Grants:IEG/Wikipedia on the Margins: Women, Minorities, and Philosophy

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project:

Wikipedia on the Margins: Women, Minorities, and Philosophy


project contact:

madva@berkeley.edu, kgorman@gmail.com

participants:


Alex Madva, Kevin Gorman, Gasdaglis



summary:

Using targeted outreach to the academy to improve coverage of topics related to women and minorities on the English Wikipedia.

engagement target:

English Wikipedia

strategic priority:

Improving Quality, Increasing Participation

total amount requested:

29,100


2013 round 1

Project idea[edit]

In recent years, Wikipedia has become one of the most significant knowledge resources in the world. Wikimedia movement projects are viewed by nearly five hundred million people a month, meaning that nearly one in three people who use the internet use Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles top search engine rankings for many keywords, and Wikipedia is used by an increasingly large number of people as a first point of reference. It is hard to exaggerate the influence that Wikipedia has on public discourse.

A significant gender gap exists on Wikimedia projects; surveys have repeatedly shown that only between 9 and 13% of Wikimedia movement members are women. An increasing body of empirical research has demonstrated that this gap has introduced significant and systemic biases in the content of Wikimedia projects. Nowhere is this effect more evident than in areas of the English Wikipedia that lay at the intersection of women and philosophy. Topics related to feminist philosophy and gender and race theory receive far less extensive coverage than other traditional topics in philosophy (and errors are rife). The English Wikipedia contains far fewer biographies of prominent women philosophers than of their male colleagues. And, anecdotally, far fewer women philosophy faculty and graduate students actively engage in the production of Wikipedia’s content than do men in the field.

The academy is a significant and still primarily untapped resource that can be leveraged in beginning to address some of these biases. Wikimedia has reached out to the academy in the past, but none of these previous efforts focused on underrepresented people, disciplines, or perspectives and none of it has been framed to address Wikipedia’s systemic biases. While the academy is well aware of Wikipedia’s reach, it is less aware of the disparities in content and contribution. Outreach to parts of the academy that lay at the intersection of women and philosophy is likely to be highly successful; philosophers working in these areas are acutely aware of the importance of addressing issues of systemic bias, and are actively searching for new ways to do so. Academic philosophy also suffers from systemic biases, having a lower representation of women and minorities at every level (including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, publications, etc.) than the other humanities and most of the sciences. Promoting a fairer image of philosophy on Wikipedia will make a significant impact both on the way the world imagines philosophy and also on the way philosophy understands itself.

Project goals[edit]

Our primary goal is to improve the English Wikipedia’s coverage of underrepresented work throughout academic philosophy, including feminist philosophy, gender and race theory, mainstream scholarly contributions by women and other minority philosophers, philosophical topics that are historically underrepresented or marginalized because of their association with stigmatized groups (including women and minorities), and biographical articles on women and other minority philosophers themselves. Our secondary goals include directly increasing the involvement of underrepresented philosophers and their students on Wikipedia and trying to produce a model of academic outreach that is successful, well-documented, and directly translatable to other disciplines. We intend to fulfill these goals using the methods outlined below.

If we are successful in our primary goal, the English Wikipedia will become a much better reference resource about underrepresented areas of philosophy than it currently is. If we are successful in our secondary goals, the community of the English Wikipedia will be somewhat more demographically balanced, and we will have created a model of academic outreach that can be usefully applied to addressing systemic biases in other areas of Wikipedia, other language Wikipedias, and other Wikimedia projects.

