Talk:WikiJournal User Group

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2016 naming vote

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Which posts to boost?[edit]

I have now received the grant money for the budget of 2018. I have paid the Crossref membership, and will pay for the domain names when it's time to do so.

Also, our request for an additional $400 to promote key posts (especially on Facebook) was also granted. Those Facebook pages are located at:

Now, which posts are we interested in boosting? Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:17, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

I'd guess the best use of promoting funds would be to boost posts about new content. That would be my first priority. Penny Richards (discusscontribs) 20:55, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
The WikiJournal of Humanities doesn't have a first issue yet, so I think it would make sense to boost a call for papers. The concept is a little difficult to understand at first so I would emphasize how academics can get published for greatly improving Wikipedia. Rachel Helps (BYU) (discusscontribs) 16:04, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree. This is something we understand, but there are many out there to whom this is something new. Do we have a quick and concise primer to share about writing an article for a Wiki Journal - maybe directed to the unaware, non-wiki folks, or even non-believers? Perhaps that would be something good to share on social media. Jackiekoerner (discusscontribs) 18:46, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Comparison to and competition with other open-access journals[edit]

I browsed other journals, like Wiley, OMICS International, and Elsevier, whose content is released under various Creative Commons licenses. Moreover, I've downloaded a few PDF documents into Wikimedia Commons. I'm thinking how WikiJournal is different from other journals in several (if not many) ways, like open peer review, having a MediawWiki sotftware, licensing, and so on. How would WikiJournal fare, compared to other open-access journals? Would WJ attract many academics? Would academics go to other journals, especially ones whose licenses are a little bit more strict than CC BY? Can WikiJournal compete against other journals? If you like, I would describe more how WikiJournal is different from other open-access journals. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 09:01, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

I think indeed that would be an interesting page, perhaps as a subpage of meta:WikiJournal User Group. Please let me know if you have a draft ready, and I can then help revising it. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 10:40, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree. It's an interesting niche. I wrote a bit about some of the emerging ideas for this paper. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts, since I'm giving a talk on the topic to the AOASG in a few weeks. In academia, I think CC-BY is still the most often used of the creative commons licenses. One thing that's been interesting is that publishing material that's previously appeared in Wikipedia forces use of the extremely uncommon CC-BY-SA which joutnals are often reluctant to use. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:10, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I created WikiJournal User Group/Comparison to other journals as a rough draft. Please feel free to contribute. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 08:37, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Good overview! I made some changes at the licensing section. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 14:45, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment and the changes. :) I also added the lead and some more examples. Maybe I'll add in another table to list more publishers. By the way, if WikiJournal is established as a stand-alone project and becomes more successful, the most affected will be (I predict) OMICS International, PeerJ, and PLOS due to publishing costs, but I'm unsure whether authors would be concerned about peer review transparency. Nonetheless, WikiJournal publishes articles for free, so the three are all I can think about. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 16:18, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

The page that I created is tagged as "draft". I thought about removing the "draft" tag, but the "Transparency" section is very small because I have been unsure why peer reviews should be transparent. I would like some help please before I remove the "draft" tag, but this is not yet a precedent to adding the page as part of the menu header. Thanks. --George Ho (discusscontribs) 20:25, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

Great work, George Ho! I added some at Transparency_of_peer_reviews, removed the "draft" tag, and linked it from the About-pages of each journal. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 03:08, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Mikael. Can the page be added to the "Resources" menu? --George Ho (discusscontribs) 03:35, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Update:Removing upper limit of board members[edit]

The boards of all WikiJournals are currently supporting a decision to remove the upper limit of the number of board members (which is currently up 20). We believe this will benefit by a greater participation and increased diversity. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:52, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

After a vote at WikiJSci (Talk:WikiJournal_of_Science#Vote:_Editorial_board_size), the board size limit is now removed for this journal. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 15:07, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

Version of record[edit]

Published articles need to have a stable version of record: this is necessary in order to fit in the existing publication system. Which format should this version have, and how to generate it, are less obvious.

Do we need PDFs?[edit]

The easiest way to get a version of record is to have a non-editable clone of the article at the time of publication. Compared to a PDF, a clone is harder to print, but it has the advantage that it requires almost no extra work. So there is no opportunity for introducing errors when doing the conversion, and no proofreading is required. Apparently Scholarpedia does not generate PDFs.

