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A suggestive suggestion

Hey all, I was wondering if some technical genius could make it so that when we mouse over a link we get a brief summary of the link item. It'd also be nice if they could make that an option that could be triggered on or off for those who don't want to use it.

Thanks a lot!

I second this!!!, First would need to be defined, and I think this should be done overall to all wiki pages to accommodate this! ..there could be a tag that would relate to a "synopsis" that could be anywhere in the page,

 there could be a requirement for the first "so many" characters contained in the article to be the "synopsis" and be appropriately tagged...

Oh, this would be so cool to cruise through an article with the most pertinent information ie. "synopsis" hovering over the embedded link!!

We could get SMARTER FASTER!

we can change the world*


I want to make wikipedia available for totally paralized people. U have random article button. I am not a programmer, but maybe u can do or connect me with man that can.

I want him make voice recognition for 1 signal and 2 signals that invalid gives with something from his mouth.

When wikipedia hears 1 signal it scrolls down page. When wikipedia hears 2 signals it moves to next random article.

Can we do this?

Or, please, give me email of those who can help*

UCSF news

Not sure if this got covered –!

Picked up in Monday 9/30's NY Times: (talk) 13:29, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Also in The Atlantic [1] Ocaasi t | c 11:45, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Jobs, week of 30/9

WMF jobs this week

Haven't noticed anything in terms of WiR or Chapter jobs this week; the Royal Society job is still open but closes Friday, when I think you'll be publishing. The Wikidata post from last week is still recruiting. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:26, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Latest example of a politician getting into trouble for copying and pasting Wikipedia content – Mr Doszpot is a "backbench" member of the opposition Liberal Party in the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. Nick-D (talk) 12:06, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Quarterly policy update

... is done. – Dank (push to talk) 17:31, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia Labs problem

Whilst logging in one day last week, I received this message.

Surely this needs to be mentioned and I can't seem to find it in the current issue. Simply south...... cooking letters for just 7 years 17:00, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Top item in this week's News and notes "In brief". the wub "?!" 17:07, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia worth "tens of billions of dollars"

See this article from Smithsonian, based in turn on this paper. Dcoetzee 23:35, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

The Register article on spending of donations

Provocatively titled "Wikipedia Foundation exec: Yes, we've been wasting your money". Based on quotes from Sue Gardner. Dcoetzee 19:24, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Now in Mashable too: [2]. Dcoetzee 05:18, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
The article criticizes the German chapter for photographing politicians... that seems like a great project to me, and has resulted in quality, valuable, useable content. --99of9 (talk) 05:53, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales on TED Radio Hour

See "Why Does Wikipedia Work". Dcoetzee 00:14, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

CHE on Edit-a-thon at Brown U

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article on the forthcoming (Oct. 15) edit-a-thon at Brown University devoted to women in science. From a meta point of view, it seems that CHE is taking an increasingly positive view to WP, despite the inevitable negative comments such columns elicit. – kosboot (talk) 20:06, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

METRO's Propose-a-Wikipedia-Article

OR drohowa, the Wikipedian-in-Residence at METRO (Metropolitan New York Library Council) is offering to write articles for institutions in the greater New York area. Perhaps this merits only an "In Brief" mention with a follow-up larger article and/or interview once the articles are written. – kosboot (talk) 18:59, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Kosboot—included! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:38, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Worth including?

Obviously, I am biased here, since the article is somewhat about me and my work. But, I thought I would share just in case it makes a good meetup/WLL/in the news blurb. Up to the editors! Thanks much. --Another Believer (Talk) 18:05, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Independently, Jayen466 included in in this week's NAN. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:38, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Syria running WLM

Syria has participated in Wiki Loves Monuments competition for this year, making the 37th rank out of 52 countries with over 1,500 photos. I think it's quite interesting because of the current situation in the country. I can help with providing the material and information, as well as connecting you with some of the local organizers --aad_Dira (talk) 01:54, 15 October 2013 (UTC).

@عباد ديرانية: Thanks for posting! I'm interested in writing a feature story on this for next week. You'll have an email shortly. Regards, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:41, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

CERN releases its photos under CC-BY-SA, explicitly mentioning Wikipedia

From this page on the CERN site: "CERN releases photos under a Creative Commons licence". They explicitly mention Wikipedia as something that would benefit, referring to the Higgs boson article.--A bit iffy (talk) 16:35, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Excellent news, thanks for sharing that! -Pete (talk) 16:49, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, included! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:38, 19 October 2013 (UTC)


A wikipedia controversy in the news again: IS THE PR INDUSTRY BUYING INFLUENCE OVER WIKIPEDIA? bobrayner (talk) 18:08, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Bob, we were waiting to use it as a main story; that's why publishing was late. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:38, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Its now reached the BBC too: here. Miyagawa (talk) 18:27, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

years owning stuff

a small thing but worth mentioning (to me anyway) years cannot own anything it is not his or hers so 1840's should be written as 1840s ([1]). useful mag and a good read honest! Edmund Patrick confer 08:02, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Edmund, User:Tony1 will love this. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:38, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia CEO criticises funds dissemination

Worth a Signpost story? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:25, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

We already did a feature on it two weeks ago. ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:38, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Loves Libraries 2013

WLL has certainly grown not just by numbers but also by the range of participating institutions. I know several events have already been announced but I wonder if anyone is going to do a country-wide review of WLL, not just the facts/figures, but even finding out the lessons learned and how the movement is progressing and what's its overall effect on WP. -- kosboot (talk) 23:45, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Wall Street Journal on paid editing

Please see Wikipedia Probes Suspicious Promotional Articles, Oct 21, 2013. I know it's owned by Rupert Murdoch, but it still has a pretty good reputation. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:56, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

The Decline of Wikipedia

MIT Technology Review's featured story this issue is on "The Decline of Wikipedia". The themes are familiar: community is shrinking, newbies have a poor experience, systemic bias due to demographics, the role of the Visual Editor, but it's intriguing to me to see a detailed article on these topics laid out before the general public. Dcoetzee 20:27, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Nice article even though I didn't entirely agree with all of its points of view. The third user comment I thought was very good, pointing out that all organizations face the same maturation issues. I don't worry when people lament that they don't want to edit WP anymore. There are so many articles that one can not edit casually anymore but must really be well-read in the literature of a topic to be able to create or edit an article on it. I wish the Signpost mention of this article could propose a new WikiProject, like "The Future of Wikipedia" or something like that. -- kosboot (talk) 20:56, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
+1. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 00:01, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Commented on in a TIME blog: [3]. Dcoetzee 02:05, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Blog critiquing Wikipedia

Just thought I'd alert you to this new blog, Bad Science, which critiques some of poorly written science articles on Wikipedia. They go into a very detailed dissection of articles which really leads to larger questions of how articles are pieced together from an assortment of sources, how there is original research even just interpreting those references and the wisdom of having a Good Article review from individuals who have no knowledge of the subjects they are reviewing. Liz Read! Talk! 16:21, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

How one PR firm handles Wikipedia editing

Interesting blog post:

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 04:10, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

"The practice of helping outside organizations communicate with the Wikipedia community for the purpose of improving aspects of coverage is a legitimate enterprise." That one statement reveals the deception and dishonesty that such companies thrive upon. And it's not just intentional deception: they are unable to tell right from wrong and believe there is no need too, and thus have no moral standards. Wikipedians ought to be writing articles on these companies in such a way as to highlight their grave dishonesty. -- kosboot (talk) 12:19, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Phooey! WP can't be relied on to keep articles on any institution balanced and up to date, nor to handle very well comments on talk pages etc pointing this out, & there is nothing wrong per se with the activity they describe, although of course there are plenty of potential pitfalls. Johnbod (talk) 12:52, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for nominating it, John Broughton. If the post is selected for inclusion in Signpost, it should definitely carry a note that it was written for a corporate blog—the tone is rather different than if I'd written it for this publication specifically. Best, WWB (talk) 13:50, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
No worries, WWB—we don't republish articles from elsewhere (it sets a bad precedent!), and in any case we'd ask first. :-) Nominations here are typically included under "In brief" in News and notes.Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:37, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Gotcha. I'm willing to write something original if you'd be interested. (Or even release this under Creative Commons, if you're open to it.) Best, WWB (talk) 03:37, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Australian cabinet minister citing Wikipedia, and being roundly criticised as a result

The Federal (national) Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt has cited Wikipedia's article Bushfires in Australia as being evidence for the government's argument that the unseasonal major bushfires around Sydney aren't linked with climate change, despite experts stating that there is a link: [4] [5] [6]. This lead to Hunt's Wikipedia page being vandalised until it was protected: [7]. Nick-D (talk) 06:52, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Yep, this is being covered in "In the media". Tony (talk) 12:04, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

FDC, $6 million, etc.

