Wiki Manual for Authors, Editors, and Commentators

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History | References

Welcome to the Scientists’ Warning Wiki
The SW WIki is full of relevant, powerful learning resources as well as actions geared to the individual, local, regional, national and global levels. The Wiki aspires to answer the question “So what can I do?”. It also tackles questions about climate science and related issues. It is in the early development stage and we are hoping to draw in contributors (Authors, Editors, and Commentators) to build up its content.  Read more on how wikis work.

There are many ways that we can act to intervene in the catastrophic trajectory that civilization is taking. We refer to these actions as ‘interventions’ since we cannot ‘solve’ many of these problems in the conventional meaning of the word (putting things back the way they were), but we can intervene to improve them. We suggest having a look at the book and associated website called “Drawdown” which offers 100 of the most substantive solutions to global warming as a source of information.

If you feel inspired to contribute content to this “Wiki” please read the manual that follows below. If it seems a little overwhelming or complicated feel free to work on your content in an environment you’re used to and pass it on via email to the site administrator.

A Manual for Authors, Editors and Commentators

Wiki Signup Process for Scientists Warning

To contribute as either an author or an editor of wiki content you will need the following:

  • An understanding of what a wiki is and how the collaborative process is supposed to work within this context. There are many references on this topic, but you can check this suggested article: What is a Wiki. Another way to build one’s understanding about Wikis is to sign up and participate in Wikipedia.
  • If you haven’t done so already, you will be asked to provide an Individual Endorsement on this website. You can do this here: Individual Endorsement Form
  • You will also need to make a request to be a volunteer by sending an email to the site administrator. As a volunteer you will be asked to fill in some fields on a shared spreadsheet (using Googlesheets) regarding your skills and availability. You will then be added to our volunteer email list.
  • You will then need to request a UserId and Pswd that gives you access to either author and/or edit the “wiki” content on this site. In the message pertaining to this request you should describe how you plan to contribute to the wiki.
  • Note that this is a WordPress site so you will need to learn how to login to this site by typing in the URL of the site with the suffix “/wp-admin” as follows This will bring up the login prompt.
  • You will need to familiarize youself with using the WordPress dashboard and to navigate to the wiki pages.
  • You will need to familiarize yourself with how the Wiki is implemented on this site by using the plugin “Yada Wiki”. You can find the documentation for this plugin here: Yada-Wiki-Documentation.

Scientists’ Warning Wiki Rules

Building a Wiki is a collaborative process and benefits greatly from the interaction of Authors, Editors and Commentators. An individual may choose or need to take on one or more of these roles; therefore it would be beneficial to familiarize yourself with all of them.

Please note that there aren’t any “designated” authors in a wiki, so if obtaining some notoriety is your goal in participating in this wiki you will be disappointed. Having said this, the goal is for every wiki page to have an associated “History” anchor link at the top of the page which opens an accordion style panel near the bottom of the page which includes a reverse chronological (i.e. latest change listed at the top) listing of contributions from authors, editors and commentators. It will be up to authors and editors to keep this list up to date being sure to note contributions from commentators. So for all wiki pages this accordion style panel near the bottom of the page shall be included.

Note that an entry into the history panel should adhere to the following format:
hh:mm  mmm. dd, yyyy – contributor name – (description of changes…)

In addition to the on-page “History” accordion panel, there may be a need for a “Talk” page and associated to/from link, especially when larger changes to a page need to be outlined and shared with the other contributor(s). The Talk page would would not likely be visible via the front end to the general public but only to subscribed wiki team members. In these cases it is better for an editor to communicate their desire to make these changes in the “Talk” page allowing authors/editors to comment before the change is implemented. In practice there has been no need to actually create a talk page as the number of contributors is relatively small and communication regarding these types of changes have been accomplished through email exchanges.


Authors may create new wiki pages and compose content for these pages. Your work will be subject to inputs and suggestions from other editors, and commentators. Note that when editing another author’s page you become an editor i.e. or a co-author. If things work as they should most pages will have multiple contributors. After completing a page update, authors need to also update the history panel near the bottom of the page with what they’ve done.  Authors should give credit for the input and contributions of commentators in the associated “history” panel.


As an editor you have the capability to make editorial changes to the content created by other authors. To gain this capability you will need to be considered a “Trusted” contributor by the administrators.

With the exception of minor editorial changes such as spelling or grammar, the author should be notified of the nature of the changes before the changes to the content are implemented. In the case where the editor sees a need to delete sentences, it is recommended that they be deleted in a non-destructive manner by commenting (i.e. using the html comment tag so that it is no longer displayed but can be easily recovered if need be) rather than actually deleting the content from the page. This must be done in the “Text” pane (i.e. not the “Visual” pane) of the WordPress classic editor. Refer to this link to understand the syntax of the html comment tag: html comment tag.

An alternate method for an editor to make changes at the content level to a page is to communicate his intent to the other contributors via an associated “Talk” page. If one has not yet been created, the editor should create it with the same title as the main page with the suffix ” – talk” added. A link to and from the page should be added to the main page and talk page respectively. This link should be placed adjacent to the associated “History” links.
Note: To date because of the relatively small number of contributors to this wiki, email, cc’ing all wiki team members, is currently the preferred approach for communications of this type.