Is there a compelling reason to generate PDFs?

How do we generate PDFs?[edit]

Let me enumerate a few possibilities:

  1. MediaWiki -> Word -> PDF
  2. MediaWiki -(Pandoc)-> Latex -> PDF: I could explore this possibility, maybe not in time for the first issue.
  3. MediaWiki -> PDF as in Wikipedia: looks inadequate, in particular there is no table of contents.

Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 12:19, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

I'd say that we probably do need to generate PDFs, since they're still a very common way that academics store papers (at least in biology). and well handled by reference managers. I agree that the "download a PDF" option is currently inadequate due to its handling of templates, figures, and tables. Even some automation of the first steps of PDF production would help, even if ideal image placement and sizing had to be done manually. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:35, 4 June 2018 (UTC) PS: I've added a couple of links in your flow above
I agree we will need to continue generating PDFs, and some manual work will still be needed even if we find a way to make it more automatic. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:27, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
I think PDFs will be required - it's just a standard we will be expected to meet. Auto-generation is unlikely to be feasible; agree with Thomas' comments above. Maybe some manual effort can be cut off the process, but I doubt it'll go away entirely. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 08:47, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Integration with Wikidata[edit]

WikiJournal is mentioned in the ScienceSource proposal, and now that that has been approved for funding, I'd like to get a discussion going on how we might move this forward. We've also just published an editorial in the PLOS Topic Pages series, wherein we invite suggestions as to how Wikidata could be brought into play there as well. --Daniel Mietchen (discusscontribs) 19:27, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

@Daniel Mietchen: I enjoyed the PLOS editorial. I think that academic journals can be a logical route for information to be added to Wikidata. There are a few non-exclusive mechanisms as I see it:
  1. automatic extraction of data from articles via ScienceSource.
  2. manual addition of data by article authors to accompany a prose article (e.g. I've long intended to convert the images in this article to Wikidata).
  3. manual addition of data by article authors with no accompanying prose (basically a peer review of the dataset added)
The second two options benefit from being able to include items that machine reading would miss, or are entirely absent from the prose of an article. However it can be quite a bit of additional work compared to the first option. A key component would be convincing authors of the value of WikiData, which is intrinsically less visible than Wikipedia. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:53, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Role of the Council versus the Boards[edit]

As started in the discussion about Thomas as Chair, we also need to specify what are the roles of the WikiJournal Council versus that of the individual boards of each journal. I think of the WikiJournal Council as more of an administrative body, dealing with for example financials, while the boards are more focused on topics related to their particular fields. Individual members of the editorial board need to have more profound knowledge of the subject of the journal, while those of the WikiJournal Council can simply be interested in the overall well-being of the WikiJournal project. Anyone interested in both of these aspects is welcome to apply to both. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 20:54, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia-integration of articles published in WikiJournals[edit]


Some WikiJournal articles radically revise their corresponding Wikipedia articles. They are then formally and independently reviewed, which gives them some standing, but (as yet) no special position as Wikipedia articles. The intention is that the revised text should be used to revise the corresponding Wikipedia articles. This could be done by the WikiJournal authors, if they feel able to do this and are willing to take the time; by WikiJournal board editors; or by any Wikipedia editors who feel minded to make use of the resource. The situations differ:

  • Authors could be considered by Wikipedians to have a (mild) conflict of interest, though this will have been explicitly declared by virtue of WikiJournal publication, and comes with an implicit seal of approval from the Wikijournal concerned. They will often not be experienced Wikipedia editors, and will often not be specially interested in Wikipedia publication (which does not 'count' for academic purposes) once they have achieved their goal of WikiJournal publication. From their point of view, publishing on Wikipedia is a profitless act of public service, whereas WikiJournal publication should be to the benefit of authors, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the public alike.
  • WikiJournal board editors may similarly be considered by Wikipedians to have a (mild) conflict of interest, though again, this will have been explicitly declared by virtue of being listed on the WikiJournal board.
  • Wikipedia editors will usually be conflict-free. If they see fit to mine a WikiJournal for materials, they will use the materials, possibly piecemeal, for any article they choose, at any time (not necessarily promptly), and not necessarily for the article corresponding directly to the WikiJournal article.

