Grants talk:Project/Rapid/ISMB 2017 Computational Biology Editathon

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Comments from I JethroBT (WMF)[edit]

Hi kierano, just to clarify, who will be receiving and managing the funds for this project if it is approved? Is that you, ISCB, Amkilpatrick, or will multiple people be managing the funds? I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 20:02, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi I JethroBT (WMF); myself and Amkilpatrick are the organisers, with ISCB providing support. Thus far, ISCB have not committed to managing the funding, but a) I could ask them if they are willing to do so if you feel that would be more appropriate, and b) I believe it should be possible for them to directly invoice WMF for the room and laptop rentals (which are the largest expenses), leaving just a few hundred dollars' worth of prizes, food and stationery for myself and Alastair to directly receive and manage. Let us know if we can clarify or discuss this further -Kierano (talk) 05:05, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
@Kierano: Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, we don't permit vendors to invoice the Wikimedia Foundation for expenses through our grant programs. Instead, individual grantees for a Rapid Grant are designated as the managers of their approved funds. This would mean you (and possibly Amkilpatrick) would receive and spend the funds, collect the receipts and other expense documentation, and later submit it to us after you complete your event. Consequently, getting support from ISCB to manage the funds and invoice us is not only unnecessary, but not permitted. Will it be possible for you to manage the funds in the manner I've described? Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): no problem, I'm happy to manage the funds as you described - I co-chair the ISCB's Wikipedia committee so I can work with them and Kierano to collect all the relevant documentation and submit it after. Thanks, Amkilpatrick (talk) 10:02, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Just echoing Alastair on this one -- happy to do it in whichever way best fits WMF procedures. -Kierano (talk) 22:13, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

@Kierano: I also wanted to ask about your previous events. You've held similar events in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Can you briefly describe what the outcomes of these events were, and what you learned from them? Based on those experiences, are you making any changes to how this event is being planned or conducted? I also wanted to ask specifically about how you have followed up with participants from your previous events, and how successful those efforts have been. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:49, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

@I JethroBT (WMF): Good question! This event has steadily evolved over time, from more of a tutorial format at ECCB 2012 and ISMB 2014, to being a mixed tutorial/editathon at ISMB 2016. I took extensive notes on last year's editathon, and we have made extensive changes to the format to address shortcomings we identified there. Please let me know if you'd like me to go into any more detail on that. Regarding follow-up, I wasn't actually an organiser of last year's event, so Amkilpatrick may be able to speak more to that. I know for sure that the experienced Wikipedians involved were following up with attendees on their talk pages, but it felt like not very many attendees had a chance to create an account and participate. What we are hoping is that, by running the event as a drop-in and ensuring that participants have both access to a computer and a mentor to get them started, we will have more of an opportunity to get them set up within Wikipedia structures and to do follow-up. -Kierano (talk) 22:13, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Just to add to Kierano's answer, we felt that after each of the previous events, participants had an increased awareness of Wikipedia (and in 2016, Wikidata) and the importance of good article coverage, particularly wrt computational biology content. Participants had also remarked at how easy it was for them to make edits to Wikipedia compared to what they had thought. Following the 2014 event, we found there was more interest in getting people editing and so we shifted the focus of the 2016 event to account for this. One particular shortcoming we identified in the 2016 event was that a number of participants didn't bring laptops and therefore couldn't participate in the editing portion of the event. We have budgeted money in the grant specifically to address this, and also plan to make this clearer in the event advertising. As Kieran mentioned, we did follow up with participants on their talk pages where possible, but we were limited by the number of attendees who could sign up and participate. The ISCB Wikipedia committee aims to improve engagement with participants through the ISCB Wikipedia competition (running July-December 2017), encouraging students to take part and encouraging trainers to advertise the competition to their students. We also aim to increase engagement on an ongoing basis through the ISCB Connect online portal. Amkilpatrick (talk) 08:52, 27 June 2017 (UTC)