Part 2: The Project Plan[edit]

Project plan[edit]

Scope:[edit]

Scope[edit]

  • The US Education Program has created a model for classes to engage with Wikipedia, and despite its problems, has demonstrated that a group of actively engaged students led by an educated, interested, and cautious instructor can productively engage with Wikipedia. Although its value has not generally been framed in terms of addressing issues of equity and representation, when the model of the USEP is focused on underrepresented disciplines, it has significant potential to do just that. We believe that targeted outreach to professors of philosophy who instruct relevant courses encouraging their students to participate in the USEP is likely to result in a highly engaged group of professors who see the importance of their participation in the USEP and also realize the importance of having their students engage with Wikipedia in a non-disruptive way that follows Wikipedia’s cultural norms. We believe that the introduction of large numbers of interested students in underrepresented disciplines led by engaged instructors and supported by experienced Wikipedians, reusable educational materials tailored to their disciplines, and revamped community portals designed to serve as easy introductory points for new editors in these disciplines has the potential to meaningfully address the content imbalances that exist in the Wikipedia coverage of these fields today.
  • We believe that targeted outreach to philosophy faculty and graduate students is likely to result in their participation in significant numbers on Wikipedia, especially when their participation is enabled by educational materials geared specifically toward them, and supported by revamped community portals that serve as more welcoming introductory points for them than such portals traditionally do. We’d like to conduct such targeted outreach. We will develop reusable, philosophy-specific resources in support of our outreach efforts, reach out to relevant communities worldwide, and host editing workshops in the Bay Area and NYC aimed specifically at women, minorities, and philosophy. We will meticulously document our procedures and make all of our educational materials available on appropriate Wikimedia projects, so that these editing workshops can be replicated by interested parties all across the world. We expect that, in the future, it will be straightforward to adapt these reusable materials to other academic disciplines.
  • We will solicit feedback from academic philosophers about problems they perceive related to the policies of the English Wikipedia that may prevent the English Wikipedia from adequately covering currently under-represented areas of philosophy. We’re especially curious to solicit feedback from academic philosophers about the existing academic notability guidelines, to make sure that they adequately cover philosophers and to see if any extra criteria should be added to ensure that it is possible to develop Wikipedia coverage of all notable philosophers. (If we do find significant gaps in the current notability guidelines, we will work with academic philosophers to articulate the problems they perceive in settings that meet the English Wikipedia’s sourcing standards, and will then attempt to obtain on-wiki consensus for making changes to the guidelines if necessary.)

Execution details[edit]

Participants for all elements of this project will be recruited using our existing networks of contacts, as well as through targeted outreach aimed at well-situated potential participants that we will identify as we progress through the project, and outreach through wider channels (relevant mailing lists, posts placed on relevant blogs, etc.)

USEP execution details[edit]
Selection of participants and expected class standards

Although the US Education program has shown that classes can engage productively with Wikipedia, not all classes that have participated in the program have been able to successfully actually do so. Experience has shown that classes that exhibit the following characteristics are most likely to successfully and non-disruptively integrate in to Wikipedia's community:

  • An instructor who is actively excited about the idea of the program and is able and willing (both in terms of time committments, and technological understanding) to directly engage on Wikipedia (even if they have not done so before.)
  • Good instructional design that takes in to account the specific needs of Wikipedia-based assignments (such as starting their on-wiki engagement early in the semester, etc.)
  • Students who are personally engaged with the subject matter, are in at least their second year of higher education, and are able to commit enough time so as to both understand Wikipedia's social norms and content policies and to create well-cited, well-written content.
  • In-person support is provided in a significant way by people who are familiar with Wikipedia (especially the use of Wikipedia in educational settings,) the subject matter covered by the course, and any particular difficulties that contributing to those subject areas on Wikipedia may pose.

Given the contact that we have had with instructors of philosophy so far and the excitement that these ideas have generated, we anticipate that we will be able to be significantly selective in the classes we accept. As per the success metrics below, we will not be accepting more than around eight classes, for a total of no more than around 300 students. Participating instructors will be selected for their goodness of fit with these characteristics, as well as with any other relevant characteristics that will significantly influence the success of their classes projects, such as class size. We will not, under any circumstances, agree to support a class that does not meet the following minimum characteristics:

  1. The instructor is able and willing to directly engage on Wikipedia.
  2. The instructor is willing to have extensive consultation with us (as well as potentially with other interested and capable volunteers) about their instructional design, and is willing to have the Wikipedia assignment constitute a major element of their course.
  3. The instructor is willing to halt their project mid-semester if, in the opinion of the grantees, the class is causing a significant number of problems that cannot be ameliorated through less drastic means.
  4. The instructor has an explicit policy about how they will be handling copyright violations
  5. The students in the course are likely to be capable of producing high quality content, and seem likely (based off of the type of course, etc) to highly engage with the project.
  6. In-person support by people who are familiar with Wikipedia (especially the use of Wikipedia in educational settings,) the subject matter covered by the course will be available, and the instructor will be willing to work closely with his support.

