Basic setup, rules and guidelines
Read this article carefully, before you start to edit or write an article. This article explains the rules of the Coastal Wiki, how to write an article and what an excellent article looks like. For more information on editing an article, see how to edit an article.
Obtaining an account
For obtaining an editing authorisation you may contact your national coordination office or you may simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a request to provide contact information for the Wiki Contact Database. Anonymous contributions to the Coastal Wiki are precluded. Authors, co-authors and editors of articles are explicitly acknowledged. Your contribution will be reviewed by the coordinator of the theme where your article best fits. The theme coordinators also check that your contribution is adequately linked to existing articles on similar or related topics. Your account is linked with your personal record in the ENCORA Contact Database.
Write a new article
First, check if an article about a similar topic already exists. If this is the case, instead of adding your article, it might be better to complement or revise this existing article (see the subsection "Edit other articles" below). If you want to write an article, identify first in which theme (from the 10 themes at the Main Page) your article fits the best and contact the theme-coordinator. You will find the contact information of theme-coordinators at the main page of each theme. If the theme-coordinator confirms that your article would fill a gap, he/she may create a link to a new article for you or you may create a new article yourself. To create a new article, enter the title in the search window and click on Go. If an article with this title does not yet exist you may create the article by clicking on create this page. Make sure that your article fits the fabric of articles dealing with related topics, especially articles with a more general scope. Refer to these articles by introducing links; you should also consider re-editing related articles to introduce appropriate links to your article (but not more often than strictly necessary). Submit your article for peer review to expert colleagues before entering it in the Coastal Wiki. See also the rules and guidelines below.
Edit other articles
To start editing this or any other page either click the edit link at the top of the page or use the edit button at the beginning of each section. This takes you to the edit page: a page with a text box containing the wikitext, i.e. the editable source code from which the server produces the webpage. We recommend to contact the author; you will find contact details by clicking on history. In the case of conflicting evidence use the discussion page.
Editing and saving
Have an article prepared in a word document or work as you go. See the Rules and Guidelines how a Wiki-article should look like. Make use of basic Wiki-formatting to make links and do simple formatting. You can preview your work as you go, click Show preview to see how your changes will look before you make them permanent. Repeat the edit/preview process until you are satisfied, then click Save page and your changes will be immediately applied to the article. It is also important to Save page often while you are working. The buttons Show preview and Save page are found at the bottom of the edit page.
Coastal Wiki rules
Check this rules first, before starting editing and writing!
- Check if an article on the same of a very similar topic exists already (by using the search function). In that case, instead of adding your article, it might be better to complement or revise this existing article. We recommend to contact the author; you will find contact details by clicking on history. In the case of conflicting evidence use the discussion page.
- Make sure that your article fits the fabric of articles dealing with related topics, especially articles with a more general scope. Refer to these articles by introducing links; you should also consider re-editing related articles to introduce appropriate links to your article (but not more often than strictly necessary).
- Important claims or statements need to be substantiated; adding an authoritative reference (or a link to authoritative Internet source) is often better than providing proof in the paper.
- It is recommended to upload important background documents serving as reference material in the CoastWeb Archive (CoastWeb link on the portal).
- Submit your article for peer review to expert colleagues before entering it in the Coastal Wiki; we encourage Coastal Wiki authors to work in teams and to review each other’s contributions.
- Do not copy-and-paste any material that is subject to copyright.
- Coastal Wiki are well-focused and short (typically 500-1000 words); structure your article according to the instructions given in the Guidelines.
- Title: The title should be as short as possible. Note: If you need to change your title do it before editing; otherwise use Move Page function in the Edit box. This creates a new article, to which users are redirected.
- Lead: An article should start with a concise lead that summarizes the entire topic and prepares the reader for the higher level of detail in the subsequent sections. The lead section should appear before the table of contents, without a heading. So, do not type ‘introduction’ as a heading – just write the introductory paragraph at the start of article. You may include an introduction as well, but this has a different purpose than the summary.
- Structure of main text: an article preferably starts with an introduction, which provides a relevant context (policy, practice, science). Consider also important interactions with other components of the coastal system. After the main text enter a section “See also” with “Internal links”, “External links” and “Further reading”. Close the article with a list with cited references, credit the author and add categories to the article.
- Content of an article: An article should contain illustrations, boxes and tables, if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions and acceptable copyright status. It is of appropriate length (between a few hundred to a few thousand words), staying focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail. Appropriate links are created with related articles for information on broader context or on specific details. Don’t enter into details if good references and links to detailed information are available. General tips:
- Separate major sections of article with section headlines and use a hierarchical heading structure
- Use wiki markup, see also format
- Define terms, in a separate, individual definition page, see definitions
- Add relevant images or graphics, tables with explanatory captions. Preferably an article contains 1 image for every 500 words.
- Use analogies and comparisons to illustrate
An excellent Coastal Wiki article is well written, comprehensive, factually accurate, neutral and stable.
- Well written means that the prose is compelling, understandable for non-experts, avoids unnecessary technical terms and unexplained abbreviations.
- Comprehensive means that the article provides relevant context and relationships.
- Factually accurate means that claims are verifiable against reliable sources and accurately present the related body of published knowledge. Claims are supported with specific evidence and external citations; this involves the provision of a "References" section in which sources are set out and, where appropriate, complemented by online citations. See also the Coastal Wiki Rules.
- Neutral means that the article presents views fairly and without bias; however, articles need not give minority views equal coverage.
- Stable means that the article is not the subject of ongoing edit wars and that its content does not change significantly from day to day.
See also the page Coastal Wiki:Why, What and for Whom? for more information about the background and audience of the Coastal Wiki.
See How to edit an article for more information on the editing of an article.