OrthodoxWiki:Frequently Asked Questions

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This page is an official policy on OrthodoxWiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. If you are part of the administration, please feel free to update this page as needed, but make sure that changes you make to this policy really do reflect OrthodoxWiki's perspective before you make them.

Here are a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (along with answers) regarding OrthodoxWiki. For further explanations and details, see the Style Manual and User guidelines.

Is this Wikipedia?

No. OrthodoxWiki is in no way affiliated with Wikipedia. It does, however, use the same wiki software, models some of its structure on Wikipedia, and has derived some of its articles from there under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Who runs this thing?

The chief and founding administrator is FrJohn, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He and the admins govern OrthodoxWiki.

Who's your bishop?

OrthodoxWiki is not directly under the omophorion of any bishop. It is a private, collaborative venture of multiple editors, most of whom are Orthodox Christians under various bishops.

A sysop offended me!

If you feel that a sysop has stepped out of bounds, you may post an appeal of any official action he has taken to OrthodoxWiki Talk:Administrators. If you believe he has simply been uncivil without taking any official action, you may also post an appeal to have him disciplined to OrthodoxWiki Talk:Administrators. (See: OrthodoxWiki:Disciplinary policy.)

Can anyone edit OrthodoxWiki?

If an account with an authenticated email address is registered and logged in, yes. That doesn't mean that edits won't get reverted or changed, however.

Is it okay to have multiple accounts?

Not generally, no. Alternate accounts are sometimes approved for those who wish to run bots (special programs to do mass editing on minor elements).

You changed/reverted my edit without any warning!

This is normal on most wikis, and usually (though not always) a quick revert or other such edit is the result of experienced editors using their experienced eye to bring your edits into conformity with the Style Manual or other standards. Most experienced editors will usually include a short comment in the edit summary to describe why they're doing what they're doing.

If you think about it, you probably made your edit without any warning, yourself. This is normal, too. You may want to comment on a Talk page before you make any significant changes to an established article, or you might get another of those pesky no-warning reversions.

Is this just for Eastern Orthodox stuff?

The purpose of OrthodoxWiki is to present an encyclopedia of Orthodox Christianity as represented by the mainstream Chalcedonian churches ("Eastern Orthodox"). We call this the Mainstream Chalcedonian Bias (MCB) and have explicitly adopted it. (For a list of mainstream churches, see List of autocephalous and autonomous churches.)

Some Oriental Orthodox material is also presented here, but it is regarded as a secondary part of OrthodoxWiki. See also: Point of View.

This article is wrong! Fix it!

If you find material that's incorrect or heavily biased, we encourage you to help fix it yourself, working with other editors to develop a collaborative product that represents a balanced presentation according to the MCB.

This article is not the official position of [X]!

Like any encyclopedia, OrthodoxWiki's purpose is not to present only the official position of a particular person or group. Rather, it is in some sense journalism, though with an eye toward what is of the most lasting notability and value.

But my bishop told me to write that!

With all due respect to your bishop, he doesn't dictate OrthodoxWiki policy or content. You are welcome to help improve OrthodoxWiki and to present your bishop's position within the balance of articles, if he is a major source of information on a particular matter.

What about controversial material and original research?

Articles on controversial material are welcome (indeed, they are one of the things OrthodoxWiki does best when at its best), but only if they are properly sourced and cited from reputable, third-party publications. (Quoting yourself doesn't count.) Articles which cover controversial material but fail to provide proper sources will be deleted, most likely without any warning. Include sources from the start!

Original research (i.e., research you're doing yourself rather than simply summaries of other people's published research) and unsourced articles are acceptable (though not ideal) for topics of a non-controversial nature. It should be obvious as to what's considered controversial, but in case it isn't, the sysops will rule on what qualifies.

But I'm here to bring you The Truth!

If you have an agenda to push, no matter how true you believe it to be, you are probably not in the right state of mind to write an encyclopedia. Calm down, drop your pet theories or grievances, and come back to the wiki when you're ready to write an encyclopedia.

But this article is about me!

In the interests of producing a neutral-as-possible Orthodox encyclopedia, it's generally a good rule of thumb not to edit articles about which you are the subject. Experience shows that it's nearly impossible to be objective in such a context.

If you're notable enough that your work and/or person ought to be covered in an encyclopedia article, other editors will take care of it. If they don't, humility ought to drive us all not to bring ourselves into the spotlight.

If you believe that an article which mentions you is in error, you may indicate this on the article's Talk page to ask another editor to correct the error. (If the subject matter is controversial, see above.)


May I copy material from OrthodoxWiki?

Yes, but only under certain conditions. Some material from OrthodoxWiki is, however, not available to be copied. See: OrthodoxWiki:Copyrights.

You stole my [photo/icon/text]!

If you feel that your copyright has been violated under US or international copyright law, please contact the administration and your request will be reviewed and addressed. OrthodoxWiki purposes to be fully compliant with relevant copyright law and makes every effort to do so. See: OrthodoxWiki:Copyrights.

You linked to my website!

There is no legal right "not to be referred to." If linking is a copyright violation, then every library card catalog has got to go. Fortunately, though, linking without copying has repeatedly been ruled legal in US courts. For more on this, do a search with the keywords linking and copyright.

Hey, I saw that on Wikipedia!

Material from Wikipedia may be copied onto other sites if they are willing to provide attribution and release the material under the GNU Free Documentation License, which is one of the licenses OrthodoxWiki uses.

It is also possible that what you saw on Wikipedia may first have been developed on OrthodoxWiki and then exported there, which is also legal, given the terms of the OrthodoxWiki dual license. See: OrthodoxWiki:Copyrights.

What about advertising my product/service/website?

Limited links to such sites may be included in the appropriate External links section in appropriate articles when such links appreciably add to the information in the article. This means that the link must not only be related to the article's subject matter, but it must be informational regarding its subject, as well.

Advertisements as such may not be included. This is an encyclopedia.

See also