Battlestar Wiki:Standards and Conventions

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This page serves as the central hub for standards used in writing articles on Battlestar Wiki. Initially, it will probably consist of a lot of gesturing and debating on the talk page. Once a reasonable approximation of consensus is achieved on a topic, information about it will be moved here. Feel free to bring up new convention questions on the Talk page.

This page is not designed to supercede other project's or policies. Some overlap is expected, but project-specific standards and conventions should be moved to their project page, if one exists or a page created for a project, if one does not.

Battlestar Wiki Policy
Article Standards

Article Standards & Conventions
Keeping articles concise
Assume good faith
Official sources and citations
Neutral or Real point of view
Spoiler Policy
What Battlestar Wiki is
What Battlestar Wiki is not
Avoiding "fanwanking"
Descriptive terms
"Alternate universe" products

Sysop ← Interaction → User

Page Moves
Username policy
Banning
Blocking
Check user

Site Wide

Deletion
Civility, etiquette and personal attacks
Edit war
Things you just don't do
Harassment
Ownership of articles
Vandalism
Words of wisdom for the paranoid
... is not a forum
News

Guidelines

Air Lock
High Traffic
Types of users
Canon
Fandom

Inactive Policies
Razor Material


HTML vs. Wiki code

Wiki code is strongly preferable to the use of HTML coding on Battlestar Wiki. Wiki code is faster to type, and if everything is in wiki code, it all changes in unison in the case that a format or style changes, thus reducing mass re-edits to all pages during a huge update. Especially, <b> and <i> should always be replaced by their wiki code equivalents (''' and '', respectively).

Spelling and Numbers

Please use the American English spellings of words as much as possible in the English version of Battlestar Wiki. This is arbitrary, but a call had to be made for standardization.

If you are British, please feel free to add your contributions in the "Queen's English" if this makes it initially easier for you to contribute. However, please do not re-edit correctly spelled American English edits (including edits to your own contributions) to their British counterparts unless you are rewriting whole paragraphs, sections, or articles.

Use "the Twelve Colonies" rather than "the 12 Colonies" as it is the name of a sovereign government like "the United States." Likewise, "Colonial" should always be capitalized, although "colony" or "colonies" remains uncapitalized for the same reason we do not capitalize "state" or "states" when referring to one of the United States.

Numbers should use a period (.) for decimal places and a comma (,) for marking every three digits (e.g. 3,600 or 54,345,277). For ease of reading, such use of commas is encouraged. Numbers less than 11 should generally be written out long hand (i.e. seven, not 7).

Use an apostrophe-S ('s) for all possessives, unless the noun is plural.

  • "Pegasus's fuel reserves are low." (singular possessive)
  • "The Vipers' ammunition would not fire." (plural possessive)

Character Names

Characters should be introduced with both first and last name the first time they are mentioned in an article. Subsequent referrals may abbreviate to the last name. Never use only the first name when the last name is known (ie, "Kara Thrace" or "Thrace", but never "Kara").

There are several currently active characters who share the same last name. These characters include the Adamas, the Tighs, the Tyrols, and the Agathons, but also extend into the human aliases of the various Cylon agents, particularly the Sharon Valeriis. It is often tempting to refer to the supporting characters by their first names, and (William) Adama and (Saul) Tigh by their last. On Battlestar Wiki, we find this somewhat condescending.

Where necessary, characters sharing the same last name should both be introduced using full names, and may subsequently be referred to with first names. For example, in a single article or section where the characters interact with each other, characters such as Ellen Tigh and Saul Tigh should be introduced by their full names. The character's first names may be used to differentiate in article sections and topics where the characters interact directly with each other in the course of an event (such as the Tigh's drinking episodes in season 2). If Saul and Ellen appear in the same article but are not interacting directly, the full names or titles should be used to differentiate.

An exception to the "last names only" convention is on a character's biography article. The character's last name may have precedence over all other characters of the same name. All others with the same last name may be referred to by their first name in biography articles. (For example, "Adama asks his son, Lee, to fix the sink.")

