Proposal talk:Improve interfacing with academia

    From Strategic Planning

    No. Same problem as with the German proposal Redaktionen: I hope we never see "real world" qualifications carry over to Wikipedia in any way - a direction in which the "authentication" service in particular seems to lead. Users on Wikimedia need not be equal, of course, since they differ vastly in knowledge, skill and attitude. But what position/reputation a user has on Wikimedia should stem from Wikimedia and from Wikimedia alone. It's actually the reason why I dislike Citizendium - I simply do not see how real world identity or academic qualifications could matter in an online project. After all, academic journals won't ask for your Wikipedia username either. -- JovanCormac 09:08, 15 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I think you've misunderstood the proposal. This does not give special editing privileges to academic users. The authentication service does not verify academic credentials, merely the users actual name if they choose to enter it. That way the user can add Wikimedia work to his or her CV, even if they edit under a pseudonym. Does this address your concern? --TeaDrinker 14:10, 15 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    But it does establish a first link between a user's real life identity and his Wikipedia identity. Such a link is bound to introduce various problems into the system IMO, the worst of them being a growing distrust against users who do not provide real name authentication ("What do you have to hide?"). Invariably, users will start "looking people up", at which point a comparison of academic degrees and such becomes inevitable. One could of course imagine a system where not everyone has access to a user's real world identity. But this leaves the question of who does have that access, and this could introduce an even greater and more dangerous imbalance. Working in academia myself, I understand people wishing to add their Wikipedia contributions to their CV, but I'd prefer that they do it "manually", i.e. simply mention their username. If someone really wishes to check it, they can still leave a message for that user and wait for him to respond, or simply ask the person to log into their account when they are present. -- JovanCormac 17:59, 15 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My main concern is that such as system would be meaningless without real authentication (i.e. passport copy or such) - which I am sure we don't want to introduce. If you don't think authentication by document is needed, if it is just about the real name, people could simply hash it with SHA and leave the hash on their userpage. When they say on the CV that they use a certain account, it is easily verifiable by anyone possessing the real name - but the real name cannot be extracted from Wikipedia in any way. All that is possible with current Wikipedia technology. -- JovanCormac 17:59, 15 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    First let me emphasize this is a minor part of the proposal. Your suggestion to leave a note on the editor's userpage asking "Are you Jane Jones?" does satisfy the verifiability part (verifies that User:Foo does identify as Jane Jones) but requires the editor's name to be revealed. We could accomplish the same thing with email, with no loss of privacy. My suggestion is only to provide a fast and easy way to check that what a person says on their CV matches what the Editor named says their name is. My intent has never been to provide a verification of real identity, which as you point out is unworkable. --TeaDrinker 22:40, 19 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


    I think we already interface as much and as well with akademiai as possible, i.e. by individual academical participants, who remain pretty anonymous at their own choice. The first reason is that academical persons are not in any way less quarrelsome than random wikipedians, they are training to become POVvy, that's their roles in science, and science doesn't in any way hinder people from becoming territorial. The second reason is that that means imposing restrictions in the way we work, by introducing peer reviews for Astrology, Hypnosis, Crypto-zoology, Scientology and other inherently troublesome topics. Peer reviews can be useful under a very limited set of circumstances, but generally it is like shooting fleas with bazooka (destructive).

    At the same time, it is a good idea that students put Wikipedia under scrutiny from their newly attained knowledge, by criticising in the talk page, adding some citation-needed and factual-accuracy templates on too bad articles, but it is important that this is informal and volunteer, otherwise we will get too much work with bored students who dislike messing around with a boring encyclopedia, and prefers partaking in the nearest class-party.

    In order to get an optimized attention from akademiai we should write some errors here and there, so that students and professionals can be annoyed enough to improve, and then provide a splendid external link set of academical sources to make wikipedia good enough to be usable. Rursus 18:06, 18 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I think inserting factual errors to draw people in to fix them would be considered vandalism on all Wikimedia projects. --TeaDrinker 22:40, 19 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    also dislike

    I agree with the previous speakers, that the proposed modifications have the potential to do more harm than good. Universities/institutes a.o. seem to be unable or unwilling to connect themselfs in a fully functional, non-hierarchic and accepted wiki themselves and I guess they know the reasons why.

