When creating or updating / improving a tag wiki excerpt, should a link (e.g., to Wikipedia) be appended to the end? Note that I am not referring to the full wiki for a tag, I am only asking about the excerpt.


1 Answer 1


It seems to me that links are best not included in excerpts (of course, they do make sense in a full wiki). I think they should not be included for the following reasons:

  1. Links don't work in excerpts. For example, you cannot click on them to navigate to the indicated page.
  2. They are hard to read. It would be cleaner to put, 'See the corresponding Wikipedia page' than (say) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution. (I'm not necessarily arguing we should put 'See the corresponding Wikipedia page', only that it's easier to read.)
  3. Our general policy for excerpts is to keep them as short as possible while still covering what needs to be covered (see: What is the optimal length & level of detail of tag wiki excerpts?).
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ +1 but I think "See the corresponding Wikipedia page" is still too long & unnecessary in the wiki excerpt, this can go into the full wiki. Can you give an example of when something like that would be useful in the excerpt? $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose it isn't clear, @amoeba. My point is only that 'See the corresponding Wikipedia page' is better than https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution, not that it's a particularly good thing to add. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2017 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, thanks for the reminding me about that old thread on the length of wiki excerpts. I have now marked your answer as accepted (it's the most upvoted one). I took the liberty of adding an update with current versions of the excerpts (based on the whuber's comment under your answer), which are all slightly -- but noticeably -- shorter than the versions suggested in your answer. Feel free to edit my Update and/or perhaps incorporate it in your answer in other way as you see fit. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ I'd prefer excerpts not contain any links, & not mention wikipedia pages or anything like it. Space is limited. It should be used to briefly describe (i) what the tag means and (ii) (if needed) how to use it or not use it. If those things are covered, I think we should regard the excerpt as complete. Yes, excerpts are much more read than the tag wiki but we should not pre-empt the function of the tag wiki. It would be like arguing that since newspaper headlines are read by more people than the article, we should try to put all the salient points into it. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ When I write a wiki excerpt for a new tag (or for a tag without a wiki excerpt) and find myself copying the definition from Wikipedia, I insert "[Wikipedia]" (without any link) right in the excerpt. I try to write excerpts myself but sometimes I do resort to copying a definition from elsewhere. For example, I saw an archaeology question yesterday and decided to create an archaeology tag. I wrote "Study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. [Wikipedia]" in the excerpt. I feel it's OK. But let me know if you don't think so @Glen_b and gung. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba, that seems fine to me. $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2017 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ I think that should be okay since it's just sourcing a quote $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ I guess you can accept your answer by now, gung :) $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @kjetilbhalvorsen, there is a call to accept this as the answer. Would you like to develop your ideas into a separate answer, or do you accept this as the consensus? $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2017 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ Its fine with me that this becomes the accepted answer (I didn't know that links in excerpts didn't work. Si with time I will go through the links I have added and move them to the excerpts. $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2017 at 16:35

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