From our conversations with instructors at a number of different schools, we anticipate that these conditions will be found acceptable by a high enough number of people that we will have no problems at all filling our class cohort. We will actively prefer classes that are held close enough to Berkeley or New York City so that having one of us physically travel to the classroom will be at most a day trip, so that we minimize our own travel costs while still being able to physically support each class. If a class seems to be an exceptionally good fit for the project in our judgment but is not located near us or other able Wikipedians, we may still accept the class in to the project, as long as the travel costs this would entail are not earth-shattering.

On-wiki monitoring

Contributions from students in all participating classes will be actively monitored by the grantees. If we notice a student contributing in a problematic way (such as failing to follow sourcing standards or failing to adhere to WP:NPOV or other content policies,) we will notify the instructor of the problem, and also approach the student directly. If any student's edits are hugely significant breaches of the content policies of the English Wikipedia such that their edits represent an overall negative effect on the quality of the encyclopedia, we will revert their contributions ourselves.

Contributions from students in participating classes will also be actively monitored by their instructors, and we will also recruit additional Wikipedian volunteers to do so. If any significant student-related problem is brought to our attention, we will respond promptly and make all efforts to resolve the problem within 36 hours of when it comes to our attention. We will encourage all interested Wikipedians to come to us with questions or concerns about the progress of the program, and will respond promptly to all concerns.

Codification of learnings

We will keep detailed records regarding all of the methods we will employ in the development and execution of the USEP element of this project. At the end of the project, we will produce a detailed report about which of our methods worked well, and which worked poorly, aimed at allowing other interested parties to replicate similar programs in other fields. We will also upload to Commons (or another appropriate location,) under a free license, all outreach materials we created during the course of the project, including our presentations (with extensive delivery notes,) educational materials specifically targeted at philosohy classes participating in educational programs, and all other useful materials developed over the course of the project.

Details of outreach to philosophers[edit]

To find enthusiastic, committed philosophers for this project, we will reach out directly to our extensive existing network of contacts as well as publicize the project widely through established academic philosophy blogs (Leiter Reports, New APPS, and Feminist Philosophers) and listservs (PhilUpdates). Anecdotally, a number of colleagues have already expressed interest in this project (and many more have expressed interest in editing Wikipedia but currently find doing so to be prohibitively difficult). We are confident that our outreach will be successful.

All messaging will encourage philosophers to join the Wikipedia community while explaining Wikipedia’s existing norms and stressing the importance of adhering to these norms. Our outreach will introduce philosophers to the gender gap and other systemic biases within Wikipedia, making clear the promise that the academy holds for addressing these disparities. (Although many philosophers may not be aware of how these biases operate within Wikipedia, they are sure to recognize the sorts of problems at issue, since contemporary philosophy is equally beset with them.) We will acknowledge the difficulties that have prevented many interested academic philosophers from being able to contribute to Wikipedia. We will explain our goal of making reusable, accessible, and philosophy-specific resources and portals for those individuals who want to contribute to Wikipedia in the future.

Some of our colleagues have also pointed out potential problems with the academic notability guidelines of the English Wikipedia that may result in the omission of philosophers who would be considered notable by most academic philosophers. If and when problems of this sort are brought to our attention, we'll ask the philosophers who see them as problems to make public articulations of the issues they see, and we'll bring these articulations to relevant Wikipedia communities for discussion.

