What is an h2g2 University Project?

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On this page, you'll find information on everything you need for writing and compiling brilliant university projects for the Edited Guide. For more information on the University itself, visit the Introduction to the h2g2 University.

  1. What is a University Project?

  2. How to Compile a Project

  3. Choosing your Subject

  4. Project Index Pages

  5. University Faculties and New Submissions

  6. University Field Researchers' Task List

  7. What Happens Once the Project has been Written?

  8. What Happens if I Can't Finish my Project?

1. What is a University Project?

A University Project is simply a collection of new linked entries on a given subject that meet the criteria for the Edited Guide. With that in mind, you can choose any subject you like so long as none of your entries will be duplicating material already in the Edited Guide (for instance, we will not accept updates as projects).

There are two types of University Project:

  • Solo-written Projects
  • Collaborative Projects

Solo-written Projects

Some Researchers might have enough knowledge about their subject to write the entire project themselves - which is impressive but can leave you with a lot more work than you might be able to handle. The reward is that once the project is completed and has entered the Edited Guide, you will gain a Field Researcher badge on your Personal Space.

Collaborative Projects

Most projects are collaborative. For collaborative projects, the person who co-ordinates the project will receive a Field Researcher badge on their Personal Space. If any Researcher has contributed significantly to five or more entries in the project, they may also qualify for a Field Researcher badge. It will be up to the project co-ordinator to let us know of any individuals who qualify.

2. How to Compile a Project

University projects consist of five or more Edited Guide-quality entries. Each entry should work as a stand-alone entry as well as being connected to the others in the project. So the first thing you'll need to do is become acquainted with the Edited Guide Writing Guidelines. Additionally, you should also be familiar with h2g2's mark-up language, GuideML; University Projects tend to be more involved than your standard entry, so we do expect a fairly decent level of GuideML for University projects. However, you can recruit a Sub-editor to help you with this.

Next, you will need to choose a topic that either does not appear in any form in the Edited Guide or is under-represented. The best way to check whether your subject is already in the Guide is to browse the categorised Edited Guide entries within Life, the Universe and Everything.

3. Choosing your Subject

Even if we do have entries on your chosen subject there may be room for further research. Perhaps we have an entry on your favourite band, but not on each of their albums or band members. Or maybe we have an entry on a specific country but not its cities. If you're stuck for ideas, the Challenge h2g2 forum is a great place to find inspiration.

Previous University Topics have included:

  • Hammer Films
  • The French Revolution, 1789-1799
  • Film Composers
  • The Lives and Works of Gilbert and Sullivan
  • Coping with the Office
  • Traditional Christmas Fayre
  • Monty Python
  • The Structure and Function of Belief
  • The Philanthropic Legacy of Milton S. Hershey
  • The Football World Cup
  • The Solar System
  • Apollo Missions
  • Radar
  • 4. Project Index Pages

    Once you've chosen your subject, the project co-ordinator will need to create an Index Page, which will describe which area(s) the project aims to cover. For example:

    • Project Name: Hammer Film Studios
    • Field Researcher:U292
    • Faculty: Arts
    • Start Date: (date / month / year)
    • End Date (Provisional): (date / month / year)
    • Assisting Sub-editor: Shazz

    Project Description

    Here you provide an overview of your project, its aims and parameters, with as much detail as you feel is necessary.

    Pages currently in progress:

    As you work your way through your project, add a link to each completed entry here.

    You can use the following text to create your Index Page:

    <LI><B>Project Name:</B> </LI>
    <LI><B>Field Researcher:</B> <LINK BIO="U#"></LINK></LI>
    <LI><B>Faculty:</B> (e.g. Social Sciences)</LI>
    <LI><B>Start Date:</B> (date / month / year)</LI>
    <LI><B>End Date (Provisional):</B> (date / month / year)</LI>
    <LI><B>Assisting Sub-editor:</B> (to be allocated)</LI>

    <SUBHEADER>Project Description</SUBHEADER>

    <P>Provide an overview of your project, its aims and parameters, with as much detail as you feel is necessary.</P>

    <SUBHEADER>Pages currently in progress:</SUBHEADER>

    <P>As you work your way through your project, add a link to each completed entry here.</P>

    Once you have compiled your Index page, you'll be ready to submit it to a University Faculty.

    5. University Faculties and New Submissions

    The h2g2 University consists of a number of faculties. You will need to submit your project to a specific faculty. This way, you can let other Researchers know about your new project, ask for help and outline your project's aims. This is also a good place to iron out any potential problems.

