Help:Editing Rules

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Observe Copyright strictly

Please write all text you add to ADB yourself. Do not copy, not even a single half sentence. Here are some rules:

  • Never copy anything from the media and their websites.
  • Never copy anything from an online data collection site, unless with permission in writing.
  • It is allowed to copy from Wikipedia into the biography section. But do not copy complete wikipedia biographies, only a few sentences. If you do take text from a wikipedia page, you need to add the corresponding Wikipedia link.
  • In the Source Notes, you may copy a part of a phrase from the source you mention. This is about data sources, and can be qualified as 'quoting' other research.
  • In Event notes, you may copy a few word from an event source, if you mention this source. Again, this can be considered quoting, and it is about facts.
  • Never copy images from anywhere, unless they are clearly in the Public Domain, or you have permission in writing.

You may copy images from Wikipedia, but you need to add the link to the Image page as well, so that by clicking on the image in ADB one arrives at the image source and can read the license and origin there. From Astrowiki, you can use images only with great care, after reading the source information for the image there. Some are on shaky legal ground, so that you cannot use them in ADB.

  • Please be aware, that you, the Editor, will be held personally responsible for every word or image you add to ADB. The wiki system notes permanently who made a contribution, and it can be traced. A typical single case of copyright violation costs between 500 and 1000 Euro.
  • If you ask some source for permission to use image or text, do not add it to ADB before receiving the permission. When you have the permission, make a clear note of who gave permission when. For text, you can do this in the edit comment, when you save your update. For images you upload, do it in the image comment on the upload page.
  • You can take birth data, times and birth locations from other publications. Single data items are not covered by copyright. But you need to mention the source, according to ADB standards of behavior. You cannot copy complete data collections. With collection owners, ADB will negotiate to get permission, usually paid.
  • For everything you write and contribute as an editor, you grant the right to Astrodienst AG to use, publish and sub-license your text and your images as part of Astro-Databank content.

Respect for the work of other editors and their decisions

In many cases, conflicting information is present, and an editor had to make a decision which data to use. Please respect those decisions, unless they are obviously mistakes and not 'decisions'. If you have the same information, but come to a different conclusion about which time should be used in ADB, do NOT change it. Discuss the decision with the other editor(s). Only if you have new and better information which was not available to the earlier editor, you can override his/her decision.

Respect Privacy

Not everybody likes to find himself in this public database, in the times of Google and Bing. Lois Rodden seems to have been at times an indiscrete person, and put in a lot of private details and spicy comments. But we must remember, that in her days this was a closed project: The ADB data and biographies went only to the buyers of the database and those had no permission to publish this text. No search engine could access the text. The decision to make it a free wiki has exposed a lot of private information. We receive regular requests to remove data from the database, and if these requests come from essentially private people, we follow them. You always have the option to mark an entry as type 'private person', if there is serious doubt whether somebody's birth data should be public. Of course, in the interest of research and human love for gossip, many data should be public. We do not need to write extensive and detailed biographies, if there exist outside places like Wikipedia with a detailed biography. Just add it as a link, and keep only a few lines of biography in ADB. This avoids many question about privacy of information.