I clicked on the banner that says "Help the [FDC] decide how to spend US $6 million in Wikimedia donations". It goes to m:FDC portal/Proposals/Community/Review. I looked at the list of chapter requests (four or five of them), and all I saw were substantial increases. Could we make a tally of those total amounts and percent changes to put in the Signpost? Does the FDC have to spend all the $6 million? What would make them not spend all the $6 million on these requests? Maybe the Signpost could offer some clarity on this, if it hasn't already. Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 08:53, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Biosthmors, Ed is unavailable right at the moment. Thanks for raising this—your interest and that of the movement in general is much appreciated. The Signpost covered this a few weeks ago; see in particular the para starting "Katy Love", and there's a link to the vid of the session. We're also covering related material in the edition about to be published. Tony (talk) 12:03, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing to that paragraph. This is "a very interesting process" indeed. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 13:27, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I asked about this on meta here. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 12:18, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikidata's first birthday was October 29th

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know that Wikidata turned one yesterday. There was a special page, Wikidata:First Birthday, set up for the celebration. I don't see any news coverage of the birthday though. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:19, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

New admins

Hi, not sure if you already do this; or it has already been rejected, but could you do interviews with each new admin? Just a thought, keep up the good work. Thanks, Matty.007 08:10, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Rachel Maddow: Rand Paul plagiarized Wikipedia

"The Kentucky senator used the plot of Gattaca--a dystopian world in which eugenics is widely practiced-- to attack pro-choice advocates. Even more bizarre than his choice of metaphor are the similarities between Paul's speech and the Wikipedia page for Gattaca."

-- Powers T 12:24, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Paul later claimed he didn't plagiarize because he gave full credit to the screenwriter of Gattaca. Powers T 23:32, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

WEF takeover

The WP:Wiki Education Foundation will take over from the WMF the operations of the U.S. and Canada Education Program as of Nov. 1 with their first employee. Discussion is under way for the job descriptions of the two proposed employees. There has been no hire for the Executive Director position yet. There is fairly robust discussion at the WP:Education noticeboard about all of this, and what the community might do about it. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 17:09, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

That's been pushed back to ~mid-November... O this silly education program... Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 09:12, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Closing the Bounty Board and Reward Board?

The Bounty board, which has existed since October 2005, and the Reward board, which has existed since April 2006, are now being proposed to be closed (marked "Historical"). Whether or not the MfDs (Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Bounty board (2nd nomination) and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Reward board (2nd nomination)) are still open when the Signpost goes to print, this seems worth noting, particularly since the consensus seems to be to close both boards. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:39, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, included! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:53, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Free online access to sources

I don't believe this has been mentioned in the Signpost (if it had, I think a lot more editors would have signed up):

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:44, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2013-10-16/News_and_notes#In brief :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:10, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Some quick short notes - hopefully in time for N&N

Andrew, you should come on board to do in briefs for us. :-) WLM we'll save until the winner is announced, and we'll cover the stub contest when more details are hashed out. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:53, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

“The Distorted Mirror of Wikipedia: a Quantitative Analysis of Wikipedia Coverage of Academics”

New Article: “The Distorted Mirror of Wikipedia: a Quantitative Analysis of Wikipedia Coverage of Academics” in Library Journal. -- kosboot (talk) 14:42, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Just a comment: Lately I've heard from a number of people who tried to write biographical articles on people in their field, and because they were new to WP, their articles were deleted. I think this is habit is strongly related to the content of the article. I wish that WP editors would be more flexible in regarding what is and isn't notable, and generally defer to people who really know the field of the article's subject. -- kosboot (talk) 14:56, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Good find! Certainly deserves coverage. The Thompson Reuters list of important researchers they refer to has been publicly available since 2010 - here. We should be using this to assess notability (anyone on it should be inherently notable) and create a want list to fill gaps. It's a pity they don't list their sample of 400 bios. I note all the same are alive, & at least it's good for once to see a paper essentially on BLP issues that doersn't concern itself with the usual accuracy/libel issues. The conclusions in a nutshell are that we are not covering about half of the people we should, and instead covering people we should not. Obviously a lot of bios will be influenced by weak COI or other relationship with the article creator (my prof/head of dept etc) and I imagine our notability assessment is too relaxed and too stringent in different cases. Johnbod (talk) 15:27, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
The abstract mentions Thomson Reuters list of "highly cited researchers". Can we add this list to WP:Missing? bd2412 T 15:40, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
We certainly should - link in my post above - but someone needs to go through it for those still missing. Johnbod (talk) 15:48, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Would we be in danger of running afoul of any copyrights by copying the list? bd2412 T 16:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't think a mere list is copyrightable - but you might want to ask permission anyway. -- kosboot (talk) 16:17, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
From the US Copyright office, this is not copyrightable: "works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources)" - see page 3 of Copyright Basics -- kosboot (talk) 16:26, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I very much doubt the list would meet that definition - in fact I'm sure it wouldn't, as it certainly has "original authorship" in selection, and has been used commercially - but a list compliled by us of people without articles who are on that list should be ok - afaik we have never had trouble with comparable "missing" lists. They say "This highly cited research was identified by the Thomson Reuters team between 2000 and 2008 based on analysis of papers covered in Web of Science from 1981-2008. Please see our About the List section for more details on the methodology and selection process." That certainly represents authorship. Johnbod (talk) 16:48, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I have created Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/Thompson-Reuters most cited scientists, with the first 34 missing names. Out of over 6,000, this short a selection should not raise any concerns. I will add more as entries are removed from this list. bd2412 T 23:35, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, but this paper is actually already covered in the current issue. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Wiki-PR and admins

"French says that the firm employs Admins, or high-ranking Wikipedia officers capable of locking pages from being edited, deleting them outright and also banning users and IP addresses from Wikipedia entirely. The site has 1,424 administrators in total, and French calls them an “invaluable resource.”

"According to French, Wiki-PR is in talks with the Wikimedia Foundation to address the complaints and the ban on the firms accounts. Business, he says, is on the uptick since Wiki-PR started appearing in the press."

International Business Times, Wikipedia’s Paid Edits: How To Make Money, The WikiWay, by Thomas Halleck, November 02 2013

French is Wiki-PR’s CEO Jordan French.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:35, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm getting "Access denied" when I try to read that article. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 05:28, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
It was taken down and now has been put up again - it doesn't look like it's changed much, but there is a TED/Wiki comedy video attached. Great idea, but I didn't think it was really very funny. See and for a better link to the video, Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:05, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
BTW, the video is by Nimrod Nimmy Kamer who not only has his own Wikipedia article (which passed AfD), but also 41 hits on Google. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:14, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


Rand Paul now has a "Wikipedia-Gate" problem, which may be the first time this word has been used. See "Rand Paul’s Wikipedia-Gate Gets Serious and Maddow Gets the Last Laugh" at [8]. I know it was covered last week, but if this was the first time "Wikipedia-Gate" was used it should be noted - it's likely not the last time it will be used. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:06, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

After 10 minutes of quick and dirty googling I found one previous reference (sort of) on a discussion board, related to the editing following Sarah Palin's nomination to the Republican VP slot, and another to Wiki-gate [9] from a PR firm. And something related to global warming on a blog (in the headline only) [10]. There are a couple more related to Rand Paul now, but these might just be mirrors of the original story. Not enough for a Wikipedia article - no we don't have one. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:25, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

This page is in desperate need of archiving

The oldest threads on this page are from six months ago, and this page is way, way too long (it's impacting loading times). I'd do it myself, but I haven't been part of the Signpost in a long time and I don't know if there's a reason for having the threads go so far back or not. Sven Manguard Wha? 20:21, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

 Done -- John Broughton (♫♫) 05:37, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I can load the page now! Sven Manguard Wha? 19:29, 6 November 2013 (UTC) petition on Wikipedia Zero

Some students from South Africa started a petition asking for Wikipedia Zero to be offered in South Africa. See this village pump thread for the URL. Sven Manguard Wha? 19:29, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

That's been covered here, it's located in the third bullet point in the "In Brief" section. Acalycine talk 07:10, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
And this week again. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Public Domain Day 2014

There was a little discussion among several of us last year, with me hoping for a big article concerning Public Domain Day. Now that Public Domain Day 2014 is coming up (Jan. 1, 2014--the day in which unpublished material by authors who died in 1943 goes into the public domain), I'm hoping there could be an article celebrating this - especially since it'll come 2 weeks before the anniversary of Aaron Swarz's death. -- kosboot (talk) 17:31, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Kosboot, I'm frightfully late in getting back to you. I'd love to work with you on an article on this, especially if we could tailor it towards Wikipedia by highlighting the troubles of our content contributors in finding copyright-free media for their articles. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Remember folks, for English Wikipedia, Public Domain Day 2014 has almost no practical effect on the project, due to the URAA. Let me spell this out.
  • No foreign work whose copyright was restored by the URAA in the US will fall out of copyright until 2019 (which is 95 years after 1923).
  • English Wikipedia is permitted to host any work which is in the public domain in the US, even if it is not in the public domain elsewhere; hence any work published before 1923 can be uploaded here regardless of when its author died. On Public Domain Day, some of these works can be transferred to Commons, which will make them accessible to other projects that forbid local uploads.
No works will enter the public domain in the US until 2019, so for En all that Public Domain Day really means is more work transferring files to Commons. Dcoetzee 22:18, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Correction: no PUBLISHED works. In general, unpublished works whose authors died in 1943 enter the US public domain on January 1, 2014. And that also means that we're only 5 years away from 2019, when works published in 1923 finally enter the public domain. -- kosboot (talk) 23:11, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Unless, of course, US copyright laws are changed beforehand. Mindmatrix 01:30, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Wishful thinking, really, given the amount of money that companies like Disney will be raising to increase the copyright term length, much less decrease it. Even if it doesn't have a large practical effect, this is a topic that I'd like to do simply because we can focus it on content contributors, a category that we sometimes lose in the entertainment of WMF–chapter politics (etc). Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:52, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I guess my statement was rather ambiguous; I had actually intended it to mean that copyright terms would be lengthened, so that no published works would become PD in 2019. Mindmatrix 03:02, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
BINGO. I think the public is generally somewhat more educated about copyright than it was in 1998 (and many institutions are making them aware of it by refusing to reproduce things without copyright permission). If companies try to buy Congress again (as they did prior to 1998), there could be a public uproar. Even the current Register of Copyrights has publicly suggested that the term of copyright protection is too long and may be impeding productivity. For these reasons I think it's crucially important for institutions (especially WP) to promote Public Domain Day to keep the issue at the forefront of the public and warn what may happen if they don't care. -- kosboot (talk) 03:14, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
My mistake, this is correct. However most unpublished works are not accessible or known to us (since we generally only find out about things after they're published). If we can track down some useful unpublished works and get them uploaded that would be great - just be sure not to upload them prematurely as that might qualify as publication in itself. Dcoetzee 21:12, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Successful Strategies For Teaching Undergraduate Research

