Difference between revisions of "Ballotpedia:How to contribute to Ballotpedia"

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{{help}} {{TOCnestright}}'''Ballotpedia''' is built by ordinary people, like you. You don't need any special credentials to participate -- just an interest in sharing what you know or learn about citizen [[initiative]]s, [[ballot measure]]s and petitions with others. If you haven't yet, take a few minutes to go through the [[Ballotpedia:A Quick Overview|Tutorial]].
+
{{help}}{{tnr}}
  
Ballot measures attract controversy and debate. It is important, therefore, to write articles that focus on documented facts. Please include thorough references to documentation supporting the facts in your article, and avoid inflammatory language or a provocative tone.
+
'''Ballotpedia''' is built by ordinary people, like you. You don't need any special credentials to participate -- just an interest in sharing what you know or learn about citizen [[initiative]]s, [[ballot measure]]s and petitions with others. If you haven't yet, take a few minutes to go through the [[Ballotpedia:A Quick Overview|Tutorial]].
 +
 
 +
Ballot measures attract controversy and debate. It is important, therefore, to write articles that focus on documented facts. Please include thorough references to documentation supporting the facts in your article, and avoid inflammatory language or a provocative tone.
  
 
New contributors are always welcome to Ballotpedia, and you are encouraged to be bold in editing pages. Don't fear making mistakes, since contributions are monitored by other contributors at the [[special:RecentChanges|Recent changes]] page.
 
New contributors are always welcome to Ballotpedia, and you are encouraged to be bold in editing pages. Don't fear making mistakes, since contributions are monitored by other contributors at the [[special:RecentChanges|Recent changes]] page.
  
 
==What is a "wiki"?==
 
==What is a "wiki"?==
 +
A wiki is a collection of interlinked web pages, with broad public editing and reading access. You can try editing a page right now at the [[Ballotpedia:Sandbox]] page.
  
A wiki is a collection of interlinked web pages, with broad public editing and reading access.  You can try editing a page right now at the [[Ballotpedia:Sandbox]] page.
+
==Protecting Ballotpedia's integrity==
 +
===Vandalism===
 +
The Wikimedia software keeps an archive of all past versions of each article, making it easy to undo malicious or misguided changes by reverting to a previous version. The software also makes it possible to detect the IP addresses of systematic vandals. Trusted users can be given [[Judgepedia:Administrators|"sysop" or "admin"]] status, which lets them ban users who engage in vandalism.
  
== How can I contribute?==
+
In addition, logged-in users can create their own individual "watch lists" that let them keep an eye on articles that they feel deserve particular monitoring, or call up a list of all [[Special:Recentchanges|recent changes]] to the site.
  
By [[Ballotpedia:How to edit a page|editing pages]], [[Ballotpedia:How to start a page|creating new pages]], [[Ballotpedia:Spread the word|publicizing Ballotpedia]], etc. We've got [[Ballotpedia:Ways you can help|some great ideas]] for your help!
+
===Protected pages===
 +
Pages that have been designated by an [[Ballotpedia:Administrators|Administrator]] to be protected cannot be edited. Protected pages may be pages that have been targeted for vandalism.
  
 
==Registration==
 
==Registration==
 
+
* ''See also: [[Help:Tutorials/Register]]''
* See also: [[Help:Tutorials/Register]]
+
  
 
{{Important new user}}
 
{{Important new user}}
 
===Why register?===
 
  
 
Visit the [[Help:Registering with Ballotpedia|registering with Ballotpedia]] page to register your own user ID. Beyond being able to edit pages, you also get the following features:
 
Visit the [[Help:Registering with Ballotpedia|registering with Ballotpedia]] page to register your own user ID. Beyond being able to edit pages, you also get the following features:
Line 25: Line 28:
 
* It allows you to set and save your Ballotpedia preferences.
 
* It allows you to set and save your Ballotpedia preferences.
 
* It credits you in the article history, as well as on the [[special:Recentchanges|Recent Changes]] page, with changes you make.
 
* It credits you in the article history, as well as on the [[special:Recentchanges|Recent Changes]] page, with changes you make.
* You get a personal Ballotpedia page as your [[Help:User page|user page]]. You can use this as a spot to tell people about yourself, list the articles you've worked on, or your personal sandbox for Ballotpedia work.
+
* You get a personal Ballotpedia page as your [[Help:User page|user page]]. You can use this as a spot to tell people about yourself, list the articles you've worked on, or your personal sandbox for Ballotpedia work.
 
