Phantis:What Phantis Wiki is not

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The Phantis:Wiki is an online resource and, as a means to that end, also an online community. Therefore, there are certain things that The Phantis:Wiki is not.

What The Phantis:Wiki is not

The Phantis:Wiki is not a paper encyclopedia

Phantis is not a printed reference guide. This means that there is no practical limit to number of topics we can cover other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page.

There is a kind of feasible limit for individual article sizes that depends on page download size for our dialup readers and readability considerations for everybody (see Phantis:article size). After a point, splitting an article into separate articles and leaving adequate summaries is a natural part of growth for a topic (see Phantis:Summary style). But for topics that are covered by print encyclopedias only in short, static articles, the fact that The Phantis:Wiki is not paper allows us to give more thorough treatments, include many relevant links, be more timely, etc.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a dictionary

The Phantis:Wiki is not a dictionary, or a usage or jargon guide. If you're interested in working on a wiki dictionary, check out Wiktionary. The Phantis:Wiki articles are not:

  1. Dictionary definitions. Because the Phantis:Wiki is not a dictionary, please do not create an entry merely to define a term. Sometimes an article can and should begin with a good definition; If you come across an article that is nothing more than a definition, see if there is information you can add that would be appropriate for an reference guide.
  2. Lists of such definitions. There are, however, disambiguation pages consisting of pointers to other pages; these are used to clarify differing meanings of a word. Phantis also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields.
  3. A usage guide, or slang and idiom guide. The Phantis:Wiki is not in the business of saying how words, idioms, etc., are used. We aren't teaching people how to talk like a leet cracker or a Cockney chimney-sweep. However, it may be important in the context of an reference article to describe just how a word is used in order to distinguish among similar, easily confused ideas, as at Nation or Freedom. In some special cases an article about an essential piece of slang may be appropriate.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a soapbox

The Phantis:Wiki is not a soapbox, a chatroom, discussion forum, or vehicle for propaganda and advertising. Therefore, the Phantis:Wiki articles are not:

  1. Propaganda or advocacy of any kind. Of course, an article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to approach a neutral point of view. You might wish to go to Usenet or start a blog if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.
  2. Discussion forums (or nodes). Please try to stay on the task of creating an reference guide. You can chat with folks on their user talk pages, and should resolve problems with articles on the relevant talk pages, or even discuss things on the Phantis Club Forums, but please do not take discussion into articles.
  3. Critical reviews. Biographies and articles about art works are supposed to be reference material. Of course, critical analysis of art is welcome, if grounded in direct observations of outside parties. See No 5 below.
  4. Personal essays that state your particular opinions about a topic. The Phantis:Wiki is supposed to compile human knowledge. It is not a vehicle to make personal opinions become part of human knowledge. In the unusual situation where the opinions of a single individual are important enough to discuss, it is preferable to let other people write about them.
  5. Primary (original) research such as proposing theories and solutions, original ideas, defining terms, coining new words, etc. See Phantis:No original research. If you have done primary research on a topic, publish your results in other venues such as peer-reviewed journals, other printed forms, or respected online sites. Phantis will report about your work once it becomes part of accepted human knowledge. Not all information added to Phantis has to be from peer-reviewed journals; but strive to make that information no less reliable and verifiable. For example, citing book, print, or reliable web resources demonstrates that the material is verifiable and is not the editor's opinion.
  6. Self-promotion. While you are free to write about yourself or projects you have a strong personal involvement in, remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other. A very few somewhat famous Phantisns have significantly contributed to encyclopedia articles about themselves and their accomplishments, and this has mostly been accepted after some debate. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles is not acceptable. See Phantis:Autobiography.
  7. Advertising. Articles about companies and products are fine if they are written in an objective and unbiased style. Further all article topics must be third-party verifiable, so articles about very small "garage" companies are not likely to be acceptable. External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they can serve to identify major corporations associated with a topic (see finishing school for an example). Please note Phantis does not endorse any businesses and it does not set up affiliate programs.
  8. Phantis is not a blog. Although current affairs may attract great interest, and tempt people to climb soapboxes (i.e. passionately advocate their pet POV), Phantis is not the medium for this. Articles must be balanced so as to put entries for current affairs in a reasonable perspective. Furthermore, Phantis authors should strive to write articles that will not quickly become obsolete.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files

