}} may discourage the addition of links.

If a new or unregistered user persists in adding an inappropriate link to one or more pages, please consider leaving a message for User:XLinkBot. This bot will automatically revert listed sites if added by non-autoconfirmed users, but permit other editors to add them. For malware or serious spamming, please read FamilySearch Wiki:Spam blacklist and FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Spam to recommend site-wide blacklisting.

Two maintenance categories list all tagged articles that need attention to remove spam and non-compliant links. They are:

Any editor can address these concerns by applying the advice on this page. When an article complies with the relevant standards, then any editor may remove the tags.

Searching for external links

Special:Linksearch is a tool for searching for links from FamilySearch Wiki articles to sites outside FamilySearch Wiki. For example, Wiki.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALinksearch&target=*.yahoo.com all FamilySearch Wiki pages linking to Yahoo.com

Handling disputes

This guideline describes the most common reasons for including and excluding links. However, the fact that a given link is not actually prohibited by this guideline does not automatically mean that it must or should be linked. Every link provided must be justifiable in the opinion of the editors for an article. Disputes about links can be addressed through the normal dispute-resolution process, particularly at the external links noticeboard.

Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them.

See also

Syntax
Maintenance coordination
Other



References

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NotRef
  2. Situations in which multiple official links are typically provided include:fckLR<!--fckLR* The biography of an elected official might link to both an official government website and the official's political party or campaign website (see, e.g., Barack Obama, David Cameron).fckLR* A retailer may have separate websites for the corporate office and for consumers (see, e.g., Walmart, J. C. Penney).fckLR* A person who is notable for more than one thing might maintain separate websites for each notable activity, (e.g., one website for music and another website for a book).
  3. "Porn Sites Hijack Expired Domain Names". http://www.pcworld.com/article/87824/porn_sites_hijack_expired_domain_names.html.