Grants talk:Simple/Applications/WikiJournal User Group/2021

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Comments from sAPG Committee[edit]

Hello Wiki Journal User group members and thank you for submitting the sAPG application for the remainder of 2021. I have completed the initial review of the application and have some questions that I would like to discuss with you:

  1. Do you plan to align the Strategic Plan of Wiki Journal User Group with the Movement Strategy Recommendations and principles? If it has been already aligned, could you please specify what work have you done on the Strategic Plan?
  2. How did you engage your community in the development of the Annual plan and proposal?
  3. What is the current governance structure of Wiki Journal User Group? Do you plan to recruit any new Board members in the upcoming year(s)?
  4. In general, how do you ensure healthy and transparent governance processes in the affiliate?
  5. How was the choice of the partners made for this application? Were any specific metrics and tools used? And why are they at the exact number and not more or less?
  6. In your grant application, you have an item called "insurance coverage estimate". Could you please explain exactly what this cost will cover in detail?
  7. In your grant application, could you please clarify the item "salaries"? In your employment system, you mention that "The contract will be renewed each time the team reaches 1400 USD. The technical employees are paid per hour upon existence of tasks". Could please explain how you estimated the total number of 25.000 USD?
  8. In your grant application, you have mentioned that the salary for 1 FTE technical editor for 6 months is 25.000 USD, while it is 10.000 USD for a backend developer. Can you please explain where this difference comes from?

Thanks you again for working so diligently on this sAPG application. I really enjoyed reviewing it and learning more about the activities you plan to carry out in the upcoming year. Looking forward to your responses. All the best,

Anass Sedrati (talk) 09:02, 20 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Thank you, Anass Sedrati, for pointing out these relevant topics. On behalf of the administrative board, our responses are as follows:

1. Do you plan to align the Recommendations and principles? If it has been already aligned, could you please specify what work have you done on the Strategic Plan?

- The WikiJournal User Group is indeed aligned with the strategy recommendations and principles, and intends on continuing this endeavor:

· Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement (and Resilience in the Principles): As per its statement of purpose “The mission of WikiJournal is to receive scholarly works with no cost for the authors, apply quality checks on submissions by peer review, and make accepted works available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Bylaws). Such long-term commitment has shown to already be sustainable by rapid grants of up to $2000 per year from the creation of the project in 2014. Yet, this Simple grant will help the project move even further towards reaching its full potential.

· Invest in Skills and Leadership Development: A major part of the budget plan of the grant (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Bylaws) is going to fund the hiring of technical editors to handle mainly repetitive tasks relating to the publication of scholarly articles, so that editorial board members and peer reviewers can focus on matters relating to their academic specialties. In effect, tasks will be performed by people highly skilled in that field. Likewise, it will free up time for the administrative board to carry out overall leadership of the project, fulfilling that recommendation as well.

· Improve User Experience: Part of the fund is dedicated to “back end development” to amend a wish list of technical features by users.

· Manage Internal Knowledge: The project will continue to gather peer reviewed content, which can conveniently be used to enrich other Wikimedia Projects, including Wikipedia, where it fits inclusion criteria. The grant funding of technical editors will also improve the efficiency of performing any revisions of existing publications.

· Provide for Safety (and Safety and Security in Principles) and Inclusion (and People-centeredness in the Principles): As part of legal safety, the grants will be used for legal coverage as detailed in separate note below. As for inclusion (and Inclusivity in the Principles), the project already has participation from all around the world, and aims for continued diversity among editorial boards. Also, the ethics statement of the project opposes discrimination. (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Ethics_statement)

· Identify Topics for Impact: The editorial boards strive to select and sometimes even invite articles with high-impact topics.

· Ensure Equity in Decision-making (and Equity in the Principles): Anyone can apply to become a member of the administrative or any of the editorial boards, and the project listens to the entire community as well in its wiki forums (see https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Talk:WikiJournal_User_Group)

· Innovate in Free Knowledge: WikiJournal does not charge authors or readers, and uses the wiki system to allow authors to write directly online in order to minimize editorial costs. It provides an innovative way to bridge Wikimedia projects with the academic community, by providing ways to contribute to the world of open knowledge in Wikimedia and at the same time receive credit in creating peer reviewed content.

