Help:Contents/Article Creation Standards

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In order to create a consistent look and feel for visitors to the wiki, contributors should use a standard approach to creating new article pages. In order to maintain the high standards of quality and integrity that MarketsWiki has set, contributors should strive to create the most accurate and NEUTRAL display of information as possible. MarketsWiki is NOT a marketing tool. Entries should contain factual information only, and not promotional claims.

Note that we are not asking contributors to write in a boring style! Accuracy need not put people to sleep. Nor are we attempting to impose a rigid structure for writers, allowing them only to fill in limited forms. If our standards need to be extended for your specific article, extend them. If a particular section simply isn't relevant for the topic you're describing, take it out. When possible, meet and match our standards. When irrelevant, make changes!

Overall Standards

Valid Topics

There are three types of topics that should be included in MarketsWiki:

  • Information about events, processes, circumstances, objects, lists of things, history, and other topics that are legitimately related to the derivatives, securities, environmental and other sectors that together make up the loosely-defined financial industry.
  • Information about organizations related to the financial industry (companies, exchanges, advocacy groups, publishers, etc.) and the products or services that they create or administer
  • Information about people involved in the financial industry

Neutrality

Writers of wiki articles should strive for the greatest perspective of neutrality possible.

When writing about simple facts and concepts, this is usually easy. When writing about people and companies and the products they produce, it is easy to lose the balanced perspective. Please do not use the wiki as a means to unreservedly criticize or promote products or people. That means write as if contributing to an encyclopedia or news article rather than as if writing a press release.

Don't get us wrong -- we're not saying that a critical eye or positive point of view has no place here. People and companies do great and terrible things. Some products are fabulous; others worthless. The trick is to set aside as much bias as possible in order to present information rather than a clearly-slanted opinion.

To help with this, make sure you document reliable sources for specific statements of quality. If you write that someone is "the best trader of 2007", include references that support that determination, and those references should not simply be an email from that trader. If XYZ, Inc. creates exchange technology that you describe as, "unrivaled in the industry for performance," be sure to source the benchmarks that demonstrate its lack of competition.

If you can't support a claim through citation or proof within the article, it's best to leave it out.

Topics, Not Just Definitions

MarketsWiki is not a giant glossary or dictionary. It's an encyclopedia. If you find yourself creating a page that contains a one-line definition of a topic, then stop and identify the larger topic that contains the definition. Rather than creating a new page with a single definition, create a link to the main topic and make sure the definition is contained in that main topic's page.

It is acceptable for an article to contain a definition section, if that's needed.

For example, we have a page for describing options. If you're writing about a company that has a special options trading technique that only buys puts, resist the temptation to create a page that simply defines a [[put option]]. Rather, check the page on options, make sure that calls and puts are defined there, and in your article about the trading company, create the link to the [[option]] topic. If you're not sure how to make the text "put option" link to the topic page named "option", see this useful tip page: Help:Contents/Linking Topics With Different Text

Prohibited Topics

The following types of articles or content within articles will be immediately removed from view when found:

  • Advertisements for products or services that are not directly authorized by the MarketsWiki team
  • Confidential or proprietary information
  • Links and other redirections to sites that deal in illegal, pirated, confidential or proprietary information
  • Articles whose sole purpose is to defame or otherwise harm a person or company
  • Articles that have nothing whatsoever to do with the participants, products and events in the financial industry.

Contributors who post such prohibited topics will be notified of the removed article. Contributors who engage repeatedly (which means, "more than once") in such activity will cease to be contributors.

Citations and References

Statements of fact should be associated with a specific source, whether obtained from interviews, paper publications or online sources. There are two ways to create references within an article:

  • When the article contains information from multiple sources, then relevant citations are included as footnote marks where the borrowed information is used.
  • When a topic is based on information from a single source, a single reference to the source may be placed in the References section of the article.

Wiki footnote references require a little bit of HTML code to create, but the wiki will at least build the reference list with minimal help from the writer. For details on how to create citations and reference list, see Help:Contents/Using Citations.

