*This page is new. Please contact us with questions or suggestions.
What do I really need to know to write or add to pages?
Just how to write. You can make perfectly good pages, or participate in other pages, just by adding text or writing comments. IGoR's help page, can help you add fancy formatting, images, movies, etc., but plain text is just fine. You do not need to learn the wiki syntax, or any other programming skills to make good pages and useful contributions.
Anyone interested in science! As described in the about page, and in a bit more depth in this blog post, the equal participation of novice, amateur, and professional scientists will maximize the pool of skills, resources, and knowledge accessible through IGoR. On the one hand, experienced researchers can post projects to connect with people who have other skills which could aid their research. On the other hand, novice researchers could post projects to benefit from the feedback and expertise of experienced scientists.
That's just fine! You can post it as a project or article (see below for which to choose).
- You don't need to know what you're doing: The main point of IGoR is to help people do research better than they could on their own. So if you've got a question/idea but don't know how to go further, that's fine. If you've gone further, but are stuck due to lack of time, knowledge, resources, or whatever, you can put that up too. Maybe other people will see your idea and either help you figure out how to do it, or maybe find it exciting enough to pursue themselves (and hopefully post about their progress!).
- You can walk away, or come back, at any time: If you have a project or article idea and want to suggest it, but you don't want to pursue it, that's okay. Someone else might want to pick up the idea and run with it for awhile; and maybe they'll move on, and some others will pick it up. Eventually you might even want to come back and pick it up again yourself, but you don't have to.
- Start simple: Just write some text when you start a page, whether it's a Project, Article, or Spark. Write as little or as much as you like to get a discussion started. You don't need to learn any of the wiki syntax, and you don't need to be an expert on the subject.
- Your questions and comments will help: You can contribute just by sharing questions and ideas, even if you can't add data, analyses, or knowledgeable advice. For example, maybe you see a project/article that someone has posted and you don't understand something. Your question might help them (or someone else) improve the page, or think about the subject in a different way.
- Project pages: "Project" pages are pages where users collaborate on user-generated research projects. The page creator can suggest a research question/idea and other users can participate in designing and carrying out a research plan. Users can share and critique ideas, data, models, and questions.
- Article pages: "Article" pages are pages where users can share advice on general topics, instructions for techniques, ways to construct devices, etc: basically, anything related to how to do research that's not the research itself.
- Sparks: "Spark" pages provide an easy way to share an interesting observation when you don't have a project or article in mind. Your "Spark" may inspire other users to start new projects or articles.
- Project pages: Any Wikidot user who is signed in may start a new "Project" page. IGoR membership is required to modify existing Project pages or to upload files. Other IGoR members can add new ideas, data, analyses, etc. directly to the page. The page creator or the group working on the page may set their own policies for participating in the project. If they do not do so, any IGoR member may modify the page at will.
- Article pages: Any Wikidot user who is signed in may start wiki-style articles. IGoR membership is required to modify existing Articles.
- Spark pages: Anyone may post "Spark" pages (IGoR membership is not required). IGoR members may comment on existing pages, but only the page creator and site moderators may edit existing Sparks. Note: if you are not signed into Wikidot when you create a Spark page, you'll be able to create it, but you will not be able to edit it after clicking "save". If you forget to sign in when you make a Spark page, you will have to contact us if you want it removed.
- Comments: IGoR members may leave comments on Project, Article, or Spark pages.
- Deleting Project and Article pages and files: If you decide you want to delete a Project/Article page, or associated file, you must contact us. If you've put hard work into a page that someone else abandoned, you wouldn't want them to come back and delete your work. So, if you decide you want to delete a page you started, site moderators must first determine (at their discretion) whether other users' contributions warrant keeping the page.
- Deleting Spark pages: If you were signed in when you created a Spark, you can delete it if desire. You cannot delete Spark pages created by someone else. If you feel one should be deleted, or if you created one when you were not signed in and you want to delete it, contact us.
- Abandoned projects: Projects that are abandoned (no activity for ≥6 months) may be moved to the "waiting mortuary" (see the Wikipedia entry), pending deletion after a further 6 months. This holding area is only visible to IGoR members.
