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The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland stand firmly in our commitment to making public works freely and openly available. Public institutions such as galleries and museums serve a similar mission, and have historically been our allies in making the world’s knowledge accessible to all. With this lawsuit, the Reiss Engelhorn Museum is limiting public access to culturally important works that most of the world would otherwise not be able to access.
The paintings, portraits, and other works of art at issue in this case are housed in the Reiss Engelhorn Museum, but exist freely in the public domain. However, German copyright law may apply to photographs of works in the public domain, depending on a number of different factors, including the artist who created the work, the amount of skill and effort that went into the photograph, creativity and originality in the photograph, and the actual art itself. The Reiss Engelhorn Museum asserts that copyright applies to these particular images because the museum hired the photographer who took some of them and it took him time, skill, and effort to take the photos. The Reiss Engelhorn Museum further asserts that because of their copyrights, the images of the artwork cannot be shared with the world through Wikimedia Commons.
The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland believe that the Reiss Engelhorn Museum’s views are mistaken. Copyright law should not be misused to attempt to control the dissemination of works of art that have long been in the public domain, such as the paintings housed in the Reiss Engelhorn Museum. The intent of copyright is to reward creativity and originality, not to create new rights limiting the online sharing of images of public domain works. Moreover, even if German copyright law is found to provide some rights over these images, we believe that using those rights to prevent sharing of public domain works runs counter to the mission of the Reiss Engelhorn Museum and the City of Mannheim and impoverishes the cultural heritage of people worldwide.
These cultural institutions are upholding the values of the public domain and protecting the right to take part in our cultural heritage. The Reiss Engelhorn Museum’s attempt to create new copyright in public domain works goes against European principles on the public domain.
A 1863 portrait of Seligmann Ladenburg by Johann Jakob Serr, one of the images on Wikimedia Commons potentially affected by the lawsuit.
In a Communication on August 11, 2008, the European Commission wrote: “it is important to stress the importance of keeping public domain works accessible after a format shift. In other words, works in the public domain should stay there once digitised and be made accessible through the internet.” This was reinforced by the Europeana Charta of 2010 that reads: “No other intellectual property right must be used to reconstitute exclusivity over Public Domain material. The Public Domain is an integral element of the internal balance of the copyright system. This internal balance must not be manipulated by attempts to reconstitute or obtain exclusive control via regulations that are external to copyright”.
Over the years, the Wikimedia movement has enjoyed rich partnerships with museums and galleries around the world through the GLAM-Wiki initiative, which helps cultural institutions share their resources with the world through collaborative projects with experienced Wikipedia editors. The relationships have allowed millions of people from around the globe to access and enjoy institutional collections in places they may never have the chance to visit. Wikimedia Deutschland alone has worked with more than 30 museums in Germany to make their collections freely available to anyone, anywhere through the Wikimedia projects. These partnerships are part of a vital effort to allow cultural institutions and Wikimedia to serve their missions of free knowledge and shared culture.
People around the world use Wikipedia to discover and understand the world around them. Thanks to the Internet, many traditional barriers to knowledge and learning have disappeared. Denying online access to images in the public domain prevents people from exploring our shared global cultural heritage. We urge the Reiss Engelhorn Museum to reconsider its position and work with the Wikimedia community to make their public domain works more broadly available.
With more than fifteen million items compiled in the space of just three years, Wikidata is set to become the main open data repository worldwide. The eagerly awaited promise of linked open data seems to have finally arrived: a multilingual, totally open database in the public domain, which can be read and edited by both humans and machines. A lot more free information, accessible to many more people, in their own language. The structure of the Wikidata information system and the open format allows us to make complex, dynamic queries, such as: what are largest cities in the world with a female lord mayor or the number of ministers who are themselves the children of ministers, to name just two of innumerable examples. Wikidata is a new step forward in the democratisation of access to information, which is why the most important thing right now is the questions we ask ourselves: what information do we want to compile? How can we contextualise it? How does this new tool affect knowledge management?
With the introduction of the Internet, we now assume that information is just a click away. Thousands of people around the world post their creations online without expecting anything in return: guide books, manuals, photos, videos, tutorials, encyclopaedias and databases. All of it information at our fingertips. To ensure that the sum of all this knowledge reaches all human beings in their own language, free of charge, the Wikimedia Foundation runs many projects, free of charge, with one of the most successful being Wikipedia. The English version of Wikipedia reached five million entries in October 2015. But this version is culturally biased, with an over-representation of Western culture. In fact, it only includes 30% of the items entered in the other 287 languages that form part of the Wikipedia project, which now has a total of more than 34 million articles. Many of the articles that refer to a particular culture only exist in the language of that culture, as can be seen just by looking at the maps of geolocated items. There is a lot of work to be done: it is estimated that in order to cover all human knowledge, an encyclopaedia today should have over 100 million articles. Now that we know that it is possible and that everything is just a click away, we want to have the biographies of all the Hungarian writers available in a language that we understand, and we want it now. Local wiki communities around the world try to compile their own culture in their own language as best they can, but they often have limited capacity to influence the main body of the overall project. There are thousands of articles about Catalans in the Catalan version of Wikipedia, but there are not so many in the Spanish version, much less the French, and much, much less the English version. How can we disseminate our culture internationally if we’re still trying to compile it in our own language? How can we access information that is not written in any of the languages that we are fluent in? The defense of online multilinguism entails as many challenges as opportunities.
