Research:Committee/Science Program

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This is the page to develop a roadmap to the Science WiR program similar to existing GLAM collaboration.

On step 1, we will need to write a statement / declaration defining the rationale, the scope, the goals of this program and its specificity with respect to GLAM.

Whereas anyone can give input, it was decided on the last Research Committee Meeting in November 2011 that three RCOm members will coordinate the roadmap: Daniel, Cheryl, and Yaroslav. Dario will be the WMF contact and possibly will just be the fourth coordinator.


(Right now my own thoughts, not discussed with RCom. Definitely they are one-sided, need to be discussed)--Ymblanter 12:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

General goals[edit]

  • To promote the value of academic research in the society in general;
  • To increase the quality of research-related articles in Wikipedia and Wikibooks;

State of affairs[edit]

  • Many articles on scientific topics (applies also to social science and humanities as well) are in a pitiful state:
    Important notions, especially related to modern research, do not have articles or have articles of two lines [or struggle with notability criteria - -- Daniel Mietchen 14:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)];
    Many facts are incorrect just because nobody cares;
    Many articles are very much POV since they are written by one side of a complex problem who wishes to edit without really meeting any opposition;
    Many are taken by adepts of marginal viewpoints who have difficulties propatating their views or novel theories through usual avenues of peer-reviewed journals and who realized that Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Wikiversity are much easier avenues.--Ymblanter 12:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Media illustrating articles are lacking since existing media are often non-free.--Ymblanter 13:29, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I am working on systematic import of media from open-access sources. -- Daniel Mietchen 14:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
See also this grant proposal. -- Daniel Mietchen 14:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • The academic community really needs the articles and media on scientific topics:
    They can be used in education;
    They can be used by researchers who are in a (even slightly) different field to understand cross-field issues and to facilitate entering a new field.--Ymblanter 12:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • The quality can only be improved if academia, and, in particular, researchers, are involved.--Ymblanter 12:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • They do not want to be involved, because
    The quality is low (Catch 22);
    They have no or little time;
    They are not used to collaborative work but rather they are used to compete against each other;
    They do not want to deal with adepts of marginal viewpoints.--Ymblanter 12:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Therefore, things will not improve by themselves, and we need this program.--Ymblanter 12:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

This will only work if researchers get credit for doing that. One approach to that is linking Wikipedia contributions with things researchers typically do get credit for - journal publications, as per Academic journals consider partnering with Wikipedia. -- Daniel Mietchen 14:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Involvement of organizations[edit]

How the collaboration could look like[edit]

Possible activity areas[edit]

(copied from Dario's e-mail, discussed at the meeting)--Ymblanter 12:38, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

  • donate scientific media to Commons
  • improve citations/references for Wikipedia articles of scientific relevance
  • contribute structured data
  • promote/experiment with new forms of expert review of WP articles
  • become campus ambassadors or help support the WMF Global Education program
  • improve category or template system for articles in a given field
  • develop tools to credit transparently and measurably academic contributions to Wikipedia
  • develop metrics to measure reuse or mentions of scientific materials/citations in Wikipedia

Future steps[edit]

To be discussed and extended--Ymblanter 12:39, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

  • We will need to build a full proposal and present it to key people in GLAM and Global Education to identify strategic collaborations or exclusive areas of activity
  • A portal will need to be set up on Meta or the outreach wiki with instructions for potential partner institutions on how to apply for the program, resources and news.
  • Identify sources for funding the program.

Organizations already expressed interest[edit]

(I copy it fro Dario's e-mail, need to be referenced)--Ymblanter 12:37, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Scientific institutions
    The Wellcome Trust
    The National Academy of Sciences
    Global Viral Forecasting Initiative
  • Scientific projects
    The ChemSpider project
    The Encyclopedia of Life
    History & Policy
  • Scholarly societies and organizations
    Association for Psychological Science
    WikiProject Medicine
  • Journals / publishers
    The International Journal of Avian Science
  • Student societies
    London Wikipedia Academy (Imperial College, London)
  • Research consortia
    Robust (FP7)
    Render (FP7)
  • Research groups
    GroupLens (Minnesota)
    OII (Oxford)


(we should create a repository of refs and existing discussions on expert participation in Wikimedia projects)