Scholarpedia:Assistant Editor/Featured Author Column

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    How to prepare the featured author column

    There is a template "Template:Featured Author" that creates a box with the author's photo and some text. The best way is to copy the template from one of the most recent featured authors and just replace the content.

    Emailing authors/curators

    A potential letter script that may be useful.

    Dear Dr. XXX,
    Thank you again for contributing "XXX" to Scholarpedia. As an Assistant Editor of Scholarpedia, I am contacting 
    you on behalf of Dr. Eugene M. Izhikevich regarding the following matter:
    Scholarpedia has a bi-weekly Featured Author column on its main page.
    You were selected to be one of the featured authors. As you can see on the main page, it consists of a short 
    biography (significant positions, awards and honors, and field of research) with a picture.
    If you agree with the general idea, there is some information that I need to write the column. Actually, I found 
    most of it on your academic webpage except for:
    - a photo of good resolution
    - your date and place of birth
    Approval of the biography by the featured author is an important part of the process. When I'm finished with writing the draft,
    I'll send you an email. You will then be able to read the draft directly on your userpage and make corrections if necessary.

    Writing style

    Try and ensure that the author profiles are written so that they do not intrinsically need to be updated. Obviously we want to talk about an author's current work, but preferably avoid mentioning things that will soon go out of date.

    For our reference, here is a style guide worth consulting.

    Format of the biography

    The column is typically written in three paragraphs:

    1. Birth date and place, education, (notable) past and present employment.
    2. Major awards, if any.
    3. Major results and publications.

    The column ends with links to Scholarpedia articles by that author, and a link to the list of previous featured authors. Browse through previous authors to see some samples.

    The column should ideally be 150 words, with a maximum around 300 words. The column should be typeset in the same way as other featured author columns are typeset (see, e.g., Charles Townes -- his column is longer, in part because of his prominence).

    After confirmation by the author that he/she agrees with the idea, prepare the column directly in the author's userpage. Then, email the author and ask him/her to check the validity of the biography. Some authors reply with a delay of a week, so preparations should start weeks before the author is scheduled to appear on the Main Page. Ideally, there should be biographies prepared for at least a few future featured authors (i.e., for at least a few weeks ahead).


    The draft of a biography follows five stages:

    1. Compile information on author from online sources. --  (x----) 
    2. Email author saying that we will be writing a featured author column/profile on him/her, ask him/her if they object, 
    and if not to provide missing information (city of birth, e.g.) and a photo we can use.  --  (xx---)   
    3. First draft by the writing Assistant Editor (w.AE) directly in the author's userpage. --  (xxx--) 
    4. Project leader and w.AE agree on a final version; check by project leader. --  (xxxx-) 
    5. Check by author. --  (xxxxx)  
    6. Submission as revision to the Main Page and addition to Scholarpedia:Featured_authors queue.

    The AE who authored the profile is responsible of submitting the revision at the chosen date if he/she wants to benefit from the small scholar index bump that comes from improving an article (the Main page is the first Scholarpedia article).


    You may use the template Template:User_Page_Featured_Author for displaying the featured author column in the author's user page or on a draft page. The general format is:

    | image = [[File:Image.png|left|200px]]
    | user = [[User:Author's Name|Author's Name]]
    | status = draft / published
      article1=[[Article 1]]
    | citation1=Scholarpedia, X(X):XXXX. (20YY). <br/>(with [[User:Author B Name|Author B Name]])
      article2=[[Article 2]]
    | citation2=Scholarpedia, X(X):XXXX. (20YY).
      article3=[[Article 3]]
    | citation3=Scholarpedia, X(X):XXXX. (20YY).
      article4=[[Article 4]]
    | citation4=Scholarpedia, X(X):XXXX. (20YY).
      by=[[User:Profile Writer|Profile Writer's Name]]
      text=Author's profile.
    This template is easy to switch to the Featured Author template used on the main page. You may use a more discrete page to outline and write the first draft than the author's user page. The template
    {{Draft Featured Author Link|Erzsébet Csuhaj-Varjú}}
    can be used for the progress section below, which will link to the author's draft page.

    Converting previously featured columns to new template

    Many previously featured columns used the "Featured_Author" template in the user pages. To make them easier to re-feature, it is helpful to replace this with "User_Page_Featured_Author" template, which uses the same format as the "Main_Page_Featured_Author" template.

    For an example, of templates that were updated, see:

    The person updating the template can put their username/link as the value to the by parameter and the previous author as a comment at the bottom of the text content as:

    <p>''(originally featured on DD Month YYYY by [[User:Column_Author|Column Author]])''</p>


    The date for the releases (every two weeks) is Monday. Feel free to change the order.

    Current: Fred "Rusty" Gage


    •  ??


    The idea is to have a fair picture of the general progress. Ideally, we should stay at least a month ahead. Also, this page serves as a way to avoid the case where two AEs start working on the same profile. Finally, unless you put it on your user page, it's the only place where all the profiles you wrote are listed together.

    Waiting for article contribution

    Authors that need an editor

    Jonathan R. Williford

    with Madalina Erascu

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    • Jose-Manuel Alonso

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    Srikanth Ramaswamy

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    • Greg Stuart (Dendrites) -- (xx---)
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    • ...

    <review>* Rene Lefever (Brusselator)</review> Previous columns: 1. Denis Noble

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