Welcome to the SCP Foundation Wiki! We are happy to have you aboard our creative writing project, and hope you enjoy your stay.
All works posted on this wiki, unless otherwise stated, are works of fiction. This is not a Roleplay site. The Foundation does not exist.
You are reading the Guide for Newbies, your introduction to site etiquette and standards. However you may have found your way here, we welcome you as a member and a potential author of SCPs and SCP-related stories and documents.
Let's start from the beginning: getting from casual reader to site member.
- 1. Make an account with Wikidot, our glorious overlord host site. Go here to do so.
- 3. Even with a Wikidot account, you still aren't a member of the SCP Foundation site itself. To join the site itself, you have to go to this page and write your application.
Hey, that's odd. We went from step 1 to step 3. What's step 2? Wait, here it is:
- 2. To get your application approved, you have to follow all the instructions on the Join This Site page. That includes reading this guide, so you're off to a good start. You are required to read at least the "Site Behavior" tab before joining the site.
If you're interested in joining the chat or writing for the site, you'll find additional pages linked to from this guide which will help you out.
To navigate this page, scroll to the top and click on another tab. (The next one is "Site Behavior," if that helps.)
(Looking for the passcode? It's not on this page. Keep reading.)
If, after reading this guide, you still have questions, you should check out the FAQ.
If you are reading this page to find out how to get into the site, finishing this first tab is not enough. Please continue reading, or your application will be denied.
The rules page that you should have read by now contains a very clinical list of things you are allowed to do, things you are expected to do, and things you are not allowed to do. However, the SCP Foundation is a writing community, and no list of hard-and-fast rules will explain the nuances of social interaction for you. There are some behaviors that will simply grate on different people's nerves; you can't, as the quote says, please everyone. There are, however, behaviors that annoy everyone, and these will get you banned. Keep this in mind.
Wil Wheaton's Law: Also known as simply Wheaton's Law, this is possibly the single simplest and most effective way to keep yourself in the good graces of those around you. It is a summation of social morality and behavior that encompasses the Golden Rule, Hobbes's theory of the State of Nature, and Kant's categorical imperative, with a simplicity that goes far beyond all of these in its delivery and conciseness:
Don't be a dick.
So much of your life, and your time here at the Foundation, will be much easier if you remember this.
Sassing the Mods: Don't. The Meet The Staff page has a list of people who have some degree of authority on this site; every one of them is at least a trusted user, and has a great deal of experience in writing and interacting with people on the site. You are required to know who these people are!
- That said: Staff, Mods, and Admins are allowed to have and express opinions just as writers and site members. You are advised not to behave obnoxiously towards them (or anyone—see the first rule), but you as a member are allowed to debate, disagree, and discuss whatever you like, however you like (as long as you're civil), with Operational Staff, Mods, or Admins in their capacity as members. This changes when the Staff, Mod, and Admin hats come out. See:
Staff/Mod/Admin Posts: This is a member of staff acting in a position of authority. They will be clearly marked as "Staff Post", "Mod Post", or "Admin Post". Those are generally discussions to be read by members, but contributed to by Staff.
- Moderative Posts: Moderative posts will have a specific title. These titles are used to indicate specific types of posts, and should only be responded to in certain situations. This exact text will be in the post itself:
- Call for Rewrite: Anyone wanting to volunteer to rewriting a page or discuss the rewriting of a page may respond to this post.
- Deletion Vote: Anyone wanting to request a stay of deletion or ask for the opportunity to rewrite may respond to this post. Do not 'vote' if you are not staff.
- Stop Order - Do not respond to this post. If a staff member ends a discussion, it is over. Do not try to get the final word in; just stop.
- Closed - Do not respond to this post. Staff is posting a statement that does not require a reply.
- Open - You can respond to this post if you want.
Editing: The SCP Foundation is a wiki, meaning you are encouraged to write and contribute to the site. Likewise, you are permitted to improve the site by editing existing pages, to an extent. Editing is broken up into different ranks:
- Minor edits: These include minor grammar, spelling, or punctuation fixes, or adding (correct) tags to a page. The rule is: as long as the change doesn't alter a sentence's meaning, the edit is fine. If you plan to do a lot of minor edits, be sure to let a moderator know, to avoid misunderstandings about the changes.
Also important: Make sure you know what you're doing when you edit. Don't make a sentence worse by a) changing something that is supposed to be whatever it is, like an intentional misspelling, formatting quirk, or an acceptable but alternate spelling of a word (color/colour, analog/analogue, etc.), or b) fixing something that literally isn't wrong in the first place. Remember: every edit you make is visible for all to see.
- Major edits: This includes changing paragraphs, altering pictures, or other concept changes. These types of changes should be run past the original author if possible. If the original author can't be found, ask a moderator or administrator for permission or advice.
