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Editing guidelines

From ISOGG Wiki

This page provides editing guidelines for the ISOGG Wiki.

The basics

A Wiki is a collaborative easy-to-use website. It is very easy to edit a Wiki page. If you can open and edit a Word file you will be able to edit the Wiki. You can go to any page, click on edit, type in your changes, write a brief summary of what you've done in the summary box, and then click on save.

Be bold! If you see something that needs doing just go ahead and change it. Don't worry about making mistakes. Don't wait until your prose is polished and perfect before submitting your content. The community can work together to improve pages as the Wiki develops.

Don't be afraid of damaging the Wiki or losing content. The entire history of each page is stored. If you make a mistake you or someone else can go back and restore an earlier version of the page. If you need help at any time contact an ISOGG admin for help.

The formatting toolbar at the top of each editable page can be used to create links, bullets, tables and many other features and can also be used to format headings and create bold and italic text. The toolbar will be familiar to anyone who writes a blog or uses Family Tree DNA's free website facility. There are extra formatting skills which can easily be picked up as you progress. It's very easy to copy the formatting of existing pages, and you will soon get the idea.

If you don't have time to do any formatting you can simply type in your content, save the page and leave it for another Wiki editor to format.

You can experiment in the sandbox where you can try things out and play around! Any changes made in the sandbox will not affect any of the main ISOGG Wiki pages and you can experiment here at your leisure.

Subject matter

The ISOGG Wiki provides practical articles on all aspects of DNA testing and its application to genealogy. All contributions are welcome.

Appropriate content Content and images must be appropriate to the ISOGG Wiki. Irrelevant and inappropriate content will be removed.

Conflict of interest Editors should in general avoid editing pages for products, companies or organisations in which they have a direct financial interest, though non-controversial factual edits are welcome. The Wiki is not an advertising medium for products and services.

Neutrality Articles should be written in a neutral tone. Descriptions should be factual and avoid negative or positive judgements (for example, "company A charges $9999 for its DNA test" rather than "company A's DNA test is very expensive").

Wikipedia The ISOGG Wiki is not intended to duplicate articles on Wikipedia, which already includes much useful and well referenced material on genetics, genetic genealogy and haplogroups. However, all Wikipedia articles are covered by the Creative Commons Licence and can be reproduced elsewhere, and in some cases we have condensed and simplified Wikipedia articles and customised them for our own purposes so that we can develop them as we see fit. The ISOGG Wiki does not have to abide by Wikipedia's rules on notability. We are, therefore, able to include articles on any topic, however obscure, which might be of interest or relevance to the genetic genealogy community. Some Wikipedia articles on DNA testing companies that are now in the ISOGG Wiki have since been deleted from Wikipedia. When using material from Wikipedia or other Wikipedia projects ensure that the source is properly credited.


ISOGG encourages an atmosphere of friendliness, openness, civility and respect.

External links

We encourage editors to add links to useful websites to articles. There is no limit on the number of links that can be added. While we strive for neutrality in the ISOGG Wiki articles we encourage editors to link to blog posts which review topics of interest to genetic genealogists. Blog posts provide a broad spectrum of opinions and perspectives from different users in different countries


Do not add copyrighted material to the ISOGG Wiki without permission from the copyright owner. When adding information to articles, make sure it is written in your own words. Remember that all information found on the Internet is copyrighted unless the website specifically states otherwise. For more information, see Wikipedia: Copyright.


One of the advantages of the Wiki is that it is very easy to upload pictures and screenshots. Care must be taken to ensure that we have copyright of any pictures unless of course they are in the public domain such as the pictures on Wikimedia Commons.

This Wiki has 'InstantCommons' turned on to increase the number of images available for use on its pages. 'InstantCommons' allows contributors to seamlessly use Images and Files located on the Wikimedia Commons servers. To use these Images and Files, they are embedded on pages in the same format as locally stored (uploaded) ones.

User pages


ISOGG members are also encouraged to create their own user pages in the namespace prefixed with the word User. This namespace is a unique area where registered users can list the projects they administer and the surnames they are researching. User pages can be found here:


Some ISOGG Wiki users have been granted additional rights as administrators. They have a few extra powers such as the ability to delete pages, edit protected pages and block troublesome users and spammers. If you are interested in becoming an admin do get in touch.

See also