How does OutHistory Work?
OutHistory is a wiki, which means that it runs on a software which allows users to create, edit, and link pages easily. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. Any user can discuss articles posted on OutHistory, even without creating an account. Only users who have signed up (created an account) can create and edit articles and upload photographs and other media.
In addition, OutHistory has solicited contributions from eminent scholars in the field in order to bring articles to a high degree of consistency and accuracy. Scholarly contributions are protected from edits and usually, but not exclusively, only the staff can edit those articles. Since OutHistory staff usually posts articles contributed by scholars, the name of the contributor is given in the article itself. Scholarly contributions are protected from edits and usually, but not exclusively, only the staff can edit those articles. For all entries, each user's contribution is identified in the history of the article.
Discussing, Editing Articles and Uploading Files
To discuss an article, click on the "discuss" link above the article. You may or may not be signed in to discuss articles.
To Edit an article, click on the "edit" link above the article. You must be signed in to edit an article. If an article is protected, you will only be able to see the source of the article but not edit it.
You must be signed in to to upload images and other media. To upload files, click on the "upload file" link located on the red side navigation bar near the bottom.
Creating a New Entry
Before creating a new entry, take a moment to create a suitable title. Try something descriptive, brief, and (and as this is a history site) include the date.
Formats we prefer:
- Title: Place, Month day, year
- Title: Place, year
- Title, year-year
- Title, year
Examples of good entry titles:
- Mathew Giles: New Hampshire, July 4, 1663
- Ma Rainey's "Prove It On Me Blues," 1928
- John W. Sterling and James O. Bloss, 1870-1918
- The Lesbian In Literature, 1967-1981
Note: Do not use special characters such as & and % in entry titles, they will cut off the title in the middle. While you can use quotations marks in entry titles, do not begin your title with them.
Once you have your title, enter it into the Search box to see if there is a entry that already has the same name or that has similar content. If there is an entry with the same content and is not protected, add to and/or edit the existing page. If there is not an entry with same name/content there are several ways make your new page.
1.) If your Search results are "No page title matches" then click on your page title (in red) and it will lead you directly to your new page. Select EDIT (on the yellow bar) and add your content. Remember to Preview and Save!
2.) You can also make a new page from an existing page in EDIT mode. To make a new entry from an existing page, put square brackets around your desired entry title or use the internal link button (the blue underlined Ab) in your editing bar. They do the same thing.
- Ex. To make a page entitled The History of OutHistory, 2006- you would would type this [[The History of OutHistory, 2006- ]]
3.) You can also make a new entry by typing your title directly into the URL Address bar in your browser window. In the Address bar that says http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/Main_Page , erase anything after wiki/ and type in your title.
- Ex. To make a page entitled The History of OutHistory, 2006- you would would type this http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/The History of OutHistory, 2006-
Note: The interlinking of pages is what makes the entire site function therefore we recommend that you create a new page from an existing page (like option 2). If you choose to create a page indirectly by way of the Search Box or through the Address bar, remember to link it an existing, related page or add a few categories so that other users can find your page.
How to Edit?
To find out about the mechanics of editing articles, i.e. how to link to other pages, how to make text bold or italic, how to write headlines, put images into a page, align text and image, and etc., see editing help.
OutHistory uses the same software as Wikipedia, so if you have a question that our Help pages don't answer, there's a good chance Wikipedia will have it covered in their Help pages.
Also, we find that it's helpful to look at existing pages in EDIT or VIEW SOURCE (for locked pages) mode to see how other users have formatted their pages