Help:Getting started

From The Collaboratory

Jump to: navigation, search



Welcome to the Collaboratory wiki! This wiki is a tool for documentation and continuous improvement of Collaboratory processes by the community of approved workers who accomplish the vision of the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.

As a student-based community, we are continuously equipping new workers and leaders to replace our graduates. If our work is to be sustainable, then we must document our processes, articulate our policies and procedures, and provide a means for continuous improvement of everything we do. This wiki helps us to achieve these goals. All members of the Collaboratory community are encouraged to maintain and improve this knowledge base for future generations of approved workers.

In this brief guide you will find an orientation to the wiki, some basic guidelines for contributing, and many links to articles where you can get more information.

What is a wiki?

A wikiis a collaborative website which allows many people to easily access and modify the available content. The term wiki comes from the Hawai'ian phrase "Wiki Wiki," which means "hurry" or "fast" [1]. A wiki is meant to be simple to use. With a basic understanding of wiki markup language users can edit the contents of a wiki using a web browser.

Why the Collaboratory uses a wiki

The Collaboratory uses a wiki as a professional documentation tool. The Collaboratory workforce has, at best, a 100% turnover every four years. Before, documentation was often practiced only by individuals and recorded (if at all) on people's personal notebooks or computers. Often, when workers left, the knowledge that they carried left with them. The wiki provides a solution to this problem: the ability to easily compile documentation in one location and to put a professional and attractive face on that documentation.

The structure of the Collaboratory wiki

Member and user pages

One of the first things you need to do as a new user is to create a member page. This is your profile and is important so that our readers can click on your name where it appears in articles to see who you are!

Along with a member page, every wiki user will also get a user page. This page can be accessed from the link on the bottom of your member page. Where a member page is standardized and makes use of a template, the user page is a blank slate and can be used for anything related to your projects (i.e. as a To-Do list). The user page can also be used to send messages between wiki users.


Every group within the Collaboratory has a group article. This page acts as the starting point for all inquiries about the group that come through the wiki. The group article can be accessed most easily by clicking the appropriate group from the left sidebar. To get a short description of each group, click on the Groups link from the Main Page.


Most groups contain several projects, both past and present, that are accessible from the Group article. These project articles act as the starting point for work on the Wiki relating specifically to a project.

Staff services

The Staff Group provides all of the operational services necessary to keep the Collaboratory running smoothly. The Staff team articles are where groups can come to find exactly what Staff has to offer.

Site team resources

As Site teams travel the world, it is beneficial to compile the data they bring back all in one place. The Site team articles, on the Main page, meet this need.

How to contribute

Learning to wiki

A Wiki provides a great collaborative tool for documentation and presentation, allowing a number of contributors to add and edit content. Unfortunately, creating Wiki articles is not as easy as using a word processor. Wikis use a markup language that is very easy to learn, but takes a little practice. Below are some useful formatting links for your reference. You should practice these new skills in your User page.

Article Creation

Creating new articles is a breeze in a Wiki! Be sure also to read the three sections below.


Good style is more than just fashion! Check out help on writing in a professional tone, how to appropriately link to other pages, and much more!


Namespaces are an organizational scheme within the Wiki to keep similar pages grouped together. Each group has their own namespace under which all of that group's articles are housed. There is also a Main namespace, for articles applicable to a wider audience.


Templates make your life easy! Here you can find out when, how, and why to use them.

Rules for contributing

Every Wiki user has the capability to change the content or appearance of any page in this Wiki. Keep in mind that your Wiki logon name is tagged to everything that you do! A few rules need to be followed when contributing.

Want more?

The Collaboratory wiki has a complete listing of Help pages.

Personal tools