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Grants:IdeaLab/drive contributions from the academic world through better ORCID integration

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drive contributions from the academic world through better ORCID integration
Give academics and grad students direct credit via ORCID for their contributions.
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this project needs...
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created on20:18, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

For many subjects, the majority of the subject experts are in (or connected to) the academic world. Many of these people are time-poor and have no motivation to contribute to wikimedia efforts, so their expertise is lost to us.

What is your solution?[edit]

ORCID is a consortia-based attribution framework for the academic world: individuals using connect their contributions across publishers, institutions and fields to present their research outputs as a whole. By (optionally) bi-directionally linking wikimedia accounts to ORCID identifiers, we would enable these people (primarily academics and grad students) to get professional credit for their work, while expanding the motivation for this pool of subject experts

Project goals[edit]

  • More academic subject experts contributing to Wikimedia projects
  • Lower barriers to the use of Wikimedia projects in academic teaching and learning

Who will you be doing outreach with?[edit]

Academics, postgraduate students, independent researchers.

Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

en.wiki editor of >12 years from an academic background.


Becoming part of the ORCID consortia is probably something that would have to be done by a WMF staffer (with input from legal). ORCID Auth2 work probably needs to be done by WMF devs.


  • I am cautious, as this idea could also have adverse effects, but all in all I think it can indeed bring more academics to WIkipedia. Pundit (talk) 22:07, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
    • What kind of thing are you thinking of, User:Pundit? Academics making many small edits to improve their perceived contributions? Stuartyeates (talk) 22:34, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
      • Yes, exactly - and also all kind of system games to pump one's stats up that we can't think of right now. Plus, bringing specifically ego-driven people to an encyclopedia may increase the amount of work needed to clean after. Still, I think the project has a positive net value. Pundit (talk) 22:40, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Ditto User:Pundit, we would need to set this up, not only against gaming but to be sure that academic Wikipedians understand policies and practices... in other words, give them some support. Ive run events at my campus with professors, and have learned that you cannot assume that they will just figure out how to write for Wikipedia. In fact, in some ways it's easier with students as they can be more flexible. However, I very much agree that we need expert help on articles, especially basic and high-importance articles.Thelmadatter (talk) 00:39, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
  • support we desperately need an on ramp for subject matter experts, to write about, among other things, vital articles. we have User:Astinson (WMF) to work with. Slowking4 (talk) 12:38, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
  • [What I'm saying here is based on my observations in the environments I went to school in, both in Iran and the U.S. I don't have hard data to support it.]
In my experience, there are two categories of people in academia: those who require visible incentives to contribute to Wikimedia projects, and those who do it simply because they or their students use these projects a lot and they believe there is a social responsibility to pay back by contributing to (editing) a project such as Wikipedia. The issues that both of these groups face are two-fold: it's hard to edit Wikipedia from the technical pov (remember that only a very small percentage of academia publishes using LaTeX and we don't allow VE as a default on many projects.) and negative experiences can very quickly make them become non-contributors. I am skeptical that reasonable incentives such as the one you've suggested can work at scale in the presence of these two issues (though I'm ready to be pleasantly surprised), especially the latter one. I'm also resonating with earlier comments: we don't know how a public incentive such as the one you are suggesting can work in practice, though we have some understanding of how public badges work through studies such as https://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kleinber/www13-badges.pdf .
I have a few suggested directions for your proposal. You can consider running a smaller experiment to understand the effect of the change you proposed here. Basically, allow ORCID integration only for a small subset of ORCID users and let's observe what happens (you need to define some measures for this observation, but that's secondary for now). Or, start by non-public incentives such as telling the editor (from academia or not) privately, how much "impact" their contributions have had (impact to be defined) and let's measure the impact of such incentives on contributions. Or, let's try to understand what incentives can bring more contributions by academics to Wikimedia projects and based on that research, let's design incentive mechanisms and test.
And last but not least: I do believe this is an area worth exploring. If there is something I can help with, please ping. Especially if you decide to go down the research path for this project, I may be able to help find researchers who would be interested to work with you on the project. --LZia (WMF) (talk) 15:07, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
  • supportive!… I'm an academic and interested to contribute more to wikimedia efforts, but I'm time-poor (as described here) and missing professional attribution is indeed one of the main reasons for being less motivated to spend working time here. Michael.riessler (talk) 15:08, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: Those of you wanting to see a "small scale trial", please see en:WP:ORCID (or translations of it). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:20, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Yeah, probably should have been aware of that, but wasn't. Thanks for pointing it out. Stuartyeates (talk) 07:35, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Important aspect for consideration. A lot of discussion and thoughts needs to go into it first. DiptanshuTalk 10:09, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Expand your idea[edit]

No funding needed?[edit]

See also[edit]