Help: What DCCWiki is not
|DCCWiki policies and guidelines|
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|This page is an official policy on DCCWiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. Feel free to update the page as needed, but make sure that changes you make to this policy really do reflect consensus, before you make them.|
Note: While this page is intended to record policies that are firmly established, it continues to evolve. If you wish to quote it in a discussion, please be sure to check the latest version.
What DCCWiki is not
DCCWiki is not a paper encyclopedia
DCCWiki is not a paper encyclopedia. This means that there is no practical limit to the number of topics we can cover other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page.
There is a kind of feasible limit for individual article sizes that depends on page download size for our dialup readers and readability considerations for everybody (see article size). After a point, splitting an article into separate articles and leaving adequate summaries is a natural part of growth for a topic (see Help:Summary style). But for topics that are covered by print encyclopedias only in short, static articles, the fact that DCCWiki is not paper allows us to give more thorough treatments, include many relevant links, be more timely, etc.
This also means you don't have to redirect one topic to a not fully equivalent topic that is of more common usage. A "See also" section that states further information on the topic is available on the page of a closely related topic may be preferable.
DCCWiki is not a soapbox
DCCWiki is not a soapbox, or a vehicle for propaganda and advertising. Therefore, DCCWiki articles are not:
- Propaganda or advocacy of any kind. Of course, an article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to approach a neutral point of view. You might wish to go to Usenet or start a blog if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.
- Self-promotion. While you are free to write about yourself or projects you have a strong personal involvement in, remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other. A very few somewhat famous DCCWikipedians have significantly contributed to encyclopedia articles about themselves and their accomplishments, and this has mostly been accepted after some debate. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles is unacceptable.
- Advertising. Articles about companies and products are fine if they are written in an objective and unbiased style. Furthermore, all article topics must be third-party verifiable, so articles about very small "garage" companies are not likely to be acceptable. External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they can serve to identify major corporations associated with a topic. Please note DCCWiki does not endorse any businesses and it does not set up affiliate programs. See also DW:CORP for a proposal on corporate notability.
DCCWiki is neither a mirror nor a repository of links, images, or media files. All content added to DCCWiki may have to be edited mercilessly to be included in the encyclopedia. By submitting any content, you agree to release it for free use under the Help:Copyrights. DCCWiki articles are not:
- Mere collections of external links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding a list of content-relevant links to an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of DCCWiki. See Help:Links for some guidelines.
- Mere collections of internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for structured lists to assist with the organisation of articles.
- Mere collections of public domain or other source material such as entire books or source code, original historical documents, letters, laws, proclamations, and other source material that are only useful when presented with their original, un-modified wording.
- Complete copies of primary sources.
- Collections of photographs or media files with no text to go with the articles. If you are interested in presenting a picture, please provide an encyclopedic context, or consider adding it to Wikimedia Commons.
DCCWiki is not a free host, or webspace provider
You may not host your own website or wiki at DCCWiki. DCCWiki pages are not:
- User pages. DCCWikipedians have their own user pages, but they are used for information relevant to working on the DCC encyclopedia. If you are looking to make a personal webpage or blog, please make use of one of the many free providers on the Internet. The focus of User pages should not be social networking but rather providing a foundation for effective collaboration.
- File storage areas. Please upload only files that are used (or will be used) in DCC encyclopedia articles; anything else will be deleted.
If you are interested in using the wiki technology for a collaborative effort on something else, even if it is just a single page, there are many sites that provide wiki hosting (free or for money). You can also [http://wikipedia.sourceforge.net/ install wiki software on your server.
DCCWiki is not an indiscriminate collection of information
DCCWiki is not an indiscriminate collection of items of information. That something is 100% true does not mean it is suitable for inclusion in an encyclopedia. While there is a continuing debate about the encyclopedic merits of several classes of entries, current consensus is that DCCWiki articles are not:
- Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as quotations, aphorisms or persons. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contributed to the list topic. DCCWiki also includes reference tables and tabular information for quick reference.
- Memorials. It's sad when people die, but DCCWiki is not the place to honor them. Subjects of encyclopedia articles must have a claim to fame besides being fondly remembered by their friends and relatives.
- Directories, directory entries, or a resource for conducting business. For example, an article on a radio station generally shouldn't list upcoming events, current promotions, phone numbers, etc. (although mention of major events or promotions may be acceptable). Furthermore, the Talk pages associated with an article are for talking about the article, not for conducting the business of the topic of the article.
DCCWiki is not a crystal ball
DCCWiki is not a collection of unverifiable speculation. All articles about anticipated events must be verifiable, and the subject matter must be of sufficiently wide interest that it would merit an article if the event had already occurred. In particular:
- Individual scheduled or expected future events should only be included if the event is notable and almost certain to take place. If preparation for the event isn't already in progress, speculation about it must be well documented.
DCCWiki is not censored for the protection of minors
DCCWiki may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive. Anyone reading DCCWiki can edit an article and the changes are displayed instantaneously without any checking to ensure appropriateness, so DCCWiki cannot guarantee that articles or images are appropriate for children or adhere to specific social or religious norms. While obviously inappropriate content (such as inappropriate links to shock sites) is usually removed immediately, except from an article directly concerning the content, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links, provided they do not violate any of our existing policies (especially Neutral point of view), nor the law of the U.S. state of XXXXXX, where the servers are hosted.
What the DCCWiki community is not
DCCWiki is not a battleground
Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Do not insult, harass or intimidate those with whom you have a disagreement. Rather, approach the matter in an intelligent manner, and engage in polite discussion. If a user acts uncivilly, uncalmly, uncooperatively, insultingly, harassingly or intimidatingly towards you, this does not give you an excuse to do the same unto them ("he started it!"). Either respond solely to the factual points brought forward and ignore its objectionable flavouring, or ignore the relevant message entirely. When a conflict continues to bother you or others, adhere to the procedures of dispute resolution.
DCCWiki is not an experiment in anarchy
DCCWiki is free and open, but restricts both freedom and openness where they interfere with the purpose of creating an encyclopedia. Accordingly, DCCWiki is not a forum for unregulated free speech. The fact that DCCWiki is an open, self-governing project does not mean that any part of its purpose is to explore the viability of anarchistic communities. Our purpose is to build a DCC encyclopedia, not to test the limits of anarchism.
For an encyclopedia that is indeed an experiment in anarchy, visit Anarchopedia.
DCCWiki is not a democracy
DCCWiki is not an experiment in democracy. Its primary method of finding consensus is discussion, not voting. In difficult cases, straw polls may be conducted to help determine consensus, but are to be used with caution and not to be treated as binding votes. Suggestions that DCCWiki use the latest fancy transferable vote system for some election or another will likely be met with disdain, at best.
DCCWiki is not a bureaucracy
In particular, DCCWiki is not a system of law. Disagreements should be resolved through consensual discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures. A perceived procedural error made in posting anything, such as an idea or nomination, is not grounds for invalidating that post. Follow the spirit, not the letter, of any rules, policies and guidelines. Our dispute resolution process exists to mediate and arbitrate disputes between users, not to enforce judicial remedies.
When you wonder what to do
- When you wonder what should or should not be in an article named "whatever", ask yourself what a reader would expect under "whatever" in a DCC encyclopedia. Help:Articles for deletion/Precedents is not official policy, but can be referred to as a record of what has and hasn't been considered encyclopedic in the past.
- When you wonder whether the rules given above are being violated, consider:
- Changing the content of an article (normal editing)
- Changing the page into a redirect, preserving the page history
What your userpage is not
Most of the policies here apply to your user page as well. For example, you can't use your user page as a free web host. For the full details, see the userpage help.