I am not sure that there is any big problem with any of these routes. It may be sensible for authors or WikiJournal editors to put (WikiJournal author) or (WikiJournal editor) in an edit comment or on the Wikipedia article's talk page. My tuppence worth. Chiswick Chap (discusscontribs) 07:20, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

These points are well thought of. I would support a requirement to declare WJ editorship on editor's user pages, and WJ authorship and editorship in publication-related edits to connected articles. Undeclared COI is one of the most consistently problematic areas on WP, and it is very easy to generate bad blood and controversy that way. Let's be proactive here. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 08:41, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Interesting points! I think authors should be invited to do the inclusion, since they are most familiar with how to express the information. Still, indeed, this constitutes a potential conflict of interest, so I've added at the "Wikipedia inclusion" section of the Editorial guidelines that they should note this in the edit summary: [1]
Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 14:16, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree. I think that the key is clear statements in the edit summary. We should probably include a url or wikilink for at least the first edit summary (e.g. "Adding/Updating section XYZ from [[v:WikiJournal_of_Science/Spaces_in_mathematics]]). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:07, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree, and I added this example to WikiJournal_User_Group/Editorial_guidelines#Wikipedia_inclusion. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 03:28, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Technical issues[edit]

Integration of [2] into [3] was done on 11-12 June 2018, with contributions by 3 WJS editors. Initially there was a lack of coordination, which led to some work being lost. (Moving figures before moving the text wholesale.) Beyond copy-paste, the work consisted in:

  1. Deciding which parts of the Wikipedia article to keep, when they were not included in the WJS article (Basically, this section)
  2. Reformatting the code for Figures from the WJS template to Wikipedia syntax
  3. Resizing Figures
  4. Adding the {{Academic peer reviewed}} template in the References
  5. Adding a few Categories at the end
  6. Moving a Figure from Wikiversity to Commons (Having it at Wikiversity caused the Figure not to be displayed)
  7. Removing w: prefixes in links (Tidier, but not strictly necessary)
  8. Replace [[xyz|xyz]] with [[xyz]] (Tidier, but not strictly necessary)

(Please complete the list if something is missing)

Some of these steps could possibly be automated. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:24, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

I agree, and I added this to the Editorial guidelines (with some generalization to work for all WikiJournals): [4]. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 14:18, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for codifying this. Steps 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 should be automate-able. I don't have the coding skill to do it, but we could ask somewhere in phabricator to see if a tool could be designed. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:52, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it would be great if we could automate at least some of the steps. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 03:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Two relevant discussions on Wikipedia[edit]

There are a couple of WikiJournal-relevant discussions occurring on Wikipedia. Linking here for the record, but people are free to contribute to the discussions if interested.

  1. A user talk page discussion about the concept of WikiJournals - Several concerns and criticisms discussed about the format
  2. A village pump discussion about expert review - Specifically relating to the BMJ, but relevant to this project.

Eventually we should gather up key discussions that have been held on Wikipedia about WikiJournals so that we have an easy index somewhere. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:56, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

I agree: We should gather the discussions for future meditation and contemplation. Discussing the discussions is optional.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 09:24, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
The first discussion shows that the idea of WikiJournals as reliable sources is far from being accepted. In particular there are the points that the editorial board is not made of renowned experts, and that some submissions are handled by non-specialist editors. This is due in part to being new journals and having broad scope; but maybe we should revise how we recruit editors. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 21:52, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
I think you're right that editor recruitment should evolve as the journal matures, especially now that the board now covers most of the key skills and experiences needed to run the journal (key academic fields, editorial/publishing experience, librarianship, wiki experience, OA-projects, soc. media). What're your ideas on how best to focus any further editor recruitment? My thoughts are that we focus on recruiting specialist associate editors that can help when articles are submitted outside of the board's main expertise, but who don't necessarily want to receive all the board emails. We could also try to attract some 'big names' to the editorial board. I think that academic legitimacy will also be much improved once we are indexed in scopus, pubmed and Web of Science. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:37, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I think we'll be able to attract more subject expertise if we continue to keep administrative hassle to the WikiJournal Council and this talk page, rather than to individual journal boards, so that the journal boards can focus on their article submissions. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 04:07, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree with both of you: we need editors who are well-known in their fields, so the recruitment should now insist more on this aspect and less on the 'wiki' or 'open' aspects. These editors' workflow should be made as easy as possible, with the help of the wiki-oriented editors. To attract them, I would be tempted to use one-on-one persuasion of people I know, taking advantage of conferences for example. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 07:49, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Request for comment at Wikipedia:[edit]

