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editor guidelines

The editor guidelines exist to ensure that open politics remains highly readable, and employs standard formatting for style and usability. Anyone who calls themself an editor is expected to follow them (or fix them if they don't agree). :)

Editors should be aware of all of the following pages:


Editors may edit pages extensively to correct, improve, re-organize, them.

Point of view

Editors should ensure that the appropriate point of view is being used:

issue statements

  • is it an issue? - an issue in openpolitics.ca is generally something that a lot of people are aware about - use the front-page news standard to decide if it is a full fledged issue or a minor issue? and label it accordingly.
  • Issue statements - The object of an issue statement is actually not to inform. Link to wikipeda if you want to work on an article about the topic.
  • In 50-150 words establish scope, impact, tensions and tradeoffs and related issues.
  • use the "Flip" wiki syntax ( *- ) to hide details you don't have the heart to cut.

editing for length

Issue statements should generally not be more then 200 words (one screen). Anything much longer than that is an article?, which is not what Open Politics specializes in.
What to do with overlong issue statements:

  • take the additional material to wikipedia and link there..
  • create a page for a sub issue if that sub issue is popular.
  • use toggle content to hide text that is relevant and interesting but is overly long.
  • preserve links whenever possible, preserve all links by adding them to the list of related issues on that page.
  • Place additional or long points here: Issue statements should generally not be more then 200 words (one screen). Anything much longer than that is an article?, which is not what Open Politics specializes in.

What to do with overlong issue statements:

position statements

  • General - The object of a position statement is to say somebody should do something.
  • spend the 50 words on what needs to be done, and save the why for the arguments.

Using Headings

  • Use headings (with !, !!, !!! etc. ) to denote different subsections of content so they can be indexed using a table on contents.

AVOID HEADING ONE (a heading with one !)

heading one is reserved for report and category names


Any report or list may include several issue or topic summaries. Accordingly, these must not be using heading one already.

Always use:

heading two for issue statements and article titles

heading three for position titles

heading four for argument titles

In general evidence/source/authority is embedded in an argument, provided by direct external links, or kept in a separate citation link. Don't give headings to each separate piece of evidence. You might also avoid doing so for arguments.

  • for non indexed headings, use the html <h2> etc.

  • Link all closely related issues or terms: All related terms or issues used in an issue statement should be linked (whether the page exists yet or not).
  • Link the first instance only. Generally when a related issue or term appears more than once, it should only be linked once (per visible screen, anyway).
  • Generally, not more than one link per sentence keeps the page highly readable. Densely linked paragraphs should be reconsidered, and less closely related issues unlinked, or linked from the related issues box.

Using HTML

  • HTML is not recommended for issue pages or IPAs (it bewilders people).

  • use the <table>.. tag to make columns on process oriented pages and all other pages that are not commonly edited by users.

re/moving large sections of text.

  • when re/moving a lot of text, consider making another page and linking to it e.g. content from Economics has been removed to Economic Philosophy.
  • users should avoid removing links to relevant internal articles.
  • relevant external links should be placed at the bottom of the page. Keep external links out of the main text.

  • In the user:? space, the individual users' prerogative overrules that of administrators unless the page actually violates the law - including libel law, laws against the propagation of hate?, etc.

Page Names

Pages should have the shortest and most intuitive titles that fit (i.e. without plurals or adjectives) This helps others find the page, and reduces the likelihood that a parallel page will be created for the same subject. Site operators will often rename newly created pages to a page name that fits the naming conventions.

Moving content to a better page (and providing a link with the recommendation to continue editing there) is standard practice.

Derogatory content


Derogatory page names for subjects that are not derogatory in nature should be renamed immediately to the most innoccuous appropriate title.

borderline derogatory content should be edited promptly, or if the editor lacks time to do so, a derogatory content notice should be placed on the page.

blatantly derogatory content can be removed immediately.


See also:
For beginners:

For advanced users:
senior editor guidelines
administrator guidelines




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