# User:Jonathan R. Williford/Help:Authors

Welcome!

Scholarpedia is a peer-reviewed encyclopedia written by the leading experts of their respective fields. As an encyclopedia, it does not publish research papers or position papers, but, instead, is meant to serve as a repository for "living reviews" to be maintained by future generations of experts via a process of curatorship.

## Article Style

### Article Structure

"Brevity is the soul of wit", and there is little doubt that the world's leading scholars are witty -- an effective Scholarpedia article is 2-4 pages long (2,000 - 4,000 words), not counting figure captions or references.

While Scholarpedia articles do not feature an abstract, introduction, conclusion, or discussion, there are common structural elements most articles share. Whenever possible, each article starts with a one-sentence or one-paragraph dictionary-like definition of the main topic (this line essentially serves as an article abstract). The first paragraph of an entry should be conceptually accessible to a wide audience of readers. For instance:

• "A neuronal burst of spikes is two or more action potentials followed by a period of quiescence."
• "A dynamical system is a system whose state in any moment of time is a function of (1) its immediately previous state and (2) any input."

(Please use <strong> ... </strong> to bracket the mention of the article's topic in its definition, as this will improve its ranking in Google search results).

Then, as applicable, each article provides examples, illustrations, and a summary. In addition, wherever possible, articles are written in accordance with the following guidelines:

• Each article progresses from the simple to the complex.
• Articles should be concise but not terse, making good use of bullet points, tables, and diagrams, where these implements can break up text.
• The end of each article should include sections for references, recommended reading, and related Scholarpedia articles. See References below for more information.

### Writing style

As entries in an encyclopedia, Scholarpedia articles are to be written in "classic style" (as described in "Clear and Simple as the Truth" by Thomas & Turner, 1994, Princeton University Press). The writing must withstand the test of time, and continue to read well in spite of a change in who is responsible for the article's content (e.g., the first-person and second person must be avoided).

Furthermore,

• While Scholarpedia aims to be accessible to a wide audience, content should be sufficiently comprehensive as to be informative for those in fields relevant to the topic of a given article. As a general rule, articles should be targeted to advanced undergraduate students studying in the article’s area or graduate students in related areas.
• Authors should attempt to anticipate common questions a reader might ask about a topic (e.g., for an invention: who invented it, when, where, why, and how? What did the invention replace? What was its impact? Has it led to any notable successes or failures?). Notice that, e.g., Wikipedia articles are generally very successful in this regard.
• Articles here should reflect expert consensus, mentioning any and all widely accepted alternative perspectives on issues of controversy.
• Articles must explain only the terms unique to the article or not appropriately explained elsewhere, and in all other cases provide links the definitions of other terms. For instance, the article on Bursting does not explain concepts such as neurons, spikes, currents, and bifurcations, but links to other articles for definitions of these terms.
• Avoid using abbreviations, as it can make it more difficult for readers to find the article via Google and other search engines.

## Article publication process

### Article proposal

To propose an article, click 'Propose a new article' link (left menubar). Your title should be short and encyclopedic, yet descriptive. The article will be temporary placed in a subpage of your user page. It will be there until it is sponsored by an existing Curator of Scholarpedia (in the future: two Curators). You can start writing your article.

Your proposed article must be sponsored by an existing Curator. For this, you need to click 'sponsor' link on the right menubar. Copy the secret URL and email it to a Curator of Scholarpedia who can validate that

• the topic you propose is encyclopedic and worthy a separate article, and
• you are the top world expert on this topic or you are the original inventor of this topic.

Once your article is sponsored, it is moved from your user page subpage to the article (main) namespace. If there exist another article sponsored but not approved yet with the same title, then your article will be placed in the queue so that if the other article is rejected, you will take the place.

Important: Once your article is sponsored, you have 2 months to finish the writing and peer-review process.

### Peer review

When an article is ready for peer review, click 'peer-review' link on the right menubar and send the secret URL to your reviewers. Your article needs to be accepted by 2 existing curators of Scholarpedia, one of whom should be the original sponsor.

