Alternate History:Timeline Guidelines

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NOTICE:
This page is a wiki policy. It is recommended for all users to read this page periodically as these are subject to change.


These are the timeline and article guidelines on the Alternate History Wiki regarding timelines and articles published and edited on this wiki, including creation, editing, adoption and deletion, as well as their content. It documents on what articles are and not allowed to be published, the purpose and scope of this wiki. The purpose of these guidelines is in order to maintain the scope and purpose of this wiki, since this wiki was created primarily to allow users to create, publish and edit alternate history timelines.

These guidelines may be subject to change without notice in order to reflect the growing needs of the wiki. If you would like to propose any amendments to these guidelines, please suggest them in the discussion page.

These guidelines only apply to alternate history timelines and articles within those timelines published on this wiki. These guidelines do not apply to map games on this wiki, as they have separate guidelines and policies. For the guidelines and policies on map games, please see the map game guidelines.

If you have any questions or suggestions on what is or what should be allowed or disallowed to be published on this wiki, you may leave it on this article's talk page or discuss it in the the wiki's forums.

Content and Scope of this Wiki

This wiki is about alternate history. Alternate history are scenarios of events which occur differently from our own history by changes that happen at a point in the past, called a point of divergence. For a guide on alternate history, please visit our wiki's guide to alternate history.

This wiki is not about future history, which are scenarios of events in OTL history which are going to take place in the future, i.e. a point in time after the timeline has been started.

Nor is this wiki about documenting factual and actual OTL historical events. So don't create articles on events, people, nations, etc. in OTL as we know it today under the main namespace unless it has to do with your timeline's point of divergence.

For now, it has been decided that the point of divergence in timelines must be within human history.

In the case for alternate future histories, which are events in an alternate history timeline, where the point of divergence in the the past, but which the events occur in the future, for now it's been decided that they will not be allowed. For now, events in alternate history timelines must occur up to the present, and it can be expanded up to the near future.

In addition, all articles written here are fictional and its content are works of fiction, since alternate history is, after all, a form of speculative fiction which also crosses into science fiction and historic fiction, and most of the events documented here never happened at all or happened as they did in OTL. Many people, countries, events, and other elements in an alternate history timeline are works of fiction and products of the author's speculation and imagination which do not exist or never existed. Even if the timeline mentions or includes OTL historical figures, polities and events that existed in our history or some of their elements thereof, they still contain elements of fiction with details that are changed and that may not align with what actually happened.

Although many articles are written in an encyclopedic manner, we are not Wikipedia and we do not document OTL history. Nothing that is written here should be taken as historic fact. Though timelines should be written realistically in order to maintain plausibility.

Purely OTL history should only be used for events leading up to the point of divergence or any unchanged elements in an alternate history timeline.

Also, no fantasy elements or fanon (fan fiction based on other authors' intellectual property) works are allowed here. Timelines should be realistic and be something that could plausibly happen.

If you would like to start a future history timeline instead, you can go to Future History Wiki. The Constructive Worlds Wiki (Altverse) allows anyone to create fictional worlds, including future histories, alternate histories set before human history, alternate future histories, fantasy worlds, etc. They allow anything really.

How to Create and Edit a New Timeline or Article

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To create a new page, you can go to this wiki's main page, and in the text field of the input box, you type the name of the page you would like to create, and then click "Create a timeline!". You can also go an non-existent page, either by following a link to a non-existent page which is marked in red, or by typing the title of the page in the URL after /wiki/. Then you click on the "Create" tab or click on the link which says "create this page" and you will be brought to the editor. More instructions on that is linked here.

After you finish typing content, to save your changes, you click on "Save Changes", and a message will appear giving you the option to write a edit summary on what changes you have made (which will appear in your contributions and page's edit history) as well as the option to show a preview of you changes or to resume editing if you are not satisfied. If you are satisfied with the changes you have made, you may click on "Save Changes" again in the message box which will publish your edits.

If you want to edit the page again, click on the "Edit" tab at the top of the page, or to edit a specific section of the page click on the "edit" link in square brackets next to the section heading, and you will be brought to the editor again.

After saving each edit session, the save changes will be saved on the "History" tab of the page, which lists the date and time, the user name of the editor, how many characters/bytes were added to the page, and the edit summary for each edit. It also indicates whether each edit created a new page or is a minor revision, and allows comparing the markup of selected edit revisions and previewing previous revisions of the page as well as undoing revisions.

On this wiki, you can edit articles using the VisualEditor, which is a rich-text wiki editor that is great for new contributors. To learn how to use VisualEditor, you can read this user guide.

