Project:Editorial guidelines

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These guidelines have been created by the site curators to ensure consistency, reliability and readability of its content. If you want to discuss them, feel free to use the Talk Page. If you want to contribute to their monitoring and further development, you could apply to join the site curation circle.

Scope of the CfF wiki

The domain of this wiki is community-led action on climate change and sustainability. This means that, while our articles might include a short general overviews of wider topics and contain links to external material that expands on these, they mostly contain information on community perspectives, practices, approaches and principles. The same is true in the case of broader topics such as energy, economy, and agriculture: the relevant pages specifically address how community initiatives are engaging with these topics, and makes no attempt to provide a general overview. This makes it complementary with more general sources like Wikipedia.

This wiki takes an explicit position of advocacy. It is written by and for practioners and supporters of community-led action, and makes no pretence at detachment or neutrality. However, it does have a strong commitment to objectivity and rigour, always backing up its claims with evidence and giving attention to the weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings of community initiatives as well as their potential and strengths.

Both community and community-led are broad and often contested terms, used in different ways. You can find out more about their meaning and uses in the context of Communities for Future on the respective pages, and contribute to developing these key concepts by editing or commenting upon them.

The CfF wiki has been set up with an emphasis on three major networks within Europe, who together comprise the core membership of ECOLISE: Transition, permaculture and ecovillages. However, it is not intended to be limited to these networks, and also aims to share knowledge from and about other community-led organisations, networks and movements from across Europe and elsewhere in the world.

Developmental stages of articles

We identify six phases in the development of articles.

  • Empty article: articles that contain only some disorganised notes without organised titles.
  • Outline article: pre-formatted articles with an infobox and titles created from article outlines. These articles are empty, apart from the titles, or contain very few lines of text.
  • Stub article: articles in their initial stages, consisting of a short summary (a few sentences or one or two paragraphs), and incomplete text and (ideally) a short bibliography. Stubs develop from both empty and outline articles by adding more content.
  • Developing article: articles with some of their elements in place, but still with clear gaps in their coverage that need addressing. They may be lacking key content or fail to reference one or more key sources.
  • Advanced article: articles with most of their elements in place, the content well developed and a good number of references, but still with some inadequacies (old data, lacking sources and references, incomplete descriptions etc.).
  • Mature article: complete articles that include full accounts of all key topics, backed up by suitable case studies and including meaningful references to all key literature. This, of course, doesn't mean they are locked for editing! Wiki articles are ongoing work, always welcoming improvements.

Every article should include a category tag indicating its developmental phase. You will need to include the tag [[Category:Empty article]] or [[Category:Stub article]] when beginning a new article, and change it when upgrading to the following stages.

Writing Style

A good CfF wiki article, in its mature form, should:

  • Provide a reliable and authoritative overview of a defined topic, understandable to an intelligent lay reader and based largely or wholly on summaries of existing sources
  • Be written in accessible language, avoiding jargon and technical terms unless necessary and defining and qualifying these when they do occur. Key technical terms, or those whose meaning might be unclear to casual readers (e.g. 'community') may merit their own page.
  • Be robustly referenced: avoid making speculative or unproven claims, and support every factual claim made with an appropriate reference.
  • Be no longer than a comfortable 15-minute read. Articles longer than this can be divided into several pages.

Article Structure

The CfF wiki includes two main types of content, patterns and case studies.

Patterns are general accounts of key concepts, phenomena, values, principles, frameworks, processes and practices relevant to community action on sustainability and climate change.

Patterns will generally include some or all of the following sections:

Background
What is interesting about this topic? What is its relevance to transformative community-led

action?

Problem
In what contexts does it arise - to what issues, tensions or possibilities does it respond?
Solution
What distinctive perspectives or insights does it offer, and what are their practical

implications?

Evidence
What empirical evidence exists to support or validate the importance of the topic? What are

the gaps in this evidence base and its other limitations, and what further research or action is necessary to address this?

Examples
Describe some illustrative real-world examples (in summary here, and creating their own case study page if they are likely to include more information or be used to illustrate other patterns
Related patterns
List some key related topics (and describe how they are related)
References
All literature cited in the text - please follow the referencing guidelines.
Bibliography
Published sources relevant to the topic, not actually cited but still relevant. It can be useful to write a bibliography at an early stage, before any text is in place (all bibliographic entries cited will later be moved to references)

Case studies can include networks, organisations, networks, projects, initiatives, events and country studies. Most case study pages use preset article outlines.

Editorial Conventions

The curators of the CfF wiki have agreed on the following editorial conventions:

  • British English spellings to be used
  • Use Harvard style in referencing and citation
  • Use absolute rather than relative expressions (e.g. rather than saying 'now', say, 'in 2020'; rather than saying 'here', specify the place.

Page Titles

A good page title:

  • Is short but meaningful
  • Can be easily fit into a the flow of text in a normal sentence

By default, the first letter of the first word of the title is case-insensitive. This means that when using the page title to create an internal link, you don't need to capitalise it within the text. For the same reason, in page titles only the first word is capitalised, except for proper nouns such as place names.

Creating and Editing Articles

Here are some basic actions every content editor needs to know about:

  • To edit existing pages click the edit source button at the top if you are an experienced wiki editor, and edit if you are more comfortable doing edits in visual editor.
  • Before starting a new page check if a page on that topic already exists. To do that, take the following steps:
    • Type a keyword in the search box near the top right of the screen. If there are various ways to spell it, try a few of them.
    • Check the list of all pages and search for a keyword there.
    • Check the list of all empty links here.
  • If a page on a certain topic doesn't exist, the best way to create it is by mentioning it in an existing article and then creating an internal link to it by enclosing it in double square brackets, like this: [[New page title]] Save the edits and you will see that your new page title has turned into a red empty link. Clicking on this link will bring up an invitation to create a new page with that title.
    • For example, "People love [[community]]" will be rendered as "People love community" and the link will take you to the page titled Community.
    • In order to create a link without disturbing the flow of your sentence, you can use a vertical bar (|) to customize the link title. For example, "People love [[community|communities]]" will be rendered as "People love communities", displaying the word "communities" but in fact linking to "community".
  • For more editing tips, it is worth checking out the Mediawiki help pages.