Timeline[edit]

The fall term for most universities generally runs until December, so the normal IEG timeline would not be optimal for this grant. Our preferred timeline would have us starting the project around June 20th, and completing it around December 20th (which would still be a six month period.) If necessary, we could follow the standard IEG timeline, but would need to submit an addendum to our final report in December after all of the in-class projects had fully finished, so that we can properly evaluate our success.

Budget:[edit]

Total amount requested[edit]

USD $29,100

Budget breakdown[edit]

Total budget
Component/purpose WMF-funded amount Total amount
Workshops $5,300 $9,600
USEP $3,000 $0
Academic outreach $2,800 $0
Reserve $3,000 $0
Stipends $15,000 $0
Total $29,100 $33,300
Workshop budget
Component Purpose WMF-funded amount Total amount
Travel subsidy Partial subsidies of travel costs for fifty participants across two cities $4,000 $4,000
Swag & printed material T-shirts and other swag for participants (est. based on webstore pricing + est. at cost of printing) $800 $800
Hotel subsidies Subsidized lodging for participants who cannot make it a day trip $0 $3000 (all from outside sources)
Catering etc Lunch, snacks, coffee, etc for participants $0 $1300 (all from outside sources)
Venue Venue + A/V stuff + security/janitorial/insurance $500 $500 (comped in Berkeley, but looks like we may have to pay in NYC)
Total Total estimated budget for workshop component of grant $5,300 $9,600
USEP budget
Component Purpose WMF-funded amount
Travel Travelling to each participating class at least twice, assuming max cost of $200 and avg cost of $30 per trip with a bit of a buffer $750
Printed material Printed material for ~250 students (incl. normal USEP brochures + customized philosophy specific materials, estimating at $3/student) $750
Student swag Minor swag for ~250 students (stickers/keychains etc, assuming $2 per student) $500
Instructor swag Tshirts and other minor swag (assuming 8 instructors and 8 teaching assistants) $500
Professional services Incidental professional services (graphics design if needed, etc) $500
Total Total estimated budget for USEP component of grant $3,000
Academic outreach budget
Component Purpose WMF-funded amount
Travel Travelling to local destinations to meet with interested parties, present at relevant conferences, etc $1250
Printed material Printed material for people we meet with (primarily customized philosophy-specific materials) $750
Incidental swag Incidental swag for people we meet with to build enthusiasm $800
Professional services Incidental professional services (graphics design if needed, etc) $500
Total Total estimated budget for academic outreach component of grant $2,800
Reserve

We've included a reserve of $3,000 to meet unexpected costs and to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. We will consider expending the reserve on anything unanticipated that has significant potential to benefit the project - likely areas include travel beyond what we planned for (such as being invited to present about Wikipedia at a high impact event beyond our planned travel budget,) unanticipated workshop related expenses (such as being charged for security or janitorial services instead of having them comped,) or professional services that go beyond our planned budgets (such as video editing services for workshops or presentations.) If unspent, our reserve will be returned to the WMF at the end of the grant period.

Stipends

This project will involve the commitment of many hours from all involved; due to other obligations, we wouldn't be able to complete this project on a completely volunteer basis. We'll divide the stipend portion of the budget up among the grantees in a way that corresponds to the amount of work done by each of us.

Overview

Many factors of our budget depend on things that have not yet been determined, such as the physical location of selected participants. We expect that our budget may require significant tinkering during the execution of the project, will keep the WMF informed of any significant deviations from the budget as posted, but this should be an approximately accurate portrayal of where we end up spending funds.

We based our swag estimations off prices from the Wikimedia web store; we expect that we will be able to obtain these for less directly from WMF, so our estimated swag costs are almost certainly high. The underages in this area will either be returned to the WMF or used to cover unexpected overages in other areas (if we have overages and if reallocations to those areas are approved.)

We plan to solicit additional funds from the philosophy departments at UC-Berkeley and Columbia to defray costs associated with the workshops. We are confident that we will be able to raise the funds that we have included in the table above, and believe we will be able to raise further funds. If we raise enough outside funds, some portion of our workshop budget may be returned to the WMF or used to cover unexpected overages in other areas (if we have overages and if reallocations to those areas are approved.)

