Help:Using Wikipedia

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Many geoscience leaders and topics already have articles within Wikipedia. One of the best ways you can help create content is to locate these pages and add it to the wiki so other geophysicists and professionals can expand it.

See the section on reliability for a discussion of Wikipedia's veracity.

Steps to add content from Wikipedia

  1. Visit the knowledge tree or the biographies on the SEG Wiki.
  2. Review the content available on Wikipedia. These pages offer a good starting point.
    1. Exploration geophysics
    2. Outline of geophysics
    3. List of geophysicists
  3. Copy text you would like to add to the SEG Wiki. Do not click "Edit" or "View Source".
    1. We recommend not clicking edit to minimize the irrelevant internal links and other added text from Wikipedia.
    2. Occasionally you may need to retrieve references. In this case, you will need to copy the reference from the wikitext. This can be located by the blue, linked number. For this, you will need to click "Edit", or "View Source" and locate the reference between the <ref> tags at the relevant location. You do not need to be logged in to Wikipedia.
  4. Navigate to Click "Edit" on the SEG Wiki. You will have to sign-in to your SEG account (you do not have to be a member; registered SEG users have the ability to fully edit the SEG Wiki).
  5. Paste content into the edit window.
    1. Remove internal links not relevant to the SEG Wiki.
    2. These will be labeled with double brackets, e.g.,[[Internal link]], and most likely appear red on the page.
    3. Many of these links on Wikipedia are not relevant to the SEG Wiki; please remove at your discretion.
  6. Add the == References == section and {{reflist}} template, if missing.
  7. Add the == External links == section and the {{search}} template at end of article.
    1. The external links and search template allow users to discover content on a variety of different websites, including the SEG Digital Library and Google Scholar.
  8. Add {{stub}} at the top of the article to help other contributors add to what you have started.
  9. In the edit summary at the bottom of the edit window, add "content retrieved from WP."
  10. Click "Show preview" to see your work and make any additional changes.
  11. When you are satisfied of the content and its display, click "Save page."

Articles on Wikipedia

These pages on Wikipedia offer a great starting point for currently available geoscience content.

Articles needed on the SEG Wiki

These pages on the SEG Wiki offer a good starting point for missing content:

  • The knowledge tree
    • For each topic listed on the knowledge tree article, add 1-2 sentences to summarize topic (see current examples on the article)
    • Use the Wikipedia pages above to find relevant articles based on the knowledge tree topics. If found, add to the SEG Wiki. Summarize the topic first if it is not already included on the knowledge tree.
    • If the link is red, you will create a new page based on the Wikipedia content.
  • SEG biographies
    • Search for the name on Wikipedia. The page also lists people from A to Z.
    • If located, add information to his/her SEG Wiki page (Jon F. Claerbout is an example of a completed page).

On reliability

Several independent studies have tested the veracity of Wikipedia compared to other informational sources, like Encyclopedia Britannica, and have found it similarly accurate and free of major errors.

The first study took place in 2005 by the journal Nature. The journal chose articles from both Wikipedia and Britannica on a wide range of topics and sent them to relevant field experts for peer review. The experts then compared the competing articles side by side, but were not told which article came from which site. The two sites tied in reference to serious errors, each with four. This type of error occurred due to general misunderstandings of vital concepts. In regards to factual errors, omissions or misleading statements, the experts found 162 mistakes in Wikipedia (3.86 mistakes per article) and 123 in Britannica (2.92 mistakes per article).

Seven years after this study, Epic, an e-learning consultancy, in partnership with Oxford University produced a new study. The study compared a sample of English Wikipedia articles to equivalent articles in Encyclopedia Britannica (as well as their Spanish and Arab encyclopedia equivalents).

The study concluded that Wikipedia articles were generally seen as being more up-to-date than other articles and better referenced. Furthermore, they appeared to be at least as strong as other sources in terms of comprehensiveness, lack of bias and readability (a criticism of Wikipedia from the 2005 study). None of the encyclopedias considered in the study were rated highly by the academics in terms of suitability for citation in academic publications.

For an in-depth exploration of the reliability of Wikipedia, visit Reliability of Wikipedia.


  • The SEG Wiki and Wikipedia share the same Creative Commons license, but please add "content retrieved from WP" in the edit summary at the bottom of the edit window, since all contributions need to be attributed
    • Remove internal links not relevant to the SEG Wiki
    • These will be labeled with double brackets, e.g.,[[Internal link]], and most likely appear red on the page
    • Many of these links on Wikipedia are not relevant to the SEG Wiki; please remove at your discretion

Other wikis

Content from the AAPG Wiki and the SubSurfWiki can also be added to the SEG Wiki, as described for Wikipedia. When you add content from these wikis, please label accordingly in the edit summary.

  • AAPG Wiki: "content retrieved from AAPG Wiki"
  • SubSurfWiki: "content retrieved from SubSurfWiki

See also