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Credit where credit's due: How to properly attribute pages from other wikis

Hi everyone. This blog's going to be a short guide on how best to attribute other people's work that you're importing to your wiki.


Exporting from the Call of Duty Wiki

Most wikis on Wikia are licensed under a CC-BY-SA license. This means that any original work on the wiki is free to be shared and adapted on other places that also use that license.

Wikia's licensing page states "If you import text under a compatible license which requires attribution, you must, in a reasonable fashion (including by one of the attribution methods described below), credit the author(s). Where such credit is commonly given through page histories (such as copying within Wikia), it is sufficient to give attribution in the edit summary, which is recorded in the page history, when importing the text.".

What does this mean? Well, on Wikia - the history page is where you find out who wrote the content you're reading. So if you want to import someone else's edits you should at least link back to the history page.

But there's a better way. A way that's faster, and gives you all the information on the history page, not just a link back to the wiki. This is called the export tool and this blog will show you how to use it.

Why would I want to use someone's work on Wikia?

Wikis are collaborative projects. There's no reason you need to re-do the work on something that's been done before, especially if that original work is a better job.

Sometimes it's a better idea to link back to the original wiki, that way there aren't 2 copies of the information that are slowly becoming different over time. But sometimes you want or need this to happen, when the information starts off the same but needs to adapt for different wiki's purposes.

Here's a few examples that I can think of as why you'd want to re-use someone else's work:

  • Someone's written a script that you want to use, but you need to change it to fit how your wiki iss using it
  • You want to translate the wiki into another language
  • You're writing a wiki about the adaptation of something (for example, the animé adaptation of a manga). The adaptation is going to have differences, so it doesn't make sense to have it all on one wiki.
  • Some made a nice template that you want to use (unlike scripts, you have to move a template to your wiki to use it)
  • Editors on the wiki have different ideas on what they want the wiki to be. You want to make a new wiki instead of fighting about different ways to make the content, but you don't want to start from scratch.

I'm sure I've missed a whole bunch of other reasons. If you have ones I've missed, be sure to write it in the comments.

Should I tell them?

That depends on the situation. Most people would be honoured to know that you're using their work in another wiki, but doing it too much might have the admins think you're spamming adverts for your wiki. If you're making a completely new wiki with the same content, try not to rub it in the other wiki's face, because that could cause a more drama (the goal with creating a new wiki was to minimise the drama, wasn't it?).

Sometimes asking or telling someone that you're using their work might get them to check out what you're doing, and they might even stick around to help out a bit.

Remember, just telling someone that you're using it is no reason not to credit them. You must remember to credit people who's work you use.

So what's this export tool?

You can find the Export tool at Special:Export. For our purposes let's assume I wanted to export the John "Soap" MacTavish page on the Call of Duty wiki. I'd go to

There, I'd type the name of the page (or pages) I wanted to export (one per line), and crucially I'd make sure that the box marked "Include only the current revision, not the full history" is unticked as I want to include everything in the new History page. Finally I'd tick "Save as file". Optionally, tick "Include templates" to have the export include the templates that the page needs, otherwise you'll have red links to those templates.

Then I'd go to my own wiki, and go to Special:Import, upload the .xml file that the export tool created, and add a comment such as "import from the Call of Duty wiki", and you're all set.

A few things to note:

  • You have to be an admin to import the pages
  • Make sure you include all the history, otherwise you're breaking the licence
  • Images aren't included, so if you want those you'll have to upload to your wiki.
  • You might want to change the categories.
  • It might take some time to do the export if there's a lot of pages, or a lot of history on those pages. It's a good idea to split up the imports if you're doing a lot of them.
  • If there are too many revisions for the import page to work, consider using the copy and paste method below.

What if I can't?


the Datestamp on the history page links you to the id of the revision

Sometimes the files are too big to export reasonably, in that case I'd recommend editing the original page in source mode and copying over. In the edit summary of the new page, link back to the history page of the original article. If you can find the id of the revision you're linking back to, even better.

As an example summary: "import page from Call of duty wiki:".

Thanks for reading and I hope you've found this helpful. You should now be able to import pages from one wiki to another, and do it in a way that means that the original authors still get the credit they deserve for creating the pages. If you've got more questions about attribution and importing, I'd love to hear them - please leave me a comment.

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