Alien Species

Every wiki requires rules and policies with which to function properly, and Alien Species Wiki (hereon referred to as ASW) is no exception. This page is intended to provide a complete guideline that all editors should be aware of. If you plan to be an active user on this wiki, this is what you have to know before you start.

Our mission

ASW's mission is to provide the most complete database on extraterrestrial life forms, as documented in commercially-published fiction, lore and mythology; and allow for theories to arise as to the scientific nature of these species.

Summary of rules

  1. Be aware of the meaning of words such as sapience, sentience and physiology. See more in the "Relevant terminology" section below.
  2. Fan-created content is not allowed here, but content considered "non-canon" still is. See more in the "Allowed content" section below.
  3. All pages are to be named in the singular. See more in the "Naming conventions" section below.
  4. Articles about fictional species are to be written from an in-universe perspective. They should also not be written in the past tense, unless the species is extinct. See more in the "Manual of style" section below.
  5. The section for additional information is to be named "Notes", not "Trivia". See more in the "Layout guide" section below.
  6. Copying content directly from other wikis, or any other external sources is strictly forbidden, with the sole potential exception of our sister project, Non-alien Creatures Wiki. See more in the "Copypaste is forbidden" section below.
  7. All non-fictional species (i.e. those originating from religion, myth and UFOlogical records) are considered to belong to the same "actual universe". See more in the "Dealing with non-fictional species" section below.
  8. External links, especially those linking to Wikipedia, are to be used very sparingly or avoided entirely. See more in the "Using external links" section below.
  9. It's also strictly forbidden to create empty blank pages, as well as to merge, split, rename or repurpose pages or reupload existing images without direct approval from an admin. Users who do any of these risk getting blocked, although some offenses are less serious than others and will be judged accordingly.
  10. Be reminded that any information you add to the article must be verified. Do not, under any circumstance, write or edit information regarding species that you're not familiar with (i.e. originate from a game you haven't played, a book you haven't read or a film you haven't watched). Adding inaccurate information is one of the gravest offenses and will almost certainly result in a warning or block if it happens more than once.

Relevant terminology

The usage of proper terminology is highly important here. Sadly, some terms have been heavily misused in other wikis, and even in several published works of science fiction and fantasy. However, we still insist on the correct usage of such terms, even if the original works and source materials did not.

Regarding sentience and sapience

This is by far the most common mistake when it comes to science fiction terminology. There is an unfortunate tendency to refer to rational races as "sentient" and to wildlife as "non-sentient". In reality, sentience is the capacity to experience sensations, whereas the proper word for being capable of thinking rationally is sapience. Long story short: sentience means feeling; sapience means thinking. Try not to confuse the two.

Regarding physiology and biology

Another unfortunate tradition which can be observed in several wikis is to use the word "physiology" as if it was nothing but a fancy synonym for "biology". It's frustratingly common to see articles built with a section named "Physiology", which then go on and use it to describe a creature's basic anatomy and morphology, or even its behavior and ecology. The actual meaning of physiology doesn't have anything to do with a being's physical appearance. Physiology is the branch of biology that deals with the workings (chemical and physical) of a living system, its biological functions and metabolism. For this reason, sections dealing with the biological aspects of a living species should be named "Biology"; not "Physiology".

Allowed content

This website is about aliens, but that doesn't mean any alien species will be automatically accepted here. Neither does it mean that any non-alien species will be summarily ruled out.

Basically, anything originating from fanfiction, anything that hasn't been published anywhere other than the Internet and that hasn't been commercially published and distributed is off-limits. That means no user creations, no web comics, no Internet memes, no creepypasta aliens and web-original content in general (unless it has been produced and/or distributed by a professional company).

What we do accept is species from commercially-published fiction (literature, film, television, video games, etc.) as well as those which originate from real life myth, legends and UFOlogical reports, which are (or were) believed to be real by a significant number of people either today or in the past.

Regarding content in general

Besides species, we may also have pages on some sorts of alien characters and relevant science fiction concepts.

For a character to be allowed on the wiki, he or she must fulfill at least one of the following criteria:

  1. The character is a unique being and doesn't really represent any species (e.g. Doomsday or Armus).
  2. The character's species is unknown and he/she is the only one of his/her kind ever seen, so we don't know for sure whether there are others like him/her (e.g. Alienator or Sloth).
  3. The character's background is ambiguous and/or varies according to different iterations of the franchise (e.g. Skeletor).
  4. The character is biologically unusual for his/her species' parameters. This often includes cyborgs (e.g. Darth Vader), mutants (e.g. SpaceGodzilla) and hybrids (e.g. Spock).