    The University of Life currently includes the following Faculties:

    6. University Field Researchers' Task List

    Once a University project has been set up, the Project Co-ordinator should set a predicted date by which the project will be completed. It'll be the co-ordinator's job to see that all of the entries are in and ready by that date. During that time, the Field Researcher should aim to produce the entries in the original plan to as high a quality as is possible.

    Each entry in the project should be in the style of the Edited Guide and should be able to stand on its own right as an entry. For more information on h2g2 House Style, read the Writing Guidelines and the guide to English Usage in the Edited Guide.

    The co-ordinator should also arrange for a Sub-editor to give the project a polish if necessary (the in-house Editorial team can be contacted by the Sub-editor either via the Sub-Editors' Mailing List or via Editorial Feedback) to sort out the editing privileges on each entry). You can decide whether to have your Sub working alongside you as you complete entries or to wait until the entire project is complete.

    If you cannot find a suitable Sub-editor to help out, simply contact h2g2 Editorial Feedback and we'll find one for you.

    When you've completed your project please let us know, and we'll give you plenty of feedback. It will then be passed over to the in-house Editorial Team for final subbing, and then published on the Front Page. Published University projects will be featured for a whole week (normal entries are only up for a day).

    So to summarise, the University Field Researchers' role contains a number of specific tasks:

    • To choose the area of research and create an Index Page that will contain information on the entire project.

    • To research and write a specified number of Guide Entries to an edited standard within a six-week period, either individually, or by working alongside other h2g2 Researchers. To this end, each Project Co-ordinator should recruit a Sub-editor to check the style, grammar and mark-up of the project pages. If the Field Researcher needs assistance or guidance on GuideML they can also, optionally, recruit an h2g2 Guru. The project index page should list the assisting Sub-editor and Guru, if applicable.

    • To be responsible for the development of their project. The Field Researcher is entrusted to use their best judgement to forward their project. We're looking for people who can be creative, imaginative and resourceful.

    • To be responsible for encouraging, inspiring and guiding their field's affiliated Researchers, if any.

    • To agree to be responsible for quality control within their field and ensure that their entries are all well-written, factually correct, not plagiarised, and contain relevant links to other h2g2 entries and external sites. The Field Researcher is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the final entries are grammatically correct and of a good standard, and have been checked for style and grammar by the assisting Sub-editor.

    7. What Happens Once the Project has been Written?

    • The author/project co-ordinator should make an off-line copy of the entire project for their own safe-keeping. This is because it is the project pages themselves that are subbed (not copies, as is the case for Edited Entries), so if the Sub makes a mess of it (unlikely, we'd hope!) or accidentally deletes a page, you have a back-up somewhere.

    • The project leader should then leave a posting on the University page saying that the project is ready for subbing, and stating who the Sub-editor is.

    • The relevant project pages are then amended by the in-house team to allow the Sub to edit them - they will get an 'Edit Entry' button on the pages as if they'd written them themselves.

    • The Sub then does their magic on the pages, and lets the project leader know when they've finished.

    • Most projects will be created among Researchers who will probably have at least some idea about its subject. The final test for any project is if its entries can be understood by people who are newcomers to the topic. Therefore, once a project is written, the project page should be submitted to Peer Review. This is to notify other Researchers about it, give your project the chance for some additional feedback and ensure that it's accessible to newcomers. Once the project has been in Peer Review for seven days, the in-house team will look it over and bring it in for the final stage of editing before appearing on our Front Page and entering the Edited Guide (cue 'Trumpet Voluntary').

    • h2g2 Researchers will be encouraged to help the Field Researchers, by contributing additional information, fact-checking or typo-spotting. All Researchers, including Field Researchers, can contribute to more than one project in more than one department at any one time, but you can only lead one project at any one time.

    • Eventually, the Editors will be ready to release your entries into the Edited Guide. The project will get its own day on the Front Page in the 'New Edited Entries' section as well as a week in another promo slot.

    8. What Happens if I Can't Finish my Project?

    If you've completed an entry or two but find you can't get any further, you can always submit the entries separately to Peer Review. Alternatively, there's no shame in asking for help from people in the Challenge h2g2 or Ask h2g2 forums.

    Alternatively, you can submit the entries to the Flea Market and hope that somebody decides to continue them for you one day.

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