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Grants:PEG/WM Wikisym/2013 WikiSym OpenSym Conference

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This submission to the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2012-13. This is a grant to a group.

IMPORTANT: Please do not make changes to this page now. They will be reverted.

  • This project has been funded, completed, and a project report has been reviewed and accepted by WMF Staff.
  • To review a list of other funded submissions by fiscal year, please visit the Requests subpage, and to review the WMF Grants Program criteria for funding please visit the Grants:Index.

This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. The John Ernest Foundation administered the grant on behalf of The Wikisym Initiative.

Legal name of organization or individual requesting this grant
The John Ernest Foundation
For organizations: Are you a for-profit entity? No
For organizations: If non-profit (US) or equivalent (outside the US) status is available in your country, do you have or are you pursuing such status (please be specific): Yes
Grant recipient organization
The John Ernest Foundation ([1])
Grant contact name
Dirk Riehle.
Grant contact username or email
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead name
Dirk Riehle
Project lead username or email
User:Dirk Riehle, dirk@riehle.org
Project lead title (position), if any
General Chair
Full project name
The 2013 Joint International Symposium on Open Collaboration
Amount requested in USD or local currency (USD will be assumed if no other currency is specified)
$17,000 (USD)
Provisional target start date
June 15, 2013
Provisional completion date
August 5-7, 2013 (Conference Days)

Budget breakdown[edit]

This grantee has requested a change to the budget submitted here and this change has been approved by WMF. Please see the discussion page for details.
  • Contribution to coffee breaks/Lunch: $15,000 (out of $24,000)
    • The conference venue is free at the expense of having to choose their caterer; thus this is really a combined contribution to venue and caterer
    • We are asking for more than last year. This is due to the expected growth of the conference, following from its repositioning as WikiSym + OpenSym, see below as well as Hong Kong simply being a more expensive place to host a conference
  • Contribution to grants for on-site volunteers: $2,000
    • Individual grants for students and community volunteers helping with on-site organization.

Project goal[edit]

WikiSym + OpenSym 2013, the 2013 Joint International Symposium on Open Collaboration, is the next step in the evolution of the WikiSym conference, which has been funded in prior years.

The goal of WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 is to be the reference forum for researchers, practitioners, industry and entrepeneurs in open collaboration to share their ongoing works, interests and opportunities for cooperation. This symposium has become as central location for research on Wikipedia processes and other forms of open collaboration, and work presented here has been cited in a wide range of other research venues. Participants of this conference have also propagated Wikipedia and wiki research in a number of other academic and professional conferences.

This year sees an explicit broadening of scope that is well in line with the Wikimedia Foundation's interest. Not only are we making Wikipedia research its own track, we also provide a forum for open access and content as well as free, libre, and open source software.

Topics of interest for the conference include all aspects of the people, tools, contexts, and content that comprise open collaboration systems. For example:

  • Wikipedia
    • What do particular articles or groups or articles tell us about the norms, governance and architecture of Wikipedia and its impact on media, politics and the social sphere? How is information on Wikipedia being shaped by the materiality of Wikipedia infrastructure?
    • What is the impact of all/some of Wikipedia’s 211 language editions having on achieving the project’s goal to represent the “sum of all human knowledge”? Do smaller language editions follow the same development path as larger language editions? Can different representations in different languages tell us anything about cultural, national or regional differences?
    • What are the gendered dimensions of Wikipedia editing? How are issues around power, knowledge and representation drawn into focus by gender, geography and other gaps and imbalances in Wikipedia editing?
    • What skills/competencies/connections/world views are required to become an empowered member of the Wikimedia community? What does a Wikipedia literate person look like? How are those skills/competencies/connections/world views obtained and enacted?
    • Does Wikipedia enact an open source of authoritative knowledge that impacts learning in formal and informal settings? For instance, how do students employ Wikipedia as a covert/overt source in their papers or as a generative site for problem formulation? Or how is Wikipedia being used as a serendipitous experience of knowledge acquisition? What methods can be employed to understand these varied utilizations?
    • What is the effect of outreach initiatives involving the growing institutionalisation of Wikipedia activities? As galleries, libraries, archives and museums hire Wikipedians-in-residence to digitize, showcase and/or represent their collections, is Wikipedia able to fill some its key knowledge gaps? Or are there unintended effects of this institutionalization of knowledge?
    • What are the methodological challenges to studying Wikipedia? How are researchers engaging with innovative methodologies to solve some of these problems? How are other researchers using traditional or well-established methods to study Wikipedia?
    • How are wiki projects other than Wikipedia evolving? What are the benefits to studying other wiki projects and can comparisons and generalisations be made from our observations of these systems?
    • How does information contained in Wikipedia shape our understanding of broader social, economic, and political practices and processes? What theoretical frameworks in social, economic, legal and other relevant theoretical traditions can be applied to enrich the academic discourse on Wikipedia?
    • More information at [2]
  • Wikis, Social Media, etc.
    • Topics: Innovative development and/or implementation of wiki applications; Building open systems and tools; Social and cultural aspects of open collaboration; Open collaboration beyond text: images, video, sound, etc.; Communities and workgroups; Open knowledge and information production; Uses and impact of wikis and other open resources, tools, and practices in fields and application areas
    • More information at [3]
  • Free, libre, and open source software
    • Topics of interest to this track include, but are not limited to: FLOSS development, including software engineering aspects; FLOSS technologies, specially those taking advantage of being FLOSS; FLOSS communities, including developer, but also user or business communities; FLOSS and innovation, how both are related, and new innovation models based on FLOSS; Motivation and incentives to FLOSS; development and adoption; Business models based on FLOSS and sustainability of FLOSS projects; Legal aspects of FLOSS, including copyright and licensing; Education and FLOSS; Impact of FLOSS in specific domains or technological areas, and FLOSS adoption; Measurement of significant parameters related to FLOSS
    • More information at [4]
  • Open access, data, government
    • Scope: Access to and reuse of public sector information, government data, research outputs (publications and data), educational resources, legal information (legislation and judgments), spatial and location information, and cultural works
    • More information at [5]