Other acceptable means for disambiguation include rank (Admiral Adama vs. Captain Adama) and callsign (Adama vs. "Apollo"). Callsigns are appropriate for summaries and military data, but not for biographies. For Re-imagined Series characters, it is a good rule of thumb to use their callsign in articles where story events place the character in actual flight in a fighter.

Character Titles

Re-imagined Series characters in the Quorum of Twelve should be referred to as delegates, not representatives. Although the show uses both terms, the "delegate" appears to be the formal title.

Ships

Ship names should always be italicized (e.g. Galactica). Italicization of ship names includes the possessive marker and other endings added to a ship's name (e.g. Galactica's, not Galactica's), but not articles.

Military ships generally receive no article (i.e. "Galactica" not "the Galactica") and civilian ships generally do receive an article (i.e. "the Rising Star" not "Rising Star"). There are some exceptions to this (e.g. Colonial One, Cloud 9). Usually, ship names ending in a number do not receive an article.

When possible, the first mention of a ship in an article should include the hull number (e.g. "Galactica (BS 75)"). Note that there is no hyphen in the hull number. All subsequent references to the same ship need not include the hull number, but can if some other reasoning dictates it.

It is usually unnecessary to use the modifier "battlestar" (as in "battlestar Galactica") more than once in an article for the same reason it is unnecessary to say "starship Enterprise" or "battleship Yamato" throughout any text. Using the ship's classification repetitively in this fashion is distracting and also adds unnecessarily to the size of an article. Using "the battlestar Galactica" is acceptable in this case, as the article does not directly refer to the ship's name.

Ships' nicknames should appear in quotes the first mention of the nickname only (e.g. "Pegasus, "The Beast", launch her alert Vipers."). Subsequently, the nickname may be used interchangably with the ship's actual name.

Typically, ships are treated as feminine objects. The use of "she" and "her" in referring to a ship by pronoun is encouraged, though not mandated.

When discussing Vipers, use of either "Mark" or "Mk." is acceptable, though "mk." is just sloppy. Also, Roman numerals are preferred. Thus, "Viper Mark II" or "Viper Mk. VII" but not "Viper mk. 2."

The words "battlestar" and "basestar" are not capitalized, as they are general ship types and not class names like "Mercury class", "Viper" or "Raptor".

(Note: Many of these guidelines are inspired by, modified from, or stolen directly from the US Navy's Style Guide.)

Episode, TV, and Movie Title Formats

When citing a film, theatrical works such as a stage plays or television show in any article, place the title in italics.

"The new Battlestar Galactica series is dark and dismal compared to the Original Series, and is a far cry from the utopian view in Star Trek."

When citing the title of a television episode, a book or other publication such as a comic, or other merchandise title, place the title in quotes.

The new book, "Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion", tells more about the series, but lovers of collectibles might like the "Hasbro Titanium Collection".
or
In the episode, "Valley of Darkness", Apollo is anything but moody.

When citing an article from a larger publication such as a magazine or newspaper, place the article name in quotes, but place the publication in italics.

The citation was found in the article "Battlestar Rocks", from the newspaper, The Indianapolis Star.

Links

Links to Episodes

When referring to episode titles as part of a sentence, use quote marks around the episode name. This helps keep the title distinct from other text. This is especially useful for unwieldly episode names such as "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I".

When citing a single episode title as a source for a body of text, use parentheses, but do not place quotes around the episode name. Citations go inside the sentence's punctuation.

  • Example: "Galactica finds Pegasus (Pegasus)."

When citing multiple episode titles as a source for a body of text, place all episode names within one set of parentheses. Each episode title should use commas to separate them within the parentheticals. (Do not place quotes around the name of Miniseries, as this is a designation and not an actual episode name.)

Although Battlestar Wiki uses American punctuation rules otherwise, placing all punctuation within the quotation marks, it is encouraged to make an exception for episode and book titles, placing commas or periods outside the quotation marks in those cases.

"Red Links"

A "red link" is a term for a link to an article that does not exist on the wiki, but can be created.

