How to contribute

From BR Bullpen

Contributing to the SABR/Baseball Reference Encyclopedia

Thank you for deciding to contribute your baseball knowledge. With a little collective effort this can become the best place to find information about baseball.

Register a user name

You don't need to register as a member to edit pages, but it has its advantages. Registering as a member gives you the ability to customize your view of the Encyclopedia. It also allows you to upload images to the database, to have your own user page where you can tell others what you think and what you are doing, and to sign your identity to your comments in discussion pages.

Editing Pages

Edit an existing page

Existing pages are the easiest to edit. If there is a page that you would like to contribute to, you can either find that page through the search engine to the left, or go to the corresponding page on and look for the Encyclopedia link. Clicking this link will take you to their encyclopedia page. On this page look for the "edit" link near the very top. Clicking this link brings up a box for you to enter your text. Wikis have their own formatting language (Wikipedia's explanation of formatting), so that might take a little time to get used to. If you allow java in your browser the icons above the edit box (the toolbar) will make the process a little easier. And don't worry about mistakes they are expected and are easily fixed.

From left to right, the buttons of the toolbar on the edit pages are...

====Bold text button:==== Select a word or phrase that you want to appear in bold and click the button. It will add ''' before and after your selection. For example: '''BOLD''' gives BOLD.

====Italic text button:==== Select a word or phrase that you want to appear in italic and click the button. It will add '' before and after your selection. For example: ''ITALIC'' gives ITALIC.

====Internal link button:==== Links within the wiki are added with double brackets around the linked page. Select the word or phrase that you wish to link and press the button. Examples include [[1985 Royals]] or [[Tampa Bay Devil Rays]] or [[Endy Chavez]] would create 1985 Royals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Endy Chavez.

====External link button:==== Links outside the wiki are added with single brackets around the linked page. Select the word or phrase that you wish to link and press the button. For example [ BR Home Page] would give BR Home Page.

====2nd Level headline button:==== Select a word or phrase that you want to appear as a headline and click the button. For example == Contributing to the BR Bullpen == appears as the title of this page. Be careful though, the use of the equal signs determines a table of contents when more than three are used on a page. The largest headline is made up of single equal signs before and after your selection.

= Largest Headline =

== 2nd Largest Headline ==

=== 3rd Largest Headline ===

==== 4th Largest Headline ====

These create sub-sections and a table of contents on a given page. See 1933 WS. For more detailed instructions see wikipedia's instructions on managing sections in an article.

====Embedded image button:==== Once you have registered at the Encyclopedia, you can upload images or sounds. Instructions are given on the upload page. JPG, PNG, and OGG are the kinds of files used on the Encyclopedia. Wikipedia's instructions for using images is useful in learning what to do with images once you've uploaded them. In order to add an image to a page, find the name of the image, click the button and you get this [[Image:Example.jpg]]. Replace Example.jpg with the name of your image.

====Media link button:==== Used for sound files, the rules are the same as with the image button.

====Mathematical formula button:==== Pressing this button allows you to insert formulae. For example <math>Insert formula here</math>.

====Ignore wiki formatting button:==== By clicking this button it allows you to insert examples of formatting language, as is visible frequently on this very page. Yet one more example <nowiki>Insert non-formatted text here</nowiki>.

====Signature with timestamp button==== Signing your user name with a date stamp is done with --~~~~. Clicking the button automatically inserts this string of characters. When you save the page, your username appears along with the date and time. This is for use on discussion/talk pages.

====Horizontal line button:==== Four hyphens in a row create a horizontal line. For instance ---- creates

this line. Use sparingly please.

Create a new page

What if you are the world's expert on the design of catcher's mitts? Where and how they are made, the history of their use, etc., and you want to put some of this knowledge into the Encyclopedia. To create a new page, you need to first make sure there isn't a page already by searching. Next, you may want to see if there are any Categories that your entry could go in. If not, that's fine. If so, write them down and add a category tag to the end of the entry (Wikipedia's explanation of links and categories).

  • To create the page
    • you need to go up to the url in your browser, something like,
    • erase everything after /bullpen/,
    • then type in the name of your page: Catcher's Mitts, and
    • hit enter.

You will be taken to a new page with a text box for starting your entry. Type away and save your page and the page is now part of the BR Bullpen.

Using tables

Sometimes you may want to organize informtion into a table format. Normal HTML rules apply. See wikipedia's instructions on using tables in articles.

Using templates

Templates are used to place identical text on multiple pages. Using these {{brackets}} tells the wiki that it refers to a template. An example of this can be found in the postseason series of articles. See 1996 Postseason, 1996 NLCS as examples.

Templates can also be used to place long, overly complicated formatting that would not be expected to change on an independent page, so as not to be accidentally changed or cause confusion when editing. See 1981 Expos and Template:1981Expos as examples.(Wikipedia page explaining the use of templates)

Managing Tables of Contents

Sometimes, when many headlines are used on a page, the automatically generated Table of Contents for a page doesn't look placed right. You can remove it by adding __NOTOC__. You can also place it anywhere on a page by adding either {{TOCleft}} or {{TOCright}}. This allows text to wrap around the Table of Contents. An example of this is used on this page. For more information see wikipedia's instructions on managing sections in an article.

Practice all of this in the Sandbox.

Editing Tips

Following a few simple guidelines can help to make editing work better:

  • Use the Show preview button before submitting. This will let you check to make sure that your submission looks exactly the way you expect it to.
  • Confirm your links. Some links take you to places other than what you expected. This is especially problematic with player names. There may have been more than one player with the same name, so the link may take you to a different player or to a disambiguation page. You should also look for links to non-existent pages, which are colored differently from other links. It's OK to link to a page that doesn't exist yet- it just gives others a pointer about pages that need work- but you should double check; there may be a page that covers the topic you were trying to point to but under a different name.
  • Check the talk page. It's possible that people have already talked about edits similar to the ones that you're planning on making. If you're planning on editing a page in a way that might be controversial, like adding a section that isn't directly related to baseball, you might want to discuss it on the talk page before going ahead.