Wikimedia-wide WikiProjects (narrow focus)

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Edited by author.
Last edit: 15:34, 29 December 2009

If we were to specify a model for such a WikiProject:

  • Global WikiProjects are in effect, current WikiProjects updated and made wikimedia-wide. They still do the same job of supporting a given topic, but they aren't local to a given language.
  • Global WikiProjects exist to allow cross-wiki collaboration and teamwork on a given topic area. A global WikiProject can co-exist with or replace local WikiProjects, as users prefer. They act as a central point of reference for information, co-ordination, translation etc on their field.
  • Their aims are to provide a larger team base, cross-wiki quality pooling and info, translation, quality spread between projects, assistance, and support on a topic area. They also act as a central point for expertize on the topic.
  • Specific tasks of a global WikiProject (not all Wikiprojects may be large and established enough to support all of these):

A) Article related:

  1. Creation of a list of necessary or important articles in the field (and optionally, a list of recommended articles)
  2. Maintaining a list of articles that fall within the field, and which projects they exist on
  3. Assessing the importance of articles in the field
  4. Monitoring articles in the field that have reached a high standard (GA/FA)

B) Interwiki and editor services:

  1. Making it easy for high quality work to transfer between projects;
  2. Locating illustrative material and sources
  3. Help with specialist material for the field in foreign languages.
  4. Help with specialist translation
  5. Moral support, collegiality and a source of new ideas and interaction, for specialist editors in the field who might otherwise feel isolated and perhaps unsupported (eg on minor wikis)

C) Portal:

  1. Providing general welcome, orientation, and initial guidance/assistance, for readers and for users who may be open to editing or assisting within the field.

D) Local wiki support:

  1. Supporting projects with low levels of access to knowledge on the topic
  2. Helping the field to develop on wikis where editorial impetus is lacking (ie few editors in the field, low coverage, little active development of the field).
  3. Disseminates knowledge and approaches on the topic across languages

E) Dispute resolution assistance

It can be hard to resolve a dispute if the underlying material and issue is not understood, or is technical in nature.

  1. In cases of alleged disruptive editing or content disputes, to act as a second source of mediation and knowledge, to assist editors and administrators who wish to help but do not have a good enough understanding of the underlying content issue.
  2. To act as a source of evidence at formal dispute resolution on technical aspects related to mainstream and fringe views (for example confirming which experts hold what views, the weight that different views hold, or clarifying which sources are considered reliable or fringe).

F) Expertise related:

Different editors have different approaches, and some highly knowledgeable editors may wish to provide peer review, referee, quality assessment and technical comments and assistance, rather than dealing with edit warriors and the like. Users with specialist knowledge are valued and a valid role exists for such activities in global Wikiprojects within the Wikipedia model.

  1. Each global WikiProject is strongly urged to identify and embrace experts and highly knowledgeable users within its field, across all projects.
  2. Global WikiProjects who have identified a number of experts should form a Referees Panel (in whatever way they wish to operate it). The Referees Panel has a number of suggested roles:
    • Maintaining a page as a non-mandatory forum where editors can ask for more technical assessment of an edit or textual section, peer review, check latest knowledge in the field, ask about quality of sources and approaches, and make other specialist inquiries related to high quality.
    • Regularly aim to review all GAs and FAs in the field, checking whether recent edits have accidentally led to a lowering of quality or whether other problems (including outdated material) or potential improvements are visible, and maintaining a page that tracks all GAs and FAs for this purpose.
FT2 (Talk | email)14:25, 21 December 2009

Yes, I think this is an excellent summary. I may want to make some edits (for instance, one of the Wikimedia-wide project's could be to establish tematic projects on the wikis where they do not exist, now it is not explicit), but it could be done once we start compiling a recommendation.

I have one more point though. Imagine a wiki-project on modern history. I have difficulties to see for instance Israeli and Arab editors constructively collaborating for instance over a peer-review. I am not sure what and in what extent should we add to the proposal (it is obviously dispute resolution assistance) but I feel that smth should be added. I will think a bit more about this.

Yaroslav Blanter16:54, 22 December 2009
Edited by author.
Last edit: 17:37, 22 December 2009

Add one more...?

"Because of the scope of global WikiProjects, it is important that editors on them and their panels should be collaborative, collegial, and follow Wikipedia norms related to neutrality and balance and dialog. Global WikiProjects and other dispute resolution routes have no powers to block, but may in exceptional or persistent cases eject members who fail to do so and may be asked for advice and input for individual projects regarding local disputes. A global WikiProject council is suggested to allow neutral review of such cases and suggestions for development and communal health of the global Wikiprojects' community."