There are many methods to dealing with red links:

  1. Determine whether or not the link contains a misspelling. If so, correct it.
  2. Determine if the link needs to be piped, i.e. [[Lee]] should be [[Lee Adama|Lee]].
  3. If the article does not exist in any namespace or any form, then create the article. You can either fill it out with content or simply tag it with {{requested}} and save it.

While some believe that red links out there help create articles here, the overwhelming fact that many red links on the "Wanted Pages" list are links to images served on our Media repository necessitates the usage of creating an article and applying the {{requested}} template.[1]

Verb Tense

In almost every case, the present tense should be used when relating events occurring in an episode (e.g. Baltar shoots Crashdown in the back in order to save Cally's life). This is in line with the traditional style used to discuss literary works of fiction. The reasons it is employed for those kinds of articles entirely apply here on Battlestar Wiki.

Exceptions can be made for articles dealing with "historical" events, where present tense can impede narrative flow. Typically, a historical event involves situations that occur prior to the Miniseries. "Flashback" scenes in episodes should be treated as historical events. "Thrace cried at Zak's funeral" is appropriate since this event occurs two years before the Miniseries, although we see the event in a flashback scene in "Act of Contrition".

Signing Your Work and Other In-Article Commentary

Don't. Battlestar Wiki is a collaboration of many writers. Be proud of your contributions, but do not take ownership of articles. Signatures, discussions, editing notes or editorials will be removed without debate. For more information on this policy, see our policy on ownership of articles and how to deal with contributors who appear to become "primary editors" of an article.

Images

All episode screenshots are copyright NBC/Universal or Universal Studios, and should be credited as such on image pages. If you upload an image, make sure you tag it correctly. You can do that by following the correct formats on the official policy on image tagging.

Images are desirable wherever their use is appropriate. Character pictures are currently being handled on the Battlestar Wiki:Characters project. Other articles needing images are listed at Battlestar Wiki Media:Requested Images.

Category Rules

Main article: Battlestar Wiki:Categories

All manually entered categories for any page should be in alphabetical order: 0-9 then A-Z. Categories should go below templates (if it's the last item) and before BW:FA and BW:QA templates, All interwiki language links should be last and should also be in alphabetical order. Interwiki links are maintained by Interwiki Bot.

All categories up to the "parent" category should be included. For example, Colonial One has all of these cats:


{{Ships}} ↔

[[Category:A to Z]] ¿
[[Category:Colonial]] *
[[Category:Colonial Craft]]
[[Category:Colonial Craft (RDM)]]
[[Category:Ships]] *
[[Category:Ships (RDM)]]
[[Category:RDM]]

{{quality article}} ↔
{{featured article}} ↔

or

{{POV Real}} ¾

[[de:Colonial One]] ‡

The categories marked with a * are the parent categories, because the next category after that is "A to Z" in which is included in all article pages. The A to Z ¿ category is always first.

Note: The "Ships" template ({{Ships}}) is before the categories. The one interwiki link for Colonial One is after "RDM" category but before the featured and quality article templates. The FA and QA templates are not used if the article conforms to "Real Point of View" rules. Template {{POV Real}} has substitutions for the featured and quality article templates. If a template does auto-creates "categories", place the template in-between the categories that would make the categories still in alphabetical order.

From "Antibiotics"...

[[Category:A to Z]]

{{Drugs}}

[[Category:Technology]]
[[Category:Technology (RDM)]]
[[Category:Terminology]]
[[Category:Terminology (RDM)]]
[[Category:RDM]]


By doing this, this allows people to browse by series or non-series if they goto the category view.

RDM                       TOS                      Ships
|- Colonial Craft (RDM)   |- Colonial Craft (TOS)  |- Ships (TOS)
|- Ships (RDM)            |- Ships (TOS)           |- Ships (RDM)

The only time that this does not apply is to the series category. TOS, TSC, 1980, RDM, Comics, and Video Game should be be the last category added and this is also the list of the "top level" categories on Battlestar Wiki. If the article contains more than one series or genre, make sure they they are in this order also. This includes any double categories as shown by the example for Richard Hatch:

{{DEFAULTSORT:Hatch, Richard}}
[[Category:A to Z]]
[[Category:Cast]]
[[Category:Cast (TOS)]]
[[Category:Cast (TSC)]]
[[Category:Cast (RDM)]]
[[Category:TOS]]
[[Category:TSC]]
[[Category:RDM]]

Pages that are lists should be categorized in their sub-category itself with |*, but not when you add the [[Category:Lists]]. It makes the lists the first items in the category view.