Links to External Web Sites

External references are essential to establish credibility, but they should be kept in their proper place.

To the greatest extent possible, restrict external web site references to citations that are listed at the bottom of the article. Filling articles with external links can create the impression that "all the real information" is elsewhere, and encourages the reader to leave our site rather than continuing to search and explore in new topics. We want to present articles that appear (and are) complete and correct, rather than creating suggestions that people leave the wiki page for a more complete description.

Referring to companies in an article (for example, listing the places where someone worked)? Don't put in all their web sites as links; instead, use topic links to direct people to articles within the wiki. If the company name or topic is outside the scope of the wiki, then go ahead and use an external link, but be careful.

Expect To Be Edited

The wiki is a dynamic environment for writing. There's no article here that is ever "done", by definition. There could always be a bit more to add, or a slight improvement in how it's worded.

Consequently, every time you add a page, you should expect that someone will change it. The MarketsWiki team usually makes changes soon after a new page is submitted. Other contributors and readers might very well have more information on the topic you've made. Don't consider editing to be a sign of disapproval! It's a sign of collaboration.

Once in a while, somebody may edit a page and make a revision or addition to your work that turns out to be incorrect. If you see that happen, feel free to fix the error. You can also request that the MarketsWiki team intervene and roll back the article to its pre-edited state. No changes or deletions will wipe out previous versions of an article, so don't worry about having your article be permanently damaged or destroyed.

In situations where two people engage in a war over an article's content, changing a page back and forth, the MarketsWiki team will lock the page and assist in resolving the dispute.

Using Templates

The wiki software provides a concept called "templates", which are pages that contain standardized text to be used by many article pages. Information that is not unique to one article (such as info boxes that say "Help add content to the wiki") goes into templates. This accomplishes several good things:

  • Article contributors are not required to invent standardized elements over and over
  • Every time a standardized element appears (like an information citation), it has the same format everywhere
  • If there is part of the text that requires changing (for example, we want to replace the text in that "Help add content" info box), one change to the template will result in a change on every article page

When you create your new articles, look for templates to add info boxes, citation references, and sponsor boxes. The markup syntax isn't totally intuitive in some cases, but it's workable. For a list of all the templates currently available, see Help:Contents/Using Templates (Pre-made text).

Standards for New Articles

Use of Wiki Markup Syntax

The text entered for article pages does not generally contain large amounts of HTML code. Both for the convenience and speed of the author as well as those who come later to edit and support the articles, the wiki software package supplies a number of shortcuts and conventions for quickly and cleanly writing articles.

While any wiki article can contain customized HTML sections, the practice is discouraged. The goal is to create a familiar setting for the reader page-by-page. Consider that if a print encyclopedia like Britannica randomly changed its layout format and style every few pages, anyone opening a volume more than once would likely find the experience unpleasant.

In addition, creating article pages with all manner of HTML tags and style changes will produce a page that may be very difficult for others to expand, improve or correct. Not everyone who shares knowledge in a wiki is an HTML coder.

For an overview of the syntax for common commands in this wiki, see Help:Contents/Basic Wiki Syntax

Article Titles and Redirections

An article's topic may be referenced by several variations of name. People may have nicknames or titles. A company may be commonly known by only part of its legal name.

An article page may only have one name. Fortunately, wiki software provides a means for having multiple references to an article via the #REDIRECT command, so the name variations that people might use can all point to the article.

The title of the article page itself should be the most complete and concise version of the topic name. For a company, this is normally the full and legal name of the company, including the Corporation, LLC, Inc, or whatever else would come next. For people, it would be their actual name. For information topics, the title is the broadest descriptor that still meets the "complete and concise" goal.

So for example, if a company's name is Morrison Gates Brown Investments, Inc., then that full name should be the article title. Any other variations, like MGBI or MGB Investments, should be redirections. Leave extra things out of the article title, however. If the company is commonly known as MGBI, don't include the letters in the full name (for example, "Morrison Gates Brown Investments, Inc. (MGBI)"). You can note the acronym in the article.

