Research into Requests for Comments and the closing process

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Research into Requests for Comments and the closing process

Amy Zhang
Hi all,

We are preparing to conduct some research into the process of how Requests
for Comments (RfCs) get discussed and closed. This work is further
described in the following Wikimedia page: https://meta.wikimedia.o
rg/wiki/Research:Discussion_summarization_and_decision_support_with_Wikum

To begin, we are planning to do a round of interviews with people who
participate in RfCs in English Wikipedia, including frequent closers,
infrequent closers, and people who participate in but don't close RfCs. We
will be asking them about how they go about closing RfCs and their opinions
on how the overall process could be improved. We are also creating a
database of all the RfCs on English Wikipedia that have gone through a
formal closure process and parsing their conversations.

While planning the interviews, we thought that the information that we
gather could be of interest to the Wikimedia community, so we wanted to
open it up and ask if there was anything you would be interested in
learning about RfCs or RfC closure from people who participate in them.
Also, if you know of existing work in this area, please let us know.

Thank you!

Amy


--
Amy X. Zhang | Ph.D. student at MIT CSAIL | http://people.csail.mit.edu/axz
| @amyxzh
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Re: Research into Requests for Comments and the closing process

Pine W
Hi Amy,

That sounds like a great topic for research.

As an extension of your planned scope, I would encourage you to do some
comparisons between ENWP's RfC process and those on other Wikimedia sites,
as there are some noteworthy differences among sites, both among language
variants of Wikipedia and among different projects.

You might also want to research how consensus has been defined over time
and in different contexts, and what the outcomes have been in situations
where there has been "no consensus".

Pine


On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 12:40 PM, Amy Zhang <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> We are preparing to conduct some research into the process of how Requests
> for Comments (RfCs) get discussed and closed. This work is further
> described in the following Wikimedia page: https://meta.wikimedia.o
> rg/wiki/Research:Discussion_summarization_and_decision_support_with_Wikum
>
> To begin, we are planning to do a round of interviews with people who
> participate in RfCs in English Wikipedia, including frequent closers,
> infrequent closers, and people who participate in but don't close RfCs. We
> will be asking them about how they go about closing RfCs and their opinions
> on how the overall process could be improved. We are also creating a
> database of all the RfCs on English Wikipedia that have gone through a
> formal closure process and parsing their conversations.
>
> While planning the interviews, we thought that the information that we
> gather could be of interest to the Wikimedia community, so we wanted to
> open it up and ask if there was anything you would be interested in
> learning about RfCs or RfC closure from people who participate in them.
> Also, if you know of existing work in this area, please let us know.
>
> Thank you!
>
> Amy
>
>
> --
> Amy X. Zhang | Ph.D. student at MIT CSAIL | http://people.csail.mit.edu/
> axz
> | @amyxzh
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Research into Requests for Comments and the closing process

Jonathan Cardy
In reply to this post by Amy Zhang
Dear Amy,

That's an interesting topic, for your database you might want to just filter your dataset for some outliers that start and close on the first of April broadly construed (it is more than forty hours from when April Fools day starts in New Zealand to when it ends in California).

Regards

Jonathan


> On 31 May 2017, at 20:40, Amy Zhang <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> We are preparing to conduct some research into the process of how Requests
> for Comments (RfCs) get discussed and closed. This work is further
> described in the following Wikimedia page: https://meta.wikimedia.o
> rg/wiki/Research:Discussion_summarization_and_decision_support_with_Wikum
>
> To begin, we are planning to do a round of interviews with people who
> participate in RfCs in English Wikipedia, including frequent closers,
> infrequent closers, and people who participate in but don't close RfCs. We
> will be asking them about how they go about closing RfCs and their opinions
> on how the overall process could be improved. We are also creating a
> database of all the RfCs on English Wikipedia that have gone through a
> formal closure process and parsing their conversations.
>
> While planning the interviews, we thought that the information that we
> gather could be of interest to the Wikimedia community, so we wanted to
> open it up and ask if there was anything you would be interested in
> learning about RfCs or RfC closure from people who participate in them.
> Also, if you know of existing work in this area, please let us know.
>
> Thank you!
>
> Amy
>
>
> --
> Amy X. Zhang | Ph.D. student at MIT CSAIL | http://people.csail.mit.edu/axz
> | @amyxzh
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: Research into Requests for Comments and the closing process

metasj
Also RfC practice has varied dramatically over the years; and across wiki
communities of different sizes; and varies strongly with the quality of the
summary being commented on.   In many contexts & scales it is ineffective;
in others it can work well.

