Editing guidelines

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This page contains valuable information regarding editing that ALL editors should read carefully.

Creating Pages

When creating pages, make sure that if you are making a page for a chemical compound (or element) you choose the chemical compound template by using the second Boilerplate icon at the top left corner of the editor. This will help keep the wiki neat, organized, and uniform, and also provide you with some ideas of what kind of information needs to be put on the page. You don't have to fill out all of the sections on the template, but don't delete them if you don't, unless it's a section that is specifically irrelevant (i.e. the preparation section for a compound that cannot be prepared in an amateur setting). Seeing empty sections may help encourage other editors to fill them in. Templates for other types of pages will also be implemented at some point, as well as templates for chemical infoboxes!

Page naming

When making any page, please use proper wiki title capitalization (only the first word should be capitalized) and do not use abbreviations unless there is a good reason to do so. For chemical compound pages, it's recommended that you use the most common name for a chemical (use water instead of dihydrogen monoxide). In other words, use IUPAC recommendations. That means to use aluminium, sulfur, and caesium unless otherwise specified. It does not mean to use IUPAC systematic names for organic compounds unless it is the only name for the compound, or the name that it is most commonly used.

Categorizing Pages

It is important for pages to be organized in logical, relevant categories. At the same time, it is not necessary to put a page into every single category it could possibly fit in. When you categorize a page, make sure to try and use categories that already exist. You'll know if one does because it will prompt you with a suggestion once you start to type it in.

If you must add a new category, consider several things before doing so:

  • Is the category something that the subject of the page can be easily recognized by? (Ex. Lewis acids and bases are not categorized in the acids and bases categories, since someone searching for acids would most likely be looking for a more traditionally defined acid. See note further down this page.)
  • Does the category already exist under a variant spelling or slightly different name? (Ex. oxidizers, oxidisers, oxidizing agents, oxidising agents: we use oxidizing agents)
  • Would the category contain enough pages to be relevent? A category that is too specific is probably not very useful.
  • Is there already a category that exists that is essentially synonymous with the one that you want to add?

Citing Sources

Whenever possible, try to cite the sources where you got you information from. It's much easier to cite at the time the page is being written than at a later time. If you don't have sources for the information that you're putting down but are drawing from your own lab experience, then cite personal experience with your username. For reference, here is a list of the different source options from best to worst:

1. Any handbooks, such as CRC
2. Online scientific journals/publications
3. "Trustworthy" websites
4. Sciencemadness threads
5. Personal experience (if you use this, it is highly recommended that you start a blog, or post about experiment results on the forum).

When citing written sources, provide the title, edition, and year of publication.

It is not necessary to provide inline citations, although you are welcome to if you'd like to.

Adding Pictures

When you add a picture, make sure to go to More Options > Licensing to see the various options for licensing the picture, and choose the one that best fits your picture. It would be great if we could get pictures for every page on the wiki... even if it's just some white powdery compound indistinguishable from a million others, it's still good to have a picture. Sciencemadness users woelen, and kristofvagyok have given us permission to use their pictures on the wiki. They have many great, high quality pictures. Feel free to upload your own pictures too. Decent quality, fairly professional looking pictures are preferred. Make sure that the title of the image makes it clear what it is an image of so that other users will know and be able to find it for use on other pages it may be relevant to have on.

Photos showing the crystal structure of a compound are highly recommended for upload.

Also, for complicated organic compounds, it would be great to have a diagram of the compound's structure in addition to an actual picture of the compound, as it is often very useful and assists in providing a better understanding of the compound.


While this wiki is not meant to be the most formal source for chemistry information on the internet, it is still good to try to write the articles in an impartial, scientific way that generally refrains from colloquial language. When writing out a procedure, it is best to use the third person rather than first or second person, or alternatively use no person and write it as simple imperative instructions. It is permissible to create a humorous page if it is relevant and tagged with the Whimsy template at the top of the page.

Make sure to use proper spelling and grammar (please, don't get its and it's confused!), and use syntax that reads easily whenever possible. It usually helps if you read your edit to yourself a couple of times to make sure that it isn't awkward to read.

Notes on Specific Types of Pages

Acids and Bases

When categorizing acids and bases, the general categories "Acids" and "Bases" refer to those that fit the Brønsted-Lowry definition. Brønsted-Lowry and Arrhenius acids/bases do not need their own categories. Compounds that are Lewis acids and bases but do not meet the Brønsted-Lowry definition should be filed in their own unique categories(as Lewis acids and Lewis bases), which exist as subcategories within the categories Acids and Bases, which will also contain all Brønsted-Lowry acids and bases.This is for simplification and accessibility.