Branding Best Practices (Observatory, IMI, and Other Organizations)

From Observatory


the Observatory
This is the preferred way to refer to the Observatory platform and website (in running text, lowercase the).
Use the link over the word “Observatory” on first reference: the Observatory. This can be achieved using wiki links: the [[Main Page|Observatory]], or the external links syntax: the [https://observatory.wiki Observatory].
the Observatory.wiki
Don’t use these if it can be avoided. It is rarely acceptable when talking about the website in running text: Observatory.wiki (lowercase the; capitalize the O, lowercase the w). Check that if this is formatted as a clickable link, that the protocol is https: the [https://observatory.wiki Observatory.wiki] and not http: not the [http://observatory.wiki Observatory.wiki], as the latter sometimes happens if you just hit command + K or otherwise automatically convert a link in a word processor.
the Observatory wiki
Try not to use.
The open-source wiki software that powers the Observatory. Capitalize the M and the W (not Mediawiki); and no space between Media and Wiki, not Media Wiki.
The global encyclopedia project powered by MediaWiki. Capital W, lowercase p.
A global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. Capital W, lowercase m. It is also used in names Wikimedia Foundation Inc.—a nonprofit organization behind Wikipedia and its sister projects, the creator of MediaWiki, and Wikimedia Commons—a media repository of free-to-use images, sounds, videos and other media.
a wiki
A site that enables users to store, create and modify content in an organized collaborative manner. The Observatory wiki runs on the MediaWiki platform.
Also known as wiki markup: the code language that is used for wikis.

Naming a Guide

A Guide contains a series of articles on a topic. The naming convention for the titles of Guides is Guide to X. For example:

Area Terms

Peoples Movements is the area title (not people’s movements: note the lack of apostrophe in Observatory house style).

How to Add Your Observatory Link in a Bio Elsewhere

  • On bios for IMI syndicated content and elsewhere, the best way to mention your Observatory page is to say “[Last Name or Pronoun] [bio beginnings] and is a contributor to the Observatory” with a link to your author page landing site over “Observatory”: “Firstname Lastname is the author of Book Title and a professor at X University. They are also a contributor to the Observatory.”
  • Links on the Observatory are case-sensitive, so test your author landing page link in an incognito window (in case you have a cached version) before using this bio officially.

IMI House Style

For writers who have submitted work to the Independent Media Institute, the style guide for the Observatory will be very familiar—generally, use the IMI house style guide. Here are some exceptions:

  • The Observatory is a little closer to the Chicago Manual of Style and Wikipedia style instead of the Associated Press Stylebook in a few ways, such as:
    • Serial commas are generally used consistently throughout articles, since space is not at a premium. The change was made to the IMI Style Guide only on September 13, 2022, so old articles may not adhere to this and should be updated.
  • Use internal links to other Observatory articles.
  • Tag special formatting like tables, lists, images, etc.
  • It may be helpful to use wikitext rather than visual editing or html formatting. Confer with your Observatory editor/liaison as to their preferences.
  • It may be helpful for you to inform your Observatory editor/liaison, via email or via the frontmatter of or a comment on the first filing of a Google Document or Word Document, the Google Document links to other versions of this article (i.e., the syndicated time-sensitive original document if this was syndicated first, the long versus short Observatory versions [quick read and long read]; and if there are multiple articles compiled or cited into this one, add a note about those links too at the top).
  • Avoid using “How” or “Why” in headlines/titles a little more than with syndicated articles (unless the article necessitates it); they can be more print-style article titles.
  • Endnotes/bibliographical notes are acceptable inside Observatory articles, unlike in IMI-syndicated articles.

This reference guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Reprinting with attribution to the authors for ​​noncommercial use is allowed under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license guidelines, excluding third-party content.

For inquiries regarding content reuse, reprint rights, and licensing, visit the Observatory’s Reuse and Reprint Rights Guidance page.

Last Updated: October 27, 2023

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