Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha AboutPolicies and guidelines → Always fill summary field
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines.
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.
Edit summary

The two versions of Edit summary text box

When editing an article on Memory Alpha, there is a small field labeled "Add a summary of your edit" either above or to the right of the main edit-box. The image to the right shows what it looks like with the editing sidebar closed (above) and open (below).

The text entered in the summary box, up to 200 characters, will appear in italics on the Recent changes page and in the page revision history (see below). You should write a short summary of the changes you have introduced into the article. In addition (or alternatively), the summary field could explain why the change to the article was made, in order to allay the concerns of other contributors (in the case of potentially controversial or confusing edits). When doing so, please try to avoid spoilers. Longer explanations should go on the talk pages.

Always fill the summary is one of Memory Alpha's guidelines. In the day-to-day operations of Memory Alpha, with many people all making changes at various times, it's better to have some summary of the changes rather than no summary at all. The summary can help people decide whether they should go read all of the changes that were made in your edit, or whether it's not important enough. (This would be in addition to the "minor edit" feature.) There are a few automatically generated edit summaries, but these are only used in special circumstances.


Efficient contributors to Memory Alpha use a number of abbreviations for the summary field:

Abbreviation(s) What it means
"+" or "-" Addition or removal, see rm.
at Article type. Generally when adding the {{article type}} template.
bg Background. Generally used with info for bginfo.
cat Category. Changes to the category (wags also use "dog").
chg Change. Could be used in conjunction with several other abbreviations.
cite Citation. Usually used when requesting or adding a citation.
cm Comment. Commonly used on talk pages.
copyedit Miscellaneous copyediting.
dup Duplication, e.g. "-dup" or "rm dup".
disambig Disambiguation. Used when disambiguating a link or adding a disambiguation link to the top of the article.
ex or ext External. Generally used with lk for adding or removing external link(s).
fm, fmt, format, or MoS Formatting. Applied manual of style formatting.
ft What follows gives the full added text, it does not make sense to open the article unless you want to see the text in context or want to make another edit.
fx Fix. This is generally used when a page (lk fx) or image (img fx) as been moved, requiring the links to be updated.
info Information. Generally used with bg for bginfo.
lk(s) Link(s). Could be used in conjunction with several other abbreviations.
rd Redirect. Used when creating a redirect.
re or rep(s) Reply. Commonly used on talk pages.
ref Reference. Usually used when requesting or adding a reference.
rm or remov Remove. Additions and removals are also sometimes abbreviated as "+" and "-".
rv Revert.
see talk An explanation/discussion of this edit is on the article's talk page.
sk or sort Sortkey. Changes made to the category sort key(s).
sp Spelling. Fixed spelling mistakes.
typo Fixed typos (wags also use "tipo", "tyop", etc).
wikified Created links / converted markup, especially of new articles.
wording Changes to the wording of the article.
[[name of other article]] Added the link [[name of other article]] (maybe a bit of text too); this is especially useful if the link is to a new article, to draw people's attention to that, for people who keep track of pages on their watchlist, but not systematically of all new pages.

Avoid "-" (single hyphen) as separation sign, since it is used as a shorthand for "remove".

"Post a comment" feature[]

When starting a new thread on a Talk page, optionally the "Post a comment" feature can be used. Then the edit summary is automatically the same as the new section header.

Places where the edit summary appears[]

The following pages generated by the MediaWiki software will display the edit summaries:


Note that the Memory Alpha search function cannot search edit summaries, and they are not indexed by Google.

Upload summary[]

When uploading an image, you can add an upload summary (see file description page). If the upload is the first for a specific file name (i.e. it is creating a new File: page), then the upload summary will also serve as the file description until it is edited. In all cases, the upload summary will be applied to the individual files that are uploaded.