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Blue check This page is a style guide for Lostpedia. The consensus of many editors formed the conventions described here. Lostpedia articles should heed these guidelines. Feel free to update this page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes.
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These are some general guidelines for editing Lostpedia.

Canonicity

Main article: Lostpedia:Canon

Canon is the adjective used by Lostpedia to describe information that is known to be officially part of the Lost storyline. Only canonical information may be stated as fact on Lostpedia.

Canonical information is always approved by the creative staff of Lost (the creators, directors, and writers). This information is released through various official outlets. Information from other outlets is considered non-canon.

Facts

Facts are information which are based on canon. The only information that belongs on the fact pages of an article is that which is based on canonical fact.

Theories

Main article: Lostpedia:Theory policy

Theories are logical inferences which are based upon canon. Theories must have a grounding in factual events within the Lost universe. Each article has a separate tab for theories, and all theories should be entered there, not within the article.

Creating new articles

  • It's a good idea to check if the information already exists in an article, or considering if it's better added to an existing article. There's usually no need for separate articles like "Sawyer's hair" or "Charlie's shoes".
  • This wiki is dedicated to the Lost mythos, as opposed to the creators of it; there are extensive pages on J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse et al., but these are here because of their association with Lost. Thus, for example, although Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams produces and directs films in the Star Trek franchise and such may warrant mention on Abrams' entry, articles or discussions about the Star Trek franchise have no place on Lostpedia.
  • Remember that this is Lostpedia, not a mirror for Wikipedia. Keep it show-oriented (i.e. Verrocchio was one of the artists of art seen on Lost, but we don't need to know his life's biography in detail and other works, if not relevant to the show).
  • Beware of bloat; with a show like Lost, it's pretty easy to get hung up on the details, but nevertheless, is what you want to add essential to the plot?

Editing articles

  • Always try to keep things organized and easy to read, and format images so they don't interrupt the text or make the article untidy.
    • Add subheadings if necessary to split the article into sections. If you want to write something new, edit the subheading instead of the whole article if you can (this can help to avoid edit conflicts). If you want to add a new subheading, think about where it should go in the article - you shouldn't simply add it to the end of the page. Be sure new sections are in the proper place within the fact/theory divide.
    • Whenever possible, use a standard of organization; for example, by episode chronology, or by alphabetical order.
  • Do not feel ownership of your edits - if your edit is removed or changed, that is the nature of wikis. Once you add to main articles, the content is not necessarily "your addition" anymore, it belongs to the site as a whole and can be edited by any member.
    • Never engage in an edit war with someone about a comment or edit you've made. If you feel strongly about keeping/removing a certain bit of information, discuss it in the talk page, or leave a polite message for the user involved on their user talk page.
  • Use the preview function before you save--the middle button at the edit window, right next to save. Preview what you've done before you save it to allow you to proofread, check for formatting and detect proper links.
  • Edit the whole article if that's what you want to do, as this allows you to edit different sections of a page at once.
  • Tick 'This is a minor edit' when appropriate.
    • If you're correcting grammar, a typo, adding a category or a template, rearranging paragraphs, or the like, it's a minor edit. Everything that's got to do more with the appearance of the article rather than the content is minor.
  • Use the summary box. When you're done editing, add something descriptive in the summary box. It's quicker to check that than the difference and is more informative when users browse page archives and recent changes.

Citing sources

  • To ensure that factual information posted in an article is accurate and not merely speculative, authoritative sources should be cited. This enables other users to check the accuracy of the articles posted and will make it easier for readers to tell whether a piece of information is canon or merely theoretical.
  • Try not to use language such as "The producers have said..." or "The writers have hinted" - always aim to find a citation from a podcast or news interview.
  • Since most of the articles on LostPedia are in English, English language sources should be cited whenever possible.

Some useful WikiSyntax terms

  • WikiMedia software automatically constructs a table of contents if there are four or more sections on a page, using the nested heading system described below;
    • Sometimes it is desirable to not render this; when this is the case, add the directive __NOTOC__ to the start of the article.
    • To force rendering of a table of contents, add __FORCETOC__ to the start of the article.
  • When attempting to describe WikiSyntax, there must exist terms to demarcate plain text, which isn't rendered by the MediaWiki engine.
    • This is accomplished by the <nowiki> and </nowiki> tags, which demarcate the beginning and end of these sections respectively.

