You can make an account so that a username is shown beside the changes you make. A username is a way of telling who is writing something. This helps people to communicate and to keep records. You can have a user page with the title of your username, and also a talk page, where people can leave you messages.

Usernames give people an idea of what Wikipedia is like. Usernames change what people think about other people and how they treat each other. We try to include everyone and be neutral. We try to be helpful to each other. We are writing a serious encyclopedia and usernames should not stop us. Names that are hateful, or that are made to shock people or show a strong view stop these goals and will not be allowed to change Wikipedia.

Your username does not have to be your real name, although some people think it is best to do this. Please use common sense when you choose your username.

Offensive names policy

The name must not try to offend or upset anyone. Remember that other people editing here are from different places, and they may be upset by different things. Here are ways to avoid offending people:

  • Do not use the name of a political, military or religious figure or event (including real people).
  • Do not choose something that might be offensive. Your username should not suggest that you hold any particular political, religious or other belief.
  • Do not use a name similar to another user.
  • People should be able to think things about you just based on your contributions, not on what they think about your name.
  • Usernames that offend other people might make people not want to contribute to Wikipedia. That also distracts people from what they are meant to be doing—writing an encyclopedia!
  • Some names do not offend people, but they show a strong view or are very religious. These names are discouraged but less seriously than names that offend people.
  • Names that have the word "bot" will confuse you with Wikipedia bots. It is not offensive, but it is confusing to the community and is not allowed.
  • If someone complains about your username, please think about changing it. If lots of people complain, you will have to change it.
  • Do not create or use promotional usernames, such as the name of a company.

How to change your name

See Wikipedia:Changing username for information on changing your username.

IMPORTANT: Do not create the new user account, a global renamer or steward will create it and move all your contributions (pages you have changed) and preferences (settings of your account). Click here to get it changed

Multiple username policy

There is no rule against having more than one username, but you must not use it for bad reasons. You must not use multiple accounts to vote more than once. You should not make it look like people agree with you by saying things with different accounts.

If you have a good reason that you do not want to edit under one username, that may be allowed. A user account that is used by another user but is not their main or first account is called a "sockpuppet".

Doppelgänger accounts

Sometimes it may be needed to create accounts with a username that is like your own to prevent other editors from using it. Such accounts are called doppelgänger accounts. The user page of a doppelgänger account should identify it as such (many editors use {{doppelganger}}), or redirect to your user page. Doppelgänger accounts should not be used for changing.