How to contribute

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history
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Contribute to MEpedia today! Anyone can create pages, write content, add links/citations, fact-check, or even just fix typos. Everyone has something to offer, whatever your skills & experience, even if you have never edited a wiki (like Wikipedia) before. Get involved and help the patient community identify all of the best and most important resources for our disease and its research, treatment and history.

To get started, read our Editorial Guidelines and find more information about how to edit MEpedia below. Please make sure to join our contributor community, the MEpedia Facebook Group. You can also follow MEPedia on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to us on Reddit.

Pages that are a red link have not been created yet and need to be populated – a full list of these pages can be found here. Pages that have been created (blue links) but need to be expanded are marked as stubs - a full list of all stubs can be found here. We also have a list of priority pages for expansion.

All we ask is that you read the guidelines (see below) before you edit.

Pages that have problems such as incorrect information, formatting issues, or a lack of citations are marked with a cleanup note. A full list of pages requiring cleanup can be found here.

Have any questions after reading the below? Email

Getting started[edit | edit source]

Create an account[edit | edit source]

Before you start editing, you should create an account or log in. Note, if you are not logged in when you make an edit or contribution to a page, your IP address will appear.

Small steps still move MEpedia forward[edit | edit source]

Only have a five minute spoon to give? Here is a list of small tasks you can help us with in roughly one to ten minutes of time.

Rules & Guidelines[edit | edit source]

Roles[edit | edit source]

There are so many different roles contributors can play, at every level of cognitive ability or technical expertise. Every contributor can play one or more roles. All are important and help us grow and improve the project!

The Scientist: If you have a science background or a passion for science, we definitely need your expertise improving our medical and science pages and ensuring that all content is correct, accurate and cited. (Note: unlike Wikipedia, every fact presented on MEpedia does not need to be replicated or have appeared in a review article. However, the limitations of individual studies and the certainty of findings need to be properly contextualized and qualified. For more, see the Science Guidelines)

The Translator: While many of the science pages will have highly technical information, useful to medical professionals and researchers, it's our goal that the opening section of every page (which usually comes before the table of contents) can provide a one to two paragraph summary that is accessible to as general audience as possible. As a page matures and contains a lot of information, The Translator can write an opening paragraph if none exists or improve the opening paragraph(s) to make it even more accessible.

But you don't need to have a technical background to play any of these roles:

The Historian: Help us improve our content on the history of ME and CFS (and before it was either of these things, Icelandic Disease and atypical polio). Bring to life the outbreaks of the past by digging into the newspaper and journal records and creating pages for individual outbreaks.

The Biographer: We have dozens of pages with biographies of scientists, clinicians, historical figures and activists with ME. These can always be improved and there are many people still missing. (See our categories for famous people, researchers, clinicians, advocates)

The Editor: As pages grow through the addition of new information, they can often become hard to navigate. Read our more developed pages and see whether they can be improved by breaking up very long sections into sub-sections, improving overall flow, organization and readability, or updating the opening paragraph to better reflect the way the page may have grown and changed.

The Link Collector: Sometimes you may not have the cognitive capacity or time to take an interesting article and writing it into an existing page. However, you can help simply by collecting links and pasting them on the "Discussion" page of a given article, with perhaps a sentence or two explaining its relevance, so that someone in the future can take that link and incorporate that into the page.

The Photo Curator: Many of our pages could be improved simply through the addition of images and drawings. It's important to make sure you have permission to use the any photos you add , that they are in the public domain, or that they carry a Creative Commons license.

The Proofreader: Fix small typos and grammatical errors as you go. Or visit the front page and hit "random" to be taken to a random article. Read and correct mistakes.

The Citation Catcher: Many citations are simple links, without the proper article title, journal name, date or author information. Correcting citations are a great way to help us improve this project.

The Manual Writer: All of our support documentation could always be improved. Help us find ways to better explain the tools and guidelines behind MEpedia and help make them more accessible. To contribute in this way, consider starting a new thread in our Facebook group and making a suggestion.

