One of the major parts of h2g2 is its Edited Guide. Anyone can write an article about anything, simply by following easy Writing Guidelines, and submitting it into Peer Review or the Edited Guide Writing Workshop. But how do you keep track of what is and isn't in the Edited Guide?
You probably know that h2g2 has its own categorisation system in which all the entries are classed as either Life, the Universe or Everything – but that isn't enough for some Researchers. These Researchers go the extra mile and create their own Lists of Edited Articles. Two of the Researchers who have done this are BobStafford and Bluebottle.
We asked BobStafford why he, and why he believes other Researchers, compile these lists of entries and what they are used for.
Is there anything you would like to say about why you've written lists and what responses you've had about them?
Hello Bluebottle that’s an interesting question, to be honest initially the first list on my personal space was started for purely selfish reasons, the listing of my entries. The Roman entries was simple, there are so many excellent entries in H2G2 that they needed listing mainly to make them easier to find in the site. What I needed to find out is which subjects I was going to write entries on had not been covered and also find companion entries others had written so they could be linked.
This was a long job so I left the first list as a sort of index to help others. However there was an addition of a whole list of unwritten entries included in the list. Support was better and people sent over lists of entries to be included. The main purpose of listing the gaps was to encourage others to write entries, the other was to remind me so I could come back to the list for a reminder. I have not had much feedback from the list so as yet it has not achieved its grand design. Galaxy Babe did give the idea the thumbs up and Lil also liked the idea and of course it attracted your attention but any encouragement it may have provided has gone unrecorded.
More recently the Roman military entry list was started for my benefit to see what had been done and needed to be done. It also created an overview of what was in the edited guide and exposed the gaps.It is possibly to soon to say whether it has been successful in achieving an expansion of the numbers of entries in this area.
The sea and navy list is also a recent creation another area I am interested in. Again there are many excellent entries in this area, more than I thought before I started the list. It surprised me and the list title went through several changes as more entries came to light. Florida Sailor was a great help along with Lil, expanding the list every other day for a week or so, it has become surprisingly large and again the hope is that it will sow the seed and we get more entries on the subject.
I do believe that there are several other lists that have recently come into existence lately on other topics; it may have set a trend. What would be nice would be some feedback if the lists have been successful or helpful in any way and maybe some examples.
However I suppose it would be nice to use the lists as the foundation of a specialist subject virtual library where researchers and other non-researchers could browse the shelves for books (entries) on whatever subject they are interested in, nice dream.
Bluebottle too has written lists of already existing entries. For example, he has written a Beatles Articles List. This is used to copy/paste all the links whenever he writes a new entry about the Beatles so that all the appropriate links can be added to the right place nice and easily.
A more adventurous list is that on Solent Defences. This list originated from a conversation off BobStafford's list on Solent Coastal Defences – Plan in which it was proposed to write a series of entries covering all the castles, forts etc in the Solent area. The list would not only cover all the entries, but would also form the introduction page to a project to be completed by BobStafford and Bluebottle. The scale of the project being overwhelming, it has been placed very much on the backburner, but it goes to show how a humble list can lead to entries that get into the Edited Guide.
Next time I hope to stop off at Galleries. If You have created a page displaying pictures you have contributed to h2g2, please get in touch.