Wikimedian in Residence

How to create an account

Create an account to track your impact and for transparency.

Create an account 

Anyone can create a user account on Wikipedia.

Having an account enables you to keep track of all your contributions, and it shows other editors that you're acting in good faith and intending to make improvements to Wikipedia.

You should choose your username carefully as all your edits will appear under this name. It does not have to be related to you real name and can be something completely unrelated!

NB BlueRhino3 is an example username.

  1. Go to the English Wikipedia
  2. Select 'Create Account' in the top right hand corner. 
  3. Enter your chosen username. 
  4. Enter your password and confirm it. 
  5. Add your email address if you want to be notified about any changes to any articles you create. 
  6. Complete CAPTCHA security check. 
  7. Select 'Create your account' to finish.
Video: How to create an account on Wikipedia.
A video on how to create an account on Wikipedia. Anyone can create a user account on Wikipedia. You should choose your username carefully as all your edits will appear under this name. It does not have to be related to you real name and can be something completely unrelated! NB BlueRhino3 is an example username.

Enabling the Visual Editor 

Before you start editing you should ensure you have sorted your preferences and any necessary settings.

A key setting that you should enable is the Visual Editor. This is a user friendly way of editing Wikipedia that works just like a word processor. 

  1. Log in to your Wikipedia account. 
  2. Select 'Preferences' in the menu in the top right of the screen. 
  3. Select the editing tab. 
  4. In the 'Editor' section uncheck 'Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta' if it is checked. 
  5. In 'Editing mode' choose 'Show me both editor tabs'. 
  6. Select 'Save' in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Video: How to enable the visual editor on Wikipedia.
A video on how to enable the visual editor on Wikipedia.

Create a user page

Before starting this step make sure you are logged on and you have enabled Visual Editor. 

Once you have created a user account you should create a user page on Wikipedia as this is a place where people can find out more information about you and it is also a useful place to signpost to other editors that you are a new user and still learning. 

You should also add a disclaimer to your user page so that your edits and any conflicts of interests are transparent. For example, 'I am a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh'. See Wikipedia's policy on conflict of interest.

  1. Log into your Wikipedia account. 
  2. Select the red link in the top right side which is the same as your username. 
  3. Select 'Start the User:BlueRhino3 Page'.
  4. If a pop-up appears choose 'Switch to the visual editor'.
  5. Type a sentence to introduce yourself e.g. 'Hi, my name is Hannah and I am an intern at the University of Edinburgh'.
  6. To signpost to other editors that you are a new user:
    • Select 'Insert'. 
    • Then select 'Template'. 
    • Type in the box 'This is a new user'.
    • Select the dropdown 'This is a new user'. 
    • Select 'Insert'.
  7. You can now add more information or select 'Publish page' to save your changes. 
  8. If you select 'Publish page' type a short edit summary and select 'Watch this page'.
  9. Select 'Publish page' and you have now created your user page!
Video: How to create a user page on Wikipedia.
Once you have created a user account you should create a user page on Wikipedia as this is a place where people can find out more information about you and it is also a useful place to signpost to other editors that you are a new user and still learning.

Further Resources 

© Ewan McAndrew and Hannah Rothmann, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.