The Community Organizer: Help us grow this project by growing the community around it. Invite friends to join our Facebook group. Act as a greeter, help folks feel welcome, answer questions as they arise.

The Outreacher: Help us build links between MEpedia and others. For example posting MEpedia articles to other M.E, community forums and asking for help improving them, sending links to MEpedia articles to scientists (e.g. the page about them) and asking them to update the page and confirm it is complete, asking researchers to read MEpedia pages related to their work and provide feedback on what needs adding, or asking M.E. blog writers to include MEpedia links in their articles so their readers can learn more.

The Supporter: Help MEpedia by helping, training and supporting its volunteer team. Help everyone learn how to edit pages, to do more advanced editing, and how to more effectively create content. Maybe you're a technologist who finds it easy to learn and teach others about wiki editing, or a technical writer who cannot commit to contribute much but can help others to write.

The News Reader: Help keep MEpedia fresh by updating its pages based on news you read. For example if you read a new article published by journalist David Tuller, make sure his page has been updated to include the latest article. Or if an announcement is made by the NIH or some other organization, update relevant pages to reflect the news.

See even more ways to contribute.

A note on ME v. CFS[edit | edit source]

We have separate pages for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, ME/CFS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as SEID. The convention is that the terminology used in an ME-pedia article should match the terminology used in the underlying source. Where there is a tension between the term used in the source and the definition (e.g., ME defined by the Oxford criteria or CFS defined by the Canadian Consensus Criteria), it may be useful for clarity to mention the definition used.

How do I create a new page?[edit | edit source]

Simply type in the title of your new page and hit "create page." You'll want to search the existing database of pages to make sure that your page or a similar page does not already exist.

How do I edit existing pages?[edit | edit source]

There are two types of editor on this wiki, the Visual editor, which operates more like your word processing or email program, and the Source editor, which uses a special kind of wiki code. Most users will prefer to use the Visual editor, but for more advance applications or if the Visual editor is "down" (as happens from time to time), the resources below will help you learn how to navigate both.

Look for the "edit" (Visual editor) or "edit source" (Source editor) links at the top of the page (to edit the whole page) and next to each section heading (to edit just that section).

After you've made your changes, scroll down to the 'Show Preview' section, add a comment, preview your changes, then save them.

Using the visual editor[edit | edit source]

To learn how to use the visual editor, please see Wikipedia's visual editor user guide.

Note: the visual editor is in beta mode and is sometimes unstable. If the visual editor crashes while you are using it, you can hit cancel to use the source code editor instead. OR you can wait several minutes and then try again by pressing "OK." The visual editor is currently set to reboot once every hour.

Mepedia visual editor error.png

Using the source code editor[edit | edit source]

It's easy to get started.

Lesson 1[edit | edit source]

  • Browse the existing pages: find topics that interest you - perhaps your local advocacy group, a favourite doctor.
  • Create a user profile: click on the 'Create Account' link near the top right hand corner of the page. Follow the steps.
  • Make your first edit: choose a page, click on the 'Edit' link (in the row of text ABOVE the page title). Add a few words, or a sentence.
    • You'll notice that the text looks different - less formatted / pretty - with strange characters (eg [ Fred Smith ] or = = Heading = =) - ignore these for the moment.
  • Preview your edit: scroll down to the bottom of the page, and find the 'Show Preview' button.
    • Add a short description of your change in the 'Comment' section (eg 'add comment about NIH study').
    • Click the 'Show Preview' button. You will now see the text in the 'prettier' format. Make sure your changes look okay.
  • Save your edit: Click the 'Save Page' button.
  • CONGRATULATIONS !! you've just made your first ME-Pedia edit.  :)

Lesson 2[edit | edit source]

  • Learn about formatting: there are special characters to create headings, italics, bolding, indented lists, etc.
  • Include references: if you're quoting a research study, or referring to an external website, include a hyperlink to the research study or website, using square brackets around the hyperlink - eg [ http:// ].
    • Don't worry that it's not a full citation yet - there are other people who can do the complicated technical formatting
  • Experiment on your personal 'talk page': click on your 'user profile' link (near the top right), then click on the 'Create' link. Now you can safely experiment with your new formatting skills.

