Grants talk:IdeaLab/Inviting Professors Emeriti to contribute to Wikipedia

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Comments from User:Wikicology[edit]

Hi Csisc, thanks you for the effort you have put into developing this idea. It is undoubtedly a good idea to have emeritus professors contributing to Wikipedia and possibly other Wikimedia projects. I remembered commenting on your last idea campaign here sometimes last year. I am wondering if that is what metamorphosed into this one. Nonetheless, I have a few concern with the scope of this idea. I'll like to quote a tiny portion of it. You wrote "As these scientists are in the end of their research career, they would like to disseminate their experience, their knowledge, and their best findings so that it can continue to exist after the end of their scientific careers.. This bold part of this statement implies addition of original research to Wikipedia and Wikipedia is not a peer reviewed journal where original research is acceptable. This is also close to COI editing. Why do you think they should add their findings to Wikipedia so that it can continue to exist after the end of their scientific careers? You wrote " I like to recruit volunteers to convince professors emeriti worldwide to freely contribute to Wikipedia as it can help disseminating their experience and their globally recognized scientific findings." Are the volunteers you plan to recruit Wikipedians? If they are not Wikipedian, it would require a lot of resources, energy and time as some of these emeritus professors are not common people. If they are Wikipedians, have you identify these Wikipedians? To quote a tiny portion of your comment, you wrote "I like to recruit volunteers to convince professors emeritus worldwide". This is too ambitious, if you will work on this project at all. Thus, I suggest you do a pilot project in your home country before you focus on more countries. With kind regards. Wikicology (talk) 18:44, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Wikicology: I thank you for your support. It is an honour for me to receive comments from you about my Inspire proposals. The questions you raised are important ones.
  • Concerning the coverage of the project, I agree with you that the project cannot cover all countries from the first year. Of course, I will do a pilot project in Tunisia. However, my ultimate aim is to apply the project to all countries.
  • As for your questions dealing with the idea itself, this project tries to convince professors emeriti (who are not Wikipedians) to create a WMF account and contribute to Wikipedia (become Wikipedians).
I have read this on the page. My question is weather the volunteers you plan to recruit to convince the professors are Wikipedians or not. I don't think you need to recruit anyone to help convince Professors especially when these recruiters are not Wikipedians. I and Olushola tried to do something like this last year. Then, we wanted to recruit Yoruba language scholars to contribute to yoruba Wikipedia. This is what we did; We emailed the targeted scholars, introduced Wikipedia to them and in fact almost all of them were already familiar with Wikipedia. They agreed to be trained by Wikipedian. So, we created a mailing list where we added all of them and was using that medium to communicate. It really worked out but we couldn't organized a training session for them because our volunteers were not readily available then. Wikicology (talk) 09:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Wikicology: Of course, the volunteers are Wikipedians as they have to explain to these professors emeriti how Wikipedia works and how it is simple to edit it and this could only be done by old Wikipedians. --Csisc (talk) 10:31, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • As for the risk that these professors emeriti will add original research to Wikipedia, this will not occur as the email that will be sent to these professors emeriti will explain that Wikipedia should not involve any information that does not exist in indexed scholarly journals.
This your answer still suggest to me that you have no idea of what constitute original research and COI editing on Wikipedia. It is a COI editing for a user to add his own academic work to Wikipedia. The professors may focus on topics in their own field and not necessarily adding their own publication as citation. Although, it is possible for them to do this if their identity is unknown but it's still a COI editing. Wikicology (talk) 09:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Wikicology: This is not an important matter. As we will invite many professors emeriti to contribute to Wikipedia, each one of them will eliminate the COI editing of the other professors emeriti. Consequently, Wikipedia will become neutral. This is quite the same fact that happens between old regular Wikipedia editors. As for the higher interest of the professors emeriti to work about their field of interest, we just invite professors emeriti to do that and this does not cause any Conflict of Interest. In fact, the professors emeriti are given their research status for their work about a particular field. That is why I think that letting them work about a field that was not interesting for them is a waste of time and efforts. --Csisc (talk) 10:31, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • As for the Conflict of Interest, this can occur sometimes. In order to solve that, we will explain in the email we send to these professors emeriti that they should not cite their own research paper if it was not published in an indexed scholarly journal or if it is not significantly cited by other research papers.
Please, see my comment above. Wikicology (talk) 09:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Finally, concerning how to find the name of best professors emeriti that can be recruited in Wikipedia, this information can simply be found using Web of Science. After that, we will collaborate with the associations of professors emeriti in universities to find their contact details. This will not be very difficult.
Yours Sincerely, --Csisc (talk) 23:36, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I didnt raise any concern about how to find the name of emeritus professors. It's the cheapest thing to find. Well, this is just an idea in IdeaLab. Thus, I don't expect perfection in the design, the same way I will not expect you to have answers to all questions. Thanks for the idea, anyway. Wikicology (talk) 09:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Wikicology: This is an honour for me to receive your comments. If all facts are currently clear, I invite you to endorse my proposal. Thank you. --Csisc (talk) 10:31, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Endorsed Endorsed. With kind regards. Wikicology (talk) 11:17, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Comment from User:Kipala[edit]

sounds great but are there really emeriti who believe they have ended their scientific career? Kipala (talk) 19:41, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Kipala, good to hear from you. Well, maybe "end of their scientific careers" means "Death" to Csisc. Wikicology (talk) 20:07, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Kipala: I thank you for your answer. As for your question, "end of their scientific careers" means "Death". If all the facts about this proposal are currently clear, I invite you to endorse this project. --Csisc (talk) 23:36, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
So i guess you really try to tap a huge target group which are dead people. It may be a bit of a challenge, but interesting for sure!!Kipala (talk) 21:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Kipala: Of course, it will be a challenge for me. However, I am sure that the idea can be done. If you are interested in the idea, please endorse it in the main page of the proposal. --Csisc (talk) 10:47, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Comment from User Redwidgeon[edit]

