See our Guide to Writing for examples of how articles should look.
Wikinvest articles should conform to standard rules of English grammar and usage. One way of presenting information is often as good as another, but consistency makes Wikinvest more coherent and understandable.
There are a number of excellent online style guides that discuss grammar and usage in more depth. Online, the Chicago Manual of Style (subscription or 30-day free trial) is the standard across a variety of disciplines. CMS Crib Sheet (free) provides a useful summary of key Chicago Manual concepts and rules.
Summary: be concise and understandable. Avoid profanity, netspeak/leetspeak, and slang.
Always write as clearly as possible. Although it is often tempting, even intuitive, to try to make writing sound more formal and professional by overusing industry terminology and multipart sentences, this should be avoided. Wikinvest's goal is to present difficult and prohibitively convoluted information in a clear and intuitive manner, not to become a free source of the same convolutions. If you do use industry terminology, make sure to briefly explain unfamiliar phrases (or link to an explanation). Be especially careful to avoid redundancies.
Always maintain a professional tone. This doesn't mean that you have to go hunting for a thesaurus if you're writing a company article (on the contrary - please, no excessive thesaurus use!). However, it does mean that profanity, netspeak and leetspeak (eg. lol, n006), and slang ("this company's about to get knocked" or "WORD," for instance) are strictly prohibited on all public pages. Rules are laxer on Discussion and private user pages, but please remain respectful. Use the "rule of print" - if something wouldn't appear in a reputable newspaper, steer clear.
See also: Basic Wiki Markup.
Use the heading system (see the Tips tab, to the right of the main text area in Editing mode) to organize company articles. In general, group information around content themes, not chronologically. Read existing articles to get an idea of which headings to use. (Please glance through the Content Guidelines before making changes!).
In general, use the '==' (level two) headings throughout the article to introduce new article sections, as well as levels 3-5 for subsections.
Never use the signature button or the four-tilde wiki markup command to sign an article. All articles have a history view - this serves as Wikinvest's collaborative byline. Here, anyone can see which changes were made by whom. Articles also have a Top Contributor box, which uses a points system to automatically display the names of users who have contributed very significantly to a particular article.
Signing is appropriate and customary in the Discussion pages - here, what you write is truly your own, and everyone benefits from your name appearing after what you say. Actual Wikinvest articles are all the product of collaborative efforts, however. No single person owns a Wikinvest article, and we can't sign what we don't own.
Wikinvest is an investing resource that aims to provide users with clear, verifiable, and unbiased information about companies, trends, and concepts, and encourages users to contribute to its quality and depth of coverage.
A verifiable statement or article is one whose basic content (especially any dates, quotations, statistics, and other numerical data) has already been published by a reliable source. Non-verifiable content will be removed from Wikinvest (see below for original research).
Why is verifiability so important? As an "open wiki" or user-edited site, Wikinvest gains a great deal from the collective knowledge of its contributers. But the openness of Wikinvest also makes it easy for incorrect or inaccurate information to slip by unnoticed. The best way of ensuring that Wikinvest delivers only accurate information is to let others - book editors, magazines, newspapers - do the fact-checking for us, before the new content appears on the site. By using verifiable information, you also boost your own credibility as a writer.
In general, a reliable source is professionally related to the topic at hand, reputable, and objectively defensible. This includes most books, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and formal/professional reports. This also includes news websites, company websites, and websites of well-known organizations. Unsourced blog material does not count.
Wikipedia usually counts as "reputable," unless the information is contested by other non-Wikipedia sources. When using Wikipedia, stick to information that is externally sourced.
Don't violate copyright - remember to stick to reliable sources in the public domain!
Let others make changes to "your" work! Wikinvest is a collaborative effort, and just as you have the right to edit the writing of others, so do others have the right to edit yours. It is great to take a special interest in an article, but don't overdo it. If you think an edit was incorrect, let it sit for a few days before reapproaching it to see if you do want to change things back.
Do not sign articles that you have contributed to - signing is only for discussion and messages. Wikinvest's version of a byline appears in the "Top Contributors" box and in the article's History, where everyone can see who made what change.
Vandalism is a change made to content that deliberately obstructs Wikinvest's goal of presenting clear, verifiable, unbiased information, and it is absolutely prohibited on Wikinvest. The most common types of vandalism include spam, addition of obscenities to pages, page blanking (deleting all the page's content), or the insertion of inappropriate content (including both good and bad jokes - sorry). Vandalism is usually easy to spot.
Any good-faith effort to improve Wikinvest, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. For example, adding a personal opinion once is not vandalism - it's just not helpful, and should be removed or restated.
Committing blatant vandalism is a violation of Wikinvest policy, and users will be dealt with accordingly. Wikinvest reserves the right to deny site or editing access to users who vandalize.
Wikinvest is not a forecasting service. When writing for Wikinvest, use good judgment and do not disclose copyrighted information that is not in the public domain.
Forecasting, along with other speculative information, is not allowed on "neutral" articles - where all informations should be verifiable, defensible, and consensus-driven.
Please don't violate copyright laws. If something is in the public domain, feel free to use it. For instance, it's fine to quote from most published books and periodicals (just be sure to cite your sources correctly at the bottom of each article, according to the Wikinvest style).
Wikinvest does not recognize previously unpublished original research. While we do encourage reinterpretation of available data (by all means, go data-hunting and come up with brilliant new analysis from existing data), we unfortunately cannot accept new data that isn't based on reinterpretation of existing and verified information. Your original research, until publically available in reputably published form, does not count as "publically verifiable" information.
Wikinvest reserves the right to remove any material deemed inappropriate with the above principles immediately and without explanation (though if you ask us nicely, we will probably explain).
Multiple or exceptional violations of any part of Wikinvest policy can result in suspension or expulsion from the Wikinvest community.