To create redirections, create a new page with the alternate article name, and in that page put a one-line redirect command. It looks like this:

    #REDIRECT [[actual article page name]]

So for the above example, you'd create a new page called MGBI (and yes, the page names are case-sensitive) and in that page, write:

    #REDIRECT [[Morrison Gates Brown Investments, Inc.]]

Don't stretch to create redirections that aren't relevant or needed. It makes sense to create a "CBOT" redirection for the Chicago Board of Trade, but "CBOTrade" isn't needed because nobody refers to the exchange that way.

Each article page within the wiki is designed to contain a sponsor logo. Entities who sponsor the wiki are both listed on the Sponsor Page, and are allowed to put their logo on a specified number of pages.

The sponsor logo is contained within a box that should be placed so that it is visible somewhere on the first page of information of the article. That is, when the article page loads, the user shouldn't have to scroll down in order for the logo to be seen.

In general, articles that discuss a product, person or company that is part of an entity sponsoring the wiki should only have a sponsorship logo for that entity. In other words, the bio page for the president of Eurex should only have a Eurex logo on his page, at least for as long as Eurex remains a sponsor of the wiki.

When a page hasn't yet been assigned a sponsor (which will be true for every new page that isn't related to a sponsor), a placeholder sponsor box should be used instead both to let the MarketsWiki team know which pages aren't assigned, and to alert potential sponsors reading the wiki of the opportunity to participate.

Template pages have been created for both the placeholder boxes and the sponsor boxes.

When creating a page without a sponsor, add one of the following two lines to your page (exactly as it appears below), usually between the first and second paragraph of text:

    {{Infobox Midpage Need Sponsor}}
{{Infobox Midpage Need Sponsor Right}}

The two boxes are identical in appearance. The first one is on the left side of the page, embedded in the text. The second one is drawn to float to the right of the text on the page. The one you choose depends on your aesthetic preference.

If a sponsor for a page has already been identified, then use one of these two templates (again, the only difference is the side of the page that the box appears on). Note that the italic words in these templates are not exact text. They are values you need to send the template. Examples of how to do this are a little further down in this section.

    {{Infobox Midpage Sponsor|caption_info=captiontext|sponsor_logo=imagename}}
{{Infobox Midpage Sponsor Right|caption_info=captiontext|sponsor_logo=imagename}}

captiontext is the title that you want to give to the sponsor box. It should be the name of the company that is sponsoring the page. For example, '''International Securities Exchange'''. The triple apostrophe turns the text bold, and should be included.

imagename is the location in the wiki of the sponsor's logo. For example, [[Image:ISE_logo2.jpg|180px|center]] to add the ISE's logo, force it to be displayed at a maximum of 180 pixels across, and centered in the box.

The completed syntax for the example to include in an article page looks like this:

    {{Template:Infobox_Midpage_Sponsor | caption_info='''International Securities Exchange'''|
     sponsor_logo=[[Image:ISE_logo2.jpg|180px|center]]}}

When used in an article, the end result looks like this:

MarketsWiki is sponsored by
[[Image:
ISE logo2.jpg
|center]]
'International Securities Exchange'














Using Section Headers

Section headers (like the one in the line above) serve a few important functions:

  • They break up long articles into pieces that are easier for readers to digest
  • They serve as reminders to include specific types of information in an article
  • They help to create a standard set of information for various types of topics
  • They allow the automatic construction of the "Table of Contents" box like the one at the top of this article
  • They allow editors to modify individual sections in the article rather than working with the entire page.

Unless the article's size and scope are very small (in which case... are you sure it should have its own separate article page?), you should use section headers to organize, label and separate information.

