An import and export is the process of copying works from one wiki to another in a way that preserves the edit history.


People used to copy pages by hand, often without attributing contributors or linking to the original pages, preserving the wiki format, and copying templates that pages used. The import and export tools can automate these tasks. Now copying by hand should only be done when other options are not available. A link to the original page in the edit summary is the preferred way to maintain credit when importing by hand to Wikibooks. Pages previously copied by hand should be imported using the import tool when possible.

Import procedures

At Wikibooks you can request pages be imported. Any pages within our scope will then be imported if possible.

Generally imported pages should go into the Transwiki namespace. If there is no destination page with the same name as the source page's name, it can be imported directly into the most appropriate namespace. If there is a page with that name, it should be imported into the Transwiki namespace instead (Special:Import will merge any already-existing page at the destination page name with the imported page).

Visit Special:Import and fill it out. You must not check that you want to import all templates, as some are customized for our usage. You need to confirm the page to be imported is not a redirect as the import tool will import the redirect rather than the intended page. Click "Import" to begin the import process. The import process is done in the background and may take awhile to complete.

If a page is successfully imported, several steps should be taken:

  1. Move the page to the requested destination if known.
  2. Clean up the page to conform to Wikibooks' standards or add {{subst:twwp-2}} to the page, which adds three cleanup templates.
  3. If requested, indicate that the import was done at requests for import and after a week remove the request.

If the import fails, you can have several choices:

  1. Try again later. Sometimes the server is temporarily busy or overloaded.
  2. Try importing only one revision. Sometimes there are simply too many revisions. One imported revision is enough to satisfy attribution requirements at all Wikimedia projects.
  3. If requested, indicate the import could not be done at requests for import.

Transwiki namespace

What Transwiki is

The Transwiki namespace is used as a temporary location for content moved to Wikibooks from other Wikimedia projects, like Wikipedia. Content that is not appropriate for other Wikimedia projects might be appropriate at Wikibooks, if it fits our inclusion criteria. Content that is suitable for Wikibooks can be added in the Transwiki namespace, and then moved or merged, where appropriate, once a more suitable home has been found outside of the Transwiki namespace.

What Transwiki is not

The Transwiki namespace is not the correct place to add new contributions. Pages in the Transwiki namespace should not be edited, except to synchronize pages with the original source document or in preparation for moving pages to a more appropriate home. If a page in the Transwiki namespace needs to be edited beyond what is described here, it should first be moved to a more appropriate namespace, and then edited as usual.

Moving pages out of the Transwiki namespace

As a book stub

If the transwikied content is to be used as the basis for a new book, the new book should be put in a subject category with other classifications. Please do not create a new book if you do not plan on expanding it, as abandoned book stubs do not tend to get developed, so it's better to just leave it in the Transwiki namespace if you aren't going to be making something out of it.

As a chapter

If the transwikied content seems appropriate for an existing book, it should be announced on the talk page of the book's main page. If a contributor wishes to add it to the book, he or she should make sure it conforms to the narrative and style of the book in question, because Wikibooks does not have a general Manual of Style like Wikipedia does.

Cleanup tasks on Wikibooks

After a page has found a new home, a few steps should be taken to clean up the process. The page should be checked for double-redirects, all links pointing to the Transwiki namespace should be updated to point to the page's new location and if possible, any links made from the project of origin should be updated, in order to attract contributors who might improve the content.

Cleanup tasks on Wikipedia

While not required of the importer, there are other templates available on Wikipedia that can be used to take the article out of the "Copy-to-Wikibooks" category.

On the source article page, the following templates can be used, as a replacement for the Wikipedia templates:

The former adds a link to the destination page in the Transwiki namespace (which will hopefully soon become a redirect) if the destination is not specified, while the second adds a link to the Cookbook page (used only for articles imported directly into the Cookbook namespace).