Help:For First Time Contributors

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Help For First Time Users

Instructions for Initial Testing Phase

This page is to help first time users and testers navigate their way through the IEEE GHN.

What is the Global History Network?

The IEEE Global History Network (GHN) is a website dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of innovation in the history of electrical, electronic, and computer technologies and allied disciplines. The wiki-based site is designed for the public to browse and for IEEE members from around the world to populate it with their experience, knowledge, and insights. The IEEE GHN will also invite professional historians to share their interpretations of the processes of technological change and innovation. In time, the site will serve as a central historical repository of all the achievements, ideas, and first-hand knowledge of IEEE members, societies, councils and technical communities. It also will also provide a central location for all materials related to IEEE’s organizational history.

What Can You Share?

The IEEE Global History Network has made it easy for IEEE members to contribute their knowledge and memories on just about any topic. Simply log into the site using your IEEE membership user ID and password, and you’ll be able to review and edit existing content, and add topic threads not yet available. You can upload photos, drawings, diagrams, documents (in both word and PDF format), and video and audio recordings. The idea of the site is to serve as a living electronic memory of all the important contributions made by IEEE members and others to technological progress -- all around the globe. The site will never be complete -- it will continually grow and expand to be a central site for members and others to explore the history of technological innovation.

Browser Selection for Testing Phase

For the initial two week testing phase, we recommend using Firefox, Safari, or Opera instead of Internet Explorer 7.0.  This is because the WYSIWYG editing feature in this wiki is not 100% operational within the  Windows Explorer 7 (IE7) browser. Although an experienced wiki or HTML user could edit with IE7, for others, the WYSIWYG will provide more functions. At the actual launch all site visitors will be able to use any browser, including IE7 to add or edit content on the site. Links are provided below to facilitate downloading these browsers if they are not already on your computer. You will likely need to also download a plug-in to run flash animation. You will be prompted to do so when the new browser loads.

File:Firefox.gifDownload Foxfire

File:Safari.gif Download Safari
File:Operalogo.gif Download Opera

Contribution Step One - Logging In

We appreciate you participating in the testing phase of the IEEE Global History Network. You'll first need to log in to be able to add or edit content on the GHN. Simply enter your IEEE Web Account username and password in the box on the main page. 

If the the system has trouble recognizing your login info, then please register by placing your cursor on the word "Register" at the top of the window.

In the boxes for username and password, enter your IEEE Web Account info.


Once logged in, a box will be available to you through which you can review prior content added by you, and other data. See sample box below.


Content Areas

There are several areas of the site for which you can contribute content:Topic Articles and FIrst-Hand Accounts

1. First Hand Accounts

Engineers, scientists and related professionals have long been the main actors in the drama of technological innovation. Knowing their stories is essential to understanding how and why technology has progressed as it has for the benefit of humanity. A first-hand account is written in the first person, using the pronouns “I” and “we.” A first-hand account is the recollection of an event, as seen through one person’s eyes.
First-hand accounts are very important to understanding the history of technology because they provide the experiences of those directly involved in the acts of discovery, design, invention, R&D, testing, production, and all other the elements shape the process of technological change. First-hand experiences are the accounts of the "actors" themselves. First-hand experiences need not be confined to products and services you worked on or used, they can also refer to your broader development as an engineer; your training and education, your professional affiliations In short, in First-Hand Accounts, you can write about anything that flowed from your work as an engineer and scientist or shaped your development as an engineer or scientist.

We encourage you to add your first hand accounts to the GHN. To do this, select the First Hand Histories button on any page.


On the main page you'll find a box similar to the one below.  The second box allows you to search for other First-Hand  Accounts. The first box however, is where you will place the title of your account. You must enter a title. A good title is always important.


You'll see a edit box with a toolbar above it. In the box is the sentence "Article content goes here...". Delete these words and then copy and paste your text....or just type right into the box. For more than a few sentences it is better to prepare the text in word processor and then copy & paste it in. In the example below, a new first hand history is being started called "Going to the moon."


When you want to see a preview of your article, click on "show preview." Once you are happy with you new article, or edits, click on "save page." 


Remember to always "Save page" before naviagating away from the edit box. If you don't, your work will be lost. Because this is your personal experience, you entry cannot be edited by others. Only you can come back to edit or add to it. But there is a Discussion tab. Anyone can comment on your work. The IEEE GHN supports threaded discussions on any entry. We encourage all testers to share their views on any article.

Of course, we realize that some first hand histories may be developed by a group of people. Soon, you'll be able to indicate what group of people can add to, or edit a "shared" history. For the testing phase, please email us at to set up a group access to a new article you add.


