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The intent of these guidelines is to provide a safe set of rules that generally guide what we do on SurveyWiki. They are not absolute. Follow these behaviours, and you'll certainly help to build the assessment community here:
- Be bold! in updating pages. Go ahead, it's a wiki! No mistake can break SurveyWiki, because any edit can be undone.
Encourage others, including those who disagree with you, likewise to Be bold!
- Communicate clearly! When you update a page and make significant changes, tell us what you changed and why. You can do this by putting a brief description in the summary box that appears under the edit screen when you edit a page. If the explanation is too long, click on the discussion tab at the top of the page, once you've edited it, and let us know in more detail.
- Be civil to other users at all times.
- When in doubt, take it to discussion. You can discuss any of SurveyWiki's pages by clicking on the discussion tab at the top of each page. Mutual respect is a guiding behavioural principle of SurveyWiki and, although everyone knows that their writing may be edited mercilessly, it is easier to accept changes if the reasons for them are understood. If you discuss changes on the article's discussion page before you make them, you should reach consensus much more quickly and more happily.
- Assume good faith; in other words, try to consider the person on the other end of the discussion to be a thinking, rational being who is trying to positively contribute to SurveyWiki. Even if you're convinced that they're a kitten-eater from another planet, still pretend they're behaving with the best intentions. Ninety percent of the time, you'll find that they actually are!
- Don't revert edits without a good reason. Reverting is a little too powerful sometimes. Don't revert unless you are undoing something that is very obviously inappropriate. If you really can't stand something, revert and include an edit summary in the discussion tab with something like "(revert) I disagree strongly, let me explain why..."
- Be gracious. Try to be as polite, solid and straightforward as possible.
- Sign your posts on the discussion tab. When you've written a comment on the discussion tab, type four tilde: ~~~~ This gets replaced by your username and timestamp when you hit submit. Don't do this on articles though.
- Use the Show preview button before you make a final save when editing a page. If you make a tiny edit, save the page, notice a mistake, edit the page, make a tiny edit, save the page, notice another mistake, etc, etc and repeatedly save the same page, it clutters the history-page view and makes it much more difficult to revert the page if needed.
- Don't infringe copyright. SurveyWiki uses the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License. Everything you contribute must be compatible with SurveyWiki's licenses. Generally, as a rule it will be if it's text and you're not copying and pasting large sections from someone else's work without permission. If it's images, be careful whose they are. If they're yours, make sure that anyone else appearing in the photo would not mind appearing on SurveyWiki. If you have doubts that they would, better find another photo.
- Ignore all rules! – rules on SurveyWiki are not fixed in stone. The letter of the law kills. The common purpose of building an central resource for language assessment is the priority, not keeping the rules.