+
===Do I have to use my real name?===
+
  
 
Real names are not required.
 
Real names are not required.
  
==Types of pages and articles==
+
===Changing your username===
 +
The only way to change your username is to create a new user account.
 +
 
 +
==Types of pages on Ballotpedia==
 
The term "page" encompasses all the material on Ballotpedia, including encyclopedia articles, talk pages, documentation, and special pages such as [[Special:Recentchanges|Recent Changes]]. "Article" is a narrower term refering to a page containing an encyclopedia entry. Thus, all articles are pages, but not all pages are articles.  
 
The term "page" encompasses all the material on Ballotpedia, including encyclopedia articles, talk pages, documentation, and special pages such as [[Special:Recentchanges|Recent Changes]]. "Article" is a narrower term refering to a page containing an encyclopedia entry. Thus, all articles are pages, but not all pages are articles.  
  
==Can I add Wikipedia articles to Ballotpedia?==
+
===Page vs. article===
{{copyrights}}
+
The term "page" encompasses all the material on Judgepedia, including encyclopedia articles, talk pages, documentation, and special pages such as [[Special:Recentchanges|Recent Changes]]. "Article" is a narrower term refering to a page containing an encyclopedia entry.
Generally, no.  Up until mid-June 2009, Ballotpedia and Wikipedia both used the [[Text of the GNU Free Documentation License|GFDL license]]. In practice, this meant that an article from Wikipedia could be copied onto Ballotpedia, as long as the article obeyed reuser rights and obligations including appropriate attribution.
+
  
However, in June 2009, Wikipedia's copyright license changed to the [[Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License|Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License]] (CC-BY-SA).  Ballotpedia does not use the CC-BY-SA license.  Ballotpedia users are not allowed to copy text that is licensed by CC-BY-SA.  Text on Wikipedia that is licensed only under CC-BY-SA cannot be copied onto Ballotpedia.  Some text on Wikipedia is licensed both under CC-BY-SA and GFDL.  This text can be copied onto Ballotpedia, if it is properly attributed.  However, it is strongly preferred that you do your own writing and research, instead of copying text from elsewhere.
+
All articles are pages, but not all pages are articles.
 
+
According to [[Wikipedia:Copyrights|Wikipedia: Copyrights]]:
+
 
+
:"For compatibility reasons, any page which does not incorporate text that is exclusively available under CC-BY-SA or a CC-BY-SA-compatible license is also available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. In order to determine whether a page is available under the GFDL, review the page footer, page history, and discussion page for attribution of single-licensed content that is not GFDL-compatible. All text published before June 15th, 2009 on Wikipedia was released under the GFDL, and you may also use the page history to retrieve content published before that date to ensure GFDL compatibility."
+
 
+
Please read the entire text of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights#Reusers.27_rights_and_obligations Wikipedia's information on reuser rights and obligations].  Among other things, it says:
+
 
+
:"To re-distribute text on Wikipedia in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.) This applies to text developed by the Wikipedia community. Text from external sources may attach additional attribution requirements to the work, which should be indicated on an article's face or on its talk page. For example, a page may have a banner or other notation indicating that some or all of its content was originally published somewhere else. Where such notations are visible in the page itself, they should generally be preserved by re-users."
+
  
===What is an orphan?===  
+
===Orphans===
 
An orphan is an article that no other article links to. These can still be found by searching the Ballotpedia, but it is preferable to find another article where a link can be added. You can find a list of orphan articles [[Special:Lonelypages|here]].
 
An orphan is an article that no other article links to. These can still be found by searching the Ballotpedia, but it is preferable to find another article where a link can be added. You can find a list of orphan articles [[Special:Lonelypages|here]].
  
===What is a stub?===
+
===Stubs===
A stub on Ballotpedia is a very short article, generally of one paragraph or less. Many excellent articles started out as short stubs. Existing stubs should be expanded into proper articles: there is a list at [[:Category:Stub articles|stub articles]], and a automatically generated list of short Ballotpedia articles at [[special:Shortpages|Shortpages]].
+
A stub on Ballotpedia is a very short article, generally of one paragraph or less. Many excellent articles started out as short stubs. Existing stubs should be expanded into proper articles: there is a list at [[:Category:Stub articles|stub articles]], and a automatically generated list of short Ballotpedia articles at [[special:Shortpages|Shortpages]].
  
