Grants talk:Project/McMaster University Health Sciences Library Faculty & Researcher Engagement Effort

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I am here for training and support[edit]

I already expressed my support but to make it clear, I really care about the success of university health science programs in Wikipedia. You have my support for

  • general Wikipedia editing in medicine
  • Wikipedia in libraries
  • Wikipedia in university settings
  • the Wikimedian in Residence model
  • Wikicite to showcase your university's research

Thanks. From 2018 I have been Wikimedian in Residence at the School of Data Science at the University of Virginia, and before that I was Wikimedian in Residence for sharing health and safety information at Consumer Reports from 2012. You have my attention, best wishes, and support, and you can also have my schedule to meet for video chat. Thanks for this proposal. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:23, 21 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you Bluerasberry! Will definitely be in touch should this application be successful.

Wikimedian in residence[edit]

It's not clear to me how you expect a student within the university to have the necessary skills to be a Wikimedian in residence. If you plan to hire somebody who has no extensive experience on Wikimedia projects, you'll need a significant budget to pay for their training. The timeline will also need to consider that hiring an inexperienced user as WiR will delay the start of the actual activities by a few months. Nemo 14:26, 23 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Nemo_bis, I'll clarify this in the application as well. To be clear: the library does not plan to hire a student from within the university (McMaster University). The library plans to hire a Master's student in Library and Information Science from Western University, one of the most well known university's in Canada for the professional training of librarians. These students are highly motivated, intelligent, and ambitious. Ideally, the co-op student selected for the position will be familiar with Wikipedia, but training will be provided. The role this student will take on will be to assist a librarian in the work involved with educating researchers and faculty about alternative research outputs, the value of contributing their expertise to Wikipedia, and training them how to do so. As you may have noticed, the activities accounted for in the budget are not tied to hard and fast dates. Ideally, the student will begin their work in mid-August and will host their first event, with a librarian, in late fall or early Winter. Hope this helps. Mcbrarian (talk) 20:16, 25 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
LIS graduates are often interested in Wikimedia projects and easily trained into good wikimedians, so I understand your reasoning. Becoming a wikimedian will nevertheless take some months of intense work, if the person is to become so experienced as to lead and train others. Hiring a person without previous Wikimedia experience also means you have to factor in some chance that they just won't be the right fit for Wikimedia projects and will need to be replaced mid way.
It's up to you of course to decide what is more feasible in your context. Most organisations find that it's easier to hire a wikimedian to be a wikimedian in residence, and train them to understand the context of the institution (in this case some library stuff) in the process. It might be that your library-specific needs are so exceptionally complicated that the opposite is true, though. In such case, I reiterate the suggestion to budget appropriately in order to hire an experienced wikimedian to train the future wikimedian. Nemo 16:46, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Nemo, I definitely understand your concern and I have planned accordingly to provide 2-3 months for the learning curve. This will involve the student shadowing me as I do some Wikimedia work re: events, teaching faculty etc. You're right to point out that the successful candidate will need to a quick study and they will need to be driven enough to do a lot of self-directed learning. This project is work that I wish I could do myself, as an experienced Wikipedian and as a knowledgeable academic on Wikipedia. However, this is simply not possible (and I have tried!). Having a co-op student in place who can see this work through while earning some experience is a great option. I find myself wondering if there's a way we can reframe the language around "Wikimedian in Residence" as this language seems to be what is causing concern. What I envision is more akin to a "Wikimedian-in-Residence Trainee." Someone who is going to spend time learning, then putting that learning into practice and hopefully finish their co-op work term (of 8 months) having established the foundation of a potentially long-standing relationship between the faculty and Wikimedia. Further, this co-op placement has the potential to give our library leverage to request funds from the institution to support a longer term contract and there is always a possibility that if this were to be an outcome of the co-op placement, we could invite the same individual back for this longer term contract once they graduate. Mcbrarian (talk) 14:53, 28 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your patient response, it made things much clearer for me.
Once again, and apologies for expressing myself poorly, I'm not challenging your experience or your judgement in determining that this was the best path forward for your institution. I cannot pretend to know the exact context and suitable tactics for universities and libraries in Canada, etc. I'm looking at this from a global perspective.
What I hear from your response (and from some endorsements) is something that I failed to see in the text of the proposal itself, and particularly in the budget. I suggest that you integrate the budget section to reflect what said in this section. To be clear: if I understand correctly, what you're saying is that the institution already has a very experienced wikimedian, able and well positioned to train the new recruit so that they can serve as (full time?) wikimedian in residence; the training would last 2-3 months, after which the person would become more independent in their work. Your effort in training the new person is an expense, which goes towards this project if you're training them on Wikimedia things; so it should be included in the expenses and calculated as in-kind contribution from McMaster, as notional cofinancing. Thank you, Nemo 18:53, 2 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Nemo thanks for your response and apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Your response is absolutely correct. Thanks very much for the suggestion to include the in-kind contribution of the wikimedian's time. This person is me. I will be working with the co-op student to train them on everything they will need to know with respect to our institutional culture, wikimedia projects (focusing on Wikipedia, specifically) and getting them to grow in their skills and expertise so they can independently work with faculty to build a relationship with wikimedia projects. What a delightful conversation this is has been. I am grateful for the discussion page. It has made my proposal much stronger, I think. Best, Mcbrarian (talk) 14:51, 13 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]