Map of geolocated items on Wikidata, October 2015.
Data is beautiful. Data is information.
For this reason among many others, in 2012 the Wikimedia Foundation created Wikidata: a collaborative, multilingual database that aims to provide a common source for certain types of data such as dates of birth, coordinates, names, and authority records, managed collaboratively by volunteers around the world. This means that when a change of government occurs, for example, simply updating the corresponding element on Wikidata will automatically update all the applications that are linked to it, be it Wikipedia or any other third-party application. It means that we do not have to constantly reinvent the wheel. This collaborative model helps to reduce the effects of the existing cultural diglossia, given that small communities can have a greater global impact in a more efficient manner. In the medium term, all Wikidata queries will include data from all over the world, not just from the cultures or historical communities with greater power to influence. A search for “doctors who graduated before they turned 20”, for example, will not only display French and English doctors, but also doctors from Taiwan and Andorra.
This project opens up a whole new world of possibilities, for collaboration and for using the data: the Wikidata game allows users to make thousands of small contributions while playing, even from a mobile phone while waiting for a bus. Inventaire allows people to share their favourite books, and Histropedia offers a new way of visualising history through timelines. Meanwhile, scientists from around the world are uploading their research databases, and the cultural sector is building a database of paintings from all over the world . All of these projects run on the Wikidata engine, which is becoming a new international standard.
And why Wikidata and not some other project? Internet standards do not necessarily become accepted because of their ability to generate authority, but because of their capacity to generate traffic, or their capacity to be updated. The winner is not the best, but the one that can assemble the greatest number of users and be updated more quickly. This is one of the strengths of the Wikidata project, given that thousands of volunteers are constantly updating the information. As a result, any application or project based on big data can take advantage of all of this structured knowledge, and do so free of charge. All of this means that we have to reconsider the role that traditional agents of knowledge (universities, research centres, cultural institutions) want to play, and the role or the possible role of the repositories of authorities around the world, now that new tools are mixing and matching and creating a new centrality.
Data in itself is not knowledge. It is information. With the emergence of a new, very dense ecology of data that is accessible to everybody, we run the risk of trying to over-simplify the world: a description, no matter how detailed, will not necessarily make us understand something. Knowing that Dostoyevsky was born in 1821 and died in 1881 and that he was an existentialist is not the same as understanding Dostoyevsky or existentialism. Now more than ever, we need tools that will help us to contextualise information, to develop our own point of view, and to generate knowledge based on this information, in order to promote a society with a strong critical spirit. And we shouldn’t forget that data in itself is not objective either, even though it supposedly purports to be neutral. Data selection is a bias in itself. The decision of whether or not to analyse the gender, origin, religion, height, eye colour, political position, or nationality of a human group can condition the subsequent analysis. Codifying or failing to codify a particular item of information within a data set can both inform and disguise a particular reality. Data is useless without interpretation.
The impact of the emergence of Wikipedia on traditional print encyclopaedias is common knowledge. What will be the impact of Wikidata? In line with the wiki philosophy, the work is done collaboratively in an asymmetric but ongoing process. We can all collaborate in the creation and maintenance of the content, but also of the vocabulary, of the properties of different items, and of the taxonomies used to classify the information. We are deciding how to organise existing information about the world, and we are doing it in an open, participatory manner, as an example of the potential of technology. We know that human knowledge evolves cumulatively, and that Western culture is essentially inherited. Our reality is determined, in a sense, through the technological, social, political, and philosophical advances of those who came before us. This means that today’s generations don’t have to discover electricity all over again, for example. We enjoy the fruits of the efforts of our ancestors. But the Internet, for the first time, allows us to be involved in a phenomenon that will mark human history: we are defining and generating a new information ecosystem that will become the foundation for a possible cognitive revolution. And we are lucky to be able to participate, question, and improve it as it evolves. Together, we can participate in a historic project on a par with humanity’s greatest advances. We can create a new Rosetta Stone that can serve as an open, transparent key to unlock the secrets of today’s world, and perhaps as a documentary source for future generations or civilisations. Let us take responsibility for it.
Campbell is a British socialite who is now appearing on the new season of Britain's I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, which debuted on November 15. If we did not have access to mobile views, this article would not top the list. But people shading their phone screens while googling Lady Campbell, counting for 86% of the views of this article, pushed it to #1 for the week. Frankly 86% is a really high mobile count, and frankly I don't understand the popularity, at least at the very high level of 2.9 million views. This reality series is one whose American version floundered, but has enjoyed great success elsewhere including in Britain, and in Germany where it is nicknamed "Das Dschungelcamp". And also, if Lady C. is needed to drop ISIS/ISIL out of the top spot, I'm fine with it.
