Wiki objectives and usage guidelines

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About the WormBase Wiki

This document describes the objectives and usage guidelines of the WormBase Wiki.

Wikis are community-driven, collaborative websites. Users may freely post and edit documents on the site, see past revisions of the document, and create links both to other documents and websites.

It is important to note that Wikis are NOT forums, where individual comments on a topic are collected and presented as a discussion thread. Wikis are more appropriate for evolving documents; forums are more appropriate for long-running discussions.

WormBase Wiki is driven by the open-source MediaWiki software, the same software that powers Wikipedia.

Proposed Content

The Wiki will be divided into three main sections: community submissions, official WormBase documentation, and WormBase internal documents. The latter two categories will be restricted to editing by WormBase staff only.

Community-created documents

The Wiki provides a perfect place for WormBase users to share ideas and information. Possible initial stub topics could include:

  • Protocols
  • Lab and researcher profiles
  • Meeting announcements

WormBase references and resources

  1. (links to) presentations and papers
  2. The Official WormBase User Guide
  3. Data mining
    • Tutorials
    • AQL examples
    • WQL examples
    • AcePerl examples
    • Bio::DB:GFF examples
    • General script archive

WormBase internal documents

The collaborative nature of a Wiki provides a convenient place for WormBase to store internal documents. Maintaining this information on the Wiki means that we can quickly reference and keep important documents up-to-date. It also serves to make the internal procedures of WormBase more transparent, an important objective for a publically-funded project.

Possible content might include:

  • Schedules
    • Help Desk
    • Build and release schedule
  • Project-wide documentation
    • models.wrm archive
  • Site-specific documentation and standard operating procedures


Due to the open nature of Wiki sites, some oversight is required to ensure the quality and integrity of content.

To monitor the site, I propose that each WormBase site designate one user as a Wiki czar. This user will occasionally peruse new postings to the Wiki (the software provides several tools to monitor activity on the site). Inappropriate or redundant content should be purged according to our editorial policy (see below).

All members of WormBase will have administrator privileges allowing them to protect pages from editing, move (rename) pages, and create users.

Controlling content on the wiki

User registration

Since documents on a Wiki are by their nature open to editing by anyone, spam and page defacement are potential problems. To minimize these problems, we will require all users to register prior to posting.

Initially, we will use automatic user registration which requires no intervention on behalf of the Wiki administrators. Should this be insufficient to prevent unwanted postings, the Wiki can be configured such that new accounts must first be approved by an administrator.

Protecting pages from editing

Individual pages on a Wiki can be "protected". A protected page can only be edited by a user with administrative privileges (a bureaucrat in Wiki-speak). Only administrators can protect (and unprotect) pages.

It is suggested that all pages in the WormBase sections of the Wiki be protected as these reflect the official views of the WormBase consortium.

Patrolling changes

Members of WormBase can evaluate recent changes. This is known as "patrolling". To let others know that recent changes have been examined, they can be marked as having been "patrolled".

See the documentation on patrolling for additional information.

Editorial Policy

To be described at a later date...

Copyright Issues

No posting of copyrighted material will be allowed.