Recommendation 1: Recognition. Encourage proper attribution for content donations so institutions working with us are proud of their contribution and are acknowledged for their contribution
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
In order to fulfill our potential and carry out diverse, sustainable, effective and impactful partnerships, we must support and celebrate our partners. We need to create a systematic way to recognize, empower and celebrate the work of our community volunteers so they have the tools and capacity they need to develop successful partnerships in their local and regional context. One way of recognition is to encourage proper attribution, that is why we recommend to develop a systematic way that recognize our partners contributions, especially (but not only) in cases of content donations and attribution. Thanking our partners, recognizing their efforts and celebrating their contributions to free knowledge by naming the institutions that made a donation (not only as a source in Wikipedia), would increase their involvement and establish stronger ties with our partners.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
Some web pages or media or even conferences and books use images or videos from Wikimedia Commons or articles from Wikipedia but do not include the corresponding author attribution. Mobile app to upload images does not visibly show the attribution of the photos, and it is the only thing we offer when we sit down to talk personally with some institution to make an alliance.
We focus a lot of training on the type of licenses and not on other rights that institutions have over the content used. The aim of almost all cultural institutions is not only to preserve but also to position their heritage. The International Council of Museums (Conseil international des musées), for example, requires museums to comply with the diffusion in order to be on its list of museums. Wikimedia projects can give them visibility and we can help them fulfill their social mission which is to spread knowledge. In exchange for donating material, they have a free platform that helps them carry out a fundamental task of any museum or archive: the dissemination of the heritage to be protected. However, currently, many potential partners, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, refuse to share their material because we cannot guarantee the attribution. It is important to remind people during the downloads that there are photos that allow their reuse but that they have an author and they should always quote.
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
People need to feel valued for their contribution. We believe that in many cases our volunteers and partnerships are not valued enough. Although these institutions collaborate with us, share our vision and donate material to us, they do not self-identify with Wikimedia and pretend to see their names recognized . We believe that greater recognition increases retention and the quality of work. Specifically, we would like to make sure that their contributions are not abused and that no one is able to take credit for their work. That is why we need to make sure we fully recognize the contributions of our partners. Wikimedia should take on the responsibility of securing and supporting people and partnerships who donated their material. If we want to become the essential infrastructure of free knowledge with partners joining us we must support them on the topic of attribution and support them when someone uses their material as their own. It is our responsibility since we have asked them to donate it. Correct attribution is important to make our work better known and to promote our platforms.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
To acknowledge and to promote proper attribution gonna make our partners feel recognized and could have a greater impact on their willingness to collaborate, creating new alliances and building new partnerships. Feeling valued is one of the great motivations for volunteers, as well as for some partnering institutions. If people feel recognition for the work they do, they would be encouraged to share more of their knowledge, information and material with us. By naming it explicitly and clearly indicating who they are, our partners will be given more reconnaissance for the efforts and resources they are providing. Our partners will be proud to have donated that material to Wikipedia or other projects. It would not change the way knowledge circulates but it would be an incentive for potential partnerships to donate more material and collaborate with us. To give credit and show gratitude make our partners feel that they also benefit from the association, it will contribute that more organizations want to associate with us and will promote a more inclusive movement. Thanks to correct attribution, we can measure with statistics to show them the impact and the use of their heritage and how it was positioned. We believe that seeing the traffic derived from their donation will generate more engagement. This will result in more organizations opening up to the idea of being part of the free knowledge ecosystem.
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
All our partners, future possible partners, those who already partner with Wikimedia movement, those who potential could do and all our volunteers in all projects.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?
Partners are interested in sharing content and being able to work in a coordinated manner. They like that what is online is correctly allocated and figures where it comes from and what organization is behind it.
Even if we have ways of recognition, there is not a systematic way of recognition. Although an institution may have a page on Commons, anyone can use their photos without saying where they got it from. Different partnerships are being recognized in uneven ways, and some partners are reluctant to continue collaborating with us, as they are not getting enough recognition, or their contributions are not clearly marked.
In many cases, even when someone wants to attribute it is not easy or very clear how to do it. We need to change that. GLAM institutions should know how their collections perform and we should be able to automate the process. Movement cannot function better under a discontent model and the clean flow of information with the necessary attribution is the need of the hour.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
Recognition is a way of supporting partnerships, it can be an important factor in continuing to contribute. Part of the support that individuals and institutions need is to feel that they are not alone, that if someone uses their resources and publishes them as their own, the movement will defend them and protect them.
By defending the right to attribution and making a good recognition of the material or work donated, we will empower the institutions and individuals who collaborate with our movement and we will make them feel they benefit from collaboration. More people and institutions will want to collaborate with us and that will make the movement more inclusive.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?
We can thank the material received naming the institutions that donated . A protocol can be prepared to act in cases of incorrect or false attribution. It is not necessary to take legal action against the misuse of material from Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons or any sister project, it is sufficient with, for example, write a model letter in different languages to send to whoever has used the image or text without attributing it correctly. We could create a sample text to send to the press about rights attibuttion for dummies. It is necessary to give support if any publisher or photographer or institution wants to claim the lack of attribution, advise and accompany him/her, instead of making him/her feel that it is his/her problem. Wikipedia could enable a "Cite this page" button. Wikimedia Commons could generate more friendly templates for derivative works. We can also make the FAQ simpler and easier to find licenses and understand that it is required that all users of the work attribute to the author. Reports can be made with statistics telling the institutions which material was best positioned, which one was most used, how many visualizations it had and which articles were improved, to show them the impact of their contribution.