 
==Editing features==
 
==Editing features==
===What is a minor edit?===
+
===Minor edits===
 
When you edit a page, you have the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit."When to use this is somewhat a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that is spelling corrections, formatting, and simple rearranging of text should be flagged as a "minor edit." A major edit is basically something that makes the entry worth relooking at--either through substantial additions or reorganisation--or fixes a major error.
 
When you edit a page, you have the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit."When to use this is somewhat a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that is spelling corrections, formatting, and simple rearranging of text should be flagged as a "minor edit." A major edit is basically something that makes the entry worth relooking at--either through substantial additions or reorganisation--or fixes a major error.
  
 
This feature is important, because users can choose to ''hide'' minor edits in their view of the Recent Changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.  
 
This feature is important, because users can choose to ''hide'' minor edits in their view of the Recent Changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.  
  
===What is "Recent Changes"?===
+
==="Recent Changes" abbreviations===
 
The notations on "Recent Changes" are "N" for new page (new pages often attract a bunch of copyedits); the "M" stands for "Minor edit" or "minor change", which you can set by checking the check box labeled "This is a minor edit" when you edit a page. If you check your "Preferences", you can suppress minor changes in the Recent Changes List. Checking this box is a courtesy to people who suppress seeing minor changes -- check the box if the change is a simple spelling or grammar change.
 
The notations on "Recent Changes" are "N" for new page (new pages often attract a bunch of copyedits); the "M" stands for "Minor edit" or "minor change", which you can set by checking the check box labeled "This is a minor edit" when you edit a page. If you check your "Preferences", you can suppress minor changes in the Recent Changes List. Checking this box is a courtesy to people who suppress seeing minor changes -- check the box if the change is a simple spelling or grammar change.
  
==The Zen of editing==
+
==Adding Wikipedia articles to Ballotpedia==
===Can we debate here?===
+
{{copyrights}}
Absolutely!  This is an encyclopedia that strives to present subjects fairly, accurately, comprehensively and from a neutral point of view.  Discussion intended to improve articles is welcome.  The best place to discuss controversial edits to an article is in the [[Help:Talk page|"talk" or "discussion" page]] attached to every article.
+
Generally, no. Up until mid-June 2009, Ballotpedia and Wikipedia both used the [[Text of the GNU Free Documentation License|GFDL license]]. In practice, this meant that an article from Wikipedia could be copied onto Ballotpedia, as long as the article obeyed reuser rights and obligations including appropriate attribution.
  
 +
However, in June 2009, Wikipedia's copyright license changed to the [[Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License|Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License]] (CC-BY-SA). Ballotpedia does not use the CC-BY-SA license. Ballotpedia users are not allowed to copy text that is licensed by CC-BY-SA. Text on Wikipedia that is licensed only under CC-BY-SA cannot be copied onto Ballotpedia. Some text on Wikipedia is licensed both under CC-BY-SA and GFDL. This text can be copied onto Ballotpedia, if it is properly attributed. However, it is strongly preferred that you do your own writing and research, instead of copying text from elsewhere.
 +
 +
According to [[Wikipedia:Copyrights|Wikipedia: Copyrights]]:
 +
 +
:"For compatibility reasons, any page which does not incorporate text that is exclusively available under CC-BY-SA or a CC-BY-SA-compatible license is also available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. In order to determine whether a page is available under the GFDL, review the page footer, page history, and discussion page for attribution of single-licensed content that is not GFDL-compatible. All text published before June 15th, 2009 on Wikipedia was released under the GFDL, and you may also use the page history to retrieve content published before that date to ensure GFDL compatibility."
 +
 +
Please read the entire text of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights#Reusers.27_rights_and_obligations Wikipedia's information on reuser rights and obligations]. Among other things, it says:
 +
 +
:"To re-distribute text on Wikipedia in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.) This applies to text developed by the Wikipedia community. Text from external sources may attach additional attribution requirements to the work, which should be indicated on an article's face or on its talk page. For example, a page may have a banner or other notation indicating that some or all of its content was originally published somewhere else. Where such notations are visible in the page itself, they should generally be preserved by re-users."
 +
 +
==Editing Ballotpedia==
 +
===Editorial discussions===
 +
Ballotpedia is an encyclopedia that strives to present subjects fairly, accurately, comprehensively and from a neutral point of view. Discussion intended to improve articles is welcome. The best place to discuss controversial edits to an article is in the [[Help:Talk page|"talk" or "discussion" page]] attached to every article. You can also visit [[Ballotpedia:Editorial discussions and questions]].
 +
 +
===Editing FAQ===
 
'''I've found vandalism, or I've damaged a page by mistake! How can I restore it?'''
 
