Frequently asked questions

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This page lists frequently asked questions of the SEG Wiki Committee and staff. If you do not see your question addressed below, please add to this page or the wiki forum page and members of the SEG Wiki Committee or staff will provide you answers.

Five most common questions

How accurate is the information within the SEG Wiki? Are the articles peer reviewed?
Most of the information in the SEG Wiki has come from SEG publications. SEG seeded the wiki with the society’s two best-selling books: Robert E. Sheriff’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics and Oz Yilmaz’s Seismic Data Analysis. Many of our biographies have come from several SEG sources, including early articles of The Leading Edge, SEG awards citations, and from authors who have published in the journal Geophysics.
In addition to these trusted sources, only registered users of the SEG can contribute. All contributions are monitored daily by SEG staff and the SEG Wiki Committee. The Wiki Committee, the governing body of the site, is keenly aware that, like with any resource, inaccurate and incomplete content tarnish credibility. Given this fact, the committee is committed to launching and refining content to meet the high-quality standards of the SEG. As with any tool that is open to the public, risk can never be completely eliminated. The SEG Wiki Committee believes that tapping into the knowledge and experience of the geoscience community – from SEG members, industry experts, academics, and students of the geosciences – through the open model of publication the wiki offers far outweighs restricting contributions to a select few. The SEG Wiki can only be modified by users registered with SEG. This greatly limits content errors in the wiki.
The great thing about wikis: if you do not agree with the accuracy or completeness of an entry, you can improve it in real time using trusted sources of information. This is a key difference between a scholarly published book or peer reviewed journal - the process of SEG Wiki content curation is open and fully transparent for all users, but it is also ever-evolving. One additional point to note: vandalism within Wikipedia is almost exclusively the product of anonymous users, which are not permitted within the SEG Wiki, thus eliminating cases of abuse or vandalism.
How can the wiki benefit me?
The wiki has numerous resources to benefit readers and contributors. If you would like free and searchable editions of SEG’s two best-selling books – you have it. If you would like to learn about the history of pioneers in the field over the last 100 years, the wiki has it. If you need to find free, open data for research to further your professional and academic career, the wiki has it. From refreshing your knowledge on the basics of geophysics to an in-depth overview of rock physics, the wiki offers lots of opportunities to learn, and grow your skills.
In addition, contributing to the wiki offers its own rewards. Volunteers build and refine their understanding of geoscience content when contributing, and build relationships with other SEG volunteers. In addition, the SEG Wiki has its own unique community and networking opportunities. With over 15 million views in five years many in the public and in the field see your contributions and the value you bring to the community when you share your knowledge. Many students and early career professionals are interested in adding new skills that may serve to differentiate them from their peers. Understanding wikitext and the MediaWiki software that powers the SEG Wiki can prove beneficial to employers in the field. Many industry leaders (e.g., ConocoPhillips, Schlumberger, etc.) use internal wikis to educate and exchange ideas among their workforce.
Why should I contribute to the wiki?
Because building an open encyclopedia dedicated to geoscience and applied geophysics is important, and contributing feels good. By contributing to the wiki you have an opportunity to add to the world's knowledge of geophysics and to stay connected to the science, other geoscientists, and the Society. Our goal is to expand the world’s knowledge of applied geophysics, chronicle the advances in the science, and engage emerging and established professionals. If these goals line up with some of your interests and aspirations, we want to see you in the wiki!
Wiki contributors come in many shapes and sizes. The ideal wiki contributor is passionate about the science and is ready to teach and learn. The easiest way to get started for most is to add your own user page. This is a page to tell others in the SEG Wiki community a little bit about yourself, your academic experience, professional goals, and your interest in the wiki. We have a tutorial video as well as step-by-step instructions on the wiki for how to create your own user page. You can always come back and improve what you start, but even starting with a short article with a few sentences – what we call a stub – is better than not adding your knowledge.
Our help page includes a wiki cheat sheet, and other video tutorials to help you get started.
What are the best pages to look at to get an idea of the content in the wiki?
These are the wiki's most popular pages:
  • Biographies - our most-visited pages are the collection of nearly 1,000 biographies of pioneers in geoscience and applied geophysics
  • Open data - this page documents geophysical data that is readily available for download from the internet, via mail, or through special request
  • Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics - the fourth edition of SEG's bestseller is now available in its entirety on the wiki - for free
  • Seismic Data Analysis - Öz Yilmaz's work on processing, inversion, and interpretation of seismic data in its entirety
  • Geophysical tutorials - every two months, a geoscientist presents a brief exploration of a geophysical topic and makes all the code and software used within the tutorial freely available here
Biographies are another great way to learn more about the field. Some good examples of well-formed and complete biographies are: John Bradford, Maurice Ewing, Robert Sheriff, and Hendratta Ali. Also check out the women in geoscience biographies for additional examples.
Is there any content that I cannot add to the wiki?
The details of license and permissions get complicated quickly, but, in general, the rules of research and citation apply to the SEG Wiki (e.g., fair use). There are many websites that clearly explain effective paraphrasing, acceptable summarizing, and proper citation (e.g., Purdue OWL). Follow these rules and cite your sources, and you’ll build strong wiki articles.
All contributions to SEG Wiki are considered to be released under the Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) license. This means the content can be copied, modified, and redistributed, including for commercial use, as long as the new version grants the same freedoms to and imposes the same restrictions on others and acknowledges the authors of SEG Wiki entries (a link to the entry satisfies author-credit requirements). This means that any text added to the wiki will take on this CC license and must grant the same license to others that use the content.
Images may or may not permit reuse and modification; the conditions for reproduction of each image should be individually checked.
The SEG Wiki is also not a place for new findings and emerging research.