Up from #6 last week, and almost triple last week's 896,501 views. If they are to be believed, the repellent non-state has finally managed to extend its war beyond its shredded borders and into the heart of the West. This is an unprecedented escalation from them, but then, if there's one thing they've proven themselves good at in the last few years, it's unprecedented escalation. Some see it as desperation; ISIL have suffered numerous substantial losses from bombing and Kurdish incursions. Others have pondered if it marks the first shot in a new generational conflict.
At UFC 193 (#15) on November 15, the photogenic fighting phenomenon Ronda Rousey (#4) ended her 12-fight streak and handed her title to Holm in a shocking second-round knockout. Holm is the first person to win championships in both boxing and mixed martial arts.
This is the first time that the circus of craziness that is Mr. Sheen's life appears on the Top 25, and that's only because the Top 25 started in January 2013. His "winning" meme dates from the ancient days of 2011. On November 17, 2015, Sheen publicly revealed that he was HIV positive, having been diagnosed roughly four years earlier (whether it was pre or post "winning" I cannot tell.) Sheen claims that since 2011 he has paid extortionists approximately $10 million to keep his HIV positive status secret.
Down also slightly from 920,622 views last week. Salman Khan (pictured) is having a good year. His Eid opener Bajrangi Bhaijaan is currently the second-highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, and now this Diwali event film has beaten that film's record-breaking opening day, taking Rs 400 million ($6.1 million).
The banner wording asking readers to donate to Wikipedia to "keep it online and ad-free", used in previous years, has been replaced with references to keeping Wikipedia "online and growing". This addresses past criticism from the community that banners incorrectly implied that the Foundation was in dire financial straits and might have to run ads to keep Wikipedia online if readers failed to donate enough money.
At the Wikimedia Foundation's request, Lake Research Partners ran another survey on the fundraising banners. The online survey, which took place from October 30 to November 3 (sample size n = 1,000 Wikipedia readers in the United States), specifically addressed some points that were not covered in the February survey (see previous Signpostcoverage). Some findings from the survey:
Respondents were asked to rate three banner designs. Criteria included the banners' intrusiveness and whether they suggested an acute financial emergency, as opposed to routine fundraising to sustain a successful organisation. Most survey respondents saw the new banner texts as suggestive of routine fundraising.
Laptop and desktop use to access Wikipedia have further declined since February 2015, while mobile phone/smartphone and tablet access are up.
Asked to rate the quality of Wikipedia on a scale ranging from 0 to 10, close to two-thirds of respondents chose a rating of 8 or higher.
Interested readers can find mock-ups of some current banner designs on Meta:
We are just a few weeks away from the launch of the December English fundraiser. The end of the year is the most critical time of the year for Wikimedia’s fundraising: The goal this year is $25 million. The campaign will launch in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland on Giving Tuesday, December 1st.
In these past months of preparation, we have relied on feedback from the volunteer community, readers, and staff through discussion pages, feedback sessions, phone calls, interviews, user testing, surveys and A/B tests. Thank you to everyone for participating! It has truly been a helpful experience and wonderful to hear from so many voices from all different parts of the movement.
In just the last two weeks, an independent research firm conducted a new survey of Wikipedia readers. (You may remember that we did a similar survey last February.) We heard from you last spring that there were some additional concerns that you would like us to explore with readers. We tried to look into those concerns in this survey. We have uploaded the survey report on Commons for anyone who is interested in reading it. We have also setup a section on the Fundraising Meta page to discuss the survey.
The feedback from readers, the volunteer community and staff has been critical to shape the campaign. Several improvements have been made so far as a direct result of this input. We have changed a few specific sentences of the message that were discussed heavily on meta pages and also tried a variety of design ideas based on comments.
We also have some fresh banner ideas that came about through a recent workshop with staff. We will be testing those new banner ideas in small runs throughout the campaign as well. And we’re still gathering ideas! To see the latest version of the message and submit your ideas, please visit the fundraising ideas meta page.
Since last year, we have made improvements to our banner targeting and analytics systems with the goal of raising the budget, while limiting the number of banners and disruption for our readers. We aim to run the campaign for roughly two weeks at a high traffic level and then at a much reduced level for the rest of December.
The fundraising team faces a great challenge this year: the highest revenue target in WMF history along with a decline in page views – particularly in desktop pageviews where readers are more likely to donate. The team has and will continue to work hard to make improvements needed to reach this goal. We cannot do this alone. Thank you to everyone who has offered input, expertise, time and energy into helping make this fundraiser a success.
