Talk:Emerging strategic priorities/ESP 3 key questions

From Strategic Planning
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Since the beginning of the strategic planning process, users of this wiki have been asked to identify questions related to Wikimedia's future direction and to treat it as a brainstorming question (no discussion, just questions). Over the past few months, users have built a Fact base to describe where Wikimedia is today, identified a set of Emerging strategic priorities related to achieving Wikimedia's vision "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge," and defined Task forces that will dive more deeply into making recommendations for how Wikimedia should grow in the future.

Now it's time for users here to move from brainstorming questions to providing input. Please read the questions below and discuss them on the talk pages. Discussions there will inform the work of the task forces and provide guidance as we, together, go about writing the strategic plan for the Wikimedia movement.

The following questions relate to "Expansion of high quality information"

Questions: Quality Reference Content


Are vital articles the right measure of encyclopedic or core reference content?

There are many ways to measure the quality of online encyclopedia, wiktionary or stock photography :

  • A set of vital articles
  • A fast access to information
  • A reactive editor staff
  • A good paper rendering of articles
  • An easy way to modify/upgrade/correct any Wikimedia "outlet" (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons, etc.)
  • An easy way to check the validity of information
  • An almost complete "outlet"

Cantons-de-l'Est 13:05, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

In theory. But we need a better mechanism for flagging vital articles. Some Wikiprojects are doing a good job. We may benefit from academic partnerships, on a subject-by-subject basis.

  • Actually, what we once tried to do in Russian Wikipedia (and eventually got stuck) is to considerably extend the list of vital articles: for instance, going from 1000 to order of 10K or even more. We made a list of fields (like math, physics, law, sports etc) with the idea of making the lists of vital articles for each field (which eventually should be expanded to the level of featured articles or good articles). It actually turned out to be very difficult, since one needs real experts having an overview in the whole field. I tried to engage external experts (just to make the lists at this stage, not to write the articles), but with very little success. However, if such lists could be made (I assume a core is the same for all projects, but some details like for instance literature, art, and history, could differ from project to project), the availability and quality of articles would be a good measure of quality. In the absence of such a list, one can still think of some lesser size sample sets.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:20, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Yaroslav Blanter's comment interests me. I think it is a great idea to have such lists made. This should be done globally, not locally, because many communities know more than one community. Woudloper 23:52, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    This is in principle correct, just some portions are community-specific: for instance, the article on Multatuli to Dutch community is important, whereas for the Arabic community it may be of much less importance; at the same time, the Arabic community may decide to work on the article on Naghib Mahfouz instead. (just to give an example).--Yaroslav Blanter 12:27, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    I think Yaroslav's approach has promise. Libraries have been doing hierarchical categorizations for decades, and perhaps some of these (or relevant ontologies) can be turned into a useful set of vital articles. Probably will end up needing to be discipline-specific, though, and definitely requires expert input. --Mietchen 22:19, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Though Meta has a list of articles, the English Wikipedia has not one, not two, but three lists of 1000 core articles. I think that making such lists is subjective and contentious. Furthermore, vital articles tend to be very general, which may (because I have no statistics) not be what most people look up. We should consider what level of detail is most important. I'm guessing it's more specific than Sports (a vital article) and less specific than Donald Bradman with the Australian cricket team in England in 1948 (a featured article). HereToHelp (talk) 04:51, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Problem with vital article list is that some article (ie, Donald Bradman) is not vital/relevent in other Wiki. Yosri 04:48, 2 February 2010 (UTC)Reply
How can Wikipedia fill existing gaps in encyclopedic content as measured by vital articles?

  • I believe all articles can be divided into three groups. (i) "mass culture" articles: computer games, pop-music albums etc. (ii) "general interest" articles - these where academic sources could be found: history, art, georgaphy etc. (iii) "specialized articles" - where one need an expert to write smth reasonable: natural and social sciences. For (i) the existing gaps (if any) get filled themselves, and the main problem is garbage cleaning. (ii) can be filled by popularization of Wikimedia and organization of work within projects - for instance, asking users to improve particular articles; (iii) only can be filled in by finding professionals.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:44, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I think that articles could be improved if there would be intention to put the titles of the books wich are related to a topic of the article. By that way Wikipedia might be more scientific. --Mzolta 18:34, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • In general, I think that the larger Wikipedias already do quite well on vital articles. Where that is not the case, it is often books on rather broad subjects. For those a cooperation with Wikibooks might be useful: first select from existing Wikipedia articles (plus new content) to make a Wikibook on the subject, then summarize the Wikibook back into Wikipedia. - Andre Engels 07:59, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    I believe creating a reasonable book on Wikibooks is way much more work that creating a reasonable WP article, at least for an expert.--Yaroslav Blanter 12:29, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    The biggest difference between the projects, as I understand it, is that 'pedia needs only to have the information, while 'books needs to explain it to someone who doesn't understand it. That is, Wikipedia is often too detailed for the basic learning Wikibooks is designed to provide. On another note, I mentioned that vital articles are very general. I think most Wikipedians are uncomfortable with broad, summary articles. Perhaps a guideline or essay could be written that teaches the best practices for such articles. HereToHelp (talk) 05:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Actually, in my opinion the lack of sound broad overview articles is one of our main problems. For instance the article Hungary contains a link to Art in Hungary, which in turn should contain a link to Hungarian painting. But such an article does not exist, because it is very difficult to create it: one needs an expert or at least a highly qualified amateur. It is much easier to create an article about a particular Hungarian artist: just yesterday, in two hours I created a decent article on ru.wp on Laszlo Mednyansky just by reading through several websites on him. And this missing article is supposed to be a link which is very much important for the whole structure.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:48, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can Wikipedia encourage existing contributors to invest resources against the highest-priority content gaps?

  • There are a lot of awards given out subjectively for stuff people like. (e.g.: barnstars.) It would be nice to put a premium on people who work on vital articles. Give them the highest award for these contributions. It wouldn't be unrealistic to have the award come from Jimbo, or the WMF, or even ArbCom. This is a rare and important feat.
    In the way it is suggested this is a project-related issue and has nothing to do with the strategy. On the other hand, if ever a big-scale project is organized with the purpose of first using common efforts to create a good/featured article in one language (presumably English) and then translating it to other languages, one can think of barnstars etc. Btw for this case one should also standartize the quality of GA/FA (eventually may be introducing a new grade of quality for such articles: Meta-article or similar). --Yaroslav Blanter 12:33, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    I think social incentives are a good idea, but it's not the only one. Just to throw it out there, we could pay editors or specialists. Alternatively, we could put more effort into article improvement drives. We could have a system where editors interested in the same topic could meet and collaborate. Perhaps this could happen in person in a library (are library computers secure enough to log in on?). Or perhaps some sort of ad campaign; some people may give time more readily than currency. HereToHelp (talk) 05:01, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can Wikipedia engage new contributors with knowledge/ expertise in content gap areas?

  • Reach out to university and academic groups, both within and outside the curriculum. Even one solid university partnership would work wonders if they contributed across several fields of knowledge.
  • Identify the reasons of the gap aera. Ie :
    • Domain specialists not accoutumed to open knowledge principles
    • Domain specialists have problems with usability points
    • Domain specialists not knowing exactly how to theorize them domain
    • Etc.
Then try to reduce the negative factor if possible.
  • Yeah, academic partnerships would help. The key is making it easier for them to cite reliable research, since Wikipedia is not what they're used to.

Similar as the german Mentoring project (a project where newbies are offered some guidance) we could make a wikiproject where directly announce/mail high quality contributors and offer help for first contributions. At Commons we got a mail template which Users use to invite/ask non Wikimedians to contribute an image. We shoul at least have one mail template which Wikipedians could use to invite people from university. --Carl Steinbeißer 11:40, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • I believe academic partnership would not help per se, because active academics are really busy (I am now talking about natural sciences, the field I am active in), and they may have other objections, including the disagreement with core principles of Wikimedia - they would typically like to have their texts unchanged after creation. Therefore one should (a) target special groups: retired academics, academics close to retirement; students. These are the groups of people having time to contribute and willing to contribute; (b) identify articles for urgent creation and approaching particular experts to write or even to referee such articles. This is a Meta-issue, meaning the articles should be first created in English and then eventually translated. (c) Oner needs to create some mechanism of evaluating the content in the gap areas, may be having a scientific board or smth, to exclude self-promotion.--Yaroslav Blanter 12:40, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Partnerships with thematically specific wikis, such as in linguistics. Some experts may feel more comfortable editing wikis whose editors are mainly specialists. --Javier Carro 13:27, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Add a possibility for experts to show in an easy way they have contributed to this or this part of text. Maybe add a section "my majors edits" on the user page. So that it would be a good publicity for experts to participe on the project. This works not bad on experts social networks and multi-user blogs. --Thibho 02:46, 31 October 2010 (UTC)Reply
Should Wikimedia consider allowing original research to fill content gaps?

