You don't have to log in to read the Tardis Data Core. You don't even have to log in to edit articles in the Tardis Data Core; anyone can edit almost any article, even without logging in. Nevertheless, creating an account is quick, free and non-intrusive, and it's a good idea to do so, for many reasons.
Note: to create a user account for the Tardis Data Core, go to the login page.
User name Edit
If you create an account, you can pick a username. (Please keep in mind our Username policy when choosing a username.) Edits you will make while being logged in will be assigned to that name. That means you get full credit for your contributions in the page history (when not logged in, the edits are just assigned to your (potentially random) IP address). You can also view all your contributions by clicking the "My contributions" link, which is only visible when you are logged in.
You will have your own user page where you can write a bit about yourself. While the Tardis Data Core is not a homepage provider, you can use this to display a three images, write about your hobbies, etc. Members may use their user page to maintain a list of the articles they are most proud of, or to collect other valuable information from the Tardis Data Core.
You will also have a permanent user talk page you can use to communicate with other users. You will be notified whenever someone writes a message on your talk page. If you choose to give an e-mail address, other users will be able to contact you by e-mail. This feature is anonymous; the user who emails you will not know your e-mail address.
Identity implications Edit
If you are not logged in, all your edits are publicly associated with your IP address at the time of that edit. If you log in, all your edits are publicly associated with your account name, and are internally associated with your IP address.
The privacy implications of this vary, depending on the nature of your Internet Service Provider, local laws and regulations, and the nature and quantity of your edits to the Tardis Data Core. Be aware that the Tardis Data Core technologies and policies may fluctuate.
Opinions differ on the desirability of perfect anonymity. Some people believe that anonymity is synonymous with a lack of accountability, or may facilitate unproductive behaviour, or that contributing without a fixed identity is disempowering and unpleasant. Such people consider that creating an account and logging in may resolve such feelings.
New editing options Edit
There are many features of the MediaWiki software (which powers the Tardis Data Core and other Wikimedia projects) that are only available to registered users. For example, registered users can mark edits as "minor". Minor edits can be filtered from the list of "Recent changes". We do not give the privilege to mark edits as minor to anonymous users because we do not know who is behind a given IP address at any time, so we cannot build a basis of trust. (Marking edits as minor if they are not is considered very rude.) Minor edits are small edits such as fixing punctuation or spacing issues, any significant additions of content is not considered a minor edit.
One very important feature which active contributors will likely use a lot are Followed pages. You will get a new link "Follow" on every page you view. If you click that link, a page will be added to your Followed pages.
Only registered users are allowed to move (and in the process of moving) then rename pages, a feature that is very important to maintain structure, consistencies and histories of pages the Tardis Data Core.
Also, you must be logged in if you want to upload images.