General questions

What is the SEG Wiki?
The SEG Wiki, like Wikipedia, is a publicly accessible and community-editable website. Viewing the wiki is open to anyone in the general public. Contributions are limited to users registered with SEG (registration is free). The contents of the wiki are dedicated to applied geophysics and the people and technology that support it. The wiki is maintained by the SEG Wiki Committee, volunteers, and readers from all over the world.
What is the primary purpose or goal of the SEG Wiki?
The goal of the SEG Wiki is to expand the world’s knowledge of applied geophysics, chronicle the advances in the science, and engage emerging and established professionals. The wiki was launched in 2011 to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration between geoscientists.
How do I search for content in the wiki?
On every page that you navigate, a search bar appears in the top-right corner. By default, the top-right search returns results for all content pages on the wiki. The landing pages of Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics and Seismic Data Analysis include advanced search boxes that provide dedicated results for each book only.
How can we use the wiki to connect future generations of geoscientists with the wealth of knowledge and experience of current and past SEG members?
This question identifies the overall challenge that brings me back to work everyday. I think there's so much out there competing for our attention, time, and energy. The SEG Wiki has to be relevant to geoscientists. It has to be easy to use, and seen as a hub for the knowledge and experience all members need throughout their career - as new professionals and experienced industry leaders. Admittedly, building that infrastructure is no easy task. I believe we have a good start in providing important resources to our members - we have seeded the wiki with arguably two of SEG's most important and respected works. The SEG staff will be converting even more rich content in the coming months and years. But, we also need our members to see the value in the wiki and take up the challenge to transform what we have seeded into something bigger, broader, and deeper. It's my hope that many of our members will accept the challenge to invest in their wiki - a shared asset for the entire geoscience community.
Are you a geophysicist? What is your background and the backgrounds of others on your team?
(Andrew Geary) I am not a geophysicist. I have an economics degree in addition to a masters in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit management. I have experience managing volunteer programs and community building and applying those skills to grow the SEG Wiki contributor community. I have some technical skills, including HTML and CSS. But since I work on the wiki full-time, I am constantly reading articles on geophysics and slowly building my knowledge of the subject.
(Isaac Farley) I, too, am not a geophysicist. Like Andrew, I have an MPA with a concentration in nonprofit management and sustainable development. I also have a BS in Biology and Environmental Science. Prior to joining SEG, I worked in community building roles for an urban conservation nonprofit in Chicago and an education nonprofit in Tulsa. While the connection may seem subtle, I believe my experience in community building roles is a nice fit for growing the SEG wiki, a project I see as largely a community building exercise.
How is the SEG Wiki different from AAPG and SPE's wikis?
Let me start with the similarities. The AAPG Wiki and The Society of Petroleum Engineers' Petrowiki, like the SEG Wiki, were all created for the purpose of building shared community assets that benefit students, researchers, professionals, and ultimately the science. Also, like SEG, AAPG and SPE chose to seed their wikis with significant works in their fields. The differences begin with the content that lives in our wikis - SEG focuses on applied geophysics. It continues with copyright licensing - SEG and AAPG have adopted the CC-BY-SA open license while the PetroWiki has adopted a different model. Finally, contributions are handled slightly differently between the wikis – both SEG and AAPG allow registered users to contribute to the wiki. All users are able to view the content freely. SPE has more limitations on how their content can be viewed and edited.
How can we make this wiki the go to source for all things applied geophysics?
We are well on our way. We seeded the wiki with SEG’s number one selling book, Robert E. Sheriff’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics and just completed adding SEG’s number two selling book, Oz Yilmaz’s Seismic Data Analysis. But there is still a lot of work to do. There are specific areas where we need contributors to support our efforts in fulfilling the SEG Wiki’s goal of expanding the knowledge of applied geophysics - growing the number and depth of our entries related to the basics of geophysics, exploring new trends in industry, and in discovery of content both in the wiki and outside the wiki. For example, are there open data sets we have not currently captured in the SEG Wiki entry for open data?

