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I'm working on a new policy document that reflects our goals, non-neutral point of view, and intent to not plagiarize or get sued. --DRolfe 06:26, 5 Aug 2005 (PDT)


Primary Guidelines

Fair and Factual, not necessarily Fair and Balanced

This is a left/progressive/liberal/Democratic site. Articles should be written from that standpoint. Of course, acknowledging the other sides' point of view allows readers to understand what the left is reacting to, but where your position is factually correct, it isn't required. That is, when you state that the world is round don't make a concession to the Flat Earth Society unless addressing fringe viewpoints is critical to your article; This is not an echo chamber, you do not have to give equal time.
In general, the dKosopedia follows many of the sucessful Wikipedia policies and guidelines.

Cite your sources

The intellectual dishonesty of plagiarism is not persuasive. If you quote, summarize, paraphrase, or otherwise include information that is not your own and is not common knowledge you must cite it; even when you are writing from memory. Here's a quick test for citation: If you didn't know it last year you should probably cite it; If you didn't know it before you started working on the article you should definitely cite it; If you've known it for years but the average web surfer doesn't know it you might want to cite it then, too.
If you learned it somewhere, state where. With wikis like this one, it's especially easy for web sources. You can either link directly in the text, like this or include the address in brackets, this [] will look like: [1]. With books and other materials make an attempt at in-text citation and include your works cited in a section marked =References=. For example, "David Brancaccio said on the August 5, 2005 edition of NOW that a common refrain amongst the public regarding media consolidation is that 'the Internet solves all of this stuff,'" rather than "David Brancaccio said the Internet solves the problem of big media." Not only does the former clearly identify that Brancaccio is paraphrasing public opinion, it also gives enough information to be verifiable. Good articles, like good arguments and good journalism are based on verifiable fact.

Ohwilleke 17:47, 6 Aug 2005 (PDT) I'm not sure I agree with the "If you've known it for years but the average web surfer doesn't know it you should cite it then, too." part. I think that there are times when the author can be the source. More sourcing can add strength to the article, but isn't necessary to post here. Stating this as a preference rather than a requirement in cases where the author knows it from memory would be better (and is generally not going to be copyright infringing, as copyright protects expressions rather than facts). Also, I personally would like to avoid numbered footnoting format, as opposed to simply hotlinking sources (contrary the the Wikipedia norm) except in cases where multiple sources for the same fact makes that impossible (and even there, I tend to prefer the here, here, here and here sentence to numbered footnotes).

  • DRolfe 04:43, 7 Aug 2005 (PDT) - I pretty much comepletely agree. I've got to differ on my note about citing when working from memory and this is why: If you are quoting or paraphrasing something from memory it's still plagiarism to pass it off as your own. I know you understand what I'm saying, (but for anyone else reading)... There is a big difference between, "so and so said such and such" and "so and so, quoted in the November 18th NYT article 'foo', said such and such". The former is not verifialbe and comes off merely as hearsay; I wouldn't consider it valid. It's like saying you heard it yourself, in which cause you should have said, "in my conversation with so and so on some date, such and such was said". (Pardon my British/logical quotation-style... programmers hate including punctuation that was not in the original inside of the quotes; see also MLA style ellipsis [...] to denote that the ellipsis weren't in the original source).

Do not infringe copyrights

Lots more here. Massage some of the text I already added to dKosopedia:Copyrights.

Play nicely

Avoid edit wars by utilizing discussion pages. Use other users' talk pages and e-mail links to discuss disputes -- we're all logged in users here, there is no drive-by editing.

General Policies


Editing Policy


Naming Policy

Conserve capitals, avoid plurals, avoid namespacing, use spaces, use parenthesis for disambiguation, use slashes for hierarchical articles.

Ohwilleke 17:50, 6 Aug 2005 (PDT) Conserve capitals - yes. Avoid plurals - yes, avoid namespacing -- what the hell does that mean? use spaces -- yes, use parenthesis for disambiguation -- need an example to know what you mean, use slashes -- I'd like to avoid slashes in our name space (and indeed, for the matter, I'd also like to avoid hierarchical articles)

I also agree with you about hiarchical artiles. In my world I'd rather they just all sit in one big article :) My justification for mentioning slashing is that the MediaWiki software acknowleges it for certain namespaces (see the automatic link back to my user page at the top of this one). While it makes me crazy, I'd rather have Iraq/Political Parties rather than Iraq:Political Parties. Using 'fake' namespaces (contrasting real namespaces like user: template: mediawiki: help: etc.) is just ... I dunno ... unpleasant?
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