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FAQ

To check what the term FAQ means, go to the Factolex entry.

Executive Summary

What is Factolex?

  • a lexicon that explains terms using facts submitted by our users
  • compact and readable explanations of terms instead of long texts
  • we can find the best terms and facts based on our users' selection of facts

What's in it for you?

  • You receive a convenient list of terms, defined just by the facts you selected (called my lexicon)
  • You can view other people's collections (we call them lexica)
  • If you like to know more about a fact, click the source of the fact by clicking the icon next to it
  • You can enter terms and facts that are relevant to you -- terms (apparently) less relevant to the public are just ranked lower, but not removed like on Wikipedia
  • What is Factolex?

    Factolex is a community-powered fact lexicon that enables you to build your own lexicon.

    By ticking the checkboxes you can select the facts that describe the term best for you. This will create your invidiual explanation for the term and build your own lexicon. Also adding your own terms and facts is quick and easy.

    As everyone contributes with their terms, facts and selections, the lexicon gets better. The more people find a fact important, the higher it appears in the list, the quicker you can understand what the term is about.

  • Why use Factolex when there is Wikipedia?

    At Factolex we aim at explaining terms at a different level than Wikipedia. You go to Factolex for the essential facts about a term and then move on to the source of the fact (this might be Wikipedia) that is particularly interesting to you.

    As another aspect, Factolex tries to embrace the democratic nature of the users acting together, everyone can contribute. You don't need deep knowledge of the syntax or rules that apply to the lexicon in order to help.

    Furthermore, we think that on Factolex more terms deserve to be included. It is not uncommon that on Wikipedia terms are removed soon after being added by users, because powerful Wikipedia users think they are not relevant. Not so on Factolex: if the term is only of niche importance, it will appear lower on the list than more important terms with the same name.

  • What makes Factolex different?

    Factolex divides knowledge into short texts: facts. While this might limit the depth of the contained knowledge, it also makes knowledge easier to handle.

    By clicking the checkboxes next to a fact, users can create their own lexicon, "the world according to User X".

    Factolex then uses these small user contributions to rank the facts for a term. If it all works out nicely, the top fact will already define a term pretty well, giving you an instant answer to what it is about.

  • What are you trying to achieve with Factolex?

    With Factolex we want to bring knowledge into a form in which it is easier to handle.

    Encyclopedias contain a great deal of knowledge, but it is all "captured" in long texts. That makes it very difficult to leverage that knowledge in situations where there are certain constraints, such as limited time and space.

    By providing structural guidance we make it easy to contribute (you can already help by clicking a checkbox), while you can also benefit through your own contribution (clicking the checkboxes builds your personal lexicon).

  • For which actions do I need to have an account?

    You can create your your own lexicon anonymously.

    For adding a public term or adding a public fact you will need an account. But registration is quick and easy.

  • Why do I need to have an account when Wikipedia can do it without it?

    On Wikipedia any user can revert a (possibly offending or vandalising) change to a wiki page. This is different on Factolex: potentially bad facts continue to be listed as long as enough users vote it down respectively remove it.

    Still, you can use a great deal of Factolex anonymously, it is even possible to create terms or facts for your personal use; just contributing to the public lexicon is not possible without giving your e-mail address.

  • What are the checkboxes next to a fact?

    The checkboxes allow you to mark a fact as relevant for you. The chosen fact then moves up to your personal selection and gets value in the overall ranking. You can also drag and drop already checked facts.

  • What do the icons next to a fact mean?

    User Icon

    It shows which user added the fact. It can be either the default picture or one uploaded by the user.

    Author: Default user icon Default user icon

    Author: Custom user icon Custom user icon

    Source Icon

    It shows which source of knowledge was used. This may affect the license for this fact.

    Source: Personal Knowledge Personal Knowledge

    Source: Website Website

    Source: Wikipedia Wikipedia

    Source: Book Book

    Source: TV TV

    Source: Newspaper Newspaper

  • What is "My Lexicon"?

    By selecting facts of terms you find relevant, Factolex automatically creates your personal lexicon.

    This is very useful when you are doing research on a topic or just want to have a list of terms you read up on most.

    You can also filter your lexicon using tags. This enables you to create themed lexica.

  • What is "Reputation"?

    On Factolex you can gain reputation by submitting facts which other people find relevant.

    Our system for calculating your reputation is still work in progress. Don't be irritated and expect the reputation to change throughout time as we tune the system.

  • What does a good fact look like?

    We have figured out a few rules that should apply to each fact in order to ensure good quality:

    As a rule of thumb, a fact should read fine if you write it like this: Term: Fact

    Example:

    Factolex: an online lexicon that uses short and concise facts to explain terms

  • How can I submit links or pictures like I saw it on a term?

    There are some special fact types that you can submit as well. Mainly it works by prepending a special keyword to the fact you submit.

    Picture

    Fact
    picture: denotes that the fact is a picture. The Alternative Text is shown while the image is being loaded.
    Source
    The source URL is used as the image source. Due to copyright reasons we currently allow only pictures from Wikimedia Commons.

    Link

    Fact
    link: makes the fact appear as a link. The link:text is used as clickable text.
    Source
    The source URL is used as the link target URL.

    Coordinates

    Fact
    coords: makes the fact appear as a little map.
    Source

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