In the expected outputs I only see services to the university, with no expected outcomes/benefits for the overall Wikimedia projects. Given this, I would expect at least a 75 % cofinancing by the university. As much as I'd like Wikimedia to be so rich as to subsidize the teaching activities of a university with a 700 MC$ endowment, I'm afraid it's not our role to pay for university budgets of developed countries. Nemo 14:28, 23 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I have similar question/comment in nature compared to Nemo's comment, I think this grants need to be a bit more clearer about the benefit for Wikimedia projects, I mean, just 5 (at-least) new editor for $37,362.52 CAD? We can do better with just $2000 and get 2000 new active user that won't quit for at least 5 years of editing. I'm not saying we should pay our editor, but... This large amount of spending when compared to the expected outcome is so underwhelming and disappointing.--AldnonymousBicara? 20:24, 25 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Nemo and Aldnonymous, thanks for your constructive responses. There are a few things to consider here that you may or may not be familiar with already. The first, and this may not have been clear in my initial proposal, is that this grant application is not a request to fund the teaching activities of the university. The goal of this project is to initiate a major cultural shift within the traditional boundaries of academia, such as the publish [in a high-impact factor, well-known, peer-reviewed journal] or perish mentality of countless faculty and researchers employed by academic institutions. The proposed project will focus on higher-level conversations with faculty and researchers to encourage them to reconsider what they currently understand research outputs and the value assigned to them. The numbers may appear small, and I get the sense laughable, but the publish or perish mentality is so deeply entrenched in the very people we hope to engage that it's going to be very difficult to a) inspire faculty and researchers to consider contributions to Wikipedia an output of value (read: contribute to their applications for tenure), and b) motivate them to find the time in their already very demanding schedules to contribute their knowledge and expertise on their own time. The role of the Wikimedian-in-Residence/co-op student here is to have someone dedicated to pursuing countless conversations with faculty and researchers of significance who may be able to set the tone for their peers in their professions. The smaller events, like edit-a-thons, are a way to provide the space and time for these contributions to happen, but are not meant to attract an enormous number of new editors. The goal for this project is to focus on the quality of new editors we inspire to join Wikipedia, rather than the quantity. We're going for the big fish here, and I'm not sure how to make that clear in my proposal. Hope this helps! Mcbrarian (talk) 20:39, 25 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Aldnonymous: We can do better with just $2000 and get 2000 new active user that won't quit for at least 5 years of editing. This does not seem realistic to me at all. What project or initiative has demonstrated this kind of outcome on a $2000 budget? I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 21:36, 25 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I JethroBT (WMF) Probably because global south have been missing from wmf radar for some time? In any case this is not the point of my comment.--AldnonymousBicara? 09:00, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Mcbrarian Interesting indeed, but "temporary employee" leave me a bit uncomfortable, do you have any idea to make them not leave Wikimedia projects after the program ended and they receive no further salary?--AldnonymousBicara? 09:10, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Aldnonymous I have clarified the language from "temporary employee" to reiterate that this employee is a co-op student. A co-op student arrangement with another University is an agreement between the student's home unversity and an employer (in this case McMaster University) to temporarily employ the student so they can gain experience in a setting that aligns with their educational program. In this case, a library and information sciences graduate student will have an opportunity to work in an academic health sciences library for 8 months and will focus most of their attention on developing a strong portfolio of self-initiated training and faculty instruction in scholarly communication and open dissemination of knowledge - two crucial tenets of academic librarianship that any future librarian should learn about theoretically (in their classes) and experientially (in a workplace environment). Hope this helps. Mcbrarian (talk) 14:13, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I should also add that it is a requirement of the student's home university that the student return to classes after completing their co-op placement. Therefore the only option for employment is temporary. Further, a WMiR program is generally not intended to be a permanent placement, but a time-limited appointment that focuses on cultivating a culture that can continue its relationship with WM projects after the WMiR has completed their term. If I understand the US system correctly, in the US the equivalent of a co-op placement is called an internship. Hope this helps some more. Mcbrarian (talk) 14:20, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
That's quite impressive this is more and more like Wikilatih that Wikimedia Indonesia did, so the plan is to plant the culture of Wikimedian. From there these people can also influence other academician. I see.--AldnonymousBicara? 16:24, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Aldnonymous: If it's not the point, why is it asserted at all? I think it's reasonable for reviewers to ask questions around whether the expected impact of a proposal matches the funding request like you have here, but it is not appropriate to assert specific standards or expectations of impact to applicants that are unreasonable or lack specific examples. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 15:06, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I JethroBT (WMF) It seems you misunderstood my intention, so let me be clear, there are quite many grants that use less money but give more result (this is the point), also you seems to say about "not appropriate" because the expectation seems "impossible", I dare say "not really" because I've seen with less than $4000 we can bring 1481 newly active editor (per 2018 report). able to work with 15 government institution, 28 educational institution, and 32 organisation. So... From where the rest of the money came from? From the educational/government institution, and the program from the very start are quite different, they try to teach the teacher so these teacher will also teach their student no more funding necessary at this point, fro the very start the program are aiming not to increase editors directly but trying to teach editors to also influence people outside of wikimedian movement to be involved (TBH Its kinda similar to multilevel marketing... or maybe not :) ). In any case I take it you don't like my comment, and for that I apologize, I just don't want such big amount of spending that didn't make sense to me, but I guess the grant proposal did make try to communicate with us who are confused, and that's good enough in my book.--AldnonymousBicara? 16:18, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Aldnonymous: I understand the point you want to make, but what you've presented still doesn't make this point clear to me. For one, it's not clear to me where this $4000 figure comes from based on that 2018 report or other available information:
  • Wikilatih is a program from Wikimedia Indonesia, which is supported through Annual Plan Grants. Wikilatih had a budget of 23,870 USD in 2017-2018, and and 41,118 USD in 2018-2019,
  • if they are receiving additional funding from other sources (educational/government institutions), it's no longer a program that costs less than $4000, and
  • the chapter has maintained staff funded through their grant, who may have provided support or assistance in this program.
If there's other information I'm missing here, I'm open to hearing it, but these factors suggest to me that actual cost needed to achieve those kinds of outcomes is significantly higher than ~$4000. I am happy with your comments overall, but I do not want applicants getting the wrong impression about what sort of impact is expected of them given a small budget. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 07:45, 15 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@I JethroBT (WMF):. I see, its my mistake then, sorry, I thought it was still around that range. Because the program was in multiple phase they do it multiple times and the result is just in one report so I originally thought it was just result of one phase, I am truly ignorant, apologize.--AldnonymousBicara? 07:52, 15 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Aldnonymous: Thanks, and no need to apologize. It sounds like it was just a misunderstanding, and to your more general point, I definitely acknowledge that there are more and less effective ways to use funds. :) I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 07:58, 15 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Eligibility confirmed, Round 1 2020[edit]

