When creating tag wikis, there is a lot of already established documentation that can be adapted to and used directly in the wiki for this purpose. I made an edit on , using Arch Linux's excellent documentation, but the edit was rejected because it lacked attributing the external source. This is fine and all, but this leads to the questions:

  • What is an appropriate way to do exactly this? Should there be included a link at the header of the article or at the bottom, attributing the external source?

  • Are there any reason to not use already established wikis and documentation?

2 Answers 2


Citing it at the end is probably best. You have to make sure it's actually ok to copy that content though -- some places might let you with proper attribution, and others might not let you at all. The Arch Wiki is licensed under GNU FDL, which is probably problematic since it requires that all copies also be FDL, and our content is cc-wiki.

Furthermore, you want to make sure the content is actually relevant. This post from the main meta covers it well:

The only problem I see is having too much irrelevant information posted from a copy-paste. The entire Wikipedia article should not be included; the main facts should be summarized briefly.

We don't need the complete history of Arch Linux here; their wiki already covers it. The purpose of tag wikis is to give a general explanation of the topic, to help users know what that tag covers and whether or not to use it on their post. Stuff like this isn't particularly helpful:

Arch Linux is a versatile, and simple distribution designed to fit the needs of the competent Linux user. It is both powerful and easy to manage, making it an ideal distro for servers and workstations. Take it in any direction you like. If you share this vision of what a GNU/Linux distribution should be, then you are welcomed and encouraged to use it freely, get involved, and contribute to the community. Welcome to Arch!

It's very "Go team!", but not particularly useful for someone trying to tag their post


Copying external content can be done, if the license of the external content allows it. Michael's answer explains the issue; here you've copied content under GNU FDL, but the tag wikis (like all other user-contributed content) are under a more liberal license.

However, copying external content is almost never right for a tag wiki. Wikipedia and software documentation rarely have the right amount of information for a tag wiki. Taking the edit you link to as an example:

  • A lot of the text reads like a fluff piece. This is a common problem when using text produced by a community about itself.
  • There's a lot of irrelevant information. We don't need so much detail. People typically come to this site with a practical question. Tag wikis should contain a short general presentation of the subject (one or two paragraph), and beyond that, concentrate on practical issues.
  • You removed some existing useful content, I wonder why.

We have a discussion on distribution tag wikis, by the way. It would be nice to have all distribution tag wikis follow a common format.

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