These are some general guidelines that can help you enjoy your time editing here on the Firefly Wiki.
Writing high-quality articles[edit source]
These are some guidelines to writing high-quality articles on the Database.
- Neutral point of view — Write from a neutral point of view. This is a fundamental Database principle which states that all articles must be written from a neutral point of view, representing views fairly and without bias. This includes real-world articles, in-universe articles, reader-facing templates, and categories. Neutral point of view is one of the Database's two content policies—the other being verifiability.
- Verifiability — Articles should contain only material that has been published by reliable sources. Editors should cite reliable sources for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, otherwise it may be removed by any editor. The burden of evidence lies with the editor wishing to add or retain the material. If an article topic has no reliable sources, the Database should not have an article on it.
- No original research — The Database is an encyclopedia, not a publisher of original thought. Articles must not contain previously unpublished facts, arguments, ideas, statements, and neologisms; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position. Material added to articles must be directly and explicitly supported by the cited sources.
- Also, note all in-universe articles must be written in past-tense. The Wiki is written as if we're always ahead of the story. We aim to present the history of the Firefly Verse, and histories are written in past-tense.
These are some guidelines to behavior on the Database that will help you enjoy your time here and avoid getting into trouble.
- BE BOLD! in updating pages. Go ahead, it's a wiki! Encourage others, including those who disagree with you, likewise to BE BOLD!
- Be civil to other users at all times.
- Ignore all rules. If the rules discourage you from improving or maintaining the wiki's quality, ignore them.
- 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 Wikia 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.
- Respect copyright. Wikia uses the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0. Everything you contribute must be compatible with that license.
- Clear edit summaries and straightforward 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, add more on the discussion page.
- Assume good faith; in other words, try to consider that the person on the other end of the discussion is a thinking, rational being who is trying to positively contribute to the project — unless, and only unless, you have firm, solid, and objective proof to the contrary. Merely disagreeing with you is no such proof.
- Particularly, don't revert good faith edits. Reverting is too powerful sometimes. Don't succumb to the temptation, unless you're reverting very obvious vandalism (like "LALALALAL*&*@#@THIS_SUX0RZ", or someone changing "1+2=3" to "1+2=17"). If you really can't stand something, revert once, with an edit summary something like "(rv) I disagree strongly, I'll explain why in talk." and immediately take it to talk.
- 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).
- Be graceful: Be liberal in what you accept, be conservative in what you do. Try to accommodate other people's quirks the best you can, but try to be as polite, solid, and straightforward as possible yourself.
- Sign your posts on talk pages using ~~~~, which gets replaced by your username and timestamp when you hit Save. But don't sign on mainspace articles.
- Use the preview button; it helps prevents edit conflicts and mistakes.
It's important to have fun… but try to make sure those around you have fun too!