Help: Who writes DCCWiki

DCCWiki, a community DCC encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

Unlike other encyclopedias, the volunteer writers of articles in DCCWiki do not need to be experts or scholars. Volunteers do not need to go through any formal process before creating an article or editing an existing article. Many people have created or edited articles in the DCCWiki. They come from countries around the world and are of all ages and backgrounds. Anyone who contributes to this encyclopedia is called a DCCWikipedian.

How DCCWikipedians assess article quality

It is DCCWiki policy to add to the encyclopedia only statements that are verifiable. The DCCWiki style guide encourages editors to cite sources. Sometimes DCCWikipedians do not follow these policies, because they forget or because they are not aware of the policy. Then readers of the article cannot be sure that a statement is verifiable.

If an article is being edited by people who hold different points of view, someone may place a notice at the top of the article indicating that it is the subject of a dispute about neutral point of view. To resolve the dispute, the interested editors will share their points of view on the article's talk page. They will attempt to reach consensus about how to edit so that both their perspectives are fairly represented. This allows DCCWiki to not only be a place of information, but also of collaboration.

Many users of DCCWiki consult the page history of an article in order to assess how many people have contributed to the article. An article can be considered more likely to be accurate when it has been edited by many different people (since most edits make constructive changes, rather than destructive ones).

One list of articles that have been edited by many people is the list of featured articles. These articles are considered to be of high quality when they are granted featured article status, and if later edits reduce the quality of the page, a user can nominate an article for removal from that special status.

The best way to decide whether a particular statement is accurate is to find independent, reliable sources to affirm that statement, such as books, magazine articles, television news reports, trade journals, or web sites.

How DCCWikipedians fix mistakes

The volunteer editors of the DCCWiki spend time checking that each new article and each change made to an existing article improves the article's quality. When an editor finds something that has been added to DCCWiki that should not have been, he or she will revert the article to the last version which he or she considers accurate. Different volunteers choose to focus on different fixes, such as fixing punctuation; and improving grammar.

Sometimes an article is vandalized, especially if it is about a high-profile subject or a topic of popular debate. In this case, experienced DCCWikipedians are quick to revert the page to its previous correct version.

Not all mistakes and vandalism are fixed right away. Especially in articles that not very many people read or edit, bad or messy information may remain until someone comes along to fix them. Many (but not all) articles that need attention have notices at the top alerting readers to the situation.

How DCCWikipedians improve articles

When a reader finds something in an article which he or she doesn't think should be there, that person can edit the article and help make DCCWiki more accurate and useful. Someone may place a notice at the top of the article indicating that it needs to be cleaned up. It is also possible to create a new article to share information that is not already in the DCCWiki.

When they first hear about DCCWiki, many people think that articles are created by people adding a few words at a time. Many edits are very minor, and just fix spelling, rephrase, or add a fact or two. But some editors who are interested in a particular subject contribute paragraphs or whole articles at a time; these editors might be anyone from a professor in the field, to a hobbyist, to a person who just wants to fill a hole in the encyclopedia.

Assembling text piece by piece doesn't necessarily take into account the bigger picture, so sometimes an editor will reorganize an article, or rewrite it, keeping the same facts, but making them flow more smoothly. Material also sometimes needs to be moved into other articles, for any of these reasons: if it's been put in the wrong place, if one article has gotten too big and needs to be split up, if two articles on the same subject have accidentally been created, or if there are many small articles that need to be combined into one larger one.