'''I've found vandalism, or I've damaged a page by mistake! How can I restore it?'''
 
: Click on the "Older versions" link. Find the last good version of the page (it helps to use a browser with multiple tabs). Edit this ''old'' version (you'll get a warning that you're editing an old version at the top of the edit box). Save this text -- it will become the new current version.
 
: Click on the "Older versions" link. Find the last good version of the page (it helps to use a browser with multiple tabs). Edit this ''old'' version (you'll get a warning that you're editing an old version at the top of the edit box). Save this text -- it will become the new current version.
  
 
'''Why are some links red?'''
 
'''Why are some links red?'''
: Because an article or page with that name has not yet been started.
+
: Because an article or page with that name has not yet been started.
  
 
: You can click on that link and start a page with that name. But be careful -- there may already be articles on similar topics, or an article on the same topic under a different name. It's pretty important to hunt around for similar topics first. See [[Ballotpedia:Naming Conventions]] for information on naming pages.
 
: You can click on that link and start a page with that name. But be careful -- there may already be articles on similar topics, or an article on the same topic under a different name. It's pretty important to hunt around for similar topics first. See [[Ballotpedia:Naming Conventions]] for information on naming pages.
  
 
'''What happens when two users edit a page at the same time?'''
 
'''What happens when two users edit a page at the same time?'''
: This is called an "edit conflict."You'll get a conflict screen that displays both versions in separate windows, along with a summary highlighting the differences, and instructions on how you should proceed. It's virtually impossible to lose any data.
+
: This is called an "edit conflict."You'll get a conflict screen that displays both versions in separate windows, along with a summary highlighting the differences, and instructions on how you should proceed. It's virtually impossible to lose any data.
  
 
'''How do I learn about changes to certain topics without having to go there from time to time?'''
 
'''How do I learn about changes to certain topics without having to go there from time to time?'''
  
 
:If you are a logged-in user, on every page you will see a link that says "Watch this article."If you click on it, the article will be added to your [[special:Watchlist|personal watchlist]]. Your [[Help:Watching pages|watchlist]] will show you the latest changes on your watched articles.
 
:If you are a logged-in user, on every page you will see a link that says "Watch this article."If you click on it, the article will be added to your [[special:Watchlist|personal watchlist]]. Your [[Help:Watching pages|watchlist]] will show you the latest changes on your watched articles.
 
==External links and references==
 
  
 
'''Is translating pages from other wikis that have more information than ours a good way to add to the project in general?'''
 
'''Is translating pages from other wikis that have more information than ours a good way to add to the project in general?'''
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'''Is it OK to link to other sites, as long as the material is not copied onto Ballotpedia?'''
 
'''Is it OK to link to other sites, as long as the material is not copied onto Ballotpedia?'''
:External links are great. They increase the value and usability of Ballotpedia. However, external links should support the content of the article, not replace it. The current convention is to place external links in a separate section at the bottom of the article. However, sometimes they are placed within the article as a footnote.
+
:External links are great. They increase the value and usability of Ballotpedia. However, external links should support the content of the article, not replace it. The current convention is to place external links in a separate section at the bottom of the article. However, sometimes they are placed within the article as a footnote.
  
 
==Copyrights==
 
==Copyrights==
 
{{copyrights}}
 
{{copyrights}}
 
'''I have, or can get, special permission to copy an image or article to Ballotpedia. Is it OK to do that?'''
 
'''I have, or can get, special permission to copy an image or article to Ballotpedia. Is it OK to do that?'''
:The text and images of Ballotpedia are covered by the [[GNU Free Documentation License]]. For the most part, unless an item is covered by the same or a similar license, or is in the public domain, it cannot be used on Ballotpedia. However, Ballotpedia can make an exception for [[Ballotpedia:Non-free content|non-free content]] under very limited circumstances.
+
:The text and images of Ballotpedia are covered by the [[GNU Free Documentation License]]. For the most part, unless an item is covered by the same or a similar license, or is in the public domain, it cannot be used on Ballotpedia. However, Ballotpedia can make an exception for [[Ballotpedia:Non-free content|non-free content]] under very limited circumstances.
  