Library Journal has a book review of Successful Strategies For Teaching Undergraduate Research. It's mostly an examination of just two of the chapters talking about how teachers engaged the students with Wikipedia. Their work is not new; in fact it appears to be a foundation for WMF's education program (in the process of being spun off). (One author writes about how WMF approached them to expand their work.) But it's nice to have documented efforts at teaching WP in book (i.e. more established) form rather than hard-to-find articles or PowerPoint presentations. -- kosboot (talk) 01:37, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

I left this out, as I assume recent research will cover it. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikiproject DNB

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Dictionary of National Biography: "With the completion of the articles from the 1912 supplement, that's all the DNB articles that are public domain on Wikisource. And now for the first time we get a realistic picture of progress: out of 30,687 articles, 8,377 remain to be matched with a Wikipedia article. That's just over 72% done." (talk) 17:58, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, we may do a story on this, depending on the news cycle. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

"Credibility of Wikipedia may be at stake" — Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra, in a Huffington Post article, has declared that the "credibility of Wikipedia may be at stake", referring to edits of the article on Rupert Sheldrake by "militant skeptics" as he terms them. Some commentary by David Gorski.--A bit iffy (talk) 00:14, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

We were credible? -mattbuck (Talk) 10:49, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Two things: 1) On the basis of one article, Chopra draws conclusions about all of WP; 2) perhaps he's using WP as an example because he knows he won't have to respond to anyone as well-known as him - a case of deliberate manipulation, which is the basis of his reputation. -- kosboot (talk) 12:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Commentary from Steven Novella, another prominent skeptic, here.--A bit iffy (talk) 02:01, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Unless ITM gets an edition together for next week and decides to cover Chopra's, ah, interesting conclusions, I don't think we'll be covering this. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Unmask Wikipedia sock puppets by the way they write

Unmask Wikipedia sock puppets by the way they write in New Scientist.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:42, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

As there is room for improvement on the Sockpuppet Detection Tool, we could ask the NSA to release its version into commons, or make our own keystroke dynamics addon to this tool with real time continuous authentication by analysis of keyboard typing characteristics[11].
Hey Smallbones, thanks for the link. I'll need a little time to digest the study, but we may do something with it next week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
This is mainly based on the authors' previous paper, which we reviewed in the June Recent Research section/Wikimedia Research Newsletter. In the new preprint, they applied the same method to a larger dataset, and slightly improved the sockpuppet detection accuracy (F-measure) from 72% to 73%. They are also making their dataset (drawn from past WP:SPI cases) freely available[12], which could help foster research by others. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 05:36, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Ah, you've already covered it. Thanks for commenting, Tilman! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:17, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
We'd really need something much more accurate than 75% before we could safely deploy it. Much better in my view to re-examine our rules about privacy and IP addresses. Currently we treat business IP addresses with the same privacy concern as we do individual vandals. But there is no good reason for that. Vandals are mostly children and should be treated as such, spammers are mostly adults working for businesses and they deserve less protection from their own mistakes than individuals let alone children. If we adopted a policy that IP addresses of spammers were made available for spamfighting purposes then it would help turn the tables on the spammers. ϢereSpielChequers 11:59, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Second that. Johnbod (talk) 17:29, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Folks, I am a co-author of this paper and the other paper mentioned above. I should point out that the 75% accuracy is for decision only based on the public comments. We didn't include any IP address or other knowledge in our system, so if our tool is integrated with the IP address info, that will definitely serve as a definitive proof of sockpuppetry.

I will be happy to provide more info or clarifications about this study ... please feel free to send me a message. Regards. --Ragib (talk) 01:36, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Stub contest

Will be run over December 1st to 31st 2013. Major aim is to (1) make a dent in the huge number of stubs on wikipedia, and (2) make a dent in numbers of articles classified as stubs that have actually been expanded since someone tagged them. Come take a look and sign up. I was keen on running a contest that might have a broader appeal than the Core Contest, which might have scared off some potential editors. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:19, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Cas, this will be included this week! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

The Other Wiki Wars

New York (magazine) has an amusing summary of a handful of articles articles that have had edit warring. (Personal disclosure: I think NY Magazine is trash.) -- 02:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

If you ignore the bullshit editorial intro this is actually an interesting read, a nice brief summary of some interesting editing discussions on high profile articles. (The idea that these reflect the decline of Wikipedia is absurd, since such articles have always been contentious and been concerned with minutia, as Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars will show you.) Dcoetzee 22:23, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

With this change, users with higher-resolution screens no longer get a blurry "1×" logo on every page, but rather a 1.5× or 2× logo as appropriate. This is just a workaround for bug 35,337, which would eventually sharpen the logo on every wiki. MediaWiki already serves 1.5× and 2× versions of images embedded in articles, but the logo was the most prominent image not to get this treatment. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 07:42, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I had no idea that MediaWiki served higher res versions of images in articles on high res devices. In light of my work with high-res images on Commons, I am extremely excited to discover this. :-) I have updated commons:Commons:Why_we_need_high-resolution_media#Super-high_resolution_displays accordingly. Dcoetzee 20:54, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Voice Project gets BBC support

See Wikipedia:Voice intro project, Commons and - hahnchen 20:50, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Today - 26 July 2013". Today. 26 July 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2013-11-13. {{cite episode}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |transcripturl= (help); Unknown parameter |serieslink= ignored (|series-link= suggested) (help)

WMF cease-and-desist to Wiki-PR

See for details. -- The Anome (talk) 00:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Indeed, thank you for this. Ed had already tweeted about this, retweeted by the WSJ writer who's now published on it. Tony (talk) 02:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd consider it important to know, as of press time, whether Wiki-PR is still offering their services at where their "Page creation and editing" services state that they "abide by Wikipedia's rules and guidelines." I still haven't figured out how a banned firm can create articles and abide by our rules at the same time.
Similarly, WikiExperts has been community banned and continues to advertise its services at
"Our Wikipedia professionals write professional articles that meet both your guidelines and the stringent rules of Wikipedia," as well as promising to update articles and reverse unwanted changes.
Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:14, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Wiki-PR is currently banned by the community on the English language Wikipedia, but its website also offers Spanish and Portuguese versions. Am I correct in interpreting the WMF cease and decease letter as broadening the ban to all 1,000 or so WMF sites, and has anyone who speaks Spanish and Portuguese tipped off those communities to watch out for Wiki-PR and perhaps look for past editing by Wiki-PR. ϢereSpielChequers 06:36, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I performed a Google search restricted to es:, and found no mentions of Wiki-PR except on a few user talk pages for users that subscribed to the en: Signpost. In pt:, I've found two mentions: it's briefly mentioned in Wikipédia:Correio da Wikipédia/31-10-2013/Na imprensa, and an email conversation between a user and Wiki-PR is documented here. Mindmatrix 15:44, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
That's a very interesting point, WSC. Could it be that they haven't fully expanded to those sites yet, or have they just not found Wiki-PR editors yet? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:00, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
There is a range of possibilities, including various combinations from this being something they were trying to do all the way to there being whole nests of socks to be found. I'd suggest the role of Signpost is to simply announce the possibility, and perhaps raise the option that ES and PT checkusers might consider looking at the editors behind the Spanish and Portuguese language versions of some of the articles already involved. If Wiki-PR is operating in those languages there is a good chance that some of their clients have signed up for a two or three language service. ϢereSpielChequers 07:31, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm in contact with a Portuguese Wikipedian; the community there have a rather different opinion on paid editing that en.wp. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:26, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
You might check Jimbo's talk page for some further developments. Evidently, employees of the law firm hired by the WMF to send the C&D letter have themselves been editing their WP article and related topics to show themselves in a better light. Cla68 (talk) 05:27, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer, Cla. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:26, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

December GLAMout

Could you mention the next live GLAMout on Friday, Dec. 6 at 3 PM EST? -- kosboot (talk) 17:14, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Can do, thanks for the note. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

New noticeboard

Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents has begun. Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 16:14, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation found responsible for article content by German court

