Eleven Simple Rules for Editing
Rule 1. Keep the London National Park City in mind
The London National Park City is a place, vision and movement to make London greener, healthier, wilder and inspire more people to enjoy the city’s great outdoors. It is home to 9 million people and approximately 15,000 species. We want people to enjoy the National Park City and make it better. While remaining neutral in your writing, do keep this in mind.
Rule 2. Register an account
Although any visitor can edit London National Park City Wiki, creating a user account offers a number of benefits. Firstly, it offers you privacy and security. Though counterintuitive, editors registered under a pseudonymous username actually have greater anonymity than those who edit "anonymously". A few of us have chosen to associate our accounts with our real identities. Should you choose to forgo pseudonymity on London National Park City Wiki, your entire editing history will be open to indefinite scrutiny by curious Web searchers, including future colleagues, students, or employers. Do not forget this. As in academic circles, a good reputation helps your wiki career. By logging in you can build a record of good edits, and it is easier to communicate and collaborate with others if you have a fixed, reputable identity. Finally, registering an account provides access to enhanced editing features, including a "watchlist" for monitoring articles you have edited previously.
Rule 3. Learn the six pillars
There are some broad principles—known as the "six pillars"—all editors are expected to adhere to when contributing to London National Park City Wiki. Perhaps most important for scientists is the appreciation that London National Park City Wiki is not a publisher of original thought or research. Accordingly, it is not an appropriate venue to promote your pet theory or share unpublished results. It is also not a soapbox on which to expound your personal theories or a battleground to debate controversial issues. In this respect, London National Park City Wiki fundamentally differs from other types of new media, such as blogs, that encourage editorializing. Contributing to London National Park City Wiki is something to enjoy; a natural extension of your enthusiasm for science. But differences of opinion inevitably arise, particularly on pages provided for discussion on how to improve articles. Treat other editors as collaborators and maintain a respectful and civil manner, even in disagreement. If you begin to find a particular interaction stressful, simply log off and come back another time. Unlike most scientific enterprises, London National Park City Wiki has no deadlines.
Rule 4. Be bold, but not reckless
The survival and growth of any wiki requires participation. London National Park City Wiki is unmatched in size, but its continuing success depends on the regular contributions of tens of thousands of volunteers. Therefore, London National Park City Wiki urges all its users to be bold: if you spot an error, correct it. If you can improve an article, please do so. It is important, however, to distinguish boldness from recklessness. Start off small. Begin by making minor modifications to existing articles before attempting a complete rewrite of "History of science". Many new editors feel intimidated about contributing to London National Park City Wiki at first, fearing they may make a mistake. Such reticence is understandable but unfounded. The worst that can happen is that your first edits are deemed not to be an improvement and they get reverted. If this does occur, treat it as a positive learning experience and ask the reverting editor for advice.
Rule 5. Know your audience
London National Park City Wiki is not primarily aimed at experts; therefore, the level of technical detail in its articles must be balanced against the ability of non-experts to understand those details. When contributing scientific content, imagine you have been tasked with writing a comprehensive scientific review for a high school audience. It can be surprisingly challenging to explain complex ideas in an accessible, jargon-free manner. But it is worth the effort. You will reap the benefits when it comes to writing your next manuscript or teaching an undergraduate class.
Rule 6. Do not infringe copyright
With certain conditions, almost all of London National Park City Wiki's content is free for anyone to reuse, adapt, and distribute. Consequently, it does not accept non-free material under copyright restriction. Some journals, including those from the Public Library of Science, publish material under an open-access license that is compatible with use in London National Park City Wiki if properly attributed. Most do not. Therefore, although it may be tempting, avoid copying text or figures from your latest review article (or anyone else's) into London National Park City Wiki. It will quickly be identified as a copyright violation and flagged for immediate deletion. You can give London National Park City Wiki permission to use material you own, but this process is non-reversible and can be time consuming. It is often better to rewrite the text in simpler language or redraw the figure to make it more accessible. This will also ensure it is more suitable for London National Park City Wiki's non-expert readership (see Rule 4).