It is your responsibility to find the reviewers and to get them accept your article before the two-month deadline. If you fail, your article will return to the user subpage state and you will need to restart the process of sponsorship and review.

In your email to reviewers, direct them to the page containing instructions for reviewers.

### Publication

After reviewers accept the article, it will be in "in-press" status for 2 weeks so that editors of Scholarpedia can have the final veto. After that, the senior author (selected by sponsors and reviewers) becomes the Curator and he/she has to approve the very first "official" version for publication. This version will be shown to all visitors by default. The moment of approval is the publication moment for citation purposes.

Each article in Scholarpedia has its own copyright policy, freely selected by the authors from the following options:

## Wikitext formatting

Articles in Scholarpedia are in Wikitext format, which is much simpler than LaTeX or HTML. Refer to Wikipedia help to learn the tricks and capabilities of Wikitext. In addition, you may open an existing article, e.g., Bursting, for editing, and take a look at the format (But, do not click save, unless you made useful revisions to the article).

Take a look at Article Template. To use the template, just click view source, then copy and paste the source content into your article. Once you have applied the template to your article, you can change the text to suit your needs (For example, add more tags for sections, bullet points, etc., as explained below).

If you would like to use LaTeX, you can find a simple-minded LaTeX to Wikitext converter here. It uses context replacement to change LaTeX math environments to $...$ brackets; but see also Including math below.

### Text formatting

#### Sections and subsections

To create a section, write the section title on a new line and surround it with two equal signs (==). The example below produces the title of this section.

== Wikitext formatting ==

For subsections, use multiple equal signs. The example below produces the title of this subsection.

=== Sections and subsections ===

The table of content will be generated automatically for articles containing three or more sections.

Use sentence-style capitalization for section and subsection titles. Separate paragraphs within each section with an empty line.

#### Bullet points

To create a list of bullet points, insert an asterisk (*) at the start of each line. For indented bullets insert two asterisks in front of the line, for example:

*item 1
*item 2
**subitem 2a
**subitem 2b
*item 3


generates

• item 1
• item 2
• subitem 2a
• subitem 2b
• item 3

#### Lists

To create a numbered list, insert a number sign (#) at the start of each line. For subitems insert two number signs at the start of the line, for example:

#item 1
#item 2
##subitem 1a
##subitem 1b
#item 3


generates

1. item 1
2. item 2
1. subitem 1a
2. subitem 1b
3. item 3

#### Bold and italics

To make a word appear in italic type, surround it with two single quotes (''). For example, ''hello'' appears as hello.

To make a word appear in boldface type, surround it with three single quotes ('''). For example, '''hello''' appears as hello.

Use bold for definitions and italics for emphasis. For example, "... Washington, DC is the capital of the USA. Do not confuse it with the state of Washington..."

Use <strong>...</strong> brackets at the top of the article when you define your main topic. This improves your article’s classification in Google PageRank and its placement in Google (and other search engine) results.

#### Superscripts and subscripts

To make text appear as subscript, use the <sub> </sub> brackets. For example, I<sub>Ca</sub> appears as ICa.

To make text appear as superscript, use the <sup> </sup> brackets. For example, Ca<sup>2+</sup> appears as Ca2+.

Do not use HTML tags for math equations, even simple ones. In the future, Scholarpedia will feature a Wikitext->LaTeX->pdf converter, so formatting all equations in LaTeX will result in more consistent texts.

#### Tables

Please read Wikipedia help to learn how to produce tables in Wikitext.

Links in articles can be internal, referring to other articles within Scholarpedia, or external, referring to other websites. Wikipedia help provides a detailed description of the many capabilities of links. Some basic features are explained below.

To create an internal link, surround the linking term in double square brackets ([[]]). For example, [[Bursting]] links to Bursting.

Adding a pipe (|) and text, e.g., [[Bursting|autonomous bursters]], results in a link to the same article, but allows you to define the text of the link, i.e., autonomous bursters (click on it).

Only make internal links on the first reference to a term in a paragraph, as if to provide, or remind your readers of, the definition of the term.