As a commentator you may provide valuable feedback, input and suggestions to the author’s content through the comment box found at the bottom of a wiki page. These comments will be subject to being “moderated” by the author. The term “Moderated” in this case means that the author will be notified when a comment is submitted and will have the ability to approve the comment so that it will become visible on the website in the comment area at the bottom of the page. Your comments may eventually be implemented in the actual content area of the page and the author may choose to delete the comment at the bottom of the page but include a credit for your contributions in the associated history panel found near the bottom of the page.

Note that comments that do not provide a useful critique or information about the content of the page will be trashed. Comments of appreciation although occasionally nice to receive will eventually have to be trashed.

Scientific Warning Wiki How To(s)

Note that the ScientistsWarning’s Wiki is implemented on a WordPress site and currently uses a plugin called Yada Wiki. You can find the documentation for this plugin here: Yada Wiki Documentation.

A WordPress site consists of a “Front End” and a “Back End”. There is a reference on these terms here: WordPress University. In summary the term “Front End” refers to everything that your visitors see when they go to your website. The term “Back End” refers to the administration screens for which one needs an ID and Pswd to access.

How to comment on a page

Comments can be submitted by anyone through the “Front End” of the website. Commentators do not require an ID and Pswd. One simply needs to submit comments via the comment field located at the bottom of a wiki page. The author of the page will need to “moderate” (i.e. approve) the comment before it becomes visible on the website.

How to Author a Page

As explained earlier on this page one must first obtain an ID and Pswd for the site. See the above section for this information. After you login to the site at you will see “Wiki Pages” on the back end tool bar. Click on that and you will see a listing of the wiki pages on the site. To create a new page click “Add New” and the page editor will open and you will be prompted to enter a title for the page. If you’re not familiar with the WordPress Page editor there is a tutorial here: Using the WordPress Editor. Note that as of release 5.0.3 of the WordPress CMS software one has the choice of either using the “Block editor” or the “Classic editor”.

You should occasionally save your changes by clicking on the “Save draft” button near the upper right hand corner or the “Update” button, assuming it has already been “published”. Note that in order for your page to be “published”, which means it becomes visible on the website, it will require approval by a site administrator or an editor.

For the time being, it is recommended that after completing a series of changes or creating a new page that one copy and paste the content from the “text” pane (i.e. the source html content) to a text file on your computer as a way of safeguarding your work.

Note that a new page will not become visible on the site until it is approved for publishing and its link has been added to the TOC (Table of Contents) page of the wiki.

How to edit a page

To edit a page that you are not the author of you will require editor capabilities. As an editor you should be somewhat familiar with html and know how to use the html comment tag. To edit a page just login to the site, navigate to “Wiki Pages” on the tool bar, and after clicking you will be able to open any of the pages for editing. Be sure you are familiar with how to use both the “Visual” and “Text” panes of the editor and make sure to never delete content on the page but rather comment it out using html comment tags entered in the “Text” pane of the editor.

How to include a TOC on the page

Note that the TOC allows for the easy navigation within the Wiki itself. Every wiki page is required to include a TOC pane. The pane is added by making use of a plugin called “Columns”. You will see a botton with “[]” in it. This button allows one to add a short code to designate content and TOC on the page. The page should be split into fourths with the first fourth containing the TOC and the remaining three fourths containing the page content. If an author is not comfortable implementing this on their page, they may defer this to the site administrator or editor to add. Another way of getting this done is to simply copy the code from an existing page. Note that all the various shortcodes for a wiki page are defined in the next section.

Wiki Custom Shortcodes and What They Do

Note that the Wiki administrator has set up a number of custom shortcodes to simplify the process of adding various features to a wiki page. Most of these shortcodes are “Required” for each Wiki page and are described in the table below:
[yadawikitoc show_toc="true"]
Required: Set of shortcodes used at the top of each wiki page used to create the TOC listing to the left of the page's main content.
...Page's main content goes here...
Required: The shortcode used to define the main content of the wiki page. The first item is placed just below the TOC entry as described in the previous row above.
[sc name="Wiki_menu_button"]Required: A custom shortcode used to insert the "TOC" menu button in the (Required) Placed at the top of the main content area of the wiki page just. This is used to make wiki pages "responsive" for smaller or mobile resolution screens. This button will not be visible unless the screen resolution falls below xxx pixels.
[sc name="Wiki_h1"]
"title text"
Required: A custom shortcode used to create the title header of the page. One would typically include an image prior to the title text. Note that one must also remember to place a closing html tag for the "h1" heading.
[sc name="Wiki_history_references_links"]Required: A custom shortcode used to create the anchor links to the "References" and "History" accordion style history panels. This must placed just below the "h1" heading for the page.


Please contribute to the SW WIki!

  • 1:00 pm Jan. 27, 2019 – Charles Gregoire – (Updated the page to reflect the latest strategy of using accordion style panels near the bottom of the page to record a pages update history. Also include how to add references as well as a description of all the various custom shortcodes setup to simplify the process of adding various features to a page).
  • 3:00 pm Jan. 8, 2019 – Charles Gregoire – (Added a note regarding comments that will be trashed).
  • 4:45 pm Dec. 22, 2018 – Shani Cairns – (Added graphics to the page and did some restructuring of headers and content to enhance usability/scan-ability).
  • 5:00 pm Oct. 29, 2018 – Charles Gregoire – (Made further refinements to the introduction to better describe the goal of the wiki. I qualified that a “Talk” page should be visible only to the wiki team website subscribers rather than to the general public).
  • 1:42 pm Oct. 8, 2018 – Charles Gregoire – (Initial “start here/manual” page developed after several days of editing).

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