From PCWorld: "While Wikimedia does not have to check beforehand whether the contents of a Wikipedia article are true, it has a duty to check if somebody complains about the article, the court ruled. If someone complains about statements in an article, Wikimedia has to check them and if necessary remove the passages, the court said. [...] Wikimedia was ordered to delete the false passages." The article doesn't specify whether this applies only to German Wikipedia content or all WMF content. Dcoetzee 18:54, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Not even just the German Wikipedia/WMF sites—I'm curious as to what this means for Google, Youtube, and other similar companies! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
There are two interesting questions that come to mind (other than "Why does a website written by computer experts suffer from major design issues and consistent loading problems"). The first is "Who decides that content is wrong, and therefore must be removed?". As the article says "Wikimedia needs to start checking articles when factual contents are disputed but the court did not give any guidelines about how Wikimedia should do so". If it's the courts, there's going to be a rather large backlog of cases, massive legal fees for the WMF, and a severe chilling effect, as every fringe theorist and pseudoscience proponent goes to the courts to try and get their article changed. If it's not the courts that are making the decision, then this really has no impact, because as long as the foundation says "Oh yes, OTRS it taking care of it, they'll look into it", the issue becomes moot. The second question is "What does this mean for OTRS?". We (OTRS) tend to get quite a few angry emails by people that don't like what's been said about them in articles. A lot of petty vandalism gets fixed as a result of people writing in, by we also get people that are on the fringes of society and don't like that the article on them uses words like "controversial" or "widely disproved" or "pseudoscience", and want that phraseology to be removed, even when it's backed by lots of reliable sources. To these people, we have to explain the relevant policy, which does have a tendency to anger the people writing in (as they weren't looking for rational discourse, they were looking for someone to say "yes, I will change that immediately for you"). Some of these have gotten rather ugly. Does this German court ruling change the way OTRS has to handle these requests? Does it mean that OTRS, which can wind up having some rather embarrassing backlogs, will have to put a hard time limit on how long a ticket can go unanswered? How will the WMF make sure that tickets get answered in time? Interesting questions, all. Sven Manguard Wha? 07:01, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Ultimately, WMF can elect to ignore any ruling by a German court as having no sovereignty over them. It's then up to them to try to get their fines enforced by a U.S. court, which may find that it grossly offends U.S. notions of free speech. Unfortunately jurisdiction around websites remains complex and there have been a number of unfortunate rulings, with LICRA v. Yahoo! being one of the first and most notable. If anything, this case seems less favourable than LICRA, but we are in a different legal climate now. Dcoetzee 16:12, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

The decision, which cannot be appealed, is here (German).

Synopsis: the plaintiff H., a TV entrepreneur active in Austria, had contacted Wikimedia about his biography in the German Wikipedia. He demanded that four statements be removed:

  1. Austrian broadcast authorities had received a complaint that he had trivialized sex with children in a counseling conversation.
  2. Austrian broadcast authorities had received a complaint that he had shown the Nazi salute in a broadcast.
  3. He had massively influenced employees and submitted some of them to a brain washing, and his business was run akin to a sect.
  4. Investigations of his TV channel's call-in lottery games were prompted by incorrect statements about the number of callers and the winning odds.

All four statements were supported by references. Wikimedia did not react to the complaint, so H. sued. Wikimedia lost at trial and appealed. The appeals court now ruled that statements 1&2 must be removed from Wikipedia. They have since been removed.

The Wikipedia article correctly pointed out that H. had denied allegations 1&2 and that the investigations had ended without finding. The cited reference was a newspaper article contained in an online archive. H. never sued the newspaper about the archived article, an omission which Wikimedia used as an argument in the case. The court held that allegations 1&2 were factually untrue and that different standards apply to archived historical newspaper articles and to online biographies that are constantly being updated. If wrong allegations are repeated in such a biography, even if their wrongness is stated, then this can affect the personality rights of the subject and override the public's right to information. AxelBoldt (talk) 17:08, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

And why, exactly, are we still referring to this individual as "H"? The Wikipedia article would have had to have been edited, and that edit would have to be public (unless all of the edits involved, and the edits changing the article, were all oversighted or removed by the developers, both serious breeches in community expectations of transparency and an affront to the notion of a wiki). We should at least be aware of "H"'s name, both in order to monitor the article, and because the whole affair is itself noteworthy for inclusion in his article. Sven Manguard Wha? 18:16, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

The Foundation's lawyers just published a blog post about the ruling ("Recent press has misinterpreted the positive impact of this decision, with a number of writers incorrectly summarizing the decision"). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:18, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Two jobs in Africa

Call for two "Wikipedians in Community" (nice name) for projects in Cote d'Ivoire and Uganda: recruitment details; more on the Kumusha Takes Wiki project. Paid for one year; residence in the country in question required. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:03, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

DBpedia as Tables tool

For the Tech section: DBpedia came out with a blog post announcing their latest development: DBpedia as tables - meaning that one could load DBpedia (WP in data format) into a relational database and experiment with increasing its functionality. (To all those who still argue about infoboxes - note that the blog clearly states that a major portion of DBpedia is based on infoboxes. The blog post: -- kosboot (talk) 02:47, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Religious Conflict

Hello, I am speaking on behalf of users who believe that God should be above their username, due to religious beliefs. As anyone who would prefer this, should be able to enable that feature. Although not everyone believes it is necessary, there are some who would feel better with this option available. Also, it is important to some, that an option for talk page databases to be wiped out without taking away information, or putting lines of information at the top, there should be an option to do so at the bottom instead. Clearly this configuration of various users does not meet all of the standards that it should, and I would like to request this formally. I don't mind donating if necessary, to help these changes be implemented. If I could, the entire world wide web would adhere to the same standards for the many who believe this should be available. Twillisjr (talk) 21:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Can you name an encyclopedic work that does this for its authors? -- kosboot (talk) 22:21, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I think we have an article that answers your question Separation of church and encyclopedia, the reason why attributes of religion are not used in public area's like this, but you can use firefox replace to have this at home. Mion (talk) 22:44, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

2 articles

World’s largest study on Wikipedia: Better than it’s reputation [13], Helsinki Times had profs examine 134 articles in the Finnish Wikipedia, rated on 5 attributes. The main results are ok to good. And, yes, it does appear to be the world's largest study. Though it's not sophisticated university research, the methodology looks solid as far as it goes. I would have preferred a comparison to another source, e.g. "accuracy" doesn't mean much (to me), except as a relative term - Wikipedia is accurate compared to what? Every source has inaccuracies.

In the NYTimes, "As Online Ads Look More Like News Articles, F.T.C. Warns Against Deception" [14]. Pretty straightforward, but doesn't mention Wikipedia specifically. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:36, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Steve Cuozzo

As noted in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-08-25/In the news, Opinion columnist Steve Cuozzo panned Wikipedia's New York City coverage, pointing to mistakes in a number of articles. He just did it again on November 16, 2013 in his Don’t trust anything on Wikipedia article. As of December 10, 2013‎, Wikipedia now has a Steve Cuozzo biography article. -- Jreferee (talk) 17:30, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Advent Calendar

Someone has created an online advent calender with each day having unusual lists featured on Wikipedia.

Here is the link from The Guardian. Simply south...... eating lexicological sandwiches for just 7 years 00:18, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

The direct link: Kaldari (talk) 07:03, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Fallen Astronaut

Slate has a fascinating article on the sculpture Fallen Astronaut; it briefly mentions that some of the principals in the tale are not happy with the way it's presented on Wikipedia. Powers T 15:07, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Malagasy Wiktionary

According to, Malagasy Wiktionary has more than 2,999,000 entries, and English Wiktionary has more than 3,569,000 entries. When Malagasy Wiktionary reaches 3,000,000 entries, there can be an announcement that English Wiktionary is the only Wiktionary which has a larger number of entries.
Wavelength (talk) 17:03, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Jobs, week of 16/12

Wikipedians in Residence

Wikipedia in Residence with the Cochrane Collaboration - details here. Funded for six months/one year part time, no fixed location, scientific/medical background preferred. @Ocaasi: is coordinating it, I believe. Deadline January 17.

Jobs at Wikimedia

I'm not sure which of these we have and haven't mentioned before, but there's a lot currently open, including:

Apologies for letting this slide for a few weeks! Andrew Gray (talk) 21:15, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Adherents of some pseudosciences pledge to not donate

Some supporters of various alternative medicine practices (e.g., Energy medicine, Tapas Acupressure Technique) are petitioning Jimbo to "allow for true scientific discourse about holistic approaches to healing." They pledge to not contribute to fundraising appeals until that's done. Around 4,400 signatures to date.

Maybe combine with this Deepak Chopra thing in an "In brief" snippet?

--A bit iffy (talk) 19:21, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Ombudsman Commission applications

Hi. :) I wondered if the open application period for the Ombudsman Commission might be worth a mention in News & Notes. This was the text of the announcement posted on Wikimedia-L and Meta.



It's coming close to time for annual appointments of community members to serve on the Ombudsman commission. This commission works on all Wikimedia projects to investigate complaints about violations of the privacy policy, especially in use of CheckUser tools, and to mediate between the complaining party and the individual whose work is being investigated. They may also assist the General Counsel, the Executive Director or the Board of Trustees in investigations of these issues. For more on their duties and roles, see

This is a call for community members interested in volunteering for appointment to this commission. Commissioners should be experienced Wikimedians, active on any project, who have previously used the CheckUser tool OR who have the technical ability to understand the CheckUser tool and the willingness to learn it. They are expected to be able to engage neutrally in investigating these concerns and to know when to recuse when other roles and relationships may cause conflict. (In the past, commissioners have turned in other roles that could cause conflict.)

Commissioners are required to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation and must be willing to comply with the appropriate board policies (such as the access to non-public data policy and the privacy policy). This is a position that requires a high degree of discretion and trust.

If you are interested in serving on this commission, please drop me a note detailing your experience on the projects, your thoughts on the commission and what you hope to bring to the role. The commission is deliberately quite small, so slots are limited, but all applications are appreciated. The deadline for applications is January 1. Any timezone. :)

Please feel free to pass this invitation along to any users who you think may be interested.

Thank you!


