Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Open
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The Wikimedia Foundation's open access policy
WikiProject X Newsletter • Issue 2
For this month's issue...
Making sense of a lot of data.
Work on our prototype will begin imminently. In the meantime, we have to understand what exactly we're working with. To this end, we generated a list of 71 WikiProjects, based on those brought up on our Stories page and those who had signed up for pilot testing. For those projects where people told stories, we coded statements within those stories to figure out what trends there were in these stories. This approach allowed us to figure out what Wikipedians thought of WikiProjects in a very organic way, with very little by way of a structure. (Compare this to a structured interview, where specific questions are asked and answered.) This analysis was done on 29 stories. Codes were generally classified as "benefits" (positive contributions made by a WikiProject to the editing experience) and "obstacles" (issues posed by WikiProjects, broadly speaking). Codes were generated as I went along, ensuring that codes were as close to the original data as possible. Duplicate appearances of a code for a given WikiProject were removed.
We found 52 "benefit" statements encoded and 34 "obstacle" statements. The most common benefit statement referring to the project's active discussion and participation, followed by statements referring to a project's capacity to guide editor activity, while the most common obstacles made reference to low participation and significant burdens on the part of the project maintainers and leaders. This gives us a sense of WikiProjects' big strength: they bring people together, and can be frustrating to editors when they fail to do so. Meanwhile, it is indeed very difficult to bring editors together on a common interest; in the absence of a highly motivated core of organizers, the technical infrastructure simply isn't there.
We wanted to pair this qualitative study with quantitative analysis of a WikiProject and its "universe" of pages, discussions, templates, and categories. To this end I wrote a script called ProjAnalysis which will, for a given WikiProject page (e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject Star Trek) and WikiProject talk-page tag (e.g. Template:WikiProject Star Trek), will give you a list of usernames of people who edited within the WikiProject's space (the project page itself, its talk page, and subpages), and within the WikiProject's scope (the pages tagged by that WikiProject, excluding the WikiProject space pages). The output is an exhaustive list of usernames. We ran the script to analyze our test batch of WikiProjects for edits between March 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015, and we subjected them to further analysis to only include those who made 10+ edits to pages in the projects' scope, those who made 4+ edits to the projects' space, and those who made 10+ edits to pages in scope but not 4+ edits to pages in the projects' space. This latter metric gives us an idea of who is active in a certain subject area of Wikipedia, yet who isn't actively engaging on the WikiProject's pages. This information will help us prioritize WikiProjects for pilot testing, and the ProjAnalysis script in general may have future life as an application that can be used by Wikipedians to learn about who is in their community.
Complementing the above two studies are a design analysis, which summarizes the structure of the different WikiProject spaces in our test batch, and the comprehensive census of bots and tools used to maintain WikiProjects, which will be finished soon. With all of this information, we will have a game plan in place! We hope to begin working with specific WikiProjects soon.
As a couple of asides...
- Database Reports has existed for several years on Wikipedia to the satisfaction of many, but many of the reports stopped running when the Toolserver was shut off in 2014. However, there is good news: the weekly New WikiProjects and WikiProjects by Changes reports are back, with potential future reports in the future.
- WikiProject X has an outpost on Wikidata! Check it out. It's not widely publicized, but we are interested in using Wikidata as a potential repository for metadata about WikiProjects, especially for WikiProjects that exist on multiple Wikimedia projects and language editions.
That's all for now. Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us.
- I find these tools useful. Haven't had a chance to run ProjAnalysis yet but looked at its code and documentation as well as at WikiProjects by Changes, which tracks over 2k WikiProjects and has WP:OPENACCESS ranked 81 by count of non-bot edits (a total of 498 over 365 days). -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 01:11, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Welcome OER2015 participants
If you're landing on this page for the first time as part of - or following - the Hewlett grantee's meeting, welcome! Feel free to post comments here about editing OER articles or any articles about openness. And feel free to contact me directly if you want to get started with editing these articles and just don't know how.... - Sara FB (talk) 17:07, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Learn to edit Wikipedia articles on OER with self-paced WIKISOO course
We posted all the course materials and videos from one round of the Communicate OER project online class - the self-paced version of the WIKISOO Writing Wikipedia Articles course. Ready for the Deep Dive? You can work through these on your own! Feel free to contact me with any questions. - Sara FB (talk) 17:17, 26 March 2015 (UTC)