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If I would like to acknowledge help and inspiration (i.e. non-copyright contributions) from Worldbuilding StackExchange, is there a preferred format? An existing example would be best.

(I am talking about acknowledgement, not a copyright notice that would legally required if for a quotation, derivative work or other intellectual property.)

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  • $\begingroup$ When you tell you want to credit WB, you mean a fellow worldbuilder companion you worked with for a project, not Worldbuilding Stack-Exchange, right? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I mean the whole of WB.SE... unless the convention is to acknowledge individuals :) $\endgroup$
    – user100347
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 16:41

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Stack Exchange has, in a roundabout way, answered this question

There are two ways of looking at your post. First, the idea of crediting Stack Exchange, Worldbuilding.SE, or one or more users on Worldbuilding.SE, for their assistance, guidance, influence, or support in your creative effort in a way that reflects a copyright contribution. This issue was discussed in my answer to Are there cultural objects that came thanks to this site? That question and its answers would be good reading for you generally, especially the linked answer to my question about copyright and Stack Exchange over at Law.SE.

In this case, when it comes to copyright law, there are specifics you need to follow, none of which have been provided by Stack Exchange that I know of. Because everything posted on all Stack Exchange sites are licensed under CC-BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike), you are required to:

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. (Source, identical in V3.0 & V4.0).

But it sounds like this isn't at all what you're trying to do

Second, it sounds like what you're really trying to do is acknowledge Worldbuilding.SE, but not attribute copyright credit. In other words, you're simply expressing your gratitude. In this case, copyright and the law are no longer particularly relevant so long as how you refer to Stack Exchange would be deemed by Stack Exchange to be positive.1 In this case, you want to be intentionally vague. For example:

I would like to express my thanks to my friends at Worldbuilding.StackExchange.com, owned and operated by Stack Exchange, Inc., for their support, and to Stack Exchange, Inc. itself for hosting such a valuable resource.

How you say that is not as important as making sure "Stack Exchange, Inc." is used.

BTW, should you publish, I would recommend heading over to that question I linked to, Are there cultural objects that came thanks to this site?, and shamelessly answering it with, "Yeah! Here's one: my publication!"


1My family owned a micro-publisher for ten years. Our experience with this is that most organizations have ways they would prefer to be referred to, e.g., "Stack Exchange, Inc." but they rarely care about the details unless what you say threatens a trademark or, basically, pisses them off. E.G., "My undying gratitude for the worthless help Coke gave me while writing this article." (Example is artificial, obviously.) While anybody can sue anybody for any reason, large companies generally won't slap small entities so long as they've been referred to legally. E.G., "Coke" becomes "Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc." so that all they can complain about is your free speech. And I chose that example intentionally, because Coke officially changed its name back in 2019 and it's "your" job to keep up with changes like that.

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Copy-n-Paste

Visual arts have been a part of Sci-Fi & Fantasy works for more than a century, whether cover art, maps, decorations or illustrations.

Typically, the artist is credited on the title page. Usage varies: "Illustrated by" or "With numerous woodcuts by" or "Profusely illustrated by". It is also common to find a short bio of the artist near & after the bio of the author. Either on the back cover, or the back flap of a dust jacket or within the body of the book itself.

I'd recommend the same basic format for crediting the worldbuilder.


In light of Tortliena's comment: it would not be suitable to credit Stack Exchange or Worldbuilding.SE as noted above. We're an aggregate resource much like an encyclopedia or any kind of collected source of information.

Some authors write a brief statement about the formation of the story and the process of how the story came to be. You could, however, make mention of WB.SE as a specific resource when discussing any online worldbuilding places.

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  • $\begingroup$ "My name's the harbinger of dyslexia and dysphasia's doom 😈. None shall stand the "T", the "L" and the "I" in this exact order!" I like the idea 😋. I can't complain anyway, it's indeed a spelling killer, and it's better -though not tastier- than to be called "tortellinis" ^^". $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena --- Crap. And I looked at your name at least four times to make sure I spelled it right! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ Don't worry too much, I don't take offense for these happy accidents :). At least "Tortilena" is much easier to pronounce, however you pronounce it :p. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 18:19

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