We look forward to your ideas and questions. Since the team experiences an incredibly high volume of seasonal work, we will not be able to respond immediately to questions or feedback. We will review feedback and bug reports regularly and we have dedicated time to post an update by mid-December and again at the end of the campaign. Here’s how to get involved:
To file a bug report or technical issue, please create a phabricator ticket (https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/maniphest/task/create/?template=118862) or email problemsdonating at wikimedia.org
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the campaign preparations. More importantly, thank you to the entire Wikimedia community for building this incredible project that readers love and support with their donations. None of this would be possible without you.
great diversity in budgeting detail, clarity and format among the different applicants. Incongruously, some of the largest requests came with the lowest level of budget detail or clarity. Even when asked for further clarity, the information provided in private remained less detailed than that which was given publicly by far smaller applicants. [...] Furthermore, the FDC specifically requests that the Wikimedia Foundation to improve its own level of planning transparency and budget detail [...]
Current voting FDC members. Left to right:
Itzik, Liam, Osmar, Michał, Anne, Matanya, Lorenzo, Mike, (Dumisani not present)
Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia UK, the two biggest chapters involved in this round of FDC recommendations, saw the greatest discrepancies between requested and recommended funding, with the FDC recommending that they be granted 80% (Germany) and 89.5% (UK) of the amounts requested.
Wikidata costs were a particular point of contention in the FDC recommendations:
The FDC notes its disappointment that WMDE and WMF were unable to come to agreement on the appropriate funding stream for Wikidata in the year since the FDC’s 2014-15 recommendations, and strongly urges that these discussions be concluded. Nonetheless, the FDC is exasperated by the inability of WMDE to to disaggregate the costs of Wikidata from other projects. This level of fiscal specificity is standard and expected for projects requesting such a large funding envelope.
The FDC expects to receive a joint progress report from WMDE and WMF that confirms the plans for future funding of the Wikidata portion of the WMDE grant application, to be submitted in advance of the FDC deliberations for 2015-16 Round 2 scheduled in May 2016.
The publication of the Funds Dissemination Committee recommendations was also announced on the Wikimedia blog. The blog post contains further background on the FDC's work and methods. AK
Telephone fundraising by Wikimedia Germany sparks controversy
Members of Wikimedia Germany reported on November 20 receiving phone calls from a call centre agency thanking them for their contributions, and suggesting they increase their financial support. Wikimedia Germany's Till Mletzkoconfirmed that the agency's calls were indeed made on behalf of Wikimedia Germany, and that there was a parallel mailing campaign to the same effect.
Community feedback was overwhelmingly negative. Volunteers objected to the fact that the call centre employee presented himself as "working for Wikipedia" and to the nuisance factor inherent in the "cold calling" approach. Achim Raschka, a founding member and former board member of Wikimedia Germany, went so far as to suggest it might be time to release a press statement "in the name of the authors of Wikipedia", advising the public to ignore calls for donations from the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Germany.
Mletzko at first defended the action, saying that many non-profits use telephone fundraising very successfully and this was merely an attempt to find out whether the same approach might also work for Wikimedia Germany, but promised to take community feedback into account in the campaign's evaluation. On November 23 he posted an update, saying the telephone campaign would be stopped with immediate effect. 108 members from a pool of 3,000 had been called; 44% of them agreed to increase their contributions. AK
Very active editor numbers (>100 edits per month) since the English Wikipedia’s launch in 2001. The thick red line symbolises a five-month moving average.
Editor numbers stabilising: A Wikimedia blog post invites users to help analyse a new data set indicating that volunteer editor numbers seem to have stabilised after a long period of decline. The blog post suggests several possible reasons: 1. Existing editors could be editing more. 2. Fewer editors could be leaving. 3. More editors could be coming back. 4. The community could be reaching its new carrying capacity. 5. Faster editing as a result of December 2014’s performance improvements (“How we made editing Wikipedia twice as fast“) could be enabling more edits. 6. A temporary resurgence, known more colorfully as a "dead cat bounce". A page on Meta is available for users wanting to provide feedback. AK
New administrators: The Signpost welcomes the English Wikipedia's newest administrators, Biblioworm and Vanjagenije. AK
Russian Wikipedia: articles banned by government watchdog, editor banned from Wikipedia
The emblem of Roskomnadzor, Russia's Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications.
TASSreports that the Federal Drug Control Service of Russia (FSKN) has listed five articles on the Russian Wikipedia it wants blocked. FSKN said in a statement “Following the studies of the Russian language Wikipedia pages, four of them were recognized as forbidden ones.” Originally, five pages were listed for deletion but the fifth one had already been scrapped by the encyclopedia free online administration. Russia’s media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, posted a tweet outlining which articles those were. (Nov. 24) L
Moscow Timesreports that four Wikipedia editors met with representatives of FSKN, Roskomnadzor, and Rospotrebnadzor "to formalize channels of communication between the website and state bodies". The organizer of this meeting, Samal, was indefinitely blocked. The Times referenced a message from the "official Twitter blog" of "Russian Wikipedia", apparently referring to this tweet from Wikimedia Russia. Samal's block log states that the editor was blocked for "destructive behavior: uncoordinated actions on behalf of the Community". (Nov. 27) G
The Russian Wikipedia has been the subject of growing government interference and was briefly blocked entirely by the government in August (see previous Signpostcoverage). Freedom House recently updated the status of internet freedom in Russia from "partly free" to "not free". These assessments are based on scores on a scale from 0 to 100 (0 = most free, 100 = least free); 0–30 are classed as "free", 31–60 as "partly free", 61–100 as "not free". Russia's score increased from 60 in 2014 to 62 in 2015.
