Frequently asked questions

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What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a collection of web pages (or articles) designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified text editor and language. If you are interested in learning more about wiki's in general, then wikipedia will give you more information.

What is TecHKnow Wiki?

TecHKnow Wiki is work in progress. Like TecHKnow (The main website for UK School Science & technology technicians), this area is a volunteer-operated site. It collects information & knowledge from colleagues, like yourself, within the profession and makes this freely available to all within the profession.

We don't ask for any money (in the form of a subscription) to access, read or print out any article on TecHKnow Wiki. It is here 24/7 available to anybody to access. The technology behind TecHKnow Wiki is similar to that used by Wikipedia - the online encyclopedia. Therefore, if you have contributed or browsed through Wikipedia previously then you will have some idea of what to expect. TecHKnow Wiki is built on trust and the expectation that collaboration among users will improve articles over time. Although some users may take advantage of TecHKnow Wiki's openness to add nonsense to the Wiki, these can be quickly found and deleted by administration staff and other editors. TecHKnow Wiki has been set up for use by science and technology Technicians who work in schools and colleges throughout the United Kingdom.

What's the deal here?

You as an author (or perhaps as co-author of an article) submit your work in the form of article(s) to the TecHknow Wiki. Literally Hundreds of people visit TecHKnow and usually the Wiki area every month, and together they form the TecHKnow Wiki community. The large majority of people who visit us are readers. They arrive at TecHKnow Wiki for whatever reason and read one or more articles. They could easily be reading any one of YOUR articles. By submitting your work you will receive attribution for your efforts. This is usually in the form of a positive reputation within the community profession and its also a decent sign of respect. You will also have the satisfaction of helping or advising many colleagues with your knowledge and experience. Finally, since the wiki is trawled by all of the major Search engines, your article may even be viewed by the people in the wider WWW community!

I have difficulty using the Wiki. Where can I get help?

In addition to the help pages on the Wiki;

  • We will pair you up with an experienced Wiki user who will help or guide you as you develop your first article. Contact us at website@techknow.org.uk or alternatively compose & send the website Admin staff a PM (Username; TecHKnow)
  • You can also ask experienced colleagues who use the Wiki regularly for help. They will be very pleased to provide whatever advice or assistance that you need. Visit our TecHKnow Community Forums area and post your question there!

I want to help out. How do i start?

First of all if you want to add/edit any article you must Log in / create account.

                  You can improve TecHKnow Wiki most if you contribute what you can do best: 
  • Contribute your work

As a professional Science & Technology Technician you could contribute your working knowledge (of doing your job) and skills to the Wiki in the form of articles. If you're a good photographer or graphic designer don't hesitate to contribute your valuable images. However, even if you dont want to add articles, there is plenty of other very important work to do:

  • Checking of grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Contribute your time
    • Identifying broken pages and removing them
    • Identifying breaches of any of our policies and reporting these to the sysops or Administration staff.
    • Identifying any defaced pages and either repairing them (if possible) or advising the sysops and Administrators who will replace the page with the last back up.
  • Creating order from chaos!

If you feel at home with creating order from chaos, then we could use your helping hand! For example, help us to place articles into agreed or suitable Categories

Do I need to login/register to access TecHKnow Wiki?

No, you do not. You are permitted to browse, read, print out, email any article of your choice freely, subject to our Terms of usage. However, you will not be able to edit or create any articles unless you first create an account with us (see above).

What is the cost of all of this?

Absolutely nothing! There is at least one other Techncian website that we are aware of were your school or college are invited to "fork" out a subscription each year to access its content, TecHKnow Wiki is completely free to access.

I am worried about copyright - what advice can you give me?

Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by governments, giving the creator of an original work of authorship exclusive rights to it usually for a limited time then it enters the public domain. If you are submitting a article to TecHKnow and you are using your own words, skills and placing your own interpretation or judegement on the facts eg., describing a science practical, then there should not be any copyright issues involved.

