Grants talk:PEG/WM Wikisym/2012 Wikisym Conference

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Measures of success[edit]

The measures of success is not the definition how you can measure the event, but it's a quantity to define your expectation. You say: "We can define several concrete measurements for success and impact", please define what are you expectation to give the correct measures to define the success/insuccess. At the moment this section says nothing. --Ilario (talk) 13:27, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

"Measures of success" for an academic conference are always a long game. What we typically count is the number of citations that the articles of the conference receives. However, in this case, I think the "success" we're talking about could be divided into success of the Wiksym conference, and alternatively how this conference contributes to the success of the WMF overall goals. In the latter case, I think the success can be measured in terms of 1) reports of research done in collaboration between WMF and academic researchers, 2) attention of academic researchers to issues salient to WMF, 3) continued investment from the academic research community in WMF sites as platforms. In terms of operationalizing those measures, I believe the report should include a summary of key findings that might positively affect the goals of WMF, it should describe which aspects of the program result from WMF and academic collaboration, and it should describe which findings of those collaborations are meaningful more broadly. --Clifflampe (talk) 13:32, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Last year report[edit]

Is there somewhere last year report of similar grant ? As this year grant proposal is a copy-paste with minor changes from last year proposal it would be good to know the results of the 2011 grant... Polimerek (talk) 13:30, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I feel like this is addressed below, which is why I haven't added anything here. Let me know if that's not true.--Clifflampe (talk) 22:54, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Some thoughts[edit]

Thanks for the submission. It's really important to have in mind the proposal from last year, but I would like to know more about the changes in the conference this year with the one that was hosted last year. Since this is a conference for all Wikis and is supported by other organizations, it sounds normal to me a conference like this to be funded from several sources. So, is the amount requested in this application the total amount for the conference? Do you have any other sources to fund it? How many people will participate at the conference? Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 02:51, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for these questions. The amount being asked for is not the total amount for the conference. We're also receiving support from Google in the amount of $3500 and from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $20,000, but that money is directed to graduate student attendance. My estimation is that the amount requested is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the operating costs of the conference, with the rest being made up in registration fees and grants from other agencies. The conference over the past several years has attracted between 100-150 people. This is heavily weighted to junior researchers, but there is always solid attendance from senior researchers, including those from research labs at Google, Microsoft and IBM, as well as from universities across the world. --Clifflampe (talk) 13:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Preliminary 2011 Report now available[edit]

The 2011 organizers have responded with a preliminary report. They'll complete it ASAP. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 16:44, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

I read the report and generally got the positive impression of the results, however I have two concerns:

  1. The model for publishing papers is quite restrictive. Actually it is not Open Access at all - at least not as defined by Berlin OA Declaration [1] - because it prohibits any re-use and copying of the papers. "Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific and/or a fee.[2] - for me this is hard to accept to put money for producing and publishing knowledge, which is not going to be really open and freely available. Just to keep remember for what WMF is asking donators: "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment. And we need your help. Please support the Wikimedia Foundation by donating today."
  2. As WMF is about to send 10 attendees - there is a question how are they about to be chosen? Is WMF about to organize the scholarship program for this, or it is for WMF employees only? Polimerek (talk) 22:03, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Regarding the Open Access restrictions on content from the conference, this is something we've struggled with for a number of years. The heart of the matter is the tension between our own commitment to OA principles, and the ability to meet the goals and objectives we've outlined. It's still true in academia (and many of us are working hard to change this) that OA journals have been struggling to be seen as prestigious places of publication, which limits the ability to disseminate our findings. The ACM Digital Library is not open access, but it is the most effective way to have peer-reviewed scientific articles disseminated in a way such that those articles will be cited. We are also providing an option for authors to not turn over their copyright to the ACM, and instead self-publish (though that work won't appear in the Digital Library then). Finally, ACM is making some small moves to more open access. Their Authorizer service allows authors to put a free access copy up on their own sites, and link that to the digital library for broader access.
In terms of who the WMF sends as representatives, we leave that up to them, though we're happy to brainstorm ideas. For example, since I'm not sure 10 WMF people would want to come to Linz, they might provide scholarships to leaders in the various international user groups to attend. In the past, the data teams and those who benefit from the behavioral understanding of these research projects have attended the conference. --Clifflampe (talk) 13:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Regarding OA: This is typical "vicious circle" which for sure exists in science for benefit of commercial publishers. So, the question is - what might happen if WikiSym would broke this circle by announcing that it requires submitters to provide their papers in OA journal or repository? They would not come? If such an organization as WMF is not going to break the citation/impact "vicious circle" - how we cen expect that any other institution would do it? Polimerek (talk) 07:09, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
This is a conundrum those of us in academia who support open access face all the time. If not now, when? If not us, who? There's an active movement in scientific publishing to make the infrastructural changes to bring about the types of access I think we all want, but speaking really frankly, we're not there yet. Universities are a medieval bureaucratic organization that's really hard to move, but we are chipping away at this. The outcome, if we just made this change by fiat for this conference, is that top scholars would not send their work to us, and we wouldn't make progress on the important questions I outline below. Unfortunately, especially young scholars who are more willing to do this type of work need the structures currently embedded in the non-OA system in order to prove they are worthy scholars (not because that's the only or best way to do that, but because of inertia) and making this change right now would basically gut the intellectual contribution we could make. --Clifflampe (talk) 15:42, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I second Polimerek and urge you to cut the gordian knot and make WikiSym OA-only. In the long run, despite the inconvenience to some of the younger researchers (who would have other opportunities where OA is not mandatory), it's the right thing and the proper thing for activities (partially) funded by our donors' money. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 02:35, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in responding, I really needed to think this over. The Gordian Knot analogy is really interesting, and I'm largely going to leave it alone, except for two comments. 1) Alexander had the most powerful army in the world, which is why his process worked, and 2) the primary understanding of that parable is that direct action can cut through complexities to reach an outcome. However, I've often seen that story as if you don't care about the outcome, then you can ignore the rules. When Alexander cut the knot, all he had was a broken rope. It sounds like the sticking point is whether OA is mandatory or optional. Right now, any author can make OA an option for themselves and stay out of the ACM Digital Library. ACM is making positive changes, including ceasing to ask authors to turn over copyright starting in the fall (too late to help us). This year, we can make OA an option, but it's likely too late for us to make it mandatory. Obviously, it's the choice of this group how that affects your decision. I also want to say I don't think donors value is entirely dependent on whether the articles are OA, though I definitely agree that should be a value we continue to advocate. Donor value from Wikisym comes from the insights regarding the sustainability of wiki and open collaboration processes. --Clifflampe (talk) 22:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I understand the ACM issue, and we won't insist on this point this year. However, let me say up front that we will be expecting a strict OA policy on future events to be supported with our donor funds, so WikiSym 2013 should make different arrangements or different partnerships, if it's to enjoy the WMF's funding. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:45, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Understood, and I'll communicate this to the Wikisym organizing committee. I'll also emphasize for authors their ability to release work as open access this year. --Clifflampe (talk) 00:06, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Regarding 10 attendees from WMF: In such a case maybe it would be good to remove this position from the budget and move it to WMF scholarship application program? Polimerek (talk) 07:09, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd support this change, though WMF likely knows best how they could or want to play a role in this conference. I do think it's important to have some core WMF participation, because the research presented here is very salient to issues of sustainability core to the mission of the WMF. --Clifflampe (talk) 15:42, 15 June 2012 (UTC
Yes, please take out the free passes. WMF personnel attending will pay registration separately. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:32, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

