Submitting an article

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By User Gflores on en.wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Submitting an article

Authors: Sherri Haertling Neuberger, Lyle Birkey, Jennifer Hammock
Topic Editor: Peter Saundry

Hello, everyone! We are still getting organized on our new platform and the workflow for adding articles, as you can imagine, will be different now. The author guidelines and terms of use, below, are unchanged. Instructions for applying for author status, creating an author profile, writing articles and initiating editorial review are still in development.

Applying for Author status

First: Register for an account on the site.

Second: Contact us with your name and affiliation.

Creating your profile

Experts like you are the Encyclopedia’s most valuable asset -- we prominently feature authors and editors on every article. It is essential, therefore, to create an informative user bio, with relevant professional information, and ideally also a photo.

When your author privileges have been activated, please begin by logging into the site and clicking on your username in the upper right corner. This will bring you to a blank page where you can place your profile. Open the Create tab on the right, (or the Create Source tab if you prefer to use wiki markup and/or html) and begin. Save when you're finished. The tabs on that page will now be labeled Edit and Edit source. You can come back at any time and continue working on it. Mediawiki provides basic instructions and advice for editing your articles here.

In the Edit tab (not in Edit Source) you will find this toolbar


Most of these tools will be familiar, but some may look a bit different from what you're used to. Reading from left to right:

Undo; Redo; Font style menu (paragraph, heading, subheading, etc.); more font styles (bold, italic, etc.); Hyperlink; Insert citation (type it directly into the dialog box; it'll be numbered and appear below your body text); Bullet list; Insert (image, table, image gallery or other goodies); Edit table; Insert symbol. **See below for more about loading and working with images**

Feel free to play with some of this while you're writing your bio. It's as good a time as any to dip your toe in.


To use an image in this platform (like, say, a smiling portrait for your profile page), you must first upload it. You'll find the "Upload file" link near the bottom of the menu in the lefthand margin, under Tools. You will be asked to select the file you want from your desktop using a standard interface. Please also assign a license to the image from the license menu. Only images that are in the Public Domain or licensed with a Creative Commons license should be used in the EoE. In the Summary box, please identify the person or institution who owns the image, as well as any other information that may be important.

Once your image is uploaded, you can access it from the Insert image tool. The dialog box may find your newly added image only by its complete filename, including the extension, eg: "Beryl.jpg". (Sorry!) Your image will also be available in the Edit Source interface if you prefer to use that.

After selecting your image, you will get the Media Settings box with which to format it. Under Advanced Settings you can make the text wrap around your image (as in the keyboard image above; or not, as below), float it to the left or right, or center it, and select an Image Type, which affects the display. We suggest the Thumbnail type, as this will allow your caption to be displayed, and give you control of image size. Under General Settings you can add a caption. Please always use a caption to indicate the owner and license (or public domain status) of your image. This can be appended after any other information you would like to have in the caption, if any.


Rice Fields. Photo: USAID, Public Domain

Writing an article

Now that you've created your profile and mastered images, you're almost ready to start working on any other articles you would like to write.

Always start a new article with a search. This serves two functions:

  • It shows you existing articles on or near your topic, so you can decide whether to add to or update one of those instead of starting a new one
  • If your exact search term is not a page title already, you will be invited to create a page with that title. Look for a line like this, right above your search results:
Create the page "Cats" on this wiki! See also the search results found.
If you click on your page title, you'll be taken to a blank page by that title and you can begin composing it immediately in either the Create or the Create Source interface. Under your first header, before any text, please add an author line, eg: "Authors: Sherri Haertling Neuberger, Lyle Birkey, Jennifer Hammock". Your Topic Editor will add the rest of the header information later.

Your article will begin its life in the "Template" space. It will be visible only to you and EoE admin. When your article is ready for review, please contact us and we will assign it to a Topic Editor for review, feedback, and publication.

A few key rules:

  • The level of writing should target a well-informed general audience—people who think about the world around them, including the environment, and who expand their understanding with reading.
  • The minimum article length is 250 words. We recommend articles be somewhere around 1,000 words. The maximum size is 32 kilobytes, or about 5,000 words, not including images, figures, and graphs.
  • The first sentence of an article should give a succinct definition of the article's topic. The article titled 'Energy quality' presents an excellent example: "Energy Quality refers to differences in the ability of a unit of energy to produce goods and services for people."

More detail can be found in the Guidelines page.

Detailed Publication Workflow

Instructions will be fleshed out shortly; please bear with us.

Terms of Use

By contributing to the Encyclopedia of Earth:

1) You are submitting your works(s) to the Encyclopedia of Earth (“EoE”) pursuant to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license ([[1]]) with the understanding that the EoE will thereafter publish your works (and may be modified) pursuant to that same license.

2) And, you have read and understand all the terms of the license ([[2]]).


Neuberger, S., Birkey, L., Hammock, J. (2016). Submitting an article . Retrieved from