Jump to content

User:Yaroslav Blanter/Temp17

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Discussion of the role of experts


Statements by Yaroslav Blanter


1. Currently, one of the main problems of Wikipedia projects (including major languages) is insufficient quality of the content as far as specialized pages (mostly science, but also applies to social sciences and humanities) are concerned.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:27, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

2. This is one of the reasons why academics and general experts are reluctant to collaborate in editing such articles, and Wikipedia editors have somewhat of reputation of freaks in academic circles.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:27, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

3. Some articles just can not be created by general public since they require at least several years of specialized university education. Examples: en:Lamb shift, en:Nanoelectromechanical systems. On top of that, the science is so much specialized that an expert in a narrow field usually has no ideas about the ajacent fields.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:27, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

4. Academics actually are interested in existence of a large-scale reference source such as Wikipedia to use it for education and also as a starting point to study the fields they do not have sufficient expertise.--Yaroslav Blanter 08:27, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

5. We then need to think (i) how to get the academics interested; (ii) what do we want from these experts.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:41, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

6. The current experience (or at least my current experience) is not really encouraging. The real top researchers just plainly have no time to edit articles, nor are they really interested. Those who come are mostly interested in editing article about themselves or about their immediate research, and view this as a kind of free PR.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:41, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

7. I thus believe it is unrealistic to expect that we can attract the top academics to participate in WMF projects on par with other editors, arguing for validity of their edits and looking at how their edits are being replaced by information coming from non-specialists.--Yaroslav Blanter 07:29, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

8. What we however can do is to ask them to be either editors of selected articles (like encyclopaedias do when they ask them to write articles), or be referees of selected articles. If asked properly, a number of researchers may agree to do this work (even though the majority probably still would not agree or just ignores the letter). --Yaroslav Blanter 07:29, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

9. An expert would most certainly ignore, at least at the present stage, a request to edit/referee a Wikipedia article, sent by an individual who signed as 'Wikipedia editor'. It is more likely that if a letter is sent e.g. from the Foundation that it is not going to be ignored. --Yaroslav Blanter 12:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

10. It is unrealistic to expect that such an expert can be found for each language edition of an article. This is why I believe it is a meta business rather than business of language Editions. In particular, if we talk about natural sciences, where lingua franca is English, the expert, coming from whatever country, can be asked to edit/referee an English article, and then volunteers can help with the translation into other languages (which also should be viewed as a meta issue). --Yaroslav Blanter 12:14, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

11. An issue to sort out before starting is how to protect an article against simplified / diletantist revisions after it has been refereed. De.wp and ru.wp have flagged revisions which can help; also may be a special project etc. Nobody would referee an article if it is going to be turned into a trash can. Also it is clear that the experts not being regular editors of Wikipedia will not be following the articles they have edited/refereed.--Yaroslav Blanter 12:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia, by design, facilitates its use as a trash can. I think you have summed up the problem exactly there. Is the ontology of Wikipedia any different, at its core, than WannaSpell.com? Would any serious academic publish the results of their hard work on WannaSpell? -- Thekohser 17:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)