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What is STS Wiki?

As an alternative to STS knowledge dissemination by means of for-profit book and journal publishers, STS Wiki is attempting to create a freely available resource to support the dissemination of science & technology studies perspectives worlwide. An important goal of this project is the translation of the material contained in STS Wiki to languages other than English, especially those in which STS information is not available.

By contributing your work in this class to STS Wiki, you making a contribution to the worldwide STS community. It will be appreciated!

How you can help

To make STS Wiki helpful, we need contributions in the following areas:

  • STS concepts - what are the fundamental concepts of STS, such as constructivism?
  • STS horizons - where is STS headed?
  • STS issues - what are the issues that STS scholars, past and present, have debated, such as reflexivity?
  • STS methods - are the methods used by STS researchers, such as ethnomethodology?
  • STS people - who are the most prominent STS scholars, and how did their background shape their views?
  • STS theories - what are the most commonly used theories in STS?

In each of these areas, you'll see a Featured Article link. Take a look. It shows what a well developed and useful article looks like. Try to produce an article of comparable (or better!) quality.

If you visit a page such as STS Concepts, you will see many red page names. These pages have no text in them yet. If you click on them, you can edit the page and get started on the article.

Want to add an item that's not already listed? Click edit, and add a link to it (just look at the other ones, and you'll see how to do this). Save the page, and click the link.


STS Wiki uses MediaWiki, the software used by Wikipedia. Anyone may edit STS Wiki simply by going the site and clicking Edit. However, you should register at the site so your instructor will be able to recognize and evaluation your contributions. To do so, go to STS Wiki [1], and click Register in the Main Menu. If you choose a login name other than your real name, be sure to tell your instructor the name you chose.

Your assignment is to use the expertise you have developed in this class to do one of the following:

  • Create and finish a new article in STS Wiki; or
  • Develop and finish a stub (an article that has been started but contains just the bare bones of the information that is needed).

About collaborative editing and licensing

It is important to understand that, by contributing to STS Wiki, you are agreeing to let others modify your work. Furthermore, you are agreeing to allow others to copy your work, make derivative versions of it, and make it available in other media. However, commercial use is not permitted.

Anyone can make changes to your contribution

Like Wikipedia, STS Wiki is designed to foster collaboration; anyone may edit an existing page. It is important to realize, therefore, that your contribution may be modified by others in the future. However, the MediaWiki software keeps a permanent record of every version of a page. If you go to your page and click History, you can re-display your original version.

You can "watch" the articles you create so that you are automatically notified when changes are made. To watch a page, log in using your user account before making any changes. Then be sure to check "Watch this page" when you save your work. In the future, when you visit STS Wiki, click "Watchlist," in the upper right area of the page. If changes have been made to an article you authored, the article is listed along with the name of the user who made the changes. If you do not agree with the changes, you can remove them manually or revert the page to an earlier version. For more information, see "Reverting Edits," below.

Anyone can freely copy and change your work

Unsigned contributions to STS Wiki pages are licensed under the terms of a Creative Commons license ( see [2]. This license enables anyone to copy the work, make derivative versions of the work, and distribute the work to others, as long as STS Wiki is credited and the work is used for non-commercial purposes only. It is important to understand that, when you contribute to STS Wiki, you are agreeing to license your work this way.

A note on contributions using Wikipedia material. Some projects encourage students to copy material from Wikipedia to STS Wiki, where it is rewritten to reflect the needs of a professional (rather than general) audience. If you use any Wikipedia text in your page, STS Wiki is required to license that work using GNU Free Documentation License (see [3]). This license is similar to the Creative Commons license, except that it permits commercial redistribution. If you import text from Wikipedia, please be sure to indicate this by placing a note on the article's associated Talk (Discussion) page.

Write with a neutral point of view (NPOV)

The neutral point of view (NPOV) is an official policy of STS Wiki, so you should make sure your work conforms to it.

The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly, but not asserted. All significant published points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It should not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.

As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints. It is a point of view that is neutral - that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject.

Debates are described, represented, and characterized, but not engaged in. Background is provided on who believes what and why, and which view is more popular. Detailed articles might also contain the mutual evaluations of each viewpoint, but studiously refrain from stating which is better. One can think of unbiased writing as the cold, fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate. When bias towards one particular point of view can be detected the article needs to be fixed.

How to write your article

Be sure to visit Wikipedia and take a look at the following, which explain how to create a good article for STS Wiki as well as Wikipedia:

Notify your instructor when you're finished

When you've finished writing your article, save it. Print a copy. At the bottom of the page, you'll see a version number. Now tell your instructor you're done, and be sure to provide the version number. Remember, others may change your work after it's posted, so your instructor needs this number in order to tell which version to grade.

Back to Using STS Wiki as a teaching tool