Last modified on 23 July 2013, at 13:16

Wikibooks:Etiquette

Wikibookians have different backgrounds and hold widely different views. When interacting with respect, users can cooperate effectively to develop free educational textbooks. In the vast majority of cases, people seem to get along, but occasionally people bump up against one another.

Like any community, Wikibookians have developed among themselves a certain etiquette to facilitate productive cooperation.

The communityEdit

Wikibooks is divided into a large number of books. Many of these have no active editors and most never see more than a single active contributor at any given time. There are, however, instances where multiple users find themselves working on the same book. In most cases the team-work that grows out of the interaction leads to better content as they bounce ideas off each other.

Given the open nature of the wiki, anyone is free (and encouraged) to start editing any page in any book they think is worth contributing to. In some cases a contributor will start editing pages that one or more editors had until then been alone with. As new ideas can rock the status quo, disagreements can arise.

While the community isn't the goal of the project, a well functioning one helps. Don't limit interactions to the negative: If you see people doing good work, let them know. Do your best to avoid conflicts and resolve those that arise. Don't hold grudges, bury the hatchet and give people a chance to redeem themselves.

Tread softly around your fellow Wikibookians. Contributors have often put a considerably amount of work into the content they have uploaded and can become offended when it is subjected to criticism. Help:Pages#Deleting has some advice on how to properly approach contributors to pages that are out of scope.

Conflict avoidance and resolutionEdit

Assume good faith
This is an extremely useful principle. Rather than assume that other users are out to get you or "your" content, understand that the content isn't yours and they are editing the book out of a desire to help. Listen to what they have to say, communicate your thoughts and start a dialogue to figure out the best way forward.
Ask questions
Rather than just trying to convince your counterpart(s), ask them questions of their views and invite them to convince you. You cannot argue against a viewpoint you don't fully understand. Furthermore, there might well be something useful in their position.
Leave your pride at the door
No matter how long you've been at Wikibooks or editing a specific book, you're going to make mistakes. Acknowledge any mistakes and make apologies when you are wrong or being unfair. Don't get offended.
Stay calm or take a break
Most edits are easily reversible. If you're not making progress, just take a break for a while to calm yourself and let the dust settle.