Intended impact:[edit]

Target audience[edit]

  • Everyone who visits Wikipedia to learn about philosophy or philosophers
  • Academic philosophers, especially women and minorities, and their students
  • Wikipedians concerned about the quality of our content related to philosophy, and Wikipedians who are concerned about our gender gap.

Fit with strategy[edit]

This project will directly address two of the strategic priorities of the Wikimedia movement.

Increasing Participation[edit]

Our outreach efforts should directly increase participation, primarily on the English Wikipedia. Since we are targeting areas that lay at the intersection of women and philosophy, it is likely that a far greater than typical number of the contributors that we attract will be women (and increasing women editorship is an explicit goal of the Wikimedia strategic plan.) The reusable resources (such as a one pager aimed at explaining to academic philosophers why contributing to Wikipedia is important,) the improvements we will make to targeted community pages (such as the Wikiproject Philosophy portal,) and the networks that we are building up should continue to increase participation after our six month project has ended.

Improving quality[edit]

The involvement of academic philosophers and students of philosophy with the production of content on Wikipedia should produce notable improvements to articles in our targeted areas. Since our targeted areas are areas that are currently drastically underrepresented on Wikipedia, these improvements in quality will serve to reduce to some extent the major systemic biases currently present in Wikipedia.

Sustainability[edit]

We expect that by the end of the main body of our project our outreach efforts will have attracted a sufficient mass of academic philosophers interested in contributing to Wikipedia and in participating in the USEP as to ensure the continued growth of contributors in our target area even after the project has ended. Many Wikipedians first become Wikipedians through personal contract with other people who contribute to Wikipedia, and this is unlikely to differ in underrepresented disciplines of philosophy. Once a sufficient number of academic philosophers have become Wikipedians, future growth should be organic.

Instructors who participated in the USEP under the auspices of our project should have gained the necessary skills to act as campus ambassadors during future semesters, for their own (and other) classes. Most instructors participating in this project are likely to be personally invested in the idea of the USEP to a greater degree than more than most USEP instructors are (since addressing issues of equity and representation will be a significant motivator for many of them,) so we anticipate that many instructors will be willing to act as ambassadors for future courses, which will allow for the expansion of the USEP to other classes in our target area during future semesters. Students enrolled in participating courses will be another source of ambassadors for future semesters, since many will also be personally engaged with the idea of the program. We expect that the number of classes related to underrepresented disciplines of philosophy participating in the USEP will continue to grow after the close of our project in a sustainable way as an entirely volunteer-led effort.

One of our focuses during the course of the project will be building useful reusable resources that continue to serve as useful points of entry to the Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement for philosophers (especially those working in underrepresented areas) long after we've finished the main thrust of the project. These resources may eventually need to be updated, but we will ensure that all necessary original files and guides on how to go about updating them will be available under a free license and hosted on a reliable repository. Any necessary future updates to these resources should be possible on a volunteer basis without a significant time commitment.

Measures of success[edit]

  • We will consider the project to have been successful overall if the next four metrics have been accomplished:
    • The combined efforts of our project have resulted in a critical mass of interested academic philosophers such that the activities of our project are carried on by volunteers in the future.
    • The combined efforts of our project have resulted in the creation or significant improvement of at least 375 articles related to our targeted areas during the course of the project. We'll consider the project a great success if the combined efforts of our project have resulted in the creation or significant improvement of at least 500 articles related to our targeted areas during the course of the project.
    • We have created educational materials that are accessible and frequently used by community members, and which are tailored specifically towards introducing philosophers to Wikipedia, and towards covering underrepresented topics in philosophy.
    • No component of our project has significantly disrupted any existing Wikimedia community, and any problems or issues created by any component of our project are primarily cleaned up by people associated with our project.
  • We will consider the USEP component of our project successful if around eight classes consisting of a total of no more than around 300 students and no less than around 150 students (to ensure any cleanup needed can be handled by project participants) have successfully executed USEP projects that resulted in the improvement of significant quantities of content in our targeted areas. (We will be using our existing networks to find interested professors, and will only accept instructors who actively excited about the prospects of the program, who are interested in using Wikipedia-based assignments as a substantial component of their course, and who are actively interested in ensuring that their engagement with Wikipedia is productive and non-disruptive.)
  • We will consider the philosopher-outreach component of our project successful if we have succeeded in attracting a critical mass of contributors to the English Wikipedia with backgrounds in academic philosophy, such that further growth is organic and sustainable; if relevant community portals are regularly having conversations about topics related to our targeted areas; and if we have successfully established community consensus to alter relevant notability guidelines to address any significant problems or omissions in them that our outreach efforts have identified.

