How_To_Contribute - Atlas of Economic Models

How To Contribute

This page aims to give a step-by-step guide to becoming a contributor. A guide to editing pages can be found at How_To_Edit, including help on formatting text and inputting maths.

Quick Start: been here before? Then jump straight to create page section below.

What do Contributors Do?

If this is your first time here please read this carefully

The Atlas is created by volunteer contributors. Contributors do everything from writing new summaries of models, to reviewing existing work, to doing basic 'site-gardening' (e.g. improving this page!).

Who can become a contributor? The answer is simple: anyone. However, we do expect our contributors to:

  • Observe the Community_Norms. Please read this page thoroughly if this is your first time.

  • Have a good knowledge of economics. This site is intended for working economists so you'll probably want to have at least undergraduate level expertise in the subject.

Last before getting in to the details of creating material we should emphasize that the Atlas is also open in a second important way: its content is open and can be freely used and reused by anyone. This means that if you contribute you agree to license what you do under the terms detailed on the license page. For more on our reasons for this choice see the about page.


Users must be logged-in to create or edit a page. Simply click on the tab at the top of the page or use the link in the box on the right-hand side of the page to create an account (which only takes a few seconds) or to log-in to an existing account.

Creating a page

To create a new model page simply type the name of the model in the box below and click "Create New Page".

  • Model page names are capitlized with spaces separating words. They also often end in model. Examples: 'Cournot Model' (Cournot_Model) or 'Market For Lemons' (Market_For_Lemons).

  • To create a non-model page (e.g. a summary page) see HelpOnPageCreation.

  • NB Don't forget to add a link to your new model on the models page.

If you need inspiration visit the Models_Wanted page for a list of 'stubs' of suggested model pages that have already been created but need completing. Additions, applications and extensions to existing models are also strongly encouraged.

The review process

All new model and summary pages will be reviewed by a member of the Editorial_Board to check that content is both accurate and appropriate. Once this has occured the page will be marked as 'Reviewed' (see Review_Process for more detail). However, one of the main features of the Altas is that it is Community Editable, so users are encouraged to edit and add to pages where applicable.


Pages created using the box above use the AtlasModelTemplate. This will automatically substitute in the page name, primary author and creation date (see HelpOnVariables for other variables which are automatically substituted using the @VARIABLE@ code). The template uses suggested headings of Introduction, Model, Solving, Examples and Applications and Extensions; although the page can be modified to suit the needs of a particular model.

There are also templates for other kinds of pages, such as summaries which use the SummaryTemplate. For more information see HelpOnTemplates.

Tagging with categories


Categories are an important wiki idea as they group together similar pages which allows information be found and sorted more easily. Most pages in the Atlas are tagged as models, which are then subdivided by type, although there are also tags for other forms of pages such as templates.

Any page created using the AtlasModelTemplate will be automaticaly tagged with CategoryModel. However, since the aim of the Atlas is to document how the various economic models inter-relate it is also possible to tag models with more detailed categories. A full list of currently available categories can be found at CategoryCategory, or new ones can be created.



The Atlas contains a Bibliography page where all articles which have been cited are listed. In general, the "Suggested Citation" (part of the AtlasModelTemplate) for a particular model page will be the author themselves since the model presented will be their own description and interpretation of models presented the literature. This therefore falls under the license and no change to the AtlasModelTemplate needs to be made. However, if a page draws heavily on material from a particular article (or articles), it is encouraged that this be referenced in the Bibliography.

Articles must first be added to the Bibliography page, then a macro is used to cite only those articles referred to on a particular page. See Spence_Signaling_Model for an example.

Becoming part of the Atlas

Adding to the 'models' page

Once you have created your page, don't forget to add it to the hierarchical listing on the models page (for help with creating an internal link see HelpOnLinking). If it does not fit under one of the existing headings, add your own at whatever level is required but please keep to the formatting convention already in place and make sure that the various levels of headings line up down the page. For example:

  • Heading 1
    • Sub-heading 1
      • Model 1
      • Model 2
  • Heading 2
    • Sub-heading 2
      • Model 3
      • Sub-heading 3
        • Model 4
        • Model 5

Creating summary pages


Summary pages are a useful tool in the Atlas as they give an overview of the models and main ideas or assumptions in a particular topic or family of models. The "Related Models" section of the AtlasModelTemplate is a key idea in the Atlas set-up as it allows close links between particular models to be made clear even if they are not in the same topic area or discipline of economics.