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In the interest of keeping this wiki running and useful, there are a few rules which every member is expected to abide by. Please read through this list carefully, it has been kept short so as not to bore everyone into not reading it (The general rules are the important ones for normal users, though you should be aware of the appeals and punishment sections).
General Site Rules
These rules apply to everyone and are strictly followed.
- Do not plagiarise other people's work
- This should be a pretty obvious one. Don't copy work without attribution. The core aims of the wiki imply that the pages will be written by students anyway, so as to provide an alternative wording to any explanation.
- Be aware that some of the materials the university hands out are not licensed for use on a publicly readable site like this wiki. Do not copy materials from handouts. You may use the handouts as inspiration and to help choose which topics need covering, but you should never need to copy them.
- If you do need to include someone else's material, make sure it is legal to do so and properly attribute them. Consider using an external link in place of creating a copy of something available online (This will mean you don't have to maintain a copy here).
- Keep the content on topic
- The wiki is a learning resource, so don't use it for anything that would not be considered useful towards your or other's studies.
- This rule is relaxed a little for user pages. As long as you aren't doing anything illegal, using the user pages for commercial gain or stating anything that would damage the university's reputation then you should be fine. This isn't the place for complaints, direct those towards the relevant surveys and questionnaires.
- If you want to talk about a topic outside the scope of the course, consider linking to external sources or clearly marking such a page as not being part of the syllabus. This will help revising students select the most important pages.
- Be polite, professional and friendly
- Miscommunication online is easy. Give people the benefit of the doubt. This applies to admins too. The admins will assume most breaches of the rules are mistakes and aim to correct the problem without resorting to bans. However, this is not an excuse to be ignorant of the rules. It will only save you if your actions are in a grey area.
- Personal abuse will not be tolerated. Remember that every edit is linked to your student account. Throwing abuse at people will not make you any friends. Serious abuse will be reported to the university.
- Understand that people have a range of abilities and may be occasionally intoxicated. Do not be condescending towards people just because they got something wrong.
- Use proper English
- Note that there are a lot of international students at the university who may not be familiar with the local slang. Keep the standard of English in articles high so that it is easy to understand for everyone.
- This is not an excuse to bash others for their bad English. If you see a mistake, correct it yourself. There are bound to be a few grammatical or spelling mistakes, especially considering that English is not everyone's native language.
- Use your head!
- Not every behaviour can be covered succinctly in the rules. Think about the results of your actions.
- If something helps everyone, it's allowed.
- If something inconveniences someone, it's probably a bad idea.
- If you're unsure whether or not to do something, discuss it with others or one of the admins
- Give warning first
- Users should be given a warning (via email) about any behaviour that breaks the rules before any further action is taken. The warning should explain the problem politely, referencing which rule is being broken.
- The warning stage can be skipped if failing to ban a user immediately will result in further damage. Bans of this nature should be short in most circumstances. Please note that even though the warning was skipped, a ban still requires justification and the issue must be explained to the user who is breaking the rules. Bans lacking explanation will be considered an abuse of authority.
- Give justification
- Always provide an explanation to an offender as to what they did wrong and which rule was broken.
- Always give justification for a ban and the length of the ban.
- Discuss difficult cases with other admins
- If it is unclear what a reasonable punishment might be, discuss it with another admin.
- If an offender makes an appeal to you and you cannot reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion, discuss the issue with another admin.
- You are not perfect, getting a second opinion will help prevent errors. Update the rules if they are found to be unclear.
Please note, these are guidelines. Admins are free to improvise under the requirement that they follow the admin rules and give clear justification for their decisions.
- For first time offences (usually), a warning will be given along with an explanation of what was done wrong. Any offending material will be removed by an admin when the warning is given.
- For an offence committed after a warning has been given, the response will be a ban.
- Bans will vary in length and are up to the admin handling the ban. They will record their justification for the length to facilitate any appeals and protect against abuse of the system.
- Ban lengths will likely increase with seriousness and the number of times a user has committed the same offence.
- Sometimes a first time offence may result in a ban without prior warning. In these cases the ban will likely be short and intended to quickly stop some negative behaviour. For example: Banning someone for a day who is making a string of abusive comments. The ban will end the abusive behaviour immediately, rather than leaving the admins to wait for a warning to reach the offender.
- Clear abuse of administrator powers will result in permanent stripping of administrator status. This status will never be returned.
- Like regular users, admins will receive warning if their behaviour is considered abusive. Any reports of abusive behaviour will be discussed by at least two admins other than the one being accused. Most likely, abuse will be discussed by all the admins.
- Appeals can be made to any of the administrators, as can reports of abusive admin behaviour.
- If possible, appeal directly to the admin who banned/warned you first, as it is more likely to produce a friendly response.
- Should you be unsatisfied with the response given by an admin, you may contact another admin to mediate things. Don't keep contacting admins after this though. The decision reached in the presence of an intermediate is final.
- If you suspect that abusive admins are teaming up, contact the lead admin.
Alteration of Rules
The rules may change from time to time in order to clarify certain cases or combat some new problem. The admins are not obliged to notify anyone of any changes. However, it is likely that any major changes will be advertised on the main page so as to more effectively clarify what is and is not acceptable. Please check the rules from time to time.