 
'''I have an out-of-copyright image (or text) that is reproduced in an in-copyright book. Can I scan / type it into Ballotpedia?'''
 
'''I have an out-of-copyright image (or text) that is reproduced in an in-copyright book. Can I scan / type it into Ballotpedia?'''
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==Using images and other media==
 
==Using images and other media==
 +
Images, movies and sound files enrich and liven up articles. Some resources:
  
Images, movies and sound files enrich and liven up articles. Remember that attribution or a statement justifying the use of media files is necessary on Ballotpedia.  Some resources:
 
 
* Lifehacker's [http://www.lifehacker.com/software/creative-commons/geek-to-live--6-ways-to-find-reusable-media-197538.php guide to finding uncopyrighted media].
 
* Lifehacker's [http://www.lifehacker.com/software/creative-commons/geek-to-live--6-ways-to-find-reusable-media-197538.php guide to finding uncopyrighted media].
 
* [http://imageafter.com/images.php Image*After], an online database of free images and textures that can be used on Ballotpedia and other sites.
 
* [http://imageafter.com/images.php Image*After], an online database of free images and textures that can be used on Ballotpedia and other sites.
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* See [[Help:Embedding a video]] for instructions on how to add a YouTube video to an article on Ballotpedia.
 
* See [[Help:Embedding a video]] for instructions on how to add a YouTube video to an article on Ballotpedia.
  
==Trust, reliability and vandalism==
+
==FAQ==
 
+
Ballotpedia's users help control vandalism by regularly checking the "recent changes" page.  Ballotpedia's software makes it possible to detect the IP addresses of systematic vandals.
+
 
+
Also:
+
 
+
#Logged-in users can create their own individual "watch lists" that let them keep an eye on articles that they feel deserve particular monitoring. They can also call up a list of all [[Special:Recentchanges|recent changes to the entire site]].
+
#The software keeps an archive of all past versions of each article, making it easy to undo malicious or misguided changes by reverting to a previous version.
+
#Trusted users can be given [[Ballotpedia:Administrators|"sysop"]] status, which lets them ban users who engage in vandalism. If a particular page becomes a target for repeat vandalism attempts, sysops can also mark that page as "protected," so that only other sysops can change it.
+
 
+
==Miscellaneous==
+
 
'''Ballotpedia is great!  How do I spread the word?'''
 
'''Ballotpedia is great!  How do I spread the word?'''
 
: [[Ballotpedia:Spread the word|Spreading the word]] is really easy.
 
: [[Ballotpedia:Spread the word|Spreading the word]] is really easy.
  
 
'''How do I edit a page?'''
 
'''How do I edit a page?'''
:It's quite simple. Simply click "Edit this page" on the bottom or top of the page, and type away. See [[Help:Quick guide to editing]] to learn about making links, using '''bold''' and ''italics'', linking to images, and many other things. See [[Help:Tutorials]] for more help.
+
:It's quite simple. Simply click "Edit this page" on the bottom or top of the page, and type away. See [[Help:Quick guide to editing]] to learn about making links, using '''bold''' and ''italics'', linking to images, and many other things. See [[Help:Tutorials]] for more help.
  
 
'''How do I make links?'''
 
'''How do I make links?'''
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* [[Ballotpedia:Spread the word]]
 
* [[Ballotpedia:Spread the word]]
  
[[Category:Writing guidelines]]
+
[[Category:Community]]
 +
[[Category:Help]]

Revision as of 15:34, 16 July 2013

Editing Help
1328101905 Help.png
Index
Editing guide
Cheatsheet
Policies
Copyright
Textual standards
Visual standards
Glossary of terms
Edit review process

Ballotpedia is built by ordinary people, like you. You don't need any special credentials to participate -- just an interest in sharing what you know or learn about citizen initiatives, ballot measures and petitions with others. If you haven't yet, take a few minutes to go through the Tutorial.

Ballot measures attract controversy and debate. It is important, therefore, to write articles that focus on documented facts. Please include thorough references to documentation supporting the facts in your article, and avoid inflammatory language or a provocative tone.

New contributors are always welcome to Ballotpedia, and you are encouraged to be bold in editing pages. Don't fear making mistakes, since contributions are monitored by other contributors at the Recent changes page.

What is a "wiki"?

A wiki is a collection of interlinked web pages, with broad public editing and reading access. You can try editing a page right now at the Ballotpedia:Sandbox page.

