USMLE Wiki:Editorial Guidelines

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Editorial Guidelines for the USMLE Wiki

If you want to help write and complete the USMLE Wiki, please follow the editorial guidelines.

Why Editorial Guidelines

The USMLE Wiki exists to serve a purpose and as the founder, it is my job to ensure that it fulfills that purpose. To that end certain rules should be implemented to ensure the orderly management of the Wiki Project and that it achieves its intended purpose.

What is the purpose of the USMLE Wiki

The purpose of the USMLE Wiki is to be a central repository or knowledge database of medical concepts commonly tested in the United States Medical Licensing Examination. The contents will be written at the level of the USMLE and should not be as detailed as medical textbooks. However, it should not also be so devoid of details as most reviewers are, that it is impossible to ace the USMLE without occasionally referring to textbooks.

Editorial Guidelines

  1. Learn Wiki Syntax before writing. If you are just starting out and just learning Wiki Syntax, please choose a blank topic to edit and do not edit portions that are already written out by other members.
  2. As much as possible, edit topics not being edited by other members. Eventually as the USMLE Wiki fills out, you will be editing what other people have written. Doing so will eventually create conflict and arguments which is inevitable in editing Wikis. By initially editing topics not being edited by others, we can concentrate on finishing the Wiki, rather than settling arguments.
  3. In order to ensure that all relevant topics have been covered, I have created the Outline for the USMLE Wiki and this outline should not be edited. You will not be allowed to create new pages although you can request it for consideration.
  4. All first level headings should not be edited. You also should not add or remove any first level headings without permission.
  5. You can add second level headings but cannot remove it once added.(Except if you are the one who wrote it and is the only author) There is a reason why the heading was put there and you should have a good reason why it should be removed. The first step is to contact the author of the second level heading and settle it there. Failure to settle it there, means that you'll have to bring up the issue to me for resolution.
  6. Once any page has more than 2 level headings, it will be split to another page. This is to keep each Wiki page readable and not too detailed. The purpose of the USMLE Wiki is not only for reference, but also for actual review and too much information in a page results in clutter and makes reviewing more difficult.
  7. Copyright is very important matter for the USMLE Wiki, therefore it is important that you observe copyright laws. Do not submit copyrighted work without permission. Use the reference section to provide attribution. Use external links section if you are unable to get permission but still want people to refer to it.
  8. Two types of Reference can be given, General References and Direct References. General References contain books or articles that you used as reference to write your contribution, while Direct References include direct quotes and images you used in your article.
  9. Failure to follow editorial rules can cause your membership to be suspended or even banned from the USMLE Wiki. There is a need to ensure the orderly running of the Wiki and rules will be implemented strictly. Disorderliness and vandalism will not be tolerated.
  10. Rules may be modified or additional rules implemented depending on the situation. Please cooperate to make the USMLE Wiki a success.
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