More comments and thoughts[edit]

There are two things that surprised me:

- It is requested more information from previous editions, and the report is published in 2011 is too generic. I can not evaluate the significance of the project - Nor have I seen any responsibility to respond to the reflections made ​​so far. - On its website, apart from inviting us not see the program of this event. I had this information is relevant to review the grant requested.--Josepnogue (talk) 16:04, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

I apologize for the delayed response. I've been traveling extensively since this was posted and our semester was just wrapping up. I can speak to last year's chair about the report and see if we can provide more information, but it would also be helpful to hear if there are specifics that you think it would be helpful to provide. Last year's meeting was attended by over 100 academics, with keynote speakers from Stanford University, Google Research and the Creative Commons among others. Research from that group is still generating citations, but several articles have been mentioned in the public press, and we know are going to be cited in upcoming literature. Attendees of that conference have served as research fellows at WMF (and several fellows are attending this year as well) as well as campus ambassadors (we're planning a special session on the ambassador program this year).

All that being said, my sense of the biggest impact of the group are the questions they are asking. This is a group of researchers who have been actively studying how to encourage newcomer contributions in wikis, the causes behind and solutions to gender inequalities, how wiki processes differ across cultural and language divides, and the roles of wikis in responding to forms of knowledge including journalism and disaster response. In research, not all of those questions will be answered in a way that will be immediately viewable in a report, but in asking the questions Wikisym is engaging some of the brightest social and computer scientists in the country in a dialogue and scientific effort around issues at the very heart of the long term success of projects the WMF cares about. This work is occurring in other places as well, but Wikisym is the hub that brings together these researchers. In supporting the work of Wikisym, WMF is ensuring a bridge between the research being done on these wikis and open collaboration, and the practice of them. That's the biggest success outcome of any of these meetings, and imho worth the support of the foundation. --Clifflampe (talk) 13:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, for sure - no doubt about it - for me it is quite obvious that we need more studies regarding Wikimedia project's communities and WikiSym is a main hub for collecting and discussing wiki-related studies. From this POV this conference is for sure worth supporting by WMF. Polimerek (talk) 07:16, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Data challenge?[edit]

I'm actually not aware of a Data Challenge this year. Is this just copied and pasted from last year's grant? If so, please remove this from the request.

We had been hoping to add a data challenge at the time the grant was submitted, but we've decided there isn't time to pursue this at this point. The grant and budget lines are amended. --Clifflampe (talk) 00:12, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

We're also waiting for the removal of the $3K of WMF passes, before we approve this. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:42, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

This is currently removed in the grant. --Clifflampe (talk) 00:12, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

GAC members who have read this request but had no comments[edit]

  • Béria Lima msg 01:26, 26 May 2012 (UTC) But I believe there is one non financial requiment: The promotional material. Or I'm wrong?