For more experienced users, they can use the original source editor which uses Wikitext and sometimes some HTML. Sometimes the source editor is more preferred and thus is recommended because it allows you to do more things than the VisualEditor.

To switch between editors, click the 'Switch editor' button (which is a pencil icon next to a chevron pointing down) located at the right corner of the editing toolbar at the top of the screen, left of the 'Save changes' button. Once clicked, it will drop down two options to choose from top to bottom; the visual editor (represented by an eye) or the source Wikitext editor (represented by two opening and closing square brackets).

When editing in Wikitext, normal content can be written in plain text. But for some things such as inserting links and images, creating tables, etc. may need additional special markup. For example, if you want to insert a link to another page within this wiki (an internal link) by inserting the title of the page within square brackets, such as [[Name of page]], including the name of the namespace the page is contained in preceding a colon and the title of the page (except for category tags and image files, in which case you add an additional colon at the beginning of the full title after the opening square brackets).

As you are editing, there are toolbars at the top of the editor which can help you insert and create templates, links, tables, etc. without having to type out the actual Wikitext.

To learn how to edit pages in MediaWiki Wikitext, you can read this help guide on Wikitext editing from Wikipedia. You can also read these editing guides on the MediaWiki website.

PROTIP: While editing a page, it is recommended before you save your changes and publish your edits that you preview your edits periodically after each revision. The preview will allow you to view the finished page before publishing them and allowing you to look over and revise your edit before it becomes public. This is helpful because you don't have to make multiple minor edits piling up on the page's history tab for each correction. To do this, click "Save Changes" and the message box will appear, and then click "Show Preview". After you're done you may click "Resume Editing" or "Return To Save Form" to make additional edits or "Save Changes" if you are sure and satisfied.

You can also click on "Review Your Changes" which will show you the difference and comparison of the markup between the previous edit and your current edit to see what information has been added or removed.

Using Templates

Templates allow you to put elements on a page without having to type out long complicated markup code, allowing the code on the page overall to be shorter and less time consuming to type and edit. Templates can be used to display tags or notices often at the top of the page or sections, as well as tables such as infoboxes. Templates are created under the Template namespace, and the title of the template while seaching it is Template:Name of template. Pages of templates also include a section of information at the bottom documenting how to use it.

To put a template on a page, you type the name of the template if you know it within two sets of curly brackets such as {{Name of template}}. Some templates allow or require additional information via piping, in which case you type {{Name of template|Additional information #1|Additional information #2|...|#Additional information #}}.

To make it easier to search for templates, you can also click on "Insert" drop-down menu on the editing toolbar, and click on "Templates" next to a silhouette of a puzzle piece. Then a box titled "Add a template" should appear at the front of the screen, and in the text field you can search for templates with matching names appearing on a list below the field, then click on "Add template" or the name of the template to insert it within the page during editing.

To find the template you need, you can search for templates using the Advanced Search feature with just the Template namespace selected, or you can look through the template category or the automatically updated list of templates.

Naming and Organizing Timelines and Articles

Timelines should be given a title. Your timeline can have a main page with just the name of your timeline as its title, which includes a brief summary of what the timeline is about as well as a summary or chronology of its events. It should give the timeline's point of divergence, a timeline of events, a directory of the articles within the timeline, and references of the sources of information you used. Alternatively this information can be included in the timeline's category page if you would like this to serve as a portal page.

For articles within your timeline, the name of your article should also include the name of your timeline in parenthesis after it, such as Name of your article (Name of your timeline). This is done in order to organize articles as part of one of the same timeline, and also in order to prevent confusion between articles of different timelines which have the same name (see disambiguatiob pages.

Timelines should have its own category with the name of your timeline, such as [[Category:Name of your timeline]], and all articles that belong to that timeline should be categorized there. In addition the category of your timeline should also go in the timelines category by adding [[Category:Timelines]] to the category page. You can also create and add additional categories to your article based on the article's subject.

To add a page to a category, type in [[Category:Name of category]] at the bottom of the page in the source editor. When saved, the name of the category will appear in the categories list at the bottom of the page, which when clicked will link to the category page with a list of pages listed as part of the category as well as other categories or subcategories listed. If you want to create a new category, you type in the name of a category which doesn't exist, in which it will appear as a redlink in the categories list. Click on it, and add it to another category to create it, like any other page. You may also write content in a category page.

Articles, including timeline portal pages, should be in the main namespace, with no namespace prefix before the title.

