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Testing page designs and layouts.

Under heavy construction. Please do not disturb.

Welcome to the Community Portal

Stay informed. Find out ways to help OWW. Discuss OWW structure, contents, and features.

Help us build our community and contribute!


» How can I contribute?
» What needs doing?
» Discussions

How can I contribute?

  • Surf around. You're sure to find something that needs improvement.
  • Come here to check out "What needs doing" section.
  • Add this page as one of your watched pages for e-mail alerts on changes.
  • Join the OpenWetWare steering committee.

What we can do for you

  • Create a mailing list for reminders of how you can contribute.
  • Create a developers sub-committee of the steering committee to decide on new features and organization of OWW.
  • What else can we do for you?

What needs doing?

Lots! Check out the list, increasing in order of technical difficulty: from minor editing, right up to adding to the mediawiki software itself. Some of the lists are currently just discussions of how to organize and populate the list. Once those issues are worked out, they will be converted into actual lists of places to contribute.

What you can do

  • Add an item, or
  • Fix an item, then remove it.
Wikipedia operates on the policy that if you add a to-do item, you should if possible contribute to completing another.
We'll benefit from this policy.

Add knowledge

Content is the lifeblood of OWW.
  • Check out the Questions and Answers page to see if you can answer someone's specific question.
  • Contribute to an existing page.
  • Start a new page on your favorite topic.
Not as polished-looking as you want it to be? No worries! The community will help improve a page if you get it started.

Improve formatting and linking, correct typos

Nearly all pages could benefit from proof-reading, standardization of formatting or improved inter-page linking. In addition, it would be useful to make pages conform to the OWW etiquette. To make this process more directed, pages in need of attention should be added here.

How do I do this?

Aggregation and organization of information

For example, we'd like to list as many protocols as possible on the Protocols page. There are certainly protocols out there that are not linked to from the protocols page. If you find such a page and you think the author(s) would be happy to add it to the community protocols, then add the link. The same applies to equipment, materials or other shared resource pages in search of a home.

How do I do this?

  • Right now, you need to find a page by chance or go trawling through lab pages looking for protocol/equipment/material sections.
  • If we could come up with a more automated way of aggregating protocols that would be great, maybe an extension or new special page would help? See below for how to do this.

Active Collaborations

This is similar to the Featured Article page on wikipedia. We could list many pages here but it makes sense to list a small number to target peoples focus.

  • Protocols<--see the protocols under development section
  • OpenWetWare:New Lab Presentation <-- Basic intro to present usefulness for laboratory use
  • OpenWetWare:FAQ <-- Needs to be split. User FAQ , New User FAQ, Visitor FAQ, Admin FAQ, New Lab FAQ
  • Help:Contents <--Help currently resides in lots of places, these should probably all be centralized/aggregated here on the help page. They should possibly even be merged with the FAQ master page.

How do I do this?

  • If you know how to edit a page and you have an opinion on something, then you can almost definitely go edit these pages. *Remember that a wiki such as OWW depends on users being bold with their edits.

Add pages that have been previously requested

People often want to see a page get started on a particular subject but don't have a chance to add content to that page at the time. Such pages are currently listed here - Special:Wantedpages.

How do I do this?

Desirable Extensions

What bots, tags, features or special pages would we like to add to OWW?

  • A spelllchecker
  • A category or other way that people could quickly annotate a page in some way. For example something like the stub template but rather than saying "this is a stub" it would say, "this page is cool" or "this page needs editing" etc. If this template includes a category, then we can easily aggregate all pages that feature that annotation.
  • A revamped categories page that presents the data (i.e. the items in the category) in a more aesthetic way. Even better, how do I present a category of page in some arbitrary formating of my choosing?
  • A bot to convert mu to μ in some reliable way.
  • An improved <gallery> tag.
  • A proposed implementation of tags via categories has been described at OpenWetWare steering committee/Software development ideas. Please add your feedback and ideas there.

How do I do this?
These are harder to do and you probably can't actually get them working unless you have access to our servers. Assuming you can manage that, there are resources available to help you get started on some of these things. If you don't know perl or php before you start you'll probably learn pretty quick if try and do this

Improve pages for new users

We're trying to make OpenWetWare as painless to use and edit as possible, especially for new users. Ideally, we want concise and useful explanations for new users (and potential users). Help improve these pages for new users.


A listing of discussions relating to OpenWetWare.

Help & General Information

Pages you can go to (and improve!) to get more information on OWW.