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    See Help:Contents for a complete listing of help pages
    Figure 1: Scholarpedia is a collaborative project that welcomes contributions from all over the world. Image: crystal structure of Pu(1,2-HOPO)4, courtesy of Kenneth N. Raymond.

    This Help:Users page provides orientation to first-time users who have decided to join Scholarpedia of their own accord.

    Please note that if you are interested only in reading through articles, registration as a user is unnecessary.

    Scholarpedia welcomes any and all scholarly and encyclopedic additions, as well as improvements to other parts of the site. Note that Scholarpedia is different from Wikipedia in that it has instituted a set of rules aimed at ensuring its pages remain trustworthy and authoritative.

    As your contributions are evaluated by authors and editors, your scholar index will increase, leading to increased privileges and prominence in the Scholarpedia community. Detailed below are a few ways of helping out.

    Suggesting authors/titles

    Scholarpedia permits the authoring of scholarly encyclopedia articles on any scholarly topic. If there is an article you would like to see written, the best thing to do is to identify the best expert on the topic and ask them to write it.

    If you feel too modest to do the above, send an email to (or to the appropriate editors) with subject: 'suggestion for Scholarpedia: [author name here]' and body:

     Article title: [topic title here]
     Author: [suggested author here]
     Email: [recent email address]
     URL: [author homepage (optional)]
     Affiliation: University of ...
     Major awards: [e.g. Nobel prize, Dirac Medal,... (optional)]
     Suggested by: [your Scholarpedia username, if you are registered]
     Comment: [Explanation for why the proposed author is qualified to write on the proposed topic] 

    If editors follow your suggestion and if the author agrees to the invitation your Scholarpedia index will be incremented. Please note that it is entirely likely that an author will have already been invited to write on a particular topic -- we ask that you first look up the topic on Scholarpedia to see if it has already been proposed.

    Improving articles' contents

    One of the major distinguishing characteristics of Scholarpedia is that ...

    Scholarpedia articles have curators who are ultimately responsible for the article's contents.

    This means that the ultimate judge for accepting a modification is the article curator, who is also endowed with the right of evaluating your contribution via your Scholar index. We therefore ask that you be respectful when suggesting edits -- imagine that you are modifying Einstein's article on Relativity, and that Einstein is the one evaluating your contribution.

    In practice, anything more than minor edits like correcting typos or obvious mistakes should be carefully evaluated and compared against your expertise in the area. The best way to proceed for suggesting a content modification is to write it down in the reviews/discussions page associated at each article, and to warn the author/curator with an email. If your suggestions are good, it is likely that the author/curator will encourage you to implement those changes.

    To prevent vandalism, we have instituted a number of rules:

    • After registration your Scholar index is equal to 0. Until your Scholar index is smaller than 1, you are allowed to make just one modification per day.
    • No modification to a published article will be shown in the article main page until the curator approves it.
    • Author/curator judgment may impact your Scholar index with a mark ranging from +10 to -10. Users that after the evaluation of a modification reach negative Scholar index lose the privilege of modifying articles for an indeterminate period, on editor-in-chief's discretion.

    A few guidelines that should smooth over the editing process:

    • When saving your modifications, always detail them by filling the comment field.
    • Be all the more careful when modifying articles in advance of publication: no one likes to see his/her unfinished work subject to too close a scrutiny.
    • Stubs (new articles) can be created but not edited: if you want to suggest an article, or if you consider to have a world-wide acknowledged competence to write an article, please contact (or the appropriate category editor).

    Joining the editorial team

    • Become an assistant editor: for graduate students and post-docs, this is the fast track for making positive contributions to Scholarpedia. See the tasks of an AE.

    If your are interested in joining the editorial team, or if you have any questions that are not answered on the Scholarpedia help pages, please, don't hesitate to get in touch with us:

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