Appropriate Content: We give writers a great deal of latitude with what they want to do (see Procedure 110-Montauk, for example). We're likewise fine with "squick," body horror, etc. However, no pornographic or excessively gory content is allowed. Again, if you aren't sure, ask a moderator or admin.
In-character Behavior: Don't. Yes, you've read Duke Till Dawn or The War of the Doctors, and many of the characters in that are avatars of writers here. But we don't talk like that on the forums. Everything on the site and in the chat is out-of-character, meaning you are to write as if you understand that this is a fiction site and we are writers of fiction.
Spam: Don't. Don't bring up your new SCP every two minutes, and don't bump threads. Similarly, don't post contentless responses to forum posts that are several months old. This likewise will give off the indication that you don't know what you're doing.
Self-Upvoting: Don't. Upvoting your own article is considered bad form and people will likely downvote it for that reason alone.
Signatures: Don't. Signatures are unnecessary and not allowed on the forums.
For a complete list of the things we do and do not allow on the site, check out the Site Rules.
Tips for Members
While we've covered things you can and can't do, let's spend some time with things you should and shouldn't do.
- Leave constructive comments: This is a big one. Simply telling an author "your idea sucks" or "it's cool" doesn't do much. You can do that, but if your post history is a long line of "I like it!" or "This sucks", everyone's going to get annoyed. Here are some tips you can keep in mind when you leave a comment:
- What makes it good/bad? (They can't fix what they don't know.)
- What could they do to either enhance or fix it?
- Ask questions that can make an author think of alternate ideas or perspectives about the article. Asking questions make them think of an answer, potentially letting them realize another point that can improve the article.
- Why did/didn't you like it?
We're not asking you to write a report on each article in the comments, but these extra points help improve the nature of the community.
Check out our Criticism Policy for a more in-depth explanation of what we're looking for from criticism, as a community.
- Don't rush to contribute: This is another big one. Newbies often assume that because they joined a collaborative writing site, they must submit something to look smart or seem like a constructive person. This isn't the case. Generally, quality writing takes time. Trying to submit some thing as fast as you can to seem like you're being a good member of the community will generally lead to sending in a shitty article that is downvoted to oblivion. Ask users in-chat for critiques or feedback, and get more info about the article you're trying to write. As brusque as some chat ops may seem, we are all ultimately there to help you create something new, unique, and interesting. This brings us back to the main point, which is take your time. We're not going anywhere.
- The P-a-s-s-c-o-d-e: To join the site, type in the following phrase in the proper location on the Join Page. Please note that this phrase is case-sensitive and must be copied exactly to be accepted:
I will get feedback
- Experiment with new concepts: While it may seem like the main focus of this site is the SCP articles, there is more for you to contribute. We have sketch artists, storytellers, and graphic artists. People write stories about the Foundation universe, exploring the concepts behind various SCPs. Others help flesh out the universe through sketches and posters, even going so far as to design animations. There's just so much you can contribute, other than just an SCP article. Give your idea a shot! We'd love to see it.
- Read the articles: Before trying to critique SCPs, read through the articles and links to get an understanding of the Foundation universe. Building up a knowledge base helps to give your articles a better chance at being accepted in the site. Too much knowledge is not a thing that exists.
- Member Pages: These are reserved for when you have written three successful, well-rated SCPs or Tales. If you aren't sure if you can write one yet, ask a mod. When you do create one, remember that self-deprecating humor is better received than Mary Sue power fantasies. You are generally allowed to write whatever you like without fear of deletion, so long as you keep at least three pages on the site.
- Modesty: You don't need to be the most awesome thing in the site, and trying to be will generally result in the opposite reaction. Just be what you are and let the flow of the environment guide your decisions.
If you're looking for more feedback from site users, you should probably check out our IRC Chat. For information on how to join it and what you're allowed to do while you're there, check out the Chat Guide.
Tips on Writing
- RTFM: Or, in our case, the How to Write an SCP Page. This entire guide is just about how to write for this site. If you like, we also have the Cliche Guide; this is a list of topics and concepts that have been written about extensively (though that list is both somewhat outdated and incomplete).
- Search: There are literally hundreds of articles on this wiki. It is a sure bet that any new ideas you have have either been done before, or something close to it. Use the search function to check and see if we already have your idea here. It's not a bad thing to use an idea that has already been done; you just need to give it a unique spin. Once you join the Realtime Chat, you'll have access to dozens of seasoned veterans who can further tell you if your idea has been done or needs work.
- Announce your SCP in the Announcement thread: When you're finished, put up a post in the SCP announcement thread here under the most recent "New SCP" thread, telling the world it's ready to be viewed and critiqued. How are we supposed to know your article exists if you don't tell anyone? The flipside of that is that you should not make an entirely new thread simply to announce your SCP. It belongs in the designated announcement thread. The other flipside is that you should not post in an outdated "New SCP" thread.