Risks and challenges[edit]

Too many newcomers at once

The USEP has largely been a success, but in a few instances, there have been too many students and novices generating content too quickly and without proper supervision from professors and established members of the Wikipedia community. This led to an unfair burden on the community to revise and delete content that failed to meet Wikipedia’s standards. One challenge for this project will be to ensure that these pitfalls are avoided.

We are confident that we can avoid these pitfalls, due to the targeted nature of this project and the volunteers’ commitment to oversee carefully all the project’s phases. We will be carefully screening course instructors to ensure that they are willing to put enough effort into their course projects to make them succeed, and to ensure that they understand the importance of working within Wikipedia’s cultural norms. Course instructors and Wikipedians will work closely with students to ensure that their contributions substantially improve existing content and coverage in full accordance with Wikipedia’s standards, and to ensure that any student edits that do not do so are promptly removed.

Lack of interest in our project in academia

If we fail to generate interest about our project in the academic community, then we may be unable to successfully accomplish our goals. Although this is a possibility, we believe it is an unlikely one. We have talked to a number of academics in our targeted disciplines, and most of them have been both excited about the idea of our project and confident in its ability to attract participants. Our project presents a compelling and self-evident value to our target audience, we just need to expose our target audience to its idea and provide them with a clear path to participate.

Participant(s)[edit]

User:Madva: I am relatively new to Wikipedia (and will myself benefit heavily from the reusable pedagogical materials we develop!). I am a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where I have taught a feminist philosophy course and am currently teaching a course on the intersections of social psychology and philosophy. I plan to introduce USEP into my courses as part of this project. I will draw on various networks of contacts of activist and feminist philosophers to solicit feedback and to find other individuals equally committed to introducing USEP and improving Wikipedia’s coverage of the topics listed above. I will organize the workshop on Berkeley’s campus.

User:Gasdaglis I am also new to Wikipedia. I am currently completing my PhD in philosophy at Columbia University, where I have assisted for a number of courses on feminism and gender and race theory. I will organize the workshop in New York City.

User:Kevin Gorman: I contribute primarily to the English Wikipedia, and have been significantly active in educational outreach efforts in the Bay Area since the semester after the Public Policy initiative was launched. I’m also currently the USEP’s Regional Ambassador for California and Hawaii. I’m one of the co-moderators of gendergap-l. A lot of my educational outreach in the past has been focused towards underrepresented disciplines, and I’m acutely interested in ways to reduce our systemic biases. I’ll be involved in this project in whatever ways I am needed, but will likely focus my work on the Wikipedia community side of things.

Part 3: Community Discussion[edit]

Discussion[edit]

Community Notification:[edit]

Please paste a link to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions, here.