The Phantis:Wiki is neither a mirror nor a repository of links, images, or media files. All content added to the Phantis:Wiki may have to be edited mercilessly to be included in the reference guide. By submitting any content, you agree to release it for free use under the GNU FDL. The Phantis:Wiki articles are not:

  1. Mere collections of external links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding to an article a list of content-relevant links; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Phantis.
  2. Mere collections of internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for topical lists to assist with the organisation of articles.
  3. Mere collections of public domain or other source material such as entire books or source code, original historical documents, letters, laws, proclamations, and other source material that are only useful when presented with their original, un-modified wording. There's nothing wrong with using public domain resources such as 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica to add content to an article. See also Phantis:Don't include copies of primary sources.
  4. Collections of photographs or media files with no text to go with the articles. If you are interested in presenting a picture, please provide an reference context. If a picture comes from a public domain source on a website, then consider adding it to Phantis:Images with missing articles or Phantis:Public domain image resources.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a free host or webspace provider

You may not host your own website, blog, or wiki at Phantis. If you are interested in using the wiki technology for a collaborative effort on something else, even if it is just a single page, there are many sites (such as PeanutButterWiki, Wikicities, SeedWiki, Emergency Digital, Memebot or that provide wiki hosting (free or for money). You can also install wiki software on your server. Phantis pages are not:

  1. Personal homepages. Phantisans have their own personal pages, but they are used for information relevant to working on the reference guide. If you are looking to make a personal webpage unrelated to reference guide work (e.g. posting your resume), please make use of one of the many free homepage providers on the Internet.
  2. File storage areas. Please upload only files that are used (or will be used) in encyclopedia articles; anything else will be deleted.

The Phantis:Wiki is not an indiscriminate collection of information

The Phantis:Wiki is not an indiscriminate collection of items of information. That something is 100% true does not mean it is suitable for inclusion in a reference guide. While there is a continuing debate about the merits of several classes of entries, current consensus is that the Phantis:Wiki articles are not:

  1. Lists of Frequently Asked Questions. The Phantis:Wiki articles should not list FAQs. Instead, format the information provided as neutral prose within the appropriate article(s).
  2. Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as quotations, aphorisms or persons. If you want to enter lists of quotations, put them into our sister project Wikiquote. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contributed to the list topic. Phantis also includes reference tables and tabular information for quick reference.
  3. Travel guides. An article on Athens should mention landmarks such as the Parthenon and the Constitution Square, but not the telephone number or street address of your favorite hotel or the price of a cafe au lait on the cafe of your choice.
  1. Memorials. It's often sad when people die, but the Phantis:Wiki is not the place to honor them. Subjects of referenced articles must have a claim to fame besides being fondly remembered by their friends and relatives.
  2. News reports. The Phantis:Wiki should not offer first-hand news reports on breaking stories Phantis does have many encyclopedia articles on topics of historical significance that are currently in the news, and can be significantly more up-to-date than most reference sources since we can incorporate new developments and facts as they are made known. See current events for examples.
  3. Genealogical entries, or phonebook entries. Biography articles should only be for people with some sort of notoriety or achievement. One measure of achievement is whether someone has been featured in several external sources (on or off-line). Minor characters may be mentioned within other articles.
  4. Directories, directory entries, or a resource for conducting business. For example, an article on a radio station generally shouldn't list upcoming events, current promotions, phone numbers, etc (although mention of major events or promotions may be acceptable). Furthermore, the Talk pages associated with an article are for talking about the article, not for conducting the business of the topic of the article.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a crystal ball

Future events are usually unencyclopedic, especially if they are unverifiable until they have actually occurred. In particular:

  1. Individual scheduled or expected future events, such as the 2028 Summer Olympics, are not suitable topics for articles, unless they are as predictable as an astronomical event; planning or preparation for the event is already in progress and the preparation itself merits encyclopedic inclusion; or speculation is well documented. The schedule as a whole may also be appropriate.
  2. Similarly, individual items from a predetermined list or a systematic pattern of names, preassigned to future events or discoveries, are not suitable article topics, if only generic information is known about the item.
  3. Articles that present extrapolation, speculation, and "future history" are original research and therefore inappropriate. Of course, we do and should have articles about notable artistic works, essays, or credible research that embody predictions. An article on Star Wars]] and Star Trek is appropriate; an article on "Weapons to be used in World War IV" is not.

