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Revision as of 20:21, 23 April 2008

Debatepedia has many frequently asked questions. If you want to ask a question, and get an answer, feel free to go to the Debatepedia:Help Desk and post it there (and sign with at the end "~~~~" [you have to be logged in to do this]).

What are wikis?

See Wikipedia's article on Wikis.

Are wikis reliable as far as the quality of their content?

There is a lot of debate over this point. Consider the case of Wikipedia as compared to encyclopedia Britannica in buttressing the argument that wikis are reliable and immensely more powerful than top-down editorial publications. A study in nature magazine in 2005 found that Wikipedia had an average of four errors per article while Britannica had an average of 3. Yet, Wikipedia's articles are much more extensive on average, and have citations out to sources. In addition, Wikipedia was approaching 2 million articles in English through 2007, while Britannica has only around 100,000. This has led many to the conclusion that Wikipedia is at least as reliable and more useful than Britannica. The primary reason for this is that Wikipedia, like Debatepedia, has very very strict rules. These rules are enforced by other users (ordinary people). It is the number of these users that write and enforce these rules and help improve Wikipedia that are its greatest strength and protection against someone, for example, coming onto the site and vandalizing it. So, one way to think of the reliability of a wiki is in considering the size and strength of its editorial base. Debatepedia intends to build such a base aggressively so as to gain the critical editorial mass that can enforce the rules, edit ferociously, and maintain reliability.

How do I get started with an account, editing, communicating with other users?

See Debatepedia:Getting started (tutorial)

What are the rules governing Debatepedia?

See Debatepedia:Editing policies

Can I create new articles and debates?

Yes. Go to Debatepedia:Creating new pages

How do I manipulate Debatepedia's debate structure?

How do I create argument pages?

Can I communicate with other users?

Yes, you can do this in a number of places. First, every article (debate or other) has a discussion page that you can access via the "discussion tab" at the top of the screen. Here, you can write comments that relate to improving the content on the article, and sign your comment by writing ~~~~, and other users can reply. Users can also communicate with each other on each other's user pages.

The other really important community area is the Debatepedia:Community forum.

Can I suggest a debate?

How do I view other editors' work, and maybe jump in?

How do I volunteer?

How can I become seriously involved in this project? How can I become an administrator?

Do debate pages have discussion pages?

Yes. Every debate page on Debatepedia has a discussion Page.

Do I have a personal profile page?

Yes. Once you create an account on Debatepedia, you can click on your name listed at the top-right of the screen, which will take you to your "User Page", which you can turn into a personal profile page.

Can I track the activity on a debate or article of interest to me?

Yes. When on a debate page and logged in, click the "watch" tab. Now, you can go to "my watchlist" at the top right of the screen to view the subsequent editing activity on that page.

Are there good tools for doing research on Debatepedia?

See Help:Research tips

Problem with the site? 

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