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Pages on specific policies are linked from Category:Appropedia policy.


Appropedia operates less by imposing strict rules, and more by encouraging voluntary guidelines which you can choose to follow. Only a couple of strict rules are necessary, relating to how we treat others, and how we use others' work. You might see people do things that are plainly not in accordance with these guidelines, but which may or may not still be well within the actual Appropedia policies and guidelines. The be gracious guideline applies in those situations. :-)

Voluntary Guidelines[edit]

These guidelines are adapted from Wikipedia's Ruleset. Note that the main differences come from Wikipedia being solely an encyclopedia, whereas Appropedia is a living library serving as encyclopedia, textbook, how-to manual and project repository. The difference between these Guidelines and the Rules below is that straying from these guidelines is not considered inappropriate.

  1. BE BOLD! in updating pages. Go ahead, it's a wiki!
    Encourage others, including those who disagree with you, likewise to BE BOLD!
  2. Be civil to other users at all times.
  3. Ignore all guidelines!.W Don't worry! If you just want to add some useful information to an article in a commonsense way, DO SO. On the other hand, if someone shows you that there is an established and sensible way to do something, please ignore this rule and listen to that person.
  4. Rigor. Our aim is to be factual, so evidence, analysis and science are encouraged. Evidence may include in-the-field experience, backed up by the agreement of other editors, but can also include the results of research and analysis.
  5. Neutral point of view (NPOV). Appropedia is supportive of Appropriate Technology and Sustainable Development. As such, Appropedia articles will usually be written from a point of view that is sympathetic to those concepts. Appropedia otherwise encourages a more or less NPOV depending on category. "How to" pages, for example, are usually easy to write from a NPOV. Project pages usually can be written from a NPOV, but may have sections where opinions come into play. Organization pages, and particularly User pages are reasonable places to express opinions. When deviating from a NPOV, it is important that ownership of the point of view is clear. That is usually straightforward on Organization and User pages, but should be explicitly declared in other content.
    1. Special lemma: Appropedia is not a site for soap boxing (a truly slippery act). If you think that your government should be admonished for their policy on pest control, use Appropedia to describe alternative pest control. Use some other site for dissin' da man.
  6. (But) When in doubt, take it to the talk page. We have all the time in the world. Mutual respect is the guiding behavioral principle of Appropedia and, although everyone knows that their writing may be edited mercilessly, it is easier to accept changes if the reasons for them are understood. If you discuss changes on the article's talk (or discussion) page before you make them, you should reach consensus faster and happier.
  7. Decent edit summaries and clear and transparent explanations are universally appreciated. Other editors need to understand your process, and it also helps you yourself to understand what you did after a long leave of absence from an article. Please state what you changed and why. If the explanation is too long, elucidate on the discussion page. It is a current policy of Appropedia that anyone may edit articles without registering, so there may be a lot of changes to watch; edit summaries simplify this.
  8. Assume good faith; in other words, try to consider the person on the other end of the discussion is a thinking, rational being who is trying to positively contribute to Appropedia — unless, and only unless, you have firm, solid, and objective proof to the contrary. Merely disagreeing with you is no such proof.
  9. Particularly, avoid reverting good faith edits. Reverting is a little too powerful sometimes, hence the three-revert rule. Resist the temptation, unless you're reverting very obvious vandalism (like "LALALALAL*&*@#@THIS_SUXX0RZ", or someone changing "6+5*2=16" to "6+5*2=17") or very clearly wrong information. If you really can't stand something, revert once, with a edit summary politely explaining why. Perhaps something like "(rv) I disagree strongly, I'll explain why in talk." and immediately take it to talk.
  10. Be gracious: Be liberal in what you accept, be conservative in what you do. Try to accommodate other people's quirks as best you can, but try to be as polite, solid and straightforward as possible yourself.
  11. Use the preview button, it prevents edit conflicts.
  12. Follow Naming conventions. In short:
    • Don't use capital letters, except for the very first letter (and that's automatic, anyway); except for proper names (people, places, organizations).
    • For a project, use a specific name, e.g. Jodie Doe's water filter, not just Water filter.

Strict Rules[edit]

These rules are adapted from Wikipedia's Ruleset. While most of Wikipedia's ruleset has been loosened to become Guidelines, due to the non-encyclopedic nature of Appropedia, some rules must be remain strict rules. The difference between these Rules and the Guidelines above is that straying from these rules is considered inappropriate and violations will be deleted.

  1. No personal attacks. Don't write that user such and so is an idiot, or insult him/her (even if (s)he is an idiot). Instead, explain what they did wrong, why it is wrong, and how to fix it. If possible, fix it yourself (but see above).
  2. Respect copyrights!. Appropedia uses the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. Everything you contribute must be compatible with that license.

Variations from Wikipedia[edit]

Appropedia often references Wikipedia's Five Pillars and Simplified Ruleset. This makes sense, of course, since Wikipedia has "been there and done that" with respect to wikidom. However, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and Appropedia is not. Since Appropedia is not Wikipedia, they differ in their policies. You can investigate in more detail by comparing this page to Wikipedia's Simplified Ruleset. The key differences between Appropedia and Wikipedia are with respect to:

  • Neutral Point of View (NPOV); Appropedia is flexible with respect to NPOV, and expects content to be sympathetic to the ideas of Appropriate Technology and Sustainable Development. (Essentially, Appropedia acknowledges that it supports an agenda.)
  • Original content; Wikipedia does not allow original content, but Appropedia does, though it requires recognition and approval of the author, in part to comply with GNU FDL, but also to support discussion and questions.
  • Verifiability; Wikipedia requires verifiability, but since Appropedia allows original content, we must be flexible about verifiability. It is desirable and encouraged, but not required. Where information has not been verified, this should be noted.

Encyclopedic Content Policy[edit]

Content which is verifiable and about which there is relatively little dispute can be considered "encyclopedic", and as such should be placed in a Wikipedia article. Significant amounts of encyclopedic content should not be included in Appropedia articles, and instead should be referenced at the appropriate page in Wikipedia (which should be created if it does not already exist). However, it is quite acceptable to include small amounts (2 or 3 sentences) of encyclopedic content if it adds to the readability of an Appropedia article.

Often in such cases it will still be appropriate to reference relevant articles on Wikipedia:

  • For inline links,use {{wp sup}} (superscript link), e.g. to link a Wikipedia article about a book, {{w|Book Title}} creates: W
    • {{w}} is the newer, shorter name for the same template.
  • Use an == Interwiki links == section, after == See also ==. E.g. Wikipedia:Water links to the Wikipedia article on water.

See also[edit]