How to link Internal and External content

This is a guide into linking internal content together, and linking internal content to external content. A practical example is given at the end of this guide.

Internal Content Linking

It is desirable to maintain some form of organised, logical structure when linking content together, so as to prevent 'spaghetti' linking of pages. The pattern examples shown are a general guide to structuring internal content and we rely on the author’s common sense to sensibly link content together.

Each content type resides in one of the three Content Layers. This is just a convenient way to classify content types.

  • Theoretical Layer - All Concept content is placed here.
  • Context Layer - All Article content is placed here. This usually is a general overview of current research.
  • Detail Layer - All Tutorials and Tip content are placed here. This usually describes some part of an Article in greater detail.

The layers are clearly seen in the content linking examples.

Episodic Research Pattern

An Episodic Research Pattern is one where several Articles are closely related in terms of a research theme but still distinct from one another.

Episodic Research Pattern

Click on the image to show the diagram clearly.

Article B is a new piece of research. It is an extension of Article A in some way. Yet it is a substantial body of work that merits an Article to itself. This extension could be an implementation of a different algorithm or changes to a model, with a report of some new or significant findings from a fresh round of experiments. The bi-directional arrow indicates that each Article has an explicit link to one another.

Article A is linked to Concept A.

Article B is linked to Concept B and Concept C - possibly the inspiration for generating Article B.

The dashed line from Concept A to Article B indicates that they could be linked together too. This may be the case if a comparative study is made of similar techniques, but is really the judgement of the author if this link is required.

Tutorial/Tip A is some detail of Article A that is linked only to Article A. (It is conceivable - and possibly relevant - for a Tutorial/Tip to be linked to more than one item, it must be remembered that its purpose is to provide information on something within a specific context.)

Non-Episodic Research Pattern

A Non-Episodic Research Pattern is one where the Articles are entirely different areas of research.

NonEpisodic Research Pattern

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It can be seen that Article A and Article B are separate strands of content. Obviously, it could easily be the case that Articles share Concepts.
Concept C stands alone, unlinked, to demonstrate that it is not a requirement for theoretical content to be included if it is does't have a Article.

Multiple Detail Pattern

A Multiple Detail Pattern shows that multiple Tutorial/Tip content types can be linked to an Article. It also shows that a Tutorial/Tip may be linked to a Concept.

Multi Research Pattern

'Real' Content Pattern

This is an example of 'Real' internal content linked together in the COMISEF Wiki.

Real Design Pattern

Click on the image to show the diagram clearly.

The first Article, 'Portfolio Optimization in a Distributed Environment' is a report on results applying a heuristic technique to a common financial model in a specific computational set up. The Article is linked to the Concept 'Threshold Accepting', as this is background theory to the optimisation technique method employed in the report.

The arrow in the diagram denotes that a reference has been made from one page to another. In the case of the Portfolio article, it has an explicit internal link to 'Threshold Accepting' within its content.

The second Article, 'Least Median of Squares Estimation by Optimization Heuristics with an Application to CAPM', is a condensed version of current research and takes much of its material from a working paper. It is linked to 'Threshold Accepting' and 'Differential Evolution' as both techniques are employed in research. A Tutorial, 'C++ Library for improved sort of LMS algorithm in Matlab', is linked to this Article. It describes an implementation detail relevant to that research work. The actual library resource can be downloaded from an external source. The content link is only one way, but it reasonable to make this a bi-directional, as it is very specific to this problem.

There is a stand alone Concept, 'Genetic Algorithms’, which is not linked to any content at present. Note that Concepts should be stand alone pieces of information and not linked together.

Finally, we have a stand alone Tip, 'Replacing Negative values in a vector by zero in R'. This is a small piece of programming advice demonstrates that the Wiki is also there to impart useful nuggets information to others and doesn't have to be linked to some wider body of work.

External Content Linking

External links to web pages should contain material that is closely related to the internal page from which it is linked. Whether the External link is also added to External Links page is, as always, down to the judgement of the author, although it is usually reserved for links to the main site guide page (i.e. a link that points to the root of a topic tree).

A general rule of the COMISEF Wiki is that no resources - source code, libraries, pdf's etc - are hosted here. In general, any link to an External resource should allow a users direct access to it without any requirement for password or registration to the site that manages the resource.

It is a good idea to click on the External link periodically to check that it is still a 'live' link.

Content Linking Tabviews

You will notice at the bottom for every template there are two Tabviews.

The first Tabview is where you add Internal Content Links, selecting the appropiate Tab for the content type to be linked.
The second Tabview is used for general reference information; you add all External links in Web Links Tab.

The markup syntax for linking can be found at the Look And Feel Examples. Click Here>>.

Content Linking - Walk Through Example

A fully navigable example using the Episodic Pattern is available to look through.

To start at Article A in the diagram, Click here>>.

Episodic Research Pattern

Click on the image to show the diagram clearly.

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