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- Revise, revise, revise. The purpose of this wiki is to serve as a forum through which people can share ideas, protocols, tips and any other information that might be relevant to the community. So the more you add new pages and edit existing pages, the more useful they become.
- Be respectful of user/lab/group pages. If a page starts with "LabName:" or "UserName:" then you should take care in editing and leave a note on the article talk page explaining your edit.
- Put (at least) a sentence about yourself on your user page. This helps people feel more comfortable with each other's edits.
- Before adding a new protocol, check to see whether the protocol already exists. If you change the existing protocol, please justify and explain your changes. Likewise, if you would rather post a new version of a protocol, go ahead, but explain why. Feel free to add as much as possible to the wiki, but please document all nontrivial changes.
- See the Wikipedia policy on minor edits.
- Try to capitalize only the first word in a page title (sentence caps format). For instance, use Electrocompetent cells instead of Electrocompetent Cells. This convention makes it easier for an editor to link to a page, since there's no need to check the original capitalization. Creating a link beginning with a lower-case letter will link to a target page with the first letter capitalized, which also makes initial caps more universal. Abbreviations, acronyms, and proper names are clearly exceptions, e.g., Colony PCR and user pages.
- Follow page naming conventions. When adding a new page use your best judgement as to whether the page is something that is targeted to the community at large, or is more specific to your group. For instance: Research vs. Endy:Research. Same goes for members, meetings, talks, etc. If it is something specific to your group, try and include the group's name in the title. (e.g. Endy:Research) The convention has been 'Group:Page title' so that things stay consistent. The reason for this is that on the wiki you can only have one page named 'X', so we have to share the common terms. See Help:Page naming conventions for more information.
- Use categories. Since OpenWetWare is expanding fairly quickly, categories are becoming a more useful method of organizing information. So as you add new pages and edit old ones, add a category link to the bottom of the page as appropriate.
- Format less not more. Since most of our users are not expert html coders, it is better to use simple formatting wherever possible. Even for those who are adept at html, simple wikitext is easier to read and edit than complex wikitext.
- Links to external sites. All links on the Main Page, Labs, Protocols, Materials and Resources pages should be to other OpenWetWare ... not external links. These OpenWetWare pages are key pages that provide a portal and index to useful pages on the site (not to webpages in general). To create/edit/view collections of links to external resources, see Web resources or start a new page.
- Leaving comments or participating in discussions. To keep discussions more readable, we use chat room style comments. All comments should be prefixed with
*'''~~~~''':in order to create comments like the one below. *Reshma 09:12, 12 June 2007 (EDT): This is a comment.
- Keep things tidy
OWW is a scientific community
OWW is a scientific community that adheres to established norms of scientific communication. These include (1) real names associated with posted content, (2) reasoned discourse (no profanity, personal attacks, or hate speech), (3) content should be largely science-related (though we are a community and understand that scientists talk about some things that aren't science occasionally).