Research talk:Exploring editing dynamics in different language Wikipedias – Towards a substantive grounded theory

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Some questions and requests[edit]

Hi! Thanks for the write-up. This looks like an interesting study.

  1. Can you post the consent form you'll be presenting editors with before they are interviewed/surveyed?
  2. Does the iConference allow for openly licensed papers? My cursory searching suggests they don't require that authors license their work exclusively to their publisher/archiver. If so, it would be nice have have a statement about what license you'll publish under.
  3. How do you plan to identify and contact your research subjects?

--EpochFail (talk) 14:10, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Hi, thanks for taking an interest in this topic. To answer your questions:

  1. I have just posted a link to the informed consent form in the research page
  2. To the best of my knowledge the iConference papers are deposited at the IDEALS (Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship) open repository which is open access. We plan to deposit our paper there
  3. My intention is to publicly announce the start of the project on selected community portals and Wikipedia projects after your approval. Research subjects might also be identified according to their contributions in the selected articles about Kosovo and contacted directly via available email addresses or through their talk pages

Pbilic (talk) 13:07, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

  1. Looks good. How will you be presenting the form to your subjects? I presume that you won't be having them download a .docx file, will you?
  2. Excellent.
  3. Can you specify which portals and exactly what message will be posted? In the past, we've recommended that when individual editors are directly invited to be participate in studies, the message is sent via their talk page. Posts on a talk page are more easily tracked by Wikipedians since they appear in the public edit history record. Many Wikipedians have configured MediaWiki (Wikipedia's software) to send them emails when a post is added to their talk pages, so they'll likely be notified if they are away from the wiki for a while.
--EpochFail (talk) 14:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

In grounded theory (GT) the process of recruiting participants, collecting and analyzing data is all part of the so-called ˝theoretical sampling˝ procedure. In other words, GT has an inductive logic which runs contrary to the ˝standard˝ model of testing hypotheses drawn from theoretical concepts. For this reason it is sometimes difficult, if not methodologically inappropriate, to specify precisely the cases and targeted participants. A first sample, or case, is usually selected on the basis of some inherent value for the research topic. Depending on the gathered and analyzed data from the first sample, other samples and participants are selected. In our research the first sample is the Serbian Wikipedia for two reasons. First, Republic of Kosovo was previously a province within Serbia. Second, Serbian language is closely related to Croatian so, from a practical point of view, it is possible for us to understand Serbian without a problem. We were planning on recruiting Wikipedians in both, or one of two following ways:

  1. The first would be to put a very short and descriptive notice (no more than a couple of sentences) with a call for research participants on their village pump (called a square in Serbian and Cafe in Croatian) - probably with a link to this meta-wiki research page. The village pump is a place where we can find a lot of administrators, regardless of their interest in editing articles about Kosovo. In my experience, interested editors will contact you if they find your research important. Also, if someone publicly accepts the call on the village pump talk page, other editors might feel more comfortable about doing that themselves. Especially if public acceptance comes from an administrator. We believe that being completely transparent about our research might prove beneficial, since this might be a sensitive topic in the Serbian community.
  2. The second would be to put a call on individual talk pages for selected and very active editors/administrators that might be really important for our research.

When we get a positive response, we will conduct interviews via e-mail, skype, or by other means. Only in this stage will informed consent forms be sent to the editors. Probably in the form of the e-mail body text, along with a set of basic questions, or topics, that we will want to cover in the interview.
Pbilic (talk) 15:05, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I guess the village pump message might be something along these lines:
<snipped recruitment message> Pbilic (talk) 18:01, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

<snipped consent form> Pbilic (talk) 21:23, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

This looks good to me. This research will cause minimal disruption and is adequately documented. Here's my checklist for reference:
  1. Has the researcher thoroughly explained the goals of the research? Done
  2. Is researcher replicating work that's already been completed? (check wikipapers) no
  3. Has the researcher explained how data will be stored/kept private? n/a
  4. Will the researcher provide a consent form for potential participants to review/sign? Done
  5. Will the recruitment or any other part of the research plan unnecessarily disrupt editors? no
  6. Would performing the recruitment or research breach any policies or guidelines of Wikipedia? no
  7. Has the researcher Canvassed appropriately for participation in this discussion? n/a
  8. Has the researcher verified their identity and provided credentials? Done
  9. What is the researcher's plan for publishing the results of the research? Open access license/archive

--EpochFail (talk) 22:03, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I guess what´s left is my statement about the archiving of gathered data. Naturally, all interviews will be kept in a private e-mail folder, as well as printed, dated and stored in a paper folder.
I´m not sure what you mean by ˝canvassed appropriately for participation in this discussion˝?
Pbilic (talk) 11:23, 6 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

With canvassing, I'm more concerned about studies that will either be disruptive or will require recruitment on the order hundreds of subjects. In those cases, we ask researchers to invite people from the relevant WikiProjects to take part in the discussion here (see en:WP:CANVASS). --EpochFail (talk) 17:22, 6 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Gotcha! Good to know for future reference... Pbilic (talk) 16:46, 7 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Do you need anything else from me, or is your decision on providing support still pending? Pbilic (talk) 09:52, 16 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]