Wikibooks:Original research

Original research refers to any facts, theories, ideas, data, opinions, or claims that have not yet been subject to peer review by experts and/or have not yet been included elsewhere by a reliable publication. In principle, Wikibooks discourages original research. In practice, however, Wikibooks allows material based on repeatable information from personal experiences or from common knowledge when published literature might reasonably support it, or consensus might reasonably agree with its inclusion. If questions do arise, questionable material must cite a reliable publication to be kept.

Textbooks are typically, but not always, tertiary sources that draw on previously published reviews and syntheses for their content. On the other hand, referring to external sources may sometimes be unnecessary or impractical, such as for recipes in a cookbook. Wikibooks should draw on other sources in situations where published textbooks would reasonably do so.

Note that material deemed inappropriate by consensus may be excluded, even if material might otherwise satisfy what is stated below.


The existence of information on the Internet or in publications alone does not make information "verifiable". Information is verifiable when subject to peer review by experts and reliable publications include it. A publication is reliable when the publication and information published by them has itself been subject to peer view by experts. Information that is reasonably safe and easy to demonstrate, apply, and repeat may also be verifiable when results or conclusions are reasonably consistent with the information. A recipe in a cookbook is verifiable when reasonably safe and easy for anyone to demonstrate, apply, and repeat a recipe's directions, and the results are reasonably consistent with the recipe's directions for example.

Wikibooks includes information which is or may reasonably be verifiable, and what reliable publications would reasonably include. This may include new uses for a particular product, new methods for performing a common task, or exposition of hidden (undocumented) features in existing products when safe and easy to do. Contributors may decide to include or exclude a recipe from a cookbook when a reliable and published cookbook would reasonably do so for example. If reasonable questions do arise, questionable information must cite a reliable publication to be kept.


The Wikibooks project does not include the traditional definition of "textbooks". Wikibooks may and should present or explain information in original ways, including original content arrangements, chapter organization, and titles for books, chapters, and pages. The exact presentation and style should be defined in a book's manual of style, and is defined at the discretion of book contributors.


Original vocabulary and original definitions for words are allowed when it conveys better understanding of material. The specific vocabulary and definitions to use is up to the discretion of book contributors.

Common knowledge

Wikibooks may contain information that is considered "common knowledge", either to a general audience, or to the specific target audience of the particular book. University students are likely to have more common knowledge then elementary school students, etc.

Citations and bibliography

Textbooks, especially those containing information beyond what is considered "common knowledge" should contain proper citations and bibliographies. Unlike Wikipedia articles, individual Wikibooks may (at the discretion of the participating authors) forgo footnotes and instead create a separate chapter for citations and bibliographies.