Redwidgeon: I thank you for your endorsements. As for your comment, the most important now is to begin the project and let it active. After, we can expand it to involve retired high school teachers or retired university professors. --Csisc (talk) 23:54, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Comments from User Diptanshu.D[edit]

Diptanshu.D: I thank you for your endorsement. Of course, we will mark these professors emeriti by putting the template User WikiEmeritus in their user pages so that we can see if they face problems and help them if it is needed --Csisc (talk) 10:11, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Csisc Your efforts are commendable. You may invite them to collaborate and set up an independent WikiJournal in their respective speciality. You may read more about this Wikipedia integrated journal by going through this editorial article. DiptanshuTalk 11:23, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Diptanshu.D: I thank you for your support. We can begin with inviting Professors Emeriti to freely contribute to Wikipedia. After, it will be simple to expand the project to cover Wiktionary, Wikiversity and why not WikiJournal. --Csisc (talk) 11:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Csisc I would invite your views about my proposal Grants:IdeaLab/Wiki Loves Social. DiptanshuTalk 11:25, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Diptanshu.D: I have endorsed it. I think that publishing notes about the most active professors emeriti in Wikipedia in social networks will be an excellent idea to encourage these excellent scientists to keep working on Wikipedia. This idea is excellent and can be considered for the project. Thank you. --Csisc (talk) 11:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Comments from I JethroBT (WMF)[edit]

Hi Csisc, thanks for submitting your idea for direct outreach to retired professors. It's a pretty good idea-- retired professors are likely to have more free time than people who are working full-time, and they have a lot of relevant knowledge to share with our projects. Furthermore, they're well-versed in the research of their particular field. Finding ways to invite them into our projects seems like a good use of volunteer time, and I'd like this idea move forward.

I wanted to see if I could help develop this idea into a more specific project plan. I suggest that you try this idea on a small scale first, rather than starting out with the notion of reaching out to all retired professors. The benefit of starting on a smaller scale is that it's more manageable to do outreach and work with, say, 25-100 former professors rather than several thousand. I understand you want to recruit volunteers for this project, and in order for this project to be successful, it's important to make sure that volunteers are not burdened with a manageable number of professors they are responsible for working with. Here are some thoughts about how a small scale project might work:

  • Is there a particular association representing retired professors that you'd like to work with? A project idea could be to do outreach with a single association. From there, the project could grow to do outreach to more associations in time.
  • Is there a particular topic area that you'd like to improve where the contributions of retired professors might be helpful? A project idea could focus on a single topic (e.g. Tunisian culture or music) where you would identify professors who specialize in that topic area.
  • Is there a university in your area you could contact to work with local retired professors? The project doesn't necessarily need to be in-person, but having an institution you can engage with locally can be a good place to start a project like this.

Let me know what you think of these ideas, and if any of them sound good in terms of scaling your project appropriately. Also, if you need help constructing a letter, I'm happy to help review a draft letter to send for this project. Feel free to start writing a letter that you'd send to professors, and I can look it over and provide feedback. Let me know if I can help in this way. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 06:02, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

I JethroBT (WMF): I thank you for your answer. Limiting the experience to 25 to 50 professors emeriti is a very excellent idea as there is a limited number of volunteers.
  • For the moment, we will limit our trials to convince professors emeriti from North America to work on Wikipedia.
  • In Tunisia, We have an important number of excellent professors emeriti. However, we will not work on professors from Tunisia because we have to communicate with them in French and you know that the volunteers do not probably speak French.
  • Of course, we will collaborate with associations like this one or this one. This associations have close link with professors emeriti in North America and can let us reach them.
  • We can work on any topic like the genetic diseases or the United States Foreign relations. Just specify the topic and I will apply the algorithm and retrieve excellent professors emeriti working on it. --Csisc (talk) 11:39, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
@Csisc: The direction of the project should really be led by volunteers, so you get to decide what topic you want to work on in this project. And if you're not sure what to choose, you could perhaps ask the many supporters of this project what they think a good topic area would be. I'll follow up with you over e-mail about other details. :) Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 20:12, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): I asked supporters to propose topics. I will wait for their answers by Saturday. However, the most voted idea until today is the use of the method to invite professors emeriti to work about languages. I think that we will work about it. --Csisc (talk) 20:32, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Yes check.svg Done: Within the first meeting of Wikimedia TN User Group held from 4 to 5 March 2017 in Sousse, Tunisia, we have used to use this project to invite professors emeriti from Tunisia to develop medical practice and research information about Tunisia in Wikipedia. I have made a list of 31 people who can work about the topic and I will try with the help of Wikimedia TN User Group try to find how to contact them and show to them how to easily contribute to Wikipedia. Yours Sincerely, --Csisc (talk) 12:09, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Update about the idea: Now, we have applied the idea to several projects of Wikimedia TN User Group like TunSci and WikiLingua. However, we have adjusted it a bit. In fact, we do not invite Professors Emeriti to directly contribute to Wikipedia. But, we involve them as advisors that verify the scientific accuracy of the Wikipedia output of the project and propose adjustments to it (Structure, typo, choice of terms, and proposal of references and in-depth information to be considered and added...). We had excellent results and that is why we will try to generalize the idea to other Wikipedia-related projects of Wikimedia TN User Group. --Csisc (talk) 15:10, 10 February 2018 (UTC)