Jump to content

Grants talk:Project/Women Olympians and Paralympians

Add topic
From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Latest comment: 6 years ago by Nemo bis in topic Experience and efficacy

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2017[edit]

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2017 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through 17 October 2017.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2017 begins on 18 October 2017, and grants will be announced 1 December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 23:10, 3 October 2017 (UTC)Reply


The scores indicate that the application needs significant improvement to align with Wikimedia goals. The most prominent concerns expressed in the comments are: 1) the US focus is too narrow, 2) the cost is too high, 3) the goal of 2,100 new or improved articles is unrealistically high, and 4) the application does not explain how the project would be sustained after the grant period.

The grant application has been revised substantially to address these concerns. The envisioned project now includes all women Olympians and Paralympians, cuts the budget in half, and adjusts the goals to involve fewer articles while placing greater emphasis on creating a sustainable project. In effect, the application has shifted emphasis from replication to sustainability.

Broadening the Focus The long range goal always was and continues to be the creation and editing of articles on all women Olympians and Paralympians. The original application proposed 2,100 new or improved articles on US Olympians and Paralympians because it represented a real, non-arbitrary and in our opinion solvable problem in a nine-month period. Because the international Olympic and Paralympic movements are organized along national lines, mobilizing a US initiative that could be replicated in other countries seemed reasonable to us and the international organizations that endorsed the proposal, but this approach clearly didn't find favor among the evaluaters.

The revised application eliminates the US-only restriction. Expanding the scope makes it possible to write about more women, attract a larger pool of potential writers and draw upon more information sources.

Reduced Grant Cost The revised application shows the budget in greater detail and reduces the total grant amount by 50%. The budget achieves these savings by reducing the project timeline from nine to six months and having the applicant absorb overhead costs created by the project. The applicant’s monetary investment in overhead and its own personnel costs now exceeds the amount of the grant.

Project Goal Removing the US-only restriction and reducing the cost by shortening the grant period makes it both unnecessary and definitely unrealistic to create or improve 2,100 articles. The application now envisions 500 articles. The primary goal is to establish a sustainable mechanism for creating and improving articles about women Olympians and Paralympians. To be more specific the proposed project will identify and deliver to Wikipedia writers and editors information sources in the LA84 Foundation Sports Library that provide biographical information about women athletes who compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sustainability The application explicitly states that the LA84 library staff will sustain the project following the grant period. They will manage and update the Wikipedia resources that the WiR creates, serve as editors and organize an annual edit-a-thon. The application also explains that this initiative is consistent with the foundation's mission.

Context of the Grant Application The application grows out of a Wikipedia edit-a-thon hosted by the LA84 Foundation in September 2016 at which Rosie Stephenson-Goodnight, a co-founder of the WikiProject Women in Red and one of the first people to endorse this grant proposal, discussed gender imbalance in Wikipedia and the Women in Red project, and led the audience through the creation of new articles.

The proposed Wikipedia project is consistent with the LA84 Foundation's previous and future work, as is explained in the application under Activities.

The project envisioned in the application seeks to utilize rare items in the foundation's sport library to support research and writing about women Olympians and Paralympians. The foundation's extensive sports library has served an international clientele for three decades. Included in the collections, in either digital or printed format, are hundreds of information sources that provide biographical information on Olympians and Paralympians, most notably 600+ Olympic and Paralympic team media guides from 67 countries, in multiple languages.

Three staff librarians, with more than 70 combined years of experience collecting and organizing sport information, assisting researchers, researching, writing and editing, will participate in the project and learn from the WiR. There is no staff in the world better qualified in the specialized area of sport librarianship. What LA84 lacks, however, is knowledge of and experience in developing and sustaining resources for Wikipedia, and engaging Wikimedian communities. That is the reason for the application to fund a WiR.

The goal of the grant is to create a resource that facilitates future research and writing on Wikipedia, makes the foundation staff Wikipedia literate, and at the same begins the work of writing new or improved Wikipedia articles.

Responses to Comments The comments have been helpful in pointing out weaknesses of the application and in prompting the applicant's staff to clarify its thinking regarding the proposal. Because some of the committee members' comments are addressed above or in the revised grant application and because, understandably, some the committee's comments contradict others or replicate others, we have responded selectively below in the Aggregated feedback section.

Comments from Ruslik0[edit]

This is an interesting project but a see I number of issues:

  1. The project appears to be too narrow in scope especially considering the amount of funding that is requested.
  2. There are no well defined measures of success. Creating or improving 2100 articles seems unrealistic and a presentation on a conference is not really a result. It is not clear what kind of survey you are going to conduct.
  3. I do not seen a plan for project activities.
  4. The community engagement looks very limited at best. The section "Community notification" is actually for notifications of Wikimedia communities, not of other NGOs.
Ruslik (talk) 17:03, 18 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

I agree on all points, see #Experience and efficacy for more details. --Nemo 06:37, 1 November 2017 (UTC)Reply

Experience and efficacy[edit]

  1. I don't see information about who will create or supervise the creation of the articles and how you will ensure that they are competent for the job. Paying for 2100 new articles makes sense only if they are really professional. Training people is even hard so you need some really experienced wiki trainers, otherwise they can try doing it as volunteers and then come ask for funds when they proved their competence (as is usually done for any outreach activity from the Wikimedia community).
  2. The proposed costs are very high. Quite often a wikimedian in residence created 500-1000 articles at an institution in just a handful months of part-time work. If you reduced the rate by 90 %, perhaps the cost could be acceptable (assuming competence is proven). If you're not able to provide the service at such a rate, then you're probably not competitive: just hire an experienced wikipedian as WIR in your institution and you'll do better with much less.