Hoax edit upsets Irish factory town: The Belfast Telegraphreports that a hoax edit claiming that the bus manufacturer Wrightbus would be sold prompted rumors to spread through the town of Ballymena, causing Wrightbus employees to fear their jobs would be lost. (Nov. 27) G
Liverpool fans take City bashing to Wikipedia: Following Liverpool’s 4–1 thrashing of Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium, a Liverpool fan (or set of fans) altered the stadium’s Wikipedia page. The fan(s) gave a new name to the stadium – Liverpool FC U19 training ground – while making the new Liverpool manager its owner. The changes also included listing Roberto Firmino as the stadium's groundsman, reflecting his dominant performance in the Liverpool rout. (Nov. 23) L
Wikipedia via Free Basics: At Medium, Nanjira Sambuli writes about the Free Basics app from the Internet.org partnership, intended to deliver affordable internet services to developing countries. She writes "Over at the Wikipedia app, I couldn’t even see the option to edit a news article, let alone it redirecting me to the paid-for Internet. My hypothesis: it creates the notion that Wikipedia is to be consumed, and not necessarily contributed to. Imagine that carried across to Wikipedia as many of us know it!" (Nov. 22)
"Scientific Wikipedia" Idea deemed best idea at SeNSE Pitch Night Competition: An idea to create a ‘Scientific Wikipedia’ won top spot at the 2015 Pitch Night Competition, organized by SeNSE, a Baton Rouge–based non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurship. Matthew Loupe, an LSU electrical engineering graduate, came up with the idea to create an online scientific community where scientists can upload and share results of their experiments. (Nov. 20) L
Crew member accused of altering Wikipedia page to favor movie: According to a report by The Washington Examiner, a crew member working on the documentary The Hunting Ground has been changing the film's Wikipedia page and other pages linked to the movie. The documentary covers rape on college campuses. Edits included changes to former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston's page and deleting content on Kinsman’s accusations, changes alleged to have made the articles support the story told by the film. The matter was raised by Jimbo Wales on his talk page and is being discussed at the administrators' noticeboard, where to date there is no consensus that the editor did anything wrong, given that he declared his conflict of interest on his user page and sought talk page agreement for the changes made. (Nov. 19) L, AK
Do you want to contribute to "In the media" by writing a story or even just an "in brief" item? Edit next week's edition in the Newsroom or contact the editor.
This paper contributes to the discussion of the relation of Wikipedia and academia, in the context of the use of academic publications on Wikipedia. The authors looked at whether articles and academic books (monographs) indexed in the Scopus database (302,328 articles and 18,735 books) are cited by Wikipedia, other articles, and books. They found that only about 5% of all academic articles are cited on Wikipedia, compared with about 33% of books. Arts, humanities and social science books are cited almost twice as often as those from natural and medical sciences. The authors conclude that Wikipedia citations are not strongly related to scientific impact, but more so to the work's educational and cultural one. They further conclude that Wikipedia citations are likely a good source for understanding the work's non-scholarly impact, particularly for books. On that note, while the authors discuss some limitations of their study, they do not address the topic of open access, which could explain the discrepancy between the use of books (many of which are at least partially available through online through Google Books, a database the authors themselves used as well in this study) and articles (most of which are not available to an average reader). Therefore the authors' conclusion should be moderated by the fact that while in Wikipedia is not currently citing the majority of academic articles, as said majority is not readily available to the project contributors, further research is needed on whether Wikipedia can be used to understand the impact of scholarly open access sources. (See also the review of a related paper in our August issue: "Amplifying the Impact of Open Access: Wikipedia and the Diffusion of Science".)
In this blog post, Pierre-Carl Langlais relates how he used actor–movie relationships from Wikidata to graph and examine co-stardom networks in the 1920s and 1930s. His exploration, based on the assumption that transnational collaborations were easier in silent films productions, aimed to determine whether co-stardom networks tightened by country after the move to spoken film.
The author queried actor–movie data from Wikidata, processed it with R to create actor–actor relationships, and created graphs using Gephi for two periods: 1920–29 and 1930–39. He found that (software-determined) clusters of actors did seem to follow countries for the 1930–1939 period, with some overlap for countries with the same language. However, the software had less success identifying clusters for the 1920–1929 period. Some clusters mixed different countries, and some countries were split into several clusters. The author invited readers to explain those results. He also highlighted the case of transnational actors like Greta Garbo and Maurice Chevalier.
"Editing for equality: the outcomes of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thons"
This article discusses the Art and Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon, an event the authors describe as the largest of such events ever. Framed in the context of importance of gendered activism and information activism for librarians, it discusses what the authors perceive as a growing collaboration between gender and information activists that also includes Wikipedia GLAM activists. The article presents an interesting overview of this developing movement.