2. Topic Articles

A “topic article” is a third person description of a person, place, event, thing, or idea. The "topic article" requires a balanced exposition that makes reference to all the different credible perspectives. Authors of "topic articles" must cite the sources of the information used in their writing. All the registered users of the IEEE GHN can collaborate on any "Topic Article". Everyones contributions, from the person who first creates the Topic Article to all those who add or edit it, is recorded. The "History" reveals the history of all edits. Any given version of a Topic Article can be found, compared ot other versions, and restored if necessary. Topic articles do not belong to anyone person. They represent the collective insights of many. You may also wish to add new Topic Article, or contribute to existing Topic Articles on the GHN. Please remember, although the subject matter of Topic Articles covers all of IEEE technologies, they all must have something to do with the history of technology. If there are areas in which you have particular interest, your contributions will be appreciated.

To add a topic, click on the "Topics" button at the top:


Then, on the lower left column, in the box where it is written "Enter Article Title ..."  type in the title of your new page. Again, every contribution must have a title.


For this example, we're creating a page called "x-rays." The following is a sample screen of what you would see next.


Once again, you should cut-and-paste text from your word processor just about any file (word, text, etc.) into the box over the words "Article Content Goes Here..." The website will automatically adjust your fonts and styles to match those of the site.


Adding Headings in Articles

Dividing up the content of your article, whether it be a "First-Hand Account" or "Topic Article" into sections with headers will make it more readable to the user. It will also provide an outline view to help with navigation. For a very long article you can even create sections inside sections. The IEEE GHN will also automatically create a table of contents based on the headers that you create. To make a header, type in the section title, highlight it, and then chose one of the header levels in format box in the toolbar. Since Header 1 is reserved for the title of your article, use Header 2, Header 3, or others.  See image below.


Adding Photos

If you have images which might illustrate the content you are providing, these can be uploaded to the site as well. See below, for the procedure for uploading. Once uploaded, go back into the Edit mode. In the toolbar, you'll see atje Insert icon. Arrow is pointing to it inthe image below. 


Photos on the web work best in JPG format. Gif files can also work. If you are planning to contribute a photograph that is in a different format, please "save as" a .jpg in your photo or graphic editing software before uploading.

Place the cursor where you want the photo go and then hit the Insert icon. A dialog box will appear asking for the name of the image. This name is the one that you created during the upload. As you enter the name of the image, a list of possible matches will appear. When you see yours, click on it. It is also highly recommended that you insert the image as a thumbnail. The dialog box also a gives you the option of placing the image at left, center, or right on the page. When you are ready to insert press, OK.


Adding Other File Types (PDFs for example)

You may have upload files in addition to photos to support your articles and first hand accounts. The files may be in many formats, including PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Flash Videos). To upload a file that you might link to from within your article, click on "upload file" in the toolbox on the left column of the page. See sample below:


You'll be direct to a page that looks like the one below. Follow the commands to point to the file on your computer that you'd like to add to the GHN.


Chose a destination filename that will tell something about the image and is easy to recall.


Whether you are writing "Topic Articles" or "First-Hand Accounts," assigning categories to your contribution is very important because it will make your article more accessible to those who are searching for information within a certain category. At the bottom of the page, when in Edit mode, you will see a box labelled Select Catergories. Click on the button on the right will activate a pull down menu of high-level categories. Look down the list and select the category that best suits your article. To further refine the classification of your article, the subcategory choices appear in a second box, with a pull fown menu of choices. 


If you feel that several high level categories are relevant to your article, then click on "Select another Category."


The pull down menus in the IEEE GHN used for classifying content represent a synthesis of the IEEE Indexing system for articles and the LIbrary of Congress classification system.

Because are site is still in its embryonic stage, searching by categories will often produce empty results. But as the IEEE GHN grows, the various categories will start to fillup with and then then the categories, in addition to our word searches, will provide a powerful tool for browsing the content on the site.

Providing Feedback

We appreciate your assistance in providing feedback on the GHN.  We'd like to know what is working well for you, and what suggestions you have for improvements.  The Feedback page is divided into various sections. Please enter your comments in the appropriate section. To input, just click at the "edit" function which appears at the end of  section and then add you comments at the bottom of the existing feedback. It may be helpful if you read the the feedback of others before entering your own. Someone else may have already given the same feedback. Also give a glance at the Discussion tab for the Feedback page. As always, feel free to participate in any discussion thread, or start a dicsussion thread, on any item on the Feedback page. Simply click here to let us know!