Appropedia allows and welcomes ported content, i.e. documents authored by specific people or organizations, including thesis papers, journal articles, technical briefs, project descriptions and more. This is one of the main differences between Appropedia and Wikipedia.
When porting content from outside Appropedia, the authors, relevant organizations and link to the original source must be clearly stated, usually via the "authors", "affiliations" and "ported-from" parameters of Template:Page data. Using the "ported-from" parameter will also enable a [see first revision] button that links back to the first revision of the page, thus allowing users to easily navigate to the original ported version.
Before any content is ported, permission must be granted by the copyright holders for publishing under CC-BY-SA-4.0 (the default license used on Appropedia) or a compatible license (see Appropedia:Copyrights).
Content ported without an open license is known as open access pages, which should not be copied or modified.
Open access pages[edit | edit source]
Appropedia has many pages of open access content. This is content such as CD3WD or WikiGreen in which permission was granted for sharing the content to support development and/or sustainability, but where there is no permission to release this under an open license, as far as we know.
Please note that you are not free to copy or modify the content of these pages except in limited circumstances:
- Non-commercial use, for example non-profit education programs.
- Adding wikilinks to the text and references in a separate section at the end is assumed to be acceptable.
Please respect the copyright - do not reuse without the permission of the rights-holder except in the limited cases described.
If you find content which can be released under an open license (if you can put Appropedia in touch with the rights holders) or which should not be displayed here at all, please leave a note on the talk page.
Reasons behind this policy[edit | edit source]
- The Appropedia community works hard on opening up content which is locked up in PDF and other document formats. Having the original available in the wiki makes it more easily accessible than if it needs to be downloaded as a large file and then opened with a suitable program. The wiki content can also be copied with formatting more easily - copying from PDFs and preserving formatting normally requires a special program such as Acrobat Reader Professional.
- It is sometimes difficult to find the original page online - or it may be in a different format, and not as straightforward to compare. Having the original in the same MediaWiki format is very handy for this, and it also allows the user to browse a relevant original document while staying within Appropedia.
- It is also possible to create diffs between pages on the wiki (like a diff created from the history page, but they don't have to be the same article. This requires a "url hack" with the "oldid" i.e. revision ID of each page version being compared). Using a separate page for the original makes it much easier to find the original's "oldid".
- It's possible to create RSS feeds of new pages via Special:NewPages, and select for individual users and certain namespaces, e.g. All pages created by Steven M. in the mainspace. A good time to do this is when someone in the community is porting original content, such as the Practical Action Technical Briefs. If we want a feed of only editable pages, we need to have any "non-editable" pages in a separate namespace. Then when they are copied in their entirety into mainspace, this editable page will show up in the feed.
Frequently Asked Questions[edit | edit source]
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The short answer is yes. Some things to consider are:
- Do you want to publish the whole work, or an extract? Releasing all of it may be a good thing, but it depends largely on your responses to the following points.
- Are you happy to release your work under Appropedia's free license? This leaves you with full rights to publish or do whatever you want, but others can use it as well, with only slightly restricted rights (they must give attribution, and release any modifications under the same license). This could be an issue if you're expecting your book to be a substantial seller and/or source of income (in which case you may consider using a non-commercial clause, allowing no one other than yourself to publish it commercially without permission).
- Anything posted to Appropedia may be edited ruthlessly. This allows the creativity and knowledge of the community to improve the article, but there's no actual guarantee that the result will be something you agree with, or even that it will be correct. (We believe the good results will greatly outweigh the bad, but there will always be occasional problems.) The best approach is generally to publish your original version somewhere, and copy it to Appropedia's mainspace with an attribution notice linking your own original version. You can put your original version on:
- a separate site.
- in your own userspace on Appropedia (a page of the form User:Your username/Document title, e.g. User:Writtenonsand/Essay:OnAppropriateTechnology or User:Chriswaterguy/Thesis. (Those are both works in progress, but you get the idea.)
- the original namespace - we haven't worked out a detailed policy on this option though.
- If you want to maintain final editorial overview, you may do this in your own userspace on Appropedia. However, due to the free license, others may also use and adapt the work (i.e. create a fork). If this is not acceptable to you, then you will need to find another wiki (setting one up yourself, or on a wikifarm), to do the editing, where you can specify the license and conditions of editing. But if it is of relevance to Appropedia, please consider putting a substantial abstract or extract on Appropedia, as much as you are comfortable to release under a free license, together with a link to your site(s).
- It may be that some of your content is unsuitable for Appropedia. This is not a big problem - this can be modified or deleted, and the full original can be found by following the link in the attribution notice. Political and unscientific content is very likely to be either deleted, or rephrased to make it clear that this is a particular point of view, or placed alongside alternative points of view. Editing a wiki is a collaborative work, and sometimes a lot of negotiation goes on. This can be a fantastic process of learning, understanding the perspectives of others, and separating well-founded beliefs from personal opinions (especially if done with civility, which is considered extremely important on Appropedia.)