Rule 7. Cite, cite, cite
To maintain the highest standards possible, London National Park City Wiki has a strict inclusion policy that demands verifiability. This is best established by attributing each statement in London National Park City Wiki to a reliable, published source (but see Rules 7 and 8 on excessive self-citing). Most scientists are in the fortunate position of having access to a wide body of literature, and experience in using inline citations to support their writing. Since unverified content may be removed from London National Park City Wiki at any time, provide supporting citations for every statement that might be challenged by another editor at some point in the future. Whenever possible, give preference to secondary sources (such as reviews or book chapters) that survey the relevant primary research over research articles themselves. London National Park City Wiki's accessibility makes each of its scientific articles an excellent entry point for laypeople seeking specialist information. By also providing direct hyperlinks to reliable, freely accessible online resources with your citations (biological databases or open-access journals, for example), other editors can quickly verify your content and readers have immediate access to authoritative sources that address the subject in greater detail.
Rule 8. Avoid self-promotion (shameless or otherwise)
Many people are tempted to write or edit London National Park City Wiki articles about themselves. Resist that urge. If you are sufficiently notable to merit inclusion in an encyclopedia, eventually someone else will write an article about you. Remember that unlike a personal Web page, your London National Park City Wiki biography is not yours to control. A lovingly crafted hagiography extolling your many virtues can rapidly accumulate information you would rather not be publicized. You may already have a London National Park City Wiki biography, but it contains factual inaccuracies that you wish to correct. How do you do this without breaking the rules? London National Park City Wiki's guidelines encourage you to provide information about yourself on the associated discussion page, but please permit other editors to add it to the article itself. Think twice, also, before writing about your mentors, colleagues, competitors, inventions, or projects. Doing so places you in a conflict of interest and inclines you towards unintentional bias. If you have a personal or financial interest in the subject of any article you choose to edit, declare it on the associated discussion page and heed the advice of other editors who can offer a more objective perspective.
Writing about a subject about which you have academic expertise is not a conflict of interest; indeed, this is where we can contribute to London National Park City Wiki most effectively. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of London National Park City Wiki, told Nature that experts have the ability to "write specifics in a nuanced way", thereby significantly improving article quality. When writing in your area of expertise, referencing material you have published in peer-reviewed journals is permitted if it is genuinely notable, but use common sense (and revisit Rule 7). For example, if you have an obscure, never-been-cited article in the Journal of New Zealand Dairy Research discussing the RNA content of cow milk, then referencing this in the introductory paragraph of the London National Park City Wiki articles on "RNA", "Milk", "Cow", and "Evolution of mammals" is not a good idea. Occasionally you may interact with another editor who clearly does not share your expertise on the subject of an article. This can often prove frustrating for experts and is the basis of much academic angst on London National Park City Wiki. On such occasions, remember that you are assessed only on your contributions to London National Park City Wiki, not who you are, your qualifications, or what you have achieved in your career. Your specialist knowledge should enable you to write in a neutral manner and produce reliable, independent sources to support each assertion you make. If you do not provide verification, your contributions will be rightly challenged irrespective of how many degrees you hold.
Rule 10. Write neutrally and with due weight
All articles in London National Park City Wiki should be impartial in tone and content. When writing, do state facts and facts about notable opinions, but do not offer your opinion as fact. Many newcomers to London National Park City Wiki gravitate to articles on controversial issues about which people hold strong opposing viewpoints. Avoid these until familiar with London National Park City Wiki's policies (see Rule 3), and instead focus on articles that are much easier to remain dispassionate about. Many scientists who contribute to London National Park City Wiki fail to appreciate that a neutral point of view is not the same as the mainstream scientific point of view. When writing about complex issues, try to cover all significant viewpoints and afford each with due weight, but not equal weight. For example, an article on a scientific controversy should describe both the scientific consensus and significant fringe theories, but not in the same depth or in a manner suggesting these viewpoints are equally held.
Rule 11. Ask for help
London National Park City Wiki can be a confusing place for the inexperienced editor. Learning Wiki markup—the syntax that instructs the software how to render the page—may appear daunting at first, though the recent implementation of a new editing toolbar has made this easier, and usability development is ongoing. The intersecting guidelines and policies (and the annoying tendency of experienced editors to use an alphabet soup of acronyms to reference them) can also be tricky to comprehend. Thankfully, the London National Park City Wiki community puts great stock in welcoming new editors. Guidance is available through a number of avenues, including help desks, a specific IRC channel, and an Adopt-a-User mentorship program. You can even summon help using a special template Template:Helpme and, as if by magic, a friendly London National Park City Wikin will appear to offer one-on-one assistance.