links used to edit ME-pedia

Lesson 3[edit | edit source]

  • Learn about the Edit History: choose any MEpedia page, and click on the 'View History' link near the top right.
    • You will see a list of all changes to the page, showing the date, time, user, and a brief description.
    • You can select (click on) two different edits, then click 'Compare Selected Revisions', to see a side-by-side comparison of the old text and the new text.
    • There are options to show/hide your own changes, or minor changes, etc
    • Be aware that it's possible to 'rollback' (reverse) an edit if something has gone drastically wrong. if in doubt, ask someone with technical skills to do this.
  • There is also a 'Recent Changes' link on the left-hand side of the page - this lists recent changes on ALL ME-pedia pages.

Lesson 4[edit | edit source]

  • Learn about the Discussion pages: choose any MEpedia page, and click on its 'Discussion' link near the top left.
    • You will see a list of comments by other users, including suggestions, discussion, criticisms, etc
    • To add your own comments - click on 'edit', add your comments at the end, add your signature and date stamp (see button)

CONGRATULATIONS - you now have the basic skills to edit ME-Pedia, and make it more wonderful !

Text formatting with the Source editor[edit | edit source]

Description What you type What you see
Italic text
''italic text''
italic text
Bold text
'''bold text'''
bold text
Bulleted list
* Item 1
* Item 2
* Item 3
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3
Numbered list
# Electrolytes
# Cytokines
## Cytokine subgroups
### Cytokine sub-sub-groups
# Bananas
  1. Electrolytes
  2. Cytokines
    1. Cytokine subgroups
      1. Cytokine sub-sub-groups
  3. Bananas
Indented text
: cytokines
:: interleukins
::: IL-6
: leukocytes
Block quotes
 <blockquote> this paragraph will be indented </blockquote> 
this paragraph will be indented
Headings of different levels
==Heading text==
===Heading text===
====Heading text====
(not illustrated)
Link to another ME-Pedia page
 [[Pace trial]] 
Pace trial
Link to an external page
[ Wikipedia - Mitochondrion]
Wikipedia - Mitochondrion

Images[edit | edit source]

To add an image use the "Upload a file" link on the left of any page, and make a note of the file name, then add it to the page. Add right or left, and a width (with a px suffix) to set the size):

[[File:Nancy klimas.jpg|200px|right]]

References - basic[edit | edit source]

The mitochondria produce ATP.<ref>[ Wikipedia - Mitochondrion]</ref>

The mitocondria produce ATP.[1]



<references />

References - citing a published study[edit | edit source]

In the body text where you want to reference a study, refer to the citation using the name you give it:

The study showed that X is an effective treatment.<ref name="pace_trial" />

Then at the bottom of the page, define the citation within the References section like this:

<ref name="pace_trial">{{Citation
| last1   = White             | first1 = Peter              | authorlink1 = Peter White   
| last2   = Chalder           | first2 = Trudie             | authorlink2 = Trudie Chalder
| last3   = Sharpe            | first3 = Michael            | authorlink3 = Michael Sharpe
| last4   = McCrone           | first4 = Paul               | authorlink4 = Paul McCrone
| display-authors = 3
| title   = Comparison of adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise therapy, and specialist medical care for chronic fatigue syndrome (PACE): a randomised trial
| journal = The Lancet | volume = 1 | issue = 3 | page = 123-150
| date    = 13 Jan 2011
| pmid    = 21334061
| doi     = 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60096-2

Which when added to a page is displayed like this in the References sections (the PACE trial is shown as an example):

White, Peter; Chalder, Trudie; Sharpe, Michael; et al. (13 Jan 2011), "Comparison of adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise therapy, and specialist medical care for chronic fatigue syndrome (PACE): a randomised trial", The Lancet, 1 (3): 123-150, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60096-2, PMID 21334061 

The "authorlink" fields specify the name of the MEpedia article to go to when that author is clicked. The PMID number is the PubMed study ID. The doi is the unique reference for the study, and when provided means the citation will include a link to the study, wherever it is published. All fields are mandatory, except for 'display-authors', which should only be included if you wish to hide some of the author's names. The documentation for the Citation template is here.

