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This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
WikiExperts (CANNOT BE USED, as it's a registered trademark of www.WikiExperts.us)
Status of the proposal
ReasonNo awnser since 2014
Details of the proposal
Project descriptionsee below
Is it a multilingual wiki?many
Potential number of languagesmany

One of the primary problems facing the Wikimedia projects is credibility of content. They have, rather unduly, attained a nefarious reputation in the education community due to a lack of academic peer review, but it is not deniable that some of the problem truly lies in actual content. The only reason that studies have shown that Wikipedia has the accuracy of more reputable sources, like the Encyclopedia Brittanica, is because Wikipedia is more up-to-date than the latter. When controlling for time, one should find Brittanica to be far more accurate due to its peer-review process for edits to its site.

As Wikimedia projects wish to spread knowledge, we should ensure that knowledge is factually correct. Though I do applaud the standards which currently exist, they are insufficient to end the negative connotation which the word "Wikipedia" has in academia. To these ends, I propose a new wiki which will provide a specialized location for experts to be recruited and to communicate.

Not only is accuracy a concern, but potential content gained will be enormous by the recruitment of experts. These experts may have access to university/government libraries with public-domain resources we can only dream of. These will prove enormously helpful in building the Wikimedia projects and making the world's largest distributor of free knowledge even more comprehensive.

Basic structure


This project of the Wikimedia Foundation will provide a basic platform where experts from academia, government, and industry can be recruited for the WMF's cause and centralize discussion among these experts. For expert-related functions specific to a given Wikimedia project (ie the English Wikipedia), separate WikiProject arms can be established.

The primary purposes of this project shall be:

  • to create a centralized location where experts can be recruited and can collaborate on cross-project areas of concern, and
  • to create a location where administrative tasks regarding experts, such as cross-project expert-review policies, can be discussed and hosted.

The primary purposes of bringing experts in at all shall be:

  • to improve the accuracy of material on Wikimedia Foundation projects through expert review, and
  • to ensure more comprehensive coverage of materials of concern to the various existing content projects.

Validation of experts


In order to ensure that a given account is an expert, one can request nomination to be one. After one requests nomination, they will be asked to enter into a form their academic, government, or corporate e-mail address, and a short description of where their expertise lies. If one enters their academic email, one must also enter a university website where this email address can be found (this is to weed out college students and ensure only actual experts in the field get the designation). Once one verifies that they indeed possess the email address, the full certification process can begin.

A special page on the wiki will contain all email-verified requests, with information such as the Wikimedia username, email address, academic website, and short description of areas of expertise. An administrator on WikiExperts will ultimately have to certify that the applicant is indeed legitimate, as a line of defense against those who are merely attempting to unduly earn expert status.

Expert template


In order for the Wikimedia community to know that an individual is an expert, one must know that they have been certified by an administrator. In order to ensure this, all certified users will have the following template on their userpages:

{{expert |username= |expertarea= |certificationid= }}

The certificationid field is present for verification purposes, to ensure that everyone cannot just crown themselves as experts without going through the certification process. Users may place this on their user pages in bad faith, so this field is important.

Certification ID


This will be an important part of verifying that all users carrying the expert userbox on their userpages are indeed experts. Upon closing a certification request, an administrator will use a random number generator in order to generate a given ID for each certified expert. This number will then be pasted into a table on a given page containing all certified Wikimedia experts. The template can then use the values entered into the "Username" and "Certification ID" parameters and compare them to the table in order to ensure validity.

However, users may simply copy certification IDs and their appropriate usernames (not their own) into the template, which they will then post on their user page. This can be counteracted by ensuring that the username is listed in the parsed template itself, with the userbox showing "[insert username] is a certified expert in [field of expertise]." This, again, will only be shown if the user's certification ID and username correspond with each other.

Relationship with other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation


WikiExperts will maintain official WikiProjects on other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, in order to coordinate expert work in areas specific to those projects. The central site will exist largely for cross-project certification, but not exclusively for that purpose. Instead, experts may collaborate on areas of cross-project concern, such as, for example, obtaining data from a university library, and then both putting it on WikiSource and citing it on Wikipedia.

Each content project of the Wikimedia Foundation will, as a result of this rule, have to adopt relevant policies and guidelines with regard to the needs of peer review. Although a large amount of globally applicable policies and information pages can be found on WikiExperts itself, the minutae will have to be dealt with on a project-by-project basis.

Proposed policies for this new wiki


While these policies have not been created yet, I am developing them in my userspace. This page will be a summary of the most important policies and purposes of the project.

Falsification or malevolent edits in expert status


Anyone who mistakenly uses a non-academic, -government, or -corporate email, or an academic email without a website provided showing the email address, in order to place a request for expert verification, will be given a warning on their user talk page and at their Wikimedia email address, stating that:

  1. The current email address that they have used to apply for expert status is unacceptable.
  2. In order to qualify for expert status, they must provide an academic, government, or corporate e-mail address in order to prove that they have educational qualifications in the field, and academic addresses must be accompanied with a website showing the email in order to demonstrate that the individual is not a student but a member of the faculty.

Furthermore, the user will have to wait for 24 hours before again posting a request to be an expert.

If anyone, having been verified as an expert, begins to make clearly malevolent edits which constitute a breach of expert-review and other policies on the content project they are editing on and as stipulated in the policies of WikiExperts, and who has been identified as a malevolent editor by two fellow Experts and an Administrator, will have to appear before the Arbitration Committee. There shall be no mandatory minimum penalty, but penalties can range up to and including permanent removal of expert status from all Wikimedia projects without the possibility of regaining expert tools.

Proposed by

  • Wer900
  • Others who add ideas

Alternative names

  • ReviewWiki
  • ExpertWiki
  • ExpertHub


  • Seems like it could be best pursued as a subproject on Wikipedia and other WMF sites. Possibly SPCOM could help with the crafting of such a subproject, if an existing WMF project were to request such assistance.--Pharos (talk) 17:01, 15 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

See also