Individuals and characters with proper names should be sorted by last name, then first and middle names. To achieve this, use:

{{DEFAULTSORT:lastname, firstname middlename}}

You may still override the default sort by piping the [[Category:]] syntax like so:

[[Category:A to Z|Richard Hatch]]

Be sure to check your work. Make sure there aren't other sub-categories that you can add to to the article to make navigation and reference easier. Categories are an easy and powerful addition to every article, so be sure to be thorough.

Quote of the Day

Quotes for the Quote of the Day should all conform to this standard. In all cases, the naming conventions should agree with Character Names, above. The first occurences of all character and ship names within quotes should be linked. Pronouns (you, he, it) may be linked to clarify who or what the speaker is referring to. Linking of other words (jargon, etc.) is also left to a matter of discretion. All episode names should, of course, be linked. Be sure to search for the proposed quote before adding it.

For one-line quotes, the quote should appear first, enclosed in double-quotes with normal weighting and no italics (except to show emphasis). It should be followed with a hard line break (<br/>). Battlestar Wiki strives to be valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional, which means all tags, including <br> tags, must be closed. (We don't want to break anything, now do we?)

The following line should begin with a double en-dash (--) followed directly by the rank or position of the character being quoted, then their name. These should be non-italics and normally weighted, as well. Finally, the episode name, in italics, should appear in parenthesis after a space. Do not place any punctuation after the parenthesis.

"The line, in normal-weighted text, enclosed in double quotes."<br/>
--Rank and Name in Normal (Episode Name)

This will end up looking thus:

"Ladies and gentlemen, please. Please. We are in a laboratory. There are hazardous chemical compounds everywhere. That--that's a thermo-nuclear bomb, for frak's sake, so..."
--Dr. Gaius Baltar (Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down)

For quotes longer than one line, each utterance will appear on its own line. The speaker's rank or position and name should appear followed by a colon (:) first. All of this should be bold. The actual line follows, in normal weighted font, followed by a hard line break (<br/>). Subsequent utterences by the same speaker should begin simply with the character's name, as laid out in Character Names, above. After the final utterance of the quote, the episode name should appear in italics, prefaced by a double en-dash (--).

Rank and Name 1: Humorous battle banter aimed at Speaker 2.<br/>
Rank and Name 2: Scathing insult.<br/>
Name 1: Pithy retort.<br/>
--Episode Name

For example:

Captain Lee Adama: Hey, how about you, Boomer? Doc tells me you're holding up better than anybody in the squadron.<br\>
Lieutenant Sharon Valerii: I'm tired, like everybody else.<br\>
Adama: You never seem it.<br\>
Lieutenant Kara Thrace: 'Cause she's a Cylon.<br\>
Valerii: You're just gonna make me come over there and kick your ass, aren't you?<br\>
--33
(Note: All quotes should go in the Quotes namespace in the format, Quotes:MM DD).

Disambiguation

Because each of the Battlestar Galactica TV series reuses ship names, character names, episode titles and other terminology, it is occasionally necessary to write articles covering the same thing in different continuities.

When this is the case, an individual article should be used for each series.

Articles should be namespaced according to the following schema:

The names of the two TV series themselves can be differentiated by:

  • [[Re-imagined Series]], for the 2004 Battlestar Galactica series
  • [[Original Series]], for the original 1978 series

On the Battlestar Wiki, "Re-imagined Series" and "Original Series" are considered proper names for easier cross-reference and clarification, and should be capitalized as shown. Two other variations are "re-imagined Battlestar Galactica" and "original Battlestar Galactica, which should not be capitalized, since they are not proper nouns.

Because of the popularity of the new series as well as the volume of articles related to the Re-imagined Series, the use of the link [[Galactica]] will lead to the Galactica (RDM) article on the new series' battlestar. A disambiguation header always appears on this article for the two other ship articles on Galactica. The same is true for Pegasus.

