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MediaWiki OTRS[edit]

Out of curiosity - is there a reason that there is not an OTRS for the MediaWiki "project"? --Varnent (talk)(COI) 07:14, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Interesting question. My (totally uninformed) speculation is that they don't need it - anyone who has questions for MediaWiki is going to either know how to edit a wiki or join a mailing list and they aren't terribly likely to need to run things through a permissions queue. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:54, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Those were my general thoughts as well - but I was just wondering if there had ever been an official discussion and decision. I could see some value in regards to Q&A - but I suspect almost 95% of the replies would be sending them to existing pages or asking them to share more info on-wiki for other developers to help answer. I also agree that there is not an obvious permissions need. However, with the increasing outreach to third-party wikis being done by WMF interns and as MediaWiki development matures as its own project, if there may be value in having one. Frankly, I suspect I could come up with an argument for and against.  :) --Varnent (talk)(COI) 20:07, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Hello, I just thought: if you really think it's likely that people are already emailing mediawiki at, you should probably file a bug to request it to be aliased to mediawiki-l, so that emails will at least go somewhere. Depending on the traffic this may later develop in something else, but you have to start from something. --Nemo 09:54, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Summary of transparency and accountability by Volunteer Response Team Leaders[edit]

I'm writing what I would not call a mission statement but a shift and a focus of moving OTRS from its previous home in isolated governance due to dependency on the Wikimedia Foundation because of historical purpose. We're making a shift in administration and what we do as leaders for the team. It's been two years late in coming.


The overall operation of OTRS is now with the Volunteer Response Team Leaders (OTRS admins), with the advice and consultation of the delegated representative for the Wikimedia Foundation. Currently the representative is Maggie Dennis. In turn, Maggie Dennis is accountable to Philippe Beaudette. The current list of OTRS admins can be found here.

  • There are roles, such as Stewards, English Wikipedia Arbitrators, French/English Oversighters, WM chapters, and Wikimedia Technical staff that need access to OTRS as part of their obliged duties. We will provide access to OTRS for these uses.Other unofficial projects unrelated to the WMF such as Wiki Loves Monuments, GLAM, etc, will be considered for roles.
  • We're consulting with the WMF and folks with the institutional memory on the reasons why having a full list of OTRS agents on meta is not our current practice.
  • Comments on volunteer applications will be left untouched unless removal falls within standard practices on meta for unhelpful comments. The process is still not a vote, but comments and considerations will be left for all to review.
    • First off, thank you for your statement and the relatively fast resolution of the issues raised on Meta in the past couple of weeks. Just to clarify this, "standard practices on meta for unhelpful comments" - by this do you mean general Meta-Wiki wide practices, or the OTRS specific ones that the OTRS admins have formed? Thehelpfulone 20:44, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
      • I'm not an OTRS admin, but I"ve been privy to some of the conversation. They'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the intent is to refer to standard Meta-wide practices. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 02:43, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
        • Philippe is correct. OTRS has its own wiki and workspace, but our door is located in the Meta process. We should respect the Meta community's policies since it is our host for everything we do public. This makes absolute sense. Keegan (talk) 06:45, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


The OTRS software is limited in what we can provide statistically. We will provide, beginning in the next days, a semi-annual report of administrative activity as well as general logged activity such as accounts created/closed, queue creation closing, and such data that we have available in a general format suitable to meta. This first report will be general in nature to 2012 OTRS activity. In the future we would like to see statistical breakdowns of the work done on OTRS by agents broken down and posted on meta.