General editing guidelines

  • Editors are encouraged and should contribute to a good range of Lostpedia pages. Users solely wishing to edit their own userpage are discouraged, as are those who only do edits on bureaucratic and day-to-day running areas of the site. Editors are reminded that content articles are the main priority on Lostpedia. Furthermore, those coming to Lostpedia to simply self-promote their own fansites etc are discouraged, as this can often lead to a bias when contributing.


Article talk pages

Lostpedia "Discussion" or "Talk" pages are available on virtually every article on the Lostpedia database. They are designed for the discussion of issues that may arise or a place where one can voice an opinion about content in the main corresponding article. For instance, one might take issue with the layout of the page, or be involved in an editing conflict. In such cases, one can initiate discussion about this and try to compromise. Also, users can sometimes vote on article proposals in talk pages to help reach a Lostpedia consensus.

  • Use subheadings to make reading easier.
    • Like in the main article, use subheadings if you feel what you're saying is completely different from what's been said before.
  • Attach signatures to what you say
    • It's the second from right button on the top set of buttons. In the edit box, it looks like random lines --~~~~
      • However, once you preview or save, it will change into something like this: --skks 00:22, 26 March 2006 (PST)
  • When something is signed, no other user can edit it.
    • No matter how bad the grammar is, how much encryption is used or if you just disagree - if it's signed by someone other than you, you don't edit it.
  • Maintain the order of discussion
    • Don't add stuff in between comments, even if it's your own. It makes reading easier if all the comments are in chronological order.
  • Talk pages can fill up quickly so try to reply in a clear and concise manner.
    • When replying to comments, indent your Talk by adding ":" before your comment. This makes future reading easier.

Signatures

  • Signatures, used in the talk space, give two important pieces of information: who is talking and when they posted their message. As such, all signatures must include at least both a time/date stamp and either of a link to the user's user page or a link to the user's user talk page. These requirements help facilitate communication on Lostpedia.
  • When stylized using custom signatures, signatures also help provide a distinct and rapid visual identification of the commenter. As such, if your custom signature duplicates the style of, or looks confusingly similar to, a preexisting custom signature, you may be asked to alter it. (Extensive help on creating custom signatures can be found at Help:Signatures.) Custom signatures should be limited to a single line (i.e., should not include any line breaks).
  • Signing messages is assistive in strengthening the Lostpedia community and keeping the site orderly, so signing messages is not optional. Unsigned messages may be manually signed by others using the {{unsigned}} template. Friendly notifications to new Lostpedia editors may be made using {{subst:pleasesign}}.

Disambiguation

  • A term with multiple meanings requires disambiguation; disambiguation pages are inevitable in any wiki that surpasses a certain number of articles.
    • To disambiguate a term, simply create the article, place {{disambig}} at the top, and add links to the ambiguous articles as content.
    • {{disambig}} automatically adds the page to Category:Disambiguation.
    • See the Lostpedia manual of style for more details.

Deleting/merging/renaming articles

Occasionally, an article will be made by one editor that other editors do not agree belongs on the site (due to lack of relevancy or appropriateness), think is redundent to another article, or think should be renamed. Regular users cannot delete or move article pages, but SysOps can if there is a consensus within the Lostpedia community to do so, or there is a clear reason for doing so (user accidentally created empty page, or the page was created for vandalism). Do not attempt to delete articles simply by editing out all the info on the page. This leaves a blank page, but the article itself will still remain on the site.

If you come across an article that you feel falls into one of these categories, nominate it by adding one of the following tags to the top of that article (changing the custom fields IN CAPS):

Make a case for your nomination on the article talk page, and take a vote with other users of the site (don't forget to sign your vote). If there is a consensus of agreement within the community, then a SysOp will eventually make a decision about the proposed change. Please be patient, as in controversial cases, this may take many weeks to develop a consensus, and in some cases, not at all, and a compromise must be made. Also, help the site come to a consensus with other nominations by checking the delete, merge and rename categories linked above regularly and voting your opinions.

Templates

There are also additional templates in place, to indicate that an article needs expansion, cleaning up, or many other things. For a list of templates, and when they are used:

Generally, navigation templates are placed at the bottom of articles, to aid the reader in finding articles of a related subject. Occasionally, templates are placed to the top for specific series or fixed set, for which chronology is important. Examples include those seen on transcript pages and "Pilot, Part 1"

Warning templates should be placed at the top of the article, unless the warning refers to a specific portion of the article only (such as a spoiler in only one section).

Images

The use of images within Lostpedia is encouraged, but under the caveat of fair use. As Lostpedia is hosted within the United States of America, United States copyright law applies. Fair use allows sites like Lostpedia to be able to create and collate research, and use images to illustrate the research. This means that you can use images to highlight a statement within an article, but cannot use images to create galleries.

