Help:User contributions

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Descriptions of features on MediaWiki "user contributions" page

User contributions pages are automatically generated pages that list the edits that an individual particular user has made on the English Wikipedia.

You can check your own contributions to refresh your memory about which pages you have worked on (and to easily access these again), and also to find out whether there have been any subsequent edits (see section 8 below). This can be a useful quick alternative to accessing your watchlist, particularly if your watchlist contains a large number of pages. Other users' user contribution pages can also be accessed and are useful for seeing how other users have contributed. They can be used to track down vandalism, serial copyright violations, etc.

User contributions pages[edit]

Accessing[edit]

  • Your own contributions page. To access your own user contributions page, click my contributions at the top of the page, or type in the Search box: Special:MyContributions.
  • Another user's contributions page. To access the contributions of a logged-in user (named account), go to the user page (eg User:Example) and click on the User contributions link listed under the Toolbox menu on the left-hand side of the screen. This works even if the user page has not been created yet (i.e. an edit box displays).
  • Contributions of an IP address. To access the contributions of an anonymous user (identified by IP address), use one of the following methods:

Bear in mind that a public IP address may have been used by different users at different times. Equally, a given user may have used multiple IP addresses and/or usernames (which may well be illegitimate use of multiple accounts, or "sockpuppetry"). Where a user legitimately uses alternative accounts, the alternative accounts should be clearly identified by the user. In any case each account or IP address will have its own contributions page.

Using[edit]

Below is an example of a user contributions page (the current appearance on Wikipedia may be slightly different):
Example of a user contributions page

  1. The username or IP of the contributor
  2. A search form, allowing you to search by username, IP address (or range), date, or namespace (such as Template). IP range search uses a wildcard asterisk, such as 10.11.12.* or 192.168.*. This requires you are logged in and check "Allow /16 and /24 – /32 CIDR ranges on Special:Contributions forms (uses API), as well as wildcard prefix searches" under Gadgets in Special:Preferences.
  3. A list of edits, shown from newest to oldest. Each edit takes up one line which contains:
  4. The time and date of the edit, displayed in your preferred format.
  5. (hist) takes you to the page history, so you can see all edits made to that page. This can be useful if someone has updated a page you have worked on, and you want to see their changes.
  6. (diff) takes you to a diff page showing the changes between that edit and the previous revision. The revision after the edit appears below the changes so you can see the result of the edit.
  7. m indicates a minor edit; N indicates a new page.
  8. The current name of the page that was edited.
  9. The edit summary, a description written by the editor (or generated automatically, in certain cases). If a summary begins with an arrow link and grey text, the user has only edited the stated section of the page. Wikipedia automatically adds this when you edit a section.
  10. (top) signifies that the edit is the current revision. The page is as the user last saved it. This can be used to watch pages (if your last edit to the page does not display (top), the page has been changed).
  11. If an editor has made more edits than will fit on one page, this line provides links to the most recent edits (latest), oldest edits (earliest) or the next or previous page of edits (newer n / older n).
  12. The blue numbers list the number of edits displayed on a page: 20, 50, 100, 250 or 500. The number you select replaces n in the links to the previous or next pages e.g. (newer 100 / older 100). Views of up to 5000 edits per page are possible by modifying the URL.

Not shown in this example: some edits may be automatically tagged by the abuse filter (example: (Tag: references removed)); any tags applied appear after the edit summary. Tags cannot be added or removed manually, and are intended help editors identify potential problem edits for examination; they do not prove that an edit is problematic.

Administrators and other users with special tools may have additional options on contributions pages.

The following information normally does not appear:

  • Edits from a page that has been deleted afterwards (unless the page, including the revision concerned, has been restored). If the revision concerned has been restored but not the previous one, then the fact that the user has edited the page is preserved, including the time and the edit summary, and the resulting revision, but not the change. An administrator can use Special:DeletedContributions to see revisions that have not been restored. However, applying a diff is not directly possible.
  • Uploading of a new image with the same name as one that already exists, thus replacing it
  • Deletion or restoration (undeletion) of a page (if the user is an administrator). Use Special:Logs for this.

User contributions: other issues[edit]

Getting started[edit]

Contributions are made by editing existing pages (simply click the Edit tab on a page you're interested in contributing to) or creating new pages (for example via the Article Wizard). You must register an account and be logged in in order to create new pages. See also the Tutorial and new contributors' help page.

Deletion[edit]

Users in general cannot request deletion of their contributions. In some circumstances they may request deletion of an article they have created (by adding {{db-author}} to it) or a page they have created in their own user space (by adding {{db-userreq}} to the page). They may also be able to make use of the usual deletion processes. In some circumstances they may be able to change their username in order to dissociate themselves from their contributions.

In some limited circumstances individual contributions (that is, specific edits) may be removed from public view by administrators using Revision Deletion; such edits remain visible to administrators. In even more limited circumstances edits may be oversighted, remaining visible only to the handful of users with the Oversight permission.

Total edit count[edit]

Your "my preferences" shows the total number of edits you have made. The number is based upon an editcount field that is stored for each user, incremented each time the user makes an edit, but not decremented when a user's edit is deleted. Therefore the count includes deleted edits. It does not include moves.

To find another user's edit count, type the following URL into your browser's address bar, replacing "XXX" by the name of the user:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=query&list=users&ususers=XXX&usprop=editcount

Various editing statistics can also be found at Toolserver. Some of these are linked to from the box at the bottom of a user's contributions page.

For a summary of a user's activity on other language Wikipedias and other Wikimedia projects, type the following URL (replacing "XXX" by the name of the user):

  • http://toolserver.org/~vvv/sulutil.php?user=XXX

URLs and links[edit]

A user contributions URL looks like this: https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=XX or https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/XX (for this wiki) where XX is the user name or IP address.

Change the sub-site to view your contributions on that particular subsite. (www.wikipedia.org, meta.wikimedia.org, etc.)

To internally link to a user contributions page you can also use this shorter form: Special:Contributions/XX.

Interwiki links work as normal e.g. w:Special:Contributions/XX.

You can view edits from only one namespace. Each namespace has an associated number. Restricting to one namespace can be done with the long form URL only (in this example the namespace is number 4): https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=XX&namespace=4

First edit[edit]

When using the user contributions feature to determine when a user started editing on a wiki, note that edits may have been made in another wiki, while later the page has been imported.

Also, until ca. 2004 there was a bug, which has been fixed but not retroactively, as follows:

If a moved page was moved back, the edit history of the page with the intermediate title shows the latest move only, with the corresponding user name, but with the date and time of the first move(!).

Therefore, if the oldest entries in the user contributions list are moves, they most likely do not represent any activity of the user on the stated dates.

User styles[edit]

The page body has selector body.page-Special_Contributions, so we can, e.g., use the CSS

body.page-Special_Contributions ul { list-style: decimal }

to number the backlinks.

Privacy[edit]

Remember that any user's contributions page, including yours, can be viewed by anyone else.

See also[edit]

Get help[edit]

Ways to get help
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