Endorsements:[edit]

Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.
  • Articles on philosophy in general on the English Wikipedia are in need of improvement, and topics with relation to women in philosophy are no exception. I know of one professor at a very respectable department in Canada recently publicly expressing interest in improving woman philosopher articles but was not entirely sure how to do so. The whole Wikipedia-editing process is largely foreign to most philosophy scholars. If there is some organised effort of outreach to such people, I'd guess these topics could greatly be improved. Also, misunderstanding of the value of improving Wikipedia is common among academics. Academic philosophers and their students do not reference Wikipedia and never will, it's true, but many people with passing or moderate interest in philosophy do, and it's those academic scholars who should be helping out these laypersons. But many in the academic realm fail to see that laypersons do turn to Wikipedia. Many also misunderstand the nature of Wikipedia: Because it's "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" they think that any improvements they might make are easily destroyed. They don't always realise that the collaborative effort of volunteers is generally pretty good at maintaining high-quality, properly cited contributions from being senselessly removed, at least in articles which are not red-hot with political controversy, and most philosophy articles are not. This maintenance is far from perfect, but it does work most of the time. The problem for philosophy articles is not so much that high-quality contributions are being senselessly removed, but rather that high-quality contributions have to be made in the first place. Outreach can correct these misunderstandings.
Wikipedia's is not a perfect system for the creation of high-quality philosophy articles, but the articles are being read and they need improvement. Making sure that women in philosophy and philosophical issues of particular interest to women are not disregarded is one important aspect to such improvement. Philosophy scholars know that more philosophy for the public is a good thing, they just don't know that Wikipedia is one way of giving the public more philosophy. --Atethnekos (talk) 04:55, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Endorse. I cannot express how much I hope this will make a noticeable difference in the gender bias on Wikipedia. I've been tooting this horn since 2005; nothing else so far has made much of a difference. We need to not only approve this, but give this high priority and the volunteers involved as much support as we can manage. I must disagree with my colleague above, unfortunately - I recall a (female)Nobel prize winner whose article was nominated for deletion as NN; and there is also a culture bias. However, we cannot expect one solution to fix everything and I for one am delighted there will be some high quality content to protect. I know I speak for many of the other 10%. KillerChihuahua (talk) 00:38, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Endorse. "...trying to produce a model of academic outreach that is successful, well-documented, and directly translatable to other disciplines" is exactly what we need more of. We've tried a few things, but not systematically enough and with not enough attention to documenting what works and what doesn't, in terms of recruiting new academic editors who improve content. I know and trust Kevin, and this seems like a well-thought-out project.--Ragesoss (talk) 03:44, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  • endorse. expert editors will need help navigating the toxic wiki-culture, this meets a long standing and continuing need.Slowking4 (talk) 22:06, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Endorse. A simultaneous cure for gender bias and the philosophy deficit seems too good to be true, but I am confident that Kevin can make a positive impact with this project. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 03:01, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Endorse. This proposal offers a potential model for coordinating content creation in other clearly defined areas which require expert contributors located in more than one city or university. As stated above, because experts may not have patience with the Wikipedia editing culture, working through universities is a way to bring these greatly needed expert contributors into contact with the experienced Wikipedians capable of shepherding their articles to fruition. For some topics, extra outside support may well be necessary to fill gaps in coverage and ensure quality content. The topic chosen for this proposal appears to be a reasonable test case that fills an existing gap in coverage. The people writing this proposal appear to have given some thought to the question of how to create a workable process which does not impose undue burdens on the general editing community. Djembayz (talk) 22:05, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Endorse. This is a very well thought-out proposal that addresses a major hole in Wikipedia's encyclopedic coverage. Getting experts to engage productively in these underrepresented areas is a major challenge that will require careful and dedicated efforts. It looks like the folks involved in this proposal have a good understanding of the issues involved and the pitfalls to avoid. My only concern with this proposal is its ambitious timeline and goals. Ramping up at least 8 classes to work on 500+ articles over 1 semester is going to be challenging to do well. Quality, not quantity, is what really matters for a project like this. Personally, I would prefer to see a smaller set of goals for a first iteration and then ramp it up next year if the metrics show a convincing degree of success. That said, I think the overall project idea is sound and deserving of financial support from the Foundation. Kaldari (talk) 23:26, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Looks like the article goal has been changed from 500 to 375, which seems more reasonable to me. Kaldari (talk) 21:42, 22 February 2013 (UTC)