    By the way: How do you want to record somebodys contributions? What if they continue to be revoked by other users for quality concerns? Applying for a top-job with a CV where everybody can see that you got your butt-kicked in wikipedia-discussions by people called "dusty" or "sir-stink-a-lot", doesnt sound to be a good idea.Alexpl 14:44, 19 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Of course, people write their own CVs. If they don't want to list their work on a Wikimedia project, they don't have to (nor is there any way to determine if a new applicant has done work on a project, provided they don't edit under their own name). If a person felt their work would hurt their application, they would simply not put it on their CV. --TeaDrinker 22:40, 19 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Weak Like

    I really like the ideas behind this, but I think the whole CV portion of it (not an insignificant portion) is bound to be troublesome. For one, we have to have Academia recognize the value of contributing to Wikipedia. For another, we have to determine to what extent is something CV-worthy, etc. I just don't see how this could be practically implimented. I'm all for getting Academia more involved here, however. Jade Knight 06:19, 2 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


    Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    tools for assessing contributions

    "Create a tool or tools for assessing contributions to Wikimedia projects which could be referenced on a curriculum vita" <-- One option would be to make use of something like a wiki journal as proposed at Proposal:Journal; have a journal where academics could publish peer-reviewed articles that are relevant to Wikimedia projects. Another option is to incorporate peer review into Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 16:43, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    difficult but worth trying

    if there were a way to make it work, this would be very, very powerful.

    i can't see how to do it just yet though. can contributions still be wiped clean/deleted, even if a treasured academic creates them.

    i do think its worth working on.

    keep in mind though, that much of academia is about discovering new things and taking credit for it. wikipedia is about documenting stuff that is published somewhere else. this could work for, say, history professors. 13:33, 3 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    According to Wikipedia, Bible stories are "history". A few minutes on Google Scholar will show that is not what historians think. If you invite academics to "improve" articles like this they will trash them and write something based on sources from journals. Then they will get in a big fight with the Bible folks and leave in disgust. And maybe forbid their students to use Wikipedia.
    I could give many other examples of W articles that are jokes by academic standards. 05:25, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    The reaction between academics and simple users

    Well, it sounds good, but I would be affraid from social relationship between the academics and simple users. As sometimes people from schools they are e.g. strongly supporting SciPOV, which doesnt meet the needs of Wikipedia, on Wikiversity might work this.--Juan de Vojníkov 17:58, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    How users are understand

    Well, I would say that another problem would be in understanding users. As it is writen "Wikipedia is not a democracy", "Major goal of Wikipedia is creation of the artiles". So now at the time, I would say in most Wikimedia projects (exluding Wikiversity) yousers being understood as a matter. People are comeing to the project and leaving the project. Project is based on the amount of people they came-edit-leave within a period of time. Nowone takes care of a personnal lives of the people, noone takes care or their social needs, happiness, sadness etc. Because it is not in focus of Wikipedia. Nowone writes to his/her curricullum I worked on wp. However, it is not in focus, we can find out even in Wikipedia some social behaviour of its participants, but most of Wikipedia like project are based on the importance of number and quality of articles, not on fostering of the community. With this strategy and it looks, that maybe this will change, but who knows.--Juan de Vojníkov 18:11, 3 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    A different kind of proposal

    In general, I agree that academic engagement with the Wikis would be a good thing. I also agree that we don't want to facilitate any of "their world" into the Wiki social structure. As an academic, a key feature that would assist me is a way to track my own contributions and the impact of them. I would include such a thing in my performance measures, where I am partly funded for scholarly, community and teaching contributions. I think the wikis cut across all these 3, but as yet they are not recognised in my performance measures. Giving me a tool that gathers data on my behalf that I can use outside the wiki in this way would help my efforts to be measured on this performance, and help me set a precedence that would encourage other academics to do so as well. Leighblackall 03:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I'm obsessed with Proposal:Add or redesign tab for original research and I feel that it answers all or most of the concerns here. -Malach