Frequently asked questions
This page lists frequently asked questions. Please add your own questions to this page and we will answer and post them here!
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, registered users of the SEG can contribute. All contributions are monitored daily by SEG staff and the SEG Wiki Committee, the governing body of the site. The SEG Wiki Committee makes the final decisions on content questions.
The SEG Wiki can only be modified by users registered with SEG. This greatly limits content errors in the wiki (and, has completely eliminated spam appearing on 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, thus correcting the error. This is a key difference between a scholarly published book or peer reviewed journal - the process of SEG Wiki content curation is open and transparent for all users, but it is also ever-evolving.
As for the general accuracy of online encyclopedias, two major studies have taken place over the last 10 years investigating Wikipedia and its competitors. The first study was published by the journal Nature and the second study was led by an e-learning consultancy in partnership with Oxford University. Both studies compared a selection of Wikipedia articles with Encyclopedia Britannica. The first study found that Wikipedia articles were on par for accuracy with their counterparts at Encyclopedia Britannica. The second study concluded that Wikipedia articles were generally more up-to-date and better referenced than their Encyclopedia Britannica counterparts. And, they appeared to be at least as strong as other sources in terms of comprehensiveness, lack of bias, and readability.
How can the wiki benefit me?
The wiki has numerous resources to benefit the reader and contributor. 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.
The SEG Wiki has its own unique community and networking opportunities. With over 10 million views in less than 4 years – 6 million in the last year alone – many in the public and in the field will see your contributions and the value you bring to the wiki when you add your knowledge to it.
In addition to the benefits above, 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. The SEG Wiki team will also write recommendation letters for LinkedIn or other outlets for outstanding volunteers.
Why should I contribute to the wiki?
Because it’s important and feels good. By contributing to the wiki you have an opportunity to add to the world's knowledge of geophysics and leave your mark on the only online encyclopedia dedicated to applied geophysics! There are many reasons to contribute to the wiki. Our goal is to expand the world's knowledge of geophysics, create a stronger science, and engage emerging professionals in the field. If these goals line up with some of your interests and aspirations, we want to see you on the wiki! And each year we honor those volunteers that have left the greatest impact on the SEG Wiki.
So who is the ideal wiki contributor – you! The SEG Wiki needs all types of contributors: copy editing, grammatical improvements, updating existing articles with modern advancements, creating new articles, and adding geophysics-related photos. The ideal wiki contributor is passionate about the science and is ready to teach and learn. The wiki is all about exchanging ideas and growing this space. For many of us, we consider it a lot of fun, too.
The easiest way to get started for most is to add your own user page. This is a page to tell others in the wiki community a little bit about you, 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.
Also, just ask yourself what interests you? Is it the geology of the Earth? Is it acquisition? Is it math? Is it fixing poor grammar? We need all of these areas in the wiki. Do you have a great idea how we can better display pages or concepts from Seismic Data Analysis or Sheriff’s Dictionary? We encourage everyone to jump in and start making enhancements. You can always come back and improve what you started, 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. Some additional areas that need expansion include:
- Documenting open datasets
- General geoscience articles
- Summaries of classic papers
- SEG Student Chapters
- Women in geoscience
What are the best pages to look at to get an idea of the content in the wiki?
Open data is one of the most popular pages. In the spirit of open data there are the geophysical tutorials, published every two months in The Leading Edge. Matt Hall, an SEG member and geophysics consultant, serves as the editor of these tutorials.
Biographies are another great way to learn more about the field. Some biographies to explore:
We have been developing a list of topics to help build a basics of geophysics section on the wiki. This page – called adopt a page – outlines articles we would like to add or improve on the wiki. Here are some additional articles to explore:
- Velocity analysis
- Facies classification using machine learning
- plate tectonics
- Oil shale
- SEG IIT Roorkee Student Chapter
- Best Paper in Geophysics
- Thomsen anisotropic parameters
- Montserrat geothermal development project
- elastic impedance
- Seismic petrophysics: Part 1
- Student Geoscientific Society Berlin & Potsdam
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. 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.
The wiki has a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). 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. One good rule of thumb is if the image is from an American government site (noted by .gov), then you can use the images with attribution (attributing a photo to a source is done by simply adding a summary about the image when uploading to the wiki). If you do not have permission of the author to republish his or her book, journal article, blog post, etc., and the material in question has a copyright or a different CC license than the SEG Wiki (must be CC-BY-SA), the material cannot be added and would be in violation of copyright law. Again, writing in your own words with paraphrasing, summarizing, and by citing multiple sources, as you would in a research paper, is permitted.
The wiki is also not a place for new findings and journal articles. Publications like The Leading Edge, Interpretation, and GEOPHYSICS are appropriate outlets for peer reviewed articles. We do strive for accurate and factual content, but cutting edge research belongs in other SEG publications.
This is an area that can get complicated quickly, so if you have any specific questions regarding this issue, please reach out to us at
- What is the SEG Wiki?
- The SEG Wiki is publicly accessible and editable to all 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, to provide further details of ("layer") the science itself, and to engage emerging professionals in the field. Robert E. Sheriff's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics, fourth edition and Oz Yilmaz's Seismic Data Analysis seeded the SEG Wiki with its initial content. We encourage you to read, edit, and enhance the SEG Wiki. Add your layer to the science of applied geophysics today.
- 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 search looks in the Dictionary and all other content pages on the wiki. If you click on “Encyclopedic Dictionary” on the left side toolbar, you will have the option of only searching for content in the dictionary.
- 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. Learn more about creating articles.
- What is the hardest part of contributing?
- The toughest part we find is the psychological leap to have people see your work. Once you click "Save page" the first time it gets easier to make future edits. Starting with your own user page is a great way to get used to editing and begin adding your knowledge and experience to the SEG Wiki.
- How do I add mathematical equations?
- The wiki uses LaTeX to support equations. Learn more about adding equations on the Help:Math.
- How do I add references to an article?
- We recorded a tutorial video and have a help page dedicated to references.
- 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 and add 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. Learn more on the images help page.
- What is the easiest way to start contributing to the wiki?
- Review the Ten things you can do.
- What does a stub article mean?
- Stubs are short articles — generally just a few sentences - which is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject. If you do not have the time to write a full article, consider writing a "stub". Place a stub template (list of stub templates) at the very end of the article and click "Save page."
Editing the wiki
- Where do I go for help in editing the wiki?
- We have a dedicated help page on the wiki for this very question. In addition, email
wikiseg.organytime for personalized help.
- Do I need to know HTML or other coding to contribute to the wiki?
- No! This SEG Wiki 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.
- 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.
What did we miss?
Add your questions below!