There are several ways:
- Participate in projects/articles: The idea behind IGoR is that a loose group of users, interested in a project or article page, will coalesce into a collaboration. IGoR is meant to solve the problem that you or I may not know who can help us in a particular research project, or who might be interested. The people who consistently participate in a page will show up as frequent commenters or editors (visible in the page history). Some people (possibly even the page's creator) may do a bit of work on the page and then go on to other things, but persistent participants will see each others work and skills, and can join together into collaborations. These groups could stay on IGoR, or move to another platform or offline, depending on the group's needs.
- Leave comments: Leave comments on a page to create/join discussions and find people you might want to collaborate with.
- Create a Project, Article, or Spark page: Let people know about something you're interested in. Then other users who have overlapping interests may find you.
- Find contacts: The page history tab shows the usernames of people who edited the page, and comments show the username of the comment writer. The page history tab also lets you see what they changed. Then if you like, you could leave a comment asking the user to contact you (be aware they may not see your comment soon; setting up Page Watching may help).
Pages are a group effort, and the best ways to establish contact are to: 1) contribute to the page by editing it or adding new content, or 2) leave comments on the page. The page history tab shows the usernames of people who edited the page and when; the comments list shows who provided feedback. You can use these tools to see who made big changes or provided substantive suggestions. The page creator can share an idea, and leave it to grow on its own; so the current version of the page may have little resemblance to what they first wrote. If a project grows towards something publishable, the group working on it should discuss authorship and roles among themselves.
There are lots of ways to participate. Here are a few suggestions:.
- Post comments: You can help just by sharing questions, ideas, and especially encouragement. For example, maybe you see a project/article that someone has posted and you don't understand something. Your question might help them (or someone else) improve the page, or think about the subject in a different way.
- Edit for clarity and style: Maybe you don't have new content to add, but you might be able to improve a page just by improving the way it is written.
- Improve the research plan or interpretation: Is there a way to transform a vague or broad question into a specific question, or testable hypothesis? Is there a technique, or experimental design, that might be helpful? Is there something the other page contributors should take into account but haven't? You can add these either as comments or directly in the page (see "Who can create…?" above).
- Add background information: Do you know of previous studies that might inform the project? You can add these with citations in comments or directly in the page (e.g. in an introduction section if there is one).
- Add new content: You can add your own results or analyses. These could be anything from an anecdotal observation to a carefully crafted experiment, and anything in between. These might also include theoretical models, or analyses of existing data sets. One example: maybe you have an idea for a method to do an experiment, but don't have it worked out. You can share your idea, along with some examples of how far you have gotten. One example is here: I had an idea for visualizing surface roughness, but don't know how to quantify it; maybe someone else would.
Don't worry about it! You or other users can easily undo any changes.
- Preview: When you're in the editing mode, you can see what the page will look by clicking the preview button (lower left; the preview will appear above the editing window).). You can cancel if you don't like it.
- One can revert to older versions: The history tab shows lots of previous versions of each page. If you, or anyone else, prefers an older version, they can go back to it. They can even compare versions to see what was changed, and pick out parts they like, and parts they don't like, of the new/old versions.
- Article and Project pages: A new page with a text editing field will appear. You can write text, just like when writing an email. If you want, you can include formatting and other elements with the buttons (above the text editing field). When you are done, click "save". (If you don't click save, the page will not be created.) See tips below about inserting images, style, etc.
- Spark pages: A form will appear. Just fill it out with what you have to say, and upload an image or add a video if you like.
- Use the formatting buttons: When you click the button to create or edit a page, there will be a small text field for changing the title of the page, and a large text field for editing the page. Between those two text fields, there will be buttons for inserting the syntax/code to add common formatting features (making things bold, inserting footnotes, adding images, etc).
- The easy way to learn the wiki syntax: Try copying the code from other pages to see how they work. Click the "view source" link at the top of the page. Copy the text that appears into the editing field in your page. Then tweak it to see what makes it fail and what makes it work.
- Make a practice page: If you want to try the wiki out by making a page that other people cannot see, use the sandbox section of this site. You can make it look the way you want, and then copy it to a visible project or article page if and when you're ready.
