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 necessarily 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 Deep Sea Diver: You may not have an expertise in a particular area, but you decide to adopt a page you feel passionate about, and build it from the ground up, reading every reference you can find. It's a long, slow process but can be really gratifying to develop mastery over a specific topic!

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]

The source code editor is a more advanced way of editing MEpedia. See our tricks and tips on how to get started with the source code editor.

Article outlines, templates and includes[edit | edit source]

Article outlines[edit | edit source]

A list of copy-and-paste outlines for new articles depending category.

Common templates and includes[edit | edit source]

Template name Description / Function Source editor code Installation status Visual editor status
Cleanup needed Indicates articles that need cleanup and the reason why.
{{Cleanup|reason= |date= }}
Installed but could use cleaner visual (e.g., a box/outline around it). See Wikipedia's version and compare to MEpedia. Possible fields do not appear. Would be wonderful if there could be a handful of prefab reasons for cleanup that could allow for searching on those reasons (e.g., view all pages with citation issues, all pages requiring editing or reorganization, all pages that are too long, all pages not written in encyclopedic style, etc).
Stub article Indicates a very short article that is a "stub" waiting to be expanded.
Installed but compared with Wikipedia's version. I don't know if Stub article take fields
Main Links a section of one page to the full article on another.
Installed, but no formatting. See Wikipedia for example of how formatting should be displayed. Possible fields do not appear
Citation needed Indicates facts that require citations.
{{Citation needed}}
Installed but not working properly (may be missing a component).
All pages in a category Automatically displays all of the articles within the specified category
Can be spread across columns, see examples. No explicit support
All categories in a category Automatically displays all of the sub-categories within the specified category
Can be spread across columns, see examples. No explicit support

Other ways to 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