Content of Alternate History Articles

Articles can be about events, technologies and products, biographies of persons, ethnic groups, countries and nations, languages, administrative divisions, etc, and other things that are part of that alternate history timeline. Some of these articles can be based on real events or people who existed in OTL, but has to be relevant to the alternate timeline. Articles should be formal, and written in English in an encyclopedic matter similar to Wikipedia.

Editing and Contributing to an Existing Timeline

Some authors of alternate history timelines on this wiki allow their articles to be open to contributors, which mean that they allow other users to make edits and add scenarios to their timelines. Usually, the authors of the timeline will put a notice at the top of their articles stating that their articles are open for editing by other users.

However, other authors might choose to leave their articles closed to contributors, which means that the author(s) of a timeline will not allow other users to make significant edits to their articles. Authors might also leave a notice at the top of their articles stating that their articles are closed to contributors. Additionally, these authors might further protect their pages from editing by non-authors.

If you would like to protect your article from being edited by other users, just go to the "Protect" tab at the top of the page, and then choose to "Protect from non-authors".

Editing an article which is closed to contributors might lead to your edits being reverted. Read more about it in our policy page.

Adopting Existing Timelines

Sometimes, authors may wish to put their timelines up for adoption by other users if they no longer wish to work on them. Authors may leave a notice on top of their articles that their timeline is up for adoption, and any user may claim that timeline, who can make that timeline their own or merge them with an existing timeline.

Note: Just because a particular timeline has been 'abandoned' and has not been worked on by its original authors for some time, doesn't mean that the article is up for adoption, even if it appears unfinished or incomplete. Timelines which have been abandoned by their original authors are kept for archival purposes and if the author comes back and shows interests in developing the timeline again.

For a timeline to be eligible for adoption, the author(s) must explicitly state that they would rather have someone else work on the wiki, either by publicly putting on a notice or if they request that they want another user to take over. If no notice is given, please ask the original author if they want to give it up for adoption and you would like to continue working on it.

Finding External Sources

It is recommended to do some research about the history your timeline is based about, especially around the point of divergence, as well as researching current events, before creating and editing your timeline, to help it become more plausible. There are many resources online in the Internet, as well as in books, which can help you.

Plagiarism

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Plagiarism is defined as taking other people's ideas and claiming them to be your own. Two examples of plagiarism are: taking information from other sources during research and posting them in your article, either verbatim and/or without giving credit or attribution to the original source; and stealing other users ideas for a scenario and using it as your own idea for a timeline and creating duplicate timelines and articles of other users, whether on this wiki or another source.

It is possible that two timelines might coincidentally have similar scenarios, sometimes even with pretty much the same basis or point of divergence. For example, you might have two timelines that explore on what if the Soviet Union never fell in 1991. But it's fine as long as each timeline was conceived independently and has its own approach on the scenario. In other words, if two or more timelines have the same or similar point of divergence, or a similar scenario, it is not considered plagiarism as long as each timeline is of each of the author(s) own original interpretation of that scenario, and not copies of another timeline whether verbatim or reworded with pretty much the same content and events, or if one timelines intentionally takes information from further events, in whole or in part, and incorporates other people's work into their own timelines.

Plagiarism of any kind is not tolerated on this wiki and all forms of plagiarism will be reverted or deleted, and you may be warned. Repeated plagiarism might result in you from being banned from editing. Anything that you submit here should be your own work done with your own research and creative input.

Bias and Discussion of Real-life Politics and Religion in Alternate History

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Also known as no cross, no crown (NC/NC), this policy pertains to the inclusion and discussion of real-life politics and religion in an alternate history timeline. Basically, it means that discussion of politics and religion in an alternate history can be included if it makes the timeline reasonably plausible, and not to be overly biased in order to claim that a particular religion or political stance is superior.

Importing and Exporting Articles from Other Wikis

If you have written a timeline on another wiki, say from AltHistory FANDOM, and you would like to move them here, you may wish to export your articles from there. To do this, you can go to that wiki's Special:Export page, and then either typing the category name of your timeline in the text field next to what says "Add pages from category", and all pages included in that category will appear in the large text field below, or you can enter each of the pages you would like to export on the large text field below one title per line and separating them with a line break by pressing the "Enter" key. Afterwards, you should check the box next to "Save as file" and click "Export". This should convert the pages into an XML file which is then downloaded and saved locally to your device. Alternatively, you can also export individual pages as a link, for example, Special:Export/Page name which will render the page as an XML file and then choose to save the page locally. Any user can export pages on wikis.

