Help:Getting Started

From WikiMSK

This page will help you better understand how WikiMSK works and how you can contribute.

Creating an Account

Please contact me if you'd like an account. Accounts are currently restricted to Musculoskeletal Medicine Registrars, Fellows, and other NZCMM members (e.g. GP NZCMM members). Then visit the Preferences link (top right corner) and make changes to your account settings if you'd like.

The Number One Rule

The most important thing for you to hear: You can't mess anything up!

Don't worry about making a mistake or doing something wrong. Every revision you make is recorded and can be reverted with a few fast clicks of the mouse. It's okay if you have bad spelling, don't cite sources, get your facts wrong, or ruin an entire page.

Anything you can provide is helpful: whether that's writing new articles from scratch or just fixing a punctuation error. Don't let fear of mistakes turn you away from editing, and don't feel like you need to read EVERY help page before you start contributing.


Actions dropdown menu

Above all articles is an "Actions" dropdown menu. Within the dropdown menu is View, Edit, and Edit Source, and History. View is what you're probably familiar with; it's how you read pages, and it opens by default. Let's talk about the other three

Edit Tab

This opens the visual editor. The visual editor is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) tool to edit pages on MediaWiki. To use it you simply need to click Actions and then Edit, which will change the view and allow you to change text styles, formatting, add citations, tables and symbols, among other things. Apart from the regular text formatting (bold, italics), some useful things to add to an article are the following:

There are some keys you need to rely on within the visual text editor

  • The first of these is the will say Paragraph or Heading. If you click on this, a drop-down menu will open and youโ€™ll be able to change the text to paragraph or various different headings
  • Next to paragraph, you will find the options that allow you to choose between bold, italics, and many other settings like underline
  • Next to this is links, recognizable by the classic icon in the shape of a paper clip. By clicking on it, you can create two types of links: on the left side, you will have the chance to link to another WikiMSK entry, while on the right you will have the possibility to link it to an external address.
  • The cite button gives you a few options. The first tab lets you put in a PMID or DOI and it will autogenerate the reference. The second tab is if you want to put the reference in manually (I suggest using "basic form" for everything which is much easier to use than the specific journal/textbook versions). The third tab lets you reuse references.
  • Further along is the list tool, which allows you to make bulleted or numbered lists, insert images, tables or others, and the one with special characters, with which you can insert characters in the text that are not present in your keyboard.
  • Next is Insert, for inserting images and the like. You can upload your own work directly from here. However if it is a creative commons or public domain work then please use the "Upload file" link on the left of the site which lets you choose the license. You can then come back and add it in (you'll need to reload the page).
  • Finally there is symbols.

Edit Source Tab

Navigate to a page you want to edit and choose edit to make changes. Editing uses a basic markup language for formatting, which you'll want to get familiar with. We'll talk about this more on the Help:Markup page. It's not hard! At the bottom of the page you can choose to see a preview, compare your changes with the existing version of the page, or save your work. Provide a brief summary of your edits before saving, and check the box if the changes are relatively minor--these steps will help other editors keep track of changes easier.

Note that you can also edit a specific section of an article by clicking the [edit] button next to a section title.

History Tab

The History tab lists all previous versions of the page you're on. You can see when the versions were created, who was responsible, the size of the changes (measured in bytes), and a few other details. You can also compare two versions directly against one another.

Creating New Pages

To create a new page click on "Create a new article" in the menu on the left on desktop, or dropdown menu on mobile. Then choose if you want to create a blank or templated article. You can also create and article by navigating to it first. You can enter the title you want directly into the URL, search for it in the search bar in the top right corner, or click a red link. Creating a page is just like editing an existing page.

Red Links

Main article: Help:Red Links

Links to other pages on the wiki which do not yet exist will show up in a red font. Clicking such a link will bring you to a page where you can search for something different or create the page.

Discussion Pages

Every page on the wiki has an associated discussion page, and it's accessible via a tab in the top left corner of the page. It's there to talk about changes, make recommendations, and so on. For more on proper discussion page usage, see Help:Discussion.

User Pages

You can visit (or create) your own user page by clicking your username in the top right corner. Use this to tell others about who you are and what you're working on, if you'd like.

You can create additional subpages as well. Just append a slash (/) to the URL of your user page, followed by the name for the subpage.

Other Resources

A few other pages to be aware of:

This link, in the top right corner, will give you a history of all changes that you have made.
Recent Changes
The Recent Changes page, towards the top of the sidebar on the left, will give you a list of all edits that have been made on WikiMSK by all users.
Special Pages
Special:SpecialPages provides a very long list of other pages you may find useful.
Click the dropdown menu on the right then click on sandbox to test things out.

Portals, Categories and Templates

Over the course of this guide you'll hear about portals, categories, and templates. We'll cover them towards the end, because a full explanation is on the more advanced side of what we'll talk about. But you'll see them come up here and there in the meantime. So let's talk basics.

These are mini-homepages for organising and quickly accessing certain content.
Categories are tags we use to group and sort articles. You can see what categories an article is in at the very bottom of a page. Categories can belong to other categories. Portals can list categories.
Templates make more complicated and/or repetitive editing tricks easier to do. If you ever see something surrounded by double curly braces ({{ and }}), it's a template. The template begins with the name of the template, which is followed by a number of parameters--some required, some optional. Parameters are separated by vertical lines (|).


Namespaces are an advanced topic. If you'd like to know more about how the website is organized and why some pages (like this one) say things like Help: before the page name, then take a look at Help:Namespaces.