User and Contributor Manual
Mindat allows registered users to publish articles that will be permanently stored and shared. The article should ideally contain both text and photos and be between 500 and 5,000 words – however, these parameters are guidelines. An article will normally contain an introduction explaining the context of the content, body text that can be split into paragraphs or chapters, and a conclusion/summary at the end.
When deciding if information should be submitted as an article, consider the following:
Is this information that is not suitable for the database format?
Is this more information than seems fit for a post in the messageboard?
Articles published on mindat.org can and have been used in citations in scientific journals. Keep this in mind when submitting an article – these should contain information that fits the standards of published articles.
Articles can have a variety of topics – field trip reports, mining history, locality descriptions, advice for collectors, book reviews, etc. Articles can be a formal scientific article or a narrative of your collecting adventures or artistic creations. You can work on articles in private until you are ready to publish them. The best articles will be promoted throughout the site.
Previously submitted articles can be browsed and searched for examples through the Advanced Search tool in the header of any mindat.org page, then Search Articles. Recently submitted articles also appear on the mindat.org home page.
Information for help with writing an article can be accessed in the Messageboard forum under the Mindat Articles section.
Create a New Article
To write an article, you must be logged in. From your user Home Page (accessed via the My Home Page tab in the top of an mindat.org page), select My Articles from the page buttons, then Create New Article.
Articles are created using Mindat Markup Language, which uses codes similar to HTML to control content and layout. This allows you to add in any photos and links to other mindat.org content into your articles with ease.
Before writing your first article you should read our section on using Mindat Markup Language.
Article Editor Form
The article editor form allows you to create and modify articles.
Title: This field is mandatory, and the article cannot be saved without a title. Choose a title that best explains what your article is about.
Page URL: This allows you to create a custom mindat.org URL for your article. Only lowercase characters a-z, numbers 0-9, and the _ character (used in place of a space) are allowed.
Language: Used to designate the language the article is written in. This can also be used for articles that are translations of articles in other languages.
Original: Used to designate the original article if the article you are submitting is a translation.
Locality: Used to create a link to the article from a locality page - this will appear as a link in the description of the selected locality page (if approved). Enter the locality name and select find, then select the correct locality from the drop-down menu. Only one locality can be used.
Mineral: Used to create a link to the article from a mineral page – this will appear a sa link in the description of the selected mineral page (if approved). Enter the mineral name and select find, then select the correct mineral from the drop-down menu. Only one mineral can be used.
Content: Text of the article can be written in the content window. This field is mandatory, as it is the content of the article – an article cannot be saved without text content. A number of different editing and formatting codes can be used – select Click here to learn more (new window) above the content field for detailed instructions on how to use these codes. Shortcuts for some of these codes are contained in the icons above the text edit field.
Save: Selecting save will save the article and add it to the list of “Articles Under Construction” in your user Home Page.
Save and Preview Article: Selecting save and preview article will save the article and add it to the list of Articles Under Construction in your user Home Page, as well as opening a preview of the article. To continue work with the article, select Edit this article.
Articles Under Construction
To view articles you have saved, navigate to the My Articles panel of your Home Page. Articles that have not been published will be listed under Articles Under Construction. From here, you can choose to edit and article, publish an article, delete an article, or add editors.
Edit an Article
To continue work on an article you have started and saved, select edit next to the article on your user Home Page, from the article itself, or from the article preview window. Only the author and those that have been given editor rights can edit an article. An article can be edited at any time, including after publishing.
Review an Article
Articles can be reviewed by others in two ways:
1. By sharing the link listed under an unpublished article preview. The reviewer can read the article, but not edit. Note: this is not a permanent link, and will change when the article is published.
2. By adding an editor to the article by selecting add editor from the list of articles on your Home Page. The names of editors (only registered mindat.org members can be added) can then be listed, allowing them to access and make changes to the article from their own Home Page under the Articles With Editor Rights list. Only the first author will be listed by mindat.org.
Please note that if two persons are editing an article simultaneously, the second to post will overwrite the changes made by the first person.
Publish an Article
The first author of an article can publish it by selection Publish next to the article in the Articles Under Construction list. The article will then appear in the Latest Member's Articles on the front page, within the article search function, and under the heading Mindat Articles for articles linked to a locality or a mineral.
Search for an Article
A published article can be accessed in several ways:
1. From the Latest Members' Articles on the mindat.org home page. Only the five most recently published articles are listed here.
2. From the list More Articles below the Latest Members' Articles. Articles are listed chronologically in the order they were published – newest to oldest.
3. Articles linked to a locality and/or mineral page can be opened from the listing under Mindat Articles in the description of the locality or mineral page.
4. Searching articles through selecting the Advanced Search option in the header, then Search Articles. You can search by one or a combination of the following criteria: Username, Title, and Content.