Based on the success of Wikipedia research sessions at prior WikiSyms we have created a dedicated Wikipedia research track. It is led by renowned Wikipedia researchers and practitioners Heather Ford and Mark Graham of the Oxford Internet Institute.

Prior session have led to interesting outcomes such as the Wikipedia Research policy and the SRAG. We believe that it is essential to continue with this special session, supporting the great work of researchers around Wikimedia projects worldwide, as well as to welcome new participants.

WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 will take place in Hong Kong right before Wikimania 2013 making it easy for researchers to also attend Wikimania.

Project scope and list of activities[edit]

The 2013 Joint International Symposium on Open Collaboration (WikiSym + OpenSym 2013) is the premier conference on open collaboration research, including wikis and social media, Wikipedia, free, libre, and open source software, open access, open data and open government research. WikiSym is in its 9th year and will be complemented by OpenSym, a new conference on open collaboration research and an adjunct to the successful WikiSym conference series. WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 is the first conference to bring together the different strands of open collaboration research, seeking to create synergies and inspire new research between computer scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and everyone interested in understanding open collaboration and how it is changing the world. Read more about the conference at [6].

The conference program will include a peer-reviewed research track, as well as workshops, tutorials, demos, etc. and a doctoral consortium, invited keynotes and panel speakers. Open Space, a participant-organized track will also run throughout the conference. We expect to reach the full capacity of the conference venue (~250 attendees).

Non-financial requirements[edit]


Fit to strategy[edit]

Wikimedia sponsorship will be aimed at improving their visibility and commitment in ongoing initiatives and projects among like-minded organizations. Likewise, Wikimedia will increase its outreach scope to private companies, entrepreneurs and research centers working in open collaboration, open knowledge and open web technologies.

Concrete events such as the Wikipedia Research Track are specifically conceived to increase awareness and participation among researchers from a broad range of disciplines in Wikimedia projects. WikiSym + OpenSym, while an independent event, closely tracks scope of Wikimedia projects and aims to be a place for all relevant academic research relevant to these projects.

Other benefits[edit]

Participation of other well-known sponsors (such as Creative Commons) will help WikiSym to have better impact among the target audience. Sponsorships from big private organizations, such as Google (conference sponsor in 2012) is also a good opportunity to deliver key messages about Wikimedia strategy, mission, and opportunities for collaboration to an audience who cannot be easily addressed otherwise.

Measures of success[edit]

We can define several concrete measurements for success and impact:

  • Number of attendees to the main conference
  • Number of attendees to the Wikipedia Research Track
  • Number of different research works on Wikimedia projects presented
  • Number of doctoral dissertations related to Wikimedia projects and goals
  • Mass and social media coverage of the event
  • Number of new proposals and intiatives launched at WikiSym 2013
  • Number of participant spill-over from WikiSym to Wikimania

Team members (optional)[edit]

This event draws heavy participation from many top tier academics at universities across the globe. In addition, there will be members of the Wikimedia doctoral research fellows program in attendance, presenting their work. For more information, please see [7].

For grantees

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