Alpha History receives several questions and inquiries from our visitors each week. This page addresses some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please drop us a line through this contact form.
Is your website reliable and credible?
Yes, as much as any secondary source can be. Our authors are all degree-qualified teachers, academics and writers. All have professional and specialist experience in history, history teaching or historical research. Our articles are written using verified primary sources and authoritative secondary texts. We do not use Wikipedia or other open source content when researching our articles. Every Alpha History article is proofed, cross-checked and edited before it appears on our website.
Why does your website have ads?
Alpha History receives no external funding so relies on advertising to keep our website free for users like you. Advertising covers the costs of hosting a very large website and delivering it to an audience around the world. It also helps fund the creation of new resources.
Alpha History follows responsible advertising guidelines. We place limits on the size, type and quantity of advertising on each page. Our advertising and advertisers do not determine or influence our content in any way.
Why is your website a dot.com site?
We get this question a lot. Many teachers and students are justifiably wary of dot.com sites because they are commercially oriented and exist to make money.
Alpha History actually started as a dot.org site (alphahistory.org) alongside its other domains (alphahistory.com, alphahistory.net, etc.) We decided to switch to alphahistory.com because the vast majority of our users were landing on this domain. Whatever our domain, rest assured that our website exists to produce content and resources for people like you. It is not a profit-driven venture.
Are you connected with or inspired by ‘Alpha history is Black history’?
No, this is purely coincidental. For those who are not aware, Alpha Phi Alpha is an African-American college fraternity at New York’s Cornell University. It counts dozens of prominent African-Americans among its membership, including Martin Luther King Jnr, WEB Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall and Jesse Owens. The motto “Alpha history is Black history” refers to Alpha Phi Alpha’s significant contribution to African-American history. While we admire this group, our name is not a reference or homage to the fraternity.
What is your policy on ad-blockers?
We would ask that you do not use them on our site. Our content costs money to produce and deliver, and advertising helps us generate funds to meet these costs.
Please support us by disabling any ad-blocker extension, plugin or software when visiting our site. Alternatively, you can whitelist our top-level domain, alphahistory.com, in your ad-blocking software. We reserve the right to restrict access to our website for users with ad-blocking software.
I have found a mistake on your website
Then please, let us know. We do proof, edit and review all pages and are pretty good at picking up minor errors, incorrect dates and ‘typos’ – but they do occasionally slip through.
As our website grows, we rely on users to point out possible errors. When we hear from our readers about errors, we check them out and make an appropriate correction. Information about broken links is also appreciated.
Your online activities are not working
If you experience persistent problems, contact your local network manager or technician for advice.
There are words spelt incorrectly on your website
We are generally pretty good at picking up any spelling or grammatical errors before publication. If you happen to spot one, please let us know.
Because Alpha History is based in Australia, our website uses British English. Speakers of American English may therefore notice some variation from their native spelling (for example, “colour” instead of “color” and “realise” instead of “realize”).
Is your website available in other languages?
The information or arguments on a particular page or topic are biased
We are often contacted by readers who take issue with explanations or perspectives in our content. This usually occurs with politically divisive or contentious topics, such as Nazism or communism.
Alpha History authors strive to provide topic summaries that are neutral, objective, supported by evidence and reflect any existing consensus among historians.
Our topic pages are intended to provide a brief introduction to the topic. They do not include all arguments, viewpoints or theories. We leave it to readers to undertake further reading and make up their own minds about competing perspectives.
Alpha History and its authors welcome feedback and criticism about our content but we do not entertain conspiracy theories or engage in political or historiographical debate. We will not change our content unless there are clear errors of fact.
What sources were used to write a particular page? Can you send them to me?
When our authors submit an article for publication they provide a list of primary and secondary sources. To prevent lazy study habits, such as plagiarism or ‘source-mining’, we do not make this material publicly available, nor do we provide students with bibliographies or reference lists.
If you have a query about a specific detail on the Alpha History site, such as a particular fact or quotation, please make contact and we may provide a reference.
Can I cite or use your content in my essay, term paper or research project?
Of course – that’s why we created Alpha History. Just follow the correct procedure for using and acknowledging secondary sources. If you quote, paraphrase or use information from our website then you should include a citation or reference. You should not plagiarise our content (copy-and-paste it and claim it as your own work).
Information on referencing can be found here. Most topic pages list the authors and a suggested citation at the foot of the page.
Can you help me with my homework/essay/term paper?
Alpha History is an online resource, not a homework or tutoring service. We may respond to queries about our content but we cannot assist students with questions or homework. There are several history forums and question-and-answer websites on the Internet that may useful in this regard.
As a consequence, any messages asking for this kind of help will be disregarded.
Can teachers use content from your website in their handouts?
We are happy for teachers to use our content in print form, such as for class handouts, on an occasional basis. Any content used this way should cite the publisher (Alpha History), relevant authors and the URL from where it was obtained.
If you intend to do this repeatedly or extensively, such as printing off numerous topic pages for a packet or handbook, please make contact and consider making a small donation.
Can I use copy and republish content from your site on my own website, blog or learning wiki?
You should not republish any Alpha History content without our express permission. This includes republication on blogs, teacher-operated websites, LMS pages, educational wikis and school or government resources. This applies to both public-facing websites and closed networks or intranets.
Brief excerpts from our content of up to 150 words may be used on your blog or website, provided it contains a link back to the relevant page on our website.
Please make contact with us if you have any queries about reproducing or republishing content.
Can I use an image from your website?
This depends on the individual image and the purpose for which you intend to use it.
The majority of images hosted on our website are in the public domain, which means they can be freely used. Others are published under fair use provisions and a small number appear with the permission of the rights holder. Images can generally be used in school projects and presentations under fair use provisions.
If in doubt, make contact and we will help if we can.
Can I write for Alpha History?
Alpha History welcomes inquiries from people interested in contributing as an author or reviewer. Authors should possess a history degree or a background in history or history education, as well as competent writing skills.
If you are interested, contact us with information about yourself, your areas of interest or expertise and a sample of your writing.
Can I suggest a page, resource or idea for Alpha History?
By all means. We like receiving ideas and suggestions from teachers and students. Several topic pages and primary sources on the Alpha History site have been added at the suggestion of our readers. Just contact us with your suggestion and we will consider it.
Can I link to the Alpha History site? Will you link to mine?
We encourage users to link to our website. Alpha History has a policy of not publishing links to other sites – but if you have or know of a great history website, we may post a link on our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus accounts.
How can I support Alpha History?
Please visit this page and check out the various ways you can support us. If you have found our website useful and would like to leave some feedback, you can either contact us directly or via our social media sites.