Typical page structure

This page outlines the typical sections that might exist on a page and how they should be structured. Take this as a general guide, and not a firm rule. Different topics may need different sections to properly explain them. Editors are encouraged to use their own judgment when organizing articles.

Articles vs. pages

The term “page” encompasses all the material on Open Foresight Hub, including encyclopedia topics, Editor Notes pages, tag pages, and special pages such as Recent changes . “Article” is a narrower term referring to a page containing a written composition on a specific topic. Thus, all articles are pages, but not all pages are articles.

Some namespaces have built-in skeleton templates to help editors organize articles.

Article titles

When titling a wiki article, it's important to choose a title that accurately reflects the content of the article- making it easy for users to find in a search, and understand what the article will contain . Here are some tips for titling a wiki article:

  • Keep it clear, concise, and specific: Use a clear and concise title that accurately reflects the content of the article. This will help users understand what the article is about and decide whether it's relevant to their needs.Avoid using long or complicated titles that may confuse readers.
  • Use the largest heading size: Create a title heading in the edit window by writing the title on its own line ======surrounded by six equals signs.====== You can also use the headline buttons on the edit window to make headings. All other headings on the page should be smaller.
  • Use sentence case: Use sentence case for your title (i.e., capitalize only the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns). This makes it easier to read and is the standard format for most wiki pages.
    • There are a few exceptions to this:
      • When the article title is the title of a published work “A Clockwork Orange” not “A clockwork orange”
  • Use a colon for subtitles: If your wiki article has a subtitle, use a colon to separate the main title from the subtitle (e.g., “How to write a wiki page: tips and best practices”).

Summary section

Summarize the topic using neutral and objective language. In the summary, avoid using biased or subjective language that could be interpreted as promoting a particular point of view. Stick to the facts and present them in a neutral manner with citations. If the summary gets longer than a few (2-3) paragraphs, or you need to elaborate further, consider splitting it up into multiple subsections with second-fifth level headings.

Quick facts

You may wish to include a table with key information about your topic that readers can read at a glance. For example, a library article may include a table with the publisher, publication date, number of pages etc. The best place for this type of table is between the introductory paragraph(s) and the first subheading. Namespaces with skeleton templates will typically include a pre-made quick facts table for editors to input information into. Some rows may be marked as “optional” in the templates. These rows can be left blank if you don’t know or couldn’t find that information, or removed if it is not applicable to your article. You may also add rows as necessary.

In futures research

You may wish to highlight futures research and reports that cover your article’s topic. Create links to the reports wiki page, and briefly explain the report’s connection to the topic.

Additional viewpoints

While you should aim for a neutral and objective tone in the summary sections, additional viewpoints is a place that allows editors to take a position on the topic, and provide commentary and criticism. This section should still be written in an expository style and claims should be supported by citations.


Many pages have Discussion sections, where registered users can comment on a page without directly editing it. In discussion sections, you can discuss the topic in a more casual and conversational manner. Editors may add discussion sections to pages by adding into the page source.

  • Write discussion posts in first person, and sign discussions with your username to make it easier for readers to follow the conversation.
  • If discussion becomes very long or unwieldy, editors may summarize or refactor discussion into the main body of the article, or spin off the discussion into a new page.
  • Keep your discussion relevant to the topic at hand, and make sure your post adds value to the conversation.
  • Remember to be respectful of other editors. Comments that violate our code of conduct may be removed by administrators.

When to remove discussion comments

Administrators may remove discussion posts:

  • After incorporating points made in discussion comments into the main body of the article.
  • Issues raised in the discussion section have been resolved
  • To make the page more readable
  • If comments don’t add value. Example: “cool article!”
  • If the comment violates the code of conduct

When not to remove discussion comments

Administrators have the ability to temporarily hide or delete comments, but removing comments should not be taken lightly. Once deleted, discussion comments cannot be recovered. This is unlike edits made within the body of the page, which are easily recovered.

  • Don’t remove discussion posts because you disagree with the commenter's point
  • Don’t remove discussion posts if the conversation is ongoing. Wait until the conversation has died down or reached consensus before removing it.
  • Don’t misrepresent what others have said. Be respectful of other posters when editing/removing discussion posts. It’s usually better to remove a post altogether than edit their statement.

Discussion comments vs Editor Notes pages

Editor Notes pages are used to discuss administrative topics for a particular page, such as whether the page is in compliance with OFH policies and meets quality standards. The discussion section meanwhile is for discussing the article topic and content.

  • If you aren’t sure which to use, “would this be helpful to someone looking for information about the article topic?” is a good rule of thumb. If yes, use the discussion section. If no, use the editor notes.

Further Reading

The further reading section of an article contains a bulleted list of a reasonable number of works that a reader may consult for additional and more detailed coverage of the subject. This section may also contain a bulleted list of recommended relevant websites, each accompanied by a short description. These hyperlinks should not appear in the article's body text, nor should links used as references normally be duplicated in this section.


A citation, also called a reference, uniquely identifies a source of information. Providing citations helps readers verify that the information given is supported by reliable sources.

How to cite

  • Open Foresight Hub does not have a single preferred citation style, though citations within a given article should follow a consistent style. If you are unsure which style to use or what information should be included, try to follow examples on other pages or use an online citation generator.
  • You can use footnotes1) to create in-text citations. Information written in double parentheses will create a superscript footnote, and automatically generate a list at the bottom of the page.
  • The first time a source is referenced on a page, include a full citation. For example: Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 1. Further citations of the same source use short citations. For example: Rawls 1971, p. 1.

When to cite

  • Cite when you are directly quoting a person or text.
  • Cite when you are summarizing and paraphrasing a person or text.
  • Cite when you are referencing something that is debatable or likely to be challenged. If you can think of a reason someone would argue against a statement in good-faith, you should cite it.
    • For example, “social media does more harm than good” would need to be backed up with a citation.
  • Provide links to the sources of images, data, and quotes
  • Citing sources is not limited to these situations- editors are encouraged to add or improve citations for any information contained within an article.

When not to cite

  • Do not cite when what you are saying is your own insight.
  • Do not cite when what you are saying is common knowledge. This includes both general common knowledge: statements that the average adult recognizes as true, and subject-specific common knowledge: statements that someone familiar with the subject would recognize as true. What is common knowledge is difficult to discern. Use your best judgment, and when in doubt err on the side of over-citing.


footnotes generate automatically at the bottom of a page
Last modified: 2023/07/03 16:40 by elizabethherfel