If you want to help with maintaining the database, please send e-mail to Anselm to find out what you can (and would like to) do.

We would be particularly interested in somebody who would be prepared to take on the maintenance of tunes. There are loads of things to be done with tunes in the database. This has the distinct potential of eating up all your spare time but the upside is that at SCD events, while Anselm is around, you will never go thirsty.

Mailing Lists

There is a (very-low-volume) mailing list for people who are interested in SCD database matters (including many SCD database volunteers). You can subscribe to this list by sending an empty message to dancedata-friends+subscribe@strathspey.org and following the instructions in the automated reply.

We expect all database volunteers to subscribe to this mailing list. It is the prime medium for database-related information.

There is another mailing list that the database software uses to notify database editors of comments (corrections or additions) that users have logged through the respective buttons on detail pages, and of other interesting occurrences such as newly added videos. If you want to participate in clearing up issues or vetting videos you should subscribe to that list at scddb-issues@lists.strathspey.org.


When people enter “corrections or additions” through the button on every database detail page, these end up as “issues” in a special area of the database. These issues are linked to the database entry in question and can be “assigned” to a volunteer who is then in charge of clearing them up. (Usually what happens is that you assign them to yourself, unless it is obvious that you're the only person who can reasonably take care of them, e.g., because they are pertaining to a crib or a diagram that you made.)

As a database volunteer, one of the obvious things you can do is taking care of issues, either – in simple cases such as obvious typos – by directly making the required changes to the database (see “Editing Privileges” below) or, in more complex cases, by researching the problem at hand, which may involve looking at original dance descriptions, tune collections, or generally outside information sources, or asking around in places like the Strathspey mailing list. Once an issue has been dealt with to your satisfaction, you can “close” it. We database volunteers like the list of open issues short.

If you're a new volunteer (or even if you're thinking about volunteering), one way of getting your feet wet is by looking at the issue list to see whether there is something you feel comfortable taking on. Some of the issues have been with us for a long time and any help clearing them up would be most welcome. Even if you can't yet edit the database, you will be able to submit additional information that will be brought to the attention of people who can, and can eventually lead to our closing issues.

Editing Privileges

If you do volunteer, you will eventually be granted direct editing privileges on the database. This means you get to add to or change the various bits of information that the database stores on all matters SCD, and also the interconnections between them. (Unfortunately all of this is not documented very well, but we're working on that.)

It is important to consider that while this provides you with ample opportunity to make the world better, it also provides you with ample opportunity to break things and make the world worse. We would therefore like you to exercise due caution in the interest of everybody. Please do not embark on huge editing sprees without checking back with the mailing list (see above) or with Anselm directly. Remember:

With great power comes great responsibility.

Also note that while we're grateful for any help that we can get, we would like to see a certain level of participation on the part of our volunteers. As a security precaution, we reserve the right to withdraw editing privileges from people who have not done anything in a very long time.

Go back to the SCD Database home page