Tips for contributing to the SVR Wiki

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The SVRSevern Valley Railway Wiki is a collaborative effort, and is open to anyone who wishes to contribute to it. After creating a user account by clicking on ... in the top right corner, and then logging in, you are then able to see the "Edit" button at the top right of any page - this allows you to modify the page's content. Edits will be saved when you hit "Save page" at the bottom of the editor. There is no need to be timid about editing, as each revision of a page is saved, allowing any accidents to be undone with a few clicks of a button!

SVRSevern Valley Railway Social Media Policy

As this site is run by a number of SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers, its content is bound by the railway's social media policy, even if you personally are not. In short, that translates to not making "spurious, mischievous comment and the like" that would damage the reputation of the railway, and would also include not revealing sensitive information about the railway. The policy is fairly open, and a vast amount of internal information about the railway has already been made public by the SVRSevern Valley Railway (e.g. on SVR Live) - to date there haven't been any problems at all!

Editing and Formatting

Below are a short selection of tips about editing this site, which are hopefully enough to get you started.

For the more advanced editor, the manual can be accessed by clicking the "Help" button at the left (fourth entry down), or by following this link. The software this site uses is Mediawiki, which can be found on many other websites, including the well-known Wikipedia. If you have a question which neither this page nor the manual seems to answer, you can probably find answers to most questions by searching online (e.g. on Google), using a query such as "Mediawiki Add Bold Text".

Linking between pages

You can create a link to another page on the wiki by placing the title of the page inside two square brackets, e.g. [[Alveley Sidings]], which shows up as Alveley Sidings. If you wish to link to a page, but display some text other than the page title, you can do this by placing a vertical bar after the page name, and then entering your text, e.g. [[Alveley Sidings|coal sidings at Alveley]], which would display as coal sidings at Alveley.

Note that you must use the same capitalisation as the title of the page you're linking to - so [[alveley sidings]] will not work.

Linking external pages

If you wish to link to a page on another website, place its address inside a single set of square brackets, e.g. [http://www.svr.co.uk]. As with internal links, you can display custom text, although the method is slightly different - simply place the text after the link, e.g. [http://www.svr.co.uk SVR Official Site]. This displays as SVR Official Site.

Please note that it is necessary to include the http:// at the start of the link - the wiki may not detect the address otherwise, and won't create the link.

Creating a new Page

To create a new page, you need to add a link to it from another page. Once you have done this, the link will show up in red, to indicate that the page does not yet exist - clicking a link like this, such as Nonexistent Page, will allow you to start creating that page, identically to how you would edit any normal page.

Sections, Titles, and Tables of Content

You can add a new section by placing its title between double equals signs, e.g. == Example Title ==. You can also create sub-sections by adding titles inside three (or more) equals signs, e.g. === Subsection Title ===.

In general, you should start a page with a short introductory paragraph, and only after that place a section - this is because the page title itself is displayed at the top already, so you would display two titles in a row! Additionally, the wiki will automatically generate a Table of Contents, listing each section, just before the first section - this is designed to go after the introductory paragraph. See the top of this page for an example!

The page should end with the following sections, where appropriate:

=== See also === (with lower case "a")
Links to other relevant pages within the Wiki

=== References===
<references />
Sources of information (see Pictures, Sources, and Copyright below)

=== Links ===
Links to external internet pages

The Table of Contents is automatically generated once a page has enough length and sections to warrant it.

Categories

A category page automatically generates a list of pages which have been assigned to that category. To assign a page to a category, add a link to the required category page at the bottom of the chosen source page. For example, adding [[Category:Rolling stock at Kidderminster Railway Museum]] to the page GWR 40362 PW Brake Van has resulted in a link to that page appearing on the category page Category:Rolling stock at Kidderminster Railway Museum. New category pages can be created in this manner by entering a new category page name; category page names must begin with Category:.

Once a category page is created, other information such as an introduction may be added to it as required. The source page will automatically display the category at the bottom of the page, as can be seen in the Brake Van example. If the category is not to be displayed (for example category pages relating to ‘As of’ dates), this is achieved by adding the magic word __HIDDENCAT__ in the category page. To include a link to a category page in the text on another page, the link should begin with a colon, for example in the paragraph above the link is typed [[:Category:Rolling stock at Kidderminster Railway Museum]]; without the colon this page would become a member of that category instead!

Pictures may also be assigned to categories in the same manner, they will then appear in file name order. However it may be preferable to include these using a manually created gallery instead as has been done on the KRM Rolling Stock category page; this allows the inclusion of externally linked images from Wikimedia Commons and also allows for captions to be used in place of the image file name.

Lists

You can create a simple set of bullet points by placing an asterisk at the start of each line, e.g. * List Item. This will appear as:

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3

Bold and Italic Text

Text between two apostrophes will be displayed in italics, e.g. "''Italic''", and text between three apostrophes will be bold, e.g. "'''Bold'''". These will display as Italic and Bold.

Style Tips

Some attention should be paid to making your pages easy to read, and also easy to navigate. Below are some simple points which can make life much easier for readers!