However, to import pages on this wiki requires admin rights. If you do not have admin rights here, you can ask an administrator to help you by finding the pages and having them export from there and importing them to this wiki for you. Just request to one of them that you would like to import your timeline, and provide them a link to your timeline articles and category. Alternatively, if you would rather export the pages yourself you can e-mail an admin the XML files using Special:EmailUser.

If you would like to move your timelines elsewhere, you can also export pages from here using Special:Export.

Also, please import content that is yours or that you have permission to import it by its author(s).

Good Quality and Featured Timelines

Alternate history timelines on this wiki which are of good quality and writing can be nominated and voted by the community as a good quality timeline. A Good Quality timeline can also be featured on this wiki's main page each month. Featured timelines are selected and nominated by the community based on their opinions. To nominate a timeline to be featured and to vote on nominations, you can visit this page.

Deletion Policy

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Sometimes, it may be necessary for pages on this wiki to be deleted. Common reasons for deletion include pages and articles which do not follow these guidelines or violates wiki policy or Miraheze's global policies. Authors may also choose to have their articles deleted. They should be able to delete their own pages. If not, they can request for an administrator to delete them.

If you feel that an article should be deleted, you may place a notice on that page to mark it for deletion. The deletion process can be discussed in that page's talk page.

Abandoned, Orphaned or Stubby Timelines

A timeline is considered to be 'abandoned' or 'orphaned' if the timeline is incomplete and the author(s) of that timeline have not contributed to it for more than 2 months. Timelines which are considered complete and finished are not considered to be abandoned.

These timelines are not deleted and are kept in case if the authors would like to go back and work on their timelines again. Nor are these timelines automatically put up for adoption for other users, unless if the author wished to put it up for adoption.

Likewise, stubby, incomplete and poor quality timelines are not deleted as long as they pertain to the scope of this wiki.

Disambiguation Pages

Disambiguation pages exist in order to list pages of the same title belonging to different timeliens. These can be about countries or historical figures with the same name (or equivalent entities), and can serve as a page to provide brief information about a shared topic (such as some OTL facts), and where to find the topic on the timeline it includes.

These pages are under the Disambiguation namespace in order to separate them from the main namespace which contain alternate history pages.

For example, you have two or more timelines with the country Australia included in their timeline, which is a separate page in each timeline. So you have two pages as Australia (Timeline #1) and Australia (Timeline #2), each with different information and scenarios to fit in each of their respective timeline but both sharing the same name since they are about the same country. A disambiguation page titled Disambiguation:Australia can be created in order to list all pages with the title Australia for each timeline it appears, as well as a brief description containing OTL facts and information about the country Australia.

EDIT: On second thought, category pages listing articles with common topics across different timelines can serve this purpose too, so this namespace will be removed if it's deemed redundant.

Copyright

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By default, all articles, content, edits and contributions published on the Alternate History Wiki is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA) license, as indicated on the footer on this site as well as at the bottom of the traditional editor and on the message displayed before saving changes on the VisualEditor, unless otherwise noted. This means that anything that you submit here is allowed to be shared and redistributed by others publicly without requiring your permission, as long as they give credit for your work (i.e. acknowledging that you created the original work and not claiming as their own), they are not using your work for commercial purposes (i.e. earning money or making a profit from the redistribution of your work, or including or redistributing your work in or as a commercial work or in order for the another person to make money off of your work with out your permission), and if they make any changes or modifications to it they should redistribute the derivative or modified work under the same license as the original, i.e. they must also redistribute it under CC BY-NC-SA, only. We chose this license for the content on our wiki in order to protect our users' timelines from false claims of authorship and other users plagiarizing and trying to steal your idea, and to prevent anyone else from financially profiting from your content here without permission.

This licensing policy also applies to templates, which allows them to be used across different pages and include added information.

You will still have copyright ownership over your work, but the Creative Commons licenses and other free licenses waivers some of these rights so that other people can use and modify your work without needing your permission as long as they follow its terms.

Additionally, by publishing your work on this site as hosted by Miraheze, you also give this wiki and Miraheze the legal right to publicly host and display your work for everyone else to see, as per this page, regardless of what license you apply on your work, which goes along side it. If you don't agree with that, then don't submit your content here. If you would like, you may remove your content from here or request for it to be deleted. You can export your pages if you would like to keep them or move them somewhere else.

If you would like to submit your work under or along side a different license, if you would like to release it under the public domain (release all copyrights), or if you would like to retain all copyrights, then you must indicate that, such as by putting up a notice.

If you find any content here on this wiki that you would like to report and have it be taken down and removed, then please make a request at the administration's talk page or contact an admin directly.

This section and licensing policy does not apply for images and other media files: see this page instead.