How to Contribute and Edit Content for the Arctos Handbook and Arctos Documentation

There are four kinds of content on the Arctos Handbook:

Arctos Handbook content can be created or edited by anyone who is a member of the ArctosDB “Users” team on Github (see “How to Github: Getting Started with GitHub for Arctos”). That team has “write” access to the ArctosDB/documentation-wiki repository in GitHub. Anyone can view the content, but you need to be added to the “Users” team by an Arctos administrator in order to make changes. Arctos users who want the ability to create or edit the Handbook or create or Edit Documentation and “How-to Guides” should email with your Arctos login name and Github login to request to be added to the Github Users group.

We encourage Curators/Collection Managers to engage students in writing “How-to Guides.” However, students will not be able to post them to the wiki site; instead, they will need to submit the content to a member of the ArctosDB “Users” team (e.g., their supervisor) who can then post the content.

Pro Tips

Documentation pages are written in Markdown, which is dead simple to learn. Here’s a cheatsheet.

Create New Content

Majority of users will be adding to the How-to pages since Documentation is usually reserved for the Arctos Programmers to define the data tables. Below will cover editing and creating content online within your browser (we’re using Chrome).

To edit offline and more advanced editing, consult How to Get the Most Out of Arctos-Github Editing

title: How To Do Anything in Arctos
layout: default_toc

The Arctos Handbook supports a few other Front Matter attributes. We also support author and date as an attribute, that, when present, show on the rendered page. An example that (as of this writing) is live on the Handbook site is:

title: Agents
layout: default_toc
author: ArctosDB
date: 2016-12-01

As an important note, if you do not include front matter on your page, the page will fail to compile, and will return a 404 Page Not Found error. The title you provide is what shows up on the index pages.

Edit Existing Content

General notes

When creating relative links, Github Markdown will recognize the following:

Link to [this here page](/how_to/page.html)

and form a URL relative to the site’s base url. Ours is ‘’


DO NOT EDIT an existing title because that will change the URL and thus affect linked pages.

Add a Table

In the page where you want to insert a table, follow the guide for Organizing Data into Tables in Github

Add Images

Add Videos

Pro Tip

Text editors

If you want to work on markdown content offline or just not in a browser, there are a number of great text editors to use. Here are some FREE favorites:

Try using Github Desktop if you want to sync your work with the documentation-wiki repository locally. For more details, consult How to Get the Most Out of Arctos-Github Editing.

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