Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki
Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki
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From Memory Beta's homepage: "Memory Beta is a wikipedia-style database for licensed Star Trek works, including novels, comic books, RPG sourcebooks, video games and any other licensed works." (quoted as of 15-Apr-2020).

A recent discussion on merging content from the Star Trek Online game has expanded beyond its scope by talking about the purpose of Memory Beta, or the type of content it should and shant cover.[1]

Summarizing, one point in this discussion is that Memory Beta aims to cover everything there is about licensed Star Trek. While there are several Trek-based Wikis out there, all of them have a narrowed focus. For example, Memory Alpha only covers canon Trek information, STOWiki and Star Trek Timelines wikia cover information from their source games at the exclusion of other sources. Thus, Memory Beta is the only wiki in existence with the scope to cover all of licensed Trek.

The counterpoint presented in the discussion is that Memory Beta covers licensed material but should focus on content relevant to the overall Trek narrative. The example is that "random" ships from games like Star Trek: Armada are lumped together in lists and templates with ships that appear in a particular story and have a particular history, thus making it hard to look for something with a story attached to it rather than a random in-game item. I'd like to include a pertinent statement nicked from another talk page[2] that illustrates the underlying reason for this argument:

"over the past couple of months, multiple novelists -- Greg Cox, Dayton Ward, KRAD, Christopher Bennett, and others -- have informed me that they no longer use Memory Beta as a resource because it's either not updated or too hard to find the relevant information these days -- all those articles on randomly-generated ships from games like Armada drowning out the "real" ships in any given category or navbox is one commonly-repeated example. We've gone from being a premiere resource for novelists and comics and RPG writers and constantly being thanked in their acknowledgement sections to being considered useless by them"

The core question is what Memory Beta is about: Should it aim to be the encyclopedic database of every licensed Star Trek material, or narrow its focus?

For the sake of argument, I subscribe to the former position. Kind regards, -- Markonian 12:26, April 15, 2020 (UTC)

I agree that Memory Beta should include every character, ship, race, location, organization, technology and item from every licensed Star Trek story or product, including episodes, movies, video games, novels, comics, video games, RPG games, card games, trading cards and action figures. Even if Memory Beta's original purpose was to focus on the non-canon stuff. Other franchises like Doctor Who and Star Wars have a single wiki devoted to the entire franchise, so I think Star Trek should also have at least one wiki that is complete.
However, I don't think we need an article for every card or action figure. That would be going too far. One article for every card set and every toy line should be good enough. There are other wikis like CardGuide Wiki and Figure Realm for people who want an article for each individual card or toy. --NetSpiker (talk) 12:53, April 15, 2020 (UTC)
I think the stated mission statement is on point, obviously. The most major narrowing of focus that was done was to eliminate fan-fiction, unpublished/undocumented material, and meta material dealing with episodes and movies.
  • Fan fiction is anything that wasnt rightfully published - licensed. this eliminates a lot of the internet's Star Trek.
  • unpublished/undocumented - this has been a talking point more often than other things. If ST Picard shows something, its canon, we write about it - pretty simple. But if the showrunner posts on social media additional details that didnt make it into the episode, that information does not have the same value. it didnt make it into the episode. even though the person is a writer, and wrote the official version, the fact that their social media post is not a publication is why the line is drawn. info in the episode or publication is valid, things they post on their own time is not.
  • meta material is what Memory Alpha does. lists of actors from the shows, stuntmen, cast lists and call sheets. all behind the scenes and all of it dealing with episodes and movies, and not publications. we have a meta section for performers in video games, however. Colm Meaney has never been in a video game or audio book, so he's not represented in our meta POV. the rest of the DS9 cast HAS appeared in video games. that's there that line is drawn.
Now in terms of STO, there is a ton of "behind the scenes" data - meta, but about a publication - STO is a game which counts as a licensed thing. so yes, this is covered under our current policy. however, as my comment about POV indicates, this info needs to be organized.
As to the rest, we had a pretty big introspection a few years ago about continuity versus inclusion - which means we should be taking every step to make sure that if a reader needs to be informed theyre getting to a section about STO or Armada or another book - that each piece would be separate and cited, and in cases where it seems like there are different continuities at play, it would be noted. its a practice that is evolving and being constructive about it is the best approach rather than re-hashing the the status quo of a past era when different aims were at play. we have to look forward, not backward - looking at the less organized version of the wiki will only discourage us, so lets imagine a better one where future novelists will find it more relevant rather than re-hashing years of criticism for a form of the wiki that no longer exists -- captainmike Site-logo.png 13:03, April 15, 2020 (UTC)
Something else just came to mind. Should we have a separate article for every duty officer in Star Trek Online, even though there are more than 36,000 of them? Each one is technically a separate character, but this would mean years of work for whoever chooses to set this task for themselves. And by the time the work is finished, Star Trek Online may not even exist anymore (since MMOs do sometimes get shut down) making the whole endeavor pointless. --NetSpiker (talk) 13:06, April 15, 2020 (UTC)
Captainmike, I agree with what you said about writer's or showrunner's comments online, with one sole exception: I think author's annotations should be used if they identify an unnamed movie character with a named novel character. Christopher L. Bennett's Ex Machina annotations contain many examples of this.


  1. Talk: Prometheus (material)
  2. Talk: Volan III, statement from 22:52 14 April 2020