To create main subject headers (like "Overall Standards" in this article), surround your section header text with double equal signs, like this:

    ==Standards For New Articles==

To create subsections, use three equal signs, like this:

    ===Using Section Headers===

Basic Section Headers for Organizations

At a minimum, articles about organizations (companies, exchanges, advocacy groups, etc.), should contain the following sections:

  • An introduction giving a very brief overview of what the organization is and what it does. Because this is the first part of the article, it doesn't need a section header
  • History, which details the company's past
  • Products (or Services), which gives an overview of what the company produces. Super-detailed product descriptions, depending on size, should probably be put into separate articles (e.g. "Contracts Traded at the CME")
  • Key Management, briefly listing who is in charge and what they do. Full biographies should go into separate articles for each person's name
  • References, which contains the list of any citations that were placed throughout the rest of the article
  • External Links, which is where links to other web sites are placed

If there are sections above that are not relevant, leave them out. If there are additional sections needed for good information that does not fall into those categories, then put them in.

Basic Section Headers for People

At a minimum, articles about people should contain the following sections:

  • An introduction giving a very brief overview of who the person is and what makes them currently most relevant for the wiki article. Because this is the first part of the article, it doesn't need a section header
  • Background (or Early Years or something else like that), listing the person's formative period
  • If there is one company or accomplishment for which the person is especially well known, create a section specifically for it (for example, Bill Gates would need a section called 'Microsoft', and Thurgood Marshall would have a 'Supreme Court' section)
  • Awards (or something similar), if the person has received any awards, patents, or special recognition
  • References, which contains the list of any citations that were placed throughout the rest of the article
  • External Links, which is where links to other web sites are placed

Remove section headers that are not relevant, and add new ones as needed.

Basic Section Headers for Miscellaneous Topics

Section headers for topics will vary depending on the contents and complexity of each subject. The following three sections should at least be used:

  • An introduction section to introduce the topic. Because this is the first part of the article, it doesn't need a section header
  • References, which contains the list of any citations that were placed throughout the rest of the article
  • External Links, which is where links to other web sites are placed

Other than that, add whatever sections are relevant and helpful.

Table of Contents

When an article contains more than two section headers as described above, the wiki software automatically builds a table of contents when it generates the page for display. The table is contained within a box, and placed between the introduction paragraph and the first section's header.

If for some reason you need to make that table of contents box disappear, it can be done by placing the following command as the first line in the article:

    __NOTOC__

(two underscore symbols before and after the NOTOC word)

However, unless there's a compelling practical or aesthetic reason to suppress the table, don't include this command.

References Section

When you use citations in the article per the wiki standards (see Help:Contents/Using Citations for details), then the software can generate a list of references. The "References" section is by convention placed near the end of the article page, just after all other information sections and prior to any "See Also" or "External Links" sections that may be present.

Inside the references section, add the following command:

    <references />

exactly as shown here, to identify where the list of references is to be placed.

Categories

Categories serve as a way of grouping types of topics together. When you include articles in a category, the wiki database keeps track of those decisions. By looking at a given category in the wiki, you can see all of the article pages in an alphabetized list that are associated with that category.

Note that it is not necessary to create a category for every article that is written. It's better to have an article without a category, than to create one-member categories. "North American Exchanges" makes sense; "People Who Worked For The CFTC in June 1998" may be stretching it.

For a list of categories, see Special:Categories. To add a category to a page, put the following line at the bottom of the article:

    [[Category:name of category]]

"name of category" is the name of the category related to the page. You can use more than one category statement if it applies. For example, the Chicago Board of Trade's article would have the following category statements:

    [[Category:Exchanges]]
    [[Category:Futures Exchanges]]
    [[Category:North American Exchanges]]

Crediting Your Writing

Typically, article writers for the wiki do not visibly sign or credit their writing. Your user name is visible in the history section every time you create or edit an article, so no writing is anonymous; by convention, that's normally the only place that articles and edits are signed.

In cases where an unusual effort was made to create an article, or where a notable team was created to complete the task, a visible credit may be included. If present, it should be placed as the last section in the article, and should have the header Credits. This is not a biography section; rather, it's a place to simply list who wrote the article. If that person, people or team have pages in the wiki, then link to those pages.