On behalf of the OTRS Admins, Keegan (talk) 08:46, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Keegan, and the rest of the admins who I'm sure put time into discussing this. This statement is certainly a step forward and important, I highly appreciate it. I do think that there are steps that are still left though, part of that is looking at other transparency but I think the most important part is looking at how admins are chosen. Keegan told me that this is also being looked into but I want to see others thoughts and want to make sure my opinion is down.
The way I see it there are two options: a more community driven process with elections like Stewards or a Foundation driven process with the foundation choosing (and removing) administrators. I think the current process of the OTRS admins appointing (and I assume removing) themselves is completely unacceptable and any process which continues that (no matter the changes) would be. There is an argument to be made that OTRS's main goal is to represent the community or the foundation (hence the foundation or the community controlling appointment) but I see no legitimate argument for having it internally driven. I am also unable to come up with any counterpart within the movement which does that, the closest I can come up with is IRC group contacts. While I also don't like how that is run they are far more removed from the foundation and the community (as representatives to a 3rd party IRC network etc) then OTRS admins. My personal leaning is towards the foundation appointing/overseeing given the very public face that the entire group gives to emails that would generally be directed at them but I'm open for discussion on that. Jamesofur (talk) 09:26, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't know what this discussion is coming from and it looks like a huge possible waste of time, anyway speaking of "accountability" and transparency the first and most important thing we need is surely an OTRS update which allows to tell users the status of their request. The main problem with our OTRS is that people writing to it are writing to a black box and don't know anything on the progress unless they get a reply; this is especially awful when (as it happens not so rarely) a ticket is sent from a queue to another and vice versa countless times. --Nemo 09:59, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • On the accountability front; I'd argue that this debacle came about not because of a lack of accountability on the part of the OTRS admin team, but because the admins failed to include agents or third-parties in their decision-making process and failed to positively notify anyone that the policy decision and change had taken place. Can we expect this to change, as well? If not, the statements above do absolutely nothing to prevent another issue like this. Ironholds (talk) 17:23, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • If this is something the OTRS admins are in agreement on, can I please ask, then, that it be written into the statement above? Ironholds (talk) 22:18, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I can amend the statement if you prefer. I'm not sure how much that helps. I'd prefer that our actions going forward speak louder than the words I wrote above. Keegan (talk) 06:40, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

As an update, since OTRS has been upgraded there is the capacity now to generate regular, stable reports and metrics. These are now in the pipeline to start occurring. I am pretty excited about this, and I hate that it took so long. But better late than never, as they say. Keegan (talk) 18:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

2012 Report[edit]

We've prepared sort of a "2012 year-end report", including statistical information about administrator activity and ticket traffic. It is available at OTRS/Reports/2012. Feel free to leave any questions on the talk page. Rjd0060 (talk) 23:59, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Add me?[edit]

I would like to be added to the team. I am active on en:wp and commons. I am not admin, my talk pages may seem NFSW, and I can be rather harsh with some editors. I will strive to be far more cordial with emails. I am familiar with licencing and BLP trends. Start me at five per day for now if you wish.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:14, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi there, please see OTRS/Recruiting for information on what we look for in a volunteer and go to OTRS/Volunteering to submit your application. Thanks for your interest in helping out! Thehelpfulone 16:33, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I can't login into OTRS[edit]

I can't login into OTRS. writes me "There is no account with that login name." I've never had problems with login since I became volunteer --Butko (talk) 11:14, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

I've emailed you regarding the issue, Butko. Rjd0060 (talk) 12:43, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Can't see ticket[edit]

I'm not currently an OTRS member, but I was wondering why ticket numbers are posted where non-OTRS members can see the link, and cannot access them.--Auric (talk) 17:36, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

So that there's a way to find the ticket if someone wants more info about it. A few readers will have access to see it and a lot of people will be able to find someone who has access to ask them to read the ticket and answer questions about it.
If you approached someone with access and asked them to summarize or otherwise describe the mails in a ticket referenced from page XYZ they would surely be more amenable to doing so if the ticket # was readily available than if that agent had to also dig through the DB and figure out which ticket it was. --Jeremyb (talk) 19:00, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Positive attitude[edit]

One of the requirements of OTRS volunteers is that they "must have a positive attitude about the Wikimedia Foundation and its mission". This, or something close to it, has been on this page since the beginning. Hypothetically, what if the Wikimedia Foundation is not effectively or ethically fulfilling the mission? Isn't the requirement, then, a bit of political "group think"? Wouldn't it be an improvement to say that OTRS volunteers "should have an objective attitude about the Wikimedia Foundation and its mission"? After all, isn't objective reasoning to be preferred over blind optimism? - Thekohser (talk) 16:49, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

When interacting with correspondents it is important to not be overly cynical or negative. There is a customer service aspect to OTRS; while we are not making statements on behalf of WMF, to the public we may be perceived as such. LFaraone (talk) 17:10, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Certainly agree that "overly cynical" is not a desired POV, either! - Thekohser (talk) 17:54, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
OTRS volunteers see people's honest thoughts about their interactions with Wikimedia. We should fight internally to change anything that stands in the way of our projects becoming even better. However, in my experience, most people writing to us are looking for the Wiki answer to a problem as opposed to the personal belief of the OTRS rep, which means that we should try to be positive. I know you said this is a hypothetical, but do you have a particular situation in mind? Andrewman327 (talk) 02:31, 18 July 2013 (UTC)