  • Yes, but not in Wikipedia or Wikibooks. Wikiversity currently allows original research as long as it follows acceptable practice for research. The reason Wikipedia and Wikibooks don't allow original research is because they aren't meant to be on the leading edge of unconfirmed information; they are solely a reference for existing knowledge. While Wikibooks may allow some first-hand experience or testing on occasion, there should generally be a secondary source available that could cover it.
  • It depends on the project, the subject and the type of original research. For example in Wikinews I can well imagine that it would have a place there. For Wikipedia I would be more hesitant, but for example the amateur historian, who has spent a few years browsing archives to describe the history of his own village, should in my opinion have a place even though his work is based on archival rather than literature research. - Andre Engels 08:11, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I considered it. My answer is no way. Original research would open up a million ethno-religious wars, a million science-pseudoscience wars, and a million do-we-have-the-faintest-idea-if-this-is-true wars. Not only will it allow people to dismantle whatever quality Wikipedia has built up, but it will tear the community apart one dispute at a time. Randomran 15:56, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I strongly support these arguments. I can imagine the endless discussions and on top of it the researcher could use it as a playground for his benefit.--Fox1942 15:06, 30 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What data, tools,and processes should Wikimedia put in place to continually monitor, identify, and fill content gaps across its Wikipedia?

Actually, I'm not quite sure wether or not this question is really important but I besides this I think one possibility to monitor content gaps would be to compare several Wikipedias (for example the english and the german Wikipedia). We could compare automatically the word count and wether or not a picture is in another Wikipedia. Or if there is any references. This comparisation could be made automatically and showen for example next to the interwikilinkmarks at every article. So an editor could see on one glimse in which Wikipedia further information could be found and translated. --Carl Steinbeißer 11:33, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

Interesting you mention that - I already created something like that on the Dutch Wikipedia, see [1]. - Andre Engels 08:12, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
One could offer an option to order interwiki links according to article size and/or quality (e.g. Proposal:Algorithm to assign an estimated credibility to articles). A central interwiki (e.g. Proposal:A central wiki for interlanguage links) could also help to provide a measure of the relative "density" of groups of articles (e.g. categories and portals) or even their average quality. --Fasten 13:39, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Well, for most of the gaps one needs just to identify them once. For instance, one needs to make a list of all carnivore mammals, and this list may be complete, or colse to completeness. This actually refers to one of the above questions (about the quality measure). Such lists can be collected at the meta level and must be split into topics to be usable. New lists can be tied to events (e.g. new heads of state or ministers; new Olympic champions etc). I am more worried abnout the quality. It is easy to check what is the state of a missing article; it is much more difficult to monitor the state of an article which is created as a stub and is slowly expanding, possibly partially as a result of POV-pushing. May be one should introduce the continuous scale of quality (say 10 or 20 grades, not most wikipedias only have GA and FA, and some also quality tags like flagged revisions) and grade the articles. Having many grades is definitely time-consuming but would help to monitor the quality.--Yaroslav Blanter 17:01, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    I think the most important articles are the most visited ones. Statistics are limited, but I remember I found a page once. Porpular topics included current heads of state, movies (which come and go), and sex (which no one will work on). But the difference in percentage of viewers is very small. Nevertheless, a more thorough study would be desirable. HereToHelp (talk) 05:14, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Do you mean Sex is the most important article in all Wikipoedias, in all languages?--Yaroslav Blanter 09:19, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What guidelines should be put in place across various language Wikipedias to ensure that a focus on quality of breadth does not stifle growth?

  • It might be good if somebody might compare the articles of two Wkipedias, because that could be seen which articles miss in one or at the other Wikipedia. It could inspire the reader to write something.--Mzolta 18:42, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I am not sure I understand the question. Indeed, one needs a mechanism to evaluate the quality, but I am not sure this belongs to this question.--Yaroslav Blanter 16:20, 5 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  • Academic parnterships would help. Have classes or extracurricular clubs adopt an article.
  • The foundation has to be more involved in bringing experts from different projects and even from outside the projects (see comment above) together. This role should be for the foundation simply because no other global organisation exists that can coordinate this. Woudloper 23:57, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • WMF and Chapters would greatly facilitate establishing academic partnerships. External partners e.g. academics may review articles and help in planning the developments and priorities. But the core work - to write the articles - has to be done by volunteers, and need to be organized within projects. Different projects will be coordinated via Meta.--Yaroslav Blanter 16:18, 5 November 2009 (UTC)Reply


Should Wikipedia strive for an internally-consistent classification system with nested categories of topics akin to traditional encyclopedias?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
  • On one hand, creating a new category tree without looking at what the traditional encyclopaedias are doing, is original research. However, projects should not be forced to blindly copy one standard. Improvements and inventions can only be made when there are no solid obligations or rules. Categorisation standards can change, also in traditional encyclopaedias. Woudloper 00:01, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I strongly support the openess of categories. My experiences with the German Wikipedia was just horrible. Extremely rigid categories, seriously taken word by word and administrators being proud to delete articles. The amount of discussions about deleting an article is large and timeconsuming. No doubt, there must be a classification system, but flexible and open! --Fox1942 14:59, 30 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Category depths and complexities are variable from, for instance, one Wikipedia to another. For instance, on the French Wikipedia, there would be little advantage to have an elaborate category tree on, say, the Silicon Valley companies, while it has a lot of sense to have such a category tree on the English Wikipedia (since it is much written by American contributors). We must address at the same time the capacity of the writing community and the needs of the reader community
    If such a classification system was "enforced", it would need to exist in parallel with the current category system. Cantons-de-l'Est 11:24, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can Wikipedia improve metadata and content categorization and search capabilities?

  • Not sure if this is a suggestion realy connected to this question but could not find any better place for the idea. The abillity to in an easy way refer to a Wikipedia article at a certain time point would be great. As I understand it today it is possible to undo any changes to an article that has been done from som time until today. A feature allowing to actually refer to and access one of these earlier versions in an easy way, in order to guarantee that no changes to the article is done after the reference is made, could be of great value for anyone who wants to use Wikipedia as a reliable source. It think it would remove much of the critique Wikipedia gets as an unreliable source to, because the current content quality could be guaranteed by anyone who at the point wants to use it.--Dafer45 11:08, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Named revisions would allow to mark one revision as an approved version for a quarter or a year. One could use this as an opportunity to organize regular community efforts to reach approval status for a group of articles. It might also be interesting for history improvements like Proposal:Video-format presentation of article history. --Fasten 12:15, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
See also: w:Wikipedia:Flagged revisions#Flagged revisions --Fasten 12:15, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should Wikipedia strive for standardization of article content within topics? If so, how might this be achieved?

I guess not. A degree of standardization may be useful, but very often reality is more diverse than is often thought. There are very many users who like to standardize everything, and often this happens at the cost of actual information. They should not be encouraged. - Brya 07:28, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

There are so many potential topics: some subject matter might become addressable only by specialists who know a certain standardization protocol: a bewildering maze of standards could ensue. Articles often contain multiple topical themes. Where standardization arises 'organically' (and it has), ok, but to create an all-encompassing system ... hmm. - Ted Clayton 17:44, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

I think this is a low priority. Right now, it would just be nice for major topics to be improved with verifiable information.

  • It depens on content. For example if there is article about some country, that would be useful if there would be some order of overwiev, that could be alsu useful if there is abot some chemical ingredient, or animal species. But the decision might be delegated for every Wikipedia itself. --Mzolta 18:54, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should these standards be applied to all languages Wikipedias?

