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Memory Alpha:Resource policy FAQ

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Who decided what should or shouldn't be used as a resource? Edit

Memory Alpha uses what resources our archivists decided should be use for articles.

How are novels, comics, and games covered? Edit

Although we restrict information about the Trek universe itself to the series and films for the time being, we also can't ignore the novels, comics, and other parts of the Trek franchise which have contributed to its success over the years. Therefore, we include lists for topics outside of the POV of our "in-universe" articles (i.e. all actors, episodes, movies, novels, etc. - stuff in the real world) to create a useful reference base.
Lists of "supplementary" or "apocryphal" topics on Memory Alpha
novelscomicsreference worksgamescollectiblesfan fiction

I think I've identified a painting/map/building/etc. seen in a production, how should this information be used? Edit

First of all, good job! Identification of background material can be a arduous process.

There are a few things to consider though before boldly adding the new information to pages:

  1. Was this material identified by a production source?
  2. Was this material created for the production?

If the answer is yes to the first question, then it is OK to use. After all, we have to trust production sources.

If the answer is yes to the second question but not to the first, then it is OK to use so long as the material is clearly the material that was used on screen.

If the material wasn't identified by a production source or created for the production, then the parts that are identifiable without the new material are OK to use. In other words, using third-party sources to assist in identification is OK, but only if afterward it can be concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that the on-screen material indeed conforms with the information derived from the third-party source.

Examples:

Paintings 
It is important to make sure before stating what a painting is in the real world that someone hasn't cleverly added Patrick Stewart's face.
Maps 
If a real world map of the United States is used on screen and there is a blob-ish label on the western tip of Lake Michigan, you should only add that information to Chicago if you can be certain that the label doesn't say anything other than Chicago.
Buildings 
Establishing shots of real world cities can be heavily modified digitally or with matte paintings. Any real world buildings that might be identified should be because the building itself was discernible, rather than because the location of the building was known to have been in the shot.

Since the Star Trek universe is different from our own, the assumption should always be that things could be different. Also, please remember to link to the third party source if possible in a background note. See below for more information on how to do that.

How do I cite X resource? Edit

All "in-universe" POV articles should be cited with link to an article about its source in a primary resource (A valid series, i.e. only episodes and films verifiably from the TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, or Star Trek films series).
Articles should be cited both to a primary resource and a secondary resource if the information is derived from a secondary publication or information gathering method (such as an interview or document from another source). This applies to names, spellings, words or topics not immediately discernible from the filmed version but accessible through a resource that verifies it was devised for the production itself (not after the fact), and not contradicted by more prominent information.

Article cited to a primary resourceEdit

Blah blah, Blah-blah-blah blah blah blah blah-blah. Blah-blah, etc. (TOS: "The Cage")

Article cited to a primary and secondary resource (small background section)Edit

Blah blah, Blah-blah-blah blah blah blah blah-blah. Blah-blah, etc. (TOS: "The Cage")

This was not in dialogue or readable on screen, but the script listed the spelling and details about this topic.

Article cited to a primary and secondary resource (large background section)Edit

Blah blah, Blah-blah-blah blah blah blah blah-blah. Blah-blah, etc. (TOS: "The Cage")

Background informationEdit

This was not readable on screen, but a photographic print in the Star Trek: Blah blah-blah book shows the blah blah-blah. Blah blah, Blah-blah-blah blah blah blah blah-blah. Blah-blah, etc.

Implicit or explicit research citationEdit

It is possible to explicitly or implicitly cite a secondary source; the list of secondary sources to link to is currently expanding on Memory Alpha.


Implicit (No link)

Background informationEdit

The script listed the spelling...
Currently, MA offers no links to resources of episode scripts, but archivists who legally own scripts can attest to their content, even if there is nothing to link to. MA consensus has previously decided that reproducing entire episodic scripts on this site would be a copyright policy violation.


Explicit (Linked)

Background informationEdit

A photo of this starship model was published in the Star Trek Encyclopedia.
This is a Memory Alpha article about the secondary resource being cited, that we can explicitly link to.

Background informationEdit

An offsite interview with the senior executive producer stated that the missing dialogue was 'blah-blah blah'.
This is a non-Memory Alpha information source about the secondary resource being cited that we can explicitly link to.

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