Include the basics

Whilst most of us here know that Arley is between Bewdley and Highley, there may well be readers of this site who don't! The introductory paragraph to each page is an ideal place to set the scene - where a location is, the date that something occurred, the owner of a piece of rolling stock, and so on. Don't be afraid to add too much information - if it comes to it, you can always add a new section or even a new page to hold the information.

Use links

Your page should include at least one link to another page - even if that's just a link from a station page to the list of stations. Without this, readers will end up in a dead end, which can be awkward.

Equally, be sure at least one other page links to yours. Without that, the only way anyone will find it is by a lucky search! The simplest way to do this is to add it to a "list" page. You might also want to edit other existing pages to link to your newly created one, such as adding a link from the Highley station page to your newly created Highley Mining Company page.

If you happen to mention Bridgnorth in your page, why not create a link to the page for Bridgnorth? This means that anyone who is interested in Bridgnorth can simply follow the link, without having to use the search function. However, there's no need to link to the Bridgnorth page each time you mention it - usually, only linking on the first mention is good enough.

You can also create links to non-existent pages that you don't intend to add. For example, you might know that the Highley Mining Company existed, but not know enough to create a page. If you leave a link to a non-existent page (which displays in red), you will be prompting knowledgeable readers to create that page, hopefully meaning the information will be added soon.

Pictures, Sources, and Copyright

Before adding any picture to the site, please be sure that the owner of the picture is happy for you to do so. Quite a few images online will have a free-use license specified (for example, all images on Wikimedia Commons and some on Flickr), and in cases where an image isn't already available, the vast majority of people will respond kindly to a simple request as long as they are acknowledged as the picture's author. A list of authors who have given permission for their work to be used on the wiki can be found at permission for material use. If you are unable to get permission for a picture you've found online, the best solution is to create a link to the page with the picture on - it's slightly less pretty than having the picture itself, but it does avoid copyright issues! It is not entirely clear what the legal situation regarding the use of images that are hosted externally ("inline linking" or "hotlinking") is, as whilst this avoids uploading the image to our own website, the effect (i.e. the unauthorised display of the image) is the same. UK Government Advice is that this may infringe copyright, and we don't feel inclined to get involved in a court battle that sets the legal precedent that changes "may infringe" into "will infringe"!

You should avoid copying text from a source such as a website, book, magazine, or so on, and definitely shouldn't do so without acknowledging where you got it from. If you do need to copy a section, you should make it very clear that it is a quote (e.g. by italicising it), and by crediting the source. Otherwise, you should attempt to rewrite the information in your own words - this often makes for a better quality page anyway - and mention your source. This also means that anyone wishing to research a subject in more detail then knows where to start looking, and often a source of information for one page can be used as a source for another.

To add a citation or reference, enter the source between a <ref> and </ref> tag; by convention the reference follows any punctuation. Thus ...follows any punctuation.<ref>Editing Tips page</ref> would appear as ...follows any punctuation.[1]

Of course, not everything can be sourced, as not everything about the SVRSevern Valley Railway was written down, especially in early days (both original and preserved). Whilst memory isn't always perfect, and stories change with each telling, we do still accept un-sourced material - it's preferable to have an almost correct record of an event than no record at all!

Files on Wikimedia Commons

For content on Wikimedia Commons, it is possible to use images and other items as if they were uploaded on this Wiki. A simple "Use this file on a wiki" button is provided on each image. All content on Wikimedia Commons is freely licensed, mainly under the Creative Commons license (see below).

The Creative Commons License

The Creative Commons (CC) license is a commonly-used license for work released online, allowing free use (and possibly modification) for the material, providing the author is attributed. In the case of the CC license, and possibly others, it is not necessary to place an attribution on each use of an image. Instead, if the file page contains the attribution information, then the fact that the image will link to its file page is suitable attribution, per the Creative Commons FAQ:

"You may satisfy the attribution requirement by providing a link to a place where the attribution information may be found"

Ordnance Survey Maps / Crown Copyright

Guidance on the use of Ordnance Survey Maps is given here. In summary, Crown copyright exists in Ordnance Survey mapping for 50 years from the end of the year in which it was published. You can copy mapping that is older than this without a licence.

Permission for use

In some cases, permission has been obtained to use all or parts of a collection of material on SVRSevern Valley Railway Wiki. A permanent record of such permissions is kept on permission for material use.

Dating Current Events

When discussing the current situation regarding an engine, project, or similar, you should mention the date at which you're writing the comment, e.g. "as of December 2018, locomotive 12345 was being overhauled...". Preferably, you should use the format {{As of|2018|12}} which will be displayed as "As of December 2018" and will automatically create a link to the list of all articles containing potentially dated statements, which makes it easier for editors to keep the wiki up to date. If you use phrases such as "currently" or "at the moment", it can be hard for a reader to work out whether the information is still correct. A date may also encourage someone to add more up-to-date information at a later point in time, as they will be made aware that the page hasn't been updated for a while.

References

  1. Editing Tips page