Should these standards (categorization, search capabilities, and article standards) be applied to all languages Wikipedias or only a subset (e.g. mature Wikipedias such as English, German, French, Spanish)? What guidelines might be put in place to balance growth of nascent and emerging Wikipedias versus imposing quality standards?

  • [...] - insert answers here.

9*No. -- 06:27, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • Once a new user had gone through a rough and often insulting process of deletion, in particular with German Wikipedia, I can assure you the intention to write another article will decrease to nil. If the German standards would apply to all languages then these sections of Wikipedia might lose their identity and originality.--Fox1942 15:47, 30 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What tools and processes should Wikimedia put in place to enable greater reliability in terms of classifcation and standardization of article content within topics?

I would not know. I have always found that there a lot of users who really hate "greater reliability in terms of classif[i]cation" (that is: categorization by a reliable external standard) and who will attack it. - Brya 07:32, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

That might be an argument in favor of giving editorial teams, projects and portals the means to agree on greater standardization but not to make it a general policy. I imagine the "tools and processes" could be stricter content policies by projects and portals, which could be supported by a standardized header on each talk page of an article in the sphere of knowledge of an editorial team, project or portal. --Fasten 08:30, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Just the opposite. As things are, it does happen that "editorial teams, projects and portals [...] agree on greater standardization" and do "make it a general policy". As this enforced standardization is based on an internal (uniquely Wikipedian) standard, this leads to a divorce from reality. Standardization, in as far as adopted, should be on an external standard (one that exists in the real world). - Brya 05:22, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
The standards "of the real world" are inventions, too. Sometimes the local standard may be better or more adequate as the external standard and, of course, devising independent standards for projects and editorial teams gives the different projects more independence, which appears desirable. One could base project-local standards both on a general framework (which already exists in form of the Wikipedia policies) and external standards (which is already done). Still the projects, portals and editorial teams could word their own local policies for content standardization, even if only to affirm the use of external standards like ISO 2788. --Fasten 10:18, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Of course, "The standards "of the real world" are inventions, too". That has nothing to do with it. The meter as a measure of distance was invented at some point in history, but what matters is its acceptance as a standard. The fairly wide use of Wikipedia-invented standards leads to articles written in 'Wikipedianese', understandable only to those who are conversant in that. - Brya 06:31, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Verifiability in third-party sources has to become the gold standard. The standard is in place, but people Wikilawyer and game it. WMF should back this standard unequivocally.

Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  • The foundation ought to take a close look at our most important policy standards -- verifiability, neutral point of view, and no original research -- and understand which parts help or hinder the project. If our best standards had the legitimacy of being stamped by the foundation, it would be easier for our volunteers to help our content meet those standards.


How can Wikipedia improve the consistency and transparency of its content quality?

It is an inherent problem of Wikipedia that it is editor-centric rather than reader-centric. The rules for editing - the Pillars - while ostensibly intended to encourage quality articles for readers, ultimately turn into a set of behavioral guidelines for editors that actually impinge on quality.

Here is an example: A point of fact is in dispute in an article; for example, the question of whether the young Johannes Brahms played piano in whorehouses to support his family. This is a point of disagreement among Brahms's biographers. Contending editors, supporters of different sides in the dispute, add references and additional detail, so that, in the end, this aspect of the composer's life is thoroughly documented.

But in fact this is a rather minor detail in Brahms's life. Because of the contention between editors, it receives an emphasis in the article completely out of proportion to its actual importantce. A reader of this article is likely to come away with the impression that the question of Brahms's bordello appearances is the most important thing they can know about Brahms.

This is only one example of the ways in which the editor-centric nature of Wikipedia articles affects quality. Our challenge is to change the focus of the Wikipedia and of the editing experience from the editor to the reader. --Ravpapa 16:12, 23 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • I can only think of one thing: shut down Wikiprojects and allow anybody who has actual knowledge to contribute (without being hit over the head immediately by a Wikiproject that is operating at cross purposes to Wikipedia). - Brya 07:36, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Wow! That sure was a depressing post. I would say that if you can think of only one thing, you haven't done enough thinking.
Here is a slightly less devastating direction for thought: editorial oversight. For example, a cadre of independent, experienced, and possibly professional editors who are reviewing articles from outside the editing fray. They would be empowered to set overall policies about how a subject might be divided into separate articles, and how emphasis might be shifted within an article.
Here is another idea: training. Have organized training sessions for editors, to reorient their thinking to a reader orientation. Have a group of trained leaders conduct "encounter group" type sessions. Perhaps add another talk page, dedicated not to discussion of the article but to discussion of the subject of the article, where issues of emphasis, overall impact, and arguments over factual or academic (sources) could be conducted.
Here is a third idea: for topics that are bitterly disputed, separate the warring editors into two parallel articles, both within the same article space. This would let the different editors focus their version of the article on the issues that they saw as important, and that reflected their own understanding of the neutral point of view of the subject (mind, not their own POV, but their own conception of the NPOV).
You see, there is no lack for ideas to deal with the problem. But first, we have to recognize that this is a problem. Because I have seen no real discussion of the editorial problems that have arisen because of the editor-centric orientation of the wikipedia.
It is a subject that, I believes, merits serious discussion and analysis. Once we have a clear understanding of the problem, we can deal with it. And not merely dismiss it with "shut down the project". --Ravpapa 08:05, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Oh, the issue is not a clear understanding of the problem: the problem is the banner that "anybody can edit anything". This is great as a banner, but should be understood that anybody who has knowledge to contribute can do so. However, many users take it that anybody who feels inclined to edit anything can do so, even if he does not know anything at all about the topic, and/or just wants to advertise something. The "solutions" mentioned above have been debated to death and just are not practical. The real solution would be to not only attract reasonable and intelligent users, but give them some support. - Brya 08:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Ah, I apologize for my snippety reply - I now understand where you are headed.
I am not convinced that vetting editors will solve the problem. In the area where I have the most experience with problematic articles - the Middle East - there are editors from both sides with extensive knowledge, impressive academic credentials, and excellent writing skills. This does not in any way mitigate the bloodbaths around these articles: we are simply dealing with weltschaums so remote that articles turn into soupy polemics. No, kicking out the casual troublemakers isn't a solution.
As for the solutions mentioned above, at least one of them has not been debated ad nauseum. That is the idea of parallel articles, which I proposed here and here. It is an idea which has garnered almost no interest and certainly no support, so I am encouraged that it is a good idea. --Ravpapa 18:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Well, I have heard this forwarded a number of times. The problem with that is a very basic one: Wikipedia is supposed to present a Neutral Point of View, which means an all-encompassing single article on a topic. Theoretically this could be written even about the Middle East, although in practice this is unlikely to work out. To some extent the same could be achieved by having paralel articles, say, "the Palestinian-written history of Deir Yassin" and "the Israeli-written history of Deir Yassin", not so much representing points-of-view but rather bodies of historical writings. However, there are many in Wikipedia who hold that "neutral" means eliminating anything that is not utterly harmonious with The One Truth (Their One Truth), so even these are likely to come under fire. - Brya 05:45, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

Ah, yes, the One Truth. Boy, I wish I had a handle on what that was. Maybe I'd be rich! --Ravpapa 07:10, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

History shows that likely you would be stood against a wall and shot (if you were lucky). - Brya 06:25, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Same difference. --Ravpapa 08:25, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Many edits which detract from the overall quality of an article go unreverted, if their negative nature is not too blatant: for example, a rewrite which introduces errors or loses some material. Even when the edit leaves the article in obviously poor shape (nonsense, bad grammar, bad spelling), the next editor often simply fixes the most egregious problem when it would have been better to revert the whole edit. The result is that the superior version of an article is lost in the edit history and the poorer article remains, sometimes for years.

I believe that this is true for more articles than anybody realizes, simply because searching through history is so onerous. I can't see how to solve it except with tools that would make historical versions of the article dramatically more accessible: for example, one click gets you a version of the article which includes (suitably marked up) all text that has ever been in the article and remained for at least a month. Blotwell 20:16, 24 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Yes, that is true. Popular myths get reinserted again and again. There is a simple solution for this problem: one or more devoted users who know the topic and who keep the page in good shape. Unfortunately, it is not a very popular solution ("You don't own the article, let somebody else insert his opinion, even if it is nonsense"). - Brya 14:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should quality assurance metrics or ratings be used to provide transparency of quality to readers?

