Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-12-03/WikiProject report

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WikiProject Report: LGBT studies

By Arknascar44, 3 December, 2007

Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies is a WikiProject that aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to the study of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, or LGBT. It was initially created by Davodd (talk · contribs) on 23 April 2006. With 180 active members and 82 inactive members, it is one of Wikipedia's largest projects.

Interview with the project coordinator

We asked the LGBT project's coordinator, Dev920 (talk · contribs), some questions concerning the project:

What is the best way for users unfamiliar with LGBT topics or new to Wikipedia to get involved in the project?

Add oneself as a member to our list and the welcome message will provide a number of ideas for someone who would like to get involved but doesn't know where to start. We also have a special section on our main page, Tasks you can do to further help newbies. The Project talkpage has a constant stream of requests for help and assistance - responding to them is a quick and useful way of making your presence known to the rest of the group. We do have an habit of nominating helpful members for adminship, so working with us is a good move for one's Wikipedia career generally.

What are some of the departments in the project?

Generally, editors on Wikipedia just edit whatever articles they want within their sphere of interest, and come to WikiProject LGBT studies when they need help or wish to collaborate with other editors. To support our members and improve our coverage, we have several “departments”:
Assessment: Measures our progress in improving articles.
Collaboration: An article is chosen, currently once a month, for the entire WikiProject to improve.
Community: Produces a monthly newsletter which keeps everyone up to date, recruits new members and hosts our publicity materials. We also have a “quilt” in which any member can add a patch, containing quotes, images, or whatever they desire.
Jumpaclass: A original department of WP:LGBT which has since been copied by others, Jumpaclass is a semi-competition where editors can nominate articles and be awarded points on how much they can improve them in seven days. There is also a direct head to head option to encourage friendly competition.
Translation: An effort to end our bias against foreign LGBT articles, the translation department is an attempt to improve our cross-wiki communication. The department can currently cover over ten languages, including French, German, Swedish and Welsh.
Peer review: Possibly our greatest asset to Wikipedia, the peer review system exposes articles to closer scrutiny from a broader group of editors, and is intended for high-quality articles that have already undergone extensive work. It helps editors spot what they need to work on.

Are there any ongoing discussions pertaining to project issues or articles in the project's scope?

There is, as within the LGBT community generally, a perennial discussion over whether "Queer" should be added to our name, to support those who do not identify as LGBT. Recent debate has focussed on whether the intersex articles should be added to our remit. Much of our work also, sadly, has to focus on countering editors who refuse to add (referenced) LGBT-related material to BLPs - a typical example is the vast amount of resources consumed by James I of England, who was well known to have had affections for other men but whose article has been strictly limited to the barest details. Quite a few of the "Sexuality of..." articles have come about not because of excessive information but because editors have refused to put anything in the main article itself. Oh, and you can imagine what it was like when Albus Dumbledore got outed... Discussion related to this issue takes up a lot of our time.

What are some of the features of the project's website?

We have a chat room on it (but which has now been superseded by the IRC channel) and use it for storing copyrighted materials related to the project - mostly promotional posters. We do actually have an email address as well, wplgbt (at) gmail (dot) com, but I have yet to think of a use for it!

What are of of the project's most recent achievements?

November saw our anniversary of one year since we really got started as a project. We have created a number of FAs, such as But I'm a Cheerleader, with a few more going through now. Several of us, notably SatyrTN, have been working on a full, accurate list of Gay, lesbian and bisexual people - many of the lists that already exist are either unreferenced or hopelessly wishful thinking (George Clooney, for example, is regularly claimed to be gay). We have currently got six Featured Lists out of it and a seventh is currently nominated. We were also featured in SXNews, an Australian gay newspaper, for our work. At the moment we're considering how we can make the project even more active after the winter slump, so we can be ready to make our articles even better next year.




Also this week:

Gardner interview — Arbitration series — License compatibility — Staffing features — Software issues — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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