Social Contract

From Salish Sea Wiki

This social contract establishes the principles we follow when adding and editing material in our wiki. By honoring our social contract we retain the privilage to edit. This contract is enforced by our moderator team. Complaints about violations of this contract can be made on our Complaints Page.

(v. 2.2 March 2023)

The Scientific Ethos

We are dedicated to the use of the scientific method, which involves the careful description of our propositions using precise language, the design of experiments to test hypotheses, the development of logical arguments, the citation of our evidence, and the analysis of probability. We avoid logical fallacies and present ideas in a clear and sequential manner. When others appear to misunderstand our work we endeavor to improve the clarity and precision of our writing. The goal in critique is to precisely identify alternative hypotheses or opinions and to compare the available weight of evidence. Evidence is not limited to peer reviewed publications, however we must be clear about the sources of our evidence so that others way weigh our evidence using their own judgment.

Use Clear Neutral Language

Our purpose is to precisely convey meaning so that all readers can understand our words. Words that form the crux of a hypothesis, theory, or argument should be selected carefully so that there is no ambiguity about their meaning. Words designed to provoke an emotive response or conclusion based on snap judgement (for example, words like 'ridiculous' or 'obvious') cloud our ability to accurately assess an argument. Toward this end we use clear neutral language to describe evidence and uncertainty. Where definitions or meanings of words are ambiguous, we clarify our meaning or develop a supporting topic page.

Keep Analysis Impersonal and Critique Civil

We agree that the purpose of contributing to the wiki is to strengthen a network of knowledge to advance ecosystem stewardship. To this end, we commit to the analysis of concise ideas, and do not use critique as an opportunity evaluate the character or intentions of others. If propositions are flawed, we challenge those ideas with evidence and logic. Each page has a discussion page (see tab on top), where the author can provide notes, and others can identify weaknesses in the text to provoke stronger analysis. Authors of text are encouraged to resolve strong critique on the discussion page through text revision or additional discussion page response.

Page Edit Courtesy

Please consider carefully before removing a line or reasoning suggested by another author, and state your intent to complete a major edit in the discussion page. All other pages are intended as collaborative space. Our purpose is to add useful and accurate information and to make information easy to find. We aim to organize, refine, and evaluate information, rather then discarding information.

Resolve Disagreement

Where two authors are unable to develop text that reflects a shared understanding, this requires that we develop a more detailed understanding of the disagreement. There are two alternatives:

  1. One author may present their view in the page text, and the other author may dissent briefly on the discussion page or develop an additional section to a topic page to indicate an area of dissent.
  2. The disagreement is identified using precise and neutral language in the text of the page, and the disagreement is further represented in one or more topic pages.

In all cases, we will be careful to identify and focus on citation of evidence and precise conceptual arguments. Should two authors be unable to come to an agreement, the matter should be posted on the complaints page and an outcome will be adjudicated by the moderator team.

Post Documents Considerately

We will only post documents, images or text that are the original work of the poster, or part of the public domain, or where the author has agreed that the materials are ready and appropriate for public distribution (such as in a public and official government publication). We will not infringe on personal copyright or other applicable law. We understand that the Wiki text itself is governed by a Creative Commons Cite and Share Alike License.

Keep Text Short and Accessible

We will work to generate clean, succinct, and accessible text. The purpose of this platform is to transfer concepts, evidence and work products, not the development of extended expository essays. We use templates, categories, and links to enhance the accessibility of information. We will follow good wiki practice when developing new pages or editing existing pages.

Limit Socio-political Commentary

We recognize that restoration hinges on sociopolitical decisions concerning land use. This is not the forum for developing sociopolitical philosophies and opinions. Our focus here is on using the scientific method to enrich our understanding of the processes, structures, and behaviors of systems, including human systems, by presenting sources of evidence.

Refrain from Economic Self Promotion

While you may describe fee-based work on your workgroup or user page and link to a private web-page, and may share information about resources that are not free, this wiki is not intended for solicitation, advertisement, informational commercials, or funneling traffic to offsite commercial websites.

Take Personal Responsibility

We recognize that it is our personal responsibility to understand this social contract and work with our colleagues to demonstrate our good intentions. We identify on our user page our legal name, any relevant organizational affiliation, and we maintain an active email address in our account preferences. We understand that if the moderator team finds our conduct inconsistent with this contract that our participation as an editor of this site may be brought to an end.