Battlestar Wiki:Standards and Conventions

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
Revision as of 15:13, 15 April 2008 by Joe Beaudoin Jr. (talk | contribs) (Tense: tweaks)
BSG WIKI SC.png This page is one of Battlestar Wiki's many projects.
This page serves to coordinate discussion on a particular aspect of this Wiki. The formal recommendations of a project may be treated as policies.

Battlestar Wiki's Standards and Conventions
Standards for...

... Page Formatting
... Article Prose and Grammar
... Cast and Crew Biographies
... Episode Guides
... Disambiguations
... Quote of the Day pages

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
Check user

Site Wide

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


Air Lock
High Traffic
Types of users

Inactive Policies
Razor Material

This page serves as the central hub for standards used in writing articles on Battlestar Wiki. Discussion on new or established standards and conventions listed in this section should be discussed on the talk page.

This set of pages are not designed to supersede other projects 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.

Here is an overview of the standards and conventions sections.

  • Page Formatting: This covers our preferences on Wiki syntax over HTML, in addition to how to format images and categories.
  • Article Prose and Grammar: Discusses our use of present tense for a majority of our articles, as well as how to properly format titles, using names vs. callsigns, etc.
  • Cast and Crew Biographies: Covers how to write and format a biographical article on cast, crew, and people involved with the various series.
  • Episode Guides: Tackles what an analysis and questions section of our episode guides should look like.
  • Disambiguations: Tackles why those pesky little "(TOS)" and "(RDM)" suffixes are added to article names, as well as how to properly format a disambiguation page.
  • Quote of the Day pages: Tackles how to properly format a quote page for the "Quote of the Day" feature.

Summary of Standards and Conventions

This is the Cliff Notes version of our Standards and Conventions guidelines for your convenience. While they are explained in more detail in the subpages, most people will not want to use their time reading through them (despite the fact that we've made them as concise as possible). Still, here we go...


Main article: Battlestar Wiki:Standards and Conventions/Formatting


  • Always use Wiki code instead of HTML code, unless the Wiki code equivalent does not exist.
    • NEVER use: <b> for bold face, <i> for italics, <a href> for links, <img> for images.
    • Exception: There is presently no wiki code for underlining text, so one would use <u>text to be underlined</u>. Further, to center text on pages, you will have to use <div align="center">text to be centered</div>.

Images and Audio Content

  • Avoid burdening down a page with pictures. Use only pictures whenever necessary to illustrate the subject. Each picture must have a reason for use under the fair use clause of United States' copyright law.
  • Image galleries are limited to unique pages, like articles on rooms of a ship (i.e. Combat Information Center) and pages on ships, like Galactica.
  • Audio files should only be used for illustrative purposes where pictures fail to be illustrative (i.e. Case Orange, Action stations) and for noteworthy quotes on episode guides.

Categorization of Articles

  • All pages, with the exception of disambiguation pages, are to be categorized using our category system.
    • All articles should go into the A to Z category.
    • Series related categories (Category:TOS, Category:RDM, and Category:1980) are to be the last category in the category list on a page.
    • Articles are never to be sorted by articles ("the", "and", "or") or by first names.
    • The {{DEFAULTSORT:}} syntax is always to be used to declare a sort key for category listings.
      • In extreme circumstances, this may be overridden by declaring the sort key in the syntax of select categories, example of a category syntax from Battlestar Galactica (RDM): [[Category:RDM|*]]. The "|*" allows the article to come before the alphabetical listings, so that it is the most visible.

Linking to Episodes

  • When linking to episodes, always link the first instance of the episode name per section. Beyond that, do not overlink episode titles.
  • As for how to refer to episodes within an article:
    • When referring to episode titles as part of the sentence, always include the episode name in quotation marks:
      Example: "In the episode "Pegasus", Galactica finds Pegasus."
    • 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.
      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.
      Example: Lee Adama is moody often (Miniseries, "33", "Water", "The Hand of God").
    • Major exception: The term Miniseries should never be placed in quotations, since this is not the technical name of the pilot. (The Re-imagined Series' pilot is simply called "Battlestar Galactica".)
    • Second exception: When writing episode titles and book titles, the comma should always go after the quotation mark, never before it.

Red Links

  • Red links should either be corrected to point to the proper article on the intended subject, or submitted with the {{requested}} tag.


Spelling and Numeric Notation

  • American English spellings are default. British English spellings are allowed by users familiar with that language, but expected your edits to be converted into American English. (i.e. "colour" will be converted to "color", etc.)
  • Numbers should use commas ( , ) to mark every three digits, and decimal points ( . ) to denote numbers with decimals.
  • Numbers less than 11 should be spelled out, "five" for "5", etc.
  • Any proper nouns with numbers should be written out without Arabic numerals, this includes Colonial One and The Twelve Colonies.
    • The exception to this are Vipers or Raptors identified by numerics, i.e. Viper 8757 or Raptor 1.
  • Use an apostrophe-S ('s) for all possessives, unless the noun is plural.
    • "Pegasus's fuel reserves are low." (singular
    • "The Vipers' ammunition would not fire." (plural possessive)

Characters Names and Titles

  • When first introducing a character, always introduce them by their first and last names.
  • In text, characters should always be referred to by their last names.
    • First Exception: Characters sharing the same last name, like Saul Tigh and Ellen Tigh, or William Adama and Lee Adama, may be referred to by their first names or by their rank, if applicable, and last name (Commander Adama for William Adama, Captain Adama for Lee Adama).
    • Second Exception: Articles on one of the aforementioned subjects, such as William Adama, should always be refer to the subject by their last name. Subjects sharing the same last name may be referred to their first name, after being introduced in said article by their full name.
  • Members of the Quorum of Twelve should always be referred to as "delegates", not "representatives".
  • Characters should not be referred to by their rank exclusively or by nicknames. For instance, when writing an article, William Adama should never be referred to as "the Old Man" or "the Commander".
  • For characters with both callsigns and proper names, like Apollo/Lee Adama, Hot Dog/Brendan Costanza or Kat/Louanne Katraine, always refer to these characters by their last names.

Titles for episodes, movies, books and shows


  • All articles are to be written in the present tense, unless:
    • The article occurs before the "Event Zero" of a continuity. "Event Zero" is defined by the following:
  • As for the Re-imagined Series, anything happening before the events depicted in the Miniseries should be written in the past tense. However, this is where things get interesting:
    • If an article is exclusively about Caprica (which occurs roughly 50 years before the Miniseries'), then it should be written in present tense. The same applies for articles exclusively about the Re-imagined Series.
    • If an article spans from Caprica to the Re-imagined Series, then:
      1. Events occurring before the Miniseries (timeline-wise) should be written in the past tense.
      2. Events occurring during and after the Miniseries (timeline-wise) should be written in the present tense.

About Signatures...