However, if you create an article based on somebody eles's work (eg., that you've used a search engine to find) then copyright does become an issue. In the first instance we advise you never to use any other authors work in part or in whole. Try to use your own words. If you are an experienced technician actually doing your jon then this should be easy enough for you to do. Where you find that you need to quote a small amount of text from another author (or website) then it is both polite and professional to give the author credit for their work. After all, if you create an original piece of work here on TecHKnow wiki you would expect the same courtesy and respect in return!.

On the very rare occasions were to find that you need to copy a large amount of work or indeed an entire article by another author then you are strongly advised to contact the author or publisher directly yourself for permission to use their work here on TecHKnow Wiki. This is your responsibility, not ours. If we establish that you have submitted an article to this website that blatantly contravenes another authors' copyright then we will remove your article. repeated violation may result in your user account being deleted or suspended.

I wish to complain about an article that I have found on thie Wiki. What do I do?

TecHKnow wiki is build on trust. However, there may be an occasion were you may need to complain about one of our articles. there are two things you can do. If you find the article breaches a known copyright or perhaps you are claiming copyright over the article, then please contact the Administrators of this Wiki immediately. You will need to show that you have proof that you actually own the article before we will remove it.
If you disagree with the contents of an article then there are the facilities to discuss this in our Discussion Pages. Simply disagreeing with an author is not itself sufficient grounds for removing the article.

What stops impolite individuals from just deleting my work?

It is easy for a person to vandalize TecHKnow Wiki. If you are registered and logged in you can edit any page, the possibility is always there. We have tools to help us find and remove vandalism very quickly.

  • It is easy for administration or Sysops staff who sees vandalism to revert pages back to a pre-vandalism state.
  • It is easy for any user to alert the administration or Sysops staff that vandalism has occured. Once again we can quickly revert the page to a pre-vandalism state
  • It is possible for administration or Sysops staff to block or ban users (or their IP addresses) who are persistently destructive.
  • It is possible for administration or Sysops staff to protect a page temporarily (or in special cases permanently) to keep people from changing it.
  • It is possible for administration or Sysops staff to delete an inappropriate page

We also take regular backups of the website. Vandals are never tolerated by the community and their user account is immediately deleted.

Can i use any of the articles for school work?

Yes, you are welcome to print off and use any of the pages and diagrams for use in your workplace. However, if you do use any of the articles (or pages) on TecHKnow Wiki in any way you must give clear attribution of the author of the work'. Most articles will have the name of the author or main collaborators someplace at the foot of the articles' page. You should always either retain this information or, where an author has not been expressely indicated, you should quote 'TecHKnow' as the originor of the article source;
Examples;
Article has been reproduced in part or in whole from TecHKnow - http://www.techknow.org.uk
Article by J.Bloggs - TecHKnow (http://www.techknow.org.uk)

How do you differ from the other sites out there?

In common with other FREE websites, we are proud to rely completely on contributions from colleagues within the profession. Some other 'pay for websites' rely on a small team writing and designing their own content. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, we believe that pooling the experience of many professional colleagues will ulitmately lead, over time, to a higher quality of information. The Wiki content is generally intersting, relevant to technicians and reliable.

I want to test out/practice with the Wiki before using it. How do i do this?

Very simple. We have what is known as a "sandbox area". It is the only area on the entire Wiki that you can freely play around in, as well as practice using the wiki features. The Public can see the contents of this page and so it will be periodically deleted. Furthermore, when you register with TecHKnow Wiki, you are automatically given a user private area which you can access by clicking on your username which you will find on any articles that you create.

What can i do with my Wiki private area space?

In addition to testing out the features of the Wiki, you can basically use this area in any way you wish subject to our normal Terms and conditions of the TecHknow website. For example, no advertising for commercial gain, porn, gambling etc., The user Wiki private area is ideal for developing your article for later submission to the main public wiki site (copy and paste). Clicking on your username will allow you (or anybody else) to access this area.

How do I do Maths on the Wiki?

The following article will explain how to incorporate Maths symbols into your Wiki article page. Using Maths Functions on TecHKnow Wiki