Following the new policy voting period of March 2019, pages about locations and technology are no longer allowed on the wiki; unless of course they're living, self-aware entities (such as the many robotic races and living worlds). Similarly, we no longer allow pages about things such as languages, substances and events (although the latter can still be listed on the Multiversal Timeline page).

Affiliations and governments are allowed as long as they're multi-species. Pages about relevant sci-fi concepts spread throughout multiple fictional universes (such as inter-species reproduction and flying saucers) are still allowed, as are a few other concepts such as the Force (due to being a living energy field that binds the galaxy together, and is linked to all living things within the Star Wars universe).

Regarding "non-aliens"

In some cases, non-extraterrestrial species deemed relevant enough to fictional universes centered around aliens (e.g. Humans and Silurians) will be allowed. However, it is recommended to talk to an admin before adding any creature that's considered non-alien or ambiguously alien here.

Always remember that we do have a sister site which is specifically dedicated to non-alien creatures.

Naming conventions

Proper nomenclature helps to keep the wiki more organized. The name of the article is the first thing that readers will see, and there are a few rules and suggestions that should be ideally followed:

  1. First of all, all articles must be named in the singular, not the plural (e.g. "Irken" and not "Irkens").
  2. In cases of species which have more than one name (e.g. one name in their native language and a different one used by Humans), try to give preference to the name that is the most well-known.
  3. When a species' name is a real word, or the name of a real location, it is recommended to put the work of fiction it appears in inside parenthesis, in order to avoid confusion (e.g. Orion (Star Trek), Shadow (Babylon 5), etc.). This also holds true for cases in which two or more species share the same name.

Regarding unnamed species

When dealing with unnamed species, there exist many options for naming the article in question, including:

  1. In-universe designation (e.g. VUXG)
  2. Nickname used by characters (e.g. Vegetarian Aliens from Outer Space)
  3. Production nicknames (e.g. Shroomie)
  4. Non-canon names (e.g. Trakallan)
  5. Homeworld-derivative (e.g. Davannan)
  6. Work-derivative (e.g. Alien (High Plains Invaders))
  7. Character-derivative (e.g. M'Lee's species)
  8. Description (e.g. Balloon-like Predator)

Manual of style

The following rules are to dictate the way all articles are written and it's particularly important that everyone follows them:

  1. All articles must be written in English and in a grammatically-coherent way.
  2. All articles are to be written from an in-universe perspective. That is: they should be written as if the alien species you are writing about is real (e.g. Correct: "The Cheela are a sapient species of lifeforms which inhabit the surface of a rogue pulsar"; Incorrect: "The Cheela are an alien that is found in the Dragon's Egg and Starquake novels by Robert L. Forward"). Aliens from video games should never be written as if the person reading is looking for a battle guide.
  3. Species names are always capitalized. No exceptions. Most written text dealing with alien species tends to capitalize the names of sapient species (except for humans) and leave non-sapient species not capitalized. On ASW, however, we prefer to capitalize all species names, including Humans, in order to make things easier and create a nice feeling of equality among our fictional galactic neighbors. Also, the existence of hundreds of semi-sapient beings and creatures with unknown or unclear sapience level should be enough to justify this decision.
  4. Unlike many wikis, we do not write articles entirely in the past tense. The only exception is when writing about a species which is canonically extinct, according to the continuity of the material it originates from.
  5. To give out measurements, it's important to use international units. Most countries in the world use metric system for distances, kilograms for mass, and Celsius scale for temperature, so most readers will be left clueless if you only use feet, inches, pounds, mph, Fahrenheit, etc.

Regarding canonicity

  1. The content of the article should first and foremost respect the originating work, whether it be a comic, movie, video game, etc. The originating material is put first and foremost.
  2. Other information from superfluous works, such as adaptations (so long as they are official in some capacity) should be noted, whether or not the material is considered canon by the holders of the intellectual property. If the information contradicts that of the originating work, it needs to be noted, either in the text by drawing attention to the discrepancy, or, if there is a large amount of discrepancies and varying ideas, by segregating the section and labeling it. In cases where the difference between the original and the adaptation is deemed substantial enough, it's possible to have separate articles for each.

Regarding subspecies, castes and variations

  1. Subspecies are characterized by forming populations of their own, separated and often isolated from the rest of the species. This makes them distinct from other types of morphological variants ("morphs") and castes, the latter which are distinguished by the specific social roles they play. The most common examples of this are hive-based species, which often have specialized workers, soldiers, queens, etc.
  2. Since they have their own independent populations, subspecies are allowed to have separated pages on the wiki. On the other hand, castes and other types of morphological variations, life cycle stages and factions can not have individual pages.