Uploading images

When uploading images, we ask that users of Lostpedia place an appropriate license onto the image. This licensing process is designed to acknowledge the copyrights of the image (if any) and to acknowledge the ownership. For more information on this, including the copyright templates available please visit Lostpedia:Use of Images

Blocking/banning

  • Lostpedia has zero tolerance on spam/vandalism.
    • Users involved in this will get banned, for an indefinite time.
  • Making mistakes is of course allowed, but repeatedly doing the same ones will result in a warning and then, ultimately, suspension/ban.
    • As previously mentioned, if some of your changes get reverted, don't keep redoing them. Use the talk pages instead to discuss what you want to do.

Usernames

A username is of course a personal thing, and Lostpedia appreciates that some go by online aliases. However, we ask that a number of rules are adhered by as a user:

  • Offensive usernames, such as containing swear words or sexist/racist epithets, are not acceptable, and maybe result in banning under that name.
  • Usernames which portray a false level of importance, such as "System operator", are not allowed. For this reason, regardless of intent, any username containing the word "Lostpedia" is included in this category. These names will result in an immediate banning of that name, but these users are encouraged to rename a new account if they made the previous one in good faith, and out of ignorance of this rule.
  • A username that is very similar to an existing one is discouraged. We appreciate that two users may want the same name, and usually there is never an issue. However, user creations where the name is a blatant copy of another user's, or done with an imposter/vandalism perspective will not be tolerated.

In most cases, users will be requested to make a new account if an issue emerges. Lostpedia is usually quite leniant on this front, and this comment is merely added so users are simply aware of this basic netiquette.

User talk pages

Another type of discussion page is a user's talk page. This of course is not regulated with the scrutiny of main articles, with users allowed to chat, post questions, ideas, etc. However, even in this more private part of Lostpedia, we still encourage a number of guidelines:

  1. Offensive language will not be tolerated. Examples of this have been noted in the past when users have made innocent editing errors, and others have effectively bullied them. Whilst a friendly note giving reasons why an edit was reverted or giving advice for what to change is perfectly acceptable, outright rude behaviour will result in a warning from SysOps.
  2. Do not delete talk history. As with main article talk pages, a user's talk page is to record conversation topics that have breached in the past, so that future discussions can have a reference point and make sense. Exceptions can be made in the case of typos, spam and blatantly offensive material (such as pornography, inappropriate personal information posted), but generally do not delete comments, even if you made them and changed your mind (you may add an addendum). You can archive your talk page after a certain point (i.e. User:Username/archive1), but please provide a link from your main talk page.

Finally, it should be briefly pointed out that users use their talk pages differently. For instance, after receiving a message, some users post replies on their own page, whilst others reply on the sender's talk page. Many aspects of user pages are subject to personal preference, and there isn't necessarily a "wrong" way. For more information read LP:UT.

Netiquette and basic courtesy

  • No user, no matter whether you are a long-time SysOp or new member, is allowed to be insulting or offensive to other editors. This will result in a strong warning and can lead to banning. Lostpedia is all about editors working together, and so one should have a level of respect to his/her fellow users.
  • Direct plagiarism from other Lost-related sites or Wikipedia is bad manners:
    • Direct copy/pasting of information from other Lost-related sites is not only rude to the author, but occasionally can present copyright problems as well. Any users taking part in these actions will face possible bans. Do not do this.
    • Likewise, direct copy/pasting from Wikipedia is not encouraged. If the information doesn't merit an article, but you feel it does deserve a reference, you can use the [[Wikipedia:A Wikipedia Article]] tag to link to the relevant article on wiki, or alternatively, the template {{Link|A Wikipedia Article}} will do this automatically (it will link the Lostpedia article if it exists.
  • Remember that Lostpedia is a wiki, and therefore anything contributed by anyone is subject to brutal editing by anyone else at any time.
    • It is very important not to take any editing of articles personally - a core wiki concept, neutral point of view, hinges on this fact.
    • If you have something to say which concerns a user rather than Lost-related facts or valid theories, use the talk pages.
  • While we encourage Lostpedia editors to learn from one another's layout ideas and use other people's pages to inspire creativity, it is not' considered kosher to simply cut and paste all the code directly from another userpage, and just change the information without credit and permission.

Essentially, be respectful of the opinions of others, and expect the same of your own opinions.

Namaste, and good luck.

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