Proposal talk:State of the Art Wikimedia

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From Strategic Planning

One problem I've run into attempting what is proposed is insufficient space. My user page is filled, I've written articles based on it, and need more room for each article. It would be nice to be able to begin a page directly on say wikipedia without fear of being edited into nonexistence before achieving state of the art. The state of the art isn't easy and often requires critical effort, patience and perseverance. While it would be nice to receive a fee for each page contributed, this would ultimately seriously deplete the wikimedia foundation resources. Producing state of the art pages is usually its own reward. It would also be nice to have instrumentation simulations available so that one could become proficient at say performing HPLC. Marshallsumter 23:37, 13 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You can create as many sub-pages of your user page as you want, e.g., User:Marshallsumter/Sandbox 123. That works on most if not all Foundation projects. It is very unlikely that others will try to edit them, and if they do, it's more likely that they will try to help collaborate on your userspace draft than remove content or the page. As long as the sub-pages are being used to help improve the project they are on, no administrator is likely to object, even if you have hundreds in progress at a time. 02:34, 16 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What does this mean

I am unable to determine what, exactly, is being proposed in this proposal. Can it be stated more clearly? What concrete steps can be taken to achieve the intended goal? --Gmaxwell 23:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for your question and comment. Take a look at any article on say wikipedia, especially the reference list. While reading the text ask yourself, "Where did this fact come from?" If the author hasn't referenced it to a source, how do you know that it is a fact or at least someone's thought or opinion?

The proposal probably can be stated more clearly. Almost everything can be. Ask another question to help. Marshallsumter 00:10, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this a proposal to improve the quality of citations? What steps does it propose to achieve that end? --Gmaxwell 00:18, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. Those citations I've found in an article or on a page usually conform to wikipedia standards or can be improved with a little effort. Increasing the quantity and application of citations is being proposed. A reader only knows when they've reached the state of the art when they ask a question that doesn't have an answer. In part it may help to occasionally mention what isn't known as it specifically pertains to a given page. Marshallsumter 00:46, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ah! Thank you for clarifying. So, keeping in mind that Wikipedia is written by volunteers and that the Wikipedia policies active encourage the liberal use of citations, what actions can the foundation take to improve the quantity of citations? Are there different short term and long term strategies you could propose? --Gmaxwell 03:28, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe there are several strategies to help the volunteers. I very often can find additional references to work around the paywalls by using sources such as pubmed, pubchem, and google scholar. What I would like to create are a few special pages where our volunteers can go as well as contribute to that contain free abstracting services that with even a small amount of effort can produce that extra edge to wikipedia articles, or pages within an article.

The same could occur for dummying down an article by special pages containing textbooks or older freely available books that can serve for more elementary concepts. I've seen several references or citations to the 1913 dictionary yet when I've needed to use it. I could not find it. The same for the older encyclopedias.

One other is for wikipedia to negotiate with foundations like NSF (USA) to have them include wikipedia as a teaching medium to help meet NSF requirements. This may encourage publicly supported scholars at universities and colleges to volunteer articles or pages to wikipedia, for example. One especially weak area is figures, photos, pictures, etc. Many of the copyright holders for these are individuals rather than journals. These individuals can, if necessary, modify the data presentation to make it suitable for wikipedia, for example. And, with encouragement either from foundations like NSF, Max Planck and others include them for free distribution in wikipedia.

An additional phenomenon I'm noticing is that volunteers, perhaps the same ones that wrote the article, are going around and updating.

One possible suggestion is to assign or ask for volunteer editors to be recognized as attached to given pages. While I like the anonymity of wikipedia, I also enjoy receiving the credit or criticism for my editorship for given articles. In addition I enjoy doing a little extra digging to see if I can get the article to the state of the art. Hopefully, in five years we'll see professional scholars referencing or citing wikipedia articles as well as archival societal journals such as Nature.

One other idea concerns the fear of articles or pages being too technical for laypeople. Linking can eliminate that. Wikipedia can also have pages to help dummy down an article. I don't like the dummying down concept but helping readers get from where they are knowledge-wise to where they would like to be is a very real contribution that wikipedia and wikimedia make. Marshallsumter 21:01, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I found this proposal very confusing and hard to understand too, so thanks for adding some more detail. To be frank, though, I think we should aim to get all core topics to Featured Article status. State of the Art sounds a bit of a stretch... --Bodnotbod 18:55, 18 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is this maybe the same thing as en:Wikipedia:Featured articles? Then the proposal possibly directs either to making featured articles a template for good-looking and well-formed and create featured articles for topics where missing. Or it might direct towards documenting and standardizing article making according to criteria derived by analysing featured articles? Either case I applaud. Rursus 07:22, 19 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you each again for your comments. While I agree with the standard of Feature Article, state of the art is slightly different and may be a stretch worthy of the five years. I've written quite a few articles that were when published "state of the art" but I would be embarrassed to call them engaging or brilliant prose. They were not! But, to me state of the art is more important knowledge-wise than engaging prose. Sometimes brilliant, engaging prose scares me. I start counting my fingers to see if they're all still there. State of the art can apply to the smallest of pages with the fewest facts, but when the reader starts to check the literature confidence is built. Marshallsumter 20:22, 20 August 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 00:16, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]