This is an important commission to help protect user privacy. While the commission conducts its work in English, familiarity with multiple languages and projects is a major plus. Not a requirement. :) I understand that the workload is not heavy, but it requires a commitment for timely participation. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:16, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Most certainly, Maggie. Thanks for the post. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:50, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Affiliate, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

This is a really, really neat idea:

This is an unpaid, year-long, remote research position beginning March 1, 2014 and ending February 28, 2015 that entitles the affiliate to full library privileges at George Mason University, including proxied access to all online materials to which the GMU Libraries subscribe: more than 400 databases, thousands of scholarly journals and mainstream periodicals, and hundreds of ebooks. The position is designed to give research library access to a Wikipedia editor who does not currently have such access or who has only limited access to scholarly resources: the purpose of the position is to help improve Wikipedia’s reliability and accuracy by providing Wikipedia editors with access to the best scholarly information resources while providing a model for other universities to do likewise.
(...) During the affiliate year, the affiliate will conduct scholarly research using the library resources of George Mason University with the aim of significantly improving the accuracy and reliability at least 25 Wikipedia articles on historical topics, preferably articles within a particular historical scope (for example: modern Russian and Soviet history, U.S. Civil War history, the history of late imperial China).

...and that's it. The university provides access to resources, the Wikipedian writes a lot on a (historical) subject of their choosing and gives a report/talk at the end. Everyone wins :-). Applications open until 20 January. Andrew Gray (talk) 23:01, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Not only is this super cool, but it could be a model for other institutions. Could the Signpost find out a little more how this was set up? Was it one person's doing, or a group of people at GMU?
The partnership was conceived by Ocaasi, and Amanda French was instrumental in getting support at GMU. There is more info on this page, and more institutions are interested. The Interior (Talk) 20:40, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Coverage of Wikipedia in Indic languages

Coverage of Wikipedia in Indic languages. -Nizil (talk) 20:17, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

British Library "Mechanical Curator" image collection

Wild Turkey - Sportsman and Naturalist in Canada.jpeg, from the Mechanical Curator collection.

Looking for something worthwhile to do on Boxing Day, once you've finished all the mince pies?

A week ago, the British Library uploaded just over a million free images to Flickr, scanned from over 50,000 mostly nineteenth-century books. (BL blog post; news reports). There are some real gems in there -- here's a curated set of highlight images put together by the BL team, along with other sets, including 'Portraits', 'Maps', 'Christmas' and 'Science Fiction', found by the community, in addition to all of which the eponymous Mechanical Curator is posting a new random set of 100 images each Friday.

However, one initial issue with the collection is that so far it has been rather hard to search. The BL are hoping that people will eventually be able to crowd-tag it, but as of yet very few tags are in place right now; so at the moment it's quite hard to find images about a particular place or topic. (And certainly hard to find all of them).

And this is where we can come in. Commons now has a full list up of all the titles that were scanned, and is starting to work up a synoptic subject and place index to the book titles (though it's still at quite an early stage).

As a first step, the subject index has been been populated with a search for the word "history", for books with more than 15 images, and then the results organised geographically. This can produce quite a lot of hits, as shown by e.g the U.K. and Ireland page. But it's just the tip of the iceberg of what's still out there -- for most places and most topics there are still significantly better titles in the collection to be found than the ones so far included in the index.

So what would really make a difference -- what would open the doors to make this collection properly accessible -- would be any help that can be given to go through the list of books, either from the top or for particular keywords, and systematically build up this index.

Ultimately the value of these images is to be able to use them, and the wonderful thing is that they are all 100% public domain CC-0 free, so we are completely free to bring the images over to Commons and use them for any purpose we want. (See the project page on Commons for important details about how Commons would like images tagged if you do bring them over to put into articles, so we can keep the Commons pages in step with any information that gets added to their Flickr pages.)

Finally, it's worth noting that the BL is also making freely available the pdf files of the full scans of all the books in the collection, which can be accessed by hitting the 'more information' link in the panel on the right-hand side of any image. So if we can get this index in place and properly comprehensive, it will open the door not just to all the images, but also to over 50,000 volumes of public domain text content, that we can then freely re-use in whatever way we wish for articles. Jheald (talk) 18:15, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

(Cross-posting at WP:VP as well, I hope that's okay. Jheald (talk) 18:34, 22 December 2013 (UTC))

The Main Page Featured Portal drive was successfully completed.

This was a collaborative initiative created to get all portals linked from the top-right of the Main Page to Featured Portal quality status.

Thank you to all who participated or contributed towards this quality improvement effort in some way.

Happy Holidays,

Cirt (talk) 17:55, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Santa uses Wikipedia on sleigh ride

The NORAD Santa tracker used Wikipedia pages to inform the view public to allow them to read up on locations that Santa had delivered to. Might be worth a story. TomStar81 (Talk) 08:04, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Long running dispute on video at Commons resolved

See here Smallbones(smalltalk) 12:51, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

WikiSangamotsavam-2013 concludes

WikiSangamotsavam, the annual conference of Malayalam language Wikimedians, concluded in Alappuzha, Kerala on 23 December, 2013. The pre-conference events included Wiki-Cycling (a bicycle rally to educate the public about the importance of writing on Wikipedia), Wiki-Yuva Sangamam (a meetup of young Wikimedia volunteers), 'Alappuzha loves Wikimedia-photowalk' and an edit-a-thon to expand and create articles related to wetlands in Alappuzha. The 3-day conference had many talks, including those about privacy, digitization and 'Wikipedia for the differently-abled'. There was a meetup of differently-abled Wikimedians, and school-going Wikimedians during the first day of the conference. On the third day, a Wiki-Jalayathra was organized, where the participants got to have a boat ride during which pictures of the wetlands and lagoons of Alappuzha were taken. These will be shortly uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The inauguration of QR-pedia Alappuzha was conducted by the former minister of Kerala state. This project aims at installing QR codes at tourist places in Alappuzha that will take the viewer to the Wikipedia page about the place. I think this will make a good entry for the next edition of Signpost. -- Netha (talk) 16:31, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the post! We'll include a note in our "year in review" edition next week. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:26, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Newly created: Reader's guide to Wikipedia

As part of my initial efforts for a second (much expanded) edition of Wikipedia Reader's Guide: The Missing Manual (2008), I've created a new page, somewhat parallel to (but much smaller than) the Editor's guide to Wikipedia:

Both of these are Wikipedia pages, not personal pages, so anyone is welcome to improve them, of course. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:36, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

DBpedia now parsing infobox subtemplates

One for the tech news: DBpedia recently added support for a number of infobox subtemplates; see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Infoboxes#DBpedia now parsing infobox subtemplates. {{Ping}} me if you have questions. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:34, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Public Domain Day 2014

Hi Ed,

Apologies for being late - this might have been more appropriate for the previous issue. Neverthless, my editorial concerning Public Domain Day is here for you to cut & paste if you deem it worthy: Public Domain Day 2014 -- kosboot (talk) 23:54, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

@Kosboot: it's not all your fault—I completely forgot. We'll run this next week as an op-ed. Are there any images you can add? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:10, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I hope to have something by Monday evening.
Sounds good, thank you very much. I have the article slated for next week in our newsroom. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:45, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Here's a Rachmaninoff letter: [[File:Rachmaninoff letter.jpg|thumb|Letter (in Russian) from Sergei Rachmaninoff to a Mr. Jules, dated 1926]]
And here's a somewhat colorful graph by music theorist Joseph Schillinger: [[File:Schillinger-Bach.jpg|thumb|Chart by Joseph Schillinger graphing Johann Sebastian Bach's Invention no. 8 in F Major, BWV 779]]

- kosboot (talk) 04:08, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Public Domain Day 2014

Each year on the first of January we have Public Domain Day. Of many images the copyright expires and all the works of an author who died xx years ago (often 70 years ago), will come into the public domain. Each year this results in restoring hundreds of images. I went through the logs and these are the results: Commons:User:Romaine/Public Domain Day/2014. Everyone is invited to place those images in appropriate places in articles! Romaine (talk) 14:17, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Some Wikimedians, including the EU policy group, are considering a response to the European Commission's copyright consultation. We are preparing a draft response on Meta wiki, and anyone is welcome to share their opinion or comments! This is our first attempt to collaboratively participate in a public comment, but we are encouraged that it already has some attention. - Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:08, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Who's Bigger? Where historical figures really rank

According to this article and this related site, Wikipedia data suggests that Jesus is the most important historical figure and Charles Darwin is the most important scientist in history. Story is based on the book Who's Bigger? Where historical figures really rank by Steven Skiena, which seems to rely exclusively on analysis of Wikipedia data. Kaldari (talk) 22:37, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

New program evaluation report - on-wiki writing contests

Hi everyone. The Program Evaluation and Design team at the Wikimedia Foundation has released a new program evaluation about on-wiki writing contests. Thanks to everyone who shared data, and we hope you'll share with us in the future. You can read the report here:

It reports that on-wiki writing contests are successful at meeting their goal of improving the quality of Wikipedia articles and in retaining experienced editors. We hope you'll participate and comment on the talk page, too! SarahStierch (talk) 18:54, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Public comment invited on NISO draft about signalling whether a scholarly reference is free to read and how it is licensed

The NISO Workgroup on Open Access Metadata and Indicators have released a draft of recommendations for how to signal use and reuse rights of scholarly publications. These consist of a <free_to_read> tag intended to signal whether and when a publication is available publicly without a requirement for payment or registration, and a <license_ref> tag intended to point to a URI containing the licensing terms. The draft is open for public comments until February 4. Wikipedia:WikiProject Open Access is exploring how such signalling could work in a Wikipedia/ Wikimedia context. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 03:33, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