There is an optional field, 'display-authors', which should only be used if you wish to hide some of the author names.

Here is a blank template to copy-and-paste into pages:

<ref name="">
| last1   =                   | first1 =                    | authorlink1 = 
| last2   =                   | first2 =                    | authorlink2 = 
| last3   =                   | first3 =                    | authorlink3 = 
| last4   =                   | first4 =                    | authorlink4 = 
| last5   =                   | first5 =                    | authorlink5 = 
| last6   =                   | first6 =                    | authorlink6 = 
| last7   =                   | first7 =                    | authorlink7 = 
| last8   =                   | first8 =                    | authorlink8 = 
| display-authors = 3
| title   = 
| journal =     | volume =    | issue =    | page = 
| date    = 
| pmid    = 
| doi     = 

More help[edit | edit source]

  • View a video tutorial
  • Click "edit" on pages which are not locked (or "view source" on those which are) and:
  • Look at the "wiki code" responsible for creating the page. This may help you learn how to edit since the "code" is, in large part, pretty intuitive and easy to learn if you look back and forth between the article and the code responsible for it.
  • All edit pages have a "Help" link in the toolbar which can lead you to this page (and our link below to editing references).
  • Look at the formatting cheatsheet

How can I contribute?[edit | edit source]

Make a suggestion[edit | edit source]

Almost everyone working on MEpedia is sick, including bed-bound patients. Although we welcome suggestions please, please if you possibly can, create/edit the page yourself. It is very easy to add a new page or make an improvement – be bold! Together we are stronger as a community. If you REALLY can't edit the page, then you can go to the MEpedia suggestions page, click Edit, and add your suggestion to the list for someone else to consider implementing in future.

Implement a suggestion[edit | edit source]

If you want to contribute but aren't sure where to start, try looking at the MEpedia suggestions and consider implementing an improvement suggested by others.

Create a new article[edit | edit source]

To create a new article, simply search for the title of the article you wish to create. If a page does not already exist, you will see an option to create the page. Alternatively if you see a red link to the page, that means it does not yet exist. Just click the red link to create the page.

Once you have a blank editable article open, consider copying-and-pasting an outline into it for that type of article, so you have a set of headings to prompt writing. See MEpedia article outlines

Remember that articles must use strong citations. For example if you write "ME/CFS can be successfully treated with XYZ", you MUST provide a reference to evidence, ideally a high quality (randomized, placebo-controlled) published study. If there is no evidence, the wording must reflect this, for example "ME/CFS is sometimes treated using XYZ, but currently there is no good evidence for its use".

Expand a topic[edit | edit source]

Pages with blue links (as opposed to red) exist already, and can be proof-read, improved and extended. Remember statements need to be supported by the best available evidence or source, for example a published quote by a person, or a paper in a scientific journal.

Check our references[edit | edit source]

You can make sure facts are properly cited and references are in correct format.

We aim to serve a general audience, a research audience, and a patient audience. All entries should be cited and make clear to distinguish what has and has not been established by peer-reviewed research findings. Articles should aim to provide both a general overview of a specific topic as well as discuss its implications or applications in ME and CFS.

Correct typos[edit | edit source]

You can also copy-edit existing articles for typos and edit for clarity.

Clean-up poor pages[edit | edit source]

Some pages are inconsistently formatted, too long, are presented badly, need partially rewriting, or suffer from other problems. Those pages are marked as needing clean-up, and are listed under all articles needing cleanup.

Mark pages as needing cleanup[edit | edit source]

If you see a problem with a page, it needs clean-up, and you are not able to resolve it, mark the page as needing cleaning by adding a marker like this including a description of the problem:

{{Cleanup | reason=the article is full of incorrect capitalization | date=August 2018}}

For more details see Cleanup.

Other Resources[edit | edit source]

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history