Welcome to Wikipedia, Researcher! Like h2g2, Wikipedia is a collaborative online project. However, there are some major differences between the two, so this guide has been put together to help you. Our general Help and FAQ pages are at your disposal.
Wikipedia is focused on making an encyclopedia. Unlike h2g2, there's not a lot of unrelated socializing; almost all of Wikipedia's chat is about improving specific articles or the project as a whole. Wikipedia's style may sound dry at first to you. This reaction is natural. Remember that it's not Wikipedia's place, as an encyclopedia, to give advice or suggest good restaurants. The Edited Guide Entries Knocking on Doors and First Kiss, Last Kiss, Best Kiss and Worst Kiss for instance, are great h2g2 content but would be out of place here.
Anyone can edit any article here. Your contributions will be edited, rearranged, re-worded and expanded, and you shouldn't be shy about doing the same to other people's work. Be bold in updating pages!
Wikipedia is self-moderated to a greater extent than h2g2's reactive moderation system. Like h2g2 Researchers, most Wikipedians try to avoid personal attacks. If you say something you regret, just say you're sorry and delete it. If someone offends you, we have some advice on staying cool when the editing gets hot.
Many people are members of several different collaboratively written encyclopedia projects at once. Here on Wikipedia, you will have a "User Page" with a function similar to your own Personal Space on h2g2. Unlike the rest of the site, you can put whatever you want on your User Page - opinions, hobbies, news, random humor and links to your home pages on other encyclopedia sites - as long as you don't dump a huge amount of content on your user page that is unrelated to Wikipedia.
Use this code to add it to your User Page, replacing U123 with your own U-number from h2g2:
You may also be interested in reading h2g2's entry about Wikipedia.
Moving content from h2g2 to Wikipedia
Please copy your good encyclopedic content from h2g2 to Wikipedia! Don't forget to search for related Wikipedia content first—if Wikipedia already has an article on the subject, just merge your own content into it: be bold!
When you contributed to h2g2, you retained the copyright to those contributions—Not Panicking Ltd. is simply granted non-exclusive license to use them as they see fit. You can, therefore, move any unedited entries that you have personally written on h2g2 to Wikipedia. Mention on the Wikipedia article's talk page (click "Discuss this page") that you originally wrote the material for h2g2 and give your Researcher Number (U-number), so that nobody thinks you're committing plagiarism. For collaborative unedited entries, or entries you did not write, you will need the permission of all major contributors (see Wikipedia:Copyright).
The major exception to this is Approved Entries. These may incorporate work from multiple people, and their copyright status is unclear. However, you can contribute the original version to Wikipedia. You could also ask Not Panicking Ltd for permission to submit the approved version to Wikipedia.
Any contributions you make to Wikipedia are released under the Creative Commons ShareAlike License. However, you retain the copyright to your own work and are free to modify and distribute it in any way you wish.
Changes to make
Content needs to be converted from GuideML to wiki markup. Generally it's easiest to copy and paste the text and add markup rather than copying the GuideML. Wikipedia titles are generally shorter, so phrases like "a short guide to" should be removed, and most titles should only have lower-case letters. See the article titles for all the details.
Wikipedia has a different manual of style from h2g2. However, if your article doesn't match that style, someone will change it so it does, so don't panic. Also, Wikipedia has a much higher proportion of links per article than h2g2. It's easy to link something by putting it in [[square brackets]]. Don't forget to add links from other articles to yours, where it's appropriate.
On h2g2 you can sometimes use devices like "one Researcher recalls" or quotes to add experiences of individual Researchers. On Wikipedia we try to quote opinions from people who are influential, or have some special expertise, and the best people for that generally won't be Wikipedians. We have a policy called the neutral point of view (NPOV). It is similar to h2g2's requirements for balance in Edited Entries on controversial subjects, but there are subtle differences in the two policies. It may take you a little time to get used to the Wikipedia approach, but don't worry too much about it. Anyone can fix your mistakes while you're getting the hang of things.
Moving content from Wikipedia to h2g2
Moving articles from Wikipedia to h2g2 is tricky because of certain conditions required by Not Panicking Ltd. While you are welcome to copy and reuse any Wikipedia article, e.g. on your own web site, the requirements of Not Panicking Ltd are not compatible with the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.
Typically you can only move Wikipedia articles to h2g2 in the event that you are the only person who has worked on that article. The best course of action would be to save a local copy of your Wikipedia article on your computer before anyone else edits it. Another option is to pull your original version out of the article's history; click the "history" link at the top of any page for older versions.
Someone to ask
On Wikipedia there's a genuine plethora of people and locations to ask for help, either generally or more specifically about the transfer from h2g2 to Wikipedia. Some possibilities are given below. Individuals who are happy to be contacted, please add yourselves:
- The Teahouse - a help desk dedicated to helping new editors
- The Media Copyright Helpdesk - any queries about moving copyrighted material not answered above, they should be able to help
- The Reference Desk - a library reference desk that can answer both an actual content question or a sourcing query.
- Nosebagbear - Hi there! I was an h2g2 researcher for 5 years, including being an ACE. I moved to Wikipedia a couple of years back and am now an admin. Ask me anything!
We hope you find working on Wikipedia to be fun and rewarding. If you have questions that you can't find the answers to, drop by the village pump and ask away. Chances are a friendly Wikipedian or three will have some answers for you.
There is also a Wikipedia:Guide for Everything2 noders.