UESPWiki:Helping Out

The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
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There are many ways to help the wiki. Our goal is to document everything about the Elder Scrolls series, and anyone who would like to help is welcome to contribute. If you want to get a quick overview of ongoing projects, you can check the Task List.

Editors are free to work on any project that they find interesting. If you're reading a page and see something that needs to be fixed, just click on the "edit" button and fix it. If you're looking for something that needs to be done, this page provides some suggestions.

Contents

[edit] General Page Improvement

The ideas in this section can be applied to almost any page on the site; while you are reading articles, keep in mind whether any of these improvements are needed on the page. In addition, there are various categories and Special Pages where articles that have been tagged as needing improvements are listed. You can browse through any of those categories and see if any of the pages are on topics that you're knowledgeable about. Or you can add any page that you think needs maintenance to a category to let other editors know that page needs work.

If you're uncertain about anything, or have any questions you'd like answered before jumping in and starting to edit, feel free to ask! You can post any questions you might have on this article's talk page, you can ask a mentor to help you, or you can add a question to any talk page on the site, and an editor will try to help out.

[edit] Cleaning Up Articles

There are (unfortunately) always articles that do not meet the site's style guidelines. Some common problems with articles include:

Pages that have been identified as needing to be cleaned up are listed at:

In order to clean up some pages, feel free to use Creation Kit Information Requests page. Specific Creation Kit information requests for articles can be made here.

[edit] Expanding Articles

Many articles can be expanded and improved upon. You could roam the site looking for articles that you feel are too vague, then elaborate on them. If you notice information that is missing from an article, add it. You could also expand upon stubs, which are articles that have not received substantial attention from other editors and do not have a sufficient amount of information.

  • Stubs provides a list of minimal length articles that need to be fleshed out.

[edit] Create New Articles

Are we missing something? If there are a lot of pages that link to an empty page, you may want to create it. Links in blue represent pages that have been created, and links in red represent pages that have not been created. However, creating new articles should only be done if the article is necessary and will not be redundant. If you are a new editor and are not familiar with the site's existing content, it may be better to wait until you have more experience with the site before creating any articles.

Not all red link pages should be immediately created. Before creating a new page at the target location you should:

  • First check whether the red link is an error. The most common cause of a red link is an editor misspelling a word, rather than a missing article. If a page on the topic already exists, fix all of the links so that they point to the correct page instead.
  • Only create a new page if you can fill in more than a single sentence. New pages should try to provide a complete discussion of the page's topic. If you don't know enough to fill in more than one sentence, it is better to leave the page as a red link. Then other editors can more easily identify which pages need work.
  • Read the other requirements at Help:Starting New Pages and make sure they have all been met.

If after these checks you are certain that the article is needed, then start writing it!

  • Wanted Pages provides a list of all the pages that exist as "red links". Click on the page name to create it; click on the "# links" link to see what pages have the links and fix those pages if more appropriate.

[edit] Adding Suggestions

If you believe any article needs improvements or fixes, but you don't know how to do it yourself, then post a message on the article's talk page. For example, if you don't understand anything on this article or think this article is missing information, just edit the Helping Out talk page (also accessible on any page by clicking the link that says "discussion") and type in your suggestion. Likewise for any other article on the site: click on that article's "discussion" link to provide suggestions about how to improve that page. Suggestions on how to make it easier to find information or pointers about basic information that has been overlooked is particularly welcome: the more experienced editors who add a lot of the wiki's content have a hard time remembering what it was like as a new editor ;)

[edit] Adding Links

Many necessary links between wiki pages are missing, which makes it harder for readers to find information. If you are reading a page and realize that it contains few or no links, add some (although in moderation).

An even more prevalent problem with wiki pages is that links to the page are often missing. When new pages are created, editors will often make sure to place all the necessary links from the page, but it can be much less convenient to track down all the other pages that should link to their new page. While looking over a page, click on the "What Links Here" button (in the toolbox at the bottom of the left-hand side of the page), and see whether the list of "What Links Here" pages seems comparable in length to the number of links on the page. If you only see two or three pages in "What Links Here", check whether any of the linked-to pages could be improved with a new link or two.

  • Orphaned Pages: pages that are not linked to by any other wiki pages. In general, other pages should be edited to add links to these pages (although there are exceptions, i.e., permanently orphaned pages that do not need to be fixed).
  • Pages Needing Wikification: pages in general need of wiki formatting, which often includes adding links.
  • Dead End Pages: pages that contain zero links to other wiki pages. Note that many subpages are not supposed to have links (in particular, please do not add place links to Oblivion place description pages).

[edit] Adding Images

There are many screenshots, maps, and other images that would help to make articles more informative. Images provides information on image formats and how to obtain good quality screenshots.

[edit] Other Maintenance

Other categories and special pages that list pages needing maintenance include:

[edit] Helping the Community

[edit] Monitoring Articles

Unfortunately, many people who do not understand our goals come through here and make careless edits or edits that otherwise do not comply with the style guide; vandalism occasionally happens. These edits are caught and fixed by editors who monitor the recent changes. While there are some patrollers who are given a couple of special tools to help monitor recent changes, any editors are welcome to help out. Sometimes this means rewording a new contribution to a page, and sometimes this means deleting it.

If you find that you enjoy monitoring the recent changes page and tend to be frequently checking it, you may wish to nominate yourself to join the site's Patrollers.

[edit] Answering Questions

There are frequently questions that get asked by other contributors, either on the Reference Desk, or on article talk pages. If you know the answer (or even a partial answer) to any question, feel free to answer it. Recent questions can be identified from the recent changes page; older questions can be found by checking the talk pages of articles that you are reading or in the collection of questions at Questions Needing Answers.

[edit] Helping Other Users

Many users don't know some of the ways they can help on the wiki. You could help them out by sharing with them some of your knowledge, and encouraging them to get active and find something to start editing. One of the ways to identify yourself as someone that would like to help others is to place your name on the mentor program. Another way is to look at the recent changes page and to look for newcomers or anonymous editors who have been making some good edits. Encourage them to get a new account if they haven't, and show them around the community.

[edit] Public Relations

We need more people that are interested in reading what we write about, and we need more people that are interested in writing. The UESP does not advertise formally, so it requires people like you to spread the word to make this site bigger and better. Don't resort to spamming, because it makes us look bad and makes people unhappy, but just keep an eye out for people that may be interested. You could put a link to us in your signature on the official forums, for example, or you could show people who need help some of our articles.

[edit] Projects

The Task List provides a list of projects that other editors have identified as needing to be done. Everyone is invited to look through the list and add new projects or find projects that they would like to work on. You can also check out Projects for a list of official project pages.

[edit] See Also

  • Getting Started - A guide for new editors.
  • Style Guide - General guidelines for how to write, format, and present pages.
  • Common Mistakes - Some mistakes to avoid when contributing.
  • Policies and Guidelines - Important rules and guidelines that you should try to become familiar with before editing.
  • Namespaces - Our policy on the use of the namespaces.
  • Categories - A guideline to the use and creation of categories.
  • MediaWiki Help Page - General information on how to edit MediaWiki pages, including: building tables, controlling table of contents displays, and adding/using templates, etcetera.
  • Wiki Subforum - A place on the UESP forums for discussions and questions specifically about the UESP Wiki.

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