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How do I start editing?

See the getting started page.

How do I learn more about editing?

Visit the help page.

Are there any rules?

Check out the etiquette page for guidelines on creating and editing pages.

How do I make the wiki pages for my lab/group look like a static website?

Check out OpenWetWare:Dewikify for instructions on generating static websites from OpenWetWare wiki pages. See Synthetic Biology and for a comparison of a wiki page with its static counterpart.

I have an existing MediaWiki site with lots of content. Can I import it into OpenWetWare?

Yes, if you decide that the benefits of sharing the content on OpenWetWare is worth moving your site completely on to OpenWetWare, we will be happy to help you move the wiki. You will be able to import your current wiki in its entirety (including the history of all pages) into OpenWetWare by adding a unique prefix to all pages to ensure that your page names do not conflict with any OpenWetWare pages. Contact Austin Che to plan the technical details of the import.

How do you differ from Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia intended to present facts on various topics with a neutral point-of-view. In contrast, OpenWetWare's mission is simply to promote the sharing of information, know-how, and wisdom among researchers and groups who are working in biology and biological engineering. Thus, protocols, how-to's, tutorials, courses, lab portals, and resource lists are all inappropriate for Wikipedia but are entirely appropriate for OpenWetWare. The types of general, encyclopedic information characteristic of Wikipedia may also be appropriate for OpenWetWare on certain pages (like consensus protocols). Use your judgment.

Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia and its content is usually geared to the general audience. In contrast, content on OpenWetWare is contributed by and intended for researchers in biology and biological engineering. We define researchers quite broadly and consider educators and students as part of the research community. We also take a reasonably liberal view of what constitutes biology and biological engineering in terms of content appropriate for the site. (If someone in the community would find it useful, then you can include it.)

Note that material cannot be directly transferred from Wikipedia to OpenWetWare because of a licensing conflict. However, content from OpenWetWare can be copied to Wikipedia. See OpenWetWare:Copyrights and Wikipedia:Copyrights for more information.

Can I change my username?

Yes. We now have the ability to change people's usernames. We are moving to a username policy in which all users use their full name (the same name under which they publish) as their OpenWetWare username. See OpenWetWare:Username policy for details, to leave comments or to request a change in username.

How do I participate in discussions?

The Community portal lists all the recent pages where users are discussing topics. Just go to one of those pages and chime in. This page is a good way to keep track of what people are discussing on the site. Alternatively, you can start a new topic at OpenWetWare:Ideas.