  • Perhaps, but only if the rating is done by the reader (or an independent third party), and cannot be affected by editors. The editors are the ones who are putting in the contents/errors and they are unlikely to give an unbiased rating. - Brya 07:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Only some forms of quality assurance are reliable, particularly "featured article" status. This is because a featured article is determined by consensus. Other ratings are too easily changed and open to whim... unless we work on standardizing those ratings.
  • Yes, but there will be opposition to put such ratings in templates at the articles. Therefore, the simplest thing that could work would be to have another tab where ratings are given (with dates) for that article along all 5 pillars separately. Woudloper 00:08, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What has Wikimedia learned from the various quality assurance processes instituted over the years?

  • Perhaps that "the various quality assurance processes instituted over the years" have led to an extra layer of bureaucracy, more likely to detract from actual quality rather than raise quality? - Brya 08:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should Wikipedia scale its current quality assurance measures? If so, which QA processes should be scaled and how might this be achieved? Should others be considered?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
Should these standards be applied to all languages Wikipedias or only a subset?

Should these standards be applied to all languages Wikipedias or only a subset (e.g. mature Wikipedias such as English, German, French, Spanish)? What guidelines might be put in place to balance growth of nascent and emerging Wikipedias versus imposing quality standards?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
How can Wikipedia maintain a solid base of core users for ongoing content maintenance, updates, and improvements?

  1. A stronger commitment from the foundation towards verifiability, no original research, and neutral point of view. Core users rely on these to engage in maintenance and improvement, and these standards have been fleshed out to empower quality. But sometimes these standards are obstructed, frustrating efforts at maintenance, and ultimately frustrating core users. Enough that they eventually leave. It is impossible for core users to continue their work if people can Wikilawyer about the interpretation of these rules. Re-affirm them, in detail, and set the interpretation straight.
  2. I agree with the above. It would also help if the ArbCom would subscribe to those standards. - Brya 07:43, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  3. More agreement. People ignore NPOV and give us fundamentally unbalanced "criticism of ..." articles. People ignore NOR and V and give us articles summarizing their favorite website/product/primary source in detail, and no data from reliable third-party sources to evaluate the truth or merit of anything in the article. These rules need to be clarified and reinforced to help Wikipedia get beyond the quality seen in 2005. If ArbCom won't do it, then WMF has to.
  4. I agree also with the above. The foundation should do more to stimulate groups of users with a certain expertise or interest to cooperate - for example in wikiprojects. Such groups are very effective in dealing with POV content, is my experience. Woudloper 00:12, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

  • [...] - insert answers here.

Questions: Expanding Content

Supporting Reference Content

Questions re. this category of questions:
~ Ningauble 16:31, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Hmm... I just noticed that these questions have been cross-posted at Task force/Expanding Content Task Force, as have questions in a couple other sections. Which page is the corect venue for discussing them? Is "ESP" for public comment and "TF" for insiders, or is this just transitional duplication during (re-)organizing the site? ~ Ningauble 21:46, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Gentlemen, I think the answer to the meaning of this question is referenced here: .. in other words. "Supporting Reference Content": includes WikiQuote, WikTionary, WikiSource, and Commons. Mbrad 00:14, 22 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
How does supporting reference content expand the sum of all knowledge?

  1. This question seems to be mis-framed: the vision is not to expand the sum of all knowledge, but to share it. (Wikipedia, e.g., expressly does not undertake original research.) ~ Ningauble 17:05, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    I agree. Two quick thoughts. First, sharing the sum of all knowledge implies that the sum of all knowledge is available to share. What knowledge is not currently shareable right now?
    Second, what is the purview of Wikimedia? There are many forms of content beyond encyclopedias, textbooks, dictionaries, etc. How should Wikimedia decide what kinds of knowledge to focus on? When should Wikimedia decide to stop supporting certain projects? --Eekim 16:35, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
How does supporting reference content (WikiQuote, WikTionary, WikiSource, and Commons) enhance the core encyclopedic content of Wikipedia? Or is it a distraction to Wikipedia?

  1. This question appears to presume that the mission is to support Wikipedia in particular, rather than to "collect and develop educational content" as more generally stated in the foundation's mission statement. This question should be re-formulated in terms of the broader mission and, if desired, a separate question could be raised for amending the mission statement to focus exclusively on the encyclopedia. ~ Ningauble 17:44, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What types of supporting reference content are most strategic (e.g. significantly expands the sum of all knowledge and is aligned to wiki values)?

  1. This question also seems to be mis-framed: the vision is not to expand the sum of all knowledge, but to share it. ~ Ningauble 17:49, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should all supporting reference content be open to editing? Why or why not?

  1. The purpose of this question might be clearer with some examples of content that one envisions producing without editorial input. (This may relate to the idea expressed at Improve quality content#Supporting content that the activity of compiling a compendium of quotations is not "editing." I believe this is mistaken, that the consensus of professional editors would be that such is indeed editing, and furthermore that the editors of commercial compendia like Bartlett's Familiar Quotations would strenuously insist that such are actually works of authorship entitled to copyright protection.) ~ Ningauble 18:25, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should all supporting reference content need to use the Media wiki platform? Why or why not?

  1. This question might be clearer with some examples that are envisioned for hosting WikiMedia's content on non-MediaWiki platforms. (If the intent of the question is to ask whether WikiMedia should or "needs to" support some types of content, then just say so.) ~ Ningauble 19:37, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  1. If you mean that we should rely solely on wiki content (or any similar media : easy to edit, easy to view, easy to share), my answer is no. There are many free readable formats in use. For text, I am thinking to DOC, PDF, HTML, ASP, PHP, XML, and PostScript. For other medias, see a table of formats (in French, but easy to understand). These formats are good content because there are free viewers available. However, if the foundation expects that, in some near future, a viewer would not anymore be free, then it should offer a way to get it, to simulate it, or to convert the files to an alternative formats. That said, it would be hard for anyone to sell a popular viewer that was previously free. There would be too many angry customers. Cantons-de-l'Est 11:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should Wikimedia develop its own supporting reference content where such content already exists for free and/or in open source by other organizations?

If so, what would be the purpose or added value Wikimedia could bring?

  1. The purpose is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally." The value added by the wiki way lies in the potential for attaining greater reach, scope, and quality than other organizations. (For example, free online dictionaries and compendia of quotations of which I am aware are either (A) highly abridged or limited in scope, or else (B) conspicuously unreliable and unverifiable, (C) or both.) Whether that potential can be achieved, and how best to achieve it, could be fruitful strategic questions. ~ Ningauble 20:07, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    One thing in particular that I've found in my work on Wikiquote is that there are many sources of free quotes which are utterly wrong in their attributions, and which lack any reasonable effort at sourcing. What Wikiquote is attempting to engage in goes beyond anything I've ever seen in any of these 'scrape and dump' quote sites (and even in some quote books in print) - we are looking to ultimately verify every notable and quoteworthy quote in the human record back to its actual demonstrable source. BD2412 05:38, 26 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Which projects are most suited to providing the supporting reference content needed?

