This is an attempt to have a Policy-lite version of the Canon Policy.
It doesn't conform to any one person's take on things (that I know of) and allows the following article types that are on the fringes: Livingston, Aaamazzarite, Kaylar, Efrosian, Rose (child), some but not all parts of USS Voyager dedication plaque, which states Earth Station McKinley as construction place, and USS Chekov.
Just to be clear, it does NOT allow the following article types except as "meta-universe" articles to which the policy would not apply: Martin Madden and the United States of Africa . That is because Madden did not appear in any version of the film. Livingston, Rose, Efrosian - they are all actually seen - we just don't know their names. The United States of Africa is likewise never seen nor heard of in an episode and doesn't name something that is seen or heard.
It also draws a very clear line: something is canon or it isn't. No semi-, demi-, or hemi-canon here. :)
This is a draft, and there are bound to be some bits and pieces and typos and such that need fixing; I did a rush job. But slings and arrows accepted. Fire away!!
The goal of Memory Alpha is to be a reliable, concise guide to all readers in its description of the Star Trek universe and associated material. Towards this end, it is necessary for us to restrict to some extent the type of information we accept. Ultimately, this will ensure that Memory Alpha remains useful and authoritative for the widest possible range of fans.
Memory Alpha has two types of articles: those that discuss the Star Trek universe as if it was real ("in-universe") , and those that describe anything else about the production, marketing, or other aspects of Star Trek ("meta-universe"). This Canon Policy only applies to in-universe articles.
Primary Policy PointsEdit
1) All statements of fact in an article must be cited to a permitted resource. A permitted resource is either a primary resource or a secondary resource.
2) Anything clearly seen or clearly heard in a Star Trek episode or movie is a primary resource.
3) Anything that is not clearly seen or heard in a Star Trek episode or movie is a secondary resource to the extent reference to anything outside the episode or movie itself is required to clearly see or hear it. It is still a primary resource, though, but only to the extent actually seen or heard in the episode or movie.
- Example: An illegible graphic on a viewscreen. It is a primary resource in that it exists in the Trek universe at all. The text in the graphic itself, however, is a secondary resource if reference it required to something outside the episode itself in order to tell what it says. For example, the actual graphic used could be reproduced in a legible fashion in a published work like The Art of Star Trek or otherwise obtained from a Paramount production staff member and available to everyone to see. The connection between the illegible and legible graphic has to clearly show them to be the same, however, before they can be linked.
4) Anything that is not seen and not heard in a Star Trek episode or movie can never be a primary resource. It can become a secondary resource if, and only if, it was created by the relevant production staff during their tenure on Star Trek, it is not contradicted by a primary resource, and it is a minor fact about something that already exists in the Trek universe.
- Example: Character names, word spellings, and species names from scripts and production materials can become secondary resources. Deleted scenes from scripts or productions and props (to the extent not seen on-screen) cannot become secondary resources. To give a specific example, the name of the lion fish seen in Picard's Ready Room on the USS Enterprise-D was never seen or heard in an episode or movie. The Star Trek Encyclopedia lists its name as Livingston. The name "Livingston" for the fish is a secondary resource since the Encyclopedia was written by then-current staff, the name is not contradicted, and it is a minor fact. This is different from, say, a character who was edited out of a final film and - unlike the fish - was never seen in a Trek production and so does not "exist" in Trek.
5) Anything from (authorized or unauthorized) comics, materials not created by then-current production staff, novels, commentaries, interviews, website material, fan produced episodes or movies, and games can never be a permitted resource. They and all other information not permitted resources are instead "further resources".
Article Creation, Resource Placement, and Notations of CanonEdit
1) Articles should not be created for anything that is not a primary resource. The name of the article can be drawn from a secondary resource (e.g., Livingston), but if the secondary resource is the only source for the material in the article must exist solely as a meta-universe article if at all.
- Example: An article about a character whose only appearance was in a deleted portion of a script or edited out of a final cut of a film could only be a meta-universe article.
2) Primary resources can be included in the main body of the article.
3) Secondary resources may be included in the main body of the article or in the background of the article. In each instance they need to be identified as being "non-canon", but from a permitted resource.
4) Further resources may only be included in a background or apocrypha section of an article.
5) Articles named for further resources that exist solely to redirect a reader to another article named for permitted resources are permitted.
Exceptions and ClarificationsEdit
1) The concept of something being canon is binary: it is or it isn't. Only primary resources are canon; all other information and resources – even if permitted in an in-universe article – are non-canon.
2) If two otherwise primary resources conflict in some way, the preferred approach is that if they cannot be reasonable reconciled without significant assumptions or speculation, the conflict should simply be noted in a way appropriate to the article and the resources cited. If a primary and secondary resource conflict, the primary resource will take precedence and the secondary resource must be included (if at all) as background only.
3) Speculation, assumptions, and conjecture about any resource should be brief and included exclusively as background.
4) If material was intentionally deleted from a final production (e.g., through script changes or post-production editing), that material is a further resource. However, material that is newly created for or re-inserted into an episode or movie in a "Director's Edition" (or similar name) version of an episode or movie as part of the full episode or movie (i.e., not part of a selection of "alternate takes", "extra footage", or the like) can be consider a permitted resource as above, even if under an earlier release it would have been a further resource. Likewise, material that is newly edited out or revised in an episode or movie in a "Director's Edition" DVD shall become a further resource, even if under an earlier release it would have been a primary resource.
- Example: The matte shot of Spock on Vulcan from the theatrical release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was modified in the Director's Edition DVD; the Director's Edition version would be the primary resource and the older matte shot a further resource. Later releases always take precedence over earlier ones.
5) Supplementary material on a DVD or video release, including all commentary, is a further resource.
6) Material in otherwise permitted resources that, from context, (a) was primarily inserted for the amusement of the production staff, (b) is a manifest unintended mistake or anachronism, or (c) contains numerous internal inconsistencies and/or errors will be considered a further resource, but the remainder of the permitted resource (if any) will be unaffected.
- Example: Nonsensical text on labels or signage would be a further resource. Graphics that were illegible in an episode or movie and upon closer examination contain absurd or incorrect information would be a further resource to the extent of that information.
7) Otherwise permitted resources will be unaffected by matters solely related to the physical production of Star Trek episodes and movies.
- Example: Different actors portraying Saavik, sophistication of optical effects over time, use of interior sets for exterior locations, and production mistakes can be mentioned in background sections, but will not affect the main body of the article.
8) Assessments of the trustworthiness of the character who is the source of the resource (e.g., Harry Mudd), or the archivist's assessment of the overall accuracy of the information contained in the resource can be noted in a background section only.