Help:Guidance for writing in Opasnet

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Guidance for writing in Opasnet gives guidance and practices for writing in Opasnet. Usually, writing is very similar to any other writing: be clear, stick to the topic, avoid complex terminology if possible. However, Opasnet is not just some Internet website. It is based on a set of rules that are specifically designed to improve the structure and usability of the information. Therefore, some practices in Opasnet are different to practices people are used today. As a very typical example, people are so used to sending Word documents via email to a dedicated group of people that they find it strange to write their information directly to a structured wiki system in the Internet for anyone interested.


What is a useful collection of guidance and practices for a person that wants to produce content to Opasnet according to the information structure and method of open assessment?


What you should know about editing in Opasnet

  1. Introduction to Opasnet
    • purpose and history of Opasnet
    • technical foundation: Mediawiki, same as in Wikipedia
    • openness, transparency, collective knowledge creation/learning
  2. Guided tour to structure, content and functionalities of Opasnet
    • browsing, searching and reading Opasnet content
    • structure of Opasnet
      • English (open), Finnish (open), password protected Heande (project use)
    • content: text, styling, tables, images, documents
    • page history (no need to fear making mistakes!)
    • creating a user account / logging in
    • creating a new page
    • page (object) types? → templates
    • categorization
    • ways of contributing to Opasnet
      • commenting (no login required)
      • discussion on talk page (login required)
      • structured argumentation on talk page (login required)
      • editing of the article page (login required)
      • uploads (login required)
    • help & examples
    • edit conflict
      • what is it?
      • how to avoid?
      • what to do if happens?
    • wiki-markup vs. wikiwyg
    • different browsers
    • special pages
  3. Practical exercises
    • create a user account for yourself
      • think of a good, descriptive user name for yourself
      • add user information
      • adjust your "my preferences"
    • create a page for the topic you are working on
      • choose a page type?
      • give a good descriptive name for your page
      • categorize your page
      • page structure
      • content?
    • Browsing, searching, commenting, and discussing information in Opasnet
      • find an assessment on "Farmed salmon" in Opasnet and see what it contains and how it is structured
      • find out how many "variables" there are in Opasnet
      • find out what kind of objects "methods" in Opasnet are, find at least one (representative) example
      • find an interesting page in Opasnet and comment on it
        • with the comment box
        • by editing the discussion page

Hands-on guidance for Opasnet

Hands-on guidance for Opasnet offers practical hints for developing content and writing pages. It is based on real issues on Opasnet pages and the actual guidance that was given to improve the content. The idea is that if someone needed help with an issue, it is more likely that someone else would need the same help as well.

  • If possible, select a page type for all pages you edit if it has not been selected yet. Add a {{page type|moderator=Your username|stub=Yes}} to the beginning of the page. Currently, the most common page types are encyclopedia (465 pages), variable (316), method (193), nugget (122), study (60), assessment (38), lecture (17).
  • All pages should have a moderator. Keep a very low threshold to assign yourself as the moderator, especially if you created a page.
  • Put a page to Opasnet instead of Heande, unless it contains private or soon-to-be-published data.
  • Usually, start the headings from the ==Second level==. Use the =First level= only if you have subsections with clearly different topics on a page.
  • Try to put your content under the main headings that occur in theory at every page. However, don't be too worried about this, it can be fixed later.
    • Summary (to heading, it is the text before the first heading)
    • Scope (or question, what is the topic)
    • Definition (or rationale, how do we know the answer)
    • Result (or answer to the question)
  • Try to think about pages as long-living things. After a meeting the page about its agenda is no longer interesting. after new meetings, also the minutes of a meeting become less and less interesting. Therefore I suggest that the page could be named e.g. as "Insulate action group". It would contain agendas (which would change into minutes) of each meeting. Timely issues can be kept on the page, while the detailed old agendas and minutes can always be found from the history of the page. You can look at the page Opasnetin käyttökoulutus and its history to get the idea.
  • Try to think of the name of the page from the audience's point of view. Think that you are writing a newspaper article. Most people are not from your project and they don't know what project you are thinking about. Put at least the project name to the title, also preferably the date and place.
  • Variable pages about exposure-response functions should have this format: ERF of <pollutant> on <health impact> in <population>.
    • In the first paragraph, the word ERF should be linked to page ERF.
  • Avoid the uploading of Word files if it is possible to write a wiki page about the topic instead.
  • In case of meeting minutes, the group should have a page of its own. However a meeting agenda or minutes does not deserve a dedicated page, because it is such a minor issue. If these are written to the page of the group, all previous agendas and minutes can be retrieved from the history of the group, and direct links to the minutes can also be created.
  • Avoid the use of word "baseline" in variable names. Because all variables are about truth, all variables are kind of baseline estimates.

See also

Advice for using Opasnet
Basics of Opasnet: What is Opasnet · Welcome to Opasnet · Opasnet policies · Open assessment · What is improved by Opasnet and open assessment? · FAQ
How to participate?: Contributing to Opasnet · Discussions in Opasnet · Watching pages · Open assessment method
How to edit pages?: Basic editing · More advanced editing · Quick reference for wiki editing · Wikipedia cheatsheet · Templates
Help for more advanced participation: Copyright · Archiving pages · Copying from Wikipedia · ImageMap · SQL-queries · Analytica conventions · Developing variables · Extended causal diagram · GIS tool · Risk assessment · M-files · Stakeholders · Heande · Todo · Text from PDFs and pictures · Word2MediaWiki · Glossary terms · Formulae