There are some things to keep in mind when editing Preservapedia.
Preservapedia is a free-content encyclopedia and knowledge base. Unlike other online encyclopedias, Preservapedia focuses specifically on technical material related to cultural resource management and its allied fields. This distinction is important since the purpose of this encyclopedia is not replicate the general audience content of Wikipedia. To keep the focus preservation-specific, articles should be able to pass the “Preservapedia test”:
- Does the content of the article directly relate to the preservation of a cultural artifact?
Take for example an article about the Statue of Liberty. While a preservationist would undoubtedly be interested in the history of the statue, this sort of information can already be found on Wikipedia. An article on this subject in Preservapedia should instead focus on the act of preserving the statue (i.e. its construction materials, the history of the conservation of these materials, and the various legislation and designations that protect it). In other words, the content of articles should be written for a professional audience. Information intended for a general audience should instead be contributed to Wikipedia.
Preservapedia is not just an encyclopedia. It contains some types of articles that are not focused on a single concept, event, or place. Three types of extra-encyclopedic content are found in Preservapedia:
- Dictionary entries
- Certain words in the preservation lexicon have a different meaning or usage than exists in common parlance. For instance, the word significance has a much more complicated meaning (including some legal implications) when applied to historic sites. For this reason, Preservapedia welcomes the creation of articles that tackle linguistic distinctions in the preservation lexicon. As an open encyclopedia, Preservapedia offers a unique forum for preservation practitioners to find consensus in the definitions of contested words.
- Case studies
- Recognizing that preservation is a professional field, Preservapedia aims to capture the knowledge that is generated on the job. For this reason, Preservapedia includes a special category of articles that document a specific "case" in which something is preserved (see Category:Case studies). The articles in this category contain a wide range of subjects, from detailed reports on the application of a particular conservation treatment to profiles of community preservation projects.
- Case studies don't have to follow the conventions of encyclopedia content. They usually begin with a short but descriptive title that gives readers the what, where, and when of a particular project and then go on to spell out the objectives, strategies, challenges, results, funding mechanisms, and key players involved. Not only do these articles provide useful examples of preservation in the "real world", they can also be used provide feedback on the long term success of a particular approach. For example, a case study about a repair made to a bit of building fabric several years ago could include a section with information about how that repair is holding up today.
- Source documents
- Preservapedia has a special place for original books, laws, and other types of documents that have utility to the preservation community. These types of static content are stored in the "
Source:" namespace to help users differentiate them from regular, dynamic articles. This also helps avoid confusion between articles and source documents with the same titles. For example, the full text of the Athens Charter resides at Source:Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments while an article discussing the Charter is found here: Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments.
- While anyone can a source document simply by typing the "
Source:" prefix before the title of the article (in this case, the title of the document itself), you should first review Preservapedia's copyright policy to ensure that the documents are in the Public Domain.
For more details about what Preservapedia should include, see What Preservapedia is not.
Neutral point of view
Preservapedia's editorial policy is the "neutral point of view". This policy says that we accept all pertinent viewpoints on an issue. Instead of simply stating one perspective, we try to present all relevant viepoints without judging them. Our aim is to be informative, not persuasive. Our policy does NOT mean that our articles are expected to be 100% "objective," since in any dispute all sides believe their view to be "true."
It is OK to state opinions in articles, but they must be presented as opinions, not as fact. Also, it is a good idea to attribute these opinions, for example "Supporters of this say that..." or "Notable commentator X believes that..."
You might hear Preservapedians referring to an article as "POV." This is Preservapedia slang for a biased article, or one obviously written from a single perspective. Advertising would fall in this category, as would a political diatribe. In a less extreme case, an article might have "POV" problems if it spends significantly more time discussing one view than another view of equivalent significance, even if each view is presented neutrally.
If you are going to spend time on controversial articles in subjects like religion or politics, it is important that you read the neutral point of view policy page as soon as possible. If you are going to spend your time on less emotional subjects like math or video games, you should still read the policies, but it is a less pressing concern. Keep in mind the advice here, and read the full policy if a neutrality issue comes up.
Preservapedia requires that you cite sources for the information you contribute. All sources should be listed in a section called "References". If any websites would be of particular interest to a reader of an article, they should be listed and linked to in an "External links" section, and books of particular interest should be listed in a "Further reading" section, but only if they were not used as sources for the article. Citations help our readers verify what you have written and find more information.
Do not submit copyrighted material without permission. When adding information to articles, make sure it is written in your own words. Remember that all information found on the Internet is copyrighted unless the website specifically states otherwise.
Preservapedia encourages an atmosphere of friendliness and openness. Of course, in practice there are sometimes disagreements and even an occasional heated argument, but members of the community are expected to behave in a generally civil manner.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should always assume good faith on the part of other editors. Do not assume that someone is acting out of spite or malice. If someone does something that upsets you, leave a polite message on the relevant article's talk page or on the user's talk page, and ask why. You may find that you have avoided a misunderstanding and saved yourself some embarrassment.
When creating articles on Preservapedia, try to take the advice given in the tutorial and to follow the policies mentioned here, such as neutrality. It is important to cite sources to establish the notability of the topic and make the article verifiable. You need to be registered to directly create an article in the encyclopedia, but if you are not, you can still suggest one here.
If you find an article that you believe is mis-named, please do not copy and paste the contents of the old article into a new article — among other things, it separates the previous contributions from their edit history (which we need to keep track of for copyright reasons). The preferred method is to move the page to the new name, you need to be registered for that. If it is your first move, please read the warnings on the move page carefully, as there are a number of issues to consider before moving a page.
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