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This article provides background on the wiki concept and how it is applied for the Bogleheads wiki.

For wiki editors, comprehensive help regarding the MediaWiki software is available on the Help:Editor page from the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki Project. Users may also post questions on the Bogleheads Wiki Editors' Lounge subforum.

Guidelines for writing appropriate articles are bound by three core content policies:

  • All Boglehead articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias.
Neutral Point of View
  • Material challenged or likely to be challenged, and all quotations, must be attributed to a reliable, published source.

In short, there is an expectation that contributions will follow Wikipedia standards and be written from a neutral point of view. Citations of claims and facts are necessary to ensure verifiability link to how to do this. On the main page of a topic, long examples are to be avoided (they can be provided via links on other pages). Instead, general principals that are applicable to a broad audience should be stressed.

Citing references

For consistency, references should be organized in a common format. Please list references as follows:

==See also==
This is the first header for links and is used for internal wiki page links.
Explanatory footnotes (those that are not references) appear first.
Footnote references appear after the See also section and before the External links section.
==Further reading==
A general reading list, but should not include references cited elsewhere in the page.
==External links==
This section contains outside links.

Unused reference section headings may be omitted.


Footnotes are created by associating the citation with the group named "note". For example, <ref group="note">Footnote goes here</ref>.

In the Notes section, add a matching tag which locates the footnotes in this section.

<references group="note"/>


References are created with the <ref> tag, such as <ref>Insert reference here</ref>.

In the References section, add a matching tag which locates the references in this section.


Optionally, if there is more than one reference the list can be distributed across multiple columns. It may not be suitable for every type of reference, but it's worth trying. Use this format and be careful not to insert extra spaces. Type it exactly as shown:


If you would like to use a reference multiple times, assign it a unique name in the <ref> tag. The name can then be used as a shortcut. For example, the first time a reference appears, assign the name "smith" as :

<ref name="smith">Smith, "Referenced article"</ref>

Subsequent uses only need to refer to the name instead of re-typing it:

<ref name="smith" />

Use this shortcut as many times as you want. Don't forget the /, or it will blank the rest of the article. Some symbols don't work in the ref name, but you'll find out if you use them.


How to check and see if a page already exists in the wiki

Type the title in the search box (upper left corner of the sidebar on left) and hit return (or select the Go button). If the page exists, your search will go directly to the page. If the page does not exist, a list of possible matches will appear. If your page is similar to a page that exists, considering updating that page instead.

How to create a page

You can create a new page in one of two ways:

  1. If you are in a current wiki page, you can create a new page by using the internal wiki link syntax [[title of new page]] around the text you wish to signify as the title of the new page. This as yet unwritten page will appear in red type on the page.
  2. A more common way to start a new page is to type the title into the sidebar search box and hit the Go button. You will see the message: There is no page titled "name of title". You can create this page. If you click create this page you will be taken to an empty page box. As soon as you place content in the box and save it you will have created a page.

See Format for new page in the Wiki Help:Guide for contributors for a new page template.

How to edit a page

See: How to edit a page, from Wikipedia

The Wikipedia Manual of Style is a style guide for Wikipedia articles that encourages editors to follow consistent usage and formatting. Use this guide for reference.

Wiki cheatsheet

The Wikipedia Cheatsheet contains basic formatting commands. Content is more important than format. If you run into difficulty, please continue to edit and ask for assistance later.

Additional pointers

Renaming pages

If you need to rename a page please do not copy and paste the contents of the old article into a new article. A cut and paste will separate the previous contributions from their edit history. Use the move tab at the top of the page and carefully follow the directions. See Help:Moving a pagefor details.

Using discussion

You can use the discussion page (up in the heading) to make a comment. When you do leave a comment, select ~~~~ (four tildes), this dates and signs the comment. Alternatively, the "Sig" icon in the editing toolbar will enter this for you.

Wiki writing is collaborative. You can find the authors of every edit by hitting the history tab. This will show you the authorship of each edit.

Template messages

Use messages to apprise readers of page status or find a page displaying a message and help edit it.

Available Templates
Quote box
Book box
Mutual fund info box

If you are engaged in a substantive edit on a page it is a good idea to place an {{Under construction}} or {{In use}} template in your page. This allows others to know that you are working on the page, and to refrain from editing the page until you have finished your edits.

Navigation templates

A navigation template groups multiple related pages into a single menu. Use this template when you would like to link the page with others. An example navigation template is the {{Helpful tools}} template shown below.