Protecting Ballotpedia's integrity

Vandalism

The Wikimedia software keeps an archive of all past versions of each article, making it easy to undo malicious or misguided changes by reverting to a previous version. The software also makes it possible to detect the IP addresses of systematic vandals. Trusted users can be given "sysop" or "admin" status, which lets them ban users who engage in vandalism.

In addition, logged-in users can create their own individual "watch lists" that let them keep an eye on articles that they feel deserve particular monitoring, or call up a list of all recent changes to the site.

Protected pages

Pages that have been designated by an Administrator to be protected cannot be edited. Protected pages may be pages that have been targeted for vandalism.

Registration

Send your email request for a new user account to newuser@ballotpedia.org with "NEW USER" in the subject line.
In the body of the email, please indicate your preferred username. (Read more here)

Visit the registering with Ballotpedia page to register your own user ID. Beyond being able to edit pages, you also get the following features:

  • It allows you to set and save your Ballotpedia preferences.
  • It credits you in the article history, as well as on the Recent Changes page, with changes you make.
  • You get a personal Ballotpedia page as your user page. You can use this as a spot to tell people about yourself, list the articles you've worked on, or your personal sandbox for Ballotpedia work.

Real names are not required.

Changing your username

The only way to change your username is to create a new user account.

Types of pages on Ballotpedia

The term "page" encompasses all the material on Ballotpedia, including encyclopedia articles, talk pages, documentation, and special pages such as Recent Changes. "Article" is a narrower term refering to a page containing an encyclopedia entry. Thus, all articles are pages, but not all pages are articles.

Page vs. article

The term "page" encompasses all the material on Judgepedia, including encyclopedia articles, talk pages, documentation, and special pages such as Recent Changes. "Article" is a narrower term refering to a page containing an encyclopedia entry.

All articles are pages, but not all pages are articles.

Orphans

An orphan is an article that no other article links to. These can still be found by searching the Ballotpedia, but it is preferable to find another article where a link can be added. You can find a list of orphan articles here.

Stubs

A stub on Ballotpedia is a very short article, generally of one paragraph or less. Many excellent articles started out as short stubs. Existing stubs should be expanded into proper articles: there is a list at stub articles, and a automatically generated list of short Ballotpedia articles at Shortpages.

Editing features

Minor edits

When you edit a page, you have the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit."When to use this is somewhat a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that is spelling corrections, formatting, and simple rearranging of text should be flagged as a "minor edit." A major edit is basically something that makes the entry worth relooking at--either through substantial additions or reorganisation--or fixes a major error.

This feature is important, because users can choose to hide minor edits in their view of the Recent Changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.

"Recent Changes" abbreviations

The notations on "Recent Changes" are "N" for new page (new pages often attract a bunch of copyedits); the "M" stands for "Minor edit" or "minor change", which you can set by checking the check box labeled "This is a minor edit" when you edit a page. If you check your "Preferences", you can suppress minor changes in the Recent Changes List. Checking this box is a courtesy to people who suppress seeing minor changes -- check the box if the change is a simple spelling or grammar change.

Adding Wikipedia articles to Ballotpedia

Ballotpedia copyright
Policies
Copyright policy
Copyright violation policy
Reusing Ballotpedia content
Text of the GFDL
Guidelines
Public domain content
Non-free content
Image copyright (Tags)
Report violations
Possible copyright violations


Generally, no. Up until mid-June 2009, Ballotpedia and Wikipedia both used the GFDL license. In practice, this meant that an article from Wikipedia could be copied onto Ballotpedia, as long as the article obeyed reuser rights and obligations including appropriate attribution.

However, in June 2009, Wikipedia's copyright license changed to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC-BY-SA). Ballotpedia does not use the CC-BY-SA license. Ballotpedia users are not allowed to copy text that is licensed by CC-BY-SA. Text on Wikipedia that is licensed only under CC-BY-SA cannot be copied onto Ballotpedia. Some text on Wikipedia is licensed both under CC-BY-SA and GFDL. This text can be copied onto Ballotpedia, if it is properly attributed. However, it is strongly preferred that you do your own writing and research, instead of copying text from elsewhere.