The report contains a use case of automated harvesting of images from scholarly sources (inspired by the Open Access Media Importer) and cites (albeit incorrectly) the November 2012 Open Access report in the GLAM newsletter. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 05:29, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Slate on Vagina and Penis

Slate today has an article on our articles Penis and Vagina, including a brief interview with one of the self-published penis models featured on that page, and an analysis from Naomi Wolf on the shortcomings of our Vagina article (primarily, that it only shows one vulva, never mind that it's the vagina article and not Vulva). Powers T 13:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikivoyage at 1

The 15th January marks Wikivoyage's first birthday on WMF servers. Any chance of an article or report on the story so far? --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 16:01, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Nicholas, I've added a brief note to the in-progress draft, but I'd rather not do a full story—we've taken on that topic once already! :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 03:16, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Also, it's unsuitable for yet another celebration while it remains moribund, in my view. Tony (talk) 07:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

million edits

Waacstats has just become our third editor ever to exceed one million edits on the English language Wikipedia. Might be worth a mention. ϢereSpielChequers 20:50, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Net neutrality

Net Neutrality regulations have apparently been voided. How does this effect Wikipedia going forward? Sven Manguard Wha? 18:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Well, if Comcast, AT&T, or Time/Warner start an online encyclopedia (or a mirror of Wikipedia), we're in trouble :) Kaldari (talk) 19:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I am more concerned with that one of them decides to make us part of a "premium package" and all of a sudden it gets harder for people to get to us. I seriously doubt that they'll ask the Foundation to fork over money (or any non-profit, really), because it would be a nasty PR hit. I wouldn't put it past them (especially Comcast, which at least up in Boston had a reputation for nasty, cutthroat, practices that came with being a monopoly in many parts of town) to try to ask the customers to pay extra though. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:45, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
It seems very likely to me that Wikipedia (the English one, at least) will eventually have a serious competitor for the role of the world's top information website ( gets more hits than we do, but only because people are usually using it to get somewhere else.) And that the serious competitor will have some kind of financial backing. And that access deals will be made, if net neutrality is dead. - Dank (push to talk) 15:47, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
As the majority of our (or anyone else's) traffic comes through Google searches, I expect the strategic question would be, can we at the access company persuade Google to steer users to what pleases us, or shall we give preferential treatment to a more persuadable search page? Jim.henderson (talk) 22:31, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

CBC Radio One coverage of Wikipedia

I listened to an amazing hour-long radio program analysis of Wikipedia's effect on the world, on CBC Radio One at 9:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening. It was called "The Great Book of Knowledge, Part 1", with Philip Coulter speaking to moderator Paul Kennedy in the program Ideas. Part 2 is supposed to be next week. The radio station has 4.3 million listeners per week, so this is major coverage. It was suggested at the Help Desk that I mention it here. —Anne Delong (talk) 06:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Is the program archived anywhere so that we can hear it? -- kosboot (talk) 13:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
CBC1 has an archive of previously braodcast material. Here's a link for The Great Book of Knowledge, Part 1. Mindmatrix 14:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! -- kosboot (talk) 14:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It's good, although somehow I wish 100 minutes (two programs) had been compressed into 50 minutes. This first episode warms up after about 30 minutes. Tony (talk) 15:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Quarterly content policy update is done

Nuff said. You know the link. - Dank (push to talk) 16:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Judith Newman follow-up

Judith Newman has written a very funny column that concludes her story covered in the last Signpost. "Wiki-Validation: A Wikipedia Page for Judith Newman Is Approved". vzaak 10:46, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Which Wikipedia articles are blocked in People's Republic of China?

Xia Chu has done extensive research to determine the full corpus of Wikipedia URL patterns blocked by the Great Firewall of China (GFW). They mostly block zh-Wikipedia, but some en-Wikipedia articles are also censored. The first version was released in October 2013. The latest list – current as of December 2013 – includes articles such as Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, Tank Man, and Kuso here on the English Wikipedia. --hydrox (talk) 22:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia #1 source for health information for patients and providers

Quartz, a business news website that I'm starting to really like, has an article about Wikipedia as a source of health information:

"Wikipedia is the leading single source of healthcare information for patients and providers, according to a report on online engagement by IMS Health. According to the study, 50% of surveyed physicians who use the internet have consulted Wikipedia for information—especially on specific conditions."[15]

GabrielF (talk) 06:31, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Two years after Joe Paterno's death, Wikipedia editors have reached a grudging consensus on his entry

That's the title of this article appearing in the Central Pennsylvania-based The Patriot News. Though the article starts out with the exaggerated tone of news sensationalism, it actually is a even-handed account of the conflicts that led to eventually reaching consensus on the article Joe Paterno. -- kosboot (talk) 17:37, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Cool tool!

"A list of the most edited Wikipedia articles and discussions from the last week. Delivered every friday by email." Ocaasi t | c 18:36, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I have several comments as I'm quite disappointed with the quality of this week's edition.

User:Imzadi1979 it takes many hours of volunteer time to write those reports especially one as large as this week's. The attention to detail required is significant. There is a shortage of volunteers to write that report and since you are interested I hope you will volunteer to write next week's report. --Pine 06:42, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
@Pine: thanks for giving me the expected knee-jerk reaction instead of taking on-board some suggestions for improvement. It takes a lot of work to write six FAs, and then it is a major let down to have five of them ignored. I fully understand this was double duty this week, but the output is still a huge disappointment. I'd have rather seen The Signpost run nothing instead of the copy/paste job. Hopefully this will be a one-off exception to what is otherwise a well-done section of the virtual newspaper, and I hope we will see a return to the previous standards. Imzadi 1979  06:58, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
@Imzadi1979: The FC report has involved a lot of copy-paste in the past few months. I understand your disappointment that there was not more recognition of the featured topic. Writing those articles probably was a lot of work. I believe that each article was recognized separately as it was promoted during the past several months. If you would like to add to the topic's summary in this week's Signpost that the topic is fully featured then please feel free to be bold in adding a sentence about that fact. --Pine 05:59, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikimania 2014 London

Hello! This year's Wikimania is planned to be the largest ever by some way, and a lot of emphasis is being put on wider publicity for some of the lesser known parts of Wikimedia; how the deeper community works, the upcoming design changes, how wikimedia can be used in formal education, the invention of Wikidata, Wikimedians-in-Residence, etc. It would be nice to do something in collaboration with the signpost to try and get better community engagement with the event and its associated campaign.

In the meantime, however, submissions and scholarship applications are now open!

EdSaperia (talk) 20:16, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:The Core Contest running for a fifth time - 10 Feb to 9 march....prizes are amazon vouchers once again courtesy of a WMUK microgrant. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:27, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Interview with a Wikipedian music librarian

Sorry for my immodesty: User:OR drohowa has been interviewing librarians in the New York area. This week is my turn: -- kosboot (talk) 16:02, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Speaking of which, here are the links to the other published interviews with GLAM-Wikipedians I've done for the Metropolitan New York Library Council.

I'd be interested in expanding this interview series into the signpost, and making it more general. Just an 'Interview with a Wikipedian' title, non-GLAM specific. I could choose exceptional Wikipedians and then post the interview. If this is of interest to anyone here let me know and I'd be happy to start going with this. I think the inteview series have been very popular on our website, facebook, Twitter, and would make prime re-blogging material outside of the WP community. Thanks. OR drohowa (talk) 19:33, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Not meaning to "steal the thunder" (ahem) from those groups that turn WP articles into YouTube videos, but I think video interviews might be a great way to reach non-Wikipedians. -- kosboot (talk) 19:36, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
If they are done well and are edited down, perhaps. Or audio. Tony (talk) 05:28, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

You might want to

You might want to post something on the RfD for the article on Kat Walsh, the former Chair of the WMF. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:54, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia Israel letter to the BoT regarding URAA

DYK viewing record broken

Is it worth mentioning in the Signpost that Silver Cross Tavern in the last month became the most viewed article on DYK and the first individual DYK article to get over 100,000 views while on the main page? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 18:48, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Partially explained by the Reddit effect; see "TIL The United Kingdom only has 1 licensed brothel because its license was never revoked" on reddit. Mindmatrix 20:07, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Fort Lee lane closure scandal

See [19] for an interesting view of American politics and reaction to a Wikipedia article. Beep-beep Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:53, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Art & Feminism edit-a-thon

See Wikipedia:Meetup/ArtAndFeminism and Facebook page. I wonder whether the influx of articles was assisted by the extra publicity on the fb page? Jane (talk) 11:51, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

A nice article on the procedings: -- kosboot (talk) 15:47, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
And an interesting evaluation by various people who helped organize at various venues during the GLAMout here: GLAMout - February 2014 Jane (talk) 14:00, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Library Journal article

Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia Djembayz (talk) 14:11, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Cycle World post

Cycle World has a post up this morning on Wikipedia’s Motorcycle Project by Steven L. Thompson with mention of Brianhe (talk · contribs) and me. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:59, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Finnish Police concerned about Wikipedia fundraisers

