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.
Memory Alpha is an encyclopedia and as such, there are certain things that Memory Alpha is not.
What Memory Alpha is not
- A wiki is not paper. Therefore, Memory Alpha doesn't have a size limit. Consequently, the kind of information that might be included is different than a paperback encyclopedia.
- Memory Alpha is not a discussion forum. We're not here to chat or to discuss ideas – we're simply here to write the encyclopedia. If you would like to discuss "Trek", please visit one of the available Trek bulletin boards. To chat about MA, see our discussions feature.
- Memory Alpha is not a marketplace. As an encyclopedia, we are not a forum for discussion in the trade or sale of items, even if Star Trek related. Numerous sites are available for that purpose.
- Memory Alpha is not a fanfic or RPG resource. Our resource policy explicitly states that Memory Alpha is solely about official information. Regardless of the quality of the work, fan works are not accepted.
- Memory Alpha is not a mirror. Articles and contributions must be released for free use under our Creative Commons License.
- Memory Alpha is not an image gallery. Memory Alpha has a finite supply of disk space and bandwidth – although there is plenty available at the moment, do not upload collections of images for the sole purpose of displaying them. Make sure they have a clear link and purpose in an article.
- Memory Alpha is not an internet television or video portal. Memory Alpha does not host or link to Star Trek episodes, films, or videos.
- Memory Alpha is not Wikipedia. Our policies state that Memory Alpha is intended to present information from Star Trek, and is not to present an excess of "real world" information. Related to this, articles at Memory Alpha should be named as per their use in the Star Trek universe, and not be named in the same manner as Wikipedia.
- Memory Alpha is not a file depository. While there is no shortage of space on Memory Alpha, it should not be used for storing personal material unrelated to the project. (This includes your personal user pages.) Uploaded files or articles that are not directly related to an article will be deleted immediately.
What Memory Alpha articles are not
- Simple dictionary-type definitions. Except for those articles that have barely any information about them available, Memory Alpha articles should be written like an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. If you find an article that includes limited information about an item, explain the context in which it was introduced (when, where and why it was brought up in the first place). And such short articles that include only one or two sentences should probably go in a different, larger page if possible.
- Personal speculation. Although there are a great many gaps in our knowledge about the Star Trek universe, Memory Alpha articles are not the place for personal opinions. Don't write an entire article on a speculative subject – if we don't know, then leave it blank.
- Advertising for websites. If your personal site focuses on the same subject as an article, then it may be acceptable to add the site to a list of external links in that article. However, use your judgment and make sure that the context is appropriate – spamming is not tolerated. In addition, pages on unofficial web sites are too subjective; Memory Alpha is an encyclopedia, not a directory. Our focus is on what we see on TV, not what websites we like to hang out at.
- Collections of images. Articles are not for simple collections or collages of images – they must have an article to accompany and describe them.
- Original research. Subjective essays which analyze or draw conclusions about Star Trek are not encyclopedic. Conclusions, synthesis, analysis, or associations which have been mentioned in canon or sourced from a credible real-world authority are acceptable background content, with citations.
We will continue to add to this list as we discover interesting new ways of how to not write encyclopedia articles.