Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Most common Memory Alpha faux pas
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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.

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Don't do these things.

The wiki format can often be demanding or unfamiliar – and downright confusing! It is easy to commit faux pas – anyone might make one, either a newcomer or a veteran. This list of mistakes is compiled, not to embarrass anyone, but to provide some guidelines to help everyone avoid making these mistakes in the future.

  1. Copying from the Star Trek Encyclopedia or Wikipedia. Memory Alpha's goal is to create an independent resource for Star Trek fans. Duplicating Encyclopedia or Wikipedia entries constitutes a copyright violation. That means that we have to build our reference library from scratch. It is difficult, but with many people working on it, it'll go a whole lot faster.
  2. Breaking out of character. Memory Alpha's primary point of view (POV) is that of a person living 'inside' the Star Trek universe. Restrict production and background information to the correct places (see also Manual of Style).
  3. Adding non-canon content to canon articles. Memory Alpha is a website about canon Trek, which means that "in-POV" can't accept any information about your favorite fan fiction. There are some possibilities for adding such information; for example, if you were fleshing out Capt. Kirk's 20th century adventures in novels, you would add information not to the James T. Kirk article, but instead to the article about the novel, The Return for example. Memory Alpha's main "in-POV" articles will remain strictly canon for the foreseeable future.
  4. Blanking page content. If you discover a page with non-canon or other false content, don't delete it! See Pages needing attention for details about what to do when you find these kinds of mistakes. A blank page will leave readers who visit later on very confused.
  5. Leaving the edit summary empty. Always fill the summary field!
  6. Making duplicate articles. Always do a quick search to see if anyone else has already created an article on your subject. Be sure to consider alternate possible names – there's a chance that the article simply has a different name than you were expecting.
  7. Misnaming articles. It is always helpful to check the naming conventions first before you create a new page. If you're uncertain about what to name a page, that page should make your decision easier.
  8. Treating talk pages like a chat room. The talk pages are intended to be used exclusively for the discussion of issues related to the writing of Memory Alpha articles.