Just a short summary of weird stuff that's going on in Finnish Wikipedia. The Finnish Police has officially requested an explanation of the Wikipedia fundraisers because they have a reason to believe it might run afoul of the local fundraising laws. Wikimedia Suomi ry, the Finnish local chapter of WMF, has given an informal response here - which basically boils down to explaining that Wikimedia fundraisers are globally organised and run by the US organisation, and the local WMF chapter isn't involved in the process and doesn't actually operate the Finnish Wikipedia (which is global WMF's responsibility). The request has been forwarded to the global WMF legal folks. The legal status of crowdfunding and online fundraisers is extremely problematic in Finland; Finland has extremely strict fundraising laws to prevent fraud, and permissions for every fundraiser should be filed with the authorities. There have been some Kickstarter projects that ended up in problems previously, for example, all because the authorities had interpreted the "bounties" to involve lottery, which wasn't the case. I just heard of this thing and I hope someone who is more involved with fi.wikipedia these days, or even WMF Finland, would be able to give a bit broader picture of what's going on with this case. --wwwwolf (barks/growls) 22:24, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

PS. Found an article in English, too: Finnish police examine Wikipedia’s fundraising activities --wwwwolf (barks/growls) 01:15, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Just to confirm, the WMF legal team are aware and currently investigating the situation. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 22:07, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen - New York Times article by Noam Cohen

I suspect this article--about the hurdles Wikipedia faces in the cellphone world--will be picked up by many news organizations. -- kosboot (talk) 12:23, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

"The U.S. Copyright Office will host public roundtable discussions and seeks further comments on potential legislative solutions for orphan works and mass digitization under U.S. copyright law. The meetings and comments will provide an opportunity for interested parties to address new legal developments as well as issues raised by comments provided in response to the Office's previous Notice of Inquiry." This legislation has tremendous implications for Commons and Wikisource. Certainly regular people should comment, but I would hope someone from the WMF would also add comments. -- kosboot (talk) 13:50, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

@Kosboot: Thanks for the suggestion! If you are interested, you can bring the proposal to the advocacy advisory group -- we usually discuss these sort of issues on the advocacy page on Meta. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Great quote about how Wikipedia articles are written

The example that I give in the book is from the American Revolution. This entry had to be resolved by both British and American contributors who saw this historical event from very different perspective. Even simple language like American references to “revolutionaries” are interpreted in British contexts as “terrorists.” Watching the discussion page unfold over how to construct this article is itself tremendously educational. And, yet, this opportunity is lost when we treat Wikipedia in a black-and-white way.

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:32, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

More than that, it's a pre-publication interview with fairly-well-known scholar danah boyd about her forthcoming book "It's Complicated" (to be published Feb. 25, 2014). She has a gem of a quote that we should all evangelicize:

Whenever I would ask educators about Wikipedia, they would consistently tell me that the site was inaccurate because anyone could edit it. This refrain gets echoed by young people. It doesn’t matter that studies have shown that Wikipedia is more accurate than the encyclopedia in many situations; the belief of misinformation is widespread. What saddens me about this refrain is that it undermines a fantastic educational opportunity.

-- kosboot (talk) 15:51, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia Nearing 4,500,000 Articles

Science Saturdays (talk) 04:12, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Free Access to Wikipedia in South Africa

External videos
video icon SA #NekNomination: Free Access to Wikipedia, (3:09) MTN Group

See Sinenjongo_High_School#Free_access_to_Wikipedia.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:12, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Layout ideas

Swedish design firm 1910 published a blog post on Gizmodo with some new design ideas for Wikipedia articles: "How to Make a More Readable Wikipedia" The Interior (Talk) 18:52, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Interior—these are very interesting! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:07, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Great language game Listen to audio samples, and try to guess the language. At the end of each game, it lists the languages you got wrong, and links those to Wikipedia and Ethnologue. Neat stuff :) –Quiddity (talk) 22:23, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


I imagine you already know about this, but the Deployments page over at Wikitech can be really interesting at times, could be a great way to hear about upcoming news/features. For example, currently there's the Hovercards Beta Feature and new Mobile apps being released in the last few days of February. --Nicereddy (talk) 03:44, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links/February 2014

On February 25, 2014, for the first time in the history of WikiProject Disambiguation, editors have cleared the board of all of the one thousand most-linked disambiguation pages for the month. In so doing, editors made over ten thousand disambiguation fixes. The monthly disambiguation contest has been ongoing since November of 2005. bd2412 T 17:10, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

So many of the problems with Wikipedia seem intractable and too large to tackle, but this is a great example of finding a way to make solving a problem fun and chipping away at it over years and having a truly meaningful effect. I'd like to hear a shout out to the editors who have done the work and those who have managed the project. SchreiberBike talk 04:28, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Forbes on paid editing and sexism

"Wikipedia Nobly Confronts An Ethics Issue, But It Still Has A Bigger Sexist One". Title says it all. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:25, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

That's a slam dunk for the "In the Media" portion. I read the article with interest but I felt the author was addressing the low-hanging fruit of Wikipedia's well-discussed gender gap while ignoring the possibility that both the STEM fields and hard science academia have institutional biases thereby eliminating good female students that never become the scientists about which Wikipedia will write. I am pleased that a quote from Wadewitz was included as she's a great voice for Wikipedia in general and this topic specifically. I'm eager to see her get increasingly bigger podiums. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:13, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Aw, thanks! Wadewitz (talk) 04:56, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Economist - Future of Wikipedia

A little bit of everything - New ED in March? [20]

My experience with the Economist - very intelligent, well-thought-through analysis, that never quite turns out right. Still, worth reading. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:11, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

New ED announcement is expected in May not March. Kaldari (talk) 21:27, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

The Shadowy World of Wikipedia's Editing Bots

I don't think this article was mentioned (and if it was, apologies!) The Shadowy World of Wikipedia's Editing Bots} MIT Technology Review . One of the links it provides is Wikipedia and Wikidata Realtime Edit Stats. -- kosboot (talk) 17:36, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Worth mentioning for sure. Johnbod (talk) 17:44, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
The real-time page also shows that on English WP, about 30% of editors are anonymous (not logged in). -- kosboot (talk) 19:17, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

BMJ debate

"Warming Up to the Culture of Wikipedia" - article in the NY Times

Warming Up to the Culture of Wikipedia - nothing that Wikipedians don't know already other than a positive image in a high-profile newspaper. -- kosboot (talk) 12:18, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

The Geography of Fame - in NYT

Going beyond being "about" WP and using WP: The Geography of Fame by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a recent Harvard Ph.D. and current Google employee, whose work "focuses on using big-data sources to uncover previously hidden behaviors and attitudes." He downloaded a dataset from WP based on babyboomer population and (in my oversimplification) finds that those with fame are those who live in intellectually active areas of the country. An unwritten assumption/conclusion is WP's acceptance as a valid dataset. -- kosboot (talk) 21:10, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

More specifically, the counties in which US baby-boomers were born who have Wikipedia articles, tended to be the homes of universities, urban areas, and the home of immigrants. As usual in a study like this, people will propose "missing factors" that might also explain the results. I'll propose 2. 1) Parents with a college education (or more generally, the level of parent's education), which is likely to be higher in counties with universities (all those young college-educated folks living in those towns), or even more generally 2) social class, e.g. WV, ND, and KY, all states with the worst scores are way out in the boonies with very few "upper class" folks. Note that many immigrants at this time (and now) are the result of brain drain. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
The top comments on the article are interesting. Both NTY picks deal with with selection bias, from two different angles. It might be worth including those in the coverage. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:51, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Junior academic arguing that university students should be allowed to reference Wikipedia

This might be of interest: (The Conversation is a popular and well-regarded Australian and UK website in which academics write articles aimed at a general audience). I can't say that I agree with the article, but others might. Nick-D (talk) 09:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)


... is done for this quarter. - Dank (push to talk) 13:52, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Included, thanks Dank! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

DYK non-lead hook viewing record broken

is it worth mentioning that yesterday, the DYK non-lead hook viewing record was broken by United States v. Article Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls‎ with over 112,000 views (which will also increase because over the time difference leading to it also being on for an hour today)? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 06:52, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Included! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

The most controversial Wikipedia articles worldwide Nice infographic. Based on this paper (talk) 17:39, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Only a year old! Didn't we mention it then? Johnbod (talk) 02:32, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe we did, but I can't search the archive. -- kosboot (talk) 12:02, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Too stale now, anyway. Johnbod (talk) 14:51, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe we had something on this. Was it in the monthly research section? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Doh! *blushes*. Serves me right for not crediting my via source.
Yup, article at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-06-26/Recent research. –Quiddity (talk) 05:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Publishing scholarly papers with, and on, Wikipedia

Publishing scholarly papers with, and on, Wikipedia is a blog entry on the WM-UK site. The interest is that it has been referenced in a highly-read digital humanities blog Digital Humanities Now as an "editor's choice". I suspect others might pick it up as well (digital humanities is a field where much of the communication takes places on Twitter so watch for it there). Stay tuned. -- kosboot (talk) 16:36, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Included! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

List of Top 10 Reliable and Top Ten Unreliable Sources

Let's clear up the confusion. It appears to me that sourcing is often at the root of many disputes, blocks, and bans. I believe it would serve WP well to update the reliable source criteria, and possibly even include a list of the top 10 most unreliable and top 10 most reliable sources with a neutral balance determined first by general consensus, and maybe followed by a 3/4 majority consensus by admins who are elected to determine the final outcome, or some other process that will assure neutrality. Do it, and watch the Talk page disputes and ANI activity all but disappear. Atsme talk 17:40, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