- Use the help pages: If you need help with inserting things into your page, check out IGoR's help page or Wikidot's documentation for more information.
- Use community forums: Wikidot also has a great user community with helpful forums.
- Ask the IGoR community: You can also ask questions in the page comments, or IGoR's fourms.
- Ask us: Of course you can also contact us.
- Decide whether you want to lead the project: If you create a project page and want to lead the project, say so in the comments section after you save the page. If you do not say otherwise, users are free to join the project and modify the page without asking.
- Style: To make it more inviting for other people to modify the page, avoid writing Project and Article pages in first person.
- Tags: Pages can be sorted and searched by page tags. So, after saving your page, add page tags. To add tags, click the "other tools" tab (top right) then click the "page tags" link. Enter descriptive words in the text field. The link will not appear while you are editing the page.
- Ratings: You can also rate pages (including your own) so they show up higher on the top-rated pages. Just click the "rate" button at the bottom of the page.
- Set up page "watching": Once you create a page, you may want to "watch" the page in case someone contributes to it. Click the link towards the bottom of the right of the page, and adjust the settings under "MyAccount". If you want to receive email notifications of changes, go to "MyAccount", click on "Activity (Beta)", then go to "settings", and check the appropriate box. Note that if watching is turned on for the entire IGoR site, you may want to unwatch the site before turning email notifications on, and then start watching individual pages only.
- Teachers: IGoR could be a great way for students to build class projects that involve collaborating with students/teachers in other classes or carry over from class-to-class. If you decide to use IGoR for your class, please review your students' projects before they post them, or have students review each other's projects. Also, you might want to create a page tag for your class so that you can easily keep track of projects from your class.
- Images: Images can be added to a page either from files you upload to a page, or as links to an external page, or you can upload your own image. But, you can only upload an image when you are not in the editor view. So you have to save your page, and then upload your image to it. If the page you are editing already exists, you can upload your image (or any file) before you click "edit". To upload an image, go to the "other tools" tab (upper right), then click "manage files".
Once you've got your image uploaded, or found an image to link to, you can use the buttons above the page editor to create a little piece of text that tells wikidot's software how to display the image. This "image module" will looks like this for an uploaded jpg:
Or like this (for a link):
You can also just type the text in, and you can do more sophisticated things to style the image, change its size, etc. For more information about inserting and formatting images see IGoR's help page or Wikidot's documentation.
- Movies: The easiest way to insert movies is from a service such as YouTube. Once you've uploaded your video on YouTube, click "share", then click "embed", and copy the text that begins "<iframe…." and paste it between a line with "[[html]]" and a line with "[[/html]]" as follows:
[[html]] <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rgLTlLq5gEM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> [[/html]]
- Memory limits: Current memory limits require low file sizes (<1MB per file, <5 MB per page). For high resolution images, movies, or other large files, please link to an external page or contact us if you need more memory. If you include images, data, etc. from outside sources, use links, rather than uploading files to the page.
- Respect other peoples intellectual property: In particular, if you include images, data, etc. from outside sources, credit your sources and follow any restrictions they place on re-posting.
- Be respectful of others: Use tact and be considerate. Critical feedback is good, but keep it civil and respectful.
- Respect other people's intellectual property: In particular, if you include images, data, etc. from outside sources, credit your sources and follow any restrictions they place on re-posting.
- Policies for individual projects: A page's creator and/or the group actively working on the page, may set their own policies for participating in the project, and modifying the page. Users should respect those policies. If the page creator/group has not agreed on such policies, any IGoR member may modify the page at will.
- Memory limits: Please keep files within memory limits (see "How do I insert images or movies?"). Contact us if you need to go above those limits.
- Abandoned projects: Projects that are abandoned (no activity for ≥6 months) may also be moved to the "waiting mortuary", pending deletion after a further 6 months.
- Pseudoscience: IGoR is meant for scientific research. IGoR moderators may, at their discretion, move projects that appear to fall into the realm of pseudoscience to the "waiting mortuary" until the IGoR community can improve them. Pages will be deleted after six months of inactivity.