According to Wikipedia: Copyrights:

"For compatibility reasons, any page which does not incorporate text that is exclusively available under CC-BY-SA or a CC-BY-SA-compatible license is also available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. In order to determine whether a page is available under the GFDL, review the page footer, page history, and discussion page for attribution of single-licensed content that is not GFDL-compatible. All text published before June 15th, 2009 on Wikipedia was released under the GFDL, and you may also use the page history to retrieve content published before that date to ensure GFDL compatibility."

Please read the entire text of Wikipedia's information on reuser rights and obligations. Among other things, it says:

"To re-distribute text on Wikipedia in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.) This applies to text developed by the Wikipedia community. Text from external sources may attach additional attribution requirements to the work, which should be indicated on an article's face or on its talk page. For example, a page may have a banner or other notation indicating that some or all of its content was originally published somewhere else. Where such notations are visible in the page itself, they should generally be preserved by re-users."

Editing Ballotpedia

Editorial discussions

Ballotpedia is an encyclopedia that strives to present subjects fairly, accurately, comprehensively and from a neutral point of view. Discussion intended to improve articles is welcome. The best place to discuss controversial edits to an article is in the "talk" or "discussion" page attached to every article. You can also visit Ballotpedia:Editorial discussions and questions.

Editing FAQ

I've found vandalism, or I've damaged a page by mistake! How can I restore it?

Click on the "Older versions" link. Find the last good version of the page (it helps to use a browser with multiple tabs). Edit this old version (you'll get a warning that you're editing an old version at the top of the edit box). Save this text -- it will become the new current version.

Why are some links red?

Because an article or page with that name has not yet been started.
You can click on that link and start a page with that name. But be careful -- there may already be articles on similar topics, or an article on the same topic under a different name. It's pretty important to hunt around for similar topics first. See Ballotpedia:Naming Conventions for information on naming pages.

What happens when two users edit a page at the same time?

This is called an "edit conflict."You'll get a conflict screen that displays both versions in separate windows, along with a summary highlighting the differences, and instructions on how you should proceed. It's virtually impossible to lose any data.

How do I learn about changes to certain topics without having to go there from time to time?

If you are a logged-in user, on every page you will see a link that says "Watch this article."If you click on it, the article will be added to your personal watchlist. Your watchlist will show you the latest changes on your watched articles.

Is translating pages from other wikis that have more information than ours a good way to add to the project in general?

It's a good idea to cross-pollinate but if you get ideas from elsewhere, you should always use your own words when writing about the content on Ballotpedia.

Is it OK to link to other sites, as long as the material is not copied onto Ballotpedia?

External links are great. They increase the value and usability of Ballotpedia. However, external links should support the content of the article, not replace it. The current convention is to place external links in a separate section at the bottom of the article. However, sometimes they are placed within the article as a footnote.

Copyrights

Ballotpedia copyright
Policies
Copyright policy
Copyright violation policy
Reusing Ballotpedia content
Text of the GFDL
Guidelines
Public domain content
Non-free content
Image copyright (Tags)
Report violations
Possible copyright violations


I have, or can get, special permission to copy an image or article to Ballotpedia. Is it OK to do that?

The text and images of Ballotpedia are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. For the most part, unless an item is covered by the same or a similar license, or is in the public domain, it cannot be used on Ballotpedia. However, Ballotpedia can make an exception for non-free content under very limited circumstances.

I have an out-of-copyright image (or text) that is reproduced in an in-copyright book. Can I scan / type it into Ballotpedia?

Providing they haven't altered the image then they can't claim a copyright on it. If it was in the public domain before they used it, it's still in the public domain afterward.

Using images and other media

Images, movies and sound files enrich and liven up articles. Some resources:

FAQ

Ballotpedia is great! How do I spread the word?

Spreading the word is really easy.

How do I edit a page?

It's quite simple. Simply click "Edit this page" on the bottom or top of the page, and type away. See Help:Quick guide to editing to learn about making links, using bold and italics, linking to images, and many other things. See Help:Tutorials for more help.

How do I make links?

A link is just the name of the page surrounded by double square brackets [[ ]]. See the quick guide to editing for more information.

What is an administrator? What is a sysop?

Two words for the same thing. An administrator is simply a Ballotpedia user who can access the few restricted Ballotpedia software functions: deleting articles and uploaded files, protecting and unprotecting pages, blocking and unblocking IP addresses, and running certain direct database queries.

How can I become an administrator?

It's easy. First, you need a user account. Then, make useful edits over a period of time. In this way, you prove to the community that you are here in good faith. Then, send a message to one of the administrators on their talk page and request sysop status.

See also