· Coordinate Across Stakeholders (and Collaboration and Cooperation in the Principles): The project is open for collaborating with stakeholders, such as universities, to support its aim.

· Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt (and Contextualization, Efficiency, Transparency and Accountability in the Principles): Grant report and financial reports will continue, in the same manner as evaluation of the general annual and 3-year plans of the project (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Resources)

· Subsidiarity & Self-Management: Each journal in the project has its own editorial board, with its own decision-making power about article inclusion or rejection from the journals. The organizational structure is detailed in the project’s bylaws (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Bylaws) as well as in the bylaws of individual journals (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Individual_WikiJournal_bylaws).

2. How did you engage your community in the development of the Annual plan and proposal? - Most of the preparation has been through internal emails within the administrative board. There has also been significant ideas discussion through video meetings (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Meetings). Yet, as with all major topics of WikiJournal, the general community has been invited to participate as well (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Talk:WikiJournal_User_Group#Grant_application_soon_to_be_submitted)

3. What is the current governance structure of Wiki Journal User Group? Do you plan to recruit any new Board members in the upcoming year(s)?

The overall governance is by the administrative board, including financing and acceptance of new journals. Each journal has its own editorial board with decision-making power about journal scope, assigning peer review coordinators for articles to invite peer reviewers to submissions, and final calls on inclusion/rejection of articles into the journal volumes (see https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Editors). It is a constant goal to elect additional editorial board members to keep the boards growing, as has been the progress during the existence of WikiJournal. Each board member is ultimately entrusted by the overall community by elections (see https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Bylaws#ARTICLE_IV_-_VOTING). Indeed there is likely to be an influx late 2021 as a whole new journal has started within the group (WikiJournal of Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Talk:WikiJournal_User_Group#New_journal_proposal).

4. In general, how do you ensure healthy and transparent governance processes in the affiliate?

While decisions are made within each board, important matters should be posted for discussion among the greater community as well, mainly at https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Talk:WikiJournal_User_Group. We also run regular(ish) video conference meetings (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiJournal_User_Group/Meetings).

5. How was the choice of the partners made for this application? Were any specific metrics and tools used? And why are they at the exact number and not more or less?

The Public Knowledge Project's Open Journal Systems (https://github.com/pkp/ojs) was approached for a few reasons. Firstly, it is the most established open source editorial management system with a primarily english language interface (most other editorial management systems are closed source, and other open source equivalents are either have significantly less ongoing tech support, or are primarily non-english language). Finally, their founder, John Willinsky, is a particularly keen advocate for diamond open access journals like those the WikiJournal User Group, and used to run the Open Journal of Medicine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Medicine_(John_Willinsky_journal)), which was a significant inspiration for the wikijournals as it was the first to put a wikipedia article through peer review (Dengue fever), so we were confident in their agreement to partner.

6. In your grant application, you have an item called "insurance coverage estimate". Could you please explain exactly what this cost will cover in detail?

We have applied for insurance coverages for the WikiJournal User Group through Risk Strategies, a top national insurance broker. These coverages are not only to comply with state regulations, but also to protect WikiJournal from exposures and litigation. $15,000 was the rough estimate that Risk Strategies gave us for the coverage requested. That is the market minimum premium for the coverages we were seeking. Because we are viewed as having a relationship with WikiMedia (even though there is no power relationship, there is a financial relationship), the markets have approached WikiJournal conservatively. We are not sure if $15,000 will be enough to cover the premium but it is a place to start. They said they expect it could be closer to $25,000 because of the perceived risk of relationship with WikiMedia and exposures it could open WikiJournal up to. The types of coverage we have applied for are Management Liability (D&O & EPL) Package, Miscellaneous E&O (Errors and Omissions), and Cyber. These are the coverages recommended to us to limit our exposures as an academic journal.

7. In your grant application, could you please clarify the item "salaries"? In your employment system, you mention that "The contract will be renewed each time the team reaches 1400 USD. The technical employees are paid per hour upon existence of tasks". Could please explain how you estimated the total number of 25.000 USD?