The planning for next year's Wikimania is in full swing. The organizers are experimenting with approaches that differ from those of previous years, and that includes asking the community a bit more explicitly as to what issues they'd like to see covered and what they'd like to learn about during Wikimania. One of the topics considered for this advance feedback is research, which is understood to encompass Wikimedia coverage of research-related topics as well as research on Wikimedia-related topics, and everything in between. How should such research-related topics be addressed by the event? If you have suggestions in this regard, please put them forward here. Thanks!
Other recent publications
A list of other recent publications that could not be covered in time for this issue – contributions are always welcome for reviewing or summarizing newly published research.
"Do experts or collective intelligence write with more bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia." From the abstract: "We evaluate these questions empirically by examining slanted and biased phrases in content on US political issues from two sources—Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia. ... Using a matched sample of pairs of articles from Britannica and Wikipedia, we show that, overall, Wikipedia articles are more slanted towards Democrat than Britannica articles, as well as more biased. Slanted Wikipedia articles tend to become less biased than Britannica articles on the same topic as they become substantially revised, and the bias on a per word basis hardly differs between the sources." (See also our 2012 reviews of two related papers by the same authors, including a critique of their reliance on the method of using the US Congressional Record as a gold standard of unbiased language: "Language analysis finds Wikipedia's political bias moving from left to right"; "Given enough eyeballs, do articles become neutral?")
"Towards better visual tools for exploring Wikipedia article development – the use case of 'Gamergate controversy'." From the abstract: "We present a comparative analysis of three tools for visually exploring the revision history of a Wikipedia article. We do so on the use case of 'Gamergate Controversy', an article that has been the setting of a major editor dispute in the last half of 2014 and early 2015, resulting in multiple editor bans and gathering news media attention. We show how our tools can be used to visually explore editor disagreement interactions and networks, as well as conflicted content and provenance ..."
"What triggers human remembering of events? A large-scale analysis of catalysts for collective memory in Wikipedia." From the "Conclusions and future work" section: "we managed to identify some first pattern for event memory triggering for diverse event types including natural and manmade disasters as well as accidents and terrorism. For doing this we have combined correlation detection, analysis of the surprise aspect (unexpected change) in the distribution of the past event surrounding the peak time of the triggering event and analysis of the skewness of the distribution of the past event at the peak time of the triggering event. Our analysis confirmed the influence of closeness in time and location, but also has shown that these aspects cannot be considered in isolation and that high-impact events and semantic similarity of events also influences, which event memories are triggered by an event."
"As dinâmicas do conhecimento científico e tecnológico na era da Web 2.0 : um estudo sobre a Wikipédia lusófona." In Portuguese; from the English abstract: "This investigation has been made from the analysis of 'formal' Wikipedian’s structure and from semi-structured interviews with 24 collaborators users of the 'highlighted subjects' on scientific and technological issues of the Lusophone Wikipedia. The thesis' conclusions are: on one hand, that the Wikipedian’s interface tends to reproduce the disciplines’ hierarchy of the S&T [science and technology] knowledge and the distribution of users' areas of interest according to the social places occupied by them, as well as express values, representations and practices associated with modern science paradigm. On the other hand, this study observes that Lusophone Wikipedia is propitious, not only to diversify the profile of the collaborators involved in the production, dissemination and achievement of scientific and technological subjects compared to the conventional spaces of the S&T knowledge, but also opening various possibilities for participation in the site, included ownership of collective product."
"Generating quizzes for history learning based on Wikipedia articles." From the abstract: "Aiming at reducing the cost of developing educational contents, this study proposes a method to generate multiple-choice history quizzes using Wikipedia articles."
"Detecting spatial patterns of natural hazards from the Wikipedia knowledge base" From the abstract: "Over 230,000 geo-tagged articles are [...] extracted from the Wikipedia database, spatially covering the contiguous United States. ... In this work, Wikipedia articles about wildfires are extracted from the Wikipedia database, forming a wildfire corpus [...]. The spatial distribution of wildfire outbreaks in the US is estimated [...] and mapped using GIS. To provide an evaluation of the approach, the estimation is compared to wildfire hazard potential maps created by the USDA Forest service. "
"Extraction of career profiles from Wikipedia" From the abstract: "We describe a system that gathers the work experience of a person from her or his Wikipedia page. We first extract an ontology of profession names from the Wikidata graph. We then parse the Wikipedia pages using a dependency parser and we connect persons to professions through the analysis of parts of speech and dependency relations we extract from text."
