User:Halfak (WMF)/Wikipedian recruitment

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This essay is intended to capture the advice that I give to researchers and product managers on how to run experiments and recruit for surveys on Wikipedia.

The process[edit]

General advice[edit]

Consider the checklist
The checklist provides a set of questions that Wikipedians should ask themselves about studies that might affect their work.
Minimize sample size to minimize disruption.
Studies that affect a larger number of editors will need wider consensus to move forward. If you're planning to survey thousands of Wikipedians, a silent response to your notice is not enough. There should at least be some agreement that the study should move forward.
Consider vulnerable populations
Members of the Wikimedia community become more stressed as they are targeted for intensive research more frequently. In general, community members who are highly active or members of highly researched minority populations are more often sought by researchers for surveys more often. Consider estimates of user demographics when designing a survey and see the estimates of members of frequently requested populations.
Give back to the community.
Your research results will likely have value to the community. Editors may be more likely to approve of your work if you can deliver your results in a freely licensed format for their consumption. Make sure that you document your results in a timely manner on your project page.
Keep your cool.
Discussions can sometimes get heated over misunderstandings. Consider using the documented strategies for consensus building if the discussion ceases to be productive.
No breaching experiments.
Do not violate the community's policies or norms. Damage or disruption, for any reason, is not tolerated and is a very fast way to generate hostility.
Operate transparently.
Wikipedians tend to appreciate openness. The wiki keeps a public record of the history of all pages and conversations. You will aid Wikipedians in tracking your activities by ensuring that they happen on-wiki. Make sure you are logged in when participating in discussions and sign your comments with four tildes (e.g. ~~~~). Make sure you keep your project page up to date.
Be responsive, but patient.
You can't rush consensus. However, you can make sure that questions, suggestions and concerns posted to your project's talk page are addressed quickly.

See also[edit]