Source: I was a WIR myself, I supervised a handful WIRs at Wikimedia Italia and as part of my job I studied the reports and statistics of most previous WIRs. --Nemo 06:37, 1 November 2017 (UTC)Reply

Aggregated feedback from the committee for US Women Olympians & Paralympians[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The project is related with Wikimedia projects, I have a few points of our strategic in the project.
  • The project couldn't be replicated in other countries, due the existence of center of studies of sports.
  • Project fits with priorities related to increasing gender diversity of content although focus is English Wikipedia and US. There are some plans and consideration for sustainability after the grant (e.g. online maintenance of meetup page) but I would like more details on this.
  • While the project somewhat fits within Wikimedia's strategic priorities its potential for online impact is relatively small because its scope is narrow (US Women Olympians & Paralympians). The sustainability is also not clear.
  • Fits with Wikimedia's strategic priority of increasing content diversity. Profound online impact if 2100 articles could be positively affected. Sustainability is possible, if combined with Women in Red or Wikiwomen's edit-a-thons in future.
  • Women Olympians & Paralympians are very important topics. covers many types of diversity and this is precisely our goal to cover all the issues and make balances in many spheres.
  • The metrics and the way to obtain it seems easy. I have some doubts about the impact because the thematic is too narrow to develop a project and the academic usage of the information -as grantee propose- is a goal outside the grantee's project control

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: While the applicant has no control over what academics will do, several sport scholars have endorsed the project and indicated an interest in incorporating Wikipedia assignments in their teaching. The annual North American Society for Sport History annual conference attracts scholars from several countries and in recent years has included sessions on teaching sport history in a digital environment. The conference is a recruitment opportunity. We think we will find a receptive audience, but acknowledge that we cannot control what teaching decisions academics make.

  • I really like the focus on in-person trainings and partnering with organizations who have expertise and information sources. I think it’s also nice that there is a clear goal of working towards 2,100 articles (whether or not that is achievable during the grant). I’m not sure measures of success are realistic (400 new users seems very ambitious) or even meaningful (new users doesn’t necessarily = active editors).

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: We agree that new users don't necessarily become active editors. We disagree about whether new users are meaningful. Editor recruitment – as distinguished from contributor recruitment – is not the ultimate objective of the grant proposal. The applicant's goal is to expand the amount of information in Wikipedia about women Olympians and Paralympians. Editor recruitment, while very valuable, is not the only way to achieve that goal. Please see the application section: Do you have goals around participation or content?

  • The potential impact is small. There are no clear measures of success. On other hand some proposed outcomes like creating 2100 articles are unrealistic.
  • Has an efficient plan, but potential for impact in terms of editor recruitment is likely to be low. The measures of success are vague, since the proposal does not say how many articles will be created, how many bytes will be added and how many will be modified. It is entirely possible to make some minor changes to any existing article and claim that it has been improved during the course of the project.

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: This comment gets to the crux of several issues related to metrics. Again, editor recruitment is not the primarily objective. Increasing the number and quality of articles about women Olympians and Paralympians is. The revised application provides quantifiable goals regarding new registrations, academics who adopt a policy of making Wikipedia assignments and articles to be created or improved. There is no way to estimate bytes without knowing what athletes people will choose to write about or how much information is available on them. It is true that minor changes can be counted as improvements. My guess, however, is that student contributors will not receive credit for gaming the system like that, and more experienced editors and women' sports advocates who participate in this project voluntarily will have little interest in making only minor changes. A more likely scenario is the creation of many stub articles, a result that has its own drawbacks. The applicant would welcome suggestions on ways to develop more meaningful metrics.

  • presentation on a conference is a good way to share words about project but i do not see real value for the realization and the success of this project

RESPONSE TO COMMENT:The presentation at NASSH is an attempt to socialize sport history faculty about the value of assigning their students Wikipedia projects and to inform them of about access to sources through the pages that the WiR will create and the LA84 Foundation staff will manage following the grant period. Our survey of one large public university indicates that there is a realistic potential of 200 to 400 students doing these assignments each year. Therefore, persuading even a handful of NASSH members to incorporate Wikipedia assignments in their teaching would have a long term, significant impact. The NASSH conference in the past two years has featured three sessions – with four or five presenters in each session – discussing teaching and the use of digital resources. We anticipate a receptive audience.

