Task force/Content scope/Process for creating a new project

From Strategic Planning

Note: The following process is for completely new projects. New language versions of existing projects for Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikiquote and Wiktionary are started on incubator. New language versions of Wikiversity is started on beta Wikiversity, and new wikisource versions on old Wikisource.

If you want to take responsibility for a formal proposal, please post it on proposals for new projects in the format indicated below. There are a great many proposed projects already.

Please note that the process tends to be the final stage in creating a new project after the project has started in a quiet corner of an existing project and grown to the point that someone proposes forking it. Try to determine if you can add your feature or idea under one of the exsting projects on its talk page or as an obviously separate subfeature.


This process is designed to achieve a number of objectives:

  • Fairness - all proposals follow the same process
  • Transparency - discussion of and decisions on proposals are in public and open to view
  • Thoroughness - to ensure all relevant aspects of a project are considered before resources are committed

Propose a project

To propose a new project:

{{proposed project|<Project Name>|<Date of Proposal>|<Total Supporters>|<Demo?>|<Type>}}

For example:

{{proposed project|Rodovid|22-Feb-2006|89|yes|History}}
  • Indicate support with ~~~ on the /supporters sub-page and leave comments on the proposal's talk page.
  • Advertise the project on Goings-on as well.
  • Meta-wiki is not really much frequented, therefore it is recommended that you also send a posting to the Foundation-l mailing-list to announce your proposal. You may decide to post to other lists as well.


Following the project proposal, discussion about the project will take place on the talk page describing the project. This discussion will last for at least one month.

Interest poll

After at least one month discussion, a poll to evaluate interest by the community will be set. For this poll to be set, there must a one page on meta that explain the project in short and understandable language. This page will be translated in at least 5 languages (English mandatory, and at least 4 languages of the major wikipedia over 10 000 articles, i.e. Български (Bulgarian)Dansk (Danish)Deutsch (German)EsperantoEspañol (Spanish)Suomi (Finnish)Français (French)עברית (Hebrew)Italiano (Italian)日本語 (Japanese)Nederlands (Dutch)Norsk (Norwegian)Polski (Polish)Português (Portuguese)Русский (Russian)Svenska (Swedish)繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese)简体中文 (Simplified Chinese))

The poll must be set on meta and it should be made of a series of options, to collect opinion. This poll will have to be organised by an independent person (neither the contact, nor the interested users). The poll is meant to reach all wikimedians, project large. It should be advertised on mailing lists and goings on. It should last at least 3 weeks to allow most opinions to be expressed.

Since this is only an opinion poll, there is no aim for a specific percentage of approval or opposition.

Board decision

After the poll is closed, a proposal should be sent to the board, with details of the opinion poll and links to discussion on the proposal. The board shall respond within the next 15 days to state whether the project has been accepted or whether more time is needed to address concerns or make software changes first.

The board will make its decision, taking into account community support and opposition, interest of the project and risks associated with it. That means a project with little support could be accepted (it is the board's choice to face the ire of the community), or a project with majority support could be rejected (it is again the board's choice to face the ire of the community :-)). Generally, though, the board will try to be reasonable and make community opinion a priority.

When the project is accepted, the board will announce it (by default, the announcer shall be the president).

In case of board refusal

If the project is not accepted, the reason of the refusal will be given, so that supporters can modify the project so that it might be accepted at a later time. They may also prefer not to change the project description and to continue it as an independant project. Or they may decide to give their project a little more waiting time.

In case of approval

  • The developers will set up a new project (ask them).
  • The domain name (if already registered) should be owned by Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Once a wiki is set up for your project please update the lists and tables on Complete list of Wikimedia projects and Wikimedia projects. Advertise it on the mailing lists, and ask to have it added (or add it yourself) to main pages of relevant projects.
  • In the early stages of the new project, the contact person has to make a monthly report to the foundation board about the state of the new project: what's been happening, advances, debates, changes in policy or guidelines, etc.

Process for closing an existing project

If there's no or very little editing on the new project for several months, or if the reports stop coming in, or if generally the thing just starts winding down, the wiki goes inactive. We turn off the wiki software, and make the content available in case someone else wants to use it. In this case, the following procedure is followed:

Note that the accuracy of the above is not clear in light of the proposal to close the 9/11 wiki, which currently has overwhelming support, but has not been acted upon.