- Your first may suck, and that's okay: Statistically speaking, your first SCP has a higher chance of failing due to your lack of experience at writing articles for this site. However, this is not an excuse for not even trying, it's not a curse befalling all new members and it's not just a fact of life or a universal truth. That said, don't feel bad if something you wrote is deleted (as per the Deletions Guide, pages below a certain rating are routinely deleted by staff). Take the feedback and use it to make your next one even better. Don't dwell and complain how we removed it or people downvoted it for being blind to your genius. That sort of behavior is the most idiotic sort of thing anyone in this wiki knows about. You will be awarded no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
- Don't post works in progress on the forums: This especially includes not creating sandbox pages on the main wiki. Yes, I know we have a few of these on the site, but they're inactive and no more are being made. They clog up the forums, including the New Posts page, which some of us use to navigate the site quickly. You have two alternatives to on-site sandboxes:
- Pastebin - You can type it up in pastebin, click Submit, copy the new URL, and paste the link in the chat.
- Sandbox - Your second option, if you want a dedicated sandbox or if you want to be able to look at your draft using the wikidot format, is to go make a page at http://scpsandbox2.wikidot.com/. Just create a page for yourself, and share the link in our Drafts & Critiques forum or in our #site19 IRC chatroom. Note that this last part, sharing the link, is vital if you want feedback; people will not magically find their way to your newly created sandbox. Do not edit others' sandboxes without their permission. If it's not your sandbox, there's no reason to make unsolicited changes, even if you're trying to be helpful and fix something.
Again, and we can't stress this enough, if you're looking to be successful, you should definitely check out the How to Write an SCP guide. It's a bit big, but if writing for the site is something you want to do, it's pretty much required reading.
Here is a list of the site's various staff teams and their basic responsibilities. If you require staff assistance and/or wish to contact a staff member, you can use the information here or check the Contact Staff page for details on specific queries. For detailed information on individual staff members (including admin/mod/operational/junior staff breakdown), please see Meet the Staff.
When messaging a staff member, please allow some time for a response. If you do not receive a prompt reply, contact other members of the team or go to the IRC chat and ask for staff assistance. Remember, to receive the fastest response for any query, go to chat and ask for a staff member!
Community Outreach Team
- Responds to questions in the General Advice forum (writing process) and General Forum (everything else)
- Welcomes new members in the Introductions forum
- Replies to discussion comments on other site pages
- Members: Decibelles (Team Captain), LurkD, ProcyonLotor, Randomini, rumetzen, Silberescher, SoullessSingularity, Wogglebug, Zyn
Criticism Team: Forum
- Critiques drafts in the Drafts forum
- Assists with idea development in Ideas forum
- Monitors and moderates comments on ideas and drafts
- Members: Zyn (Team Captain), dankaar, Riemann, Silberescher, Sophia Light, SoullessSingularity, Wogglebug
Criticism Team: Site
- Critiques new pages on the mainsite
- Monitors and moderate responses to mainsite works
- Members: SoullessSingularity (Team Captain), Decibelles, Dexanote, Faminepulse, Fantem, Pig_catapult, ProcyonLotor, Riemann, Roget, Silberescher, Vivax
- Moderates disruptive conversations
- Delivers warnings to members who break rules and handles further disciplinary action (bans)
- Members: DrEverettMann (Team Captain), Bouncl, Decibelles, Dexanote, Pig_catapult, Roget, Sophia Light, SoullessSingularity, Zyn
- Investigates and deals with harassment issues on the site or chat
- Works with other staff who receive complaints and recommends further courses of action
- Members: SoullessSingularity (Team Captain), Decibelles, Dexanote, Pig_catapult, Sophia Light, Zyn
- Handles all issues related to images on the site, including:
- Creation and collection of CC-compatible images for wiki use
- Investigation of current images on the site to maintain CC-compatibility
- Members: anqxyr (Team Captain), Accelerando, Faminepulse, Fantem, Roget, Vincent_Redgrave, weizhong
Internet Outreach Team
- Establishes and cultivates links with outside SCP Foundation spinoff communities and fanbases
- Invites members of spinoff communities and fanbases to join the site, and helps them acclimate
- Maintains communication with international sites
- Members: Roget (Team Captain), Blaroth, Decibelles, Doctor Cimmerian, Fantem, pxdnbluesoul, SoullessSingularity, Vincent_Redgrave, Vivax
- Answers questions on Creative Commons licensing
- Finds license violations elsewhere on the internet
- Sends messages requesting license fixes or takedowns as appropriate
- Members: Vincent_Redgrave (Team Captain), ProcyonLotor, Riemann
- Handles, or appoint volunteers to handle, rewrites of articles in danger of deletion
- Approves and/or supervises rewrite drafts
- Calls for attention/review to an article with the intent toward spurring rewrites
- Members: Decibelles (Team Captain), Doctor Cimmerian, LurkD, Riemann, Vivax, WrongJohnSilver