IEG review.png

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for Round 1 2020 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through March 16, 2020.

The Project Grant committee's formal review for Round 1 2020 will occur March 17 - April 8, 2020. We ask that you refrain from making changes to your proposal during the committee review period, so we can be sure that all committee members are seeing the same version of the proposal.

Grantees will be announced Friday, May 15, 2020.

Any changes to the review calendar will be posted on the Round 1 2020 schedule.

Questions? Contact us at projectgrants (_AT_) wikimedia  · org.

I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 16:54, 27 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Generally in line with other WIR roles we have funded in the past.[edit]

I wanted to stop by and say that this kind of residency makes a lot of sense as a temporary-funded start up project, to demonstrate to the institution the value of ongoing work list this. This is also a vitally important topic areas medical faculty are interested in because those topics require expert engagement tactics. Also, the lack of affiliate level funding for this kind of work in North America means that this would be the appropriate program for getting this kind of startup funding.

Based on research I did a couple years ago on how Residencies are formed: the majority of recent high impact residencies in new spaces in the movement, start with a new hire with little or no Wikimedia experience but experience in public communications and organizing, with an experienced internal champion, good access to critical parts of the organization, and an advisory group of experienced Wikimedians. All of these seem to be coming into place per the proposal. The comments above about concern about the lack of Wikimedia experience among the candidates is unfounded, in general, in the movement -- especially with good experienced resident advisors like BlueRasberry and the Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network.

I am sure there are other things we could refine, and will take a closer look after community/committee review if there. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 17:01, 2 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for joining the discussion! outreach:Wikipedian in Residence/Creating a Wikimedian in Residence position is a set of suggestions on how some different models were applied, but I don't think it was ever meant to be a comprehensive comparative exercise: after all it mentions only a minuscule minority of the ~200 known WIRs and it lacks some well known cases worthy of consideration, such as the famous Assessment of Belfer Center Wikipedian in Residence program.
I'm therefore surprised to read statements such as "majority of recent high impact residencies <whatever>" based on that document. However, I might have missed something. If the raw data underlying that page covers a representative amount of WIRs, I'd really like to see it. If it's unwieldy, no worries, you can post it on in the spirit of open science. Nemo 19:02, 2 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]