Regarding theories and speculation

  1. Theories and speculation are acceptable as long as they are limited to the logic of the universe, and do not overshadow the article. It is also imperative to write them in a way as to make clear that they're merely speculative and not confirmed.

Regarding stubs

  1. Any article that is deemed too vague or brief, and when there is clearly more information that can be added, is to be marked as a "Stub", i.e. an article in urgent need of expansion. This doesn't apply to articles which already cover all the available info on that species, even if said info is vague and brief. To add a stub to a page, type {{stub}}.

Layout guide

The following is a list of features and sections that an article should usually have, as well as rules and guidelines on how to use them.

Spoiler tag (optional)

  1. Should be added to articles dealing with major plot twists. To add a spoiler tag to a page, type {{Spoiler}}.

Opening quote (optional)

  1. Can be any sort of statement, from deadly serious to lighthearted, as long as it relates to something pertinent about the subject, and originates from a relevant source.

Infobox (recommended)

  1. Should not be used if there isn't enough information to properly fill at least three items (other than "Name", "Image" and "Universe").
  2. The infobox must display the subject's name; an image (if none is available, use this); the subjects's world and sapience level (write "Unknown" if it's not available) and the universe (real or fictional) that it originates from. The other items may or may not be displayed.

First paragraph(s) (required)

  1. This is where you introduce the species and may explain briefly about its origins and most notable characteristics.
  2. It's imperative that this must be written from an in-universe perspective, i.e., as if the species and its setting were real (even if they're fictional).

"Biology" section (recommended)

  1. A section about the species' biological traits. See the terminology section above as to why this should always be titled "Biology" and not "Physiology".
  2. May include sub-sections on physiology, reproduction, life cycle, ecology, etc.; if deemed appropriate.
  3. Castes and variants may also be described in sub-sections.
  4. It's imperative that this must be written from an in-universe perspective, i.e., as if the species and its setting were real (even if they're fictional).
  5. If the article is about a character, rather than a species, it's acceptable to name this section "Appearance" instead of "Biology". However, if it's used to describe the character's abilities or other biological traits as well, it must be named "Biology".

"Culture and society" section (recommended)

  1. A section about the species' social organization, behavior, values, way of life, etc.
  2. May include sub-sections on language, technology, religion, etc.; if deemed appropriate.
  3. It's imperative that this must be written from an in-universe perspective, i.e., as if the species and its setting were real (even if they're fictional).
  4. If a species is non-sapient, but plays a significant role in another species' society, this section may be replaced with "Cultural significance".
  5. If the article is about a character, rather than a species this section may be replaced with "Personality".

"Notable members" section (optional)

  1. A section listing down notable individuals belonging to the species.
  2. It's imperative that this must be written from an in-universe perspective, i.e. as if the species and its setting were real (even if they're fictional).

"History" section (optional)

  1. A section dealing with events relevant to the history of this species. Although this is where aspects of the source material's plot-line will usually be included, it's important to try to keep it centered around the subject of the article in question. Any parts of the story that aren't particularly relevant to the article's subject can be left out; especially if they include spoilers.
  2. It's imperative that this must be written from an in-universe perspective, i.e., as if the species and its setting were real (even if they're fictional).

Appearances (recommended)

  1. A bulleted list of works in which the species has appeared or been mentioned; ordered chronologically.
  2. Should always be named "Appearances", plural, even if there's only one listed.
  3. If the article is about a real species, this section should be replaced with "In popular culture".

In popular culture (recommended; Actual Universe pages only)

  1. Exclusive to Actual Universes species; this section serves to compare how the species has been portrayed in numerous works of fiction and should be written from a real world perspective, rather than an in-universe one.

Gallery (optional)

  1. A way to display additional images. Particularly recommended for species which have different morphological variants, castes, sexual dimorphism, life cycle stages, etc.

Alternate universes (optional)

  1. A section to describe how fictional species have been portrayed differently in derivative works. May be written from a real world perspective, rather than an in-universe one.

Notes (optional)

  1. Displays additional information, including real-world information, not relevant to the previous sections.
  2. It's absolutely imperative that this section be called "Notes", not "Trivia". Any information added to the wiki is considered to be noteworthy, not trivial.
  3. Unlike the main article, this section can be written from a real-world perspective, rather than an in-universe one.

See also (optional)

  1. A bulleted list linking to other pages within ASW, which are considered related to the subject and may be of particular interest to the reader.

References (optional)

  1. External sources which back-up information provided in the page. To be used very sparingly, only when it feels necessary, as otherwise it tends to pollute the article.

External links (optional)

  1. A bulleted list linking to websites outside ASW which may be considered relevant to the subject and may be of particular interest to the reader.
  2. To be used very sparingly and not as means of advertising other wikis, or any other website.