Adding content

What is the process for adding content to the wiki?
The first step is to search for the content you are looking to add (top right corner). If a page or similar topic comes up in the search results, click on the page and explore where your content best fits. And then click the Edit button and add your knowledge to the wiki. If you do not see a page, you will see a red link that will allow you to create a new page. Once you click on this link, you will be taken to the edit window where you can begin to add your information. Even a few sentences to get the topic started is a big help in growing the wiki.
How do I add mathematical equations?
MediaWiki, the software that powers the SEG Wiki, uses a subset of AMS-LaTeX markup, a superset of LaTeX markup which is in turn a superset of TeX markup, for mathematical formulae. It generates Portable Network Graphics PNG images by default. For more assistance in creating mathematical formuale, please visit CodeCogs, an open source scientific library, or Wikipedia's formula help page.
How do I upload a file to the wiki? Is it ok to upload pictures? Images? Are these helpful?
Yes, we encourage the addition of images in the SEG Wiki. It's an area where we are excited to grow. When uploading images, it is important to remember that content, including photos and images should align with the CC-BY-SA license referenced in the next question.
To add an image to the SEG Wiki, ensure you are logged in and select upload file link in the Toolbox window (on the left-hand side of the homepage above the Apache logo). Select choose file, enter a new file name and a summary and click upload file. Once the image is uploaded, you’ll then need to link to that image from the necessary page. Navigate to the page you’d like to add the photo to and enter the following text:[[File: Farley Wiki UserPhoto.JPG|right|150px]] Replace “Farley Wiki UserPhoto.JPG” with the name of your file. Using “right” here right aligns the image and the “150px” defines its size. I like both as a default.
If you are looking to do something a little more with the image, I suggest visiting Wikipedia’s picture tutorial.
What are the best pages to look at to get an idea of the content in the wiki?
The geophysical tutorials are a great place to start. Open data is a popular page, Dix conversion too. Some bios to check out as well: president-elect Christopher L. Liner and Maurice Ewing.
What is the easiest way to start contributing to the wiki?
Search for a term, concept, or idea. If it is already in the wiki, click on the relevant page and see where you can add your own knowledge and experience on the topic. If it is not yet added, click on the red link at the top of the search term results and start adding to geophysics knowledge toolbox for all to benefit. The wiki is not a journal. We encourage everyone to jump in there and start making changes. You can always come back and improve what you started, but even starting with a stub (a short article with a few sentences) is better than doing nothing at all.
What does a stub article mean?
If you do not have the time to write a full article, consider writing a "stub". Stubs are very short articles—generally just a few sentences-which is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject. Place a stub template (list of stub templates) at the very end of the article, after the "External links" section, any navigation templates, and the category tags.

Editing the wiki

I am occasionally being signed out of the wiki when I work on articles for a long period of time. Can I develop articles offline before adding them to the wiki?
Yes. You can use any text-processing software to work on content, e.g., Microsoft Word or Google Docs. If you are also working on math equations or have a preference, you can also use editors like Kile or Texmaker. In addition, sometimes hitting the back button on your browser will retrieve your work on the wiki. I also recommend hitting the "Show preview" button from time to time while you work to reset the timer.
Who or what is the ideal wiki contributor/contribution?
The ideal wiki contributor is you! Wiki contributors come in many shapes and sizes. And, SEG needs all of you to be successful - people who like copy editing and making grammatical improvements. We need more people who are generating geophysics-related content. Perhaps there are others who excel at reviewing and formatting mathematical equations – we have a whole page in need of these repairs. We need more images, so if you have many geophysics-related photos, you’d also be a great fit for the SEG Wiki. Honestly, the ideal wiki contributor is passionate about the science and is ready to teach and learn. The wiki’s all about exchanging ideas and growing this space. For many of us, we consider it a lot of fun, too.
Do I need to know HTML or other coding to contribute to the wiki?
No! This cheatsheet provides a rundown for most of the wikitext you will ever need to know. And, we are available if you have a particular formatting question; we will get your question answered for you.
Where do I go for help in editing the wiki?
We have a dedicated help page on the wiki for this very question. The Wikipedia Adventure is a great place to start to learn the basics of editing the wiki and this section has several ideas to start adding your layer to the wiki. In addition, email wiki‐at‐seg.org anytime for personalized help. You can also message us on Twitter or Facebook.

What did we miss?

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