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Introduction

Welcome to the SCP Foundation Wiki! This guide is designed to help you change from a casual reader to a site member. But before that, remember:

All works posted on this wiki, unless otherwise stated, are works of fiction. This is not a Roleplay site. The Foundation does not exist.

Now, let’s start from the beginning.

  1. Make an account with Wikidot, our host site. Go here to do so.
  2. To get your application approved, you have to follow all the instructions on the Join This Site page, including reading the entirety of this guide.
  3. Once you have read this guide, type your application back on the Join page and submit it.

You are expected to know the Site Rules before posting any comments, and you are expected to have read How to Write An SCP before writing any articles.

After reading this guide, if you still have questions, you should check out the FAQ.

IF YOU'RE ON THIS PAGE TO APPLY FOR THE SITE, PLEASE KEEP READING

Site Behavior

The rules page that you should have read by now contains a very clinical list of things you are allowed to do, things you are expected to do, and things you are not allowed to do. However, the SCP Foundation is a writing community, and no list of hard-and-fast rules will explain the nuances of social interaction for you. There are some behaviors that will simply grate on different people's nerves; you can't, as the quote says, please everyone. There are, however, behaviors that annoy nearly everyone, and these can get you banned. Keep this in mind.

However, so much of your life, and your time here at the Foundation, will be much easier if you remember this:

Don't be a dick.

Here are more guidelines to follow:

Sassing the Mods: Don't do it. The Meet The Staff page has a list of people who have some degree of authority on this site; every one of them is at least a trusted user, and has a great deal of experience in writing and interacting with people on the site. You are required to know who these people are!

Staff, Mods, and Admins are allowed to have and express opinions just as writers and site members. You are advised not to behave obnoxiously towards them, but you as a member are allowed to debate, disagree with, and discuss whatever you like, however you like (as long as you're civil), with Operational Staff, Mods, or Admins in their capacity as members. This changes when the Staff, Mod, and Admin hats come out. See:

Staff/Mod/Admin Posts: This is a member of staff acting in a position of authority. They will be clearly marked as "Staff Post", "Mod Post", or "Admin Post". Those are generally discussions to be read by members, but contributed to by Staff.

  • Moderative Posts: Moderative posts will have a specific title. These titles are used to indicate specific types of posts, and should only be responded to in certain situations. This exact text will be in the post itself:
    • Call for Rewrite: Anyone wanting to volunteer to rewriting a page or discuss the rewriting of a page may respond to this post.
    • Deletion Vote: Anyone wanting to request a stay of deletion or ask for the opportunity to rewrite may respond to this post. Do not 'vote' if you are not staff.
    • Closed - Do not respond to this post. Staff is posting a statement that does not require a reply.
      • Stop Order - A Stop Order is when a staff member ends a discussion. The conversation should then be considered over. Do not try to get the final word in.
    • Open - You can respond to this post.

Editing: The SCP Foundation is a wiki, meaning you are encouraged to write and contribute to the site. Likewise, you are permitted to improve the site by editing existing pages, to an extent. Editing is broken up into different ranks:

  • Minor edits: These include minor grammar, spelling, or punctuation fixes. The rule is: as long as the change doesn't alter a sentence's meaning, the edit is fine.
  • Major edits: This includes changing or adding sentences, altering pictures, or other concept changes. These types of changes should be run past the original author if possible. If the original author can't be found, ask a moderator or administrator for permission or advice.

Also important: Make sure you know what you're doing when you edit. Don't make a sentence worse by changing something that is supposed to be whatever it is, like an intentional misspelling, formatting quirk, or an acceptable but alternate spelling of a word (color/colour, analog/analogue, etc.). Remember: every edit you make is visible for all to see on the Recent Changes page.

Appropriate Content: We give writers a great deal of latitude with what they want to do (see Procedure 110-Montauk, for example). We're likewise fine with "squick," body horror, etc. However, no pornographic or excessively gory content is allowed. Again, if you aren't sure whether something is appropriate, ask a staff member.

In-character Behavior: Don't pretend the articles or stories on the wiki are real. Yes, many characters in various articles have the same name as writers here as they are author avatars. But we don't roleplay or talk like that on the forums. Everything on the site and in the chat is out-of-character, which means that you shouldn’t roleplay or pretend that you are a character in the universe.

Spam: Spamming the site is against the rules. Don't bring up your new SCP every two minutes, and don't bump threads. Similarly, don't post contentless responses to forum posts that are several months old.