/// COMPLAINT: I am really concerned with a volunteer that is currently deleting my information from WikiCommons without particular regards to a regulation. User:Grashoofd is violating my rights as a user; can someone do something about this ??? He is using a Bot to make these changes. My username: reamxrivard ///

Hello reamxrivard. I was just informed that you had a complaint about my bot. I am actually the only one "who can do something about this". But first I have to know what my bot did that bothered you. How am I violating your rights as a user? I'm here to answer any questions you may have. Best, Grashoofd (talk) 12:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

{{helpme}} Is there a proper place where I can request that an individual be removed from the OTRS team? I have serious concerns about their conduct, lack of transparency, and repeated dishonesty. Thanks, & apologies if I asked at the wrong place. ~ DanielTom (talk) 00:45, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

You can contact the OTRS administrators. Legoktm (talk) 00:50, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Is the community completely mute on such important questions? (Is there no equivalent to "votes of confidence" for OTRS members?) It would be helpful to know if there been previous cases of OTRS members being removed from the OTRS team. ~ DanielTom (talk) 01:03, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
If you have concerns regarding a particular OTRS user you should forward them to us (the OTRS admins) as legoktm mentioned. We can be reached via email or other methods listed at the above link. This is the way to have your concerns addressed. Thanks. Rjd0060 (talk) 01:08, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Could you answer my questions above? ~ DanielTom (talk) 01:22, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I believe I already have. No, there is no community disucssion for such personnel matters. Concerns are to be addressed in private with the OTRS admin or OTRS admin team. Accounts have been closed in the past due to user-conduct issues, yes. Though details of which are private. Rjd0060 (talk) 01:29, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. What is the email of the OTRS admin team? ~ DanielTom (talk) 01:36, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
There are a couple but otrs-admins at would be sufficient. Rjd0060 (talk) 02:37, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. ~ DanielTom (talk) 05:55, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

add new E-Mails[edit]

Hi, I want to add new language to permission and commons permission emails, like: permission-ar and permissions-commons-ar to make it easier for other people to send permissions on this language, and help me to filter this tickets--Ibrahim.ID (talk) 12:08, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Ibrahim.ID, this request should be placed internally on OTRS wiki at otrswiki:AR for discussion and implementation. Rjd0060 (talk) 12:27, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok --Ibrahim.ID (talk) 15:53, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Procedure for removing an OTRS volunteer[edit]

Once someone is appointed an OTRS volunteer, do they maintain this position in perpetuity, or can their membership be revoked? If they can be removed from the list of volunteers, could someone please let me know the circumstances under which this would happen, and whether there's a particular workflow which must be followed? In particular, if someone believes that an existing volunteer is no longer suitable (for example, because they no longer meet the requirements posted at OTRS/Recruiting#What do we look for?), where and how should this be reported for discussion and possible action? —Psychonaut (talk) 09:45, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

You can contact the OTRS admins, their email is otrs-admins at Legoktm (talk) 09:52, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Do you mean private e-mail is the established procedure for proposing that a volunteer be removed, or that I should e-mail the administrators to ask what the established procedure actually is? (If the former, that seems a bit strange, as discussions involving whether to grant or revoke special positions of trust are usually conducted transparently on-wiki.) —Psychonaut (talk) 10:01, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
The OTRS admins are the ones with the authority to remove users from OTRS. The recommended and best way to contact them is to use their email. Legoktm (talk) 10:19, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
It's somewhat funny how we just had this discussion in #Help. Legoktm (talk) 10:20, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I hadn't read that. I wish people would use more descriptive section titles. —Psychonaut (talk) 10:34, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Your initial reply contained an incorrect e-mail address for the OTRS admins. For the benefit of anyone else reading this thread, I've corrected your original comment. Hope you don't mind. —Psychonaut (talk) 11:28, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Oops, my bad. Thanks! Legoktm (talk) 11:32, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Issues relating to OTRS administration under discussion[edit]

Please refer to this on Commons. Input on this is going to be required by OTRS admins. Russavia (talk) 09:24, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Cleanup of OTRS related pages[edit]

Hi all- As the beginning of a cleanup effort as well as to increase transparency we will be posting some of the OTRS procedural information (such as the Access and Activity policies) on Meta-Wiki. It's quite clear that the "OTRS namespace" can use some work.