The non-namespaced article should serve as a disambiguation page, pointing to the related articles.

Examples of this in use are:

Pages for characters that appear in more than one series should reserve the name in common for disambiguation (Cf. Adama, Baltar, etc.), but individual pages need not be tagged with the series name if there is sufficient information in the title otherwise so as to be disambiguous (Cf. Gaius Baltar vs. Baltar (TOS) or William Adama vs. Adama (TOS)).

Child articles of a disambiguation page should have a note applied at the top of the page (before everything, even the character template, etc.) linking back to the disambiguation page and its most relevant sister disambiguations. Keep the disambiguation links literal to make them distinctive. That is, don't change [[Baltar (TOS)]] to [[Baltar (TOS)|Baltar]]. This note should be preceded by a single tab and be in all italics. An example from Gaius Baltar's article:

This page discusses the unwitting betrayer of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in the Re-imagined Series. For information on the Original Series character that intentionally betrays the Twelve Colonies of Man, see Baltar (TOS).

Episode pages

Summary Section

The summary section, unless there are (at least) two distinct non-overlapping storylines, should always be in Act 1, Act 2, etc. header formats. Bonus scenes should also in their own header.

Questions Section

Every episode-synopsis article includes a section called "Questions". The idea behind the section is, "These are the questions this episode raises and does not answer by itself". Since these pages are encyclopedic, it is not intended that the "Questions" section be used to actually speculate as to the answers! Please use the Analysis section of an episode article for brief speculation.

The rules of thumb on questions are:

  1. If a question is raised and not answered in the episode, it belongs in the Questions section on the encyclopedic page.
  2. If a question is added to the encyclopedic page that was actually answered in the same episode's events, it is policy to move both the question and the answer to the Talk page, because it isn't really an unanswered question. If an ambiguous or obscure topic reoccurs (or seems likely to), then it might belong in "Analysis" or "Notes".
  3. If a question is answered in a later episode, the analysis for that episode should note that the event refers to an earlier open plot point. The original page can be edited to point forward to the answer, but the answer itself should not be edited into the page for the episode that posed the question. An early example of this style appears on the encyclopedia page for the episode "Water": "Why do the Cylons want to keep Helo on Caprica?"
    • The typical style is to add (Answer) after the question, linked to the episode that answers the question. If there are multiple episodes that add significant, substantial answers to a question, you should add multiple episodes like so:
  4. Debates and discussion have no place on the encyclopedic pages; only on the talk pages. Encyclopedic pages should be neutral-point-of-view and descriptive. That is, when responding to a question, do not phrase the answer in such a way that the question (and the article) appears to be "arguing with itself". If you find yourself adding a question that contains a pronoun ("I think") or uses a contradiction ("But the Cylons..."), then the question must be rephrased into analysis, or placed on the talk page.
  5. If a dispute occurs on whether a question is germane, appropriately located or answered, the debate should be moved over to a topic on the article's talk page. To aid others with the same question, a link to the debate should be added to the question so others know that this topic has an extended discussion elsewhere.
  6. Last, but not least, when in doubt, ask your fellow contributors.

Analysis and Notes Sections

As noted above, answers to questions that aren't directly answered by an episode, but can be answered by speculation and deduction, need to be placed in "Analysis".

As the name implies, this is the place to analyze an episode's plot or its role in advancing a larger arc. Speculation is acceptable as long as it's logical and written from a neutral point of view. Replying to someone else's analysis with own, perhaps conflicting, points is acceptable as well to a certain degree. However, keep in mind that Battlestar Wiki is not a forum. There should be no back and forth arguing. If something is disputed, it needs be discussed on the talk page and, when a consensus has been reached, presented from a neutral point of view in the article. Moreover, more than two or three nested bullet points are usually unnecessary. In such a case, points can often be combined.

The "Notes" section is for obvious items of interest related to the article that require no further explanation or speculation. These can be facts from the episode, behind the scenes information gleaned from interviews or podcasts, and the like.


References

  1. See the Red Link think tank proposal for the origins of this addition.

See also