Best practices for contributing

This page outlines some best practices to follow when contributing content to Ace Archive.

Include transcripts where possible

If the content is in a format that’s not accessible (such as a photo or a digital scan of a physical document), include a transcript where possible. When adding a transcript as a separate file, make sure it’s clear which files are transcripts and what they’re transcripts of.

Plain HTML documents using semantic elements where appropriate are a great choice for creating accessible transcripts. We provide CSS you can use for styling plain HTML which is simple, readable, and will respect the user’s light/dark theme preference.

We provide a template HTML file that links to our CSS to get you started.

Download the transcript template here.

Include translations where available

If the content is written in a language other than English, include both the original text and the English translation if both are available.

Include citations where applicable

If the artifact contains a published work, include a citation for it as a separate file using a standardized file format like BibTeX. These files can be imported into reference managers like Zotero and help people cite the work or find it on the legacy web.

The two ways to include content in an artifact are files and links.

If the content is a file like a PDF, image, or video, include it in the artifact as a file and also add a link to where it can be found on the web. This ensures that people can always trace where content came from.

When possible, make sure you link to reputable, permanent sites like libraries, journal databases, or archives like the Internet Archive.

When a primary source is a website like a blog or forum thread, the easiest way to include it in an artifact is to add a link. If the website is no longer available on the web, include a Wayback Machine link.

However, even if the website is still available on the web, you should include a Wayback link alongside a regular link. This ensures that even if the content moves, changes, or is taken down, users can still find it. If the website is also an archive or online database like the Internet Archive, you don’t need to include a Wayback link.

You can give both the regular link and the Wayback link the same name in the artifact; the artifact page on Ace Archive will show which is the archive link.

If you need to archive a page that the Wayback Machine isn’t able to crawl, such as a page behind a confirmation prompt or login page, check out "Archiving web pages" for an alternative approach.

Download videos from sites like YouTube

If you want to contribute a video that’s hosted on a video sharing platform like YouTube, in addition to linking to the source, you should download the video directly using a tool like youtube-dl and add it to the artifact as a file. Contrary to the name, youtube-dl supports many sites besides YouTube; you can find a full list of supported sites here.

Respect the privacy of individuals

When listing the people associated with an artifact, make sure to respect the privacy of individuals. This means using handles or usernames when a person typically goes by a pseudonym online. Also, you must always use a person’s preferred name over their legal name or deadname.

Use existing tags when possible

When listing the people and identities associated with an artifact, prefer using identities and names as they currently appear in other artifacts in the archive. So if “gray-asexual” already exists in the archive, don’t add “grey-asexual” or “gray-ace” unless there’s a good reason (e.g. the author of a work makes a case that they’re distinct identities).

Because Ace Archive is intended to be an archive of primary sources rather than a wiki or encyclopedia, the descriptions of artifacts should generally be kept brief. However, if context is required to understand an artifact, you can include a link to an outside website that provides the necessary context for the artifact.

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