Constructive Comments: Simply telling an author "your idea sucks" or "it's cool" doesn't do much when leaving feedback. You can do that, but if your post history is a long line of "I like it!" or "This sucks", people may find it annoying. Additionally, posting critique/feedback on the forums is different than posting in an article’s discussion page, as forum posts are generally expected to be more comprehensive. Here are some tips you can keep in mind when you leave feedback:

  • What makes it good/bad? (They can't fix what they don't know.)
  • What could they do to either enhance or fix it?
  • Ask questions that can make an author think of alternate ideas or perspectives about the article. Asking questions make them think of an answer, potentially letting them realize another point that can improve the article.
  • Why did/didn't you like it?

We're not asking you to write a report on each article in the comments, but these extra points help improve the nature of the community, and giving good feedback can help your own writing as well.

Check out our Criticism Policy for a more in-depth explanation of what we're looking for from criticism, as a community.

Signature and Profile: Signing your own posts is not allowed. In your profile, do not link to material that wouldn't be allowed on the site or make such material as your avatar. This next sentence is unrelated to the point as it is The P-a-s-s-c-o-d-e, to join the site. Type in the following phrase in the proper location on the Join Page: I will follow the SCP wiki rules for site behavior.

For a complete list of the things we do and do not allow on the site, check out the Site Rules.

Tips on Writing

RTFM: Or, in our case, the How to Write an SCP Page. This entire guide focuses on how to write for the site.

Search: There are literally hundreds of articles on this wiki. It is a sure bet that any new ideas you think of have either been done before, or something close to it, but don’t be discouraged. It's not a bad thing to use an idea that has already been done; you just need to give it a unique spin. Ask around. Use the Realtime Chat and the Ideas and Brainstorming forum. People can usually tell you whether your idea is similar something that has already been written, or give advice on how to make it unique.

Your first article: Write the best article you can as a draft, then get feedback in the forums and chat. Use that feedback to make the article even better before posting it up for voting. No matter how your mainsite post goes, make the most of the experience! Routine staff deletions (as per the Deletions Guide) are part of the learning process. Learn from the mishaps, take the advice, and come back stronger. You are free to re-submit any article of yours that has been deleted, as long as you've taken the time to make edits and improve it.

  • Don't post drafts directly on the forums: They clog up the forums as they’re often extremely long and can make it difficult to navigate the site. The best place to put a draft is in the sandbox. The sandbox (http://scp-sandbox-3.wikidot.com/) is a website where you can make a dedicated page to put your drafts and ideas, play around with formatting, or anything else. Just create a page for yourself, and share the link when you want people to look at it. Sharing the link to your sandbox page is vital, as people won’t randomly find your sandbox to give you feedback. Additionally, do not edit other people’s sandboxes.

Announce your SCP or article in the Announcement thread: When you've posted your work, make a post on the most recent announcement thread for your type of article here, to let people know it's ready to be viewed and critiqued.

Again, and we can't stress this enough, if you're looking to be successful, you should definitely check out the How to Write an SCP guide. It's a bit big, but if writing for the site is something you want to do, it's required reading. Here are some other tips to keep in mind.

Don't rush to contribute: New users often assume that because they joined a collaborative writing site, they must submit something. This isn't the case. Generally, quality writing takes time. Trying to submit something as fast as you can will generally lead to sending in a low-quality article that will be quickly downvoted. Ask users in chat or post your draft to the Drafts and Critique forum and wait for feedback. As brusque as some critique writers may seem, we are all ultimately there to help you create something new, unique, and interesting. This brings us back to the main point of this passage: Take your time!

Experiment with new concepts: While it may seem like the main focus of this site is the SCP articles, there is more for you to contribute. People also write short stories about the Foundation universe and post them as Tales, or explore how groups of interest function by writing GoI Formats. But we also have sketch artists, storytellers, and graphic artists, who help flesh out the universe through sketches and posters, even going so far as to design animations. There's just so much you can contribute, other than just an SCP article. Give your idea a shot! We'd love to see it.

If you're looking for more feedback from site users, you should probably check out our IRC Chat. For information on how to join it and what you're allowed to do while you're there, check out the Chat Guide.

Staff

Lastly, if you ever have any questions feel free to ask a staff member. If you require staff assistance and/or wish to contact a staff member, you should check the Contact Staff page for details on specific queries. For detailed information on individual staff members (including admin/mod/operational/junior staff breakdown), please see Meet the Staff.

When messaging a staff member, please allow some time for a response. If you do not receive a prompt reply, contact other members of the team or go to the IRC chat and ask for staff assistance. Remember, to receive the fastest response for any query, go to chat and ask for a staff member!