Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a volunteer service

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Wikipedia is a volunteer service. What does this mean?

  • Almost all contributions are made in the free time of their contributors.
  • There are no set crews or teams working on articles on any topic, just those who come along and volunteer information at any time they wish.
  • Anyone can take a break for any period of time or drop out whenever they like.
  • You can always stop working on one group of articles, take up working on another for a while, then resume the previous one, with no expectations from others.
  • You have the right to quit and never return, no questions asked, no explanation needed.
  • There is no minimum or maximum anyone can contribute.
  • There is no deadline.

Reasons why one may not be editing

There are various reasons why one does not immediately improve pages to meet certain standards, or even to prevent deletion. If an editor states an intention to make an improvement that will take more time, this should be respected.

Researching an important topic

Researching topic

Sometimes, an improvement will require time to find information on the topic. This may include finding and studying books, newspapers, journals, or web sites, choosing the most appropriate ones, or summarizing in encyclopedic form. Rome was not built in a day. Neither is Wikipedia.

Other Wikipedia activities

Many editors are busy with creating or editing a series of articles or other materials, or making other improvements to Wikipedia. An unrelated matter may have to wait.

Busy life

Some editors have other hobbies ...
... or work that must take priority

Some people may be dedicated to Wikipedia as their number one cause in life. However, most editors are not. Editing Wikipedia is usually more in the nature of a hobby, which ranks in personal importance behind editors' personal lives and (usually) their employment.

Because Wikipedia is completely voluntary, under no circumstances are editors obligated or expected to make any edits, respond to any messages, or to otherwise have any involvement. Please don't presume that if a fellow editor has not responded to your message that you have offended them or that they are insulting you: assume good faith and remember that life might have gotten complicated and by drawing negative inferences from their lack of editing you might be making it less attractive for them to productively contribute to the project in the future.


Sometimes Wikipedia can be stressful. When this happens, sometimes the best thing to do is take a break. If you're not enjoying editing, then it is time to take a break – don't be a wikipediholic. Remember, if things don't go your way, it's not the end of the world. (If stress is bothering you, try looking at these adorable kittens.)


Editing Wikipedia is often one among many hobbies. An editor may spend months playing video games, hiking, reading, visiting friends, or watching the grass grow. They may show up to edit Wikipedia whenever they feel like it.

See also