Please help improve this post. This is intended to be a welcome guide for new users that we can reference in comments to help acclimate then to the Q&A format here at EarthScience.SE. This is a community wiki, which means you can edit this directly to improve it. I have adapted this from Tex.SX and I have cleansed it of any verbiage specific to them (I think) to provide a starting point for us.

Welcome to EarthScience.SE, the free, community driven Questions and Answers site for experts, academics, enthusiasts, and anyone with a curiosity or interest in the earth sciences.

Here is some information to help you get started and to make your work with this site a pleasant experience for you and all other users.

  • This site is for questions and answers and is not a forum. This means that there is a quite strict format enforced here. Please post an answerable question using the Ask Question button (after searching for existing similar questions first of course) or post an solution for an existing question as an answer post. Please do not start discussions or ask off-topic questions. You can also post comments to questions and answers to provide feedback. At first you can only comment on your own questions and their answers, but after you have gained a reputation of 50 you can comment everywhere. There is also chat for more casual posts.

  • Questions and answers can receive positive and negative votes to indicate their quality. Answers are sorted after the number of votes so that the better ones appear first. The votes that answers and questions receive also increase or decrease the reputation of the author of the post. With increasing reputation users will receive more and more privileges to do more things on the site.

  • The most useful answer that solved your problem should be accepted by clicking the tick/checkmark symbol to the left of the answer. This shows other people that this is "the correct answer" in your opinion and assigns points to the answerer and also to you. The question will then be handled as "done" which is important for the housekeeping of the site. However, new answers can still be added and the question asker can accept a different answer at any time.

  • [TODO] We like sourced questions and answers. References!

  • Post should be formatted correctly using the simple Markdown format. This ensures that the posts are easy to read. Here the most important formatting styles used on this site:

    • Please do not use "here" and "this" links to other questions and answers but insert the link directly. The site will format it automatically.
    • Material directly copied from references, books, website, etc. should be formatted using quotation blocks (i.e. place a > before the lines) and provide attribution.
    • Images should only be uploaded using the "Image" icon (shortcut: CTRL+G) which uses a special, timeless http://imgur.com/ account. Including images using a different way, like uploading it manually to imgur.com or using a different provider, might lead to broken images after a while and is not recommended. Please ensure that the image is in a suitable size (not too big or too small) and resolution and only shows relevant things without large margins. Please reference your images.
    • Mathematical notation can be used in your post courtesy of MathJax using $\LaTeX$ notation. To typeset equations inline, use $ to delimit your LaTeX, e.g. $F=ma$ will render as $F=ma$. To typeset an equation on its own line, use $$ to delimit your LaTeX, e.g. $$\Delta S = \int \dfrac{dQ}{T}$$ will render as $$\Delta S = \int \dfrac{dQ}{T},$$ giving more prominence to your equation.
  • Please avoid opening and closing lines like "Hi" (already automatically removed) and "Thanks". Salutations, greetings and expressions of gratitude are already implied and only distract from the real question. Also the first two lines of the post will be displayed below the question title in the overview page and such lines will reduce the amount of useful information being displayed there. The author name is already displayed on the right site below the post, so there is no need for an extra signature line.

  • Please post rough ideas, suggestions and similar material as comments and reserve answers for actual solutions. You can edit your posts anytime to e.g. add more details to your question or to adjust your answer. Do not use long comment threads for longer or even medium sized discussions. Use chat instead. You can even open your own chat room if you want. Please note that everything here is open and all your chat messages will be archived and accessible to others (as long the room is not restricted by a moderator).

  • You can notify other users by adding comments to their posts or by adding their names after an @, i.e. @username in your comment. Note this only works for the first user mentioned this way and only if that user wrote a previous comment for the same post. The post author is always notified. Notifications also work in chat if the user posted a message there not too long ago.

  • There are three appointed moderators for this site. They can be notified about issues by flagging posts using the flag link below each post. Democratically elected moderator elections will be held when this site graduates from beta.

  • While you can post questions and answers as an unregistered user, please consider registering your account. Otherwise you might create a new, different unregistered account with the same name and icon. Then you will not be able to edit your old posts or add comments to them. You can ask a moderator to merge such accounts together.

  • Questions about the site itself should be asked on Meta.EarthScience.SE, not on the main site. Here the restrictions are lower and you are free to start discussions as long they are about how to run the site, etc.

This post was adapted from the excellent Tex.SX post at https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1436/welcome-to-tex-sx.

  • $\begingroup$ Voting to close as this post seems unlikely to be more useable than the tour and help pages. $\endgroup$ – BHF Jun 8 '14 at 22:19
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    $\begingroup$ @BHF The tour is useful, but very brief, and lacks information about markdown and stuff. The help center has all this information, but split over dozens of pages. This, I think, is a good compromise between the two; it's certainly worked quite well for the people over at TeX - LaTeX. $\endgroup$ – senshin Jun 9 '14 at 0:26
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    $\begingroup$ @BHF: Not sure that "off-topic" is a valid reason to close the question given the content of the question is meta-related content. I am voting to close based on the question (really it's more of an answer) being "too broad" since it to me "there are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs." That said, I do feel welcoming new users is important, a valid question, and one that should be addressed as a question, not as an answer. $\endgroup$ – blunders Jun 9 '14 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Casey: It want to make it clear that I don't know the answer, your efforts are actionable, and very possible that in the end, this is the best way to welcome users, just feels to me like there might be a better solution. $\endgroup$ – blunders Jun 9 '14 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders: My intended vote was "duplicate" - but that did not work with the links provided. $\endgroup$ – BHF Jun 9 '14 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @BHF: Ah, I see, that makes a bit more sense, and is inline with the feedback you posted in chat too. For others, I'd just restate that the content that you're referencing as being a duplicate is hard, if not impossible to edit, since that content appears to at the very least require much more effort to create, edit, delete than content on EarthScience.Meta; meaning the content is in some cases global to all SE sites, or requires a mod to edit. $\endgroup$ – blunders Jun 9 '14 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ Also, just to be clear, I completely agree with your point, but the reality is that as a solution to the issue, using the current tour & help pages appears to have issues implementation wise. $\endgroup$ – blunders Jun 9 '14 at 15:42

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