Wikipedia talk:The Wikipedia Library/Newsletter/October2013

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Looks great! Lots of great content!

Is this a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly newsletter? Liz Read! Talk! 22:23, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Liz! Going to try to put one out monthly. Feel free to contact me with any ideas for content. The Interior (Talk) 03:06, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Distribution ?[edit]


Unless I'm wrong, there was no distribution to those recipients. Suggestion : Ask User:EdwardsBot, since it can handle distribution outside the English Wikipedia (like what it does for Signpost : [1]).


Cantons-de-l'Est (talk) 21:09, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Cantons. We are going to do an EdwardsBot run this weekend. We are discussing whether it was appropriate to also spam all users who have received a database subscription from TWL - about 1500 accounts. But we will at minimum get the new issue out to the signed-up subscribers shortly. The Interior (Talk) 21:31, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

External media collections[edit]

I am glad that you highlighted the contribution of CERN and I think that this newsletter would be a great place to highlight other media donations. Thanks for that. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:39, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Blue Rasberry. Let me know about any more donations you hear about for the next issue. Best, The Interior (Talk) 00:32, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
User:BruceBlaus and his company Blausen Medical just made an awesome donation. See the gallery. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:14, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Recipient selection[edit]

Not to get all crotchety on you guys, and I'm pleased to see that your future newsletters for this project will be opt-in instead, but I wasn't really a fan of getting talk-page spam (and the accompanying orange bar and red dot) for something I didn't sign up for. It was mildly disturbing, in the "oh crap orange bar, what did I do?" way, and then quite confusing until I got to the part of the note that acknowledged that (although it addressed me as a member and I didn't remember joining it) I wasn't actually a member of the project but just someone who'd signed up for something else. I would encourage you, in future startup-projects, to avoid signing Wikipedians up for things they didn't explicitly sign themselves up for, even if it's a one-time thing. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:44, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Hey Fluffernutter. Ocaasi and I spent quite a bit of time deliberating about this delivery. We know it was a bit intrusive. The idea here is that, if you previously signed up for an database account through the library, you would want to know about renewals and new accounts (which is one of the purposes of the newsletter). We probably shouldn't have used "member" - I guess in library parlance, a patron? The library doesn't have a proper member list like most WikiProjects, so we used the sign-up lists as a proxy. It's a one-time annoyance so we could get a proper subscriber list, which has been steadily growing since we made the delivery. We will make sure not to send you anything else, and sorry for the oh crap moment. The Interior (Talk) 23:18, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


Beside HighBeam and Questia in the New subscription donations item on the talk-page announcement appears “Cochrane round 2”, but I don’t see it in the corresponding section here. Is that a proposal that fell through, or an accidental omission?—Odysseus1479 06:24, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

It's here: WP:COCHRANE, at the bottom. I'll add it to the newsletter, thanks Odysseus1479! Ocaasi t | c 11:28, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Subject guides - problematical[edit]

I think this proposal is a mistake. If a "subject" is narrowly defined (say, the subject of a specific article in Wikipedia, such as a U.S. president), then the subject guide should be part of the article ("Further reading" section), or posted to the article talk page. If it is more broadly defined (say, "U.S. presidency", or "geology"), then there will be literally thousands of possible items in the subject guide.

Or, to put it differently, either subject guides are intended for one or a few specific articles, in which case the goal would be to create (literally) millions of these, or they are intended for broad categories of articles, in which case the overall number of guides is more manageable, but the usefulness for any particular article within the category is going to be fairly minimal.

To be more constructive: an annotated guide to what are the best periodicals (say, the top 20) within a topic (for example, geology, or military history) could be quite valuable. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:04, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

John, thanks for the feedback. I've been thinking about this a lot, and you're right that if a subject guide project is poorly organized (resulting in overly narrow or overly broad guides), it will be a lot of effort for little utility. However, I think there is a mid-level where subject guides would be very useful. Let's use my favourite subject area as an example - Canadian geography. Over the course of working on articles in this area, I've come across certain sources/databases that are useful for a wide range of articles. Sharing these sources would result in less duplicated research effort for other editors working in the area, and would help new editors to jump right into the reliable sources instead of struggling with what a simple Google search gives them. I agree that specific sources on specific topics are better suited to the further reading sections of their respective articles, and this could be part of the effort - i.e. curating resource list items downward to the articles if they aren't useful to a wide range of articles within the topic. The other aspect of this project that I find attractive is that we have a class of professionals (librarians) who make these guides on a regular basis as part of their work. While these people might not want to engage with Wikipedia in an article-writing capacity, this project would be a place for them to donate their expertise. Anyways, this idea is in its infancy, and you're right that it needs to be worked out more to avoid editor time being used unproductively. The Interior (Talk) 17:43, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
And a list of good serials for each topic (and where one can find them) would be invaluable ... The Interior (Talk) 17:45, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

A little late to the party[edit]

George Mason University is mostly in Fairfax, Virginia, not Washington DC, though they have a few scattered campuses, like law, elsewhere. Not sure about DC though.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:08, 13 November 2013 (UTC)