Save a Word: the (un)Official Guide

14 April 2011

Save a Word: the (un)Official Guide

Tempo stimato di lettura: 4 minutes

What does “saving” a word actually mean?

By “saving a word” you choose to take care of it, becoming somehow the “foster parent” of the related Wikipedia entry. In practical terms, you are expected to:

  • check the quality of the existing entry;
  • improving it with text, pictures, links or other materials

Once the process is completed, the entry is “grown up” and it is accordingly returned to the community with richer and improved information.
The goal and meaning of the project lies in this very simple formula. Save a Word is indeed about taking care of the things and places around us, collecting and sharing trastable information about them.

How does the “saving” procedure actually work?

Go to the Project Registry page to find the list of entries which haven’t been “adopted” yet [right sidebar]. Choose the word that you want to take care of and then fill the online form [link]. After completing these simple steps you will be under all respects the foster parent of the entry.

Now it’s time to get a glance of the current status of the word on Wikipedia. As you will notice, you’re allowed to browse through the entry- and even to modify it- without going through the Wikipedia authentication process. However, signing in [or just logging in in case you already had an account] into the system is strongly reccommended, since registered users only can enjoy features such as getting help from the community or leaving their signature after editing an entry.

Once you complete the above described authentication procedures you’re done with bureaucracy and can actually start working “hands on” the choosen entry. One click on the “Edit” button on the menu bar [right column] will allow you to browse through the text, modify any whatever part of it you may find incomplete or incorrect, add text string, pictures, links or other multimedia materials [just be careful about respecting copyright and Wikipedia laws]. Also, you can get a glance of the modified parts by pushing on the “Show Preview” button below the main window. Once you’re over with editing, just click on “Save Page” and you’re done. Someone from the Wikipedia Staff will check the modifications- just to make sure that no false or insulting information has been inserted- and then….your foster child will be “grown up”. Congratulations! The last step that we ask that you kindly take is to drop us an email at emiliaromagnatourism [at] gmail [dot] com so that we can modify the registry of the project and share the great news with the rest of the community.


Who is entitled to take part into the project? Participating into “Save a word” is open to everyone- citizens, tourists, Municipalities, Tourism Boards, Associations- and everyone is welcome!

For what reasons have you rolled out the project? Promoting tourism and culture in and about Emilia Romagna is the our institutional mission. And we strongly believe that checking and improving the Wikipedia entries about the Region is by no means part of it.

Does Emilia Romagna Tourism earn anything from the project? In monetary/financial terms we do not earn anything from “Save a Word”. On the other hand, the cultural gainings are potentially immense. Through the rolling out of the project, indeed, we hope to help improving the Wikipedia entries about culture, geography, food, notable women and men, tourism in Emilia Romagna.

Do I earn anything from the project? In monetary/financial terms you do not earn anything: those who decide to take part into “Save a Word” do it on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, you might find it rewarding to put your wiki-knowledge to work and help improving the digital commons for the rest of the community.

How many entries am I entitled to save? You can “save” as many words as you want. However, since taking care of an entry is by no means similar to taking care of a baby, and thus requires time and attention, we suggest that you start by saving a single entry.

I entered the project and “adopted” a word. What am I supposed to do now? All you’re expected to do now is checking the existing version of the word on Wikipedia. Then it is up to your choice what to do to improve the entry and how to do it.

What kind of materials am I allowed to insert into the entry? Provided that you do not trespass the boundaries set by the existing copyright laws and by Wikipedia rules [] you can basically do anything to improve an entry: adding/editing portions of text, adding pictures or videos, inserting hyperlinks.

Is there a deadline for the completion of the saving operations? There’s no formal deadline. However, we strongly encourage participants to work out their entries once they have adopted them, and return them to the community ASAP

The entry I have decided to save is already well curated. What am I supposed to do? No problem: by checking a given word and assessing that it is rich in, say, information and references you are already taking care of it and contributing. At the same time, consider that no Wikipedia entry is ever complete: there is always a picture, a link or a reference that is not there yet, and that may thus bring a further improvement.

What if I realize that I do not have time enough for properly taking care of the “foster child”? No problem. Just drop us an email at emiliaromagnatourism [at] gmail [dot] com and we will insert back the word into the registry of the project.

I would like to save a specific word, but I can’t find it into the registry Well, if there’s an entry you’d be happy to save, and you can’t find it into the registry, just contact us via email and we will help you

What is the function of the SAW Google Map? The map allows people to get a visual overview of the project, checking which entries have been taken already, and which on the other hand are still available.

Once I save a given entry, will it be mine forever? Nope. Wikimedia entries belong to no one but the community, and anyone can step in at any time and edit them. Thus, once a given word is “grown up” it becomes available again for further improvements by other people.