It is in everyone's best interest that the articles on the Witchipedia be held to the highest quality standards. There are thousands of websites and books on the subject of Magick, Paganism and Witchcraft and while many of them are very good, many more still are simply rehashing (or cutting and pasting) the same information or misinformation over and over. The Witchipedia seeks to rise above the chaos and provide a well-organized source of high-quality information for the seeker and reference for the experienced magick user.
We have all heard of the modern witch wars. The witchier-than-thou arguments, my religion is older than yours, that guy is in it for the money, sex, power, etc., that person is a fluffy bunny, tools are a crutch, real witches don't whatever and so on and so on. There's no place for that here.
Every article must be written from a place of neutrality. If you are aware of community opinions on a subject, you may present them in your article as opinions that exist in certain subgroups and are strongly encouraged to also present the other side of the argument. Do not give in to the temptation to editorialize. Your opinion on the subject is irrelevant; your knowledge is what we want.
Credibility and Veracity
The purpose of the Witchipedia is to provide information that is reliable, usable and concise. Articles of questionable accuracy are not only useless but may be detrimental to a seeker's future education. Further, a single inaccurate article brings down the credibility of the entire site. If one article is spreading misinformation, then why should anyone believe the information on any other article? Unfortunately, there is plenty of misinformation out there to be had. There is no need to add to the pile.
Each article should be truthful to best of the writer's knowledge. In order to ensure the accuracy of all statements within the article, the writer is encouraged to verify the information from multiple sources. If the writer cannot verify the truth of a statement, the writer must indicate that the statement may not be true.
Qualifying phrases may be used to indicate that there may be some doubt to the truth of a statement such as: "some say", "there was a rumor", "there is some debate", "not everyone agrees". If there are conflicting statements about the same subject, all statements should be presented with related any evidence or arguments as appropriate.
Information that is the result of personal gnosis is permitted, even encouraged, provided its source is made perfectly clear. Also permitted is information transmitted to you verbally, provided you mention its origin, and preferably name the source in a non-specific way ("my aunt", "my first teacher", etc.) unless specificity is called for.
Please try to avoid absolute words and phrases like "proof". When discussing scientific topics in particular use phrases like "evidence suggests" and "research supports" rather than "science has proven" or "it's just a theory". Remember that everything is a theory and there's no such thing as proof.
Every article must be original. If you have an article elsewhere on the web, you may not cut and paste it into the Witchipedia unless you are going to take down the other instance of the article. Simply changing a few words around does not make a new article. Use at least three sources and make the article unique.
If we find that you are posting content that is not original, it will be removed and your writing privileges will be revoked.
Attribution and Bibliography
Any source you use to gather information to write an article should be credited at the bottom of the article under "Additional Reading" (or similar). Footnotes should be used to credit specific quotes(see below) and facts.
Any images you use must be under a creative commons license or in the public domain and the image must be linked to its original instance on the web. A footnote attached to the image should include the name of the photographer and a link to his/her webpage if applicable, the original link to the image, if applicable, the license under which the image is made available (must be a creative commons license), a link to the license, and any notes required by the license, ex. whether changes were made to the original.
If you wish to use your own images, the easiest way is to upload them to Flickr first, set them to the creative commons license you prefer and put the following code into your article where #### is the number flickr has assigned to the image.
Note that this automatically provides the required link from the image back to its origin, but you will still need to provide the additional attribution in the footnotes.
When using other image-hosting sites, look for an "embed" feature. These usually contain all the necessary attribution information (but please verify that it does). You can use the following code to embed images from these sites:
[[html]] paste the embed code here [[/html]]
It is permissible to include quotes from other sources within your article. These quotes should be brief and each line should be preceded by a right facing carrot symbol (>). You can use footnotes to provide information about the origin or the quote if you are familiar with how they work in our wikitext system, or simply type the information at the end of the quote. This information should include the name of the person with whom the quote originated, the date, as accurate as you can manage, and the name of the publication from which the quote originated as well as the page number where it can be found, if possible.
To create footnotes, put the following bit of code where you wish the footnote tag to appear:
[[footnote]] insert the text of your footnote here [[/footnote]]
You are welcome to include feeds in your pages where appropriate. These feeds may include no more than five titles, post dates and summaries only and may not include full texts of any articles. The titles must be linked to the original page the feed came from and the full URL of the page the feed came from must be mentioned on the page. This rule applies even when you are using your own feed on your own profile.
Please ensure that your articles are complete before saving them in our editor. If it helps to write an article in a word processor first, then do so. Your article should have at least 3 sources, listed at the bottom and as many paragraphs as you can justify exploring the who, what, when, where, why and how of the subject, as well as its history and evolution, any controversies surrounding it and its impact on the community. Single line articles and quick overviews or stubs only clutter up the site. If you would like to jot down some notes for later, you can save the article as a draft, but do not publish it to the site.
Notepad is useful for pre-writing articles because it doesn't have its own formatting, so you can enter Wikitext without confusing it.
Standards of Decency
Please write articles as if they are going to be read by your boss, your mother, your in-laws and your child. Any content that would be illegal in the United States is illegal on the Witchipedia. You may wish to review our terms-of-use. This applies to all outgoing links as well.
When you are writing for the Witchipedia, please assume that whoever is reading the article has no background in your topic. If you use any jargon or technical language, either explain the term in your article or link the term to its own article. Try to shoot for about an eighth grade reading level without making things sound like a Dick and Jane book.
Spelling, Grammar and Style
Spelling and grammar are important, but they are not nearly as important as what has already been mentioned. Simply embrace the basic rules of English, write in a semi-formal style at about an 8th grade reading level and carry on. The Red Pen does not mind doing cleanup work, it's the re-writes it doesn't like.
We will be embracing the gender neutral pronoun "they" for both singular and plural applications in all cases that could apply to any gender and where gender is unknown as well as when writing about individuals who have expressed preference for the pronoun "they" and when we are unsure of pronoun preference. If we are writing about a specific person whose gender is known or a situation that is specific to a gender, then gender specific pronouns are appropriate and should be used.
If you have problems with verb agreement when using the gender neutral singular "they", just think of the word "you" which is also both singular and plural. For example, as you would say "You are coming with me." whether you were speaking to a single individual or multiple individuals, likewise you would say "They are coming with me." whether speaking of a single individual or multiple individuals.
Alternative methods of achieving gender neutrality can be found at http://www.icyte.com/saved/www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/882380?key=ad9b0f9d6a9c629e0bf3cf8aea96e20b77875544 .
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