    • Commons questions/comments:
      • Purpose: Although the necessity of files used for "prettification" may be considered debatable by some, there is no doubt that this project provides substantial informative content for educational purposes. Value added: transclusion of content across multiple projects and languages, Wikimedia control of licensing when such content is included. ~ Ningauble 22:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Wikibooks questions/comments:
      • Wikibooks would be best used by drawing scholarly articles from experts, perhaps through a genuine peer review process. Frankly, this is the sort of thing that should have a print edition with subscribers, from which content is later distributed on the Internet platform. BD2412 04:04, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Wikinews questions/comments:
    • Wikiquote questions/comments:
      • It seems to be generally recognized that a good compendium of quotations is a substantive supplemental reference that offers significant "educational content"[2] appropriate for the WikiMedia vision to "share in the sum of all knowledge"[3]. Independent sources supporting the educational value of quotations include:
        • Isaac D'Israeli: "The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations." — Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823), "Quotation"
        • Hartley Coleridge: "Why are not more gems from our early prose writers scattered over the country by the periodicals? Selections are so far from preventing the study of the entire authors, that they promote it. [...] But great old books of the great old authors are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every book-worm, when in any fragrant, scarce old tome, he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it the widest circulation that newspapers and magazines, penny and halfpenny, can afford." — The Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire (1836), "Roger Ascham" (footnote)
        • Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Some men's words I remember so well that I must often use them to express my thought. Yes, because I perceive that we have heard the same truth, but they have heard it better." — Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883) "Character"
        • Winston Churchill: "It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more." — Roving Commission: My Early Life (1930), Chapter 9
      (It may be acknowledged that Wikiquote also contains a substantial admixture of "infotainment" content of dubious educational value, probably in even greater proportion than at Wikipedia.) Value added: en.Wikiquote has already achieved more extensive verifiable sourcing than such competing organizations as or by practicing the wiki way. Although, like Wikipedia, it is subject to vandalistic hoaxes and still contains legacy un-sourced information, the community is actively working on cleaning up unreliable content. ~ Ningauble 02:25, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      I wholeheartedly endorse Ningauble's statement, and would like to draw particular attention to our efforts to fully source quotes in a way that other quote providers fail to do. In due time, we will be the Snopes of quotes. BD2412 04:07, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Wikisource questions/comments:
      • Would be great if we could just get Project Gutenberg to fold its content in. This project offers great support as a host of public domain sources of information referenced by Wikipedia, but Wikipedians need to support it as well, by referring to it for such sources, instead of third party content hosts. If Wikisource is missing the public domain info you wish to cite, then add it to Wikisource and cite it there anyway. BD2412 04:11, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Wikispecies questions/comments:
    • Wikiversity questions/comments:
      • Purpose: It seems somewhat less self-evident, that there is a role in "Educational Content" for the creation of Educational Resources, that are not just references. Examples include courseware, and resource compendiums related to a subject, Papers and Original Research on topics that have not yet reached the standards of Wikipedia, Virtual Laboratories, and Opportunities for Original Research. If strategic planning supports the continued existence of such resouces, then Wikiversity is a natural place for them to happen in.
    • Wiktionary questions/comments:
      • Purpose: It seems self-evident to me that a dictionary is core reference "educational content"[4] needed for the WikiMedia vision to "share in the sum of all knowledge"[5] because building vocabulary and empowering people to decode available information are essential educational roles. Value added: Is there usage data available to demonstrate Wiktionary has already attained strong perceived value relative to other online dictionaries? ~ Ningauble 22:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      • Wiktionary is probably the next most useful general-purpose reference after the encyclopedia itself, and it certainly transcends the encyclopedia in its value of offering translations. BD2412 04:08, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
What should be done with projects of lesser strategic priority?

What should be done with projects whose content is deemed of lesser strategic priority?
I think the same question could be asked, what should be done with articles, or areas of coverage whose content is deemed of lesser strategic priority? Obviously we should not eliminate information from our coverage just for the sake of, well, not having it. Every project draws its own community of volunteers. Taking away from our coverage will probably not encourage those volunteers do work on high-priority matter, but may encourage them to work on their own area of interest in a platform other than Wikipedia. BD2412 14:05, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

What 2-4 strategic opportunities for investment in growing supporting content would greatly enhance Wikipedia and align with Wikimedia's values?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What resources are required to build the various types of supporting reference content?

What resources (e.g. tools, participants, funds) are required to build the various types of supporting reference content identified and how do these resources align with the foundation, chapters, and the Community-at-large?

  • [...] - insert answers here.

Topical Content

How does topical content expand the sum of all knowledge?

What constitutes topical content and what does not?

Is Wikimedia well-positioned to provide topical content or are there others that provide this content in free and/or open source manner already?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
How does Wikimedia ensure that local content with few editors maintains NPOV?

An inherent issue with local content is the prevalence of only a few editors which may lead to single editor voice and may introduce bias. How does Wikimedia ensure that local content with few editors maintains NPOV?

  • Verifiability in reliable third-party sources has to be the standard. And to avoid local biases, the reliability of a source has to be tied to its reach. If this principle about verifiability and reliability has the backing of the foundation, it will always at least be possible to improve local content to a neutral standard.
  • Wikipedia works too much on the principle of "if you and I disagree, let's both give in a bit". I think we should be less 'free for all' on this point: When a conflict doesn't seem to solve itself except by one of the fighters running away (at least as often the person going for NPOV as the one with the strong POV), appoint one or a few people who are trusted to be neutral and have sufficient expertise, and let them decide the issue. - Andre Engels 12:03, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Wikipedia already provides topical content. Does its presence precludes the need for Wikinews, if not why not? If so, what should be done with Wikinews?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What 2-4 strategic opportunities for investment in growing topical content would greatly expand Wikimedia's content towards "the sum of all knowledge" and align with Wikimedia's values?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What resources are required to build the various types of topical content?

What resources (e.g. tools, participants, funds) are required to build the various types of topical content identified and how do these resources align with the foundation, chapters, and the Community-at-large??

  • [...] - insert answers here.

Educational Content

How does OER educational content expand the sum of all knowledge?

  • Via Wikiversity, the Wikimedia Foundation contributes to OERs and thereby to the sum of all knowledge and more specifically to the learning of knowledge and the researching of new knowledge. Jtneill 14:36, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Instructional systems can adapt to concept trees, presenting pre-required concepts in order to explain the concepts that depend on them, through the interactive presentation of questions. Please note that vetting such assessment questions requires blind (anonymous) review to obtain reasonable levels of accuracy. 09:00, 1 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • I would say that instructional systems, like OER, organize information such as the information found in Wikipedia in order to present a body of cumulative as well as associated subjects built on that information, like what is found in Wikibooks for smaller fixed bodies of information and in Wikiversity for larger variable bodies.Mbrad 22:15, 21 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
What are the needs of students, teachers, and educational institutions in OER educational content and how can Wikimedia meet those needs?

  • Basicly the most important thing is about the studying/learning is to have an opportunity to chose an information which fits your interests.
    1. All of the articles would need to have a short explanation at the beginning of the text. That could help for reader to have just an information (To glance what is it about). In most of the situations we need just a short information, and it is irritating if we can not find the proper information in a long text. The short information about the topic of the article could be useful for children, and middle school students. This aspect is many time ignored in Wkipedia.
    2. If we need more detailed information it is good when we have a clear structure of the article, divided by chapters. Wikipedia is very strong on this aspect.
    3. If the articles would have a list of related books at the end of the article, that could help for the university students and for people who would like to have itemized, detailed knowledge. That could satisfy the intellectuals. This aspect is week in Wkipedia.
    4. The number of references should be incresed to satisfy the intellectuals, or people who would like to have more increased knowledge. This aspect is getting better in Wikipedia. -- 06:52, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Collectively, the sister projects should aim to foster human knowledge availability. This means accessibility. And this means a responsibility to help provide free education for all. The content could be on any project, but Wikiversity is specifically dedicated to providing space for learning content, learning projects, experiments etc. Jtneill 14:47, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • The power to organize information into a curriculum is an essential need of a teacher and since students are their own educators this also may fall upon them in so far as pre-existing curricula aren't already present. To answer more specifically, it seems as though Wikiversity has unique needs in topics that extend beyond the cumulative nature of it's information. For example in a cumulative curriculum, algebra will come before calculus. This can be agreed upon as a curriculum. However in teacher directed study, subjects may be included that are a matter of opinion of the instructor or of the department, such as topics of applications of algebra. For an OER, this calls for a flexible system that distinguishes alternate choices in curricula. It probably would be simplest to center curricula around a student selected endpoint such a specific application of a subject (if the student is working towards multilateration for example, there is differentiation involved), or a tour of applications of the subject (if the student wants to work with algebra but hasn't chosen the domain yet). This would require users documenting a cumulative chain of each topic to it's closest neighbor, and then allowing a reading algorithm to build the curriculum based upon the selection action of the student. (EDIT: After browsing further I found this abandoned project: WikiCurriculum which addresses some of the mechanics that might go into solving this curriculum issue) Mbrad 23:27, 21 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
What role does Wikimedia have to play in educational content? What content beyond encyclopedic content can/should Wikimedia provide?

