Last modified on 22 July 2010, at 20:28

Ecology/A final note about the Guide

Both this book and all articles in Wikipedia are free content that can be added to or edited by anyone. It is an opportunity for the user of these documents to contribute information, or even state given information more clearly, simply by editing a page. As a student with a textbook and a lecturer (teacher), you may find yourself in possession of useful facts, another point of view on existing facts, or a report you prepared of exceptional quality. Any of these can be added to an appropriate page in this Guide or the Wikipedia. However, this caution is strongly advised: Do not place into the book any text or pictures taken verbatim (or close to verbatim) from a text book, web site, or other copyrighted source without permission of the copyright holder. In general, this means, anything you submit should be your own work.

Consider that the purpose of a guide lies somewhere between that of an outline and that of a textbook. Your contribution to expanding or improving an article at Wikipedia that is linked from the book is as important as preparing or adding to a chapter or module here. However, developing the Guide is a balancing act. Eventually, it can become desirable to simply polish a module in the Guide rather than refer the reader on to an article that may have become too complex or for some other reason not perfectly suitable as an "assignment".

Note to future contributorsEdit

Although conceived as a guide, by which is meant a sort of outline with links to Wikipedia articles, it is not necessary to maintain this format. Indeed, for various reasons, ecology requires more in-depth discussion within each module than similar guides at Wikibooks (see Invertebrate Zoology and Botany). If, as a contributor, you would prefer to flesh out any module with minimal reference to Wikipedia, that should be acceptable, so long as your contribution exceeds what is available on the topic at Wikipedia. In this instance, "exceeding" is a reference to quality and not quantity. In such cases, it might remain helpful to the student to place the reading "assignment" as a "See also:" link on the chapter page.

Use of any Wikipedia article as a substitute for text should include consideration of the quality of information and writing at the assigned article. It is simply one approach to work on that article to ensure quality before assigning it. Another approach would be to ignore the article at Wikipedia and develop the necessary text in the module itself. This does have a disadvantage in that, through hyperlinks, the student may well later arrive at the "rejected" Wikipedia article anyway. If the information found there conflicts or confuses, the student may have difficulty establishing which bits of information are correct and which are not.