Guide for Newbies

Introduction

Welcome to the SCP Foundation Wiki! This guide will help you change from a casual reader to a site member. First, 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 all of this guide.
  3. Once you have read this guide, type your application back on the Join page and submit it.

We expect you to know the Site Rules before posting any comments, and read How to Write An SCP before writing any articles.

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

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

Site Behavior

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.

Sassing Staff: Don't do it. Every staff member 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 the admins and mods are! And be familiar with when a staff member is acting in staff capacity. You can see a list on the Meet The Staff page.

  • That said: Staff, Mods, and Admins are allowed to have and express opinions as writers and site members. We advise you not to behave obnoxiously towards them (or anyone else), but you are allowed to debate, disagree, and discuss whatever you like during non-official interactions. This changes when staff members make Staff Posts. See:

Staff/Mod/Admin Posts: This is a member of staff acting with authority. Staff Posts will be clearly marked as "Staff Post", "Mod Post", or "Admin Post". Usually, members should only read these posts. Don’t reply to a staff post unless the title says “Open” or “Call for Rewrite”.

Editing: The SCP Foundation is a wiki, meaning we encourage you to write and contribute to the site. Likewise, you can improve the site by editing existing pages. Remember: every edit you make is visible to everyone on the Recent Changes page. There are two kinds of edits:

  • Minor edits: These include grammar, spelling, or punctuation fixes. As long as the change doesn't alter a sentence's meaning, the edit is fine. Don't change an intentional misspelling, formatting quirk, or an alternate spelling of a word (color/colour, analog/analogue, etc.).
  • Major edits: This includes changing or adding sentences (aside from minor grammar edits), altering pictures, or other concept changes. You need to get permission from the author for these edits. If the original author is gone, ask a moderator or administrator for permission or advice.

Appropriate Content: Writers can usually write whatever they want (Procedure 110-Montauk is an old example). We're likewise fine with "squick," body horror, etc. However, pornographic or excessively gory content is usually not allowed. You can use the “adult” tag for some extreme content. 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, some characters in articles have the same name as writers here (as the characters are author avatars). But we don't roleplay or pretend we’re these characters 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. Also, don't post contentless responses to forum posts that are several months old.

Signature and Profile: Don’t sign your posts. 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 not about your Signature or Profile— it’s The P-a-s-s-c-o-d-e, to join the site. Type in the following phrase in your app on the Join Page: I am here and promise to follow the rules of the SCP Foundation Wiki.

Leave constructive comments: Just 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.

Also, posting critique/feedback on the forums is different than posting in an article’s discussion page. Forum posts are expected to be more comprehensive.

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

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 improve or fix it?
  • Ask questions that can make an author think of alternate ideas or perspectives about 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 giving good feedback improves our community, and helps your own writing, too.

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

Tips on Contributing

  • Ask Around: There are thousands of articles on this wiki. Most ideas have been done before, 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 your version 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. It can sometimes take several rounds of feedback from several people to have a draft that's good enough to post. No matter how your articles go, make the most of the experience! Your things getting deleted (as per the Deletions Guide) is part of the learning process. Learn from the mistakes, take the advice, and come back stronger.
  • Don't post works in progress directly on the forums: They clog up the forums, as they’re often extremely long for a single post. We recommend putting your draft in the sandbox, and linking it when making a draft thread, as well as adding a one to two sentence description of your idea to the thread.
  • The sandbox (http://scp-sandbox-3.wikidot.com/) is a website where you can make a personal page for drafts and ideas. You can easily come back to the page at any time and add new drafts, fix mistakes, 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. Remember to share the link to your sandbox page, as people won’t just randomly find your sandbox to give you feedback. Do not edit other people’s sandboxes, even if you're able to. Always ask first.
  • Announce your SCP in the Announcement thread: When you're finished posting your SCP on the site, put up a post in the SCP announcement thread here under the most recent "New SCP" thread, telling the world it's ready to be viewed and critiqued.

Again, and we can't stress this enough, if you want 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: This is another big one. Newbies often assume that because they joined a writing site, they must write something. This isn't true. Quality writing usually takes time. Trying to submit something as fast as you can will generally lead to a low-quality article that will be quickly downvoted. Ask users in chat for critiques or feedback or post your draft to the Drafts and Critique forum, and wait for feedback. As harsh as some critique writers may seem, we all want to help you create something new, unique, and interesting. Take your time. Don’t rush.
  • Experiment with new concepts: While it may seem like the main focus of this site is the SCP articles, people also write short stories about the Foundation universe and post them as Tales, or explore groups of interest by writing GoI Formats. We also have sketch artists, storytellers, and graphic artists, creating sketches, posters, and even animations. Give your idea a shot! We'd love to see it.
  • Plagiarism: Don't plagiarize anything. This wiki has a somewhat more expansive definition of plagiarism than most places, and it boils down to "Don't write an idea that you didn't create". Don't try to turn creepypastas, or memes, or pop culture references, into an SCP. This is a wiki for original content, and turning someone else's creation into an SCP or article is not original, and will get your work deleted.

If you want more feedback, you should check out our IRC Chat. For information, check out the Chat Guide.

Staff

If you ever have any questions, or if you need any help, feel free to ask a staff member. Check the Contact Staff page for details on specific needs. For detailed information on individual staff members (including admin/mod/operational/junior staff breakdown), please see Meet the Staff.

When you message 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!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License