I have a beginning to-do list on an internal page and hope to recruit some help and begin working on this stuff as we head into the new year. Happy holidays to everybody. Rjd0060 (talk) 17:11, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

OTRS for Wikidata[edit]

Hello, we are planning to propose to closed databases to release some data under the CC0 license for use in Wikidata and we need some support to create a similar system that the one for commons. Can someone help us to create this ? Thanks. Snipre (talk) 16:57, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

+1. Just to clarify: We have a support queue for Wikidata already. But this should probably be a different. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 17:02, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you have an example which data that could be? It has to be copyrighted in first place for OTRS to make sense.
Where would the permission be documented? As the data is likely spread over different objects, it cannot be on the object ('s talk page) as it is for files and articles, can it? --Krd 19:14, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Krd For example there is data from official statistical administrations like this one for Switzerland: typical data are surface, population, altitude of different administrative entites. They have a copyright which is similar to CC-BY-NC (see here.
This should be fixed but as first idea the authorization document from the data owner should describe the type of data concerned by the authorization (data, year, original file,... As exemple: the population data of all communes of Switzerland from the 2000 census) and the imported data in Wikidata under this permission will be tagged using a qualifier. We have to think if a copy of the data should be provided and stored somewhere or if the description of the data is enough. The Wikidata development team is working now with the legal team of WMF to solve this problem. Snipre (talk) 08:28, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Normally I would support making this a sub-queue of permissions::, i.e. something like permissions::permissions-wikidata. However, I have doubts in this case. Our approach with the permissions queues is that there is one access right for all sub-queues (on the assumption that all queues deal with the same questions). But the issues are not identical in this case. To avoid mix-ups, it might make sense to make it a separate queue with a dedicated role; not that many people are familiar with database protection rights since this concerns questions not otherwise relevant to the Wikimedia community. — Pajz (talk) 19:25, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
We are working with the legal team of the WMF to define the conditions for release of data under CC0. Hope we can find a correct system to solve the problem. Snipre (talk) 08:28, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Just thought I would follow-up to Pajz above - I too would be hesitent to include this as a permissions subqueue for the reasons he mentions. I would suggest making this a subqueue of the Sister projects::Wikidata queue (and perhaps give permissions users read-only access for verifications but that's more of an internal decision). Let let us know here or via otrs-admins at once you've decided. Rjd0060 (talk) 10:34, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Does OTRS handle fair use assessments for Wikipedia files? Or just permissions?[edit]

I'm thinking about becoming an OTRS volunteer, and I have some background (though no lengthy history, yet) in copyright law. Do OTRS volunteers only help clear permissions? Or do they also help to assess fair use claims for images on Wikipedia? For example, was this image reviewed by an OTRS volunteer, or someone else? --User:Bradleee

Hi Bradleee. At the moment we do not deal with fair-use issues. Permissions queues are used for verification of copyright release on free media hosted on Commons and other sites.
There are also some uses on the English Wikipedia (for example) where OTRS was used to arrange the license release of text used in an article. With all that in mind, we have general information queues where people send us questions and in those queues we receive reuse requests, fair use/licensing questions, etc. Hope this answers your question.Rjd0060 (talk) 21:24, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Using my own copyrighted article in a WP article[edit]

Shalom. I am the owner of a copyrighted article that I wrote and which was copyrighted by me in the US Library of Congress. I have the document to prove copyright ownership of this article. The article contains my own English translation of Hebrew texts (excerpts gleaned from early Hebrew classical writings) describing the epic visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, and the riddles that she posed to King Solomon. The entire text is written in Middle English, and, hopefully, the entire episode will be incorporated into a new and separate article on Wikipedia, replete with annotations (as provided by the box which toggles text displays of poems), while, at the same time, each box interspersed with short narratives explaining to our readers the general theme or historical background behind each scene described in the box. What makes this article different from the current article on the Queen of Sheba is that this one brings down only the Jewish oral traditions regarding her visit. In my view, the article will bring a new dimension to the way we present written texts and making use of the primary source, coupled with explanatory remarks as are common in every other WP article which describe a certain topic. My question is whether or not this is viewed as acceptable, and what will I need to do to show that I am the owner of this article and that I give my consent for its free use (public use) on Wikipedia? Thank-you in advance.- Davidbena (talk) 08:35, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm afraid this isn't the best place to post such a question, this talk page is for general discussion about the OTRS system itself. For instructions on how to provide permission for re-use of your work, see en:Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission. Secondly, it appears from your description that the content you want to share would be more fitting for a project like Wikisource, not Wikipedia. — Yerpo Eh? 08:44, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll look into Wikisource.Davidbena (talk) 20:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)