The Phantis:Wiki is not censored for the protection of minors

Phantis may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive. Anyone reading Phantis can edit an article and the changes are displayed instantaneously without any checking to ensure appropriateness, so Phantis cannot guarantee that articles or images are appropriate for children or adhere to specific social norms. While obviously inappropriate content (such as inappropriate links to shock sites) is usually removed immediately, except from an article directly concerning the content (such as the article about pornography), some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links, provided they do not violate any of our existing policies (especially Neutral point of view), nor the law of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States, where the servers are hosted.

What the Phantis community is not

Phantis is not a battleground

Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Do not insult, harass or intimidate those with whom you have a disagreement. Rather, approach the matter in an intelligent manner, and engage in polite discussion. Do not create or modify articles just to prove a point. Do not make legal or other threats against Phantis, Phantisans, or the broader Phantis service or Decision Group, Inc., the holding company. Threats are not tolerated and may result in a ban. See also Phantis:Dispute resolution.

The Phantis:Wiki is not an anarchy

The Phantis:Wiki is free and open, but restricts both freedom and openness where they interfere with the purpose of creating a reference guide. Accordingly, Phantis is not a forum for unregulated free speech. The fact that Phantis is an open, self-governing project does not mean that any part of its purpose is to explore the viability of anarchistic communities. Our purpose is to build an reference guide to Greece and Greek people, not to test the limits of anarchism.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a democracy

The Phantis:Wiki is not an experiment in democracy. Its primary method of finding consensus is discussion, not voting. That is, majority opinion does not necessarily rule in Phantis. Various votes are regularly conducted, but their numerical results are usually only one of several means of making a decision. The discussions that accompany the voting processes are crucial means of reaching consensus. For example, a very important Phantis process is reaching consensus on what articles are not useful references and should be deleted from Phantis entirely. The discussion by which that consensus is reached occurs in the context of a "vote" on the Phantis:Votes for deletion page.

The Phantis:Wiki is not a bureaucracy

Disagreements should be resolved through consensual discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures. Instruction creep should be avoided. A perceived procedural error made in posting anything, such as an idea or nomination, is not grounds for invalidating that post. Follow the spirit, not the letter, of any rules, policies and guidelines.

When you wonder what to do

  • When you wonder what should or should not be in an article named "whatever", ask yourself what a reader would expect under "whatever" in an encyclopedia. For examples of what kinds of articles people consider to be encyclopedic, see Phantis:Votes for deletion/Precedents and Phantis:What's in, what's out.
  • When you wonder whether the rules given above are being violated, consider:
    • Changing the content of an article (normal editing)
    • Changing the page into a redirect, preserving the page history
    • Nominating the page for deletion on Phantis:Votes for deletion if it meets grounds for such action under the Phantis:Deletion policy page. To develop an understanding of what kinds of contributions are in danger of being deleted you have to regularly follow discussions there.
    • Changing the rules on this page after a consensus has been reached following appropriate discussion with other Phantisans via the Talk page. When adding new options, please be as clear as possible and provide counter-examples of similar, but permitted, subjects.


Note 1: While this page is intended to record policies that are firmly established, it continues to evolve. If you wish to quote it in a discussion, please be sure to check the latest version.

Note 2: Note that Phantis incorporates many images and some text which are considered "fair use" into its GFDLed articles. See also Phantis:Copyrights.

Note 3: If you believe that your legal rights are being violated, you may discuss this with other users involved, take the matter to the appropriate mailing list, contact the Wikimedia Foundation, or in cases of copyright violations notify us here.

See also