  • One could develop curricula for different subjects or aim to motivate projects to publish content suitable for existing curricula in different nations. (See: wikiversity:Curriculum symposium) --Fasten 20:06, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • MediaWiki training
    • Reading groups
    • Open creative space for students who want to use MediaWiki for project prep and presentation
    • Research development, documentation, publication
    • Lesson plans, handouts, quizes etc
    • School, institution, family, groups, individual portals into Wikimedia generally
    • Development of open reusable assessment methods for for trans-national trans-institution use in accreditation for learning done through open education
  • In my opinion the educational content more diverse than normal encyclopedic content. Users who look after good educational content for example in languages have realy different expectations some look for vocab lists, some for multipla choice tests, some for language training similar to games and so on. Wikimedia should provide a platform wiht low restrictions so a huge variaty of content can be submitted. Google Knol is a good example for this. Secondary Wikimedia should promote this platform in schools and universities so a critical mass of contributors can be found. --Carl Steinbeißer 10:42, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • The Wikimedia Foundation should provide learning pathways through the sum of all knowledge available via its sister projects. Whilst all sister projects may provide specific learning projects, Wikiversity is the project specifically dedicated to education at all levels, from pre-school through university and beyond. Jtneill 14:52, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • The entire role that education plays in terms of content seems to be that it organizes it. It structures it by cumulative relationships amongst content (what must be learned before what), and breadth relationships (what may commonly provide context and facilitate creative use of content). It also organizes repetition of the subject (an essential feature of the learning process). While organization of information may constitute meta-content, the creation of means of repetition (ie. quizzes, assignments, use of earlier subjects in examples) may count as unique content. Mbrad 00:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should Wikimedia develop its own educational content where such content already exists for free and/or in open source by other organizations?

If so, what would be the purpose or added value Wikimedia could bring?

How must Wikimedia's editing principles and wiki-platform need to change to support educational content?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
  • Find users that are willing to guide teachers or other people involved in education. When the teacher has a contact person to guide him/her and his/her students through Wikimedia content and projects, the barrier to use Wikimedia content decreases dramatically. Woudloper 00:17, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • There are a lot of significant needs in this area on Wikiversity, e.g., being able to embed multimedia and rss feeds, WYSIWIG editing etc. One place where some of these needs are collated and discussed is wikiversity:Wikiversity:Vision/2009 - and the wikiversity:Colloquium. Jtneill 15:02, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • What is your view of XWiki as an alternative to MediaWiki? XWiki does seem to integrate better with available Java technologyApache projects, it does appear to offer more flexibility and it does appear to offer more in the areas rss feedsXWiki Watch and WYSIWIG.XWiki OfficeImporter --Fasten 15:23, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
      • I just read about XWiki and checked out some examples. I can see many merits, but I do like that Wikiversity uses MediaWiki so that there can be smooth interaction between the sister projects. There are mature MW extensions to do pretty much most functions on the Wikiversity wish-list - its more I think about allowing more flexibility via WMF policy, technical support to implement, and a sandbox environment to test. Jtneill 16:26, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Which projects are most suited to providing the supporting educational content needed?

What should be done with projects of lesser strategic priority?

What should be done with projects whose content is deemed of lesser strategic priority?

What 2-4 strategic opportunities for investment in growing educational content would greatly expand Wikimedia's content towards "the sum of all knowledge" and align with Wikimedia's values?

  • WISIWIG editing followed by an education campaign targeting schools, colleges and universities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:18, 2 November 2009
  • Use/allow/support Wikiversity to trial experimental technologies for learning such as embedded multimedia, rss feeds and other integrations - to be at the cutting edge of OERs and online education and research we need at least some scope for experimentation. Similarly, we need to be trialling w:Moodle more actively (the leading free and open source w:learning management system and considering its integration with MediaWiki. This means we need a supported sandbox server for Wikiversity - there is one, but its currently unsupported. Jtneill 15:15, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Of course one could allow the community to experiment with Moodle but I don't see that it fills a specific need right now that couldn't be addressed with small additions to the existing system. As far as I understand what Moodle can do it is better at quizzes but that may not be a topic where you want to be restricted by the options offered by another software package without having defined your own requirements. (See: TestWiki). I do think that mw:Extension:Quiz is not enough (yet). --Fasten 15:51, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  • Offer small competitive grants to educators who contribute to, and utilise, sister project content in their teaching Jtneill 15:15, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
What resources are required to build the various types of educational content?

What resources (e.g. tools, participants, funds) are required to build the various types of educational content identified and how do these resources align with the foundation, chapters, and the Community-at-large?

Questions related to GLAM

What does GLAM mean? GLAM is an acronym for galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What is the impetus for GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) to connect with wikimedia?

  • [...] - insert answers here.

1. GLAMs have the general impetus to inform the public on there subject. GLAMs can easly and broad do this by editing there core subjects in WIKIPEDIA.

2. By for example updating images to COMMONS they also create a lot of links and refernces to there organisation/website which will lift there awareness in the public and lift there traffic there (it will also be an ompimization of here Google Search results for example).

3. The GLAM content will be revised by Wikipedians and this updated content can be re-used by the GLAMs (See the huge image donors on Commons by the german Fotothek or Bundesarchiv, a lot of work/Categorization is done by Users and re-used by the image-contributors/organisations). --Carl Steinbeißer 10:23, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

What does free culture mean to GLAM?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What makes GLAM-WIKI outcomes unique?

How does this partnership translate to KPI?

Who owns Wikimedia content created in partnership with GLAM?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
Who funds new content development?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
Who and how is it branded?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What links are established to connect to original content?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
Is wikimedia content supplementing, enhancing, subsuming GLAM?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
Who participates in the network?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
What is the role of content in that network?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
How is value generated?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
How do communities collaborate with institutions in the construction of knowledge?

  • [...] - insert answers here.
How are these networks maintained in the process of assessing, acquiring, collecting and distributing content over time?

  • [...] - insert answers here.

Other questions

Questions here relate to Emerging Strategic Priority 3 and are transposed from the Key questions page, where their history can be found. Please feel free to add to this list.

How can we effectively and scalably work with institutions that control the copyright for educational/informational materials, to encourage them to release those materials under a free license?


  • [...] - insert answers here.

We should have an easy way for exporting our material. Materials which institutions release under free licence will normally be upgraded by Wikipedians (for example diagrams) or translated. These institutions could easily export them back from Wikipedia/Commons/Wiktionary etc. and have a benefit of it. Of course that is just one benefit! --Carl Steinbeißer 12:06, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

How can we effectively and scalably work with academic institutions and other organizations with subject-matter-expertise, to encourage them to help improve the quality of the material we provide?


Copy Scholarpedia

    • First by collecting and providing good examples of collaboration with these academic organisations. For example [6] – a Wikipage of an german prof of economics were he and his students write essays on economic keywords/topics to integrate them into Wikipedia. The students get grades for there work. Or the de:Wikipedia:Zedler-Medaille a medal of an high german academic society (prize money: 5.000 Euro) for an academic article in Wikipedia. --Carl Steinbeißer 11:05, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can we better prevent editing that hurts quality (e.g., vandalism and malicious edits), and fix it when it occurs?


Let anonymous editors (or at least those from inconvenient ISPs/locations) fill in ReCaptchas extensively. --Fasten 13:38, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
One could deny anonymous authors (or at least those from inconvenient ISPs/locations) to edit more than a smallest sub-section at a time. --Fasten 14:38, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • I'm not sure that OpenID will solve the problem, but the "less useful tools...." sounds promising. Some of the most damaging vandals work extremely fast and this would slow them down. We could also make semi-protection of articles standard, thus limiting their edits to talk pages, and even then we should use the slowing down process you mention. While not all IPs perform vandalism, nearly all vandalism is performed by IPs, so limiting the rights of IPs has no really serious downside. -- BullRangifer 03:47, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • We can slow them down by forcing IPs to "jump through a hoop" each time they edit. Every single time an IP attempts to edit, a screen (with polices and encouragement to register) will appear that forces them to click through before they can actually get to the real editing screen. This will slow them down, and the first screen will explain to them the advantages of registering and why editing as an IP will always be a cumbersome process for them. -- BullRangifer 03:53, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Summarizing:
    1. Providing less useful tools to IPs.
    2. Slow them down by making them "jump through hoops" for each edit.
    3. Making semi-protection of articles their default state.
    • Our goal should be aimed at preventing vandalism, not (just) making it easier to fight it after it happens. Too much time is wasted on mopping up vandalism considering the relatively few (as compared to vandalistic) good edits from IPs. -- BullRangifer 17:08, 25 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Case study: On one of the smaller projects we have someone who has decided to spend several hours a day doing damage to pages, due to a past personal disupte. Block one IP, they power cycle their router (of course). Blocking the entire ISP is not a great option, since many legitimate users would be affected. What can we do about cases like these? I expect the projects will see more of them as time goes on; en pedia survives them because the number of editors/vandal fighters is ginormous. For small communities, what has proven effective elsewhere? Or, what new approaches might we look into? (Yes, Abusefilter is activated, but it's not effective against someone who is persistent.) -- ArielGlenn 03:08, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Anonymous editing is useful while it is useful for Wikipedia but there is no reason to see it as a right of the individual. If your location or ISP is temporarily banned from anonymous editing on Wikipedia you still have the option to create an account. One could allow administrators to increase different penalties for ISP locations individually (forced preview, extra request for edit summary, longer preview delay, multiple CAPTCHAs) before blocking an ISP location entirely. --Fasten 11:29, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • How about a blacklist for words and a filter that flags any edit that uses sexual content or swear words? Exceptions could be made for pages where such words were expected as part of the content, such as anatomical/psycho-social pages about sex.--Graeme E. Smith 13:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
Proposal:Authoring groups for Wikibooks and Wikiversity would be useful. --Fasten 21:12, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  1. FR helps. (agree with Sigma 7) Woudloper 00:20, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Why not ban anonymous edits (almost all of the increasingly bothersome vandalism is from such)?

