Writing wikipedia articles can be daunting for the "uninitiated", and downright confusing for some. Everyone makes mistakes, both veteran editors and newcomers. In order to help new editors acclimate to the process here at Star Trek Expanded Universe, we've prepared this section of common errors, or "faux pas".
- Copying from other wikis. This should not be done. Granted, several of our articles concerning canon characters are direct lifts from other sources, such as Memory Alpha or Memory Beta. This was done mainly because A) They're canon, and we'd much rather devote our time to creating new articles with a "fanon" focus, and B) As Harve Bennett said, "If you're going to steal, steal from the best". These articles will conceivably be re-written over time, with a fanon focus in mind, until they no longer resemble the original articles. (Most of the relevant "canon" material has already been added, so there's little room for this.) If you DO take from others, make a note of it in the form of an external link.
- Copying from books/other media. This should also not be done, and in fact, this is even more important to stress. Wikipedias are "open" content, free for anyone to borrow from. Books and other media are often covered by copyright restrictions, which makes copying from them a copyright infringement. Since Star Trek Expanded Universe is a free, non-profit service, we'd rather not get into any legal hassles. It's better (and more satisfying) to write original articles from scratch, in any case.
- Copying from Star Trek Expanded Universe. Do not use material on this wiki as the basis for new, "original" articles -- in other words, taking elements from one or more articles and composing a new and entirely original article, which has no source elsewhere. All articles here should be citable (i.e., have sources elsewhere). This is not a story forum or drawing board for new fiction, nor is this a "scratch-pad" wiki. If you would like a wiki of your own where you may test out new ideas, see here.
- POV (point of view). Our point-of-view is that of a person living "inside" the Star Trek universe. Restrict background and production information to the correct places (see Manual of Style).
- Adding canon content to fanon articles. In a reverse of Memory Alpha's "canon only policy", we accept fanon. In fact, that is our focus. However, this extends to only within reason. No one can make up anything they want and stick it here. At the same time, since fanon is our focus, it isn't necessary to include every little detail about a canon place or character to an article here. If it exists in canon Trek, or has been covered in officially licensed works (Pocket Book novels, for instance), there are other wikis for those, where you can view those articles.
- Don't "blank" pages -- i.e., remove the content of an article. If for some reason you disagree with its inclusion, raise your views on the article's talk page.
- Omissions in the summary field. When you save changes to an article, you'll see a box marked "Summary". It's there for a reason. Fill in a brief detail or two (concise, not lengthy) about the changes you made. Please don't leave it blank. While changes can be viewed by a comparison of the article's edit history, it's much easier to see what was done, at a glance. This helps other editors later on, especially on articles with many edits.
- Duplicating pages. If you're looking for an article and you think it hasn't been created yet, use the "search" box in the navigation menu. Consider possible alternate names; it may exist under a different title. This has the added benefit of allowing you to see what other articles list that name, giving you material to draw on when linking to other articles.
- Review our naming conventions before creating your page. We don't do everything the same as other wikis. Be sure to check your spelling and that you're using the proper letter casing (uppercase or lowercase).
- Talk pages are not chat rooms or forums for off-topic discussion. These sorts of forums exist elsewhere, across the internet. Talk pages are to be used solely for the discussion of an article in question.
- User pages are not "MySpace" pages. While we appreciate your sharing information about yourself and your contributions, and we'd certainly like to get to know you, we ask that you kindly restrict the amount of superfluous information you provide. User pages should be relevant to the user's role in the wiki community.
If you're uncertain about any of these guidelines, or have questions, feel free to contact an administrator--we're here to help.