Proof of the pudding
For me this whole process happens on two levels. There is what makes overall sense based on current practices. This translates in what can we do now to enhance current practices. Many interesting results have been produced. These results often have a back story indicating other approaches leading to a more inclusive result.
A great example is the visualisation of how much Wikidata represents the whole sum of all knowledge. It is done with a map and it shows a spectacular result. The backstory is that the data is based on articles that have been bot generated in several Wikipedias. The data comes from GeoNames, the data may not be purrfect and consequently people at Wikidata insisting on 100% perfection prevented the inclusion of that data only to have the data come in through the backdoor. As we are not collaborating with GeoNames we do not curate our and their data. Now it is not a Wikidata problem and harsh words are used on the "irresponsible" use of data by Wikipedians. An alternative would be to work together with GeoNames (they are open to this), use cached data in the Wikipedias who want this and cherish all the work done by two communities (Geonames, Wikidata) and the communities of the Wikipedias involved.
There are many more such stories where a little additional effort will make for a much more dynamic and successful result. This is unlikely to happen because as a movement, an organisation we do not really collaborate with others. We do not consider how we can optimise the results for the other and as a consequence have improved results for all of us. Two examples; we celebrate libraries but our collaboration with OCLC and Open Library can be easily and enormously improved when we consider the needs of the other and ways to cherish our collaboration.
Academics can help?
Last week's (11 August) issue of Science had a interesting letter, "Academics can help shape Wikipedia", with a link to the "Participate" page. However, that page is entirely about this strategy document, and not at all on a main topic of the letter, which encourages the scientific community to edit the encyclopedia. I suspect a good many of the people following the supplied link, and not wanting to get involved in some arcane strategy stuff, will be sufficiently wiki-aware to click on the "Discussion" tab, bringing them ... here. And then what?
How to help (and encourage) "academics" and other experts to help Wikipedia is a good topic, and not constrained to any discussions on strategy. If there is already a good place to direct such interested experts it should be posted here, prominently. In lieu of anything better I recommend the following links.
- en:Wikipedia:Expert editors
- en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia editing for research scientists
- en:Wikipedia:Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia (The PLOS paper.)
- en:Wikipedia:Advocacy (As in: caution! not a soapbox.)
- en:Wikipedia:Relationships with academic editors
I think there should also be a discussion about expert assistance, but that probably should be somewhere else. Perhaps someone would propose a suitable venue. ~ J. Johnson (talk) 22:33, 17 August 2017 (UTC)