A good RfC leads to useful improvement almost all of the time, regardless
of outcome.  A bad one has the outcome "do nothing unless a supermajority
of people agree with the proposal as initially written".

You might also want to reach out to other collaborative communities --
other wikis, Loomio? IETF? -- for compraison of what they like and would
change about their variations :)

On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 10:15 PM, Jonathan Cardy <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear Amy,
>
> That's an interesting topic, for your database you might want to just
> filter your dataset for some outliers that start and close on the first of
> April broadly construed (it is more than forty hours from when April Fools
> day starts in New Zealand to when it ends in California).
>
> Regards
>
> Jonathan
>
>
> > On 31 May 2017, at 20:40, Amy Zhang <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > We are preparing to conduct some research into the process of how
> Requests
> > for Comments (RfCs) get discussed and closed. This work is further
> > described in the following Wikimedia page: https://meta.wikimedia.o
> > rg/wiki/Research:Discussion_summarization_and_decision_
> support_with_Wikum
> >
> > To begin, we are planning to do a round of interviews with people who
> > participate in RfCs in English Wikipedia, including frequent closers,
> > infrequent closers, and people who participate in but don't close RfCs.
> We
> > will be asking them about how they go about closing RfCs and their
> opinions
> > on how the overall process could be improved. We are also creating a
> > database of all the RfCs on English Wikipedia that have gone through a
> > formal closure process and parsing their conversations.
> >
> > While planning the interviews, we thought that the information that we
> > gather could be of interest to the Wikimedia community, so we wanted to
> > open it up and ask if there was anything you would be interested in
> > learning about RfCs or RfC closure from people who participate in them.
> > Also, if you know of existing work in this area, please let us know.
> >
> > Thank you!
> >
> > Amy
> >
> >
> > --
> > Amy X. Zhang | Ph.D. student at MIT CSAIL | http://people.csail.mit.edu/
> axz
> > | @amyxzh
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>



--
Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266
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Re: Research into Requests for Comments and the closing process

Amy Zhang
Thank you all for the pointers!

On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 1:47 PM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Also RfC practice has varied dramatically over the years; and across wiki
> communities of different sizes; and varies strongly with the quality of the
> summary being commented on.   In many contexts & scales it is ineffective;
> in others it can work well.
>
> A good RfC leads to useful improvement almost all of the time, regardless
> of outcome.  A bad one has the outcome "do nothing unless a supermajority
> of people agree with the proposal as initially written".
>
> You might also want to reach out to other collaborative communities --
> other wikis, Loomio? IETF? -- for compraison of what they like and would
> change about their variations :)
>
> On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 10:15 PM, Jonathan Cardy <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Dear Amy,
> >
> > That's an interesting topic, for your database you might want to just
> > filter your dataset for some outliers that start and close on the first
> of
> > April broadly construed (it is more than forty hours from when April
> Fools
> > day starts in New Zealand to when it ends in California).
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Jonathan
> >
> >
> > > On 31 May 2017, at 20:40, Amy Zhang <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > We are preparing to conduct some research into the process of how
> > Requests
> > > for Comments (RfCs) get discussed and closed. This work is further
> > > described in the following Wikimedia page: https://meta.wikimedia.o
> > > rg/wiki/Research:Discussion_summarization_and_decision_
> > support_with_Wikum
> > >
> > > To begin, we are planning to do a round of interviews with people who
> > > participate in RfCs in English Wikipedia, including frequent closers,
> > > infrequent closers, and people who participate in but don't close RfCs.
> > We
> > > will be asking them about how they go about closing RfCs and their
> > opinions
> > > on how the overall process could be improved. We are also creating a
> > > database of all the RfCs on English Wikipedia that have gone through a
> > > formal closure process and parsing their conversations.
> > >
> > > While planning the interviews, we thought that the information that we
> > > gather could be of interest to the Wikimedia community, so we wanted to
> > > open it up and ask if there was anything you would be interested in
> > > learning about RfCs or RfC closure from people who participate in them.
> > > Also, if you know of existing work in this area, please let us know.
> > >
> > > Thank you!
> > >
> > > Amy
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Amy X. Zhang | Ph.D. student at MIT CSAIL |
> http://people.csail.mit.edu/
> > axz
> > > | @amyxzh
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > > [hidden email]
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>



--
Amy X. Zhang | Ph.D. student at MIT CSAIL | http://people.csail.mit.edu/axz
| @amyxzh
_______________________________________________
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