Our Editorial Policy is in the process of being updated, for general guidelines, see Wikipedia's guidelines for citing sources and default to the AP Stylebook for issues of journalistic integrity.
The purpose of Crocodyl is to give people the ability to scrutinize the actions of corporations in an increasingly globalized world. The information presented is intended to be a non-partisan, fair and accurate resource for anyone to use.
Information that is entered into our database should be easily verifiable to a primary source. Generalizations, speculation and hearsay should be avoided. Each factual assertion should be accompanied by a link to an external source, where possible. One way to do this objectively and directly is to edit the text in a manner that makes it clear who's being quoted. For example, "Greenpeace claims Dow is the world's number one producer of dioxin..." with the word "claim" being a link to their report. The role of our editors is to take responsibility for an industry subject area or an issue subject area and make sure that all corporate and individual profiles in that section are verified.
During the initial phase of the project we are going to operate with only a "core" group of contributors. After a baseline system is established we will then begin to allow the "halo" of users to become contributors, thus scaling the project outwards--as illustrated by Eric Raymond's philosophy on Open Source software production. Until this time the core group will act in mutual verification, checking each others work for accuracy and building upon one another's work.
When the halo of users is invited to participate, the original core group must begin to act as editors and fact checkers in addition to their roles as contributors. At this point we will begin compiling the most thoroughly scrutinized data to be offered in regularly updated documents, which will consist only of timestamped, fact-checked and fully attributed information and labeled as such. These documents will be linked from each corporate profile and represent the most credible information on the site.
The primary method for making sure we deal only in facts is using citations. Citations should be used wherever possible, and be in the form of a link to a reputable source. Each field in the template of the corporate profile contains space to enter in "MediaWiki formatting". This user-friendly code can greatly increase the functionality of the site, while still maintaining the database compatibility that is inherent to using specific forms. For example, if you are entering in the annual revenues for General Motors it would look like this:
If you actually look a the "source code" of this entry it appears like this:
[http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2007/snapshots/563.html $207,349.0 (Mil.)]
This is a simple MediaWiki formatted link. It consists of a bracket, a link, then the data you want displayed, and finally a closing bracket. Anyone can learn to use MediaWiki formatting very quickly and it does a lot to keep the information on the site reliable to be able to add links to any field that might be questioned. When creating a profile or wiki page, publish early and publish often. Go to the bottom of the page and make sure that the "Publish to front page" is unchecked, and submit as soon as you enter the title. This will make sure no one is simultaneously publishing the same thing, such as a profile on McDonalds. After you publish the preliminary stub, you can pick up where you left off immediately, or leave it for someone else to complete. You could come back to it a week later, and when it is about 50 percent complete, publish it to the front page.
Because every fact in Crocodyl’s databaseit is attributed to a source, the user can act as a fact checker. If they find the information to be inaccurate or out-of-date, they can sign up for an account and correct any errors. In this way, our site can create a circle of accountability that acts as a horizontally democratic system of checks and balances. People can use their expertise in finding reliable and current sources of information, be attributed for their work, and mutually reinforce the information gathering and editing process.
For more general information on wiki culture, crowdsourcing and collaborative production of knowledge visit these sites: