Building an academic network for Wikimedia

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
3 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Building an academic network for Wikimedia

Milos Rancic-2
(This is a forwarded email from foundation-l list.)

After the third "experiment" on sr.wp, I have to say that cooperation
between particular professors, their students and one of Wikimedia
projects is working very well.

The first project started with professors Cvetana Krstev and Dusko
Vitas from Mathematical and Philological faculties in Belgrade. As I
am not involved in that project (and I don't know for details), I will
skip it. I only know that a number of students' works in computational
linguistics were published on Serbian Wikipedia.

The second was initiated by professor Slobdan Macura (a Wikipedian,
too), who asked me to make a presentation of Wikipedia to students of
the third and the fourth year of physical chemistry. This cooperation
gave to us a number of very good articles about chemistry of proteins
[1]. While half of them are translated from the English Wikipedia, the
rest are original encyclopedic works made by students. For example, an
article about Anfinsen's dogma is much better in Serbian [2] than in
English [3].

When I started to finish my studies in linguistics (last September), I
found that some of my professors are interested in adapting their own
rules to contribution to Wikipedia. The best cooperation I made with
my professor in sociolinguistics, Jelena Filipovic. Her students have
to make three types of works: three short forms, usually what a
student thinks about something, one longer form on what student thinks
about one of specific texts and a seminar work, which should be the
longest form.

(By accident, at the same time Linguistlist called linguists to
contribute articles in sociolinguistics.)

Professor's and mine first target was to change three short forms to
three articles. Almost a half of the students (something less than 20
of something more than 40) opted in to that change. And not only that:
a couple of them opted to change their seminar work to one longer
article.

A week ago the first short forms were finished. Two students sent to
me articles. Yesterday I started to analyze them in depth. And I have
to say that articles are real success! I processed the first three
articles and here is the report:

- Dialect atlas (or "Linguistic map" -- two names for the same term).
Article in Serbian [4] is much longer than article in English [5].
- Linguistic interview. Article in Serbian exists [6], while article
in English doesn't exist.
- Language variable (a fairly important linguistic term) now exists in
Serbian [7], but doesn't exist in English.

The main consequence of such work is that we are able to move our sum
of knowledge at the next level. While a number of smaller Wikipedias
have problems with very basic articles, which may be covered by high
school students, thanks to such cooperation we are able to put into
Wikipedia more specific knowledge.

* * *

However, the situation is not sustainable. While I am able and I am
willing to work with some number of professors, I am not able cover
even my faculty alone. While initiating cooperation is a time
consuming task, it is a temporary task. I am willing to spend a couple
of weeks or a couple of months in making a cooperation alive, but when
an initiation of cooperation is finished, I may start do work on other
one.

However, if I have to take care separately about all groups all the
time, I would be able to work with five or ten groups, but not much
more.

Instead of that kind of organization, I think that it would be much
better to make some kind of a global "academic network for Wikimedia".
For the first time it should be one network for sharing resources: to
explain how to find priorities for writing articles, to make some
comprehensive manuals for professors and students, to show to
professors and students how to find an online help as well as how to
find real-life help.

Also, such network may be very useful for professors and students:
While at the first time such network would be able to connect a
linguist from Serbia with a biologist from Germany (which is not so
useful), as time is passing, this network would be able to make
connections between people who are working on the same topics.
Actually, if people from Linguistlist (those who already made calls
for contributing to Wikipedia) are interested in joining to such
network, we will already make the first connections between linguists.

* * *

I am not sure was here a similar talk. However, I know that Wikimedian
community has a number of university professors and other experts. And
those professors and experts should be the front persons of such
network. Of course, I am willing to help, but we need to make a group
of relevant people who would attract other professors and experts to
join the group (and groups in the future).

* * *

There is one anecdote about Stalin. Some of the persons in charge for
foreign relations came to him:
- An emissary from Vatican came. What should we do?
- How many tanks do they have?
- None.
- Take them away!

So, whenever someone came with an idea to add some number of articles
to Serbian Wikipedia, I was making jokes which were beginning with
"How many tanks do thay have?" -- in the sense of a number of
articles, of course.

While it is obvious that 10 good articles are much better than 100
bad, it is, also, obvious that we have to find a way how to make a
"mass production" of good articles. When I say "mass production", I
think about a systematic effort for improving quality of our project.

And if there are three articles covered systematically by students on
Serbian Wikipedia which are better than corresponding three articles
on English Wikipedia (actually, two of them don't exist), then it is
obvious that all Wikipedias need such systematic effort.

I presented above my idea for making such systematic effort. It came
to my mind yesterday, which means that it is far from a rounded idea.
I didn't even thought about other possibilities. So, a question for
discussion here is: Do you have some better idea? Does such thing
exist? Do you think that this idea is good enough for implementation?
If so, are there people (especially professors and experts) who are
willing to participate?

* * *

[1] - The list of articles and students who made them is here:
http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BB:%D0%A4%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%BA%D0%B0_%D1%85%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%98%D0%B0/%D0%A4%D0%A4%D0%A5
[2] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%BD%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0_%D1%85%D0%B8%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%B7%D0%B0
[3] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anfinsen%27s_dogma
[4] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dijalektolo%C5%A1ki_atlas
[5] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialect_atlas
[6] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervju_(lingvistika)
[7] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezi%C4%8Dka_varijacija

_______________________________________________
Wiki-research-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Building an academic network for Wikimedia

Piotr Konieczny-2
Cooperation between academics and Wikipedia, with focus on utilizing
Wikipedia as an educational tool - benefiting students and our project -
is a very important issue indeed. We have two projects that are
dedicated to this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:School_and_university_projects
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Classroom_coordination
I would suggest that talk page of Classroom coordination project may be
better for discussion - it has a higher visibility and transparency.

Finally, with a bit of selfish self-promotion, I will also point to my
article on Teaching with Wikipedia:
http://itdl.org/Journal/Jan_07/article02.htm


--
Piotr Konieczny

"The problem about Wikipedia is, that it just works in reality, not in
theory."

Milos Rancic wrote:

> (This is a forwarded email from foundation-l list.)
>
> After the third "experiment" on sr.wp, I have to say that cooperation
> between particular professors, their students and one of Wikimedia
> projects is working very well.
>
> The first project started with professors Cvetana Krstev and Dusko
> Vitas from Mathematical and Philological faculties in Belgrade. As I
> am not involved in that project (and I don't know for details), I will
> skip it. I only know that a number of students' works in computational
> linguistics were published on Serbian Wikipedia.
>
> The second was initiated by professor Slobdan Macura (a Wikipedian,
> too), who asked me to make a presentation of Wikipedia to students of
> the third and the fourth year of physical chemistry. This cooperation
> gave to us a number of very good articles about chemistry of proteins
> [1]. While half of them are translated from the English Wikipedia, the
> rest are original encyclopedic works made by students. For example, an
> article about Anfinsen's dogma is much better in Serbian [2] than in
> English [3].
>
> When I started to finish my studies in linguistics (last September), I
> found that some of my professors are interested in adapting their own
> rules to contribution to Wikipedia. The best cooperation I made with
> my professor in sociolinguistics, Jelena Filipovic. Her students have
> to make three types of works: three short forms, usually what a
> student thinks about something, one longer form on what student thinks
> about one of specific texts and a seminar work, which should be the
> longest form.
>
> (By accident, at the same time Linguistlist called linguists to
> contribute articles in sociolinguistics.)
>
> Professor's and mine first target was to change three short forms to
> three articles. Almost a half of the students (something less than 20
> of something more than 40) opted in to that change. And not only that:
> a couple of them opted to change their seminar work to one longer
> article.
>
> A week ago the first short forms were finished. Two students sent to
> me articles. Yesterday I started to analyze them in depth. And I have
> to say that articles are real success! I processed the first three
> articles and here is the report:
>
> - Dialect atlas (or "Linguistic map" -- two names for the same term).
> Article in Serbian [4] is much longer than article in English [5].
> - Linguistic interview. Article in Serbian exists [6], while article
> in English doesn't exist.
> - Language variable (a fairly important linguistic term) now exists in
> Serbian [7], but doesn't exist in English.
>
> The main consequence of such work is that we are able to move our sum
> of knowledge at the next level. While a number of smaller Wikipedias
> have problems with very basic articles, which may be covered by high
> school students, thanks to such cooperation we are able to put into
> Wikipedia more specific knowledge.
>
> * * *
>
> However, the situation is not sustainable. While I am able and I am
> willing to work with some number of professors, I am not able cover
> even my faculty alone. While initiating cooperation is a time
> consuming task, it is a temporary task. I am willing to spend a couple
> of weeks or a couple of months in making a cooperation alive, but when
> an initiation of cooperation is finished, I may start do work on other
> one.
>
> However, if I have to take care separately about all groups all the
> time, I would be able to work with five or ten groups, but not much
> more.
>
> Instead of that kind of organization, I think that it would be much
> better to make some kind of a global "academic network for Wikimedia".
> For the first time it should be one network for sharing resources: to
> explain how to find priorities for writing articles, to make some
> comprehensive manuals for professors and students, to show to
> professors and students how to find an online help as well as how to
> find real-life help.
>
> Also, such network may be very useful for professors and students:
> While at the first time such network would be able to connect a
> linguist from Serbia with a biologist from Germany (which is not so
> useful), as time is passing, this network would be able to make
> connections between people who are working on the same topics.
> Actually, if people from Linguistlist (those who already made calls
> for contributing to Wikipedia) are interested in joining to such
> network, we will already make the first connections between linguists.
>
> * * *
>
> I am not sure was here a similar talk. However, I know that Wikimedian
> community has a number of university professors and other experts. And
> those professors and experts should be the front persons of such
> network. Of course, I am willing to help, but we need to make a group
> of relevant people who would attract other professors and experts to
> join the group (and groups in the future).
>
> * * *
>
> There is one anecdote about Stalin. Some of the persons in charge for
> foreign relations came to him:
> - An emissary from Vatican came. What should we do?
> - How many tanks do they have?
> - None.
> - Take them away!
>
> So, whenever someone came with an idea to add some number of articles
> to Serbian Wikipedia, I was making jokes which were beginning with
> "How many tanks do thay have?" -- in the sense of a number of
> articles, of course.
>
> While it is obvious that 10 good articles are much better than 100
> bad, it is, also, obvious that we have to find a way how to make a
> "mass production" of good articles. When I say "mass production", I
> think about a systematic effort for improving quality of our project.
>
> And if there are three articles covered systematically by students on
> Serbian Wikipedia which are better than corresponding three articles
> on English Wikipedia (actually, two of them don't exist), then it is
> obvious that all Wikipedias need such systematic effort.
>
> I presented above my idea for making such systematic effort. It came
> to my mind yesterday, which means that it is far from a rounded idea.
> I didn't even thought about other possibilities. So, a question for
> discussion here is: Do you have some better idea? Does such thing
> exist? Do you think that this idea is good enough for implementation?
> If so, are there people (especially professors and experts) who are
> willing to participate?
>
> * * *
>
> [1] - The list of articles and students who made them is here:
> http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BB:%D0%A4%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%BA%D0%B0_%D1%85%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%98%D0%B0/%D0%A4%D0%A4%D0%A5
> [2] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%BD%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0_%D1%85%D0%B8%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%B7%D0%B0
> [3] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anfinsen%27s_dogma
> [4] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dijalektolo%C5%A1ki_atlas
> [5] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialect_atlas
> [6] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervju_(lingvistika)
> [7] - http://sr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezi%C4%8Dka_varijacija
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>