It needs editing, but the idea would be to build into it the things that WikiProjects might need and not be able to do for themselves, such as:

  • Review a WikiProject member's behavior if the WikiProject is heavily divided and consensus unreachable,
  • Act as an informal forum for tasks and ideas where cross-global-WikiProject decisions would be useful, and
  • Be a watchdog and resource for Global WikiProjects having problems (eg becoming dominated and skewed by a single faction so it's no longer able to serve its role in a balanced manner).
FT2 (Talk | email)17:12, 22 December 2009

Yeah, but we know they are just not going to be collaborative on this point. Even if they all get ejected. Let me think a little bit.

Yaroslav Blanter17:22, 22 December 2009

That's not a problem at this level. Take Israel-Palestine. Ideally:

  • The global WikiProject self regulates to support and assist on those projects.
  • There may (and probably will) be separate Israel and Palestine global WikiProjects too, for those narrower focus areas.
  • The global WikiProjects support editors and try to keep the topic areas running smoothly, as WikiProjects do.
  • If an editor is disruptive then other editors step in.
  • If a user active on the global WikiProject is disruptive they can be removed from it - this doesnt block them or change their editing, it just means the Global Wikiproject can avoid problems due to their involvement at the Global WikiProject itself.
  • If the Global WikiProject is divided, or there's lack of clarity, the Global WikiProject council can be asked to decide the matter, on the basis that members of unconnected WikiProjects will probably be neutral enough to help them sort it out.
  • The entire system is by mutual respect - the only actual "power" any of these bodies have is to do their work of co-ordinating topic areas (which can be heeded or ignored on any given project) and self-regulate somewhat if they become divisive internally.
FT2 (Talk | email)17:43, 22 December 2009

I do not think it is as easy. I know for instance on en.wp it is very difficult to say smth reasonable concerning modern Russian history since there are teams consisting of Eastern European users which just create the illusion of vast majority and under this illusion pot POV in the articles. But I guess we recognize that this is a globasl problem and we can not provide any detailed recommendations to address it. We just note that it does not concern too many projects.

Yaroslav Blanter18:02, 22 December 2009

I'd rather think that the problems in those areas are due to teams sponsored by certain governments and organizations with the aim of pushing certain POVs and discrediting their opponents - but this is rather off topic here. Having written that, I do however think that organized interference from various organizations is going to become an increasing problem; it is obvious that the current system is very vulnerable to this problem - but I have not a clue how to deal with this threat.

Back on subject raised here. Encouraging WikiProject activity is a good idea, if hardly revolutionary. Those that work well on wiki, well, they work well, and their growth should be encouraged. I'd suggest a study to identify the most successful ones, see what makes them work, and develop a set of good practices for others to follow based on their example.

Piotrus23:37, 28 December 2009

Good. Obviously we need to add that they operate withing Five Pillars etc, but this can be done later on.

Yaroslav Blanter18:00, 22 December 2009

Global project may be useful just we should not be blind to its limits.

Lack of similar guidelines and MoS. For example English Anime/Manga project is stricter in term of notability than its French equivalent while there is nothing as Fair Use in the whole French Wikipedia. So cross-wiki collaboration should focus on content/sourcing and avoid the rest.

Lack of exactly equivalent scope. English Anime/Manga focus exclusively on Japanese Anime & Manga (What an pleonasm) while its French equivalent expand to Korean Manwha and Chinese Manhua (more pleonasms) plus western produced manga-like comics.

Global project discussion page should be transluced to each local project talk page to maximize reach & participation.

KrebMarkt09:33, 30 December 2009

Detail. Each global project can sort that out for itself. But it is worth noting in the outline that local norms such as strictness, fair use etc may vary and not to assume they are (or should be) the same.

Likewise "You may wish to transclude the portal page to maximize reach" would be worth recommending, but I wouldn't advocate transcluding it all; there could be many many pages on a significant wikiproject.

FT2 (Talk | email)12:06, 30 December 2009

Only global project "talk page" and not whole portal :p

So in one page you have both the current global project discussions & your local project discussions.

KrebMarkt16:05, 30 December 2009

That's likely to be over-detail.

We don't have to tell editors on local projects what they might wish to transclude from a global wikiproject. If they want to transclude any pages, and which pages they choose to transclude locally, they'll decide locally. At most, note transclusion may be a shortcut for local projects.

FT2 (Talk | email)16:12, 30 December 2009