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Calling all scientists!; More Wikipedia editors in the Netherlands than all of Africa combined

Dame Wendy Hall at the Wikipedia Science Conference

Nature covers the recent Wikipedia Science Conference in London, part of Wikipedia's outreach to scientists and efforts to "bridge the gap between the online encyclopaedia and the research community".

Discussing the reasons why such outreach is necessary, Martin Poulter, an organizer of the conference, told Nature:

Poulter added that there was a "cultural barrier" militating against stronger involvement from scientists, who may feel they have too little time to get into the lengthy discussions that sometimes occur around Wikipedia edits. Poulter said, "There have to be changes from both sides. That’s what we’re discussing."

The conference, which took place September 2–3, brought Wikipedians together with academics and publishers new to Wikipedia editing. (Sept. 7) T

More Wikipedia editors in the Netherlands than all of Africa combined

Vice reports on a paper published by researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) which comes to the conclusion that "the relative democratisation of the Internet has not brought about a concurrent democratisation of voice and participation".

By geolocating both edits and editors across the various language versions of Wikipedia, the researchers found that editors from North America played a disproportionate role in creating both Wikipedia content about their own culture and content about other cultures. Five countries – the US, the UK, Germany, France and Italy – were responsible for 45 percent of all Wikipedia edits, and there were "more Wikipedia editors from The Netherlands than all of Africa combined". And when editors from low-income countries did participate, they tended to write about global rather than local topics.

Mark Graham, an associate professor at the OII and one of the authors of the paper, suggested that despite awareness of this issue within Wikipedia and laudable efforts such as the global outreach team, Wikipedia "is not inherently democratising knowledge" – its own rules reinforce rather than subvert the status quo:

Remedial efforts therefore needed to focus on the development of cultural and educational infrastructure in the countries concerned, Graham argued; internet technology alone was no quick fix in levelling the playing field. (Sept. 8) AK

(Sept. 6) G
Cuauhtémoc Blanco
(Sept. 4) G
(Sept. 4) G
(Sept. 4) AK
The Google Knowledge Graph
(Sept. 3) AK

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==Paid editing rules misrepresented==

Peteforsyth wrote a worthwhile critique of the Financial Times piece: "Wikipedia cofounder misrepresents the site’s rules on paid editing". Jimmy Wales responded on Facebook. Andreas JN466 15:43, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • The source says at the bottom that its a blog and that's not really reliable. Also, I think theres been enough coverage of the Orangemoody stuff. Thanks though Tortle (talk) 22:23, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • I wasn't suggesting we include it in the ITM piece itself. It's useful and informed commentary though, and an interesting perspective on the spin that goes on around this topic, and the differences between public perception and reality on the ground. Andreas JN466 14:05, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

There is no decline in referrals from Google

I should note that my team's analysis group did some analysis of referrer traffic and produced this report. We found that referrals from Google have been increasing in the past few months. I'm unsure what data these news pieces on the decline of traffic from Google to Wikipedia are using, but it would appear to be incorrect. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 20:06, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

See for further discussion of the claims and counterclaims. Andreas JN466 14:14, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
See also – according to the top chart on that page, unique visitors peaked in November 2013 at 532.7 million and had fallen to 374.8 million by June 2015 (the most recent month for which there are data at the time of writing). While this is only indirectly related to the question of Google referrals, there has been a massive drop in unique visitors according to that graph (around 30%). You have to go back to August 2010 to find a lower value. Andreas JN466 14:23, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, although as that graph notes, those counters do not include mobile uniques. So it's impossible to say from that data whether this is a drop in unique visitors, or whether it's that fewer people are accessing Wikipedia through desktop computers and instead switching to mobile devices exclusively. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:26, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the clarification, Dan. Andreas JN466 14:03, 14 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Cite required

"the reason why they're not embracing the recent call to action"

Having been in "the sciences world" for some time now, I'd like to posit the real reason is that scientists, generally, don't like to write. Oh sure, a peer reviewed paper written in completely dense prose is a requirement of the job, but a clear explanation of a topic is something they find little time to do for their own students, let alone anyone else. I'm certainly not the first to say this, I recall articles in Discover! complaining about this in the 1980s, but it seems there's more than enough excuses to go around and this is just the latest one.

Maury Markowitz (talk) 20:21, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

This is why we need more science communicators. Gamaliel (talk) 14:10, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
As the volunteer who convened the conference, and the person to whom these opinions are attributed, I am frankly confused by this quote. What recent call to action is being referred to? I certainly have not offered an opinion on why scientsts "are not embracing the recent call to action" because I don't even know what that means. In context, I was encouraging researchers to contribute to Wikipedia and saying that Wikipedia's open & transparent way of working should be more widely adopted in science. In the course of that I mentioned misconceptions researchers have about Wikipedia. The presentation here in the Signpost looks like I'm endorsing the misconceptions. There's no attempt to describe what the Conference was. It's a very strange item. User:Gamaliel: I'm happy to report that the conference audience included science communicators and publishers as well as scientists. MartinPoulter (talk) 13:45, 13 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
All the more interesting... Maury Markowitz (talk) 21:52, 13 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Looking at the article and our contributor's summary of it, I understand what you're saying, Martin. As Gamaliel appears to be busy, I've largely rewritten it. [1] Hope this helps, and apologies. Andreas JN466 13:27, 14 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
You have my apologies as well. Real life has been keeping me busy of late, so I did not have a chance to go over the work of our enthusiastic new contributor as well as I should have. Thanks to Jayen466 for fixing this matter. Gamaliel (talk) 14:01, 14 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I'm pleasantly surprised by this and am happy with the Andreas' replacement summary. Thanks User:Jayen466 and User:Gamaliel. MartinPoulter (talk) 22:26, 14 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
An article about Mr. Gonzalez had been in Draftspace since 30 April; it was moved to mainspace on 14 September. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:00, 16 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]


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