Categories (required)

  1. A way to organize the wiki. All articles must belong to at least one category.
  2. See ASW:Classifications for the different ways species can be classified in categories.

Other rules

Copypaste is forbidden

When it comes to using copyrighted material as sources, extra care must be taken: if extracts are required, they should be clearly marked as to where they came from (e.g. in a Quote box). Also, it is believed that it is fair to use screenshots and logos on relevant pages, to assist with a description. Keep in mind that images found on other wikis - especially the original Wikipedia - are for the most part free to use, being either public domain or allowed by "fair use" laws.

In the past, ASW has had numerous pages copy-pasted from other, more specialized wikis, or other external sources. This is no longer tolerated. Even though wiki content is for the most part not copyrighted and therefore free to use, it is highly detrimental for ASW to use articles from other wikis when we could very well create our own.

As such, starting in 2019:

  1. Every page found to have been entirely copy-pasted from one or more external sources will be either rewritten (if there are legit pages linking to it) or deleted (if there are not). No exceptions will be granted.
  2. Upon being rewritten, it's very likely that the page will be shortened, or even revert to being a stub or a single-sentence page. From this point on it can be expanded legitimately by anyone as long as no thievery or plagiarism is involved.
  3. Every page found to have sections, paragraphs or sentences copy-pasted from one or more external sources will have said sections, paragraphs or sentences either rewritten or removed. No exceptions will be granted.

Dealing with non-fictional species

All species originating from actual UFOlogy and mythology are to be considered part of the same "Actual Universe". In short, we will treat them as if all of them were real. The "universe" section of their infoboxes is to be filled as "Real", and they should be categorized in the "Actual Universe" category.

It is strictly forbidden to create categories such as "Latter-day Saints beliefs" or "Mesopotamian mythology". Belief systems are not comparable to fictional universes and should not be treated as if they were. People may believe anything they want about the Anunnaki, Wandjina or Tzitzimimeh regardless of anyone's faith or cultural background. Our purpose is simply to provide information, whether it is about deities, cryptids or Domsten Blobs. If it doesn't originate from fiction and there are people in the real world who believe in them, they go under "Actual Universe".

Using external links

There might be a few specific cases in which a link to Wikipedia is, if not ideal, at least acceptable. In the vast majority of cases, it's just pointless.

It is frustratingly common to see sentences constructed such as:

These aliens are a species of dinosaur-like reptilianoids which invaded Earth in the country known as France.

Such links pollute the page and are completely unnecessary. The vast majority of readers can be reasonably expected to be, at the very least, vaguely familiar with what a species is, with what a dinosaur is and with what France is. If they wish to learn more about these subjects, they can also be reasonably expected to be able to do so without needing us to provide a Wikipedia link in the article.

Redundant categorization

Redundant categorization is not allowed. Examples:

It's important to keep in mind that redundant categorization only applies if all members of Category A would, by definition, also belong to Category B.

Examples of situations that are not redundant:

  • A sapient Martian species may simultaneously belong to "Category:Mars Inhabitants" and "Category:Races of the Sol System". This is not redundant, in this case, because not all "Mars Inhabitants" are sapient, and therefore not all of them should automatically belong to the "Races of the Sol System" category (which is for sapient races only).

The chain of command

Admins reserve the right to judge when a user will need to be blocked, as well as the block's length and whether or not the person will be given a warning first, based on the nature and severity of the violation and the fact that all users are made aware of the rules via this page and the Main Page.

Things that will get you blocked

Things that can (and will) get you blocked, possibly without warning (as it's already being warned here and in the Main Page):

  1. Adding fanon / user-made content (use your user blog for that if you wish).
  2. Copy-pasting text from Wikipedia, other wikis or any external source (unless you're quoting).
  3. Removing any content without reason.
  4. Creating blank pages.
  5. Merging, splitting, renaming or repurposing pages without direct approval from an admin.
  6. Uploading new versions of an existing image without reason and without direct approval from an admin.

Regarding sock-puppets

One very important thing that must be understood is that, once you're blocked, you're blocked. You cannot come back with a different account (i.e. use a sock-puppet). If you do, that will result in a longer block for the original account and a permanent ban for the new one. If you're already banned indefinitely, any new account you create will be banned indefinitely as well, because actions have consequences.

See also

  • The ASPF consists of the council of wiki administrators who are here to help and will gladly answer any questions users might have.
  • ASW:Policy Amendments is a page where you can propose new rules and policies as well as discuss possible alterations to the current ones, to be voted by the community (although admins reserve the right to veto these decisions if deemed necessary).