"Extracting and visualising biographical events from Wikipedia" From the abstract: "This work presents a proposal for the development of a natural language processing module for event and temporal analysis of biographies as available in Wikipedia" (using DBpedia; no mention of Wikidata)
"The Descent of Pluto: Interactive dynamics, specialisation and reciprocity of roles in a Wikipedia debate." From the abstract: "... we performed a longitudinal analysis of a specific case-study within the French-speaking “astronomy” Wikipedia OEC ["Online Epistemic Community"], revolving around the renaming of the article on the celestial body "Pluto", given the 'descent' of its scientific status from that of a planet to an asteroid. Our choice was to focus on the analysis of dialogic and epistemic roles, as an appropriate meso-level unit of analysis. We present a qualitative-quantitative method for analysis of roles, based on filtering major participants and analysing the dialogic functions and epistemic contents of their communicative acts. Our analyses showed that [...] roles become gradually specialised and reciprocal over sequences of the discussion: when one participant changes role from one sequence to another, other participants ‘fill in’ for the vacant role. Secondly, we show that OECs, in the case of Wikipedia, do not function purely on a knowledge-level, but also involve, crucially, negotiation of images of participants’ competences with respect to the knowledge domain."
^Kayvan Kousha and Mike Thelwall: Are Wikipedia Citations Important Evidence of the Impact of Scholarly Articles and Books? PDF
^Siân Evans, Jacqueline Mabey and Michael Mandiberg: Editing for Equality: The Outcomes of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thons. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, Vol. 34, No. 2 (September 2015), pp. 194–203. Published by: University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Art Libraries Society of North America doi:10.1086/683380
^Greenstein, Shane, and Feng Zhu. "Do experts or collective intelligence write with more bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-023, October 2014. PDF
^Fabian Flöck, David Laniado, Felix Stadthaus, Maribel Acosta: Towards better visual tools for exploring Wikipedia article development – the use case of “Gamergate controversy”. Wikipedia, a Social Pedia: Research Challenges and Opportunities: Papers from the 2015 ICWSM Workshop PDF
^Nattiya Kanhabua, Tu Ngoc Nguyen, Claudia Niederée: What triggers human remembering of events? A large-scale analysis of catalysts for collective memory in Wikipedia. In: Proceedings of the 14th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL '14), Pages 341–350. IEEE Press Piscataway, NJ, US, 2014, ISBN 978-1-4799-5569-5Author's copy
^Lima, Leonardo Santos de: As dinâmicas do conhecimento científico e tecnológico na era da Web 2.0 : um estudo sobre a Wikipédia lusófona. Master thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sociologia. 2014 http://hdl.handle.net/10183/102224
^Yoshihiro Tamura, Yutaka Takase, Yuki Hayashi, Yukiko I. Nakano: Generating quizzes for history learning based on Wikipedia articles. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-20609-7_32
^J. Fan , K. Stewart: "Detecting spatial patterns of natural hazards from the Wikipedia knowledge base" ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume II-4/W2, 2015. International Workshop on Spatiotemporal Computing, 13–15 July 2015, Fairfax, Virginia, USA PDF
^Firas Dib, Simon Lindberg, Pierre Nugues: Extraction of career profiles from Wikipedia. In: Proceedings of the First Conference on Biographical Data in a Digital World 2015 (BD2015), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 9 April 2015. PDF
^Irene Russo,Tommaso Caselli, Monica Monachini: Extracting and visualising biographical events from Wikipedia. In: Proceedings of the First Conference on Biographical Data in a Digital World 2015 (BD2015), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 9 April 2015. PDF
^Françoise Détienne, Michael Bakera, Dominique Fréard, Flore Barcellini, Alexandre Denis, Matthieu Quignard: The Descent of Pluto: Interactive dynamics, specialisation and reciprocity of roles in a Wikipedia debate. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Volume 86, February 2016, Pages 11–31 doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2015.09.002
List of accolades received by Silver Linings Playbook(nominated by FrB.TG)Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. The film tells the story of a man, Patrizio "Pat" Solitano, Jr., who is released from a psychiatric hospital and moves back in with his parents. He tries to reconcile with his wife, until he meets and falls in love with a young widow, Tiffany Maxwell. It received awards and nominations in a variety of categories, and has received a total of 47 awards from 91 nominations.
List of video games in the Museum of Modern Art(nominated by Maplestrip) The Museum of Modern Art has selected a number of video games for its permanent Architecture and Design Collection. There were initially fourteen games in the collection, which now contains twenty-one game and a game console. Most games in the collection are playable on some level, and all are displayed in a manner to minimize the influence of nostalgia.
List of works by W. E. Johns(nominated by SchroCat) W.E. Johns (1893–1968) was an English writer and journalist. He wrote over 150 books and was, after Enid Blyton, "the most prolific and popular children's writer of his time". Most of Johns' work consists of the stories of Biggles. He also wrote science fiction stories and two further series of war stories (featuring the characters Worrals and Gimlet).
The 65th Academy Awards(nominated by Birdienest81) ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honored films released in 1992 in the United States and took place on March 29, 1993, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. During the ceremony Oscars in 23 categories were presented.
List of Arsenal F.C. records and statistics(nominated by Lemonade51) Arsenal F.C. is an English professional association football club based in Holloway, London. The list encompasses the major honours won by Arsenal, records set by the club, their managers and their players. Arsenal have won 13 top-flight titles, and also hold the record for the most FA Cup wins, with 12. The club's record appearance maker is David O'Leary, who made 722 appearances between 1975 and 1993. Thierry Henry is Arsenal's record goalscorer, scoring 228 goals in total.