There's no good way to determine a "top 10 most reliable sources", as every field has different sources, and what makes them reliable is judged differently. The sciences rely heavily on peer-reviewed academic journals. The humanities rely on those as well as books published by printing houses that have editorial control (i.e. not pay-to-print houses). WikiProject Video Games has a guideline about what websites that cover video games are reliable, which is mainly about the sites having editorial control and being respected and referenced by other known entities in video game coverage. Lots of our BLPs use mainstream media reports. There are plenty of good reliable sources and trying to figure out which one is "best" will cause plenty of drama and have no real benefit. Sven Manguard Wha? 19:29, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
One assessment of the most reliable sources is at
Wavelength (talk) 20:24, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wavelength: Right off the bat, NewsTrust rates CBS News higher than FOX News as a trusted TV source which speaks volumes, [21] especially considering Fox News has been rated the most trusted news source in the U.S. by a wide margin over ABC, NBC, and CBS.[22]. NPOV can only be achieved if the sources used reflect the popular views of the respective countries but also include opposing views which may reflect a substantial minority view. Most of the sources listed by news have a blatantly obvious liberal slant which further substantiates the need for the proper weighting of reliable sources.[23] A broad-scoped consensus should be considered with a 2nd consensus by admins in an effort to reach a fair and binding decision for the purpose of achieving a neutral balance in our articles, especially when the focus is political. We will be hard pressed to achieve neutrality if editors keep condemning conservative sources as unreliable, and accepting only liberal sources as reliable, and vice versa. Atsme talk 21:34, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
... especially considering Fox News has been rated the most trusted news source in the U.S. by a wide margin over ABC, NBC, and CBS. In 2006. Also, which sources have a "liberal bias"? Are ABC News, Aljazeera, BBC News, Bill Moyers Journal, CBS News, CNN, The Daily Show, Democracy Now, MSNBC, NBC News, NewsHour, The Real News, and the Voice of America all liberally biased? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:57, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Ranking news sources with a single metric? Bad idea in general. But if you must, NewsTrust ranks FOX News at the absolute bottom. It's the only one below 3 on a 5 point scale (NewsTrust, TV Sources). I'm not sure what you were referring to before, @Atsme: -- Fuzheado | Talk 22:00, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Also it's important to note "trusted" by a particular group does not equate to "reliable." You had a lot of people in Jonestown who trusted Jim Jones, did that make him reliable? -- Fuzheado | Talk 22:09, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
You can find six sources for each subject entry at
Wavelength (talk) 23:59, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
@Atsme: I don't know why you're making these statements and perhaps you hadn't thought that far ahead. I understand you're still new to Wikipedia and you've already found yourself at one of the drama boards. This talk page is for suggestions for Signpost stories and what you're suggesting should be redirected to the reliable sources noticeboard or the village pump.
If you hang out at contentious articles, you're going to get burned out on the vitriol. Furthermore, Wikipedia has a well-known leftist bias, which is why some editors went to Conservapedia years ago. I'm not sure if you like kicking a hornet's nest or you think a useful conversation will come out of this provocation, but I don't think this is well-advised. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:23, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wavelength: thank you for the link. Atsme talk 01:29, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fuzheado: you have a point. Whatever you do, don't drink the Kool-aid. I found the following articles rather interesting. [24] [25] Anyway, since this project page is titled: Editing Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions (section), I wanted to make a suggestion that I thought would help editors, especially if there's a way to work together in clearing up the air on contentious and/or unreliable sourcing that tends to get WP newbies in trouble. I for one wear my scrapes and bruises with pride because I've learned from my mistakes, but not all new editors are so lucky which is why I thought it was a good suggestion for an article. If that isn't what Signpost had in mind, so be it. My suggestion will eventually wither away. At least I made a suggestion, so I'm doing my part in the community. Atsme talk 01:52, 4 April 2014 (UTC)


ITAR-TASS reports that the Director of the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg (not the Lenin Library in Moscow) says "Russia needs own alternative to Wikipedia". Too many mistakes, it seems, and the Russian version of Wikipedia is controlled in the US. Besides, access to the Russian WP might be cut off the same way that US banks cut off Russian credit card holders. Maybe we can get a GLAM cooperation going with this guy? Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:57, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Not to be too snarky, but do you think that's what they're interested in? More likely, they'd love to be like China, where Baidu Baike (owned by a company in China, and complies with government speech guidelines) is far more popular than Wikipedia. -- Fuzheado | Talk 19:11, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Apparently because most Mainland China users cannot access WP without unconventional means. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 15:42, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer—included! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Head to Head with Jimmy Wales

The latest episode of Al Jazeera's Head to Head was in an in-depth discussion with founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, about not only Wikipedia but the internet in general, from NSA spying to internet addiction.

It was a very lively and entertaining discussion and seeing how it touched directly upon Wikipedia, its aims, ambitions, successes and challenges I thought you might want to cover it in your weekly online paper.

Links to the video:

Will the internet set us free?
Head to Head with Jimmy Wales

Full transcript:

Thanks, I included it in this week's "News and notes"! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:21, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

First Wikipedian in Residence in Wales

Hi, could you please mention in News and notes that I've been appointed as Wikipedian in Residence at Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol? This is the first residency in Wales and the first focussed on improving the coverage of topics on the Welsh-language Wikipedia. The story was picked up by BBC News and (both pieces are in Welsh). Thanks! Marc (Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol) (talk) 15:28, 15 April 2014 (UTC) (PS: My usual, volunteer username is Ham.)

Hey User:Marc, I forgot to check this page before this week's edition, but I will note it in the coming week. Thanks for the note here! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Ed! Here is the press release on the Coleg's website; it's the one published source in English I'm aware of. Marc (Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol) (talk) 09:39, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Wadewitz Tribute EDit-a-thon at end of May

Wikipedia:Wadewitz Tribute Edit-a-thons SarahStierch (talk) 21:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks SarahStierch (talk · contribs), I'll be sure to note this next week (I forgot this week, sorry :-/) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia searches predict flu cases

"The internet will see you now. A new algorithm can track flu cases across the US by mining data from Wikipedia.

The program monitors a handful of entries that a sick person or their loved ones would conceivably look up, like those on "flu season", "fever" and "epidemic". Every hour, it downloads publicly available information about how many people across the country accessed the pages.

When the researchers compared their data with figures from the US Centers for Disease Control, they found they could accurately predict the number of cases in the country two weeks earlier and with a difference of just 0.27 per cent.

In recent years, public health officials have been increasingly interested in trying to track illness with internet data like social media or search queries. One advantage of using Wikipedia is that its data is not controlled by a single institution, says co-author John Brownstein of Harvard Medical School. "The Wikipedia data requires no access," he says. "It's truly available to anybody."


--Guy Macon (talk) 09:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Of course Google can track their searches by location, whereas this shouldn't happen on Wikipedia - the forecast is just for all the US, or maybe for the whole world. Smallbones(smalltalk) 13:52, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia beats Google in helping researchers track flu season Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:17, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Very interesting, thanks all. I believe we will have an "In the media" this month, which is where this will be covered. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Confirming that I've seen this. Planning to lead with this for our first May edition. Go Phightins! 00:46, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
The actual paper behind the story is also on the todo list of the "recent research" section of the April 30 edition (cf. [26]), as usual for new academic publications about Wikipedia.
But I think it's fine to cover it in both sections - the research newsletter will focus on the paper's methodology and results, less on the media impact. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 15:04, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

SF tycoon and PR whitewashing

As An SF Internet Tycoon Admits To Domestic Violence, A Battle Continues On His Wikipedia Page

Smallbones(smalltalk) 13:52, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, Smallbones! I'm going to leave this for ITM to note next week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:18, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Some articles on the design of Wikipedia and response to the recent Typography Refresh

Here are some articles I found interesting, and figured you could potentially add to an upcoming Signpost:

I found these incredibly interesting, perhaps someone should write an entire piece for the Signpost on the Design of Wikipedia (beyond just the Typography Refresh that was already covered). I would offer to do it myself, but I don't think my writing abilities would suffice. --Nicereddy (talk) 16:35, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the links, Nicereddy. I'm hoping to write an article on Wikipedia's design in the near-future, so I'm going to save them for that! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
See also , which proposes to improve Wikipedia's appearance by using 100 year old typographical principles. I'm sure this goes against WP:NOTPAPER, but when an informed person suggests that a 100 yo design is better than the current design, it should set off some alarms. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:48, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
OMG, das Referenz?! They should have looked up die Referenz on the Wiktionary App... and de:Referenz too. WTH? --Atlasowa (talk) 14:29, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

23 April

Many of the current issue's links (e.g. "single page") still point of the issue of 9 April. Thanks as always for a great job!! -- kosboot (talk) 04:11, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Hey kosboot, that was probably an issue with Wikipedia's CACHE. Thanks! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Wiki Loves Pride 2014

A date (June 21, but also throughout the month of June) has been set for the planned Wiki Loves Pride campaign for 2014. Wiki Loves Pride is a global campaign to expand and improve LGBT-related content across several Wikimedia projects. Our hope is that cities across the world will participate. This is similar to the recent Art+Feminism campaign. A mention of our efforts in Signpost would be much appreciated. Thank you! --Another Believer (Talk) 15:38, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, I've included it in this week's edition! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:18, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Royal Society journals

New JSTOR-like free subs offer for the Wikipedia Library - will probably formally open for applications on Monday 27th April. See Wikipedia:Royal Society journals. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 17:09, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Now open for applications. Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 23:32, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, big news: Oxford University Press has donated 150 "Humanities Packages", including access to Grove Art/Grove Music, Dictionary of National Biography, and more. See Wikipedia:OUP for deets. The applications are open as of today. The Interior (Talk) 17:09, 28 April 2014 (UTC)


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