Based on the discussion being held at a users talk page, a discussion has been started up at the reliable sources noticeboard (a more logical location). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:38, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Application as sister project[edit]

Council ping @Diptanshu Das, Mikael Häggström, Felipe Schenone, Guy vandegrift, Part, Taketa, Daniel Mietchen:

The application to be a full sister project was first proposed in 2016. The journals have grown markedly since then. I think it would be good to contact the Sister Projects Committee and ask them to comment on the proposal ( At the very least, it will be good to have some feedback from a WikiMedia perspective. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:06, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

I agree that's a good idea. In the meantime, I've been in touch with the Meta:Affiliations Committee about becoming a Thematic organization; see subsection. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 05:49, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Mikael Häggström for summing up the items below and for your contributions in shaping WJM. Thanks T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo) for the contributions you have made with respect to WJS and WJH, and for shaping the direction of progress of WikiJournal as a whole. I think we should definitely ask the Sister Projects Committee to evaluate and provide us feedback on how WikiJournal could become a sister project. In case they point to any further requirements, we would be happy to fulfill them before we finally re-apply formally. Diptanshu 💬 11:31, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Application as thematic organization[edit]

I've now prepared an email for the Meta:Affiliations Committee, responding to their reqirements. Feel free to make and/or suggest changes to it before I email it. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 05:49, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Here is a description of how WikiJournal fulfills each of the mentioned criteria:

Legal structure:

Records of activities are archived in its online discussion forums, mainly:

The editorial boards and associate editors have expertise in each area:

Their expertise is shared with the Wikimedia movement, in the form of processing and approving article submissions, whose content can be used to improve articles across Wikimedia projects.

Wikimedia supportive mission: The mission of WikiJournal is to publish scholarly works with no cost for the authors, apply quality checks on submissions by expert peer review, and make accepted works available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity. [5]
This is in alignment with that of Wikimedia. WikJournals is open for everyone to contribute.

Thematic focus: Scholarly journals that apply academic peer review to their content.

Critical mass of active Wikimedia contributor involvement: 50+ total members in the editorial boards, in addition to authors and peer reviewers (see links to editors above)

At least two years of activities: The project has been a User Group since May 31, 2016: Meta:Affiliations Committee/Resolutions/Recognition WikiJournal User Group
Its reports on activity and financials are up to date, see: Meta:WikiJournal User Group/Activity report May 2016 to Dec 2017

Capacity, or planned capacity, to meet the future expectations: We are a dedicated group of volunteers who will continue to welcome newcomers to the projects. There is no absolute limit to the potential capacity of our activities. We understand and will abide the requirements and expectations of thematic organizations.

Best regards,

Mikael Häggström
On behalf of the WikiJournal User Group

Thanks for putting this together Mikael. I agree with its contents. In the Wikimedia supportive mission section we could also mention that material from the project is also commonly integrated into other Wikimedia projects (especially Wikipedia and Commons). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:42, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

A new type of editors?[edit]

This is a rough proposal for how to deal with editors who are renowned in their fields, but are not necessarily experienced with Wiki projects, assuming we manage to recruit such people.


These editors would be in charge of inviting peer reviewers, recommending changes to authors, and recommending (or even deciding) that articles be accepted: the scientific side of things. They would a priori not be involved in technical issues or in Wikipedia integration. They could in principle do all their work by email.


Someone, typically an editorial board member, convinces a renowned scientist to agree in principle to join the journal. That someone writes an application in order to convince the board (including members from other fields) that the scientist in question is indeed eminent. A vote may take place.

Perhaps notability would range from a Wikipedia article to a Nobel laureate for example, with renown involving prizes awarded perhaps. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:54, 16 June 2018 (UTC)


Cannot be an 'editorial board member' or an 'associate editor': not the same tasks and recruitment procedure. 'Senior editor'? 'Member of the editorial college'? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 21:30, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Another possibility would be to also rename what are currently "associate editors" to "junior editors" or similar to make the naming more immediately obvious. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:38, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
'Distinguished editor' might fit the bill. Chiswick Chap (discusscontribs) 13:40, 18 June 2018 (UTC)