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Getting Started With Wiki Law Database

Wiki Law Database (WikiLDB) is, simply put, a wiki (like Wikipedia) for lawyers and judges. It is a place where legal professionals can read, edit, and discuss articles on subjects relating to law and the practice of law.

Click on a line of this table of contents to jump to the information you seek:

About Wiki Law Database

We’re just getting started now, with a focus on federal bankruptcy law. Our vision is that WikiLDB will ultimately contain a broad range of state and federal statutes, cases, comments, practice pointers, forms, and more. Ultimately, however, it is you and your fellow users who will determine WikiLDB content by the information you and your fellow users add. What can you add? Because WikiLDB is pretty much a blank slate at this point the answer is "anything." (We are reminded of the apocryphal military quote: "'Sir, we are surrounded.' 'Excellent, now we can attack in any direction.'") And you will receive recognition for adding and improving content in the form of links to your user page (more about that below).

Caveat. WikiLDB is a place to start your research, not finish it. As much as we hate to admit it, lawyers are human. Every once in a while they make mistakes and, sometimes, they are motivated by more than good faith and altruism. So you should take the information you find in this site with a grain of salt. And, if you find an error, we hope you will edit the page and correct it.

How to contact us

WikiLDB is currently operating on a shoestring, so our customer service is not at the level we would wish for it. That said, we do care and we do try to be as responsive as possible. So pease email us at support@wikildb.com with any questions, concerns, or constructive criticisms. We'll get back to you as soon as we can (which may not be for several days).

Wiki Law Database 101

Topics

Each article (computer screen page) is a "topic." You can read a topic and, if you find something is wrong or is missing, you can edit the topic to correct errors or add missing information.You can also click on the "Print Version" button at the top right side of the page to prepare a printer-friendly version of the topic. Finally, if you have done a careful search and there is no topic on point then you can add a new topic. You can also create new topics to break down large articles into smaller articles.

Tip. If you hover your cursor over a footnote link it will display the footnote text.

Webs

Topics are organized into webs. WikiLDB has three webs: WikiLDB, containing all of the site's substantive content, Forms, containing - you guessed it - forms, and Help, containing information about the WikiLDB site. (There is also fourth web, Sandbox, for experimentation and practice.) The topic you are now reading is in the Help web.

Discussion pages

Topics have related discussion pages that provide space for you to have a dialog with other lawyers about the topic.

User pages

As a registered user you have your own personal topic page that you can edit to say whatever you want (within reason). Here is a link to a sample page for a fictional user we've named "Sandy Box." (The little screen icon means that clicking on the link will open a new browser page.) You can jump to your own user page by clicking on your user name in the far upper right hand corner of any topic.

If you are one of the three most recent or three most prolific editors for a particular topic then your name (and a link to your user page) will appear on that topic page. Edits you make throughout WikiLDB will show up on the topic history pages with a link to your user page that other users can click on to learn more about you. The edits will also appear on a user edits page that other users can access by clicking a link your user page.

How to use Wiki Law Database

Begin using WikiLDB by entering a search term or phrase in either the "jump" or "search" box at the top right hand corner of the screen. Both searches cover only the web from which you start your search. So, if you are looking for substantive content make sure you are in the WikiLDB web (not the Help or Forms web). One way to do this is to click on the WikiLDB logo at top left side of the screen (you may have to scroll up to find it). That will take you to the WikiLDB web welcome page.

Search for topics

The search box looks for matching topic content. If more than one topic matches your criteria then you will be given a list of topics from which to select. If no topic matches your criteria then you will be given the option to search again with new criteria.

Remember, the search will only cover topics in the web where you start your search. You are currently in the Help web. To search the WikiLDB content web click on WikiLDB logo at the top left of this page or click here.

Jump to topics

The jump box looks for a matching topic title. If more than one topic matches your criteria then you will be given a list of topics from which to select. If no topic matches your criteria you will be given the option to (1) search again with new criteria, (2) search in all webs using the same criteria, or (3) start a new topic.

Click to topics

Once you find a topic it will contain clickable links leading to other topics and web pages that may be of interest.

Another way to find related topics is to click on the Backlinks button at the bottom of a topic page. This will show you - and give you links to - topics that link to the topic with which you are working.

Edit and create topics

If you find an error or omission on a topic page you can, being careful to respect copyrights, edit the topic. If you find there is no topic on point, or if the topic you are editing gets to be unmanageably long, then you can start a new topic.

Topic pages show those who users who are the three most recent and the three most prolific editors of each topic.

Discuss topics

If you have a question or comment about a topic you can post it on the topic's discussion page. Go to the discussion page by clicking the "Discuss" button at the top of the topic page. If you are the first person to add text to the page you will be directed to an edit screen.

How to edit a topic

How to start a new topic

Are you sure there isn't already a topic on point? Then start a new topic.You can also start a new topic to break an unmanageably large topic into smaller topics.

See also

Topic revision: r46 - 28 Aug 2012, WikildBStaff5
 
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