# Help:Page naming conventions

< Help

## What should I name my page?

It depends on the nature of the page. Here are some general guidelines ...

### General purpose pages

General purpose pages are things like consensus protocols and other pages that are intended as a general reference source for the user community (e.g. Escherichia coli). Typically these pages are open to editing by anyone.

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.

### Lab-specific pages

If a page is specific to your lab, include the PI's name as the prefix in the title (e.g. Endy:Research). The convention has been LabName: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. /* Le Borgne's lab */

### Field-specific pages

Some groups elect to host pages relating to a certain field of research. Use your field's name as a prefix for those pages like Mimulus or Synthetic Biology (e.g. Synthetic Biology:Labs).

### Institution-specific pages

If a page is specific to your institution like pages relating to core facilities, use your institution name as a prefix like MIT.

### OpenWetWare-specific pages

Pages that are directly related to OpenWetWare itself generally are named OpenWetWare:Page title. For instance, OpenWetWare:Presentations is a page about OpenWetWare presentations.

### Sets of related pages

There are often times when people want to create a page and then create several pages that all relate back to that one page. An easy way to do this is using a slash '/' in the page title. For instance, OpenWetWare:Software has several related subpages like OpenWetWare:Software/Analytics, OpenWetWare:Software/User management, OpenWetWare:Software/Ideas and more. The advantage of this convention is that it automatically creates back links at the top of each subpage.

## Are there any restrictions on what I can name a page?

There are no restrictions on pages name in OpenWetWare, just guidelines!  :)

## Why are there page naming conventions?

### All users must share the same namespace

Every page on OpenWetWare must have a unique name. Thus, we try to reserve general pages names like Protocols, Materials, Posters and others for pages that are of general use to the community. Pages that are specific for a particular user or lab should be named accordingly.

For instance, Endy:DNA ligation using T4 DNA ligase is a page devoted to the Endy lab's protocol for DNA ligation whereas DNA ligation is a page with general information about DNA ligation and links to specific protocols (like Endy:DNA ligation using T4 DNA ligase).

### Respecting each others' pages

In OpenWetWare, every user can edit all pages on the wiki. By naming your page according to either your username or your lab (as appropriate), you indicate to other OpenWetWare users that they should be respectful of that page and be mindful of the fact that it is someone else's page when making edits.

On the other hand, if you name a page PCR, then that should be a signal to other OpenWetWare users that they should edit (and improve!) that page at will.

## What is a namespace?

A namespace is a subdivision of OpenWetWare denoted by a term and then a colon, like OpenWetWare:. There are also namespaces for images (Image:) and certain other categories. There are also prefixes, which look like namespaces, such as IGEM:. This can be used to indicate information particular to a lab or other grouping, but at this time this convention does not add special technical function to the pages, but just serves to clarify and prevent overlap of common names. You can search for all pages with a certain prefix in the Prefix index. There you can even search within a namespace for a certain prefix, which may be a bit confusing.

## What is the best way to create a new page with a common name, like "protocol" or "lab meetings"?

Check to see if the page exists as a general page or if there are pages with this name in other namespaces. See above for guidance on whether to put this new page under a specific namespace.

## Why would I want to use the namespace convention for naming my new pages?

### Finding pages is easier

A consistent naming scheme makes it easier to find existing pages.

### Improper edits are less likely

Naming your or your lab's pages with an appropriate, consistent prefix (see above) reduces the chance that someone will come along and edit your page. For instance, anyone should feel free to edit the DNA ligation page but really only Endy lab members should edit Endy:DNA ligation using T4 DNA ligase.

### Tracking changes to your lab's pages

One nice feature of using the namespace convention is that it makes it easier to track changes for your lab or course. For instance, check out all the recent changes to the Smolke lab, Kafatos lab or even to OpenWetWare pages. But changes only show up in these filtered lists if you use the proper namespace convention!

## Can I edit pages outside of my or my lab's namespace?

Yes! All OWW users are encouraged to edit pages without a prefix or pages with the OpenWetWare: prefix. Just don't vandalize!

If a page has a prefix from another user or lab, you can still edit the page ... just leave a note on the associated Talk page explaining your edit. (For instance, "I think this reference might be helpful". Or "I found this mistake and I fixed it". Or "I tried to help you out with some formatting".) That way you signal to other OWW users why you made the change and give them the option of responding.

## How do I notify someone about a confusing page name?

Use the Confusing page name notification template. See there for instructions on how to use it. Leave a message either on the talk page of the confusing page, or on a person's user talk page.