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Portals are pages intended to serve as "Main Pages" for specific topics or areas. A portal may be associated with one or more WikiProjects; unlike a WikiProject, however, it is meant for both readers and editors of PhysicsWiki, and should promote content and encourage contribution. Portals shall be created for encyclopedic topics only and not for article maintenance categories.


What are portals?

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The idea of a portal is to help readers and/or editors navigate their way through PhysicsWiki topic areas through pages similar to the Main Page. In essence, portals are useful entry-points to PhysicsWiki content.

Portals originated in the Polish and German PhysicsWikis. In early 2005, the concept was imported to the English PhysicsWiki and the first Wikiportals were established. Later that year, a special namespace (Portal:) was created for portals.

Portals are subject to the PhysicsWiki's five pillars and must comply with PhysicsWiki's core content policies (neutral point of view, no original research, verifiability, etc).

Currently, this PhysicsWiki, the English PhysicsWiki, has 1138 registered portals, of which 38 have featured status.

How to find portals

All portals should be listed at the directory of portals, which also details their founding dates and whom you can contact with regard to a particular portal. If you have created a portal, you must list it here. Portal:Contents/Portals lists all portals of reader-ready quality.

Portals are also largely inter-accessible with users able to navigate from one portal to another. Universal features, such as the browsebar (which links to top-level portals), and the portals template (which links to Portal:Contents/Portals), allow for convenient browsing. Moreover, portals are also categorised according to hierarchy. Portals, in most instances, also link to their Related portals (those lateral to them) and their Subportals (those that descend from them).

Top-level portals are linked from the Main Page, while individual portals are linked by placing {{portal}} on a page. In the main namespace, these templates are often found at the top of an article's talk page, being integrated into WikiProject banner templates. Per PW:ALSO, they may also be placed in the "See also" section of articles.

How to add portal links to articles

These links go in the See also section. Entering the link at the top of the section will allow it to sit on the top right. Add a portal link by typing {{Portal|<portal name>}} for example {{Portal|Energy}}. If more than one portal is to be linked use a second parameter, for example {{Portal|Energy|Cycling}} (illustrated on right). If there are problems with the regular {{Portal}} causing undesired layout effects use {{Clear}}, {{Portal bar}} (below), {{Portal-inline}}, or an icon-free text link * [[Portal:Energy|Energy portal]],

How to create a portal

There is no single standard design for portals, but the most widely used layout is the "box portal". The use of this design is recommended due to the ease with which it can be created and maintained. For further ideas on portal design, browse existing portals and see the featured portals. For step-by-step instructions on how to set up a new portal, refer to the instructions page. Unlike WikiProjects, portals should not be created for article maintenance category, but only for encyclopedic topics.

Once you have created the portal, please update the {{number of portals}} template.

How to make a good portal

Most portals present the following:

  • A selected article and/or picture;
  • Links into the main category for the topic and possibly subcategories (some portals actually appear in the description page for the main category);
  • General info about the subject, or links thereto;
  • Links to other portals (using templates) and for editors;
  • Links to related WikiProjects ({{Sister project links}} can be used to add Wikimedia sister-project links to a portal);
  • Links to specific articles or tasks;
  • Collaboration of the week, month, etc.

You may want to embark on an effort to fill the related categories with appropriate articles if this has not been done already (or add it to the portal's "to do" list so visitors can help out).

How to categorize a portal

  • For a simple portal, simply add a specific subcategory of Category:Portals to the bottom of the portal page.
  • For a complex, multi-page portal, a portal category is needed.
  • Portal categories are generally named [[Category:TOPIC portal]] where the portal itself is named [[Portal:TOPIC]].
  • Portal categories are categorized under Category:Portals subcategories just like portals.
  • Portals with their own categories are only categorized in that category, which in turn is put into the other categories that the portal would have been in.

How to get involved

Just as with PhysicsWiki at large, portals can be edited by anyone. However, it is important to pay due regard to the established work of others. Editors are always needed to maintain individual portals; if you would like to participate in the upkeep of a particular portal, note your intention on its talk page, list yourself as a maintainer in the directory of portals, then get to work – thank you!

A WikiProject on Portals has been founded to coordinate portal activity. The current objectives are to develop standards for all portals and to ensure maintenance. Other tasks include the integration and categorisation of portals.

Immediate attention is needed at portals listed in Category:Portals under construction and Category:Portals needing attention.

See also

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Featured portal

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