  • I see too high budget to bring 400 new users and 2100 articles.
  • Budget is around what I’d expect for U.S.-based WiR. Participants don’t seem to currently have a lot of on-wiki experience - it will be vital to recruit the right person to serve as WiR.

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: Agree. Finding the right WiR is crucial. In the hiring process we would consult with people who know more about Wikipedia than we do.

  • The scope can probably be accomplished in the requested 36 weeks though the budget is too high for such a narrowly focused project. It is not clear if the applicant has necessary skills.

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: The applicant has excellent sport information, librarian, research, writing and editing skills, and a deep historical knowledge of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Please refer to Participants in the application. What we lack are Wikipedia skills, which is the reason for the WiR grant proposal.

  • The measures of success being vague, it is not possible to predict if they can be achieved in the given time period. The budget is a bit on the expensive side, but if at least 1000 new articles can be created and 50 users can be retained after one month, I would deem it as reasonable. The applicant represents an organization, so it is not clear as to who exactly will take the leadership in logistics, evaluation, skill sharing etc.

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: Please see the Activities and Participants sections of the application regarding leaderships, evaluation, skill sharing, etc.

  • The budget is unclear and too big and unrealistic especially $5,500 for email account and etc ...the entire budget is underdeveloped in its presentation: in two lines, unclearly written and unexplained. 2100 articles is a very ambitious goal. It is achievable in good preparation and strategy but i do not see clear implementation plan.
  • I see a huge support of other communities than the local community (English Wikipedia). I see more endorsement and comments from local users to exchange ideas in the talk page.
  • Lots of community notifications to external organizations but no engagement with on wiki groups/communities. It’s nice to see the endorsements from those external organizations.
  • The community engagement is present and the project will support diversity.
  • The project has good support not only from within Wikimedia but also from other people working in the same field.
  • it is unclear whether there is any support for the wiki community. mostly external organizations are listed. Perhaps, in addition to moral support, they could give financial support?

RESPONSE TO COMMENT:Please see the first three endorsements by members of the Wiki community.

  • Too specific theme -but unexplored in Wikipedia-. I'll ask if the grantee could reduce the amount by lowering the costs of office and other. I see a lack of integration of local community.
  • I’d like to know a lot more about plans for sustainability and some assurance that LA84 really understands what it means to recruit and work with a WiR, as well as the challenges of changing the teaching behaviour of academics. It would also be nice to see sustainability planning tie into efforts to expand the scope beyond the U.S. and/or contributions from this project related to editing and disabilities (for example, teaching/edit-a-thon modules on writing about disability).

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: All three LA84 staff who will work on this project are quite familiar with the behavior of academics, having worked with them for many years. One of the staff has academic teaching experience as well as academic research, writing, editing, and conference presentation experience. I'm not sure how to respond to the comment about whether "LA84 really understands" what it means to work with a WiR other than to say that we have read the relevant Wikimedia pages and case studies, and have had several communications by phone and email with members of the Wiki community.

  • The project does not have a scope broad enough to justify the requested funding. There are no clear measures of success or project plan and skills of the participant are not clear.
  • I will wait until the project leaders come up with a more concrete measure for success in terms of articles created to fund this project. I also need to know about the skills of specific people involved in the project (not collectively as the organization) to assess if they are capable for executing the project smoothly.

RESPONSE TO COMMENT: Please see the Activities and Participants sections of the application regarding leaderships, evaluation, skill sharing, etc.

Opportunity to respond to committee comments in the next week

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal. Based on their initial review, a majority of committee reviewers have not recommended your proposal for funding. You can read more about their reasons for this decision in their comments above. Before the committee finalizes this decision, they would like to provide you with an opportunity to respond to their comments.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal. We recommend that you review all the feedback carefully and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page by 5pm UTC on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. If you make any revisions to your proposal based on committee feedback, we recommend that you also summarize the changes on your talkpage.
  2. The committee will review any additional feedback you post on your talkpage before making a final funding decision. A decision will be announced Thursday, May 27, 2021.

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

Round 2 2017 decision[edit]

This project has not been selected for a Project Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding. This was a very competitive round with many good ideas, not all of which could be funded in spite of many merits. We appreciate your participation, and we hope you'll continue to stay engaged in the Wikimedia context.

Next steps: Applicants whose proposals are declined are welcome to consider resubmitting your application again in the future. You are welcome to request a consultation with staff to review any concerns with your proposal that contributed to a decline decision, and help you determine whether resubmission makes sense for your proposal.

Over the last year, the Wikimedia Foundation has been undergoing a community consultation process to launch a new grants strategy. Our proposed programs are posted on Meta here: Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021. If you have suggestions about how we can improve our programs in the future, you can find information about how to give feedback here: Get involved. We are also currently seeking candidates to serve on regional grants committees and we'd appreciate it if you could help us spread the word to strong candidates--you can find out more here. We will launch our new programs in July 2021. If you are interested in submitting future proposals for funding, stay tuned to learn more about our future programs.