  1. Because you might also lose some good editors who just don't want to create an account, especially first time users and proof-readers. German wikipedia uses a system which allowes everyone to edit, but edits done by anonymous users must be approved by an registered user before shown in the article. You can read the edits if you click on "zur aktuellen version" (show current version). This system might be useful in Other wikis too (even if you feel a little discriminated as an anonymous user...)
    This is exactly what should be done. This would go a long way toward preventing misinformation from being displayed without limiting who can contribute. Phatom87 02:40, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    This is why. Locking down anonymous users makes it extremely difficult to edit the site. Better solutions is to use wikipedia:CAPTCHAs to deal with spam, and with generic vandalism, ensure that they are kept at bay for long enough.
Spend a few hours looking at recent changes from IPs. A large fraction is rude words or nonsense from kids and many of the blocks are schools. If you had to sign up with an email verified account to edit, most kids would not bother. How many sites on the internet allow anonymous edits? Wiki*s are about the only ones. The only reason WP isn't totally graffitied to death is the tireless efforts of patrolling editors. That effort would be better spent on proofing rather than rolling back vandalism. --Alastair Rae 09:26, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  1. I'm in favor of banning anonymous editing. I acknowledge the points raised above, but the observed ratio of trash to good stuff coming from anonymous editors outweighs those issues in my mind. Like many people, the time I have to contribute to article maintenance is fairly limited, and I resent spending it fixing drive-bys from anonymous kiddies. TimBray 23:22, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  2. A compromise might be to protect featured articles from anonymous edits, let alone articles that are even B-level. Anonymous edits tend to help the most for articles that have nobody working on them. For articles that have had a ton of work, anonymous edits always drag them down and waste time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) --Fasten 12:14, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  3. Another compromise would be to allow IP-edits at smaller projects, which are still in the stage of growing sideways instead of in depth. It is of course difficult to define the turning point. Woudloper 00:22, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  4. Banning IP editors is a perennial topic on the English Wikipedia. However we have repeatedly decided to continue to allow IP edits because most IP edits are not vandalism (A quick check of IP edits at recent changes can easily confirm this). A high proportion of editors start with an IP edit or two, so we risk losing our new recruits if we lose the IPs. Reverting vandalism is simple, easy and increasingly done by bots. Replacing the work done by IPs, and by the editors who started as IPs would be a much greater cost than removing the vandalism done by IPs. WereSpielChequers 13:11, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Hi WereSpielChequers, I'm interested upon what data your claim that "most IP-edits are not vandalism" is based. So far, to my surprise I never saw any quantitative research. Providing such data could help to clearify the discussion about FR. Since I couldn't find hard data, I started a small bit of research at nl-wiki while patrolling recent changes. I divided all IP-edits into three categories: 1 vandalism in the narrow sense (edits where really no good will can be assumed at all), 2 other edits that require revision (because of mistakes in spelling or grammar, linkspam, etc) and good edits. The percentages are more or less 40%-40%-20% after counting almost 1000 edits, which means that on average, 4 out of 5 IP-edits at nl-wiki need attention/time. It is of course well possible that these percentages are different at other projects, but I never saw an attempt to quantify the problem of vandalism before at any project. Woudloper 18:13, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply 08:06, 1 December 2009 (UTC)Reply
  5. Because, by banning anonymous edits, we might loose potential new editors. Fruggo 19:08, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can we encourage readers to help us identify poor quality material, and once it is reported, how can we best get it assessed and fixed?


  1. Wikipedia already has a "So Fix It" policy, where you can fix obvious vandalism or misinformation. There's also tags that flag the page for cleanup or review as well; as such, it's recommended to have a place to easily access areas needing fixes. --Sigma 7 05:01, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    I'd wager that the average user has no idea what cleanup tags are available and those that have this awareness might feel overwhelmed by the variety of possible tags, unsure which one to use. To make these tags more accessible to users, how about having a "flag" link on each section, right next to the "edit" link. The link would lead to a page that showed the available cleanup tags to choose from; clicking on it would add the appropriate cleanup template. This could lead to a proliferation of cleanup tags and another potential source of vandalism, so perhaps this functionality should be limited to more experienced editors. SteveChervitzTrutane 06:33, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  2. Another idea: A prioritization system for triaging the flagged articles/sections so editors can focus on the areas needing the most attention. Priority could be set based on traffic experienced by a given article (e.g., # of page views). For a more involved approach, there could be a voting system associated with a cleanup tag, so that a user/editor could +1 it. The flags with the most votes would garner the most attention. SteveChervitzTrutane 16:48, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  3. The bottleneck is not identifying poor quality material (and no, tags do not play a role in identifying this). The bottleneck is 1) that fixing poor quality material is hard work (often more work than starting anew) and 2) that poor quality material is there for a reason (somebody put it there) and it is likely there to stay (the somebody who put it there has a vested interest in keeping it there). - Brya 06:05, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  4. Poor quality material is not the real problem. If we think so, we forget that our readers can think for themselves. Many of our readers can see how content is referenced and judge the value of the used sources. However, what could help is write guidelines how to judge Wikimedia content and make our readers more aware of how to recognise the flaws and/or value of Wikimedia content. @Brya: fixing poor quality material is hard work indeed and local admins should be stimulated to intervene whenever a watchdog is keeping an eye on its POV. Woudloper 00:30, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can we give credit for good contributions?

  1. See also: Theory Design Lab/Karma theory --Fasten 20:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • I worry that this has the potential to turn into a barrier to entry... it's difficult for a first time editor to instinctively "get" the concept. -- Philippe 20:07, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
      • It's not a barrier to entry because it has no important use, it's just a means to quickly evaluate who you are talking to without having to review somebody's contributions or number of edits. For the casual editor that could be helpful because login names alone mean very little and not all user pages are sufficiently informative. --Fasten 09:11, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • I worry this might turn Wikipedia into a battleground. The temptation is to rate the people you agree with, and build up a coalition that legitimizes one another. Already barnstars are being awarded down partisan lines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) --Fasten 13:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
      • Small coalitions could be revealed by software: If a group of authors primarily supported each other the software could assign a different color to their whuffie. --Fasten 13:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
        • One could also add work-whuffie for quality articles. Negative whuffie on the other hand would be anti-social and could easily be evaded with a new account. --Fasten 13:51, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Make good articles and featured articles the gold standard. These are awarded by consensus, not by individuals, and represent a huge achievement for Wikipedia. A lot of the other interpersonal awards get too subjective, and sometimes are awarded just to make a point in some dispute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) --Fasten 13:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • Completely against the idea of good articles and featured articles being the gold standard. That another cleaving debate among editors: What is the most important few GA & FA or a lot of B class articles ? Many editors chose the latter pushing stub-start articles to B even if there is rarely someone to give them credits of their works in contrary of GA & FA. --KrebMarkt 08:41, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can we prioritize professional views and contributions without too much limiting openness?