--
Piotr Konieczny

"The problem about Wikipedia is, that it just works in reality, not in
theory."

_______________________________________________
Wiki-research-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Building an academic network for Wikimedia

PeterAnsell
On 02/04/2008, Piotr Konieczny <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Cooperation between academics and Wikipedia, with focus on utilizing
>  Wikipedia as an educational tool - benefiting students and our project -
>  is a very important issue indeed. We have two projects that are
>  dedicated to this:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:School_and_university_projects
>
> and
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Classroom_coordination
>  I would suggest that talk page of Classroom coordination project may be
>  better for discussion - it has a higher visibility and transparency.
>
>  Finally, with a bit of selfish self-promotion, I will also point to my
>  article on Teaching with Wikipedia:
>  http://itdl.org/Journal/Jan_07/article02.htm
>

<rant>
Academics would contribute widely to Wikipedia from my view, but the
idea that anyone can change the resulting content away from what they
as experts see as the best position, discourages them immediately.
They would rather get information published in a static article where
unknolwedgeables can't make 2+2=5 (for a rather trivial example) where
their expert opinion says otherwise. And yes, there are going to be
some who stay around to police an article forever and a day, but they
are definitely not likely to be the majority. Citizendiums slower
migration status "should" be very enticing to an academic who has
actual papers to write and still wants to contribute to knowledge
without it being destroyed at the will of the mob effectively within
hours or even weeks where the academic had a real life endeavour that
procluded them policing their set of articles for that time. If they
only had one article to police they aren't likely to be in a network,
but I guess they might be more willing to check everyday for a few
months to argue with opposing users who pickup on their subject.
Hopefully the troll finds something better to do or the academic is
lost. Wikipedia doesn't really need academics though. It has lots of
outstanding featured articles which get locked down except for minor
changes... It even has a Conflict of Interest and NPOV policy that can
be used to enforce the mob opinion, unless the academic has the will
power and stamina to deal with idiots far enough to get through the
wikipedia courts of appeal to the Supreme Court of Arbitration.
</rant>

There should be protection for academics... I know expert opinions
have been shunned in the past, but maybe, just maybe, you can get a
group of free culture fanatics to accept that they aren't gods of
knowledge far enough to accept an expert opinion or two as meaningful.

Wikipedia for academics.... maybe not given the inbuilt mechanisms
made specifically for discouraging them. Getting them to use wiki's in
general however is a much easier task though and should be promoted
more widely even if on-Wikipedia networks don't pick up.

Peter Ansell

_______________________________________________
Wiki-research-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l