Powerbase:Quick Guide to Getting Started

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Help Guide

How do I do that?

Getting in touch

Information and resources for contributors


First you need to register as a User by emailing melissa.jones AT powerbase.info. Tell us a bit about who you are, what your background is, and what you want to write about. You don't need any special credentials but Powerbase editors need to establish that you are approaching the project in a spirit of goodwill. If Powerbase editors approve you as a User, you will be sent a username and password by email.

Write your article

Write your article for Powerbase in Word or similar. Please ensure that your article meets our requirements for avoiding libel before submitting it to Powerbase.

Reference your article properly

While researching and writing your article, take care to reference it according to Powerbase style – see our guide to referencing. You will need to code the references within your body text as laid out in the Guide.

If you code your references correctly, they will automatically number themselves in order and appear at the foot of the article.

To see an example of an article with references coded in the format agreed by Powerbase editors, go to


Many of the older articles are not referenced in this way but editors are working to standardize references according to the new system.

Submit your article

Now put your article on the Powerbase site. You may find the best browser is Firefox as Safari sometimes times out.

Go to


and log in using the user name and password that you have been sent via email.

In the left hand side menu Navigation, click on Article Submission. Scroll down until you find the article submission box for the portal to which you want to contribute an article. Each portal has two boxes: Box 1 for a person and Box 2 for an organisation.

The list of portals is on the main page http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Main_Page under the header "Powerbase portals". If your article doesn't fit into any of the portals, then you can use Box 1a (generic) or 1b (generic).

Type into either Box 1 (person) or Box 2 (organisation) the name of your target subject. Use a person's actual name rather than any grand title they may have, so: Jane Smith, not Baroness Smith of Biggsville. Do not use "The" unless the page title will not make sense without it. So you would put "Heritage Foundation", not "The Heritage Foundation", but you would put "The Times" as just "Times" would not make sense.

Click on Create Article. A page opens called “Editing [your target]”.

A series of headers is already provided in the template but you don’t have to stick to these. You can substitute your own headers within the header formatting codings: == for first level subheads and === for second level subheads.

Please keep the Notes/references header coding at the foot of the template, as this is where your references will automatically go. This piece of coding looks like this:


Copy and paste your article into the template, with each section under the appropriate header. Put nothing in the Notes/references section as these will appear automatically once you have formatted your references in the body text.

You can Save Article (click on button at bottom of page) at any point to save, and you might want to do this frequently in case your session times out and you lose data. Your article will appear as it will look to the reader. This is a good way of checking that you are coding things correctly as you go. Then return to the Edit page by clicking Edit at the top menu. Do some more on your article, then Save Page again.

Quick Tips for Editing Powerbase

See: Powerbase:Quick Guide to Editing (cheatsheet)

Make sure your article has a category

Assigning your target person/organization to a category enables a person searching the Powerbase site by category to find your article.

If you are submitting your article through the Articles Submission system, a list of categories will be provided at the foot of the page. Delete those that don't apply and keep those that do.

If your new article has no categories provided already, or if you are updating an old page which does not have categories, you will need to add an appropriate category or categories. Go to the Categories page of Powerbase. Choose as many categories as your person/organization fits into. Type each category into the Categories section of your article template or use the following format: [[Category:category name]]

For example, for a lobby group pushing GM crops and foods in developing countries, you might want to assign them to the following categories:

GM Lobby Groups


Third World Lobbyists (GM).

You would code this as follows, taking care not to put spaces between the word "Category" and the category name, and enclosing the entire phrase in a pair of square brackets [[ ]]:

[[Category:GM Lobby Groups]]

[[Category:Third World Lobbyists (GM)]]

Make links out of the names of people and organizations

The first time you mention a person or organisation in your article (other than the one your article is about), put their name in double square brackets [[ ]]. This will create a link to the page on that person or organisation, if such a page exists, enabling the reader to click on the name and be taken to the relevant page. For subsequent mentions, don't bother, as if there are too many links, we risk making the page look messy.

What you put in:

In June 2008, [[Monsanto]]’s chief technology officer [[Rob Fraley]] said ….

What you see:

In June 2008, Monsanto’s chief technology officer Rob Fraley said ….

Don’t worry if no page yet exists on that person or organisation: in that case, the name will appear in red automatically to alert the reader to that fact.

Save your page

Every time you make substantial changes your article in Edit mode, click on Save Page. Do this often to avoid losing data.

That’s it!

Other useful information

Other Powerbase pages that you may find useful and that Powerbase editors may draw your attention to as needed are:

Editorial policy | Guide to sourcing | Guide to tone | Copyrights | How to start a page | How to structure an article | Etiquette | Uploading images.

If you have any questions, email melissa.jones AT powerbase.info