    • Allow professionals to to fill out a questionair about their professional status, and credentials, Review this with other professionals in the same field to confirm credentials.
    This doesn't however deal with the fact that sometimes professionals become rather batty and make controversial statements as they get older.--Graeme E. Smith 13:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Reinforce standards like verifiability in third-party sources and no original research. Stop people from using personal views, homemade fansites, and primary sources to build articles (or from holding back those who are trying to to). The openness is that anyone can write high-standard material, but the standard must be quality.
  1. Be much more vigilant in disallowing people to edit war in subjects where they have shown to do substandard or POV work. Nowadays, someone has to spend about half a year calling other editors names before they get blocked. Others are at most stopped by revert restrictions. Give people who have proven to be experts in the field (either through credentials or through a period of high standard edits) the right to revert edits of problem editors in their field, even if it would mean breaking revert rules, and the right to finish off discussions that have lost their usefulness. - Andre Engels 12:10, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    Interesting. Do you know "problem editors in their field" who contribute for a long time? Aren't you proposing negative whuffie? How do you intend to make an editor keep the negative whuffie if an anonymous contributor has a whuffie score of zero? --Fasten 09:57, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
  2. We could give professional editors credits like Featured article. Next to each professional User contribution in the article history could be a symbol (a star for example). We could give GLAMs and professors for example a professional status. I think the distribution of the porfessional status should be organized by he chapters. --Carl Steinbeißer 10:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
    One could invite universities to operate OpenID servers to identify their staff and possibly graduates. I don't see a reason to restrict this to professors. --Fasten 10:23, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
Should the Wikimedia Foundation support a project along the lines of Citizendium or Veropedia?

Should the Wikimedia Foundation support a project along the lines of Citizendium or Veropedia in which a less open environment is used to boost certain types of articles to a quality they are not achieving in an open editing environment? #quality - Jmabel 16:27, 22 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

    • An example of this might be a "READ ONLY" namespace where only the original author can update the article. This idea might work better in a Wikiversity Environment than in Wikipedia, but what it might offer, is an opportunity to reference original content, without threatening the accuracy of the article, if there is controversy related to the subject.
    Consider where discipline one states one thing, and discipline two another, or where 2 schools exist within a particular discipline. Rather than get into edit wars over the content, each school could be encouraged to publish an article describing their viewpoint in READ ONLY

namespace, and these viewpoints could then be referenced by the encyclopedia to illustrate the fact that there is a discussion.--Graeme E. Smith 13:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

  1. I think that would be a good idea. Have acknowledged experts on certain subjects (as I said above, either because of credentials or because of editing history) judge articles and edits, and only those that they find of sufficient quality are placed in a special website with the really good articles. Problem here would be how to arrange it that edits by others to the Wikipedia article also get incorporated in the 'quality' website if they are considered worthwhile, especially if there are edits in between that would not be let in (but still are kept on Wikipedia itself). Wikipedia could then remain as a 'working' version, and the high-quality version as a 'show' version. - Andre Engels 12:16, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
How can we prevent opinion cartels?

How can we prevent opinion cartels (driven by political or economic interest, for example) from hijacking pages through the domination of discussions and moderator boards? How can we detect them and distinguish them from experts of the field? #quality

    • Document the opinion cartels. A warning in the header of a talk page could document points of view that had to be trimmed in the past. --Fasten (Wikinews: Aktion Deutschland Hilft asks for donations after the earthquake in Indonesia) 18:58, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
    • How about a black words list for commonly attacked pages, if the cartel uses common phrases in their attacks on the page, you put them in the black words list, and the edit filter for that page checks and flags every edit that includes those words. A recent example in Wikiversity was an opinion cartel that always used a phrase unban XXXX in their attacks. It is impossible to tell for sure whether the postings were made by a cartel or by the banned member under multiple sign-ons. But the very consistency of their attacks, means that during submission of the edit process, a filter could detect and flag the page.--Graeme E. Smith 13:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
  1. Don't let people game the policy on canvassing. Right now it's against the rules to recruit a bunch of people with a shared viewpoint to a major content or policy debate. But it isn't *technically* against the rules to recruit those people to a WikiProject or Group or Template, and then link those pages to debates.
  2. Neutralize their power. It's one thing if an "opinion cartel" is there to engage in honest consensus building, and they often help reach a consensus. But if they repeatedly show up to a debate to stonewall and prevent a solution, there has to be a way to break the deadlock. Perhaps ArbCom needs the power to settle these disputes. Not by declaring the position that Wikipedia should take, but they should AT LEAST be able to identify the "filibuster" position of the cartel, and declare this position completely unacceptable. Force them off of the extreme flank.
  3. Agreed. An opinion cartel is at its most destructive when they filibuster efforts to find a consensus. Imagine that you have Israelis and Palestinians who want to achieve peace. But suddenly the peace process is joined by an extremist group who wants to blow everyone up, and declares the consensus-building process a sell out. The dispute will never end, and you will see reasonable people give up, out of frustration. We have to fix our dispute resolution systems, or add new "final solutions" that reduce the chances of a filibuster. (e.g.: admin-only discussions, arbitrators who are there to force a settlement, some kind of run-off voting system, or representative negotiation).
How can a blocked user be unblocked?

How can the participation in such discussions for non-English speaking Wikipedians be improved?

At least the languages of the ten largest Wikipedias should be integrated. The Usability-Initiative, for instance, does not allow participation in another language.
Original question : Wie kann die Teilname an solchen Diskussionen für nicht englisch sprechende Wikipedianer verbessert werden?|Es sollten mindestens die sprachen der 10 grösten Wikipedias einbezogen werden. So ist z.B. bei der Usability-Initiative nicht möglich in einer anderen Sprache mitziarbeiten. 01:57, 22 August 2009 (UTC)}}Reply

How can we build APIs so that Wikipedia can be contributed to from 3rd Party Website?

And also update 3rd Party Website? Is this achievable in real time using something such as XMPP pubsub both to lower the "pollin" load and to move wikipedia to Real Time which seems to be where the web is going (the web is all about compressing time and space)? The way I think APIs could be useful is that "sections" of Wikipedia should be able to be edited from more "expert sites". The expert site could be for instance a semantic extraction of all Medical articles, and integrated into a specific website of a Medical Universities, researchers etc... For APIs to work well I agree that Wikipedia must first excel in web semantics (so that semantic sections such as "all medical articles in English" can be extracted by an API). API are also a great way to attract financial contributions (above a certain number of API calls by a commercial entity these API queries can be charged for while remaining free from non-commercial entities). If we look into the future, I think there are lessons also to be learned from technological advances such as Google Wave. I think that the first lesson is that one of the component of the future of the web is to move to Real Time (using things such as XMPP) at least would be very nice for WikiNews. The XMPP "PubSub" mechanism is especially interesting overall (this is what the Facebook NewsFeed is built on I would assume). I also think that Wikipedia ought to be much more customizable and social. For this my suggestion is to enable to allow not only to "watch" an article but a Semantic theme such as: "Medical", "article containing events between 1900-1950", "Common Law", "criminal law", "any article linking to Descartes"; "any article linked from Descartes", etc....) and so that the user can get a customized feed for these.

Last time i checked, we had an api. It can't exactly extract all medical articles, but it can extract things based on categories, edit thing, etc and is generally pretty nice (90% of everything i've done on a wiki recently has involved the api in someway). Wikis are by definition editable in real time, so i don't see why we need to move to real time, when people edit in real time already. I do not see the benifit for Wikinews here, or more generally what exactly you are proposing. (unless you're proposing concurrent editing, which would be somewhat useful. Semantic mediawiki which seems to be part of your proposal would also be cool). Also for watching articles on a specific topic, try special:relatedchanges/<category name>. (user:Bawolff not logged in) 15:16, 20 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

This page needs an introduction

To quote a popular template at Wikiquote: "This page lacks sufficient introduction or links.... Without such information, it is hard to distinguish this topic from similarly-named topics." ~ Ningauble 14:10, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

I just added one. :) -- Philippe 20:26, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply
It also needs instructions on how to edit this page, since it doesn't function like an ordinary Wikipedia page. Why is that? ALL "edit" links should enable one to edit. -- BullRangifer 02:08, 23 October 2009 (UTC)Reply