Tasks to be performed by technical editors will be distributed by who is available and willing to do each task, so that the six technical editors will share the workload and salary, for a total corresponding to up to one full-time employment. The technical editors will log the time taken for each task, which will be used to calculate the salary for each editor. New contracts are to be written and signed by each technical editor. The $1400 sum was part of the previous employment agreement when we tested out the system through a previous rapid grant (see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/Rapid/WikiJournal_2020). An hourly salary of $20 per hour was decided upon evaluation of that test, and with a weekly workload of about 48 hours over 6 months (26 weeks) it corresponds to $25.000.

8. In your grant application, you have mentioned that the salary for 1 FTE technical editor for 6 months is 25.000 USD, while it is 10.000 USD for a backend developer. Can you please explain where this difference comes from? This is from the back end developer only being a contract for a 3 month prject at 1 FTE (i.e. half the total hours of the tech eds over the course of the grant), however it should be 12,500 to match the tech editor rate of pay estimate. This has been edited to correct on the /budget subpage.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

Mikael Häggström (talk) 02:41, 4 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Simple APG Committee recommendation[edit]

We recommend that Wiki Journal User Group receives grant funding of US$40,000 for 6 months.

In addition we recommend Wiki Journal to reduce the number of employees proposed to about 2-3 for this phase of the project seeing that in the past the team has had a challenge of quickly filling similar roles and to also assess and review proposed partnerships; what is their basis and is possible to have a gradual plan of bringing them on board. We were also uncertain about the budget line on insurance that was significant.

Overall the proposed programs align with the affiliates goals and we look forward to seeing the impact you achieve.

For the committee, Anass Sedrati (talk) 21:06, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear Anass Sedrati,
Thank you for looking into the application.
We do ask for permission to keep the number of employees as 6 technical editors because we already have 6 willing people who have been approved by the WikiJournal User Group community to take on this responsibility. To clarify, we were able to get qualified applicants almost immediately after posting the position. They all have already e-signed a contract with WikiJournal. Our issue has been funding. We realized we would not have enough money in the budget to have them start work right away, so we have been deferring their start date. The tasks for WikiJournal will be split between them, amounting to up to one full time employment, so their number will not affect the total amount of grant money needed for their salaries.
As for insurance, an alternative is to have Wikimedia Foundation provide the relevant types of coverage through their insurer: Management Liability (D&O & EPL) Package, Miscellaneous E&O (Errors and Omissions) and Cyber.
As a relatively small non-profit publishing organization, WikiJournal is probably at a very low risk of any substantial liability case. Actually, the main reason that the insurance broker (Risk Strategies) estimates such a high amount ($15,000 for 6 months) is the association between WikiJournal and Wikimedia Foundation, where insurance companies see the possibility of being liable for Wikimedia-wide issues although WikiJournal is an organization of its own. If WikiMedia is unable to provide insurance coverage for all of these, we could certainly set up a meeting between our contact at Risk Strategies and someone on the grants team to better clarify the cost of these coverages and why they are needed. We are not comfortable in starting our technical editors without procuring these coverages first.
Best regards,
Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:34, 10 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

APG approved in the amount of US$40,000[edit]

Congratulations! Your grant is approved in the amount of US$40,000 for 6 months., with a grant term starting 1 July 2021 and ending 31st December 2021.

Wiki Journal proposed programming on Content contribution and community growth, Community support and administrative growth, and Outreach, awareness and partnerships; all these contributing to their thematic focus of bridging the gap between the Wikimedia projects and academic communities.

We commend you for demonstrating how each of the programs contribute to the movement strategy. We also recognize your intention of creating awareness and recruiting partners including editors from international communities as a means of diversifying your reach.

We recommend evaluating the capacity you need to begin with and especially seeing that this is your first annual grant; we recommend reducing the number of employees proposed to about 2-3 for this phase of the project, additionally assess and review proposed partnerships for gradual engagement.

Overall, we are pleased to see your proposed work and look forward to seeing the impact you achieve.

Best regards from the SAPG Committee and Staff--VThamaini (WMF) (talk) 16:36, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]