List of World Heritage Sites in Slovenia(nominated by Tone) The UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Slovenia succeeded the convention in 1992, and there are currently three sites in Slovenia inscribed on the list and five sites on the tentative list.
List of international goals scored by David Healy(nominated by The Rambling Man) David Healy is a retired association footballer, who represented the Northern Ireland national football team between 2000 and 2013. During his international career, he played 95 matches in which he scored 36 goals, becoming his country's top scorer. He is also the only Northern Ireland player to have scored two international hat-tricks.
List of accolades received by Blue Is the Warmest Colour(nominated by Cowlibob)Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by Abdellatif Kechiche. The screenplay, also co-written by Kechiche, was based on Julie Maroh's 2010 graphic novel of the same name. The film revolves around Adèle, a French teenager who discovers desire and freedom when a blue-haired aspiring painter enters her life. The film charts their relationship from Adele's high school years to her early adult life and career as a school teacher. It garnered awards and nominations in a variety of categories with particular praise for Kechiche's direction, and the performances of Exarchopoulos and Seydoux, winning a total of 51 awards from 100 nominations
On 22 November, a little under three months since it opened in late August, the Palestine–Israel articles 3 case has been closed. The case stemmed from a dispute in the topic-area of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict; allegations of copyright violation were the proximate cause, along with sockpuppetry investigations, various ethnicity-related personal attacks, and the resultant noticeboard threads. Peace in the Middle East has been a long-standing problem in the real world, where tensions run especially high, even in comparison to the normally higher tensions that accompany discussion of political and religious views. Wikipedia is not immune to outside tensions being imported into on-wiki disputes, unfortunately. The strength of the Five Pillars is often tested in this particular topic-area, especially neutrality and civility, as the prior two ArbCom cases indicate.
The specific portion of the remedy which permits discretionary-sanctions reverts of new editors and new usernames (those who have been editing for less than one month and/or have fewer than 500 edits) was first utilized in summer 2015 during the GamerGate case, another topic-area which also involves high tensions and sockpuppetry. The handling of both these cases have been mentioned during the ongoing ArbCom election process.
As we reported last week, there are 20 candidates in 2015, seeking to fill up to nine open seats on the Committee. The number of candidates is now at 20 after one editor announced their withdrawal from the election on 25 November. As the election must go on, on 23 November at 00:00 UTC, voting for the 2015 election began via Special:SecurePoll. Polls will remain open to eligible voters (currently unblocked usernames registered before 28 October with 150+ edits to mainspace before 1 November) through 6 December at 23:59 UTC.
To learn more about the candidates, review their campaign-statements, which link to their contributions and other information about them. Questions for candidates are ongoing, and will continue throughout the voting-period. In addition, there are now more voter-guides than there are candidates; written by individual wikipedians, these guides provide arb-candidate criteria, and often specific support/oppose advice (see table at right), for editors unfamiliar with ArbCom, or unfamiliar with specific candidates. At least a dozen other candidate-analysis pieces have been published on-wiki, plus a special report last week in the Signpost.
^The voter-guide by Ched was not included in this summary-table, since it gives no recommendations about specifically named candidates.
^This quasi-predictive information is calculated using the ArbCom election procedures, but applied solely to the unofficial advertised voter-guides listed here, rather than to all the votes cast by the ArbCom electorate. Specifically, the percentages used to rank each candiddate are the number of voter-guide supports, divided by the sum of the voter-guide supports plus the voter-guide opposes, eliding neutral and undecided voter-guides on a candidate-by-candidate basis. The percentages shown do have some rough predictive powers (the top three percentages are more likely to win spots out of of the nine seats available, than the bottom three percentages, for instance), but please note that publishing a voter-guide is not restricted in any fashion. Thus, these raw totals are gauged from a self-selected subset of wikipedians who happened to have high interest in the ArbCom elections, and therefore these 'pundits' will have an indeterminate correlation with the demographics of the actual electorate. Take these numbers with a large grain of salt. The Signpost thanks Ealdgyth for their work on an original chart that inspired this one.
^Minimum threshold for winning a seat on WP:ARBCOM is 50% thus the 'pundits' predict it is possible the 9th seat will be vacant.
^The markings for this user's guide are predictions of the likelihood of successfully being elected, which is very different from personal support/neutral/oppose information that most voter-guides provide.
^As the 10th-place choice, following the logic laid out in the strategy-section of this user's voter-guide, Callanecc would become a weak Y for seat#9.
The following content has been republished as-is from the Tech News weekly report.
Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.
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Changes this week
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You can join the next meeting with the Language Engineering team. The topic is: Content Translation updates and Questions & Answers. The meeting will be on 25 November at 13:00 (UTC). See how to join.
You can join the next meeting with the VisualEditor team. During the meeting, you can tell developers which bugs you think are the most important. The meeting will be on 24 November at 19:00 (UTC). See how to join.