ArchaeoWiki:FAQ

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The Basics

What is ArchaeoWiki?

ArchaeoWiki is a community-based collaborative resource and discussion platform for archaeological subject matter. This site is intended to be a place that anyone can come to explore the vast, varied, and continually growing body of archaeological knowledge. It is also a place that experts, specialists, educators, students, and other interested parties can come together to build a resource that is useful to themselves and others. ArchaeoWiki serves as a platform for people of all backgrounds to become involved in the creation, dissemination, and discussion of archaeological knowledge.

Who owns/runs ArchaeoWiki?

This site was founded by two overly-ambitious archaeologists from southern Ontario, Canada: Andrew Riddle and Amy Fox. While the site belongs, in a sense, to all who contribute to its pages, responsibility for maintaining ArchaeoWiki falls on these two.

How long has ArchaeoWiki been around?

We have not been around for very long at all. ArchaeoWiki is still in its infancy, having only been 'live' since May 2013.

Why was ArchaeoWiki created?

The idea for this wiki stemmed from repeated frustrations in how inaccessible and dispersed useful archaeological knowledge seemed to be in this day and age. Given the tools available in today's digital world, both in terms of computing power and communication networks, leveraging the archaeological community's collective experience and enthusiasm seemed an obvious solution.

How are you profiting from ArchaeoWiki?

We do not profit from ArchaeoWiki, aside from the immense satisfaction of seeing a useful resource being created by an engaged and motivated community of enthusiasts. Please do not provide suggestions for how we might 'monetize' the site; we're not interested.

Participation

Will the Admin staff be deciding who can or cannot edit content?

In part. All applicants will be allowed access to ArchaeoWiki unless the applicant violates the Terms of Use. Accounts are required as a means of monitoring the contributions of each user and protecting the community's investment. A given user's edits can be undone and that user banned from the site if it is demonstrated that malicious activity has taken place.

Why can I only view articles, not edit or create them?

Only members have permission to add and edit content. To request membership, go here.

What credentials do I need to have to become a member?

There are no specific qualifications for gaining membership beyond a genuine interest in archaeology.

What are my obligations to ArchaeoWiki as a member?

To remain a member of ArchaeoWiki, you are required to abide by the Terms of Use. In a nutshell, you are expected to respect other community members, to respect the copyrights associated with all content, and to further the overall goals of ArchaeoWiki in promoting and facilitating archaeological research. Beyond these restrictions, you are free to participate as much as you see fit.

Is membership limited to the academic community?

No. Academics, professionals, amateurs and casual enthusiasts are encouraged to contribute. The community is made so much more richer when people from a wide range of backgrounds are included. Note, however, that all participants are expected to meet a minimum level of quality in their written contributions.

How do I get recognized for my contributions?

While viewers can look at the edit log for a given article to see who has contributed, ArchaeoWiki aims to recognize the contribution of scholars (through citation and reference) to the discipline rather than those site members who provide summary sketches of this work. If your primary concern is to be applauded for describing the works of others, you are probably in the wrong place.

I've never contributed to a wiki before and I'm a bit confused by all this 'code'. Can I still contribute?

Absolutely. Even if all you are comfortable doing is writing a sentence here or there, or perhaps starting a page with a brief paragraph on the subject, any contribution you are willing to make will be beneficial to the community. As you get more comfortable and see examples that others provide, you may want to try adding references, making tables, or tagging information; but no rush. Participate as you like, as often as you like.

What if I write something that is wrong or out-of-date?

Mistakes are to be expected, but do your utmost to represent information accurately and with sufficient context. Incorrect information can be fixed when found by yourself or others, and the relevant source referenced for everyone's benefit. Avoid adding information if you do not have a credible source to back it up. Even out-of-date information is important to mention, especially if it helps the reader understand how the archaeological community has come to understand a subject as we do today.

Scope and Content

Does ArchaeoWiki aim to amass all archaeological knowledge into one place?

No. ArchaeoWiki is best thought of as a hub from which one is directed to relevant information. The goal is to provide summarized information on a subject and direct a visitor to the primary sources of the information. The collaborating community determines the scope of content based on their interests and needs.

Can ArchaeoWiki be cited as a source of information?

ArchaeoWiki should NEVER be considered a primary source of information; it is a place to find out the basics (and some specifics) of a subject, to explore connections between subjects, and to discover where you can learn more about a given topic. We cannot stress enough, to students in particular, that ArchaeoWiki should not be cited as a source in papers/essays/projects. Always consult and reference primary sources.

Is ArchaeoWiki limited to North American subject matter?

No. Archaeological subject matter from anywhere the world may be presented and discussed here.

Is ArchaeoWiki limited to English language articles?

No. Articles may be written in other languages as deemed appropriate for the subject matter. The Administration is presently looking into translation extensions that will accommodate multiple languages without the need for more than one version of each article.

Can I add this obscure archaeological site to ArchaeoWiki?

Perhaps. All subjects must meet the Criteria of Notability in order to qualify for an article on ArchaeoWiki, including archaeological sites. Subjects that do not meet these criteria should not be added and any such pages should be removed from the site. That being said, the criteria allow for some flexibility in interpretation and collaborators are welcome to present a strong case in the article text for why the subject in question is sufficiently notable to be included.

When do you expect ArchaeoWiki to be 'done'?

Never. It is a perpetual work in progress.

Can I upload pictures and other media?

Articles are almost always improved with a few images and figures. Uploading media is allowed, with some size and format restrictions. Only media with suitable licensing permissions can be used. If an image/video does not belong to you and you do not know if you have permission to use it or not, do not use it.

Conflict

What happens when two or more collaborators disagree on a point? Who settles/arbitrates the matter?

Disagreement in archaeology is unavoidable at times, and in cases where there are multiple points of view on a subject, it is expected that all viewpoints are expressed provided each perspective can be supported with credible references. It is suggested that each perspective is given its own sub-section where all collaborators can identify the strengths and weaknesses of each argument, again citing appropriate sources to back up their evaluations. Additional respectful discussion/argumentation (preferably without the use of ALL CAPS) can be presented in the article's associated Talk page.

Who decides whether a collaborator is banned/censored?

The administrators will investigate any reported incidents of inappropriate or malicious behaviour and decide upon an appropriate course of action.

Resource Protection

How does ArchaeoWiki protect archaeological sites from looters and other unsavouries?

Resource preservation and protection should be of the utmost importance to all archaeologists. To help guard against unauthorized disturbance of archaeological sites discussed on ArchaeoWiki, geographic coordinates provided for any given site are to be kept approximate, with a minimum proximity radius of 1 km. Specific description of site locations should also be avoided. Although many sites can be located easily enough based on published maps, this policy will be upheld as best practice for the preservation of our collective cultural heritage. Specific coordinates may be provided if a site is public knowledge, such as a National Historic Site, or if the site has been completely destroyed/removed. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and protect site locations.

How does ArchaeoWiki combat the antiquities trade?

Although there is little that this site can do to directly restrict the sale, legal or otherwise, of material culture, ArchaeoWiki aims to provide as little support as possible for those interested in buying or selling artifacts. To that end, collaborators are forbidden from referencing artifact values or appraisals, linking to sites or individuals that facilitate the sale of cultural materials, or posting statements encouraging this activity. Any member shown to be associated with the antiquity trade or caught encouraging this activity will be immediately banned.

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