GIST Support Wiki

Help:Logging in

Logging in is not required for viewing pages, and on some wikis not even for editing them. However, it provides additional features, and is generally recommended.


Why log in?

Although you do not have to log in to view content (and on many wikis to edit content as well), it is a good idea for several reasons:

  • Other users will be able to recognize you by your username when you make changes to pages. For example, your username shows up on the Recent changes page and page histories. If you are not logged in and you edit a page then your IP address is shown instead of a username. Using an IP address as a "name" does not work well since you may use different computers (each with their own IP address) or your computer may change IP addresses.
  • You will have your own user page where you can write a bit about yourself.
  • You will be able to keep track of changes to pages you are interested in using a Help:Watching pages | watchlist]].
  • You will be able to mark an edit as minor, which avoids inconvenience for other users.
  • If you choose to give an email address, you can get email updates when pages change and you can exchange email with other users (see #Creating an account for details).
  • You will be able to rename pages.
  • You will be able to set your own preferences, to change things such as:
    • The number of pages displayed in Recent changes
    • Whether or not you see edit links next to each section of a page

Please see the Privacy policy for a detailed description of how your privacy will be protected and how the information you provide when logging in will be used.

How to

Create an account

To create an account, select Log in (top right of page) then create an account. You are only required to provide a username and password. Please consider the selection of your username carefully. Some individuals are comfortable using their actual name, while others prefer to retain some of their privacy by using a pseudonym. Remember, all edits that you make when logged in will be attributed to you.

Email Address: You can also optionally provide an email address. This will allow you to...

  • receive email updates when pages that you are watching are edited
  • send (and receive) email to other users via the link on their User page
  • have a temporary password emailed to you if you forget yours (see below).

The email address that you provide will not be publicly shown or shared with any third parties (see Privacy policy for details). However, when you send email to other users via their User page, the email address you provided will be used in the "From:" field of the email message. This means that you should only email users that you don't mind sharing your email address with. Finally, the research team studying may contact individuals who have provided email addresses to ask them if they would voluntarily participate in a survey or interview.

Real Name: You also have the option to provide a "Real Name". This name will not be made publicly available or shared with any third parties. It will only be used by the research team to help identify you. Specifically, it may be used to help recognize individuals who contribute to the wiki and the community email list. (See the Privacy policy for a description of the research project and how your privacy will be protected).

Log in

Once you have created an account, when you visit the site in the future you can click on the Log in link at the top right of the page. You will then be prompted to enter your username and password.

If you click the box Remember me, you will not have to give your password again when you access the wiki from the same computer. (This feature will only work if your password was not generated by the Mediawiki software. So change your password please.)

Log out

You can log out any time by clicking on the Log out link at the top right of the page.

Related Information

Setting preferences

Click on the Preferences link at the top right of the page for various options, including:

  • Changing your password.
  • Changing your email address (or adding one)

See Help:Preferences.

Your User page

As a logged in user, you will be able to create your own user page. When you are logged in, you will see your username displayed at the top right of the page. Click on this to get to your user page, which you can edit in the same way as any wiki page.

Most users write a little bit about themselves and their interests on their user page. But remember, anything you write on your page will be visible to everyone who visits the site, so you should be careful of posting private information.

In addition to any content that may be added, each User page includes...

  • a link to "Email this user" (which only works if the person sending the email and the person receiving the email have provided email addresses when logging in)
  • a link to view the users "Contributions" (see Help:User contributions)


What if I forget the password?

If you enter an e-mail address when signing up for the account, or in your Preferences, you can request on the login screen for a temporary password to be sent to that address, which will allow you to log in with the new password. Once you have logged in with the temporary password you should visit your preferences and change your password. If you did not enter an e-mail address, or the address was out of date, you will have to create a new account.

Log in problems

If you are able to log in (i.e., you get a "Log in successful" message), but are then logged out as soon as you visit a page it is most likely a problem with your computer's "cookies". Make sure that your browser allows cookies. If they are enabled and there is still a problem you can check that you haven't inadvertently listed on a list of sites to never allow cookies for (This feature is available in (at least) Mozilla Firebird (Firefox) 0.6 and above and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 and above). Also make sure your computer's date and time are set correctly. If they are not, cookies may expire before they are supposed to. Note that some firewall and ad-blocking software may interfere with the cookie that GIST Support uses to keep a person logged in.

A user may occasionally find him/herself "automatically" logged out between beginning an edit and saving it, or when switching between multiple GIST Support pages open in multiple browser windows. This can be a result of your browser's cookie, cache, or firewall settings. Alternatively, sometimes when the site is heavily used, the system can "glitch" and your ID information will be misplaced on the server, resulting in a logout. Regardless of the reason for the logout, the simplest solution to the problem is to check the Remember me box (although you would not want to do this if using a public computer).