User Group Classifications and Permissions
Non-registered users (non-logged-in users or the general public) may read anything on the AquaPedia site. This includes viewing user pages. Anyone in the world with an internet connection may read AquaPedia.
All registered users (users) may additionally create and edit their own user page (profile) and discuss pages using discussion tabs, and leave messages on user talk pages. They can contact users via email for those with that preference enabled
Confirmed Users (confirmed-users) may additionally create and edit case studies, background articles, and analysis (ASI) articles. The distinction is simply to make sure that new users are able to interact with the community before contributing new information. This helps to make sure they are aware of use policies and prevents trolling, spam and some of the other negative aspects of an open system.
Editors may additionally approve page revisions and develop new help pages.
Adminstrators may additionally approve all new edits, change forms and formats, administer accounts. Administrator revisions are automatically approved. Administrators are grouped into two varieties: "Volunteer Administrators" and "Administrator/Sysops." These two groups have the exact same rights on AquaPedia, but this distinction expresses the level of access to the "bones" of the website. Administrator/Sysops are the only users who also possess (unrelated) accounts to the back end of the site and can address issues regarding software configurations or server problems.
There are some additional categories available to some users:
Reviewers have the ability to approve revisions, like an editor. We are not currently using this classification
Bureaucrats are users with the ability to administrate accounts, but do not have the reviewing and document administration permissions that editors have. We are not currently using this classification.
Sudo is the special right of administrator/sysops to log into another users account for account maintenance, troubleshooting, or editing "low-tech" contributions made by email through the interface. All of these sessions are logged.
Bot This classification is reserved for automated programs that require accounts. These programs can do things like spell check cases, create lists of cases for administrators to further review, and fix broken links.
Upgrading from "User" to "Confirmed-User"
To help prevent spam, page vandalism, and keep contribution quality high, we require most new users to complete a few steps prior to upgrading their account (allowing editing).
New users should complete these steps to get upgraded to "confirmed-users"
1) Verify your email account. The system will send you a link to click through. If you missed this email, then visit your Preferences page to fix your address or resend the verification email.
2) Contact an administrator and let us know that you would like to be able to edit/contribute. Send a Message to an Administrator to request Account Upgrade
3) Your account will be upgraded. This may take up to 3 days, especially if you apply during a weekend or on a U.S. holiday. If after several days, you don't receive a message confirming your account upgrade, you should send us another message.
Becoming an Editor or Volunteer Administrator
Right now, we don't have a formal path to editor or administrator status. We'll figure something out, but it will only be available to users who have demonstrated a significant desire to improve and review articles and cases.