Did you know….on Wikipedia

If you visit the Main Page of  Wikipedia, you will find that the left column publicises the featured article for the day.  Featured articles are the best, most accurate and well written articles on Wikipedia. But more interestingly, just below that box, you will find a clutch of “Do you know…s”!

For example, Did you know

A “Do You Know..” is an interesting fact from new material added to Wikipedia and is abbreviated as DYK by Wikipedians. 🙂

Here’s how one such set looks like :


The “Do You Know” column on the Main Page of Wikipedia

These facts are taken from the newest articles on Wikipedia. Either the article has been made in the last five days or it has been expanded 5 times in the last five days. The article also needs to be accurate, well-referenced and carefully checked for copyright violation. If it has an image, it must be “free” (free as in free speech, not as in free beer). The fact of the DYK must be interesting, verifiably referenced and accurate.

To get a DYK published, one first has to do volunteer work (vetting at least one other DYK, no “bhai-bandhi” permitted, at peril of your reputation). Then the DYK you submitted goes through checks, and others contribute to the cleanup and improvement of both the hook (as the DYK fact which appears is known) and the parent article. If your DYK submission is found unacceptable it gets axed! If it meets all the criteria, it gets a “Ready to Go” signal. Finally it is added to a queue. Every 8 hours or so, the set of DYKs is replaced with a fresh set.  So its worthwhile visiting the Main Page of Wikipedia often to see interesting stuff!

As is obvious from what I wrote, getting a DYK published is an achievement and genuinely something to be proud of for Wikipedians. My current count is upto 19 and I hope to get the 20th soon.

Predictably most of my DYKs are about nature and natural history with an odd one from a history or social science article that I created or helped expand.

So, in the absence of anything original written by me, I shall present to you my series of nature DYKs for your information and entertainment, dear Reader.

NOTE : “bhai-bandhi” means “I scratch your back, I scratch mine”.

Explore posts in the same categories: nature

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